Jeannie Bruenning Author

Greek Ogret

When my our youngest was little she pronounced yogurt as Ogret. It stuck. I have to remind myself that Ogret is not how the rest of the world pronounces it.

Greek Ogret is interesting. It’s healthy. It’s high in protein. And it can do special things to your tummy. Both my husband and I should be consuming Greek Ogret but let’s face it, Ogret is only really good when it’s covered in honey, or fruit preserves, or Oreos!

So when my friend said she mixed the berry stuff from Epicure in her Greek Ogret – she loved it!! She didn’t gag anymore! I feel this is important when you are consuming food, gagging isn’t good for anyone.

So I was over the moon when I found this little gem in my consultant box. Mmmmm…let’s give it a try! A cup of Greek Ogret, a tablespoon of Summer Berry Magic and wah-la – a tasty treat that is really good for you.

Epicure Summer Berry with Greek Yogurt

As I was planning what delicacy I would make for dinner, I thought, “Desert! Let’s have desert!” Making desert at our house is like me doing the laundry, or ironing my husbands shirts, or cleaning the toilets. It’s a special occasion and should be acknowledged, recorded, and blogged about.  Tonight, I had a plan!

“Lets take the tasty treat from this morning, put it on a graham cracker crust and freeze it! YES, it’s over 90 degrees here and a frozen treat would be just the thing.”

So I did just that. 

  • I melted a1/2 Tablespoon of butter in each of my 2 ramekins.
  • I mixed in about 1/4 cup of crushed graham crackers to make the crust.
  • In a separate bowl, I mixed 1 TBS of Summer Berry with a cup of Greek Ogret and divided it into the ramekins and put them in the freezer.

At dinner when I announce that there was desert I received a raised eyebrow. After all, we had just finished a delicious chicken and veggie dinner with fresh Poco Picante (I didn’t know what Poco Picante was until today….now I serve it over chicken and veggies which plates lovely for a great presentation!) Look at me…make new things!!!

Poco Picante and Summer Berry – you make me look good!!

Epicure frozen Summer Berry and Greek Yogurt

Check out Seasoned on Facebook and order directly from Epicure

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A new love affair with Epicure

I feel as though it found me as all good things have a tendency to do. I’m not sure I was aware that I was looking, but now that it’s here – I think I was desperate.

I have cooked all my life. I spent my my teen years cooking next to my aunt at a youth camp in the Smoky Mountain. 200 meal, served family style, 3 times a day from June through August. I would rather cook for 40 than 4 and the recent years as I found myself cooking for 2, I had lost the fun. 

As we are approaching 40 years of marriage and 60 years alive, our diets have changed. Eating less and lighter is on the menu. I was to a point that meat and veggies were just that, meat and veggies. Boring, healthy, not exciting, and a daily disappointment.

When my friend introduced me to a company named Epicure, life changed. Seasoning, spices and meal packets that make meat and veggies magical.

Magical is what I was looking for. 

I signed up to be consult – started a little company and named it Seasoned – cause I couldn’t think of a reason why not – and today my big box arrived!!!

Epicure Consultant starter box.

LET THE EATING BEGIN!!! I have seasonings and spices that are mouth watering, exciting and makes the old cook in me come alive. I can still make meat and veggies but now they have an Asian flair, a Mexican spice, and all kinds of cheesy love. 

When was the last time you ate a spicy cheesy dip and an hour later noticed a remarkable happiness in your tummy? Not the ache and heaviness that typically follows such a dish. Maybe it’s the lack of sodium, sugar, artificial sweeteners, MSG, or the other 99 ingredients that will Never Ever be found in their food. 

Epicure Ooey Gooey Queso

So here we go. A new adventure in food. A new found passion that I thought was long gone. An excitement to see how fun dinner for 2 can be.  I want to see meat and veggies dance on the plate every night!

Epicure 3 Onion Dip
3 Onion Dip Mix
Seasoned Facebook by jeannie bruenning
Join me on FaceBook!! Look for the Seasoned Group!!


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Spa Platters

This past weekend I heard someone speak the mundane moments in life. In fact, Ben said that it is just possible that those mundane moments are holy moments. It was a thought that resinated with me. They were words that made the wells of my eyes fill… 

She stuck her head in the doorway and asked, “Almost finished? Want to check out the lake?” 

