Friday, August 30, 2013

"What's that in your eye?"--For those who have FRACTURED RELATIONSHIPS... Please Read On

This morning I read my devotion for the day and I have to say it really hit home. I have experienced a fractured relationship and God has really shown me over the last few years, the condition of my own heart. It wasn't very pretty. I felt that because I had been hurt by someone repeatedly over the course of my life, I had the right to be bitter, resentful, and even tell others about how I had been wronged and had had enough.  
Well, God has shown me that I needed to take responsiblilty for the way I respond to the offense. "What's that in your eye?"  I also needed to love this person the way He loves this person. I have prayed for that for for years, that I would love this child of God the way that He loves His child....flaws and all. After all, if I look at my own heart, I will find some not so pretty stuff in there too. And guess what?  God loves me despite it all!  That's AMAZING grace, right there.  What if we loved others like that?  Lord, change the attitude of my heart.
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. ALL, not some. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.  So, with all of that said, I am sharing the devotion I read this morning...

Speck Work (Taken from The Quiet Place-Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

"Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is a big log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your own brother's eye." ~Matthew 7:4-5

OFTEN, AFTER ENDURING THE UNDESERVED PAIN OF another's sin against us, we (the offended) become theoffender in the way we respond to the original or ongoing injustice.  So even though we may have done little or nothing to provoke what first happened, we have now added our own sin into the mix.  And it is our own sin that we must deal with first.
In this familiar passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasized the importance of dealing with our own sin before trying to deal with others' failures.  This isn't to minimize what our "brother" may have done but rather to affirm that it's hard to be objective about his sin when we've got a beam in our own eye.  It's hard to help him deal with his own issue--not to mention hypocritical on our part--if we haven't confessed our own sin, even if it was a reaction to his sin in the first place.
So, be honest: Has someone else's sin begotten sin in your own life?  Then confess it--to them, if possible and appropriate.  Not in a way that excuses you, not in a way that blames them for pushing you to it, not in a way that leads you into even more sin by stirring up your anger against them,  Take full responsibility for your own sin.
"But I'm only 5 percent responsible for this whole thing!"  Then assume 100 percent responsibility for your 5 percent.  Humble yourself.  Clear your conscience.  Seek forgiveness.  Then let God use you to minister grace to your brother in need.

Do you have a fractured relationship with another person?  Is it possible that you have been overlooking your share of the blame--just as you feel the other person has done?  What might an honest evaluation expose in your own heart?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's HERE!!! It's finally HERE!!!!

So, many of you know that for the last month I have been reading the pre-release copy of Jill Savage's book, No More Perfect Moms. Well the time has finally come!!  It is available now and I can not recommend this book enough for all the mamas out there! Truly! The following is a review I wrote for it....

"Are you tired of yelling at your kids to "Stop yelling at your sister (or brother)!!"??  Why do I expect perfection from my kids, my husband, my friends, etc. when I am far from perfect? Unrealistic expectations can deflate someone very fast, including myself! No More Perfect Moms is not your typical parenting book. Jill is the real deal and she lays it out "perfectly" for us. We need God's grace each and every day, sometimes moment by moment. When we truly live IN His grace, we are able to pour that same grace out onto others in our lives. You will not be disappointed in this book. It's great to read in a group and/or on your own. You will be amazed, relieved, and even cry as you discover that you are not the only one out there who has what Jill calls the "perfection infection".  Learn that it is okay NOT to be perfect, to have the perfect body, perfect kids, perfect marriage, perfect home, perfect friends, etc. No More Perfect Moms is a MUST read and a MUST share!"

There is even a free video curriculum that goes along with the book. 
Video clips and discussion questions. Just click on the tab for the week you are on and view the video clip. If you scroll below the video clip you will find a link to discussion questions as well as links to other great resources.  

Real people, living real lives, with real "stuff" and there is real encouragement along the way. 

Where can you purchase a copy or 5 or 10????? ;)
Amazon paperback
Amazon Kindle version
Barnes and Noble paperback
Barnes and Noble Nook version paperback eBook version

But Wait!! Or actually, Don't Wait!! See below for information on bonus resources you will receive if you purchase this week!!


