Good Ol’ Barn Raisin’

This weekend is going to be nuts! We have lots of work to do on the fence so that is our main goal, but we also have 9 people coming in for the weekend (5 of which are staying with us). We’re going to have a par-tay tonight to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (yesh, we’re a day late, but better late than never!) and then celebrate putting up the fence together (think: barn raising from the good ol’ days).

So with that said, here’s recap on meals this week:

Mexican Potatoes
 (this was for our actual Cinco de Mayo dinner last night)


6 large russet potatoes
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 lb ground turkey
1 recipe taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes, pierce them several times with fork, roll in canola oil and sprinkle kosher salt on top. Bake for 1 hour.

2. Cook ground turkey over medium high heat until browned. Add spice mix and water, allow to boil then immediately turn to simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Mix in black beans until just heated through.

3. Cut potatoes open and layer on the toppings!

BBQ Chicken Wrap


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 (12oz) bottle your favorite BBQ sauce (we use Corky’s or Rendevzous)
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup Olive Oil Mayo
2 tbsp Claussen Pickle Juice
8 whole wheat wraps
extra bbq sauce if desired


1. Place chicken (frozen or fresh) in bottom of crock pot and cover with BBQ sauce. Set to low heat and cook for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot shred with two forks then place back into crock pot to soak up the bbq juices. Let sit 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, combine shredded cabbage, Mayo and pickle juice. Lightly salt and pepper if desired. Place in fridge to let chill for 1 hour.

3. Using the wrap as your base, layer shredded chicken, coleslaw and bbq sauce, then roll up and enjoy! :)

Red Beans and Rice


2 cups brown rice
4 cups water

1 (16oz) package kielbasa (smoked sausage), cut into 1/4” slices
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 (16oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp dried sage
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp thyme
salt to taste


1. Cook 2 cups rice and 4 cups water in medium saucepan (or ricecooker).

2. In large skillet or dutch oven over low heat, cook sausage for five minutes. Stir in onion, green pepper, and garlic; sauté until tender. Pour in beans, tomatoes, and seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

3. Mix rice into bean mixture then serve

Recipe by my mom, Pam M.

Pizza Bites (c’mon, these are adorable aren’t they? Just French bread with pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni and a bit of soy cheese melted on top)

Olivia’s Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnut Muffins… the only thing I changed was using almond milk for regular and Splenda for sugar. Delish! 🙂

Totally unrelated, but I want to share anyway… earlier this week I was approached by one of the elders at our church and he told me that he had been watching me and saw that I had a heart for service and he admired my work with the teens and went on for a bit about how he respected me, etc… and then he asked if I would consider being the new Children’s Minister. I was blushing and tearing up so much that I hardly had the words to tell him just how much his kind words touched me. It’s amazing how much we under estimate the power of encouraging words. I eventually managed to let him know how honored I was that I had been sought out for the position, but that working as the Children’s Minister (ages: birth-6th grade) would mean that I would have to give up my work with the teens. And I just can’t do that to my girls. But my oh my, it sure made me feel great.

Anyone else have a feel-good moment this week?
Are we the only ones who celebrate holidays after they have past?


52 responses to “Good Ol’ Barn Raisin’

  1. I’ve been crazy red beans and rice like whoa lately! Wow to the Childrens Minister thing–thats awesome. Too bad it would take up so much of your time but that’s a great compliment to get!

  2. Edit *crazy=craving….on first cup of coffee still!

  3. Love those mini pizzas and donuts! Bite-sized foods are always adorable. I’ve been in the mood for beans and rice lately. Off to check out your recipe!

  4. I used to make those french bread pizza bites in college- they are so good! My love language is words of affirmation so I understand how powerful and encouraging it was for them to offer you that spot 🙂

  5. Awwweee!!! You are so kind and thoughtful! I’m so excited for you with his offer!!! How awesome is that?! Whenever someone tells me something like that, I tear up. It is just so sweet. 🙂

  6. Wow, what a wonderful compliment about working with the children. That really must feel great and give you renewed energy.

