Taste & See – Week #2

Greetings friends, foodies, bakers, and wanna-be chefs!

Welcome back to Taste & See: Culinary Moments with Pastor Ariel… aka… me sharing recipes that I’ve created for my family during this time of Physical Distancing. These posts can be found on my personal blog (www.javaluia.com) and on my church site (www.livingwordkaty.org).

Each week I am posting recipes for meals that I have created for my family. This week there are recipes for:

  • Bison Chili
  • Syrian Bread
  • Vegetarian Marinara Sauce
  • Sausage & Peppers Rustica
  • Banana Bread Cookies

Love, peace, and blessings to you all!

Pastor Ariel

Scripture & Devotion:

“And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.”  Luke 9:16-17

This is a scary time. Everything seems to be in limbo and disaster seems like it is just around the corner. None of us know from one day to the next if we will remain healthy, or employed, or if our children will continue to have educational opportunities, or if we will even have enough to eat. As the feeling of desperation sets in, people go into crisis mode, and panic buying begins. We are seeing this daily in our grocery stores, online retailers, and other vendors. Paper goods – especially toilet paper – are almost impossible to find. The cleaning product isle is barren. Typical staples are being rationed. Even flour and yeast are hard to find.

It doesn’t have to be like this… there is plenty of food to go around. There are plenty of paper products and cleaning supplies. You don’t have to stock up for the apocalypse like a doomsday prepper. God promises us that their will always be enough. Maybe not exactly as much as we want, but there will be ENOUGH. We will be satisfied, just like those who ate when Jesus fed the 5,000.

So, take a deep breath, relax, and give thanks to God for always providing enough. Now go and make something amazing with what you have in your kitchen and share it (safely – remember distancing and travel guidelines… front porch drops are good choices!) with someone who may need just a little bit more right now.


Cooking Prayer:

“As the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill, were gathered into one to become our bread, so may all your people, from all the ends of earth, be gathered into one in you.”

Gracious God, all that you create is good. As we create meals and snacks to nourish our bodies, bless us and bless our creations, so that we can continue to be your hands and feet in this broken and weary world. Amen.

5386DFCB-EB08-4E85-87C0-C0A402D0EA84 (1)Bison Chili:


  • 2 lbs ground bison meat. (ground beef or ground turkey will also work – I used 1 lb Bison meat, 1lb Ground Beef)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 – 16 oz cans Cannellini Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2- 16 oz cans Chili Beans in chili sauce
  • 2 – 28 oz cans Crushed Tomato
  • 1-2 – 16 oz cans of Tomato Sauce
  • 1 – 6 oz can Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Chili Seasoning – 8 teaspoons chili powder; 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper; 2 tablespoons onion powder; 2 tablespoons garlic powder; 4 teaspoons cumin; 4 teaspoons dried parsley flakes; 4 teaspoons salt; ½ teaspoon black pepper; ½ teaspoon lemon pepper.


  1. In large stock pot brown ground meat, onions, and garlic – approximately 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add cans of crushed tomato, chili beans/sauce, and cannellini beans to pot and mix.
  3. Add one can of tomato sauce and mix. (add second can if more liquid is needed.)
  4. If chili is super runny add can of tomato paste and mix.
  5. Add Chili Seasoning and mix well.
  6. Let simmer on stove until you wish to serve. The longer it simmers, the better the flavor!

60775669256__D172C2C3-FEC3-4A95-8582-754ED57B7736Syrian Bread:


  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 6 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. mahlab


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Put yeast and pinch of sugar into warm water. Let stand until bubbly.
  3. Combine dry ingredients with yeasty water
  4. Add milk and mix with hands.
  5. Add small amounts of additional water as needed.
  6. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
  7. Cut into 8-12 loaves and kneed. Let rise 45 minutes.
  8. Roll out loaves with a rolling pin, gently.
  9. Bake on bottom rack 5-8 minutes (until poofy).
  10. Move to top rack to brown.
  11. Remove from oven when tops just barely begin to turn brown.


Vegetarian Marinara Sauce:54B0239B-BDB0-4934-8E26-36A176AD9659


  • 2 diced zucchini or 1 diced eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced cauliflower or broccoli
  • 2 diced bell peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 28 oz whole tomatoes canned
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes/peppers canned
  • 15 – 30 oz of tomato sauce canned
  • 6 oz of tomato paste canned
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Lemon Pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables & garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add whole tomatoes (with juice) and gently break apart with the spoon.  Stir in remaining ingredients. (You can skip using the whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste and just use a pre-fab jar (or 2) of pasta sauce if you are in a hurry.)
  3. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency.
  4. Serve over spaghetti or enjoy in your favorite recipes. Freeze or refrigerate to store.

IMG_8013Sausage & Peppers Rustica:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package precooked kielbasa or turkey sausage (or whatever sausage you have… if it is not precooked, you will need to cook the sausage before doing anything else), slice into rounds
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into strips
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pasta of choice – penne works well!
  • Marinara sauce – see above or last weeks blog for recipes.


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the sausage, onion, garlic, and bell pepper until onion is translucent and sausage is slightly browned.
  2. In a large stock pot, boil water and cook pasta of choice until it is tender.
  3. Drain pasta and place back in pot. Toss pasta with sausage, vegetables, and marinara sauce.

E33074A2-9CDE-4F2B-A8C8-A05EF962EA27Banana Bread Cookies:


  • 2 ¼ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ cup Softened Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 very ripe medium bananas
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Blend together butter and sugar for several minutes. (Until fluffy)
  3. Add salt, vanilla, and eggs and blend again.
  4. Add baking soda & bananas and blend again.
  5. Add flour and blend well. Scape sides of bowl to make sure everything is mixed in.
  6. Add nuts and blend one final time, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  7. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. (or a sheet covered with baking mat or parchment paper.)
  8. Bake 13-15 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown.

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