Everyone loves a good investment…especially one that comes with a big bonus!  This is one of those investments that you don’t want to miss!

Purchase Jill Savage’s new book No More Perfect Moms anytime between February 3-9 (online or at a store…and yes, electronic versions such as Kindle and Nook count too!) Send a copy of your receipt to  Scan it, take a picture of it - just be sure to send it to the email! You'll be given access to well over $100 worth of resources that will help you on your mothering journey - absolutely free! 

(Note: If you purchase multiple copies for a group, you will be able to email each person the link for all that is listed below.)

What will you receive?

6 Sixty Minute Audio Workshops (MP3 format) from Hearts at Home

·       Desperate for Wisdom - Dr. Juli Slattery 
·       How to Fight for Your Marriage - Dr. Juli Slattery
·       It is Well with Your Soul - Jennifer Rothschild
·       Multiple Intelligences - Dr. Kathy Koch
·       Ten Stress Strategies Every Mom Needs - Jill Savage
·       The God Who Sees You - Tammy Maltby

4 Printables from Hearts at Home

·       10 Stress Strategies Every Mom Needs
·       “Love Is”—I Corinthians 13 for Parents
·       Mom Rules
·       How to Fight Fair In Marriage

3 Free E-book’s (including PDF, Kindle, iPad, and Nook editions!) from Moody Publishers

·       Live Free by Kendra Smiley
·       Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larsen
·       Real Moms Real Jesus by Jill Savage

1 Contest Entry

You will be entered in a drawing to win hotel accommodations and two Hearts at Home Mom Conference registrations for you and a friend at a conference of your choice! (If unable to attend a conference, a Hearts at Home Conference To-Go will be substituted for the winner and a friend.)

This offer is available for this week only (Feb 3-9)! Grab a copy of No More Perfect Moms, scan your receipt, email it, and start enjoying your new book PLUS all of the extra bonuses you’ll receive!  It’s “mom university” delivered right to your computer!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Confession Time: Life is messy...this includes my HOUSE