  7. I love what you said about the power of encouraging words! I feel that since I’ve started blogging, because I “met” so many beautiful people and got so many kind comments since then, and the support is amazing.

    Yay for the offer of becoming the Children’s Minister! I can understand you out it down, though. You can’t tear yourself into halves. 😉

  8. Wow party sounds fun, look forward to hearing about it! So sweet he asked you, you obv have an affinity for younger people 🙂

  9. thats so great you were encouraged like that!
    btw, the food looks so yummy!

  10. Children thrive off of encouragement and compliments. We big “kids” need to hear that encouragement as well. 🙂

  11. runyogarepeat

    Aw what a great compliment to you! My mom is the youth director at our church for all the kids and teens, and she loves her job.

  12. Yummy food alert!!:) The BBQ chicken wrap looks really good!! Yum!

    I think we are going to be celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight too. Last night we were both just too tired to do anything (lame, I know, hehe:).

    Good luck with the fence-raising;)!!!

  13. I am totally going to try the mini pizza’s they look sooo good. Congrats on the new offer, I can tell from some of your posts that you do great things for your teen girls. You are very inspiring….plus who doesn’t want to have a princess party? I think having Cinco de Mayo on a Friday night allows for many more Margarita’s!

  14. Your food looks sweet, especially those doughnut muffins!

    Yay! That’s such a huge compliment to get! There’s never enough time to do everything, but at least you can feel great about yourself and what you’re doing! You’re clearly making a big impact on your community. 🙂

  15. wow, what an amazing blessing! You really must have left a heart felt impression on that elder and the teenagers!

  16. That’s amazing Rachel! Isn’t it awesome how God gives us little pick-me-ups throughout our lives. They always seem to come at just the right time too 🙂

  17. Aww, that’s so awesome that he wanted you to be the Children’s Minister! Congrats on the offer!

  18. 5 people staying at your house!?! Wahoo, what a little party you’ve got going on!! (so jealous, I love it when people stay over at my house!!) So SO SO happy your tried and liked my muffins!! Yours look SOOO dang beautiful, gahhh I want to go make another batch right now! 🙂 ps- I love the story about the elderly man at your church; I’ve had similar occurences before and I literally can not. stop. smiling the whole time they talked to me! It truly is incredible what a few kind words can mean to a gal!

  19. Aww what a nice story about you and that older man! Like you said even though you were not able to fill the position, it still must have made you feel great for him even proposing the option 🙂
    Good luck with having 5 people this weekend! Definitely a stressful thing to do, but can be fun too of course!
    p.s. that sugar doughnut muffin thing….oh my it looks good to say the least, drool 😀

  20. Thats so sweet of him to say! All true stuff there! 🙂

  21. Ok. Yum to the tenth degree!

  22. omgshhhhh Rach! God is soo funny! just 2 days ago, I lifted a quick prayer for you and felt that something exactly like that would come across your path! I didn’t have a sense of burden as in like “oh no she can’t take that resp.” but more like, yeahhhh I could see that happening. Don’t know if now or later though 😀 have a beautiful day sista!

  23. Hope the party is fun tonight. and you get some good time with friends this weekend and some good work on fence done.

    I am making those muffins tomorrow!

  24. I have been craving wraps like crazy lately and yours looks amazing, enjoy your party tonight have fun!! Ps those little doughnut muffins look soo good cinnamon sugar brings me back to my childhood 🙂

  25. Oh wow, pizza bites sound amazing! They remind me of those little pizza bagels that I used to toast all the time! Have a fun weekend!

  26. That looks amazing + the memory is super sweet. Food always makes me a bit nastalgic.

  27. oh my heavens that stuffed potato looks AMAZING!! I love stuffed potatoes, they are seriously my go to meal, especially when they are smothered in cheese 😉

  28. pawsitivelife

    I think most people celebrated holidays after they past, with everyone living so far apart its hard to get together. My feel good moment this week is right now when I came home from work and my dog hasnt been sick all day! YAY!

