Spiritual and Faith Journey

The Bible.  Have you read it? Do you understand it? Do you believe?

I just joined a 5-week bible study group at church.  The one thing I was really hoping would NOT happen is that we go around the room and talk about ourselves. Of course, that is the first thing we had to do. I do not like attention drawn to myself, nor do I speak well in front of people; it is all so very uncomfortable for me.

What we needed to do was to give a brief description of our journey and what brought us to the study group.  Thankfully I was about the 10th person so I had a few minutes to try to figure out what the heck I was going to say!  

In all honesty, I’m not sure I HAD a definitive reason for being there.

And what exactly did this leader want to hear about my journey, how much did I really want to share.

When it was my turn, I briefly stated that I was brought up in a strict Catholic religion from my fathers’ side of the family and that in my adult life I always had a strong faith.  But it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that I really dove into my faith and scripture when a Deacon that I knew gave me his Catholic study bible that he used for the bible study groups.  It meant the world to me and it was filled with some of his notes.

Then I mentioned that my faith and belief is now stronger than it ever was, and I had never imagined it could be like this!  I never knew the craving I would have for scripture; I never knew what it meant to give my life over to Him and be reborn in faith.  

The rest of the day I reached deep inside my core, deep inside of my heart to find a better answer.

Some of it I didn’t like.

As I mentioned, I was raised a Catholic.  I attended a private Catholic school for the first 4 years of elementary before switching to a public school.  After that transition, we had weekly Catholic classes through the school week in the evening and then Mass on Sunday.

But there was nothing at home with religion, scripture or faith.  We did say a blessing before our meals, that was it.  

By the time I was a teenager, I protested the weekly classes and even church on Sunday.  I stayed in bed until I got yelled at, and then like a slug I got ready for church.

When I had my kids, I switched churches and I took my kids to Sunday school but no church service right away.  By the time they were old enough to actually sit still for a church service, I was divorced.  For several years I did not attend church, nor did I take my kids to Sunday school.

Eventually I found my way back to church and took my kids every other Sunday when they were with me.  They fought me, just like I did when I was a kid.

I did the same as my parents; church on Sunday and no bible reading or scripture verses through the week.  We even stopped saying the mealtime blessing.

When I was in church, I attempted to read scripture from the bible, but I didn’t understand it and it didn’t make sense to me.  I hoped I was getting enough from what the pastor was saying, and I hoped my kids were getting something too.

Then my kids were grown and on their own.  They had no religion or spirituality in their life, which I blamed myself.  I did manage to get them to attend Christmas Eve service for a few years but then that stopped when they started having kids.

At that point, I was on my second marriage and my husband’s work required us move to Maryland and then Virginia.  I stopped attending church again, but I did my occasional praying and thanking God for my blessings. 

I knew the basics from my upbringing and had my faith, and I always thought was enough.  

By now I had drifted further from the church and I was “open” to the possibility that biblical times were not quite what the bible stated.  

I was satisfied with my faith and spirituality.  And then it all changed.

By the time we moved from Maryland to Virginia, our marriage was in trouble.  And I was realizing that I was in a damaging, selfish and controlling marriage.  

I was working in convalescent center in Virginia and the residents and staff were very “religious”, spiritual, and read the bible daily.  I became good friends with the Deacon there, and a few other coworkers.  And my life was changed.

When I saw how strong everyone was in their faith and the bible, I started asking a lot of questions about Jesus, the bible, heaven, and the path that God had planned for me.  One of my friends suggested listening to Joyce Meyer.  I was hooked. I craved learning from her, she made things easy to understand.  And sometimes, depending on her topic, I swear she was looking through my eyes and into my soul.  What she said just resonated with me and I was finally able to understand.

I had a lot of conversations with the Deacon, I craved those intense and deep conversations. I would challenge him on the bible, whether it was really God’s word or just an interpretation from man what they wanted us to believe.  It didn’t take long for me to change my views on the bible, so I started looking for my own bible.  But there were so many versions, I didn’t know what to choose.  