So, I am in the middle of reading Jill Savage's book, No More Perfect Moms, and am on the chapter about no more perfect homes.  This could not have come at a better time as I sit in the middle of what appears to be a disaster area.  Well, it does not APPEAR to be, it IS a disaster area.  I find myself constantly after my family to put their dishes away, bring their dirty clothes to their hamper, pick up their rooms because I'm coming in with a vacuum and if there is anything on the floor it will be put in the garbage.  Oh, and please do not leave your banana peel stuffed under the couch.  This is why we have garbage cans.  Oh, and by the way, can you please take the garbage out?  Please push in your chair.  Do we HAVE to keep your 2,000,000 piece Lego set in the middle of the living room?  And really, do we need to make the bedroom of all 1,000 baby dolls and stuffed animals be in the living room right next to the Lego set?  Really?  And let's not even mention the finger prints all over the glass door to the office or the chips and dents in the walls.  Sigh.
I could go on and on but I am brought to a halt as I look at what I am responsible for...the kitchen sink full of dirty dishes, a dishwasher full of clean ones that need to be put away but somehow it seems easier to just open the door and grab what you need.  Then there is the laundry room where there are at least 2 baskets full of clean, folded laundry just waiting to be put away. There is a dryer full of wrinkled clothes that can be easily fixed by throwing in a damp towel and running the dryer for another 20 minutes, and a washer with a load that surely needs to be re-washed because it's been sitting in there for quite some time.  Gross...but true story.
I wonder if there will ever be a day when my kids will actually be able to find ALL of their clothes neatly put away in their drawers instead of having to search the laundry room for a clean pair of socks or jeans.  I wonder if that day will come when my husband will find a spoon in the kitchen drawer when he opens it.  I think he actually checks the dishwasher first. ;-)  Fun Fact: The spoon is the most used piece of silverware in the Halleen home because it is rare that they are ever in the drawer.  Maybe I'll just buy another set! ;-)
Will there ever be a day where everything is put back exactly where it a timely manner?  What exactly IS a timely manner anyway?  Will I ever have a "normal-looking" home?  But what IS "normal-looking"?  Here is my big confession for the day....our Christmas tree is still up!!!  Sshhhhhhh.  And for added excitement, just about each night I hear an ornament slide down a dry, greenish, brownish, crispy branch and fall, along with a bunch of dead pine needles to the floor and onto the leftover piles of Christmas stocking stuffers and candy canes scattered underneath. For the last couple of weeks I have been telling the kids that TODAY is THE day I will take the Christmas tree down. Then hours later when the kids get home from school they see the once lush, fragrant, green Balsam Fir still standing...leaning is more like it, in the corner bidding them good afternoon.  It has obviously become part of our decor. Then my daughter so sweetly says to me, "Mom, at least you didn't say you PROMISE to take it down."   Somehow by not including that word into my statement makes it all okay to her.  Well, my word is my word. What ever I say I am going to do, I should do, right?
So then I think I am letting my whole house go to pot and my family must think I am lazy and really do sit around all day eating bon-bons.  Did I mention that I am a stay-at-home mom???  Both kids are in school for 7 hours. Surely this is plenty of time to get the house in tip-top shape so that when evening comes, my husband will walk in the door to the smell of a mouth-watering roast in the oven and bread cooling on the counter, and the kids will have all of their homework done (well, they actually do have it done....99.5% of the time) and are playing quietly and nicely together.  Oh, and I am NOT in sweat pants or a sweat shirt when I greet my hubby. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm....I am suddenly having scenes from Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver flash before my eyes.  I am also thinking about what all of YOU are thinking about me as you read this tale of truth about my life.  It's the perfection infection that seeps into my life as I imagine everybody else having the picture perfect, "normal" home.
How deflating.  Sigh.
The truth is, I am not perfect. I do not have a perfect home, perfect kids, perfect body, perfect marriage, perfect anything.  I am a woman who struggles with all of those areas and more.  And the realistic side of me knows that I am NOT the only one.  Which means that if any of this resonates with you, YOU are not the only one either! Can I get an AMEN?
Now, I feel like I am really making it sound like I DO sit around all day eating bon-bons (btw, are they a real thing?  I don't think I have ever actually tried one.  But chocolate truffles?  Now, this is something I know about! ;-)  But the truth is, I do have a million few other things I am taking care of during the day.  I tend to go through a season where I am on top of things at home, but then there are other seasons where I get in a slight funk.  Sometimes I feel like I have more funky seasons than not. and I feel like I am barely hanging on like that ornament about to fall from a crispy branch. :/

But as I  look around our home, God shows me things from His perspective....He see the Legos set up in the living room and reminds me that my son has been creating and exploring a whole new world and finds so much joy in that.  And that pile of stuffed animals, baby dolls and blankets left just beside the Legos?  God shows me that this is where my daughter lays her precious "children" down for a reeeeeeaaaalllllyyyyy long nap.  And then there is Buzz Lightyear laying nearby with a leash around his neck.  Um, I think she was helping him fly to infinity and beyond. ;-)  The chairs that are not pushed in at the table?  Well, this is evidence that my family sat down to eat a meal together.  Shall I mention the crumbs on the floor?  Come know you have crumbs on your floor too.  More evidence of life in our home.  The spoon that had to be dug out from underneath a pile of dishes that have yet to washed?  How blessed I am to cook a meal for those I love.  That pair of pants my son had to go get this morning...out of the dryer...slightly wrinkled?  I am reminded that my son is healthy and can run to the laundry room to get those pants and that I have a working dryer, electricity, and hands to fold the clothes that my family will wear.  And let's talk about the fingerprints on the glass door.  Those are the unique prints that God gave my daughter.  She has been leaving her precious prints on my heart from the very moment I knew about her.  What a blessing that she can make her mark in this world with her sweet and sassy personality, as well as on the glass door!  The dents and chips in the walls?  God shows me that these are the result of my kiddos battling to the end with their light sabers, and racing their cars down the hallway only for the blow to be "cushioned" by the wall.  I can hear their laughter as I think about those moments.  Shall I mention the banana peel?  Well, I still think that could go in the garbage promptly after the banana is consumed. ;-)
And finally...that Christmas tree that is still leaning up with it's star about to crash to the floor?  This is a reminder of the Christmas season, the birth of Jesus.  It is a reminder of the blessing of a Savior who poured His grace out on me when I didn't deserve it and still don't.  He continues to pour His grace out on me daily.  He knows my struggles and my imperfections and loves me despite it all.
Can I do a better job of keeping our home in order? Absolutely.  I am a work in progress.  Jill's book has some wonderful tips on how to help keep things in order and dumping the expectation of perfection.

