- Start by making a list of your current and future goals. Write it down! That’s what my wife and I do. (Thanks to Kwyndala for teaching me that habit!) It gives you something tangible to physically look at so you don’t have to work so hard imagining or remembering. It works! I know a few people that do actually appear to “have it all figured out” and are always doing something that seems meaningful and worthwhile. I bet they’ve made a list or two!
- Find like-minded people who will understand your ambitions and encourage you. If they have similar goals, even better. Build each other up. Knowing you’re not alone can be a huge confidence boost!
- Cut out any negative talk or thinking that you may be caught up in. Build a habit of focusing in on the positive aspects of your goals. Think and speak positively. After all, the first person standing in the way of your progress is probably YOU! I know for certain that’s true for me. I’m the hardest person that I have to deal with!
I have very exciting news! As some of you know, I’m a musician. (or so I’m told…) I’ve been working on a solo EP for what seems like forever, but I’m proud to say it is finally DONE! That’s just the beginning of the exciting part. Several new things have happened this last few days.
Recently I submitted one of my songs “No Other Way” to an entertainment website/record label called Indie Vision Music. Long story short, they liked it enough that they wanted to upload it to their website! Not only that, but it will also be featured on their Family And Friends sampler album set for release at the Audiofeed festival on July 4th. This is a huge opportunity.
Since submitting my song to IVM, I’ve realized just how unprepared I was for such a positive response. Suddenly, things are crazy. I’m scrambling to get copyrights sorted out, get my cover artwork done (pretty much required for putting your music online nowadays), finding the right publishing/distribution company, etc. With all that’s going on, there comes a lot of news that I want you guys to know about, so you’ll be seeing this blog undergoing a lot of cool changes.
So, what’s next? In the next few days, I’ll be working on affiliating with a PRO (Publishing Rights Organization, such as ASCAP, BMI, etc.) opening a business bank account through Bowen Branches (gotta have somewhere to put all those piles of cash I’m sure will start rolling in) and lots of other things. Through all of this, I’m learning about what it takes to truly be an independent artist. Now I think I know why some really talented people just never make it very far. It takes more than just talent. It requires a lot of research, determination, and perseverance. Most of all, relying on the help and guidance of a great Heavenly Father is key. An extremely helpful and supportive wife certainly doesn’t hurt either!
Even though all of this seems like an endless amount of time and effort, the entire process has been totally worthwhile. From the songwriting to recording, mixing, mixing again, mixing AGAIN, mastering, finding a concept for cover artwork, finishing the cover, signing up for distribution… it’s all been tedious yet exciting. Then comes figuring out how to release it to the world. I’m in that process as we speak. After that, the sky’s the limit. I’m anxious to see what the future holds, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride!
Check out my bio here and leave me a comment to let me know what you think so far! See you soon.
I’m excited to bring you this new recipe. This one is loaded with flavor and even your littlest family members will love it. Oh, and it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
Before I get started I want to show off the cute apron my father-in-law and his wife gave me last Hanukkah. Its super cute and covered with little Star of David decorations. You can see all of my ingredients in the background.
On to the cooking. This recipe uses a LOT of butter. Wait, don’t all good recipes? You are going to need 1 stick and another 3 tablespoons. Getting started you want to melt ONLY 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. (You could probably use cooking oil instead.) Then, put in your mushrooms and sauté until soft. After that, you are going to add in the spinach just until wilted.
Next, put the spinach mixture into a separate bowl and begin making the cream sauce. You are going to melt MORE BUTTER into the same skillet. This time use a whole stick, no substitutions allowed. I melted it on low to avoid burning the butter and then added the cream. Now is a perfect time to add your seasoning. Once the cream mixture is warm, you are going to add your cheese in slowly. Be sure to whisk between additions until everything is smooth. This is a simple sauce, so using the best ingredients you can will really make this dish fabulous. I used 1 1/4 cup applewood smoked Gouda and 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan. Although, you can change these ratios to half and half as long as you still end up with 2 cups shredded cheese.
The last step is simple. Just add your spinach and mushroom mixture back into the sauce and heat until warm.
You can serve this wonderful sauce over any pasta you like. My boys really love rotini pasta but I think penne works just as well. I have made this several times now and my family enjoys it as a vegetarian meal or with some grilled chicken on top. I think it would pair well with any white fish too.
Gouda Alfredo with Spinach and Mushroom
Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 20 min.
You will need:
- 1 stick + 3 Tbsp sweet cream butter (divided)
- 1lb. fresh baby portabella mushrooms (thinly sliced, stems removed)
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1-1/4 cups applewood smoked all natural Gouda cheese
- 3/4 cup Frigo brand Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 min until softened.
- Add 3 cups fresh baby spinach and stir just until wilted. Transfer to a separate bowl.
- In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium and melt 1 stick of butter.
- Whisk in 1 cup heavy whipping cream.
- Season with 1/4 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. garlic powder.
- When mixture is warmed, slowly add the grated cheese mixture, whisking until smooth between each addition.
- Add spinach and mushroom mixture back into the skillet with the cheese sauce. (*NOTE: Drain excess liquid from spinach and mushrooms before adding back in.*)
- Serve over freshly cooked pasta of your choice.
Please let me know what you think about this recipe in the comment section below. Have you had an Alfredo sauce with smoked Gouda before? What other cheeses do you like to use at home? I hope your family enjoys this dish as much as our family.
