That said, I’ve also been paying attention to little things that are bringing me joy along the way, and now seems like a good time to share some of them. This is kind of a departure from my regular blog fare, but just consider it an appetizer to the “what I learned this spring” post I’m planning for next week.
First, a recipe …
My girls love fried chicken tenders. Even Molly, who would likely be a vegetarian if we let her, orders them at restaurants that do not serve steamed rice or French toast sticks. I’ve occasionally tried to replicate chicken nuggets or tenders in the oven at home, but the results have never been very appetizing.
Until now, that is. A couple months ago, I stumbled across the perfect recipe on a food blog called RecipeTin Eats. I don’t normally read food blogs, but this one—written by a Japanese woman who lives in Australia—is delightful.
Her recipe is called “Truly Golden Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders,” and that title pretty much covers everything there is to love about this dish. Apparently, the secret to producing oven-baked tenders that are not pale or soggy (yuck!) is toasting panko breadcrumbs in the oven before you coat the chicken pieces with them.
Sound too good to be true? Trust me—it’s not!
As an added bonus, Nagi (the food blogger) also demonstrates how to prepare the chicken without getting your fingers caked with batter and breadcrumbs. What’s not to love about that?
When peace looks like a peony bush …
I’m working on another blog post about what I’m learning as I observe my flowerbeds this spring. For now, though, I’ll just say that few things drain stress, relieve anxiety and calm my heart better than a slow stroll around my yard.
I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of new blooms and sharing them on Instagram, but mostly, I just like to look. And think. And listen to the birds chirp …
A CD our whole family loves …
This hardly ever happens. I mean, there’s probably a greater chance that I will make something for dinner that everyone truly raves about, and that’s pretty rare too.
But for some reason, Ellie Holcomb’s Red Sea Road CD strikes a pleasing chord with all four of us. Randy likes her indie-sounding voice. Molly’s favorite is track No. 4, a precious song that talks about how Jesus chose us, knows us and loves us forever.
Lilly’s musical tastes run more toward Broadway tunes and classical ballet soundtracks, but whenever “Living Water” comes on the kitchen CD player, she drops whatever it is she’s doing and does an ab workout—right there on the tile floor (ouch).
It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite tune from the CD. I love the one about using our “fighting words” to combat lies with God’s truth, and the one about God being my rescue and my recovery. But I supposed it’s the title song that has meant the most to me these last few months.
If you can’t see the way ahead and you need a good dose of hope, take a minute and listen to this.
An “As Seen on TV” item that really works …
When a product’s packaging is plastered with words like “revolutionary” and “No. 1 Best Seller,” I’m automatically skeptical. But when my current system for doing something isn’t working—well, I’m willing to take a second look.
That’s exactly what I did when I saw the TubShroom Strainer and Hair Catcher at Bed Bath & Beyond. This little gizmo is “guaranteed to catch every single hair, every single time you take a shower,” and I’m happy to report that it actually lives up to the hype.
Goodbye, little sombrero-looking drain cap thing that never really worked and was constantly getting knocked off the edge of the bathtub when it wasn’t being used. Hello, easy morning shower cleanup and clear drain pipes.
(Nobody paid me to write this, by the way. Just consider it a public service announcement from someone who knows how annoying it is to have to fish long hair out of your shower every day.)
Finally, a song I can’t get out of my heart …
When the most memorable thing about a concert has nothing to do with the music, it doesn’t mean it was a bad concert. Really, it’s not every night that the entire stage lighting, video and sound system fritzes out in the middle of a show at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, leaving the audience in the dark except for cell phone flashlights and one lone spotlight shining front and center on Chris Tomlin.
In 10 years, this scenario is probably what I’m going to remember most about the Worship Night in America concert that Randy and I attended in early April. But the musical highlight, at least for me, was a song that Phil Wickham performed before the lights went out.
“Messiah/You’re Beautiful” isn’t new, but it was new to me. And now, I can’t stop listening to it.
That’s my list of current favorites. What are you loving right now?