Chocolate Chunk Spelt Cookies with Hazelnuts and Cherries

Twice a year our church hosts a gathering of women who come from differing backgrounds and ages, but all have one goal in common- to empower women in extreme poverty through the gifting of micro loans.  Formed out of a motivation to live and serve in a way that reflects Christ’s love, this group is called iZōsh:

“iZōsh is a group of women dedicated to the economic empowerment of women globally who are living in extreme poverty. By giving micro loans to these women we help them to lift themselves out of extreme poverty and reduce the risk of oppression and exploitation in their lives .  Our vision is: To seek first to understand and to not judge; to prayerfully pool our resources to invest globally in women living in extreme poverty, regardless of their faith or beliefs; to honor the dignity of each woman by empowering her through sustainable personal economic development; to invite and welcome other women, regardless of their faith or beliefs, whose goals align with our mission to learn about women’s issues in extreme poverty and then to empower the women living in extreme poverty to transform their lives through entrepreneurial activities“.

-iZōsh mission and vision statement

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Thai Chicken Forbidden Rice Soup

Several years ago we lived very near a small yet quite outstanding Thai restaurant.  It probably had no more than 8-10 tables, but the service was always friendly and the food was authentic.  We visited frequently and some of my favorite date nights have been at this little Thai eatery.  Now that we’ve moved we have yet to discover a place for Thai that we enjoy as much, so when I find myself craving Thai I often resort to making it myself.

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Apple Calvados Custard TartWhenever Ryan returns home from travels related to work, I feel that the occasion is always worthy of celebration.  Not that I mind being home alone with the kids, but it always feels so good to be a family again.  When he’s away I realize how much I take him for granted and how I can easily go for days without expressing any appreciation to him.  For me it’s natural to grumble about the mundane parts of motherhood and the lack of appreciation I often feel from the children, but I don’t think often enough about how I express thankfulness towards others.  I want to be an example of gratitude for my kids– through words and also through acts of service–with the goal of us all moving towards lives of thankfulness together.

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