  29. Those donut mufins look so good! Have fun celebrating Cinco de Mayo!

  30. I celebrate my birthday days after it has passed. And yes, I consider it a holiday. At least, it should be. Poo-ha!

    I also agree that words have SO much power! A comforting word can save a person’s life, and a discouraging word can really damage someone.

  31. Oooh those DONUTS!! 😀

    I love that!! Seriously, you are SO amazing and inspirational and GODLY Rach, and I know no matter who you work with you will impart your love for God on them and change their lives for the better 🙂

  32. sounds like you are going to have a fun & busy weekend!!! happy fridayyyyyy, all the food looks deelish esp that bbq chicken wrap! 🙂

  33. Your Mexican Potatoes and Red Beans & Rice look beyond delicious!

    That *is* a huge accomplishment from the elder in your church! Sounds like he really saw a spark in you that he admired. Kudos to you for being clear on your priorites, though. That can be extremely difficult.

  34. Cinnamon-sugar doughnut muffins?!! Oh wowwwwww. ❤

  35. OMG, Rach, that’s fantastic! Even if you decided to decline, that’s still a wonderful thing to have even been asked. I want to get involved with a church so badly. I am definitely going to look into one when I get home. I would go to my parent’s, but it’s the same one I went ot growing up, and while I don’t have anything AGAINST it, I still don’t feel it is the right place for me. Plus, it’s an hour drive from my parents, and I’m looking for something a bit closer… Haha. 🙂

  36. such a wonderful compliment! That is so great that someone sought you out to let you know how amazing you are 🙂

  37. The pizza bites look really good! They’re so cute!!
    My feel good moment this week actually just happened. I ran a really good race tonight and I never thought I would ever do as well as I did. I’m still in shock! I’m so happy though!
    You should be honored to have been offered that position, but I admire you for sticking with your girls! I’m sure they look up to you a lot and I would hate to be more distanced from someone that I was close to like that.

  38. Oooh, those donut muffins! Swoon! We don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Australia. We’re clearly missing out!

  39. OH my gosh COOL on the children minister thing! wow, that shows how evident your heart for the Lord is- awesome girl! but thats so great you are not prideful and dont feel like you have to do it all- you know the Lord needs you 100% with those teens right now in this season. keep on keeping on! YOU ARE AWESOME and such an encouragement!

  40. Oh how sweet that was. =) Encouraging words sure make one’s heart melt. =)

    And hey, enjoy the party!

  41. someone waved at me after letting me in on the highway; it was really sweet actually haha I’ve never heard of doughnut muffins! wow!

  42. moveovercelery

    How amazing. 🙂 Just from reading your blog, I can really tell that you have a huge heart for loving on people and being an awesome influence. I get SO encouraged by your blog. I love it. 🙂

  43. those all look so tasty! Mexican potatoes sound the best, I don’t even think I’ve tried it before 🙂 Good luck getting everything together this weekend!!

  44. I hope your weekend is coming along well!! 🙂 🙂

  45. Mmmm…bbq chicken wrap! Sounds awesome!

  46. just came across your blog and im in love! all this food looks soooo yummy too….especially the cinnamon donuts!

  47. What a lovely comment! I’ll bet that made you feel good. 🙂 That is so sweet.

    Last Friday I was awarded the Star of the Month at my work and I’ve only been there for 7 months! It was definitely a feel-good moment.

  48. Hey Rach! Eats look DELICIOUS! I’m loving the red beans and rice ♥
    And what a sweet comment you got from that man…I know it would have definitely made my day!

  49. Huh? Were there words with this? I was so busy drooling over the photos. I bonked my forehead on my monitor.

  50. What that man said to you was so wonderful; it’s a rarity these days that people share a compliment so touching!

    I am printing out the recipe for the cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins – YUM! They look delicious, and I can’t wait to try them out in the morning!

  51. The Mexican potatoes look right up my alley!!!

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