“Sure,” I said. 

Thirty minutes later 4 humans, 1 paddle board, and a newly acquired blow-up kayak were heading toward the lake. A clear 85 degree day accompanied by a warm breeze gave us a beautiful backdrop for paddling around.

“Let’s head over there,” I said pointing to what was either a small sand dune or the whitest stone-face ever. We paddled, talked, and laughed as we made our way to the shining white shoreline. Emery was the first out of the kayak and headed up the hill with Liam close behind.

“Is it sand?” I asked. 

“No, it’s sandstone. Let’s go exploring.” 

I watched as a mom and two kids begin their ascent into the unknown and the words, mundane moments are holy moments filled my head and the wells of my eyes filled again…

After returning from the lake adventure Emery asked for a spa appointment. “I think there’s room on the schedule for you,” I said, “but I’m hungry, how about if we have a spa platter today.”

A while back I was asked to help Emery with her shower. “Yep,” I said, “I believe there is room on the schedule for one spa appointment.”

Spa appointments happen regularly now. Complete with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and face scrub. Emery holds the shower head and I do the lathering. We giggle, laugh and comment on beauty supplies and how it’s amazing that the best spa in the world is in my bathroom!

We finished our spa treatment and climbed up on the stools that sit around the piano bar. Our spa patter was filled with cheese, crackers, blueberries, chocolates and nuts. Em and I ate, talked, and laughed. The words, mundane moments are holy moments filled my head and the wells of my eyes filled again….

There are so many voices shouting fear, anger, resentment, and paranoia. You don’t have to go far to find someone claiming “God’s anger!” Or “This is all made up.” Or “It’s my right!” We watch as  numbers keep climbing, counting lives that are no longer with us. Number that are expected to soar and our only defense is to stay at home. 

BUT home is where mundane happens the most. Home is where mundane resides. Mundane is where holy is found. It’s when we are most available. When we are listening in the quiet. It’s when ideas, inspiration, and peace are able to consume us.

This season of life that we find ourselves in has taught me to love mundane moments. My mundane radar is working overtime. I now run toward them instead of avoiding them. I know they are special and I want to flood my life with them. 

Whether it’s 2 months or 2 years away, life will return and we’ll be free to fill us our schedules, drive our cars, and get back to busy. I’m going to spend this time practicing the mundane. I never want to be so busy that I have to look for it. I intend fill my days with as many holy moments as I can possibly cram in. 

Check these out if you want to listen to some great messages on dealing with our New Normal and Mundane Moments.


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The Plan

The Plan was the first book I can truly say I felt inspired to write. It started with a simple thought, What if our world was created for a bigger purpose than anything I had ever been told? That thought turned into a driving force that put me in front of my computer until I had written 35 pages of a very rough story. That was almost 10 years ago.

Today, this is a story I still love. The characters have become more real to me than I ever thought possible. It’s also a story I love to share. Since we find ourselves with lots of time on our hands, I thought I’d break The Plan down into daily readings and share it with my friends.

So here it is. The Plan in chapter by chapter blog posts. I hope you enjoy it!

THE PLAN

A Story of Redemption

To the Fallen Souls who have not realized the need for forgiveness, May your journey lead you back to the King.

PROLOGUE

Chaos had overtaken the entire Kingdom. The sounds of people yelling and shouting blended together with the pleading and wailing of the loved ones they were leaving behind. It was so loud that Konnory couldn’t make out his own footsteps on the stone floor as he sprinted up the stairs and down the hall towards the Dining Room. The fear and confusion had given birth to a darkness that was quickly enveloping the Kingdom.

The King and Queen looked up as Konnory rushed through the door into the Dining Room. Without a word he walked over to the Queen, leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Mother,” he said softly. She did not reply other than simply nodding her head in acknowledgement. Konnory walked behind the King and took the empty chair that sat next to Him. “Magnor has reported,” Konnory said.

“He is still with the troops?” the King asked.

“Yes, he is. He has ordered that no one is to make any attempt to prevent anyone from leaving. A few have already challenged that command. Now, they stand together and watch as family and friends walk through the gates.” Konnory’s head dropped. 

