Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We've moved...

Hi there everyone- just wanted to let you know that our blog address has changed. We're now located at http://www.foodtidings.wordpress.com/ So come check us out there!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Football, Family, and Amil's Chili

When my husband Zach was younger, he has fond memories of getting together with family during football season. He's from Colorado, and the Denver Broncos have been his team since he can remember. He even remembers where he was, and how sad he was when John Elway announced his retirement.

There was one meal that he had often when his family got together to watch the Broncos... chili. It was a recipe from his Grandpa Amil, and it brings back memories when we have it today. I was so grateful when he shared this with me, and excited when I got the recipe from his mom several years back.

Now I'm excited to get to share it with you all! I'm actually making some today, and plan to bring half of the recipe to a fellow teacher that my husband works with. The great thing about this chili is that it freezes really well! It makes a great big batch, so it would be plenty to make one batch for both your family and the family you're bringing a meal to. Plus, it's the perfect time of year for some hearty, yummy chili!

4 regular cans of chili beans (or 2 big cans)
4 regular sized cans of diced tomatoes (or 2 big cans)
1 white onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork (I just usually use 1lb of whatever I have on hand- beef or turkey, and skip the pork)
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup (plus 1/8 cup more if you want it spicier) chili powder
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
sour cream
shredded cheese
extra onions, chopped
flour tortillas, buttered, warmed

-Brown beef and pork with the onions and green peppers, drain
-Add salt and pepper to taste
-In a big pot, add the beans and tomatoes with the beef mixture
-Add chili pepper (I usually just do the 1/8 cup first, then let others make it spicier in their own bowl if they want)
-Let simmer until green peppers are soft- 1hr or longer

Note: I'm using my crock pot with it today, and I will have it on low all day long to let the spices really get into the whole batch....

This is really, really yummy served with warm buttered flour tortillas to dip into the chili. We also serve it with lettuce, tomato, and cheese on top, plus a little dallop of sour cream. YUMMY, I can't wait for dinner!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Behind The Scenes: Our Story

My name is Lisa, and I'm one of the co-founders of Food Tidings. I wanted to share our story with you of how Food Tidings came to be.

In early 2006, we had so many friends having babies around the same time. We enjoyed bringing meals to them, and inviting friends and family to do the same. BUT, and this is a huge but, it was SO frustrating trying to do it through email! I felt like I was spending way too much time trying to send out an eamil, asking everyone to hit "reply all" when they sign up for a day, and inevitably someone would just reply to me. Then, I'd have to send an email to everyone on the list with the newest schedule, clogging up everyone's inbox.
One night before bed, I was sharing my "woes" with my husband, Zach, and I told him I wished there were a website out there that could help me do this... thus, the beginning of Food Tidings...He responded to me with an optimistic, "Well, let's make one!"

I am the personality type that tends to see all the set backs and pit falls of ideas, and my husband is just the opposite (we're made for each other!) I answered his idea of creating a website with something to the effect of, "I was just sharing with you how frustrated I am, not that I think we should make a website. That would be way too involved, and we don't even know how to!" His mind started going 100 miles per hour with ideas, and one of the first things he did was call up some of our close friends, Jeff and Leanne.

He shared the idea with them, and they were excited to get started on it. Jeff is a very talented web designer, and he helped our idea become reality. Once the site was up and running, I was so excited to see that I could create a meal schedule so easily! I was thankful for it, and really thought that if anything, it would be awesome for just us and our friends to be able to use it. Word spread, and continues to spread about it, and it's been so awesome to watch Food Tidings help SO many people. Not just in the US, but in other countries as well!
It's made it so simple to "do something." When you don't know what to do, and how to help someone you love who is going through either a transitional time in their life or a difficult time, bringing them a meal is a great way to show you care.