As my faith became stronger and stronger, I prayed for my marriage and what direction I needed to take.  I had told my husband not long after we moved to Virginia, that we really needed to work on our marriage.  I won’t go into details, but he did nothing to fix us.  I suggested we go to counseling, he told me to go instead.  So I did, unbeknownst to him.

Between the counseling, the praying and talking to the Deacon; I eventually made the difficult choice to ask for a divorce.  And just like that, I was single and living back in my hometown.  As I mentioned earlier, my Deacon friend gave me his personal Catholic study bible to take with me.  For a few years, I picked it up on occasion but never really did any serious reading.  

Now that study bible and another bible are always out; either on my sofa, bed or dining room table.  I crave reading it and learning the scripture, I crave learning the culture.  

After I moved back home, I did go to my old church a few times, but it had changed.  The pastor and choir had changed, the service had changed.  And honestly, I got nothing out of it.  I sat there listening to them “preach” but heard nothing.  I missed my conversations with the Deacon, I learned more about God and the bible from him than I did sitting here in this pew at a church that I once loved.  So I stopped attending.

Last year I discovered we had a Christian rock radio station.  I have been hooked ever since!  I love that station; it is now the only radio station that I listen too.  One Sunday morning I was out running errands and on two separate times within 30 minutes a song came on about going to church.  I got the message loud and clear.  

One of my girlfriends had been talking about making plans for me to attend church with her but we never confirmed a date.  When I told her about the message I had gotten, she said “OK, I’ll pick you up Sunday!”   I have been going ever since, and in September I joined as a member.  I cannot imagine NOT going to church on Sunday.

I have cried during the praise and worship songs; I have been touched by the sermon in such a way that I was brought to tears.  I have also made new friends and found some friends that I had lost touch. 

Now here I am, in this bible study group for the next 5 weeks.  Pondering the question I was asked this morning.  Thinking back over my life and my faith journey.  I am sad that it took me this long to get where I am in my faith journey, but I am so happy to be here and not back where I was.

 

Vintage Finds in my Basement!

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about why I love winter months. One of the reasons is that I am finally able to work on things inside my house vs all the yard and garden work I have all spring, summer and fall.

I have been unpacking boxes of my parents and grandparents things that were handed down to me or that I found in my parents attic and house after they passed.

In my post about the refinished hutch, you saw some of the dishes that I have. Some. Notice I said you saw “some” of the dishes. I have much more. I can’t possibly show you everything in one post, so I will have to show you some other things later.

These gorgeous tumblers that my parents had in the basement bar, otherwise known as the party room! They loved to entertain and had lots of parties. I certainly inherited that gene!

These glasses and matching pitcher were just everyday glasses that I remember my parents using. Since they have pheasants on them, I like to use them for autumn and Thanksgiving.

This is my favorite find. My parents dishes and good utensils that we only used for holiday dinners. I remember setting the table every holiday. I think I was channeling Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa even at that young age!

      

What I did not realize… these dishes are actual china! I was shocked, I really had no idea. Now I use them when I have family or friends over for dinner.

    

Then there are these beautiful, hand crafted “rag rugs” made by my grandmother and her sister.

I remember as a child, the huge loom they had set up in a room. I was always amazed at the contraption! And I say it was huge, but I was pretty small at the time so maybe that’s why it seemed so large. I do remember that it took up most of the space in the room though.

They both worked in a sewing factory, so they were able to bring home discarded fabric. I believe that is what they used for these rugs. They really are beautiful. Unfortunately, they are older than me and the threading is starting to fall apart.

The colors do not go with anything in my house, but I really want to use them as long as I can. And, my kids won’t use them either so I might as well!

I washed one in the tub, it had already started to come apart so I thought the washing machine would just make it worse. The others I did on delicate and they turned out pretty good, some of the fringe fell apart but other than that, they are still in good shape.

