Creative Cooking


Hello, friends! With everything going on with COVID-19, we have been carefully budgeting in our household and something that we have been really appreciative of is free breakfasts/lunches from the school. The only challenge is that sometimes there are certain foods that the little ones don’t enjoy. We don’t like wasting food so I have been pretty creative with making those foods into family dinners.

My last such meal was a success, so my girlfriend said I should blog about it! I made a Chicken Shepherd’s Pot Pie from almost completely all leftover school ingredients. Here goes!

Chicken Shepherd’s Pot Pie

Chicken Shepherd’s Pot Pie

Servings 6; Prep time: 15 min, Cook Time: 30 min

Baby carrots (steam first if you don’t want them crunchy)
Chicken patties/nuggets (cut into bite-size pieces)
Cooked potatoes wedges
2 cups shredded cheese
3 tbsp butter
2 cups milk
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put carrots, peas, corn, and cut up chicken in a pie plate or a 9×9 baking dish. Put butter in a skillet and melt on medium heat. Add flour and whisk until combined. Slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk. Add spices and bring to a boil, stirring to keep from sticking. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Add to chicken/veggie mixture and stir well. Add potato wedges on top so it covers the best you can (you can also use mashed potatoes). Sprinkle cheese on top. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Let sit for 15 min before serving.

Have you exercised your creativity in cooking this pandemic? If so, feel free to share recipes below! I hope you enjoy it! If you try it out, let me know what you think!

Vivir el Dream


Vivir el Dream FB cover

Hello, everyone,

In case you hadn’t realized, I wrote a book and published it on May 19th! It is called Vivir el Dream and is a Latino Christian fiction book about an undocumented college student trying to make her way in the world.

You can find it on Amazon for $16.99 in paperback, $3.99 in ebook. Also signed copies are available for $15 (plus $3 shipping if you’re not local).

I was inspired by my friends, family, church family, and community who haven’t given up even when they’ve been through unimaginably difficult circumstances. I wanted to give a glimpse into the life of undocumented people in the U.S.: why they come here, what they have to go through to get here, and what things are like for them once they arrive.

It is also rich with descriptions of authentic Mexican cuisine and culture and has elements of inspiration, light romance, and humor.

You can also find out more information on my Facebook author page and on the Facebook book page.

Here’s a little more about the book:

The fates of an undocumented college student and her mother intertwine with a suicidal businessman’s. As circumstances worsen, will their faith carry them through or will their fears drag them down?

Linda Palacios crossed the border at age three with her mother, Juanita, to escape their traumatic life in Mexico and to pursue the American dream. Years later, Linda nears college graduation. With little hope for the future as an undocumented immigrant, Linda wonders where her life is going.


Tim Draker, a long-unemployed businessman, has wondered the same thing. Overcome with despair, he decides to take his own life. Before he can carry out his plan, he changes course when he finds a job as a mechanic. Embarrassed about working at a garage in the barrio, he lies to his wife in hopes of finding something better.


After Juanita’s coworker gets deported, she takes in her friend’s son, Hector, whom her daughter Linda can’t stand, While Juanita deals with nightmares of her traumatic past, she loses her job and decides to go into business for herself.


Will the three of them allow God to guide them through the challenges to come, or will they let their own desires and goals get in the way of His path?

Don’t Play Down People’s “Church Hurt”

Prismatic Prospects

More Than Church Hurt

Yeah. I know it’s rare for me to post about anything other than books or movies here. But no, this post didn’t drop from the sky and land on the wrong blog. ❤

Before I go further, let me be clear: I’m not saying any of this for the purpose of bashing or trashing the Church. Also, I realize not everyone uses the term “church hurt” in the same way or context.

I’m writing this post specifically because the way some Christians refer to other people’s church-related pain as “church hurt”diminishes that pain. They “churchify” it (regarding it as an isolated churchy thing rather than a real-world concern) and relegate it to nothing much more serious than upset or insulted feelings in the pews. With that diminishing often comes the tendency to denigrate or condemn people who stop coming to church because of their “church hurt.”

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Episode 101 – Finding Paz: Conversation with Allison K. Garcia

Potstirrer Podcast

Christian fiction author Allison K. Garcia returns to Potstirrer Podcast to discuss the final installment of the Buscando Home series, Finding Paz. Allison and Jaye’s heartfelt discussion includes some of the themes in the novel, such as grief, separation from family, and familial connection on the journey the characters take to find peace. In addition, the conversation went in-depth regarding Allison’s pending transition from writing Latino Christian fiction to authoring Queer Christian fiction, mirroring her own personal and creative growth.

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Meet Allison K. García–Garcia-e12b3iu Allison K. García is a Licensed Professional Counselor, but she has wanted to be a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. She is a member of Shenandoah Valley Writers, Virginia Writers Club, the Author Transformation Alliance, and is a Municipal Liaison for Shenandoah Valley NaNoWriMo. Allison began her journey as a published […]

Meet Allison K. García

Episode 81 – Finding Seguridad: Conversation with Allison K. Garcia

Learn a lot more about me by listening to this podcast!

Potstirrer Podcast

Christian fiction author Allison K. Garcia returns to Potstirrer Podcast to share with us about her upcoming novel, Finding Seguridad, the second in the Buscando Home series. The conversation includes discussion of themes in the book, as well as a range of topics, including the experiences of Latino immigrants and other marginalized groups in the current political and social environment, domestic violence, deconstruction and reconstruction of Christian faith, coming out as LGBTQ+ as a Christian, Black Lives Matter, and more.

Listen Now!

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Finding Amor by Allison K. Garcia: Book Review, Book Tour and Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

Check out my latest review!

Through the Fire Blogs

finding amor cover

About the Book

Title: Finding Amor

Author: Allison K. Garcia

Genre: Latino Christian Fiction

Release date: September 8, 2018

In a world filled with hate, how can you know what love is?

Escaping a violent and abusive environment, eight-year-old Emanuel Martinez attempts to cross through three countries to be with his mother, Ana, whom he hasn’t seen since he was a baby. When la migra catches him at the border and he’s thrown into an immigration center, his dreams for being a real family start to disappear.

Vowing never to be like her own mother who abandoned her and never looked back, Ana has worked for six years to get her son to the United States, Now Ana has to rely on her distant mother and her alcoholic boyfriend, Carlos, to finally get her son to her side so they can build a life together.

When Lauren Barrett agrees to…

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Interview with Allison Garcia

Author Natalina Reis

Please join me in welcoming Allison Garcia, author of Vivir el Dream and Finding Amor.

N: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

In college I DJ’d a radio show with my roommate…It was called The Allison and Charlene Show, and we won DJs of the Year. We were very silly and had loads of fun!

N: What’s your favorite scene in “Finding Amor”, and what makes it a fave? Would you care to share an excerpt from the scene with us?

Sure! My favorite scene is…oh my…this is hard. I’ve been staring at the screen for five minutes. I can’t pick! Also I don’t want to pick a scene toooo far into the book and give anything away. I kind of like the scenes where Emanuel meets his grandmother, Mami Sandra. I know a lot more about the character than everyone at this point, so the…

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