My husband Zach and I have 4 kids, and having meals brought to us after the births of each one was just amazing. I loved knowing that I didn't have to worry about making dinners for a while. And to be honest, making meals was one of the furthest things from my mind at that time! It was also a great way for us to get to see friends and family, and for them to see the newest additions to our family.
Likewise, it's really cool to get to bring a meal to someone. It's a way for me that I feel like I can be a help to them, and I know it's a great way to show I care.

We would love to see Food Tidings to be shared all throughout the world, and that it can be used as a tool to help millions of people get meals delivered to them. More than that though, for those millions to know that they're loved and thought of. We are of the mindset that giving and serving is such a huge and important aspect in this life. This is just one of the many ways to serve others and give of yourself.

So, that's our story of how Food Tidings came to be. We're looking forward to the future, and can't wait to see and hear about the wonderful ways you're helping others. Thanks for using Food Tidings!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Better To Give Than To Receive...

I have to be honest. This is a tough time of year for my husband and I. We struggle with how much to give our kids for Christmas. We don't want to "spoil" them with so many gifts that they lose the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. We know they will get many gifts from family members, and that is wonderful. We want to make sure that we as a family remember that Christmas is more about giving than it is receiving. Here are a few things we've started doing together...

*We go out and do angel tree together. We'll go to somewhere like Wal-mart, and pick an angel off the tree at the front of the store. Then we shop to find a gift that fits that description. It's fun for the kids, and they know they're helping a child get a gift that would not have otherwise gotten one.

*We send money to our Compassion Child- we sponsor a little boy through Compassion International who lives in the Dominican Republic. It's been three years now, and we get letters from him from time to time. We also write letters to him. It's neat to see him grow too- Compassion sends updated pictures of him. The money we send goes for the organization to purchase something for him that he needs. If you have ever considered sponsoring a child, I would highly encourage you to do so! It's only $38/month, and it provides food, clothing, and school for a child. It's awesome.

I'm sure as the years go on, we will add to and/or change the things we do for Christmas. Here are some other ideas that help us to remember it's about giving more than receiving....
*World Vision- this one is way cool. You can actually purchase things like goats, chickens, trees, mosquito nets and even water wells for people across the world. How cool is that to know you could provide food and shelter for the needy! You can also sponsor children through this organization.
*Angel Tree
*Operation Ensuring Christmas - this is really neat too. Here is this organization's mission statement:  "Operation Ensuring Christmas provides financial, moral and rehabilitative support to the Children of Fallen American Troops by providing them Christmas Gift Cards at Christmas and a 'Christmas in July', VIP theme park trip to Orlando Florida. This support is to help them recover from the grief and trauma caused by the ultimate sacrifice a child can make for their country... the loss of a parent in war."
*Toys For Tots-  this is similar to Angel Tree- they collect new, unwrapped toys for needy children in the community
*There are many homeless shelters that are always in need of things. Contact your local homeless shelter and see how you can help.
*Have your little ones make some Christmas cards, and go as a family to a local nursing home. I'll bet you would really make their Christmas special this year by showing you care.
*Oxfam America Unwrapped- this is similar to World Vision. Here's what the website says: "Looking for unique holiday gift ideas? Consider the unusual: plant a vegetable garden for a friend or a set of building tools for dad. Browse our charitable gifts and select a unique gift for your friend or loved ones. Your friends get a card, and the money goes to those who need it most."
"We are an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. We are part of Oxfam International, a confederation of 14 Oxfams working in more than 90 countries. Together with individuals and local groups in these countries, we save lives, help people overcome poverty, and fight for social justice. "
*Feed My Starving Children- this organization is awesome. We've had the privelage of helping pack meals with our church for them, as well as raise money for the meals. Did you know that one meal for a starving child costs only 19 cents? You can feed 6 children for a month for only $35.00. Wow.
*Volunteer at your local food bank.
*Network For Good- this is a way you can donate online to many many different charities.

