Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

If you are a regular reader of The Fresh Plate, you are probably rolling your eyes right about now. Because I am cranking out yet another cranberry recipe. From October to December are the only time of year that I use fresh cranberries, so I have to cram in all the cranberry goodness at the end of the year. I promise this one is awesome. This is a wonderful dip to serve during the Holiday season. It has a complex flavor palette that I love! The cumin, the toasted pecans, the tart cranberries and the spicy cilantro. It makes your taste buds sing. And the red and green color combo is an added bonus. People always ask what this dip is and when they hear cranberry dip and see the bits of pecans and cilantro , they tend to turn their noses up. But once they try it, they are hooked. You just can't put it down! Serve with crackers, small bite size pieces of bread or wheat thins. * you can also omit the pecans if you have someone with nut allergies.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

1 (12oz) package fresh cranberries
1/4 c toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 c green onions, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1.Put your cranberries and toasted pecans in a food processor or blender and chop to small pieces
2.Chop the green onions, cilantro,and jalapeno pepper.
3. Add all ingredients except the cream cheese into a bowl. Mix all together and cover and store in the refrigerator for a few hours to blend.
4.Place the cream cheese in a shallow serving dish  and spread it evenly .
5. Pour the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese and spread evenly .
6. Serve with crackers , tortilla  chips or cinnamon pita chips.

Easy Brunswick Stew

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Chicken Crescent Bundles

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

This recipe is a wonderful addition to your

 tried and true file.  Chicken crescent

bundles are so creamy and full of flavor. It

is a retro recipe that never gets old. Crazy

 good for a weeknight meal.



8 oz cream chesse, softened

4 T butter, melted

2 c cooked chicken, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

4 T milk

3 T onion, diced small

1 T parsley,  minced

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

1 T melted butter

8 butter crackers


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients

 except the crescent rolls , 1 T melted butter

 and 8 crackers. Mix well.

3.seperate the crescent rolls into 8

rectangles. Seal the perforations.

4. Add about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture

 into the center of each rectangle. Gather up

 the sides of the crescent roll dough and seal
to make a bundle.

5. Place each bundle on a cookie sheet.

 Brush the 1 T melted butter over the tops of

 the bundles. Crumble one butter cracker

over each bundle.

6. Cook in a 350  degree oven for 20-25

minutes , or until the bundles are lightly

browned and the chicken is heated through.

Beef & Cabbage Soup

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My husband has dinner duty every once in awhile and I love not having to come up with dinner. I get burned out more often than I care to admit trying to feed everyone day in and day out and keep it interesting. So when he offers to make dinner, I happily agree.  He is a great cook in his own right, and this soup was awesome. Homey and satisfying on a cold autumn  night.

Beef & Cabbage Soup
1 pound ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
5 cups chopped cabbage
1 (16 ounce) can cannelini beans,
3 cups water
1 can rotel tomatoes, undrained
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat.
Add ground beef and onion, and cook until beef is well browned and crumbled. Drain fat, and transfer beef to a slow cooker.
Add cabbage, cannelini beans, water, tomatoes, beef bouillon, cumin,garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to dissolve bouillon, and cover.

Simmer over medium high heat for about an hour and a half. Stir occasionally.

Chocolate Cream Cake

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Have you ever had a recipe that you request over an over, and cannot get enough of? This cake is one of those recipes for me. My nana made this cake for as long as I can remember for birthdays. Every year this is the birthday cake of choice. Nothing fancy. Most of the time not even a candle. Just the cake, sitting on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, waiting to be devoured ! I must admit that I cheat. I do not make the chocolate cake homemade. It is semi homemade. From a box. but the frosting is what makes the cake, so I don't mind the cake part. I use a good devil's food cake and it is the best cake . Perfect for all occasions!

Swiss Chocolate Cake

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 box vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup oil
1 c milk
4 eggs

Mix ingredients together and beat well. Pour into two greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-38 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.When slightly cooled, turn onto a cooling rack and cool cake completely.

1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
12 oz container of cool whip
3 Hershey bars, shaved ( I use Dark)

Mix all together well. Place one cake on a plate and cover with icing. Place second cake on top and frost the rest of the cake. Keep refrigerated.