God cares about this home.  Not necessarily the stuff inside of it, but rather the hearts in this home.  I am reminded that He loves us deeply, no matter what, perfect home or not.  It's all about perspective.  My perspective causes me to be irritated, impatient, unkind, and controlling.  But His perspective shows me that He is at work in each of us and has blessed us beyond measure.  What joy!  I want to live in that joy in ALL seasons.  By His grace.

Colossians 3:17... And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Oh, to be the PERFECT MOM..NOT

Attention ALL MOTHERS, MOMS, MOMMIES, MAMAS, MAS, you know who you are!! :)

Do you need some encouragement??  Well, I know I sure do!! 
I am very excited and humbled (Can one be described in those two ways in the same sentence? Hmmm. Well, it’s exactly how I feel at the moment.) Where was I?...Oh, I am very excited and humbled to be on the launch team to help promote Jill Savage’s new book called No More Perfect Moms.  As I am reading through the book (another exciting and humbling thing, to be able to read it before its release), I am confident that what is written on its pages will resonate with you on many levels. 
You WILL be encouraged to know that you are NOT alone on this journey called MOTHERHOOD. 
Take me, for example...Oh sure, I can do the happy-happy-joy-joy song and dance routine just as good as the next mom…making homemade ho-ho cakes, filming my kids’ in the kitchen as they create (a mess) fabulous concoctions, photographing them as they swing through the trees on a beautiful fall day without a care in the world, keeping it together using my even-keeled yet firm voice when my kids start brawling in public. And of course they (don’t) stop fighting instantly. And I am sure if you looked close enough you'd' see the beads of sweat on my forehead. Sigh. 
Do we really all have a fairy-tale existence? Sure…only if you live in the magical world of Disney! Right? ;-)  I am really good at looking like I have it all together on the outside but then once I am behind closed doors…YIKES!  I can easily transform into the scary villainess, and it does not always happen behind closed doors, either.   I have been THAT mom who is driving on the highway screaming my head off while my 5 year old daughter is crying because I am yelling at her to STOP touching her brother (for the 5 millionth time) and my son has his hands over his ears because I am screaming so loud. Then I scream that I know I am sinning and making God sad by
 losing my temper but "I don't even care right now!!!"  wow. Yep.  I am pretty sure I am ruining my kids. Sigh.
So there you have it.  I am NOT a perfect mom.  
But by God’s amazing, undeserved grace, I am continually being shaped and molded into the mama He has designed me to be.  I could not do this job, this blessing, this beautiful gift called motherhood, otherwise.  
When I just can't get it right, when I feel like a failure, He hears my voice. He hears my cry. 
He is with me.  
I am His.

So, if any of this resonates with you, you will want to read Jill's book. :)

Keep an eye out for more information as we get closer to the No More Perfect Moms release date. (only 34 days away!)  I will be blogging more about it in the coming weeks.  Woot! :)  This was just the thing to get my tired blog up and moving again.  It's ONLY been what???  2 1/2 years since I've written anything!!!  So I'm back on the blog wagon.

Here are some things you can do in the meantime:
  • Get signed up for Jill’s free 31-Day email challenge that starts TODAY. What a fabulous way to start the New Year!! You will be SO encouraged! You can find more info and sign up on Jill’s website. 

  • WAIT to buy the book until February 4-9th, as there will be additional bonus offerings worth more than $100 that Hearts at Home and Moody Publishers will throw in if you wait until then to buy. Plus, it will help the book get a strong start. Sign up here to be reminded of the release date.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Where has the time gone?.............(part 1)

Well, it's ONLY been about 2 1/2 months since I last wrote.
So much to say, so much to say, but where to begin?  Greek cooking class, recipes, chickens...
Let's start with recipes!
I think I will start with the good stuff first...

