Today’s question: Have you ever thought to yourself – “I am so truly blessed for all that I have in this life”?
During the holidays we are all filling our carts with food and gifts and decorations to create the best season of giving ever for our family and friends. I know that I, personally, don’t stop and think of others around the world during the holidays and their inability to put food on the table, presents under the tree or buy that special gift for a loved one in their family. There are many countries where people don’t have the luxuries I have and will most likely be hungry or without shelter during the holiday season. Yes, I know…there are many that will be hungry right here on US soil as well, and rest assured, I will be donating to my local food bank to help those in my community.
I was recently contacted by World Vision USA regarding their holiday catalog. You have probably seen the commercials on TV where you can sponsor a child in Sri Lanka or India, to name a couple. They also have a beautiful catalog where you can purchase farm animals, wells for drinking water and even housing for families in need. If your not sure whether to gift a chicken or a goat, you can also make a donation and receive a hand crafted item specially made just for World Vision. Take for instance these gorgeous hand carved olive wood servings spoons.
Here’s what World Vision has to say about the spoons:
Help where it’s needed most … AND get a gift for yourself or someone you care about! With your gift of $65 or more to our Maximum Impact Fund — which provides for the unique needs of children and families worldwide — you will receive this beautiful set of two hand-carved serving spoons delivered in a gift bag of African fabric hand-sewn by local women. The serving spoons are made to benefit orphans of the Kamba tribe in Kenya. Each one is unique—just like the children they help.
I have known about World Vision for many years and have always thought “we should sponsor a child or gift a farm animal”, but that has never happened, well until this year. At a recent family dinner we sat and discussed how it would make us feel to help another family far away feed themselves by giving them resources, such as farm animals. To my surprise, my children were excited about it – demanding that we do it, actually. So this year we will set aside money that we would’ve spent on frivolous or unnecessary items and help a much needed family by providing them a farm animal or 2. I have to say that even just typing that made my heart sing. It’s a good feeling. You should try it.
World Vision asked if I would help spread the word about their Gift Catalog and in return they would send me the serving spoons AND give a set away to one of my readers. This really is a fantastic organization and I think not enough people know they exist, so I proudly agreed to help. Here’s how you can win a set of these gorgeous spoons for yourself:
Now that you’re entered to win and have learned a lot about a great giving organization (and are hopefully feeling compelled to help), how about we check out a hearty warm winter salad?
- 4 cups kabocha squash, cut in 1 inch dice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup black wild rice, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 large mushrooms, cut into large pieces
- 14 snap peas, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup cubed Iberico cheese, rind removed
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the diced pumpkin, olive oil, salt & pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with your hands. Spread the squash around so they are not on top of one another. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove and set aside.
- In a medium pot, add the water and bring to a boil. Add the salt, rice and tea bag and return to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer for 45 minutes, or until rice is cooked through and no longer chewy. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl and add the cooked squash.
- In a medium skillet set over high heat, add the teaspoon of olive oil, mushrooms, snap peas, sage & thyme and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the mushrooms have just started to brown. Add to the rice and pumpkin mixture.
- In a small glass jar, add the 3 T olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar, 2 t Dijon and season with salt & pepper to taste. Shake vigorously to combine. Pour over the rice mixture and add the Iberico cheese. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
Disclaimer: I was provided a set of the spoons to review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post. One person with a US address will receive a pair of the spoons from World Vision USA directly from the giveaway.