And, I remember my Grandma telling me and my brother not run in the house when we were kids. I can assure you we did not listen because every time we ran across those rugs we ended up hitting the floor with a thud and then my Grandma would say “I told you kids not to run in the house!”

Then there is this baking dish. I find myself using this more than my own baking dishes. I just love cooking with it, knowing my Mom also used this for her meals. It warms my heart.

These glasses are quite special to me. They were my Grandma’s. I remember her giving me Coca-Cola in those glasses when my tummy was upset, or Hawaiian Punch (which was my favorite so she always kept that at her house!).

I believe they were jelly jars, or peanut butter, had a pop off lid maybe?  I love using them.

So those are just a few of my vintage finds from my basement. I’ll share more later!

Have an awesome day!

Christmas Memories

I have always loved Christmas. I love the reason we celebrate, our Lord Jesus. I love the gift giving, I just adore giving my loved one’s gifts. I love the decorations and I usually go all out and decorate every room in my house!

And I cannot forget to mention all the wonderful memories I have from my childhood at Christmas. My parents always did their best to give my brother and I a wonderful Christmas.

My parents always had big family Christmas dinners, and while we ate our dinner we were serenaded by Andy Williams, Johnny Mathias and Bing Crosby Christmas albums. To this day that is still my most favorite Christmas music to listen to.

It was always my job to set the table. That is when we used the good utensils (they were not silver), and the good dishes; which I just unpacked and put in my cabinets to use. And guess what? They were not just good dishes, it was actually fine china!!!

I only remember having a live tree one year in my childhood. My Dad and I went to get the tree on a Sunday after mass. Back then little girls always wore dresses with little white socks and black patent leather shoes. I remember being so cold and telling my Dad that I was sure it was going to snow because it was so frigid.

So we picked out the tree and took it home. The only tree decorations I remember is the silver tinsel that we got to pull out of box in little strings and toss on the tree.

The only tree that I remember was the silver foil like tree that rotated, there was a light that sat on the floor that had a colored disk on the front, that rotated changing the colors from red, blue, yellow and green. And the tree had bows that snapped on the tips of each branch, they looked like the bows we buy to put on our gifts.

And my favorite memory was when Dad would put up the outdoor decorations! The only types of lights we had were those large bulbs, and we always had the multicolor lights. He would string the lights to the roof line of the entire house, and around the doors and windows.

And in the windows he would place plastic electric candles with orange lights, anyone else remember having them?

On the roof we had a Santa and all his reindeer, including Rudolph. Rudolph had a red-light bulb for a nose, of course! I am not exactly sure how old we were when he stopped putting the set out, but I do remember that he went from the rooftop to the yard. I think that transaction may have been when we stopped believing in Santa.

I am super sad that Dad got rid of the set. Oh how I wish I had it but he got rid of it a very long time ago.

One of the things we did as a family when I was little, was drive around and look at all the lights. There was one house we went to every year that I can only say resembled the Griswold house. And the yard was FULL of lighted décor. There is a house not far from me that does this too, I love taking my grandkids there to see everything that they have set up.

One year when my two boys were little, I drove into a development that I was not familiar, and I could not get us back out! One of my boys gave me directions though!!! LOL My own homegrown GPS Kiddo!

When my kids were small, I always bought live trees. We made our own ornaments because money was tight since I was a single mom. I didn’t even have the money to buy lights for outside, but they didn’t seem to mind as long as I would drive them around to see the lights around town.

And now in my more mature years, I no longer put up a big tree. I started using artificial trees about 12 yrs ago. Last year I didn’t put up a tree at all, in fact I sold it! I was perfectly happy with all my Christmas décor around the house.

But this year I was nosing around Target (my guilty pleasure) and found a tabletop tree with sparse branches. It was mine! My Mom gave me handmade crocheted snowflakes a very long time ago, and they go perfect on my new tree. When it’s time to put Christmas away, all I have to do is carry the tree to the basement and throw a cover over it!