Having a relationship with our Wonderful Creator is important; but what does that take? I’ve heard people say, “It’s not about ‘head knowledge’; it’s all about having a relationship.” That is partially true. However, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to have a TRUE relationship with the Father without the pursuit of KNOWING Him.
Think of a courtship or dating relationship. How would your future spouse feel if you had no idea what his/her favorite things were? What if keeping track of dates and times wasn’t important to you? How long do you think that relationship would last? Would it even blossom into a marriage, or would it wither into dust? I believe this kind of relationship has a snowball’s chance in… umm… a really hot place? It would be easily wrecked whenever difficult times come along. In fact, we see relationships like this fail every day. Sadly, it’s quite common.
Now, let’s look at the opposite scenario. In this relationship, each partner pays close attention to the “little things”. Each one believes in the importance of dates and times, anniversaries, closely held interests and moral standards, etc. How would that relationship look? It is likely that this couple would make it to the altar and go on to cultivate a strong, lasting, healthy marriage.
Think about how it makes you feel when someone takes a genuine interest in who you are, what you do, what you like, etc. How about when someone obviously doesn’t care? Not that they have a blatant disregard for you or those things, just that it slips their mind. That wouldn’t make you feel very loved, would it?
I believe our relationship with the Father operates the same way. If we want a true relationship with Him, shouldn’t we DESIRE to know Him? Wouldn’t we want to know who He is, what pleases Him, what He expects from His bride? Absolutely! “It is written in the Prophets, ‘They will all be taught by ADONAI.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to me.” (John 6:45 CJB)
In turn, shouldn’t we want Him to know us as well? That’s the interaction that occurs when a true, meaningful relationship is pursued. We talk. We share our feelings, our thoughts, our hopes and dreams, our fears, our goals, etc. Then, we listen. We eagerly await hearing what our Wonderful Creator loves, what pleases Him, and what He wants from our relationship with Him.
We are ultimately responsible for doing our part in maintaining this relationship with Him. After all, it was Yeshua (Jesus) who was documented in the book of Matthew, saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!'” (Matthew 7:21-23 CJB)
Clearly, it is important for us to know the Father. How do we do that? By pursuing a real, true relationship. How is that done according to Him? The previous passage plainly points out that even if we prophesy, expel demons, and perform miracles in His Name (which are all great and awesome things), we still never truly know Him unless we seek out the Father’s will. In Hosea chapter 4, God says, “My people are destroyed for want (lack) of knowledge. Because you rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as cohen (priest) for me. Because you forgot the Torah (laws/instructions) of your God, I will also forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6 CJB) This sounds rather severe, but it drives home the point that our Heavenly Father is serious about us knowing Him.
So, how do we get to know God more? One of the most effective ways is to spend time in His Word. There’s no better way to learn who God is than to read about Him. As your knowledge of Him increases, so will your faith. Need tips on making time for God in your life? Click here to see several ways you can do that. After you’ve begun doing that, what next? Is just having faith really enough?
Simply “believing” in him is not enough for a relationship to truly take hold. Even the demons believe, and tremble in terror, according to James 2:19. The Hebrew (and dare I say, original) definition of “believe” is expressed in the form of 2 Hebrew words. First is “aman“, which is a verb that means “to be firm or sure”. Second is the word “emunah“, which is a noun often translated as “faith”. However, “aman” is the root word of “emunah”. That means the state of having faith is not just believing intellectually, but DOING something to show it. You can say you “believe” the Word of God is true all day long, but to prove it by your actions is a different story. To truly have faith is to trust AND obey.
In James 2:14-19 as mentioned above, we see the statement, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can such faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in shalom (peace), keep warm and well fed,’ but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is that? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself. but someone says, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe– and shudder!” (James 2:14-19 CJB)
As quoted earlier, when Yeshua says, “Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!” as harsh as it sounds, He expects us to know very well what He means. He does not want us to be lawless. He wants us to seek out His will, His heart. According to His own words, we do that by keeping His commandments. In John 14, this is again confirmed by the words of the Messiah: “If you love me, you will keep my commands;” (John 14:15 CJB)
Be sure to like and share this article with your friends and family! Find us on Facebook and Twitter @BowenBranches, and don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter. Until next time, Shalom!
I love easy meals, dont you? This Beef and Sausage recipe only takes about 15 minutes of prep time and less than 30 minutes to cook. The best part is that it reheats great so you can make it on Friday for a fast Shabbat meal the next day.
Did I mention that my husband and son both gave this recipe 5 stars? I realize it looks super simple, that’s because it is! If you like cabbage as much as me, you have to give this quick meal a try.
Easy Beef Sausage and Cabbage
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min.
- 1 stick of real butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
- 1lb beef smoked sausage, thinly sliced
- 1 (14.5oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Frank’s RedHot sauce (optional)
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep anything from sticking to the pan.
- Add the beef sausage, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cover skillet with lid and let this simmer for about 25 minutes or until the cabbage is very soft.
- Taste your creation. Add Frank’s RedHot sauce to taste and adjust seasonings if needed. I usually add more garlic.
That’s it! It’s so easy and super tasty, too. I suggest serving it with a big piece of crusty bread. I know your family will enjoy this dish!
Did you try this recipe or do you have a similar dish your family loves? Please leave a comment and let me know. For more easy Sabbath recipes in the future, be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter. Shalom and be blessed!