Monday, September 11, 2017

As Promised

I mentioned hubby's daily work snack last week.
It is a different black bean brownie recipe.
I make at least one 8 x 8 pan a week cut into 9 pieces.
Two pieces go to work each day to be devoured mid morning.
They are a good source of proteint (beans and eggs)
and use honey as a sweetener (a win in our book).
For me they are are a win because they mix up in the VITAMIX
and quickly dump in the pan.

Here's the recipe from our friend Dr. Axe (He specializes in fixing "gut" issues.)

Black Bean Brownies

1 can 15 ounce black beans, drained
½ cup cacao powder
4 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
¾ cup raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
½ cup gluten-free flour (you can use regular all purpose as well)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup water

Blend all ingredients together.
(I add the ingredients from bottom to top for ease of blending)
Grease 8 x 8 pan.
Bake for 40 min. at 350 degrees.

Today, we are feeling minor effects of Tropical Storm Irma.
A lot of rain and occasional wind gusts.
I have seen a few broken branches so far ...
Weather in the 60's today,
so I made a warm pot of chili and some corn bread muffins for dinner ...
 will also be good in hubby's lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Little Disconnect

"I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God ..."♪♫♫♪

Last Saturday,
we hosted a church Labor Day Weekend Picnic.
Since we had had hotdogs at the last two picnics,
I decided that we should do bone in grilled chicken.
I baked the chicken for over an hour ahead of time
and then we marinated overnight.
Just before dinner, we threw them on the grill.

The picnic went fine.
No rain (better than the last 2 picnics),
cool temps,
a good turnout.

The next day I was mortified when we reheated some leftover chicken for lunch
and it was undercooked.
I had served "raw" chicken to my guests.
AND ...
nobody had said anything!
How easy it would have been to throw back on the grill!
No wonder I had so much leftover chicken!

So here is the disconnect.
Think to your physical family.
If there was spinach stuck in your teeth, they would be the first to tell you.
If there was something coming out of your nose, you can count on family to let you know.
If you are tickled while eating salad and something flies out of your mouth,
You can be sure that your family will call you "salad shooter" for years.
(not that that ever happened to me)

So why was my church family inhibited from saying anything?
They have been in my home many times.
They know me well.
Yes, the hostess would have been embarassed,
but not as embarassed as finding out the next day that everyone went home hungry
or possibly sickened.

Hubby reminded me that this happens when dealing with spiritual issues as well.
We claim to be family, BUT ...
My brothers are not afraid of offending me when food in my teeth might embarass the family.
Hubby is not afraid of offending me when I need to know that I have something in my nose.
So why don't we deal with sin in the family when it will bring shame to our Lord.

Just a thought to ponder.
Has someone brought something to your attention that you need to fix?
Listen graciously and make a change.
Is there someone that you need to exhort?
Let's fix the disconnect.
A family should act like a family.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Little Celebration

It is Labor Day.
Are you celebrating the ability to work?
Work was never meant to be a curse.
Work is one of God's means of providing for us.
Today we are thankful for jobs that God has provided to meet our needs.
I have been a book shelver, a nanny, a cashier, a phone operator, a teacher ...
Hubby has worked fast food, at a hardware store, as a nuclear mechanic,
as a farm hand, as a stocker, as a tractor mechanic ...
God has always met our needs.

Today hubby has the day off.
While we enjoyed celebrating our anniversary last month with family,
we are enjoying celebrating again today.
We enjoyed some extra rest this morning,
enjoyed a four mile walk/run,
exercised for another hour at home,
grilled lunch outside,
studied our Bibles for over an hour in our sweet little front yard,
are looking forward to French Dip Sandwiches and Watermelon for supper,
Breyers almond milk peanut butter ice cream for a treat,
and a four mile walk to finish with a bang.

Just the perfect day together celebrating 15 years and looking forward to another 15+ as the Lord allows.

Last week for our baked good breakfast on Friday and Saturday,
I made some Morning Glory muffins.
I made them with a little fear and trepidation ...
they are one of my favorites,
but the last time I made them,
hubby was not impressed.

I had not been shopping and the recipe just suited what I had on hand.

This time, hubby raved ...
not only are we to keep the recipe,
but it might also become a lunch box snack
(it takes a lot to overthrow the favored black bean brownie).
 ** I was going to create a link to the latest black bean brownie recipe,
but I guess I haven't posted it yet ... maybe next Monday. **

While there are many recipes out there,
this is the one that I am using right now.

Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

2 large eggs
8 T. pure maple syrup
¼ c. coconut oil
½ c. shredded carrots
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. almond flour
¼ c. coconut flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
⅓ c. raisins
⅓ c. coconut
¾ c. chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, carrots, pineapple, coconut and vanilla in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
Toss the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and walnuts in a medium bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined. Do not overmix.
Scoop batter into 12 cupcake wells and place into preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Thankful Thursday: the Monday Edition

Well, as life goes,
my schedule has been anything but scheduled.
My "Thankful Thursday" post is late,
but ...
better late than never.

Thursday was our 15th anniversary.
It is not hard to think of what to post in honor of this day.
How thankful I am for 15 years of marriage.
How thankful I am to be loved so unconditionally.
How thankful I am for a God who grounds us when life's turmoil would seek to overthrow.
How thankful I am for a union that truly is most often unified.
How thankful I am for the transformation of mind that has happened to both of us to make us more like God and better able to serve and love one another.

