Create the Easiest Pickled Red Onions

take your power bowls and salads to the next level

Cebollas Rojas Encurtidas.


One of my fondest memories growing up in Honduras was spending time cooking with my aunt. She cooked outside on a mud stove that she herself remuded and took care of every day. She always had a pot of beans on the stove and mounds of tortillas handmade everyday. All of her delicious food was garnished with one kind or another with encurtido. On my travels to the Caribbean I rediscovered this childhood favorite and vowed to figure out how to make it at home! I asked my mom to give me her recipe because in Texas we kept a Texas-sized jar of vegetable encurtido on the kitchen counter too! Sabroso! As I’ve played around with my mom’s recipe my favorite encurtido to make is an easy pickled red onion recipe.

The total time for this recipe from prep to table is 20 minutes to 1 hour depending how long you want to let it marinade before you use it.
I make small batches so I use either a half of a large red onion or a small red onion and that makes about 8 servings. Each serving is about 1/2 a table spoon.

Ingredients

1 medium sized glass jar or food storage container
1 small red onion (or a half of a large red onion)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper + 6 or so whole kernels of peppers
1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space
  2. Thinly slice the red onion and put them aside
  3. take the glass jar and and mix together the remaining ingredients
  4. add the onions and stir well. If you are using a jar you can give it a little shake
  5. Listo! let it sit for at least 10 minutes before you use it.
  6. Now garnish any meal especially a breakfast with a sunny side up egg!

Notas

*Making this recipe should feel very comfortable and organic for you. Do not hesitate to add more of any of the ingredients to make it to your taste.
*Sometimes my slicing is not equal and uniform and that’s ok! The sharper your knife the better your slicing technique will be.
*When I don’t have oregano I substitute Herbs de Provence instead-you will love this herb blend!
*if you would like to submerge your onions completely you can add a bit more of vinegar or even olive oil.

Enjoy,

PIC Credit: Cameron Braun

Post also appeared in Eclecticshadesmagazine March/April 2019 Issue

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A Recipe to Make Today

Crispy Carnitas

Make this recipe and make your life deliciously simple.

These crispy carnitas will not only become your favorite meal but they will also make your life easier! You can make a double batch and they will help meal  planning for the week easy peasy. You’re  welcome!

Ingredients

Rub:

  • 1 table spoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 table spoon of Olive Oil, Avocado oil, or ghee

Crockpot or Dutch oven of pork shoulder:

  • about 3 lbs of pork shoulder, butt, or tenderloin
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • about 5 peppercorns
  • Juice of one orange
  • juice of one lime

For Serving

1 table spoon of Olive Oil, Avocado oil, or ghee

  • cilantro 
  • lime wedges
  • salsa
  • avocados
  • tortillas*  
  • rice*
  • Cotija Cheese*
  • cauliflower rice
  • pickled red onion
  • a greens blend 

Instructions

  1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables. Prepare the meat by cutting it into about 4 in cubes and pat dry with a paper towel and place in crock pot or dutch oven. 
  2. Combine rub ingredients  and rub all over the meat.

For Crockpot

  • Prepare the Vegetables.
  • With your hands add rub to the meat covering the cubes on all sides. Then top with the prepared vegetables and remaining ingredients . Make sure to include the juiced orange and lime rinds . Cover, cook on high for four-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. When done you will find the meat separates very easily with two forks and will be very tender.
  • Once Cooked remove the meat from the crock pot place it a bow allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and rinds. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Do not discard juices.

For Dutch Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and place the oven rack in lower middle position. 
  • Prepare the vegetables. 
  • Once you’ve added rub to the meat  top with prepared vegetables the remaining ingredients. Make sure to include the the juiced orange and lime rinds.  Cover and cook.
  • At 1 hour check the meat to ensure you have enough juices rendering if you find that its gotten dry you can add a 1/2 cup of broth. 
  • Cook for another hour to 2 hours until meat is tender and falls apart easily or internal temperature is at least 150 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes in Dutch Oven, remove bay leaves and rinds. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Do not discard juices.