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Saturday, October 8, 2016

These cookies are easy to make from a boxed cake mix. I have been making these for a few years

now and they are a hit with everyone who tries them. You can mix up the flavor of Hershey Kisses

and the sugars that the cookies are dipped in before baking. These I chose pumpkin spice sugar and

caramel Hershey Kisses. You could also use Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses and regular granulated

sugar. Lots of options!

Caramel  Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 box Spice Cake Mix

1/3 c vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs

Pumpkin Spice Sugar ( recipe follows)

Caramel Hershey Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

2. In a medium  mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, oil and eggs  until completely blended.

3.Roll into quarter sized balls. Roll each ball into the pumpkin spice sugar and place on the cookie

sheet. Slightly flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass.

4.Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about a minute. Place a

Hersheys Kiss on top of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to let cool.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar

1/2 c granulated sugar

1 T pumpkin pie spice

Mix the sugar and the pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.


Mini Marshmallow Ghosts

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Now before you guys start rolling your eyes because I am posting about Halloween already, there is a method to my madness.  I have so many Halloween posts in my queue and I want to share them all with you in time for you to enjoy them. Not just a few days before the holiday, when you will not have time to enjoy any of the recipes, crafts and decorations I have in store for you!  See, method!

These mini marshmallow ghosts are one of my favorite October treats for my kids. I pop a bag in lunchboxes and have them as after school treats as well. And put them in mugs of hot chocolate . And they are easy. You just need a bag of mini marshmallows and a food marker. You can find the food markers at Michael's. Hobby Lobby, even Wal-Mart. Just look in the cake decorating section.
Draw dots with a black marker for the two eyes and mouth. Your kids will love you for it.

So stay tuned , my friend, for a fun filled October here at The Fresh Plate. If you haven't  bookmarked the blog, then do! I don't want you to miss any posts! And you can also find me on Facebook ! Wishing everyone an great week!

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Monday, August 29, 2016

This is another great meal that you will definitely add to your list of favorites.It is a favorite at our house.It is a perfect recipe.Crockpot, few ingredients and great taste.Of course you use your favorite bbq sauce.Everyone has one! I serve the pork on buns with baked french fries and coleslaw. I usually have leftovers of the shredded pork, and I make a batch of brunswick stew the next day.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

3 pounds boneless pork roast

1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce


Pour can of beef broth into slow cooker, and add boneless pork roast. Cook on High heat for 4 hours, or until meat shreds easily. Remove meat, and shred with two forks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Transfer the shredded pork to a Dutch oven or iron skillet, and stir in barbeque sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Monday, August 22, 2016

 We are at the start of a new school year! My babies are starting 7th and 5th grade today.  Football and cross country practice in the afternoons are in full swing and I tend to rely on slow cooker meals at least 3 days a week until the first of November when sports end for a few months for us. One of my go to slow cooker meals are these Salisbury Steak Meatballs. They are so easy to make and easy to double the recipe. Just serve them over egg noodles or rice and a side salad and you have a great dinner with little effort.
* I make my own cream of chicken soup. There are recipes for it all over Pinterest . I use the recipe from Life in a Loft House. It makes the perfect amount for this recipe. Just search and find one you like.

2 lbs ground beef
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup italian style dry bread crumbs
1/4c milk
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (1oz) envelope dry au jus mix
3/4 c water

1. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and milk using your hands.
2. Shape into golf ball sized meatballs and place in a lightly greased slow cooker
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, dry au jus mix and water. Mix well.
4. Pour the soup mixture over the meatballs.
5. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours or on high for 3 to four hours.
6. Serve hot over egg noodles or rice.

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joe's

Friday, August 12, 2016

My family loves any food made with buffalo sauce. These sloppy joes are no exception. They are weeknight easy and so full of buffalo wing flavor! There is only one of 5 people in the house who will  eat blue cheese, so I always serve ranch instead. This is a recipe that I make again and again on a regular rotation. I was hesitant that it would be a bit too hot for my boys' taste, but they all gobbled their sandwiches up in record time  and asked for seconds.The ground chicken makes  it a light tasting dish , which I appreciate. The buffalo sauce is so good, I could use it as a dip for chips or in other dishes.I will definitely try to incorporate the  sauce into other recipes as well. Maybe mixed with cream cheese and stuffed in chicken breasts. Yum!

           Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground chicken 
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup hot sauce ( Frank's Red Hot)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 8  burger rolls, split and toasted
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • dill pickles, chopped
Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and  cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato paste and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile filling onto buns and top with blue cheese or ranch dressing and chopped pickles.

Spicy Sesame Noodles

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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This is my go to recipe for quick noodles. I make these for lunch quite often. It makes a ton, so I usually plan on eating it a few days during the week. Sometimes I add a few shrimp, or chicken  to make it more substantial. The longer these noodles sit, the better they are. I prefer them cold, a day after they have been made and had time to meld the flavors together. You can add more hot sesame oil, or decrease the amount, depending on your tastes. You can also add a handful of sesame seeds for extra texture. And don't skip on the green onions. They are so yummy in this dish!

*note - feedback on the oil content. Some people say this dish is way to sesame oil -y. You can decrease the amount of oil used, just tweak it to your liking.

Spicy Sesame Noodles
8oz spaghetti, cooked al dente
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T rice vinegar
2 T sesame oil
1/2 tsp (or more) hot chili oil
4 T canola oil
2 whole green onions, sliced
red pepper flakes (optional)

Whisk all ingredients except the noodles and green onions in a large bowl. Pour sauce over the noodles and toss very well to coat. Refrigerate . Right before eating, stir in the green onions and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (optional). Can be served hot or cold.

{ Rustic Balsamic Strawberry Galette }

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This is one of my favorite desserts to make with fresh strawberries. I bought a flat of strawberries at one of our local farms and I canned strawberry jam and strawberry coulis, and we ate strawberry spinach salad , strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcakes  And last but not least I made a galette. I love , love love these! I use blackberries, peaches and cinnamon apples to make these all year round. These are so easy to put together and you can't mess up the presentation. Just flip over the dough onto the fruit and brush with egg wash and dust with sugar. Enjoy!
*If you do not care for balsamic vinegar, just omit it from the recipe. It is sill super yummy without it.

*you can use heavy cream to brush the crust instead of egg wash.

Rustic Balsamic Strawberry Galette

1 pie crust ( homemade or store bought)
2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 35 degrees.
Place the piecrust  on a  lightly greased cookie sheet (or you can use parchment paper)
In a medium bowl, stir together the berries , balsamic vinegar, cornstarch and sugar.
Place the berries in the center of the pie dough.
Pull up the corners of the dough around the berries and pinch to hold together.
Using a pastry brush, brush egg was over the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Let the galette sit for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Honey Ham & Swiss Cheese Sliders

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

These little sandwiches are one of my husband's favorite meals ever. I make them on lazy weekends at home and he raves each and every time I serve them. He loves the butter-mustard sauce that is poured over the sandwiches. I have to admit they are very tasty. They are so easy to put together and I love that I can use good quality honey ham and swiss cheese from our local deli. The flavor combo seems weird, but I promise you it works. So go ahead and add them to your menu. You will love them!

Honey Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders

12 King's Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
12 pieces good honey ham
3  slices Swiss cheese, each cut into quarters
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Spread mayonnaise onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet, placing  very close together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. (You will not have to use all of the sauce)  Use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

Homemade Guacamole

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Can you believe that I tried my first avocado just a few  short years ago? We never ate them growing up, and neither did my husband. A friend showed up for  a potluck with homemade guacamole  and we were hooked. We eat avocados almost every day now. this guacamole has become a staple for snacking and as a topping for tacos and enchiladas. It doubles easily, if you need a big batch.

Homemade Guacamole

2 medium avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 c chopped onion, diced small
1/4 c cilantro, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
juice of 1/2 lime

In a large bowl, scoop the avocados and add garlic, onion, jalapeno and cilantro.
Mash all together until smooth.
Add salt, pepper,paprika and lime juice.
Serve with chips or with tacos.