I am thankful for the strong man by my side ...
the one who challenges me ...
the one who encourages me to do right ...
the one who props me up or lets me rest when strength is failing...

On Thursday,
we began our day with an interval run.
How we enjoy the time together.
Time to work on health together.
Time to talk (when I am able).
Time to challenge and encourage.

15 years and prayfully many more

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Everyone Needs It ...

God continues to show me that everyone ... EVERYONE ...
needs fellowship.
There are those who may claim to be loners,
but even they need the touch of others.

For many years, I have feared to "just stop in"
to see people in the church.
I felt intrusive.
I wondered if it was only meeting a need that I had for company.
But with each additional visit,
the chatting increased,
the visits lengthened,
people grow more comfortable.
Sometimes they remind me that they value it.
Sometimes they make sure that I am making a return visit.
Other times they remind me that the church is failing in this area ...
"you are the only one who stops by."
I am shown that I need to give fellowship.

The need is great.
It becomes harder in a fast-paced world.
My days are filled with other ministries and home responsibilities.
It is hard to skip the text and arrive in person.
But I need it, and so do the people in my life.

Is there someone that you can minister to today?
Is there a visit that you can make this week?
Later this month?

You may meet someone's needs.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Challenge Until May

I have been given another wedding challenge.
The last one was corn meal muffins for a reception,
the next one is for May ...
a gluten-free apple, cherry, or apple-cherry pie.

The bride and groom are not gluten free,
but they have a brother-in-law who is.

My first attempt will be this Sunday for a fellowship dinner.
An apple-cherry pie.

Hubby is excited 
and the groom-to-be thought it would be good if I tried
every month for the fellowship dinners at church.

Have you ever made a cherry-apple pie?

What did you think?
Success? Failure? Just stick with the "old faithfuls"?

The pie was a success.
Hubby loved it.
We both thought it was the best gluten free crust that I had ever tried.
The bride really liked the mix of the two pies
(her favorite is cherry and his is apple)
In honor of the wedding,
it has now been named the "Chapel" (ch-apple) pie!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cloud Cover

Do Hoops and YoYo make you smile?
They are Hallmark characters and they definitely cheer me.
They were a regular part of electronic correspondence between hubby and me
while he was out at sea.

Typically, this solar-powered girl is looking for every bit of sunshine she can.
But this month, I am thankful that August has been a little more mild than usual.
I am thankful for the overcast days.
I am thankful for the days of rain.

The grass is still green.
The cherry tomatoes are plentiful without too much extra work.
While we wait on our new a/c unit to arrive and be installed,
it spares the old one from overworking
and spares me from more sopping towels that are catching the drain pan overflow 💧

What are you thankful for today?

Update: as of 11 am ...
the old a/c unit is ripped out.
If hubby can fix the floor (water damage) tonight,
the new unit will be installed tomorrow!
And today is cool, breezy and comfortable ... so we shouldn't suffer too much tonight.
God's timing is perfect - we will be up and running and comfortable for our guest.
We are also thankful that they are installing a heat pump
that is supposed to cut our heating and cooling bills substantially!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Old Switcheroo

This summer I have spent a lot of time outdoors.
The house got painted including trim.
The porches were resealed.
Last week, I repainted the white parts of the decks.
I also worked in the gardens last week to tidy them up.

This week, I was back in the house.
Not only did the rain drive me in,
but we needed to fix up a room for my MIL's upcoming visit.
We had moved the guest room to the smaller of our two extra bedrooms,
because most of our guests are one nighters and that was sufficient.
Since our guest will be with us about 2 1/2 weeks,
we switched the guest room back to the big room.
Because that room gets the bright morning sun,
we added some room darkening curtains.
I finally replaced the sheets which were left from my college days 😀.
We emptied part of the closet (and once again realized that we have a lot of stuff).
We emptied a chest of drawers.

The room is ready for Saturday and so are we!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Change in the Garden

Often when we throw outdoor parties,
folks will ask me what flowers are in my garden.
I know most of them, but often in the middle of entertaining, the names escape.
So this weekend,
I made some sweet little labels for my plants (which are fading in the summer heat).

I took used canning lids,
sprayed with leftover spray paint,
used sharpie for the names,
used old paint for the flowers,
then used some wire left from making our many wall hangings for the stakes.

I still have a few to finish,
but I was pleased with the result 
and using odds and ends was even better.

Enjoy your trip into my garden.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Quick and Easy

Every once in a while you have to hit the "reset" button.
That button where you remind yourself and refocus on goals.
I guess the middle of the year is a good time ...
that and results of recent blood work :)

We are back to focusing on getting more veggies.

We tried an excellent recipe for a grilled veggie sandwich on Friday night.
It was simply grilled zucchini, peppers, and onions brushed with oil and balsamic vinegar
and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
The bread was toasted and spread with a cheese spread.
It was a big hit.

Tonight's quick and easy recipe was:

Spicy Mexican Pork Chops with Pepper and Corn Saute

The pork chops were sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
Then they were sauteed for 2 minutes per side in 2 TBSP of olive oil.
Next dump a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies on top and simmer for 20 minutes.

The brown rice takes the longest, but it is still easy.
Just follow instructions on bag.

For the Pepper and Corn Saute,
Sautee chopped red onion and two bell peppers
(red, green, or orange look good with the corn).
Then add a bag of frozen corn and heat through.