My family and I just got back from a wonderful week on the Norwegian Getaway, the cruise line’s newest ship! We all were counting down the days to leave freezing Michigan as this winter has been insanely cold with extreme amounts of snow. We flew to Miami where we boarded the ship.
It was such a neat ship! We were on the second sail after it was built. We first explored the ship!
But the very first thing we did was get ice cream, of course! They had a self-serve frozen yogurt machine! Frozen yogurt is me and my sister’s FAVORITE thing, so we made sure we got our share fix of it on the trip ;).
The next morning, me, my husband, sister, and her husband did a spinning class. It was so hard, but a lot of fun. We definitely took a lot of rest days from working out, but it felt good to move our bodies a few times a week for sure! We just made sure we did it in a fun enjoyable way! :)
Nighttime on the ship was something we all looked forward to. Every night a duo, Summer Breeze, would play contemporary music at the Atrium lounge. We enjoyed relaxing with coffee while playing cards. The last night at seat they had a fireworks show where we danced the night away.
Our first port was St. Maarten. We got off the ship around 10am and explored the local shops.
After we enjoyed some lunch back on the ship, we did an excursion of ATV riding.
That night we went to Teppanyaki, a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant. The food was DELICIOUS and by far my favorite meal on the ship. Our chef, Mel, was hilarious. He sang throughout the whole cooking process!
The following day we ported in St. Thomas. It was insanely beautiful! We did a day at the beach. The beach we went to, Magen’s Bay, has been noted to be one of the world’s most beautiful beaches! It sure was!
My sister and I made a sand snowman…thinking of the -20 degree days back in Michigan of course! ;)
Back on the ship that evening, we went to one of the comedy shows. The evening activities that the cruise had planned were tons of fun! Another night we went to dueling pianos… probably one of my favorite shows all week!
Another activity that was unforgettable was the Newlywed Game Show that my sister and brother-in-law got picked to be in. They got married 8 months ago, so they were the perfect contestants for the newly married couple!
My next favorite dinner was at Moderno’s, a brazilian steakhouse. This restaurant was so neat! It was all you could eat meat, which the guys of our family loved! The servers bring around several different types of meat on huge skewers. They had an enormous salad bar as well!
Sean and I also took a night away from the family to enjoy a date night at one of the restaurants. This is a really great part about going on a cruise with your family… You can all be on the same ship, but enjoying different things, or come together every day/night if you choose!
Our last stop before heading back to Miami was to the Bahamas. We walked through the Atlantis Hotel and went to one of their beaches. Beautiful water!
It truly was an enjoyable week. The best part of it all…. time with my family with no cell phones or internet. It was quite refreshing to “unplug” and spend time with those that I love!
I hope we brought some sunshine home to Michigan and to you guys! Hope you all have a beautiful day! xo Katie
Scripture: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8
Reflection: When Jesus gave His life for us, He demonstrated the greatest act of love this world has ever known. If we are truly going to be followers of Him, He only asks one thing of us…And that is to love. Why would love be so important that it is the greatest and one new commandment that He gave us to live by? Because our love for each other is a testimony of Him, for God is love.
When we walk in love towards one another, it is then that our lives demonstrate that His life changing power is real. This is easy to do when we are walking in love towards those that are lovely, but how do we love the unlovable? It starts with the understanding that love is a verb. It is not a feeling or emotion, but rather, it is an action. We can begin to walk in love today by asking God to help us see others through His eyes.
When we are having a hard time loving someone, we can ask God to work in our mind and heart and cause His love to flow through us towards the other person. When we are truly loving others, it is then that we are called a disciple, or follower of Christ (John 13:35). If you know Christ as your personal Savior today, and He the Lord of your life, the greatest way you can demonstrate that to the world is by loving people around you with the Love of God.
Prayer: “Lord, I thank You that you demonstrated your great love for me by sending your only Son so that I could have relationship with you. Thank you for pouring out your love in my heart towards others. Help me love every person with your kind of love, and to see them through your eyes. Help my sincere love for others permeate my life so greatly that others might recognize and see you in me! In Jesus Name, Amen!”