To Serve

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil ( or preferred oil) in a medium skillet. Without overcrowding the meat cover the surface of the skillet and add a little of the carnitas’ juice. Brown just until the juice has almost evaporated and then flip them and cook a bit more. Make sure to not let them get too dry.
  • You can store the remaining meat in an air tight container and repeat these browning instructions when ready to use the left overs.
  • Use any of the sides or toppings listed above to serve. Enjoy!

Notas

  • Whole 30 approved casava tortillas 
  • Omit rice and cheese if whole 30 

Enjoy,

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Butternut Squash Soup

Do you have a soup on your thanksgiving menu? If you don’t, I think this soup will change that real fast. This soup will make you feel cozy and thankful with its sweet notes that are enhanced by savory spices.

Here in Ohio, I savor watching summers fade into fall with annual anticipation. This is the golden time of year for me. Each dreamy fall day has marked my soul with their invitation to relish the beauty, to remember cycles and traditions, to let some things go. So, this Thanksgiving week as we let go of discontentment make this soup to nurture your soul. Wether it makes it on your Thanksgiving meal or for an easy meal after the celebration, I promise you will be glad you did. I invite you to set your table, light a candle, and let your tables nurture your health and open your heart to give thanks as you break bread together.

Ingredients

2 strips of bacon*
1-2 tbsp of olive oil or ghee*
1/2 of a shallot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 green apple, cubed
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 can of Whole fat unsweetened Coconut milk
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of boiling water

For Serving

Shaved parmesan, manchego, or your favorite aged cheese
Pumpkin seeds
Crusty bread and a favorite salted butter

Instructions

Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables.

  1. Even as your are chopping and prepping, heat a large pot on medium heat and cook the two slices of bacon. Let the bacon get crispy but be careful it doesn’t burn. When the bacon is cooked to your liking remove it and set it aside, it will crisp up even more as it cools.
  2. Add the tablespoon of olive oil or ghee to the pot. Then add your shallot and onion and let it cook, about 5 minutes, until it becomes translucent and smells divine.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic brown too much or it may turn bitter.
  4. Add the cubed vegetables, carrots, squash, and apple. At this point you may need to add more olive oil or ghee* depending on how big your butternut squash is. As they sauté add the spices and let it all sauté for 15 minutes.
  5. When the vegetables start to soften add the can of fire roasted tomatoes. Pour the half cup of boiling water in the empty tomato can to get all the sauce out, then pour it into the pot. Add the bayleaf and the two cups of chicken broth and let it simmer on medium for 20-25 minutes until all the vegetables are soft. Do not let all of the water boil down. It should have lots of broth.
  6. Heat up the oven and prepare the bread you want to serve. Cut up the crispy bacon and put in a bowl, set out a bowl of the cheese, and a bowl pumpkin seeds.
  7. When the vegetables are very tender, taste it, you may need to add more salt and pepper. Add the can of coconut milk and let it simmer for a few more minutes maybe 4 or 5. Remove the bayleaf and transfer the soup to the blender, blend it until smooth. You can also use an immersion blener for this step.Serve immediately with warm crusty bread topping the soup with bacon, cheese, and pumpkin seeds.

Notas

Making this recipe should feel very comfortable and organic. Do not hesitate to add more of any of the spices to make it to your taste.
*Ghee is a clarified butter that you can find almost in any store now. I love to sauté and roast with it but you can also substitute butter or olive oil.
*When I don’t have oregano I substitute Herbs de Provence instead – you will love this herb blend!
*You don’t have to use bacon if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian.
*This soup tastes even better when shared with friends.

I pray Thanksgiving Blessings over your family,

Psalm 100 Booklet

A beautiful interactive booklet to help you store His word in your heart this Thanksgiving alongside your children. 

Get your copy delivered straight to your inbox here.

A ThankFull Home Playlist

Plus a Free Thanksgiving gift

Almighty God to you all hearts are open

Search and know our thoughts and anxious fears

Wash us in the fountain of your mercy

Come with your light, we cannot hide from you

–Almighty God by Sandra McCracken

Open Hearts, ThankFull Hearts

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner and although this year may look different around the table we still need to cultivate a thankful heart. I am once again pausing with the liturgy of the year, this holiday marking a moment for me to be still. To open our hearts can be difficult but one of the ways I find this practice easier is through music. Music is a beautiful usher, it leads my soul to deeper communion with my Creator. I have done the hard work for you and curated a play list that will usher your heart to open up in with thanksgiving!

