Quiche au brocoli

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This is my favorite homemade broccoli cheese quiche recipe. The homemade pie crust is what seals the deal and draws all the flavors and textures together. Bon appétit mes amis!

Prepare to delight your tastebuds.

Ingredients

For crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold water, plus more if needed

For quiche mixture

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Gather 9″ pie plate and ingredients.
  2. Mix flour, shortening, salt, and water until soft dough forms. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour; if it’s too crumbly, add a little more water. (Resist the urge to over-mix, as it will toughen the crust and not be as flaky.)
  3. Roll out pie crust to fit pie plate; gently press down and make a few holes with a toothpick or fork. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
  4. While pie crust is baking, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, milk, onion soup mix, and broccoli.
  5. Add mixture to crust and top generously with shredded cheese; bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a side salad or soup.
Magnifique!

This recipe is a collaborative family effort that spans generations of cooks and cuisines.

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Here we stand

I’m not sure what I could say to adequately describe the pride I feel as an American (for the first time in a long time), or the hope welling up inside me as a woman, the wife of a Black man, and the mother of two biracial girls. 

History, faith, and reason show the way toward unity.

President Joseph R. Biden, Inaugural Address 2021

As both an academic and a Christian, I found comfort and reassurance in the words of President Biden, Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, and Father Leo O’Donovan. Poet and activist Amanda Gorman challenged, inspired, and admonished as she recited her poem The Hill We Climb. She was the cherry on top of a modest, empowering lineup.

Since our foundation, America has overcome so much – yet we still have vital work to accomplish together. Planting and sowing seeds of unity rather than discord, truth instead of lies, love in lieu of hate. 

We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and manufactured… There is truth and there are lies. Each of us has a duty and responsibility to defend the truth and defeat the lies.

President Biden

Today’s inauguration proceedings, the antithesis to the chaos at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 (a mere two weeks ago), have boosted the country into an era of dramatic positive change, and have caused me to reflect simultaneously on history and the future.

The answer is not to turn inward; we must end this uncivil war. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts… if we show tolerance and humility.

President Biden

President Biden’s speech was compassionate and powerful. I jotted down scribbles of inspiration as he spoke – words I’m sure will be written in the pages of history for generations to come. The gist of it? Americans need each other. One nation, under God.

America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We’ll lead by the power of our example.

President Biden

This has to be the beginning of something better, something deeper and more meaningful, more lasting. We’ve got to ask ourselves: What legacy are we leaving for our children and the generations who follow?

I choose to lead by example.

Weeping may endure for a night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5, AMP)
 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

…et voilà!

My dissertation is officially published, and I’m experiencing a conglomeration of relief, gratitude, and excitement all at the same time. My colleagues will probably chuckle at this, but I’m already considering upcoming areas of research and what to explore next.

This year has been full of surprises and challenges, and it will be no doubt be an unforgettable one. I’m happy to wrap up the year 2020 with this accomplishment, and eager to meet the future.

Pondering {gratitude}

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Reading the Word of God is an experience. Prayer has the ability to activate the power of God through scripture, and it’s in these encounters that my eyes are open to new concepts that not only directly apply to the world around me, but also the future before me.

On this Thanksgiving, I’m ever grateful for a dear friend of mine who suggested I take a closer look at Hebrews 12 to prepare my heart for this day… as well as for the upcoming season of Advent. Hebrews 12 is not your typical go-to scripture for Thanksgiving-themed messages, but it has a number of gems tucked away in its verses.

Scholars aren’t certain who penned the book of Hebrews, but it reads much like a sermon or other New Testament letter. It’s in the simplicity of Eugene H. Peterson’s The Message (2018) translation that I find both an ease of interpretation and a comforting, inspiring reassurance of God’s plan for me. For all of humanity, really.

Twenty-twenty has been the year of unexpected, more-often-than-not unwelcome twists and turns. From depletion of toilet paper stock in stores, to cessation of travel, to mandatory curfews enforced, there are few places one might find themselves unable to witness the implications of the global coronavirus pandemic. Hebrews 12 begins with an emphatic charge to Christ-followers to keep running the race. Don’t give up. Follow on the path that others before you have paved; they’re cheering you on. Never quit.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now here’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG

So many souls have suffered through this pandemic in which we find ourselves. It is a chapter in history that will, no doubt, be remembered for decades to come. However, in the midst of such hardship, Hebrews reminds us that:

“God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children… God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best… for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

Hebrews 12:6-11 MSG

To be clear, I do not believe God causes catastrophe; he allows it. There are many scriptures that establish God’s nature, and He is good. He does, however, allow free will. And with free will, human nature is to sin. Sin leads to consequences. (Hence our dire need for Jesus.) My motive is to instill hope and joy that lead to a practice of gratitude. That said, God is allowing our circumstances — wherever we find ourselves currently — to inevitably cause us to seek Him and recognize our need for Him. Romans 8:28 tells us that He is working ALL THINGS FOR GOOD, for those called according to His purpose. What Hebrews reinforces is that our relationship with Him will be strengthened through our trials, with the confident hope that He is already weaving the events of our lives together FOR GOOD.

Isn’t that a reason to be thankful? To be full of gratitude?

If it weren’t enough, the writer of Hebrews goes on to say that we are a part of the bigger picture, God’s Unshakable Kingdom:

“The murder of Jesus… became a proclamation of grace. So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time — he’s told us this quite plainly — he’ll also rock the heavens: ‘One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.’ The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.

Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!”

Hebrews 12:25-29 MSG (Emphasis mine)

God is not a passive, dismissive God. He is actively working things for your good, no matter what’s happening in the world around you.

So, on this day, I’m recommitting to a lifelong sense of gratitude. Being thankful for what He’s done for me, what He’s doing for me, and for what I know He will do.

Thankful.

Brimming with worship.

Deeply reverent before God.

Don’t get tired of doing what is right and good, and don’t quit the race. Don’t give up. God is not indifferent! He loves you right where you are, just as you are. Bask in Hid perfect love on this day of remembrance, share it with others, and thank Him for all the little things along the way.

You are part of an Unshakable Kingdom that will withstand all time.

Blessings to you and yours! Have a joy-full Thanksgiving Day.

Thoughts at the coffee table

There are a couple of books I’m enjoying reading simultaneously this fall, almost always with a cup of strong black coffee nearby (my preference at any time of day).

Since I wrapped up my dissertation research and began teaching online, I’ve been making it a point to keep up with the changing atmosphere of online higher education — especially as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to significantly impact the interactions between students and instructors in this forum. I’ve seen firsthand how decision making processes are influenced and prioritized based on an individual’s immediate environment. For example, if a student’s child falls ill or spouse loses their job, online learning sometimes takes a back seat (and rightly so). These things matter to me, both as a former student and a current instructor.

It’s important to me as an educator to connect with my students through their perceptions and experiences, which are certainly not limited to the online environment. Communication, collaboration, and community are dependent upon the quality of our participation at any level.

A colleague of mine suggested Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (Darby & Lang, 2019), which focuses in part on student and instructor motivation. In short, a student’s ability to make connections between what they think they know at the get-go to what they aspire to learn by the completion of a course is essentially what drives their motivation. The other, Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking (Ruggiero, 2012), serves as the foundational text for a course I’m teaching and encourages the reader to challenge their own thought processes, beliefs, values, and biases. Both books are written in cohesively and practically, which I appreciate as an educator.

Cheers!

References

Darby, F., & Lang, J. M. (2019). Small teaching online: Applying learning science in online classes. Jossey Bass.

Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). Beyond feelings: A guide to critical thinking. McGraw-Hill.