These are just some of the ways you can give of your time and resources this Christmas. We'd love to hear if anyone has any other ideas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meal Idea Monday: Yummly

I just stumbled across an incredible recipe site! It's called Yummly, and it's awesome. They have over 500,000 recipes to check out, and you can even search by ingredient, allergy, price, type, and much more. They have a facebook page too- with cool little tips given each day. The Wonderful Waldorf Salad looks yummly! Ha ha, get it- yummly? :) It says to use a red delicious apple, but I think I'd use a honeycrisp apple. Those apples are heaven sent. If you've never had a honeycrisp apple, you should go to the grocery store today and get one...

Have a fabulous day!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankfulness in the midst of the craziness...

Life as a mommy of 4 kids under the age of 5, and wife to one wonderful man is no easy task- as I'm sure MANY of you reading this well know. It is hard work! Driving kids to and from school, to and from extra curricular activities, keeping up with the finances, keeping the house clean (sorry to say, that one really hardly gets done in my house...), the laundry, meals, grocery shopping, keeping up relationships, and the list goes on.

And once you think you're done for the day, kids in bed, lunches packed for the next day, house straightened.... you get into some comfy jammies and either sit or lay to relax and catch up on that magazine you've been meaning to flip through for over a month when.........."Mommy? Can I have a drink of water?" or you remember that you have that last load of laundry still sitting in the washer and if you leave it, you know what will happen. The dreaded mildew. I'm almost embarrassed to say that mildew is a common occurrence in our house. I stock up on vinegar because I just can't seem to remember that last load that I was sure I'd remember when I put it in. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? Sheesh!

But when all is said and done, would I have it any other way? Well, except to add maybe a bit more time to the day to get more done and more energy into my body in order to get those things done (wait, do those two just cancel each other out? I'd say they would)- no I totally wouldn't change things. I love being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, grand daughter, friend, and neighbor. What a huge blessing these things are.

The fact that I have mildewey laundry just means I have 5 others in my family who are active and that I get to help keep their clothes clean. It means there's life in my home. Cleaning my house means I get to have 4 wonderful children that leave their sweet handprints and trails wherever they go- and that really is a blessing. And when my son is sick with an ear infection, and is crying so hard from the pain- that means God created his body to know when he's in pain, he has a voice to communicate that to us, and the fever means God created his body to know how to fight off this infection. So I can even rejoice in that. It truly is all in how I look at things.

Yes, life is hard. Super hard. And I have to be okay with knowing it can't all get done when I want, and how I want. But in the midst of it all the craziness, there is much to be thankful for. How can I take what I'm thankful for, and share that with others around me? It can take on many shapes and forms.

*Maybe it's bringing cookies to your neighbor that just moved in, or some pumpkin bread to a neighbor that has lived on your street for a long time and you still don't really know them.
 *Maybe it's calling a fellow mommy and letting her know you're coming over to watch her kids for her. Give her a few hours to herself, to do whatever she'd like.
*Or maybe come to her house and pick up her laundry, take it home, and bring it back later all clean and folded. (You may have to pry it out of her hands because she'll probably say she's fine and she can do it, and she doesn't need help- but she'll be grateful once it comes back clean and folded! Just kidding- don't pry, but for those of you who don't like to accept help- this is a time when it's okay to accept it! Some people want to help, and would be blessed to do it, so saying no just denies them of that. Know what I mean? I'm saying this to myself as I type!)
*Bring over some chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, gatorade, a pretty yellow flower of some kind, and a movie to someone you know who is sick.
*Double the batch of dinner you're making tonight for your family, and bring the other half over to an older neighbor you have that lives alone.

How will you show someone you care today?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meal Idea Monday- Make it Kid Friendly

Many times, when we bring meals to our friends and family, they have little children. And if their kids are anything like mine, they have likes and dislikes. I don't blame them- I have likes and dislikes too! I'm always thinking about what I can bring that the kids would enjoy as well.

I was checking out What's Cookin In Mama Jan's Kitchen, and found these great bbq chicken tenders. From what she said, they were a hit with her family, and I think kids would love these! Click here for the recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Enjoy the many blessings you have in your life. God is so good!