No Knead English Muffin Bread

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I have always been intimidated by baking my own bread. I always figured it was easier to buy artisan loaves and not worry about yeast and rising and kneading. But a few years ago (well, really about a decade ago) I started making my own loaves of bread when my oldest started school and I was pregnant with number two and so very bored during my days at home.  Over the years I have made many loaves with different flours, different techniques and different flavors. Some are super time consuming and complex. And others, like this recipe, are super easy and tastes wonderful out of the oven. This bread is called english muffin bread and while it doesn't have the holes that traditional english muffins have, this bread is dense and is perfect toasted with butter and jam. Perfect! And it is no knead. Just mix the dry , warm the wet , combine ,let rise and bake. It rises for about an hour  and bakes for about 20 minutes, so from start to finish, you can have a fresh, warm loaf of bread in less than two hours . I highly recommend this technique to newbie bakers or hurried moms like me. I can make a loaf or two and have it rise and bake while I am preparing dinner. I can't say enough good things about this recipe.

No Knead English Muffin Bread
Recipe courtesy King Arthur Flour

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
cornmeal to (sprinkle in pan)
1) Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2) Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm but not boiling)
3) Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
4) Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.
5) Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
6) Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
7) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it's just barely 1/4" over the rim of the pan.  This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn't very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
8) Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes, till it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
9) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Baja Chicken Tacos

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tacos are a pretty common dinner choice in our house. When all else fails, tacos will be eaten. We love these Baja Chicken Tacos. The chicken is slow cooked in a crock pot all day, so the only thing that I have to do is prep the toppings and cook the sides of rice and black beans.They are not as heavy as beef tacos , which I love.  These tacos are so flavorful. We add shredded cheese, onions marinated in fresh lime juice, lettuce, cilantro and salsa. Sometimes, if I do not have taco shells, we use lettuce leaves and make Baja Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The lettuce wraps are a great option for lunch.

Baja Chicken Tacos
2 1/2 - 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 4oz cans green chilies
2 T taco seasoning ( I use Penzey's brand)
1 T ground cumin
Taco shells and toppings of your choice

Place the chicken , green chilies, taco seasoning and ground cumin in a crock pot. Place lid on tight and cook on high 4 hours or low 6. Take chicken out  and transfer to a platter to shred.Add shredded chicken back to the crockpot juices, stir and let it cook for an addition 10 minutes or so to heat back up. Serve shredded chicken in tacos with toppings of your choice.

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Baked Pesto Chicken

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I don't know about you, but the time change has thrown me for a loop. I have zero motivation to think about making dinner when it is still light outside at 7pm. Tonight I thought very seriously about chick fil a. But I had chicken thawed and I needed something to make that was quick and easy. So I went for an old favorite. Baked Pesto Chicken.
Surprisingly, this pesto chicken is one of my kids' favorite meals! I think it has to do with the melted cheese and chicken. The pesto makes the dish, and the kids do not complain. And with three ingredients, it is affordable and quick to get to the table.
Now if I can just get used to longer days, with the kids lingering outside until the last hint of daylight...

* For weeknight meals, I used traditional basil /pine nut pesto and provolone cheese.  But if you want something a bit more fancy, try pecan kale pesto and gorgonzola cheese or sun dried tomato pesto and fresh mozzarella cheese. 

Pesto Chicken
4 boneless , skinless chicken breasts
4T pesto
4 slices provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a oven proof casserole dish. Spread  1T of the pesto evenly over each piece of  chicken.  Place the cheese slices on top of the pesto.Cover and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the cheese is melted.if you want the cheese browned a bit, uncover the chicken for the last 5 minutes or so until is is a light golden brown.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Monday, February 22, 2016

I wash many, many loads of laundry . With three boys at home, I really do feel like it is the never ending chore . Especially now that football and cross country has started . Smelly, dirty clothes are the norm around here. I try to set a schedule for laundry, but I just ultimately put in a load a day. At least.  I have always been a Tide fan. But with all of the laundry I do, it isn't a very economical choice. As a blogger, I have seen my fair share of homemade laundry detergents posted over the years. In the back of my mind I thought about it, but decided it was easier to just buy it and move on. Until my friend Shandy over at Aprons N Pearls  blogged about making her own batches of detergent a few years back. So I though what the heck and made a batch. The rest, as they say, is history!  I love this detergent! It is so much more economical, it smells good, and best of all, it cleans our clothes so well! My husband and I whipped up a batch this past weekend. The only time consuming part would be grinding the Fels Naptha Soap in the food processor. Other than that you just dump and stir. I use about 3 T in each load . But my loads are large ( most of the time) , so if you are washing a regular load you can scale it down to 2T. It is a powder , which I love. No drippy messes. I do not have a HE machine ( I did, but it always smelled moldy and my clothes started to smell too. So we bought a traditional machine and love it. To each his own) , but I have friends that do and they say this detergent works great in their washers. You can find all of the ingredients for this recipe at Target or Walmart. Except the Fels Naptha soap. I have yet to find it at Target. And if you want to save even more $$, look for large bags of baking soda in the pool aisle at walmart. This time of year you can find them marked down when they switch summer pool items to fall items.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
4lb box Baking Soda
1 box Borax
1 3lb container Oxi Clean
4 bars Fels Naptha soap
2 containers Downy Unstopables ( I use the Fresh or the Lush scent)