I have to start this announcement post by saying a great big THANK YOU to all of you! The year 2013 was an amazing year at Dashing Dish, and I truly feel so blessed to be a part of what God is doing! I have to say, nothing blesses my heart more than when I receive emails from you guys. When you share your stories and tell what God is doing in your lives, I am beyond blessed and encouraged by all of you! Not to mention, it always makes my day when I see the DD recipe creations you guys share on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. I still get giddy every time I hear feedback that you (or someone you love) enjoyed a DD recipe!
Now, that all being said, I have some exciting news about the big things to come here at Dashing Dish for 2014!!!
First and foremost…I have been jumping with joy waiting to make this announcement! I can’t believe the time is finally here to share the big news!
I have been a bit busier than usual the past 7 months, not only because I have been moving into my first home with my hubby. I have also been busy writing my very first cookbook and a manuscript for a devotional book. This summer I received an email from Thomas Nelson Publishing Company stating that they wanted to publish a Dashing Dish Cookbook and Dashing Dish Devotional! My heart leapt with joy! Since that day I have been so eager to get the OK to share this exciting news with you guys!
My entire summer, fall, and winter has been spent developing, testing, and editing recipes behind the scenes of Dashing Dish! When I wasn’t in the kitchen I have been in my office listening to worship music and writing my little heart out for the devotional book!
Sooo…If you are asking yourself, “What’s will this cookbook consist of?” I’m here to tell you!
The Dashing Dish cookbook will be titled: Dashing Dish: 100 Simple and Delicious Recipes for Clean Eating
We are still in the process of deciding upon the final cookbook cover, but here is one of the fun concepts we have mocked up so far!
The cookbook will be filled with 100 recipes for your favorite ‘comfort foods’ that are incredibly easy and fun to make. I focused on a simple and clean eating approach, which is what you would find on the Dashing Dish website!
In the Dashing Dish Cookbook you will find:
100 Healthy & Wholesome Recipes. Staying true to Dashing Dish, every recipe is made with healthy, wholesome ingredients without losing any of the flavor! I include a pantry staple list as well with basic ingredients. Let’s face it, who has time to go grocery shopping every single time you want to make a recipe? I know I don’t, which is why all of my recipes can be made with a few basic staples.
Nutrition Information. At the end of every recipe will list the Calories, Carbohydrate, Sugar, Fat, and Protein contents for each Serving.
Colored Photos. Every recipe has a colored photo. This was especially important to me, because I can’t stand when a recipe doesn’t have a picture to go with it! I mean, what’s the fun in that!?!
Simple & Kid Friendly. All of the recipes are uncomplicated, simple, and made with a few basic ingredients, just like the recipes you know and love from Dashing Dish website. They are just about all ‘picky eater’ friendly, and can be made by both experienced and novice chefs alike!
Tips & Tricks. Along with this cookbook I have included healthy baking and cooking techniques, shortcuts, tips, and tricks. There is no greater passion for me than to teach others how fun and simple it can be to live a healthy lifestyle…and I hope to share those some of the most helpful things I have learned over the years with all of you!
I will also have giveaway opportunities and announcements to keep you guys informed, but until then, I’ll leave you with a few sneak peeks of what’s inside the cookbook!
Now, if you have been left wondering about the devotional- good news… I have more to share on that as well!
The Dashing Dish devotional book will be titled: Dashing Dish: Devotions for a Healthier You.
I am beyond excited about the opportunity to share this book with you guys! It is truly my greatest heart’s desire to help others find encouragement, balance, and fulfillment through God’s Word and healthy living. I have poured my heart into this devotional book hoping that it will bring life-giving nourishment through the Word of God, as well as practical tools to anyone that picks it up.