My friend, Lynne, let me come and pick a bunch of her sour cherries off of her gorgeous sour cherry tree.  By the way, I now feel it absolutely necessary to have a couple of dwarf sour cherry trees in our yard. 
So my husband (Steve) LOVES cherry pie.  When we were dating I found out about his cherry pie obsession and also heard that a neighbor down the road would make him cherry pie on a fairly regular basis but had not made him one in awhile.   I should double check that info, but let's just go with it for now.  So he said his neighbor made the best pies. Hmmmmm....What a great way to charm him even more than I already had by making him a homemade cherry pie.  I would use my grandma's pie crust recipe and buy sour cherries and do whatever it was that you do to make them ready for a pie.  So I did.  We had not been dating for very long when I decided that this lovely gesture would send him head over heals in love with me. Right?  Made sense to me.  I was so excited to surprise him with it.
I prepared everything with great care and love.  When it was finished (and cooled), I invited Steve over, had him sit down and then brought my beautiful, homemade pie to the table.  He smiled and I could tell he was already starting to love me...and he had not even taken a bite yet!!  So I placed a piece on a plate and gave it to him.  As he took a bite, my heart was beating fast waiting for the anticipated response of, "This is the BEST cherry pie EVER!  I LOVE YOU!"
Instead, he looked at me and it was as if he had taken a bite of that Christmas fruit cake that everyone re-gifts.  He didn't like it!!! He was not mean about it but then again, he did not take another bite.  So I thought I better try it and I LOVED it!!!  My mom even tried it and she loved it.  Hmmmmmmm.  What was the deal?  Little did I know that this moment was to mark the difference in our tastes in food forever.  Steve explained that he likes the cherry pies that he buys at Super Valu. You know, the ones that come in a box and that have 99.99% artificial ingredients in it?  Like the Hostess cherry pies? Really??? I suppose, the more high fructose corn syrup, the better.
Could he have faked it and eaten the rest of his pie? Sure, but I appreciated his honesty and I knew that I did not need to spend hours making him homemade pies for the rest of our lives. How awesome is that?!  So ever since that unforgettable day, I have been making Steve cherry pie with store bought crust and canned cherry pie fillling and he is as happy as pie!  Until now.....
Let's get back to the pie in the photo above.  I pitted all of the cherries I had and was ready to create a masterpiece. I googled cherry pie recipes and found one that looked great. It was so easy and the pie crust recipe included is now one of my favorites. FYI: I made the crust in my food processor and it really came together quickly. I also did not make the lattice top like the picture on the link.
Now remember, this is a sour cherry pie, not sweeeeet sweeeet cherry pie (although the recipe does allow for the use of dark sweet cherries).
I think the one I made (only sour cherries) has just the right amount of sugar to give it that sweet but then you get that tang with the sourness of the cherries. Perfect combination in my opinion. FYI: you do get quite a bit of liquid coming out during baking so make sure you place it on a rimmed baking sheet.  Let me know what you think. 
Oh!  Do you want to know what Steve thought of it?  Well, I kept asking him if he had tried the pie yet and he said he'd try it "later".  Two days go by and the only dents in the pie are mine and my son's.  BTW: Josiah had 2 huge pieces of it so I guess that means he likes it.  But I could not get Steve to try it.  I am sure he was leary after that "incident" almost 9 years ago.  But I was patient.  So this morning I came downstairs and noticed a fork on the counter with some cherries on it.  He did it!!  He tried the pie!!  So I quickly grabbed it out of the fridge because I was sure he had eaten the rest of it and just put the empty pie plate back in the fridge!  I took the cover off and saw a bite taken out of it. That's right! One bite!! Just like all those years ago.  But hey, like I said before...I found out long ago on that fateful day that our tastes in food would differ forever!  And thank the Lord that Steve's loving me did not depend on a cherry pie! Whew!
So I will continue to make him his "usual" or maybe I'll try the homemade one with sweet cherries! I'll keep you posted.
Here is the link to the recipe. Enjoy!! or not. ;)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Middle Age...or is it?