I invite you to join me to listen to play list below exhale the tension out and inhale in hope. Be blessed.



Psalm 100

A Psalm for giving Thanks.

I created a beautiful booklet for you and one for your kiddos so that together you can take some time to slow the hustle and rest together. This booklet will walk you through Psalm 100, gives space for coloring and doodling as well. While you read it and memorize together you will have the opportunity to add color and even write a thanksgiving prayer. You can find more information here on how to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

So, let’s open our hearts and give thanks,

Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving

3 Ways to Use the Rhythm of Your Home to Express Continual Gratitude this Thanksgiving

I had the privilege of writing a piece for my friend Gwendolyn, over at the Wandering Hearth. It’s a piece that serves as an invitation to use the the rhythms of our home to store the word of God in our hearts. I invite you to join us there and help set your heart on the path for gratefulness all season long.

The kitchen provides for the table to be bountiful and it is there that provisions come from. Could we create space in the kitchen to post the psalm we are memorizing to remind ourselves that we don’t live by bread alone?

Daisy

Because this year we all need a little extra help

Gwendolyn released the Thanksgiving in a Difficult Year Planner.  It’s a printable guide that helps you get ready for the holiday as well as planning the Thanksgiving meal. This resource is chock full of great tips, ideas, and practical ways to make your thanksgiving a breeze. It will not only help you with a guest list planner, meal scheduler, and shopping lists. But it will also help you set your mind on practicing authentic gratitude, having meaningful conversations around the table, and encourage you to invite others along to giving back to those in need. She has thought of it all don’t miss it! Go check it out here.

May love and hope abound with gratitude,

Daisy

Zuppa Toscana

We are entering soup season, am I right? Soups evoke the beauty of family, cozy togetherness, and comfort in a bowl. I see soups as a sign of love to our families and friends as we invite them to the table.

You may or may not know that I was born in Honduras. These crisp fall evenings cozy with fog and blistering winds was not something I knew there. But soups I did know. They were our Sunday lunches, a special treat normally made by my dad. Oh they filled my tummy but mainly they nourished my soul. They also made me sweat buckets, you see in Honduras soups are not a cozy fall dish, they are an all year round all weather staple.

This Zuppa Toscana will add cozy and light to any fall evening, winter night, spring day, or even summer get together. But for us here in the Northern hemisphere, I invite you to set your table, light a candle, and let your tables nurture your health and open your heart to others as you break bread together.

Ingredients

4 strips of bacon
2 lbs of mild Italian pork sausage*
2 lbs red potatoes or 6 large red potatoes*
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 crushed red pepper
1 tsp of oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fennel seed
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp of salt, plus salt and pepper to taste before serving
6 cups of broth
1 bunch of kale*
1-2 13.0z cans of coconut milk full fat

For Serving

Shaved parmesan, Manchego, or your favorite aged cheese
Crusty bread and a favorite salted butter

Instructions

  1. Begin by gathering all the ingredients to your work space and prepping the vegetables. Dice the onion, chop the potatoes into larger chunks, remove the kale leaves from the stems – discard the stems and coarsely chop the kales leaves.
  2. As your are chopping and prepping, heat a large pot on medium heat and cook the two slices of bacon. Let the bacon get crispy but be careful it doesn’t burn. When the bacon is cooked to your liking remove it and set it aside, it will crisp up even more as it cools. (If you don’t eat bacon you can add a table spoon of olive oil to the pot to complete step 3.)
  3. Add the onion to the same pot, about 5 minutes, until it becomes translucent and smells amazing. Add the sausage and brown in until it renders excess oil, drain the oil but leave some for taste.
  4. After you drain the oil add the garlic, crushed red pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, and fennel seed. Cook them together for about 3 minutes so the flavors penetrate the meat.
  5. Add the potatoes, the bay leaves, and broth. If need be, add a bit more broth until it covers most of the ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 10- 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the cans of coconut milk and bring the heat down to low for about 5 minutes. Right before serving, add the kale and cook until the kale is bright green and has softened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with grated cheese and warm crusty bread for added coziness. (Unless you are doing Whole 30 then skip the cheese and bread.)