In the Dashing Dish Devotional Book you will find:
Devotions. This devotional book will be filled with devotions that have been inspired by my personal journal entries, which will range in topics from body image to understanding and receiving God’s great love for us. These devotions will be simple and straight to the heart of the issue, focusing on one or two verses each, which will allow you to walk away with a ‘bite size’ morsel of the Word to chew on throughout the day.
Dashing Tips. In addition to building you up spiritually, I also hope this book will bring practical knowledge on how to live a physically fit and healthy lifestyle, which is where the Dashing Tips come in! They are packed with tools to help you live a balanced life, as well as practical strategies to help you overcome discouragement and pitfalls when you are finding it hard to balance it all.
Meal Planning. Last but not least, as a bonus, there will also be meal planning strategies and tips included in this book. This will teach even the busiest home cook to plan, prepare, and get organized in the kitchen!
Both the cookbook and devotional book will be available for pre-order in the future, and I will certainly keep you updated when that happens! They will both be published around the holidays in 2014 and will be available at bookstores nationwide, as well as at any of the online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, etc. I’ll have more information about it’s availability when the publishing dates get closer.
If you’d like to sign up to receive email updates about the cookbook and devotional, click the button below to subscribe!
Now…On to the next big thing that will be taking place this coming year here at Dashing Dish. I am SO beyond excited to announce that this year we will be launching a New and Improved Dashing Dish Website, as well as a Dashing Dish Mobile App and iPad App!
We have taken all of the helpful feedback you guys have given over the past year and wrapped it up into a new and improved website and app that will hopefully make everything from your grocery shopping to your cooking a more enjoyable experience!
My husband and I have spent months talking, dreaming, and praying about what we could do to make the Dashing Dish website even more user friendly, as well as ways to help even the busiest person prepare and plan healthy meals throughout the week. I truly am confident when I say that all of that preparation time has paid off as I see my husband’s creative mind (and hands) bring it all to life on screen! I hope this new site will make life easier when you are on the go as well as make you want to stay a while (when you finally do get the chance to sit down for the day!).
I can’t give away all of the new features just yet, but it is safe to say that this new site and iPhone/iPad app will make healthy eating a whole lot easier…and hopefully even exciting!
Here are a few sample pages on the new site…Isn’t it pretty!?! Ahhh…I think my husband is a keeper! :)
The new site and iPhone/iPad app are currently in the works, but are still quite a ways from being complete. They require a lot of time (and resources) from my husband and I (oh, and our I can’t forget to mention our amazing developer Dan). Since we are still running things behind the scenes just the three of us, we are trying to get things to you as quickly as we can. I will keep you guys informed and updated on the new site/app as well, I would expect more info around spring time! I can’t wait to see what God has in store this year (and the years to come) for Dashing Dish. I pray it is a blessing to each and every one of you on a daily basis!
Have a Blessed Day!!! xo Katie
The Big Game (the Super Bowl) is officially upon us- which means it is also officially time for Game Day Recipes! Here are some of my healthy alternatives that are sure to impress the crowd at your next tailgate!
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” - 1 Peter 3:4
We are so used to seeing ourselves in a mirror. By looking in a mirror we can see if our hair looks messy or if our make up looks just right. We have learned to trust what the mirror tells us. We are so used to trusting it that often we find ourselves giving it the right to tell us if we are beautiful. However, when it comes to true beauty, the mirror (or a picture or the scale for that matter), is not a reliable source.
So, if we can’t use a mirror to see our true beauty, how can we?!?
The bible says in James 1:23 that the Word of God is like a mirror. When we look into the Word of God and see what God has to say, and how beautifully unique He created each one of us, it is then that we can begin to see our true identity. The Word of God has so many awesome things to say about who we are as children of God! When we receive them by faith and act on them, they truly will begin to renew the image we have of ourselves on the inside, and begin to shine on the outside as well!
Yes, we certainly should take care of our bodies through balanced healthy eating and exercise! These things were given to us by God for our good, and to help our bodies function properly! And yes, we can often feel better about ourselves by getting dressed and fixing our hair, ect., but that is not what defines our worth and beauty.
