26 May 2011

Meg and Martha

This week I decided we HAD to get back into our meal planning, both with deciding in advance what we were going to eat, as well as planning to shop for it. Having moved back to my second favorite small town - Wilmore, Kentucky (Taos has to come first....) - there are a FEW drawbacks. First, you can't run to your (not so favorite but still a huge convenience) superstore for a few items to throw together for dinner. Nor can you run for other needs. Nope, you have to plan - and of course me planning means intentionally buying locally - but other things you just have to get elsewhere.

Ok, so back to my dinner. Part of my inspiration was an idea I had! I was given this beautiful cookbook for Christmas (YEP, that long ago!) and hadn't ever had time to read it. It got packed when we moved (errrr early February - oh yeah - my last blog date here too!) and it just got unpacked! It was like Christmas all over again! The title is "Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home" - and it has 52 delicious meals planned - including dessert. Which my poor little family complains they don't get enough of.

SO - tonight we started - once (or twice if I am inspired!) a week we will eat with Martha. I will stick as closely to her cookbook as possible and try new things. It's not the Joy of Eating - nor is it Julia Childs - but I do love Martha and parts of it are very different from our normal fair.

{JUST TO WARN YOU, I had to change menu 1 just a bit.... I couldn't find a reasonable priced lamb}

Menu 1.
  • Baby Lamb Chops with Lemon Strips
  • Asparagus with Aioli
  • Quinoa, Pea, and Mint Salad
  • Vanilla-Poached Rhubarb

Ok, so I had to sub out the lamb. Instead we decided to use a bustameal.com recipe - Pork Medallions With Apricot-Orange Sauce. It had great reviews and tasted GREAT! We agree, it was very nice.

I am feeding not only two adults, but one eight year old who although loves vegitables, doesn't like meat. I am also feeding a two year old that hates all vegetables {except winter squashes and peas - usually uncooked}. So, as you can see, I never have a HIT all at once.

Until tonight! I couldn't believe it. Everyone enjoyed this meal. The huge hit of the night for J and myself was the Quinoa, pea, and mint salad. The last time I tried to cook quinoa it was a flop. Tasted horrid - flat and odd. Perhaps I shouldn't have waited to try again! This was delicious.

The Asparagus recipe called for a nice poaching, but we all prefer to have it oven roasted. So I again veered and roasted. The aioli sauce was a hit - and it's subtle garlic flavor enhanced the asparagus in such a way that little E ate four servings! Sweet girl.

Brad was in charge of cooking the pork medallions. Such a surprising flavor. They were pan seared and then cooked down with slivered onions and sliced dried apricots. There was nothing of the gooey sweetness that is often added by apricot preserves being spooned over dry meat. This was exceptionally delish! Of course, Brad is rather talented when it comes to cooking meat. I tend to be like E and love the veggies more. But, over ten years of marriage to my carnivore, I have come to love some delicately cooked steak or tenderloin!

It was very a delight to have my first meal with Martha a success. I felt a tad sad to have left behind her beautiful baby lamb. But, I do want to make this idea "do-able" for my self and the family. If you are interested in the meals they are found in the book Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home or also found on the following links.

Well, the girls are in bed. I have a cup of decaffeinated hazelnut coffee here, and another Masterpiece Mystery to finish with my love. Oh, and we haven't had our dessert yet! {He just started on it, stating - "mmm mmm mmm, that's so good"! } Hope you decide to try rhubarb sometime, it's our new spring happiness!

{I have included the Pork Medallions recipe, it's not available in Martha's cookbook but it available at Bust-a-meal. I use this program for meal planning - we love it!}

{Pork Medallions With Apricot-Orange Sauce}
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, cut into 8 (1-inch-thick) slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

  1. Mince garlic
  2. Thinly slice onions
  3. Chop parsley
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  6. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
  7. Remove from pan; keep warm.Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan.
  8. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender.
  9. Stir in sliced apricots, broth, juice, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil.
  10. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  11. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.
  12. Serve sauce with pork.

14 March 2011


Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please

We've longed to see the roses
But never felt the thorns
And bought our pretty crowns
But never paid the price

Find me in the river
Find me there
Find me on my knees with my soul laid bare
Even though you're gone and I'm cracked and dry
Find me in the river, I'm waiting here

Find me in the river
Find me on my knees
I've walked against the water
Now I'm waiting if you please

We didn't count on suffering
We didn't count on pain
But if the blessing's in the valley
Then in the river I will wait

The last number of weeks we have been at several different churches.  As a pastoral family we enjoy visiting and seeing how others "do" church.  New ideas, new excitement, new friends - it's all new and usually very interesting.  Every week has been a touch from God on my (Meg's) life.  As I have encountered people, pastors, and worship moments I have heard God calling my name.  Calling me to lean forward - to reach out - and to not allow human emotion overcome my knowledge of HIM!  

I'm not going to tell stories - to lie.  

