Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.

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Guacamole with a Citrus Twist

We didn’t have a lime, so I substituted orange juice, and it added a sweet tang to this creamy and vibrant guacamole.

4 large avocados, pits removed

1 large tomato, chopped

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 limes, juiced (1/4 cup)

1/2 large orange, juiced (1/4 cup)

2 tsp salt

Mix all of these ingredients together and add salt to suit your taste. Makes about 3 cups. Enjoy with corn chips.

Copyright 2021

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Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope

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Basil Walnut Pesto

I posted this three years ago, and since we have a bush of a basil plant this year, I thought it would be a great post to share again! Enjoy:

We bought a basil plant last week, and I harvested almost two cups of leaves this week to add to my homemade pesto! Nurturing this plant is making me so happy–I can’t wait until the leaves grow full again and I can make more pesto.

This pesto recipe is for people on a budget, so if you don’t have pine nuts, walnuts will work as well. (You also could substitute pecans, if desired). Feel free to adjust nuts and oils to what you have at home, but this much pesto coated enough pasta for about 6-8 people.

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Spicy Beef Crockpot Chili

I cooked up this chili to celebrate that I can eat tomatoes again!! After realizing last winter that my breast milk made my son spit up and have burps when I ate tomatoes, I stopped eating tomatoes for 11 months. (I sure missed chili, pizza, and spaghetti). Now that Joel is one, he seems to handle tomato-y milk better. He even had a couple of bites of the chili, but isn’t a fan yet.

Yay for tomatoes!!!

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Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry


When you have homemade pesto you need use up (see my recipe here: Homemade Walnut-Basil Pesto ), why not make up a recipe to use it!

I love that there are so many ways to serve vegetables; feel free to change out the vegetables to use what you have or what you like. If you need a wok, which is the easiest way to cook this dish, check out this link:

Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok Cookware, 14-Inch, Black Now, let’s get to the recipe!

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Spicy Chicken Stir-fry with a Multitude of Green Vegetables

As I prepared this stir-fry, my 5 month-old son was in his play-table right next to me, so I showed him the vegetables before I chopped them; he loves feeling the texture of things right now, so he enjoyed touching the broccoli, a mushroom, and he really liked the pea pod! Why not start him young at knowing and loving his vegetables!

I’ve been craving Chinese food–it just brings comfort when things are quickly changing around you; the budget is tight, so I created a new recipe with what I had. Stir-fry melds wonderful meat with colorful veggies, and even though it is easy to call a Chinese place for take-out…why not make your own?

1 ½ lb of chicken or pork, cubed

2 Tblsp. regular soy sauce

1 lb. broccoli, chopped

6 green onions, white tops chopped, green tops cut into 1-in.

½ lb. green pea pods

1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tblsp. oil

Sauce ingredients:

1 ¼ cup beef broth (2 cubes and 1 ¼ cups water)

¼ cup sweet soy sauce

3 Tblsp. chili garlic sauce

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

3 Tblsp. cornstarch

Mix the regular soy sauce with the meat and let sit for 10 minutes or until you have the vegetables chopped. Prepare the vegetables.

Mix together the sauce ingredients and have ready. Heat up a wok (if you need a wok, check out this one:   Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok Cookware, 14-Inch, Black) over a medium heat, place 1 Tblsp. of the oil in the wok and then add the meat, the white onion tops and the stems of the broccoli (if you are using them!) and stir-fry for 7-10 minutes (or until the meat is cooked). Continue reading

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Deconstructed Cream Horns Deluxe

The flaky pastry bursting with cream of a cream horn brings a smile to my face. So when you don’t have the metal cones to make wrap with pastry to make horns, make up a deconstructed version of this dessert like I did instead. Enjoy!

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Crockpot Granola


The transition from being a pregnant lady to a nursing Mom takes a lot of food! Oats helps with milk production, so this granola recipe is a winner for me because I’ve been chowing down on so much granola these days. The crockpot is an easier clean up than when baking granola with regular pans. I adapted this recipe from a friend’s cookbook–feel free to switch out the nuts and seeds to what you like.

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Old Fashioned Meatloaf (with a little zing)

1 egg, beaten

½ cup milk

¼ cup dried onion (or ½ cup chopped fresh onion)

1 tsp. rubbed sage

½ tsp. dried red pepper

½ tsp. lemon pepper

1 tsp. salt

2 Tblsp. white wine worcestershire sauce

1 ½ lb. ground beef (88% lean)

1/3 cup ketchup

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Mushroom Spaghetti Pie

Did you cook too much macaroni or spaghetti? Here’s a great recipe to make if you have leftover pasta and sauce, and it is different enough that you can serve it a day or two after the original pasta feast. I found the idea for the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but I have adjusted it into my own recipe over the years, with more of a mushroom slant, since I can’t have enough of that fungi!

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Confetti Chicken Cumin Meatballs

Need a change from regular meatballs? Here’s a recipe to try. These chicken meatballs have the warm kick of coriander and cumin and the colorful hint of onion and peppers. I pulled some of the ideas for these zesty meatballs from a cookbook called Jerusalem: A Cookbook, but I also made them my own. You may use chicken or beef—it is your choice.

1 lb. ground chicken

½ cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)

½ cup finely chopped red and yellow bell pepper

2 eggs

1 cup soft bread crumbs

½ cup chopped fresh parsley or 3 Tblsp. Dried parsley

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. coriander

¼ tsp. ground white pepper

1 tsp. salt

3 Tblsp. Coconut oil

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