Some of the ornaments my kids made, I still have. I will be putting them in a basket and setting them out to enjoy and remember.

I really enjoyed searching for and finding these childhood photo’s. My parents and my brother have all passed but I know they are still with me.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

 

Thinking of my Dad

Isn’t it odd how something as simple as a song can bring a rush of memories back to us.  Including the emotions to go along with it.

I left work the other day and needed to stop at the store on the way home.  A song came on the Christian Rock station, that was played at my Dad’s funeral and a flood of tears immediately filled my eyes.

I recalled sitting in the church for his mass remembering all the memories of growing up in that church with him but I was staring at his casket.

Before this particular church was built, we had mass in the basement of the catholic elementary school I attended.  We sat on metal folding chairs in a room that was used for a variety of things for the school, mostly the gym I think.  There was a church area upstairs that was used for a more formal services, but we usually attended the mass in the basement.

The church that my Dad’s funeral was held was built when I was a very young, maybe 10 years old.  Every Sunday we were there for mass.

Eventually my Dad took over the role of custodian and I helped him clean that church.  Then he started a lawn and landscaping business, I didn’t start working for him until my divorce so then I did the mowing at the church.

When I married, he walked me down that aisle.  He was by my side when my kids were baptized there.

At the conclusion of my Dad’s funeral mass, this particular song played while I walked up the aisle out of the church behind his casket.  My heart shattered as I was remembering him walking me down the aisle to be married and now I was following him out of the church to be buried.

And today is Father’s day so my mind and heart are filled with happy memories of tea parties, building sand castles and a ton of other things.

My heart is heavy with missing him but full of joy with the memories.  I know he is with me every single day.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

I am not quite sure how it became Thanksgiving week, 2017. It feels as though I just planted all of my spring flowers. But now they are gone and I have pumpkins on my front porch.

By now I am usually swimming in Thanksgiving meal preparations and ideas, but my son and his family bought their first house and they want to have the dinner.

But part of me is still thinking of everything that I usually do this time of the year. I guess old habits do really die hard!  I will miss getting up early on Thanksgiving morning to get my turkey in the oven, going back to bed and then waking up to the house smelling amazing!

I always had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on while I cook.  And the kids in me still enjoys Santa at the end!

I am a little late in sharing this but if you are looking for a meal planner, I have a link to my blog post that will definitely help, the link is here Holiday Meal Planner

There are also links to some of my recipes for the holidays in that blog.

If you need a little encouragement on how to survive all the expectations of the upcoming holidays, I have a link to my blog post here Less Stress for the Holiday Season

Hopefully some of my suggestions are helpful.

I have to admit, Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday.  The only expectation is the fellowship and meal with family and friends.  But for me it is also the kick off to the Christmas holiday.

Remember to enjoy the holidays and your family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Less Stress for the Holiday Season

I love the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Thanksgiving might be my favorite but only because we gather to share our love, our memories, and eat a delicious meal together. So for me, there is definitely less stress, and less to prepare for. The only expectation is the meal which I love cooking!

It is also the beginning of the Christmas season. The weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday, for me, are so very beautiful with all the decorations and lights. I love listening to the Christmas music; many songs awaken lovely memories from my childhood. I also love giving gifts, whether they are made by my own hands with love, or a carefully chosen store bought gift.

But then there are all those folks that I hear complaining about how commercialized Christmas has become. Or they are complaining about all the parties to go to and the food they must prepare to take to these parties. There are also complaints about buying gifts for people that they probably don’t want and they can’t afford to buy. And it breaks my heart to hear them say they can’t wait for Christmas to be over.

Christmas is no different than any other situation in life, YOU GET OUT OF IT EXACTLY WHAT YOU PUT IN IT! So if you go into it with disgust, dislike, and grumpiness…. That is exactly what you are going to get out of it!!