When we look in the mirror and find flaws, God reminds us in the ‘true mirror’ that “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (Songs of Solomon 4:7).
His Word also says that He “formed my inward parts; He covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:12-14)
When we look to the mirror to define our beauty, there will always be a chance to find a flaw or short coming. Instead, let’s make the choice to go to God’s Word to find our value and worth. After all, this is the mirror that is true, because it was written by God, and He calls us beautiful.
Prayer: “Lord, help me to remember that what the mirror shows is not what you find beautiful. You look at my inward parts and find true beauty. You formed me before I was even born, and you find no spot, flaw, or blemish in me. Help me to see myself the way you see me. Help me not to judge myself according to the standards of this world, but show me in my identity and worth in you. In Jesus name, Amen.”
My husband and I wasted no time at all to decorate for Christmas. I love the feeling of Christmas, and had so much fun decorating our new home for the holidays!
The first week of December, my sister Sarah, hosted a “My Favorite Things” party for a group of ladies. It was such a blast! We had a mix of our favorite foods, favorite desserts (trifle bar of course), and favorite snacks. Sarah did such a beautiful job decorating her house! Here’s how to play the game: All the girls brought three gifts of their favorite thing(s) with a dollar limit. Each girl wrote their name three times and put it in a bowl. We went around drawing three names out of the bowl and those were the three girls that received the gifts that we brought. So much fun!
Here is the basket of my favorite things… baking items, of course!
Another favorite event of December was our Annual Gingerbread House contest. My husband Sean and I did Noah’s Ark. It’s an event all of our friends look forward to as we host it at our house. This year we were so excited to have everyone over at our new house!
My sister Sarah invited my sister, mom, and I to an Annual Ladies Christmas Gala hosted by her church. We were so honored to be seated with the guest speaker of the night, Lisa Bevere, along with other amazing world changing women!
I had the privilege to speak with Lisa afterwards. I told her how her book You’re Not What You Weigh transformed my life and now I am able to share God’s healing power to other women.
My sweet friend, Dayna, hosted a Pinterest Party at her house. Dayna provided three crafts she found on Pinterest. She supplied all of the materials to make photo coasters, peppermint sugar scrub, and a picture ornament. She made the cutest gift bags and treats to send us home with.
Christmas Eve was hosted by my sister Sarah and her husband Phil at their new home. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a Pumpkin & Gingerbread Trifle or a Brownie Peppermint trifle, so I made both!
With over 35 people in one house, it sure was a happy Christmas with family!
Christmas Eve night we spent with the in-laws and then back to my parents house. All of us (my parents, my 2 sisters and their husbands, and five dogs) spent the night and woke up together on Christmas. My husband Sean helped me make Christmas breakfast!
My sister Sarah gifted me with the cutest recipe box by Sugar Paper out of Los Angeles. So excited!
New Years Eve was a great way to end the amazing year. Sarah hosted it at her home and went to town decorating with the cutest details. The night was full of great people, yummy catered Lebanese food, and tons of desserts to ring in the New Year.
The month of December was sure packed… but full of laughter and great memories. My family and I are excited for 2014 as we know God has GREAT things in store. I wish you and your family a blessed start to the New Year!
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~Isaiah 9:6
It’s almost Christmas time, which can be a time of great joy for many, but also a time of stress, sadness, and loneliness for others. There are so many things that can steal our peace and joy this time of year, or any time of year if we let it. But this season can be particularly challenging for some.
Despite all circumstances however…Yes, ALL circumstances, do you know that you can have true peace and joy?
No, I’m not talking about a temporary happy feeling that comes and goes as circumstances change. In fact, I am not even talking about an emotional state of being. I am talking about a deep rooted, stable, never changing peace. A peace that causes you to sing with joy from the very core of your being, even when the world looks like it is crashing down all around you.
Now, let me stop there and share that I, just like everyone else have been through some really tough times in my life. Things that could and should of crushed me…and If you are living on this earth, I can guarantee you have (or will) go through some hard times as well. But, let me tell you something. I can honestly say that through it all, I have found a peace that has carried me through each and every storm.