Using a food processor or a food grater, grate the bars of Fels Naptha Soap into small pieces. About the size of small peas.
In a large container ( I use a large bucket, you can use a heavy duty garbage bag), mix all of the ingredients together and stir well to incorporate the mix.
Transfer to a smaller container to use in your laundry room. Keep the rest in an airtight container and refill when needed.
Large load - use 3 T
regular load - use 2T

Cupcake Liner Valentine Heart Wreath

Monday, February 8, 2016

I have searched for a valentine wreath for a few years now to hang on the window above my sink. They have either been too gaudy with hearts , too heavy , too big or too expensive. I saw online a tutorial using cupcake liners to create a wreath that I loved .Last Valentine's Day I stocked up on cupcake liners while they were on major sale at Target, so I dug them out  and went to work.This was so easy to make. I made it Sunday night while watching Downtown Abbey, Season 4.I love it! All you have to do is scrunch the cupcake liners in the middle and ,using a glue gun, dab a bit of glue onto the wreath and stick the liner in the glue. Make sure you hold it there for a few seconds to let the glue set a bit. After the glue has dried on all of the liners , you can adjust the paper width to cover holes in the wreath. Super easy, you guys. I think it would also be gorgeous if you used a black and white cupcake liner and hung it from a red ribbon. So many possibilities.
 The wreath  is lightweight and just the right amount of pink and red not to completely annoy my husband! And it the perfect size for the window. (Even though this pic is obviously using the calendar as a background).

An Open Letter to A Former Friend

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dear Former Friend, Stop judging me. Stop wishing failure upon me. Stop making me feel less than. You don't know the pain I have known. You don't know the roads I have traveled. The obstacles I have triumphantly overcome. Just stop. Find something genuine, something real, to do with your time. This isn't a game. You don't need to walk all over me, pounding me into the mud, so you can get ahead. Stop sitting around waiting for triumph. It will never come. Your hurting me, lying about me, it only produces fire in me. And the good kind. The kind that makes me get up and move. To live life to the fullest. To move forward. My achievement, my contentment, my joy, doesn't mean your failure. So instead of trying to tear me down, spend time on developing yourself. Who you want to be. I know you don't feel joy in the life you have created for yourself. And only you can undo what you have done. It is never too late to carve out the life you want to live. But please, please stop punishing me for your decisions. How broken you must feel to consciously seek out people to hurt. How reckless you are with your words and your behavior. You have carried yourself in such an ugly way. While it would be easy to wish ill will and bad karma on you, I will not lower myself to the same pain you have caused me, and no doubt many others. Instead I forgive you. And love you anyway. And wish you the very best . Your pain must run deep to hurt people as you have. But you can turn it all around. You can achieve what is written on your heart. I have seen first hand glimpses of greatness in you. I hope you one day see it in yourself. Remember we are all broken. We are all a little crazy. It is all in how you process it all. It is a choice. Live empty, or live full. I hope one day you choose the latter. Be careful the bridges you burn. Sometimes those very bridges are the ones you need to lead you to where you are supposed to be. 

Sincerely, Me 

Winter Mantle

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On Quietness

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

I am tired. Of being overlooked. Of feeling small and insignificant. I am taking a time out. To be quiet. To gather my thoughts. He is nudging me . Whispering to me to bow out gracefully. To sit out and see what happens. Because right not I am not feeling appreciated. Not feeling like I am enough . I will strive to surround myself with good. With life. With love. On the horizon. He has chosen me. And He will place me where I need to be.