I totally understand how the holidays can also be difficult to get through because we may have lost a loved one, or we might be alone and have no one to celebrate with. Been in both of those situations, I know it is not pleasant and can be heartbreaking and depressing.

So hopefully I have come up with some ideas that might be able to help you get through the upcoming holidays with a little less stress. Maybe this will help you have a little more love in your heart. And maybe you will actually learn to at least like the holidays.

  1. Eat & drink smart and healthy! This is so hard to do with all the baked goodies and homemade candies BUT try to resist making a meal out of unhealthy treats!  Go ahead and have that small slice of pumpkin pie or cake, have one cookie, indulge in that one piece of fudge.  But only allow yourself one treat so choose wisely!  Snack on healthy things like veggies and fruit, nuts, a piece of cheese or some peanut butter for protein.  Drink lots of water, add lemon for a little taste and detox.  Do allow yourself a holiday cocktail, or two, but alternate with water.  Waking up tomorrow with a headache or being hungover will just add to your stress level.
  2. Meal plan! As mentioned above you want to eat healthy but still allow some treats, so plan your day’s menu/diet so that you are continually eating healthy.  Especially before you go to parties!!  Make sure you are planning your family meals according to your schedule, use a crock pot or casserole recipes for busy days and nights.  Make some casseroles, lasagna, anything that you can throw in your freezer.  Later in the week you will be thankful that all you need to do is pull out a casserole to thaw in the fridge while you are at work, and then pop it in the oven when you get home.
  3. Parties! I have heard a lot of people complain and basically whine about all the parties they need to go to!  Really?  Please be thankful that you have friends and family that want to share the holiday with you, no one is promised a tomorrow.  You do not always need to say yes to every party, it is okay to say no so that you can stay home and take care of you and your family or just to rest.  If you really don’t want to go, then don’t.  We all need some alone time, but we also need our friends and families too.  Think of the memories and fun times you might have, think of some friends and families that you can reconnect with.  Visit for as long as you want, eat healthy and drink healthy, be thankful for the friendships and have some fun!!
  4. Can you bring a covered dish? Yes, you can!  You do not need to go overboard and try to be a gourmet chef!  If you like to cook and prepare something fancy, great!  If you don’t, then just take something simple like cheese and crackers, veggies, or check out the appetizers in the frozen section of your grocery store.  There are some pretty good selections to choose from!  I love to cook but there are times when I just do not have the time to prepare something, so this works out well and they are delicious.
  5. Shopping and gift giving. This IS enough to stress everyone out!  You really need to be smart here, don’t just buy a gift for the sake of buying a gift.  If that is your reason for gift giving, just stop!  First, make a list of people that you want to give a gift, then think about them and what they like, jot down some ideas before you shop.  Also, set a dollar amount that you are willing to spend on each gift and stick with your budget.  Keep receipts, jot down names on the receipt/tags just in case you need to return something, and keep them all in an envelope.  I usually suggest not giving clothes but if you are confident in that choice, then go for it!  Also, keep an eye out for sales, use coupons.  If you do not like wrapping your gifts, then bag’em!  That is the easiest and the least stressful way to go.  Keep in mind that a simple gift from the heart is all you really need to give.
  6. Teach your kids about giving and receiving.  This is a challenge for most parents.  We don’t want our kids growing up to be materialistic and greedy; and we want to teach them about giving too.  Set boundaries for what they are asking for, have them organize and clean out what they already have, show them how fortunate they already are for what they have now.  Give your family members limits on what they can spend on your kids. If you have older kids and your budget allows, have your kids donate gifts to the needy, a shelter, or sponsor a family for Christmas. Have them volunteer at a food bank or as a family take a few bags to the food bank. Living in today’s world that is so materialist, I think this is something we all need to do.  Also, teach you kids the value of saying thank you as well as how to gracefully be thankful for a gift that they just unwrapped but don’t like!
  7. Stress-less kids? This is a time that kids are super excited!  Remember when you were a kid at Christmas?  They have a lot of stimuli from all the toy ads on TV, so it might be a good idea to limit their time in front of the TV.  Sit down and chat with them about their wants, desires, expectations and then chat about giving to the less fortunate.  Talk to them about your childhood memories and realize that you are creating and shaping theirs.  Involve them in decisions about new traditions.  Make sure they are eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, limit their treats and make sure they are getting enough rest and sleep.  This can also be a busy time in school with reports and projects needing to be completed before their holiday break so make sure they are getting enough time to complete their school work.  Get them outside for exercise and fresh air!  This is also a time for the little germ carriers to be sick, not fun for the holiday.
  8. Traditions! I love family traditions!  And I love creating new traditions!  Think back to when you were a child and the things that you used to do as a family, create those wonderful warm memories with your kids!! Slow down and enjoy the holiday season, celebrate it lovingly, and involve the kids!  Look online or on Pinterest for some new ideas.  Have fun!
  9. Physical and emotional health.  Make sure you are getting your exercise too!  Get those kids outside and play, walk, hike, whatever you can find to do.  Don’t forget about your gym membership, even if you only have 30 minutes to use the treadmill or lift a few weights, or if you’re lucky enough to have a pool to swim a few laps.  Every little bit helps.  Don’t forget about your mental and emotional health.  For as much enjoyment and beauty as some find in the holiday, there is also disappointment, sadness and loneliness.  Meditate, pray, go to church, talk to friends, talk to a professional if you need to.  There is no shame in that!  Try yoga, sit and read or just sit and look at the tree and drink in the beauty and silence of the room.
  10. Keep your life and the holiday in focus.  Easier said than done, I get it.  But try.  It’s so easy to compare your holiday life to others and be sad that you don’t have what someone else has.  Life isn’t fair, but this is your life and you only have one shot at it so stay focused.  You don’t have to have a lot of friends or a big bank account to enjoy the very beautiful and simple holiday.  Celebrate with the love of the family and friends that you are still blessed to have.  Don’t get caught up in the commercialism, that’s not what the holidays are about.  Remember, what you put into this holiday gig is what you are going to get out of it.

