Lemon Rice and Veggie Bake

If you’re harvesting your garden veggies or buying them from the farmers’ market, here’s a tasty recipe you can use them in! I call it a Lemon Rice and Veggie Bake—the rice cooks up right in the pan of this casserole-style side dish. And lots of veggies are layered over the rice. All these ingredients bake up in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, and broth (or water). I really like the lemon juice/olive oil combination—it gives the rice and veggies a great flavor!

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Book Review: Crazy Joy

Life definitely has ups and downs and for many of us, our happiness tends to be dependent on if we’re in a good season or having a good day, or if we’re in a difficult season or having a bad day. Or we think we’ll be happier one day if we have this or that, or if certain things happen in our lives: getting that dream job, getting married, or moving to a city we love. In her new book Crazy Joy, (hardcover, Worthy Publishing) Mary Katherine Backstrom shares how you can find joy and contentment not only in the good times but right in the middle of your hardest, messiest times. If you’re not familiar with Backstrom (or MK, for short), she is known for her viral social media videos and her writings on family, faith, and mental illness. Her writing style is very candid and humorous, and you can’t help but laugh at many of the real-life situations she shares about herself and her family. So, just reading this book will bring you joy and lots of laughs!

MK’s writing style is also warm and personal, kind of like a friend talking to you over lunch or a cup of coffee. The hard (or embarrassing) but funny experiences she shares about her own life, along with the insights and wisdom she’s gained from going through them, are really easy to relate to. You can even picture yourself in some of these situations, which makes it such a fun read.

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Blackberry Crumb Coffee Cake

Crumb-topped coffee cakes are the best—like this Blackberry Crumb Coffee Cake! It’s made in a 9 x 13″ pan, so there’s plenty of it to enjoy! 🙂 This coffee cake is topped with a yummy crumb topping and inside it’s moistened by the juicy blackberries and small chunks of cream cheese that are stirred into the batter.

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Frozen Berry Smoothie

Here’s a great smoothie I tend to make more in the summer, but it’s great any time of the year! I use frozen berries in this smoothie, which makes it convenient because I don’t have to worry about having fresh berries on hand—I just pop them out of the freezer whenever I want to make this!

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Sugar-Crusted Blackberry Muffins

Blackberries are one of my favorite treats of summer, and one way I love to enjoy them is in these muffins! They’re easy to make, with a thick, creamy batter that bakes into yummy moist muffins with lots of blackberries in every bite. And sprinkling them with some coarse sugar before putting them in the oven gives these muffins a light sugary crusted top. I like the little sparkle the coarse crystal-like sugar gives the muffins, too!

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