I've been struggling.  I never have done well with change (not initiated by me?!).  I like routine - as long as I set it.  And who am I kidding - I love leading - following has taken years to even begin learning.  Submission and Obedience were taught from infant-hood, and honestly, I fought them most of my years.  But God didn't give up. (OR my parents!)  He has taught me to lean into him - to submit to him, to my Husband, to my calling.

But it still isn't always easy.

I am excited to be where I am.  But I morn what could have been.  The calling I feel and felt.  The pain and sorrow  of lives, friendships, and memories left behind.  Most of all, I fight an internal battle.

One that speaks of a desire for life to be fair - which my father always reminded me was never promised.  Of a world that my daughters grow up with friends and love and security offered by more than their parents.  

Regardless,  life was never promised to be fair.  And I wasn't told that I would get to live on the mountain top - physically, spiritually, or emotionally.  BUT it's what I do in the valley - I think is a huge lesson.

So, I sing this song - if I am waiting - in the valley as of late.  You are more than welcome to join me - in the river.  For out of it flows life.....

07 February 2011

Little Boxes, Full of Ticky Tack

It feels like we have been packing for months, but it’s only really two weeks. Two weeks, you say? That’s what we say, too! It has never taken us THIS long to pack up our home. But, on the other hand, usually it seemed a little more cut and dry. Two enormous PODS occupy our driveway, crowding out the humble minivan like a bully on the playground. Today, a 12’ U-Haul trailer joined the gang. Aforementioned minivan has now been banished to the neighbor’s driveway.

There’s something cathartic about packing. It gives us an opportunity to clean house, purge the closets, rid our life of rubbish. Reminds me of the saying, “You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” Jesus said “Store up treasures in heaven.” I wonder what he would say about our piles of treasure in my driveway. Sigh…..

On a brighter note, we have been so very blessed to have many people drop by and interrupt our packing. Do we mind? NOT AT ALL! We have loved each visit! To sit and connect, drink some coffee, and perhaps pray together has created some memories that will be treasured for years to come.

We’ve parted ways with our Lakewood church family, but I’m reminded that God’s church is not confined to mere walls. The body of Christ is a dynamic organism. The Bride is created not by man through buildings or organizations, but a common heart (and spirit) being thread through each of us, men and women, boys and girls who have realized that Christ took our place on that cross of death. Without that exchange, I would forever be caught in my own darkness. On my own, all I can do is stand in His way! That’s a learning process; sometimes much of me tries to jump back in. But the older I grow in my walk, the less I need to be seen. Obedience is everything. I want Jesus to be seen – not Meghann!

So, however long it takes us to pack, wherever the road leads, so be it. “To everything there is a season..” Our season in SWLA has come to an end, but a new season begins!! For those of you living in the central KY area, we’re so excited to see you again, and join you in building God’s kingdom! God has already given us some exciting dreams we want to share in the weeks to come. Thanks for your love, prayers, and support.

The Easleys

23 January 2011

New Year, New Adventures!! An Update from the Easleys

It’s Sunday afternoon, January 23.  We’ve just finished up our last Sunday in pastoral ministry at Lakewood Bible Fellowship.    In the days to come, Brad will also transition out of his role of academy principal.   Meg, the school art teacher, has finished up her classes this past week.

We've been at Lakewood since 2007, and made the decision to resign after several weeks of praying and thinking, and asking three key questions:

1.    What is best for the Easleys?
2.    What is best for Lakewood?
3.    What new opportunities has God opened up for us in recent months?

What is best for the Easleys?   As our family grows, so do the ministry demands we feel upon us.  This is our tenth year of ministry (and marriage!) and there are days we definitely feel the mileage!  We want our girls to see ministry as a calling, a privilege, a life worth pursuing, and to do so, we are careful to ensure that vocational ministry leaves a pleasing taste in their mouths.  So, sometimes, taking a break to clear the cobwebs can be the best thing for a family.    

What is best for Lakewood?  We’ve come to love the people of Lakewood – both church and school – and have delighted in being a part of Lakewood's ministry.  We have done our best to lead, to challenge, to help grow.  The church and school have faced difficult changes in recent years, changes that have taken its toll on both leadership and members alike.    Ultimately, we recognize that we are but one tool among many that God uses to build His church.  “To everything there is a season…” and the last thing we want us to stay here beyond our season.   What’s best for Lakewood is fresh leadership who can help her move to the next level.

What new opportunities has God opened for us?    Well, the first opportunity is a trans-state relocation to to central Kentucky.  This is where we met and courted, and have always dreamed of returning to!    While in Kentucky, we have several exciting options we’ll share about in upcoming posts (sshhh …. its a secret!)  

Finally, some exciting news!  On Friday, January 14th, 2011, we finalized our adoption of Josanna Lynn!   She's been a part of our family since her birth on March 22, 2009, and (to understate things) has more energy than a supernova with a sugar high.  She's a delight beyond words (as is her sister, Emma) and we're amazed at how God brought her to our family!