Live and love well my friends!

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Looking for something fun to do with the kids this week?  Make these very aromatic ornaments!!!  You can use them on your tree as decorations or tie them onto gifts.  They are very easy to make and need about 2 to 3 days to completely dry.

Here’s the recipe (but DON’T eat them, they are NOT edible!!):

2 cups Cinnamon

1-1/2 Applesauce, NOT chunky

2 tsp ground Nutmeg

2 tsp ground Cloves

4 Tb Elmer’s Glue

Mix all the ingredients well.  When completely mixed, divide the dough in two parts,  roll out one batch between sheets of plastic wrap. Keep the dough around a 1/4″ think, if you make it too thin the ornaments will curl or break.  Using a toothpick or a small straw, put a hole in the top of the ornaments for the ribbon.  Place on cookie racks to dry.  After they are completely dry, you can carefully use a fingernail file to finish off the edges, tie a pretty ribbon in the ornament for hanging.

Scrambled Egg Muffin Cups

Or maybe they’re little mini frittatas!!  Whatever you want to call them, they are a nice little treat!

I eat egg whites every morning. Every. single. morning. Needless to say I sometimes get bored with them. So I decided to do something a little different, even though it includes the yolks, it’s a nice change!

IMG_0173

I bake these on Sunday and it works out that I have 5 single egg muffins, so I’m covered thru the work week for breakfast.

I put 4 whole large eggs in a bowl and whisk them, I added 2T of light cream, you could use half and half or milk. Salt and pepper to taste, add hot sauce if you like!

Next, I tore up spinach and tossed that in, stir to mix in but don’t over mix at this point.

I then ladle the egg mixture into the muffin tin. Top each one with about 1T of your favorite shredded cheese. Don’t forget the bacon!!! I cooked about 3 or 4 strips of bacon, crumble that up and top each cup.

Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes or until the egg is cooked.

IMG_0174

There are so many variations to these little frittata cups!!! Your creative imagination can shine!! Smoked salmon, ham, BLT, but I’m thinking adding breakfast potatoes would be the best!

They are easily reheated in the microwave for a few seconds or eat cold as you dash out the door!! These are also great to serve for a brunch. And I’m sure this would work for your kids to eat on the way to school.

Live well friends!

IMG_0171-0

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

I love French toast!  And I love Autumn, so why not combine pumpkin & spice to my French toast?  Sounds reasonable to me!

I had a loaf of Italian bread…..yea making “French” toast with “Italian” bread, I’m silly that way!!  I sliced half the loaf about ½” thick. I like to let the bread sit on the counter so it can start to dry out a little while I prepare the batter.

In a bowl place 3 eggs and whip them a little.  Add ½ cup of milk or half and half, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, a dash of salt, ground cloves and nutmeg.  Mix together well and then add 3 HEAPING tablespoons (or a ¼ cup) of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie although I’m sure it would work).  Blend well.

Here comes the fun part, soak the bread, bathe it in that wonderful pumpkin batter!  Let the bread absorb but not get mushy, and then toss it in a preheated pan.  I usually do a medium low heat and flip the toast numerous times to make sure if gets heated thru completely and toasted nicely.

With this batter I was able to make about 7 or 8 slices of toast.  Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, your favorite syrup and a very tall glass of ice cold milk!

Enjoy and live well my friends!

Mini Taco Pizza

Once upon a time, our local Pizza Hut had a little lounge in the back called the Grog Shop, more of a bar.  And in that bar they served taco pizza.  I would occasionally take my kids there, with much glare from other customers, and we would devour a large taco pizza.  That was a treat to take them BUT it was a better treat that I made them at home too!!

I would buy one of those already prepared pizza crusts *insert a shudder, and build my taco pizza with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese and salsa.  The kids LOVED it!  I often wonder if they remember that??

DSC_1675

Now, I make my taco pizza on a quesadilla shell.  Here’s what I do…

I like to use a Gluten Free corn tortilla, but I have also used flour tortillas/soft taco shells and they work great.  I like to  fry them up a little, just enough to get a little crispy.  I have this weird thing about wraps, quesadillas, etc.  I TOTALLY dislike the uncooked floury taste and texture so I have to crisp them up.  You can omit this step if you’re not crazy weird like me.

DSC_1679

For the flour tortillas I would just use a small amount of olive oil in a fry pan over a medium heat and lightly crisp each side.  With the corn tortillas I prefer using a little more oil, almost enough to simmer the shell, and again lightly crisp each side.  It only takes a few minutes and I flip it around on both sides a few times.

I then put them on a pizza stone and smother them with refried beans.  I have dressed the beans up, depending on my mood, with different ingredients.  I’ve chopped jalapeno’s, added some taco seasoning (I now use my own concoction), cayenne pepper, whatever spice I feel like at the time.

DSC_1675

Pop the pizza stone with the smothered shells in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the beans are hot to the touch.  The shells will crisp up a little more too.  You could also put them directly on your oven rack, I’ve never done that tho.  I am a creature of habit!!

When they come out of the oven, here is where you can be creative and build your own “personally designed taco pizza“.  You could add cooked and prepared taco meat if you want but I never use the taco meat mixture with the beans.  It’s just how my taco pizza rolls.  No meat.  Just beans.  Top with shredded lettuce, drizzle with your favorite salsa, then comes the cheese and chopped tomatoes.

DSC_1682

Top with sour cream and/or guacamole.  I have already put them back in the oven to melt the cheese a little more, that is quite good as well but I am usually too hungry for these and I just CAN’T wait to devour them!!

These are perfect for the single person.

They are perfect for having your friends over for lunch or a movie.

And perfect for your family too!

Live well my friends!!