I love the beginning of a new year and the sight of a clean, empty calendar. 2013 was a year of unexpected events. I never thought I’d be enrolled in a graduate school program in pursuit of an MA in Human Science, and I never thought I’d be traveling to San Francisco twice a year as part of that program. I also wasn’t planning on entering into a relationship. However, both of those events in my life are two of the best things that occurred in 2013 and so many of my fondest memories and experiences from 2013 include Mike and our first trip experiencing San Francisco together for the first time, which also happened to occur over the celebration of both of our birthdays. 2013 also had its fair share of low and challenging times, but they were necessary in continuing to strengthen my character.

For 2014 I hope to: 1) find and maintain balance in my life, 2) start painting again, 3) make the most during my upcoming semesters, 4) invite friends over for dinner at least once a month, 5) write and mail a letter to someone each month, 6) travel and explore as many new places as possible, 7) be grateful everyday, 8) be more positive – leave the negative at the door, 9) be intentional, 10) learn a new song on guitar besides Blackbird, 11) be mindful always, 12) continue to find ways to live more simply, 13) journal and blog on a more consistent basis, 14) spend time in quietness with God daily

Here’s to a more intentional, purposeful, and simpler year!

And as promised…the recipe we chose from The Kinfolk Table: Mushroom, Tomato, and White Bean Stew

Ingredients included: olive oil, onions, garlic, thyme, fennel, sage, baby bella mushrooms, chicken stock, cannellini beans, tomatoes, parsley, pepper, and parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, the onion and spices were cooked together for about 8 minutes. Then, mushrooms and stock were added and left to simmer for about 6 minutes. Finally, the beans, tomatoes, and parsley were added and simmered for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper were used to season to taste and it was topped off with parmesan cheese.

The recipe was simple to make and took no time at all to cook. Mike and I both enjoyed this dish for its simplicity and combination of flavors. Next time, we may use an immersion blender to change the texture just to try.



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