Notas

*This soup tastes even better when shared with friends, this is why I give you the doubled portions to make a large pot of soup.
*You don’t have to use bacon for this recipe.
*You can use Italian chicken sausage for this recipe. You can also use just sausage without any flavor – but play around with the salt and pepper because plain sausage can be bland.
*This recipe is Whole 30 compliant if you use Whole 30 compliant bacon and sausage. (I find both of these at Whole Foods) Also, leave the cheese off and skip the bread to be Whole 30 compliant.

The Brave Path to Authentic Community

If Table Dayton Picture by: Echo by Design

One of the bravest things I’ve done is set the table.

Arriving at that moment came after a lonely path of yearning and longing. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic and setting the table for company seems to be out of reach doesn’t it? We find ourselves yearning and longing for time together, but mostly to know and be known.

I moved across the country a starry-eyed newlywed filled with dreams and the excitement of discovery. There was little room to think about the fact that I didn’t know anyone and I was blinded to the loneliness lurking in the midst of so much joy. The endless introductions that ended with promises to see each other soon left me disheartened as the promises remained unfulfilled. People have always been a source of joy and energy for me and suddenly, I found myself surrounded by them but lonely. Yet, I could feel the Lord’s constant reminder, “I am your friend and your greatest reward – remain in me.” So, today I will share with you three times I bravely set the table and how the Lord met me there.

I’ve had the honor of writing about this brave practice on Becky Beresford’s Brave Women Series. Please go there and finish reading and get to know how community is really not complicated but it takes courage to engage.

Being part of the Hopewriters Community has encouraged me to connect with other writers like Becky and I couldn’t be more excited for this community!

Hola! Hello.

Echo by Design

Daisy here, welcoming you and smiling with anticipation. I am grateful that you took the time to stop by. Here we are encountering each other because in unexpected ways our paths collided. Welcome to the table, it is set and you’re the guest of honor. Welcome to this little corner of the world that exists for encouragement, companionship and practical hospitality.

The artistry of the table is awe-inspiring yet simplifies life. It thrives on creating beauty and memories that encourage our souls to rest. Asking us to lean into slow and purposeful connections while ushering in mindful living. Gathering at the table will become a needed practice because there you will learn to savor food and delight in each other.

My journey to the table has been intricate, full of surprises, but super life-giving. Almost 10 years ago, I began documenting the start of new season of life but mainly my escapades in the kitchen and around the table. Already, it was evident that for me life happened with passion around those two spaces. Little did I know I was becoming a woman of the table. I was sending out a homing signal to the other people of the table and they got the message! Today, I am so glad you recognized that signal and it lead to our paths crossing.

A new season has begun in my life, one in which I am thrilled to claim a little corner here to create a beautiful space for you to come and belong. I will curate for you a little treasury of beauty through stories, recipes, and practical hospitality tips. But mostly I want to remind you to pay attention, be present, and still your heart with the truth that He delights over you. I am so glad you met me here, let’s link arms together in life.

In Dayton, OH I lead a team of women of the table. We host a monthly meals and we invite other women from around the city to join us for meaningful conversation, good food, and fed souls. I have discovered who I am becoming around those tables. I have been seen and heard because I created space for just that. So, as I embrace this graceful becoming I see that in all the little spaces of life I am becoming, albeit not always gracefully but always grace-filled.

It is for those same reasons that I step out to meet you here and encourage you friend, because the time invested in community is key in your becoming.

Tables are places of grace, sacred spaces of sustenance that infuse us with life, and make hospitality a practice in faith.

Daisy F. Dronen

Because community starts within your home I have created some conversation cards to encourage a richer time around the table with your family. A simple but very intentional way to be fully present right now. Find how you can join me monthly for tea here and get access to this download.