in which maranatha and queso go together


That word is like a breath of fresh air to my soul.

I first learned of it listening to a sermon on fasting a few years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. It means “Come Lord Jesus, come.” It’s a urgent prayer, a desperate calling out, a if-you-don’t-show-up-then-I-have-nothing cry of the heart.

It was the cry of the early church; one of the few Aramaic words that didn’t need to be translated into Greek because the church said it so often that everyone knew what it meant.

Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus. The last words spoken by the church in the entire Bible. Followed immediately by the only other word that didn’t need translation from the original text: Amen.

The early church was hungry. Hungry for their Savior to return again. Hungry because they had tasted his perfect goodness, his love and grace, his power and truth and they could not possibly settle for anything less. Nothing of this world would satisfy. It had to be Jesus.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of fasting with a few of my college-aged friends. We talked about what fasting meant- that it was an urgent prayer, a physical expression of a deeper spiritual need for Jesus to come and reign in every aspect of our lives. We talked about how we so easily go to physical things of this world for false satisfaction- food, alcohol, social media, busyness, TV, boys, ourselves- and how at the end of the day, those things always fall short of Jesus.

And at the end of the fast, we broke it together in the only way that seemed appropriate living in Austin, Texas: with chips and queso and community. In the middle of Kerbey Lane, we shared stories of how Jesus showed up that day, of what he taught us. We confessed our weakness and our tendency to go to everything but Jesus, and maranatha became real to us. We laughed and enjoyed the sweet taste of cinnamon roll pancakes, and learned of the abundance we have in Jesus.




We were reminded of his grace and love, of his power and truth, and our hearts grew with the cry of maranatha.


an easter tradition

If you’ve known me for longer than a year, then you know that my maiden name is Reese. 

You also know that, true to my name, I think the peanut butter/ chocolate combination is proof that God not only exists, but that he loves us very deeply. 

And for that reason, it’s only appropriate that this delightfully delicious combination would be highlighted around Easter. 

Growing up, I looked forward to Easter for a variety of reasons. Being a kid with a major sweet tooth (not much has changed on that front), one of the major reasons I loved this holiday was the Peanut Butter Easter Eggs that my mom would inevitably make. 

Peanut Butter Eggs

Peanut butter, mixed with rice krispies, butter and an ungodly amount of powdered sugar, dipped in chocolate, then put in the refrigerator to harden. It’s that simple, and that delicious. Every time I opened the refrigerator, they were quietly calling my name. My young self-control couldn’t bear it, and I would ultimately give in. It didn’t matter if it was 7am and I was on my way out the door to first period. I just needed a bite of that sweet peanut butter and chocolate. If I’m honest, not much has changed on that front either. I may have eaten one for breakfast this morning. Don’t judge me. 

The tradition started with my great-grandmother, and was passed down to my grandmother, my mom and now to me and my sister. Since I moved away from home to go to college, I’ve made my great-grandmother’s Peanut Butter Easter Eggs every year.

This time around, I wanted to share the tradition with a few of my dear friends, Jane and Kelly. We had a blast hanging out, forming the peanut butter into egg-shaped balls, and messy-ing the kitchen with dipping chocolate. I got to share a part of my history with them through something as simple as a dessert recipe. I got to invite them in to my family, share with them something I love, and was reminded that life is sweeter when we live it together, when we are truly known even in the smallest details.  

As an Easter treat for all of you lovely people, I’ve included the super simple recipe below. Maybe you can invite some friends over, share the time together, and enjoy a nice little treat. 

Happy Easter, friends. 


My Grandmother’s Peanut Butter Easter Eggs 


– 1 stick of butter 

– 2-3 C. Peanut Butter (I typically use smooth, but these are your eggs. You do whatever your heart desires.)

– 3 C. Rice Krispies (Completely optional, but adds a nice little crunch.)

– 1 box (16 oz) confectioners sugar (I told you it was an insane amount of sugar. Just don’t think about it. It’s fine.)