So I woke up this past Sunday morning, two days before my 40th birthday, looked in the mirror and saw a really long gray hair sticking straight up on top of my head. Well, it wasn't exactly straight but it was noticeably standing up, shimmering and waving at me screaming, "Welcome to middle age!"  Gray hairs are no big surprise to me. I've been seeing them pop up on my head for a few years now but this one seemed so significant for some reason and it led me to look at my skin next. Those darn flourescent daylight bulbs!!
I've always heard about collagen and how important it is for women's skin. Are you ready for a mini biology and chemistry lesson?  Collagen is a fibrous protein that supports and connects bodily tissue like bones and muscles and basically keeps your body from falling apart. In the case of your skin, collagen works with elastin and gives your skin its firmness, flexibilty and that youthful appearance.  As you age, the collagen in your skin breaks down which means you lose that elasticity and tightness, leading to wrinkles.  There goes that youthful appearance!  Did I EVER take this seriously? Not for a moment...until now. It's true! All of those years of listening to my Mary Kay mom tell me about my skin and collagen and I never took it seriously?!  Now a days there are so many skin products and treatments we can use to stimulate collagen production and fill in those lines and wrinkles. Before you know it, a nip here and a tuck there. I'll get back to this in a bit but let's get back to my gray hair...
So here I am, looking at my skin and my gray hair in the mirror while I was supposed to be getting ready for church.  And in case you're wondering, I arrived to church early which means I did not spend an enormous amount of time analyzing. ;)  But while I was staring into the mirror, I was thinking about when my dad turned 40.  I was 14 years old yet it seems just like yesterday. I remember thinking how crazy it was that MY dad was 40 years old!  It would be forever until I turned 40!  Well, forever is now and I am officially middle aged....or am I?
In the mid 90s, the pastor at the church I was attending was giving a message on a particular Sunday that really struck me. It was what he said about middle age and the relativity of it all. Not too long before that particular Sunday, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He talked about being middle aged and how he never would have guessed that his middle age was at age 21.  He had a verse that he clung to during his journey.  Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,".  Rich knew Who was good. He knew Who to turn to in times of trouble. He knew Who cared for him. He trusted the Lord with his circumstances, with his life.  It did not matter if he was 21, 42, or 102. Rich knew the Lord would take care of him because he trusted Him. And the Lord did care for Rich until his very last breath on earth. The LORD is good.
So as I look at my life now, I realize my focus should not be on the condition of my hair or my skin or what potions, creams, and treatments I need to regain my youthful appearance, but rather on the condition of my heart. The only nipping and tucking I need comes from the Lord who is shaping and molding me to be more like Him.  Like that gray hair standing tall on the top of my head shimmering, waving and screaming at me, I want my life to be that shimmer, that shine that screams the goodness of Christ.
I have no way of knowing if I am middle aged now or if my middle age occurred 5, 10, or 15 years ago. But I am confident in the fact that no matter how many years the Lord blesses me with here, no matter if I have wrinkles or go completely gray, He is good.  He is my refuge in times of trouble and He cares for me because I trust in Him.
So what do you see when you look in the mirror? What's that significant something that catches your attention?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did you miss me? ;)

So I have been thinking about this blog and pressuring myself to write something everyday. Ha! So much for that! Right?!! ;)
Well, I finally did it! I made the seafood boxty I was talking about in one of my past posts. What is a seafood boxty, you ask? And why would I make anything called a seafood boxty? Because it is out of this world delicious!!! That's why. And also because it is the dish I had when Girls Night Out went to Ireland via Paddy Ryan's Irish Restaurant and Pub last month.  Part of the reason I am writing this blog is so I can write about my adventures in cooking and recreating recipes from the various restaurants the Girls Night Out group goes to each month and maybe show pictures...if I think it looks appetizing. Awwww, don't worry, I'll still post pics even if it looks gross. I am by no means a chef nor am I an artist. So it may or may not taste good and it most likely won't look pretty.  Oh, and I need to let someone taste my creation too. A bit risky, I know, but you never know what can happen. I found this out when I had my fabulous friend, Kris Dodge try the boxty.....unintentionally. That is, I made it and did not intend for her to eat it because I thought it was a wreck of a dish. Now, I like 99.99999% of everything I eat and even if it's not that great I will still eat it. But this was just bad, or so I thought. ;)
So where do I begin? Let's start by explaining what boxty is exactly. It is a traditional Irish potato dish that has a little rhyme attached to it.  "Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan. If you can't make boxty, you'll never get your man."  I wonder if Steve knows about this? Well, it's a good thing he wasn't home to try my boxty because he'd be headed out the door!
Boxty is basically a potato pancake and can be layered with various fillings. The filling I chose was salmon and cod in a creamy spinach and dill sauce. Paddy Ryan's make everything from scratch and with organic ingredients. It was sooooo good. Here is a picture of their Seafood Boxty:

~The filling is sandwiched between two boxty.~

I just had to try to make this at home. So I did some research on the internet and found a few traditional boxty recipe sites and I found a recipe for the sauce, but ended up creating my own based on what I thought was in it.
The boxty ended up like a flat hockey puck that could be used as a weapon for sure. Paddy's were lighter a fluffy. Mine were dense like cement. Like I said before, I found a few recipes out there and all were just a bit different. Some added egg, some had both shredded potato and mashed. Some included baking powder, some not. it was hard to say what Paddy's used. But the sauce! The sauce was deeeeeeelicious!! It had organic, unpasteurized cream; white wine, lemon juice, fresh dill, paprika, salmon and cod. I later realized that I forgot to add the spinach but it was fantastic without it.
So I had the sauce down but the boxty is the foundation for the dish and if I had that wrong then I was not doing so well. So I put it all to the side.
Meanwhile, my friend Kris, was over around lunch time for a meeting when her tummy started to grumble. I thought I could make her a tuna fish sandwich?? But this was my chance to try my recipe out on someone. But who really wants to eat a slab of cement with some fish sauce on top? Surely not Kris!
But as I walked to the kitchen, she followed me and saw my concoction sitting on the counter and on the stove. I told her what I made and she said she wanted to try it!! Seriously?? Yes, she was serious. The only thing was, she did not like salmon but she said to give her the sauce without the salmon. So I reluctantly made her a plate of my sad rendition of seafood boxty.
I have to say that I was quite leary and feared I might accidently poison her like the time I almost killed my husband when I canned dill pickles for the first time. They went way wrong! He didn't really get sick and in fact he only took a bite and realized something was not right. But the potential of me giving away jars and jars of pickles to people who might keal over due to a malfunction in something I did during the canning process made me a bit nervous. I had actually given a jar to my in-laws and had to call them before they opened them. I am sure some might let it pass and let their in-laws eat the pickles but I truly love them and did not want anything to happen to them!! Side note: I have since then perfected my pickle making ability and they are now one of Steve's favorite things to eat. Whew!
Okay, so you can understand why I was hesitant about feeding Kris. I suppose the worst that could happen  was she'd feel like she had a rock in her stomach. So I decided to let her have it. I only placed one boxty on the plate and topped it with the sauce (minus the chunks of salmon). To my complete amazement, she LOVED it!! Not liked, but LOVED it! She inhaled it!!! Maybe she was just really hungry but within minutes, it was gone! And I am quite confident Kris is not like me who likes 99.99999% of the things she tries. ;)
I did not get a picture of her eating it, but I did take a picture of another plate of my creation the next day when I decided to try it one more time. Guess what?? I LOVED it!! When I originally tasted the recipe I had eaten mostly the boxty with a little bit of sauce. I needed to smother the boxty with the sauce and let it soak in a bit. So are you ready for a picture of my seafood boxty? (Are you wondering how many times I wrote the word "boxty" in this post?) I am because it feels like more times than necessary. Anyway, here it is........................................................

Not so pretty and a bit assymetrical but it was tasty! The salmon and cod in the creamy dill sauce had a wonderful rich flavor yet not too heavy. The dill and hint of lemon accentuated the salmon and cod nicely and the boxty gave you something to soak it all up with and added a welcoming texture.
So there you have it! It was not exactly like Paddy Ryan's version but it was tasty and satisfying.
Steve still would have run if he had tried it!
So until next time....go try something new!!