“They must. It is agonizing. This will be the most difficult experience of their lives. But they must let them go. It is their choice. Holding anyone back will not be tolerated,” the King said as He reached out and took the Queen’s hand. 

With each moment the crowd heading towards the gates grew. The gate was opened and a flood of figures began pouring out into the darkness. Above the roar there were shouts of triumph and screams of anguish. 

The Dining Room door opened once again. Carasi stood holding a ledger. “Father, Magnor has reported that there are those within the ranks of the Captains that have left. It also seems that Waldemar has left.” The King closed His eyes and the Queen gripped His hand tighter. “Do you want to put an end to this?” Carasi asked.

“We must not,” the King replied. “They are each making the choice for themselves. We will honor their free will to do so.”

“But Father, we are losing so many!”  Carasi protested. “They don’t understand that once they are outside of those gates…”

“No,” interrupted the Queen. She spoke gently but with great authority. “We must honor their choice.”  Carasi bowed his head and took his leave. As he opened the door, a wave of shouts from outside flooded the room.

The castle itself had almost entirely emptied of people. Trays of food and bottles of wine had been left on shelves by attendants who had rushed outside to see what was happening. Servants had abandoned their brooms and mops as they sprinted home to check on loved ones. Scattered piles of papers and documents lay strewn across the Throne Room bearing witness to where the King’s advisors and scribes had been standing when the shouting began.

“He has done great damage,” the King said. His words brought a weight of certainty and heaviness into the room. “Konnory, go find your brothers, no one should be alone on this day.” 

Konnory hesitated, not wanting to leave them. Not wanting to leave the security that the Dining Room embodied. Eventually he found the strength to stand and walk out into the storm.

“He has done as he threatened,” said the Queen.

“Yes My dear. Patho has waged his war and taken his prisoners. When the last one has left and the gates close, that is when the real battle begins,” said the King.

“Are you sure it is a battle we want to fight?” the Queen asked ever so gently.

“This is not about what I want to do. But we must,” the King said as He raised the Queen’s hand to His lips and kissed it.  Another wave of shouting was heard just outside the window. The cries of mourning and screams of anguish continued well into the night.

Excerpt from The Plan, ©2011 Jeannie G Bruenning

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At home – working

Last week Jeff and I set up our home office. We’re still getting used to the fact that we work for the same company. Now we’re sitting next to each other at a white folding table which houses three monitors, and two computers. This luxurious office has a great view – from our bedroom window. It’s the only place that we can close the doors and take phone calls with little interruptions. 

A year ago Jeff and I gave up our small 2 bedroom condo with an ocean view for the big house on the hill. Being confined in our old house would have been a bit more peaceful but a lot more boring. We would have most likely set up our office in the dinning room, ate at the kitchen counter and endured hours of binge watching. 

But the big house on the hill is also home of our 2 adult children, their spouses, 4 grandkids, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 15 chickens and 2 rabbits. As of last week, it’s now the home office of 4 adults, home school for 3 kids and day care for 1 wild, crazy, loud, loving and wonderful toddler. Who’d have seen this coming.

But our first day working side by side went very well!

We completed tasks, made phone calls and took part in conference calls. There were a few times the internet slowed to a crawl, but then again, there’s a lot of people up here sucking it’s energy.

The day went so well that I thought we should take an on-line personality evaluation for married couples who want to start a business together. This wasn’t easy to find and took a bit of searching. (www.ireallydidntfindsucha site.owell) The results were conclusive that both Jeff and I excel at: Making sh*t look attractive! Go figure – we both scored off the charts! But then I started thinking…

Anyone who is in retail, or management, or marketing, or mostly any other position, simply strives to make someone else’s stuff appealing, purchasable, desirable, and essential. We all just make shit look attractive. 

So here it is, our new logo.. JB (squared).inc…we’re open for business, but we already have a waiting list…apparently there’s a lot of people who’ll pay to have someone make their sh*t look attractive. 

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Writer, Author and Coach. Jeannie started a publishing comapny in 2009 called A Silver Thread. Resides in a small beach town on the Central Coast of California and has a passion for people and stories. Click here to learn more.

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