– Melting chocolate 


Soften the butter for about 20 seconds in a microwave safe bowl. You don’t want it completely melted, just soft enough to mix in. Add the peanut butter, sugar and rice krispies in the same bowl and mix together until throughly combined. Form the peanut butter mixture into egg-shaped balls, and place on parchment paper. I typically line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy transferring to the refrigerator after dipping. Melt the chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave. The type of chocolate you use is completely up to you. My favorite is dark chocolate- the bitterness cuts the sweetness of the peanut butter perfectly. Once chocolate is melted, use a spoon or tongs to dip each egg into the chocolate. Once full coated, place dipped eggs back on the parchment paper. Refrigerate until the chocolate is hardened, or for as long as you can stand it without trying one. Store in the refrigerator, and there you go! I dare you to not eat one every time you open the refrigerator from now on. 



summer in the city: franklin barbecue

You know how there are those times that a place just doesn’t live up to its hype? Those times when like a MILLION legitimate publications review the place and all RAVE about it and then you go and leave with a “meh” reaction?

This is not one of those times.

I’ve been hearing about Franklin Barbecue since I moved back to Austin about two years ago, and finally decided to take the plunge last Saturday. I went in thinking, “I’m sure it will be good. But how good could it really be? Is it really worth waiting in line in the boiling hot Texas sun for at least four hours? REALLY?


And I am here to tell you that I was WRONG.

I was wrong to doubt the barbecue masters all over the country who have praised Aaron Franklin’s skills. I was wrong to doubt the value of waiting in line. I was wrong to doubt how delicious barbecue could be when only seasoned with salt and pepper. (Yes, that’s right. Believe it.)

Going to Franklin’s last Saturday was quite possibly the best decision I’ve ever made in regards to food and putting it in my mouth. 

We did the whole thing. Well, I should say my friends Gregg and Aaron (not Franklin, although that would be cool), did the whole thing. They showed up at 8:15 am (on a SATURDAY in the SUMMER), with lawn chairs and coolers to claim our spot in line. The rest of us lazybones rolled in around 9:30. We hung out, made friends with the people around us and waited.

photo 1

When the restaurant opened at 11 a.m. a surge of excitement went through the line. People packed up their lawn chairs and card tables and rushed them back to their cars. We slowly moved up in line, dreaming about what we would order. And finally… right at noon…

It was time.

Taylor and I approached the counter where maybe the nicest man I’ve ever met cutting a brisket greeted us. Asked us how our days were going like there weren’t 100 more people waiting behind us. Thanked us for waiting, and handed us a sample of heaven.. I mean, brisket. It was the most glorious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. I almost wet my pants from excitement. I’m pretty sure Taylor might have shed a tear.

We ordered 1lb of brisket, half lean and half fatty, one link of sausage, 1/2 lb of pork ribs and a small side of cole slaw. Top it off with a Mexican coke and sweet tea and we were ready.

photo 4

Sometimes you taste things so good you don’t have words.. only emotion.. to describe them. That’s how this was. We were all just so overwhelmed by how delicious the meat was that there were no words. At one point Aaron Franklin himself stopped by our table to see how we were doing. We all just looked at him holding the meat he smoked with eyes that said, “We’re forever grateful. You’ve changed our lives.” He made a quick joke and moved on, leaving us trying to comprehend how this much flavor could possibly exist.

You might think I’m exaggerating. I am not. At one point, I picked up a piece of lean brisket and it literally fell apart in my hands. That doesn’t happen in normal life.

photo 3
Gregg, surrendering to the brisket.

By the time 1 p.m. rolled around we were all feeling so accomplished and spent that we did the only logical thing: went home and took a nap. After all, I felt like I deserved that after making the best decision I’ve ever made in regards to food and putting it in my mouth.


*I’ll be in Colorado all next week and will be taking a break from posting. But don’t fear, my good friends Peggy and Katie will be filling in with a few guest posts, so y’all show them some love. 

Have a great weekend!