Sure, I have shed many tears along the way, and had any ‘normal’ emotion that anyone would feel, but through it all, I have found the one thing that is deeper than any emotion or circumstance. His name is Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
I will never forget the night that I discovered this peace for myself. I had been saved for many years, but still found myself going through emotional highs and lows, especially during the hard times. Until one night- I had a revelation that impacted my life in a deep way.
I remember it like it was yesterday- I was going through a particularly hard season in my life. I was laying in bed with tears streaming down my face. As I wept, I leaned over to reach for my bible, seeking out a comforting word from the Lord. I will never forget the words that I read that night, and how it changed my life from that moment on. My eyes landed on Isaiah 9:6, which says, For unto us a Child is born,unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I am sure that I had read that passage of scripture hundreds of times before, but that particular night, the Lord spoke that verse to my heart in a very real way. I wiped the tears from my eyes, and found myself with an overwhelming sense of peace and joy in my heart. I found myself singing praises throughout the day for weeks to come. (Now, it’s important to add that my circumstances did not yet change during this time, although they eventually did thanks to God’s Faithfulness.) But, even in the midst of this storm, I had found a deep peace that carried me through.
I love this verse in Isaiah, because it foretells the Savior of the world, Jesus, coming to earth, and what He would come to bring to the world. It describes the meaning of His name in detail, from Wonderful Counselor, meaning we can go to Him with any problem we face, any time…and He cares! Not only does He care, but He wants to counsel us and gently guiding us through each situation as we turn to Him. To Mighty God and Everlasting Father, which says to me that He is both strong and mighty to deliver and save, but also a provider, protector, and deeply in love with each one of us- His children. And last but not least, one of the greatest names of all- Prince of Peace.
That was one of the most powerful lessons the Lord has taught me so far in my walk with Him. I truly can say now that I understand what it means when the bible says that He can give us a “Peace that Passes ALL Understanding” (Philippians 4:7). This verse basically means that no matter what we are going through we can have peace, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Now, the reason I share all of this, is I have great news, this same peace is available to YOU! In fact, the Lord wants to give you His peace! Despite all circumstances, emotions, and even storms of life you may be facing, there is a peace that can carry you through. A peace so deep that it puts a song in your heart.
So, how do you get this peace you may ask? It’s simple! This deep sense of peace and joy comes as you draw near to the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus.
If you are lacking peace, TRUE peace today, I challenge you to come to Jesus, the prince of peace. He is always there, waiting with open arms to comfort you, counsel you, and give you a deep and fulfilling peace that stays constant through all of life’s ups and downs. All you have to do is spend time with Him, (this can be done by reading the bible, praying, or worshipping), and as you do, everything that He is begins to rub off on you! It is kind of like spending time with a friend, whom you begin to become like over time… Everything He is and has He wants to pour into you!
This Christmas season, it is my greatest hearts desire and prayer that you come to know this peace that can only be found in the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus!
Merry Christmas Friends! xo Katie
Christmas is a wonderful time of celebration! A time to celebrate Jesus, family, and friends! Make each celebration a little sweeter with these breakfast, appetizer & dessert recipes!
When it comes to sweeteners, I personally like to use baking stevia and stevia packets. However, all of these recipes call for a sweetener that measures like sugar, which includes any sweetener that can be measured the same as sugar, or you could use sugar if you prefer.
If you prefer to use stevia or another sweetener, you will have to alter the amount based on the conversion table below, or according to your desired taste. This can take some experimenting, but once you get a feel for baking with different sweeteners, it is very simple to know how much to use. To get you started, I have provided a simple conversion table that works with stevia.
Please also note, that the amounts listed below may vary based on the brand of stevia you are using. The following chart pertains to NuNaturals stevia, which is the brand I personally recommend. If you are using baking stevia, simply use 1/2 of the sugar the recipe calls for.