Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Be the Change

I often want the "Transformation" to be in others,
but sometimes (read most of the times) I need to be the one to change.
This week, I am making an effort to focus on encouraging others.
The Golden Rule.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Tie it Together

One of the easiest meals when trying to eat a lot of veggies
is a basic stirfry.
It can be simple with just a little soy sauce and ground ginger,
or it can be enhanced with a sauce.

One of our favorite sauces is Pad Thai.
I usually cheat and buy it already made.

Tonight, I landed on a recipe that stir fried
chicken, sweet potato "noodles", and pepper
and added a yummy Peanut Sauce.
Oh - so delicious.
Hubby was uncertain about sweet potatoes in his Asian Cuisine,
but the sauce won us both over.

And so I blog it so that it will not be lost.
Try it on your next stir fry.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (I used chili oil because that is what I had)
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk from the carton (not the can)

Whisk together in bowl and add after meat and/ or veggies are sauteed.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sun and Warmth and ...

Today I am thankful for open windows,
for sun peeking through the clouds,
for children to teach,
for reliable transportation,
for honest businessmen,
for a season focused on loving others,

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


We are coming on 14 years.
We were introduced on February 10, 2002.
It is amazing to me that learning about another person
is such a long process.
As I decorated the house today for Valentine's Day,
I thought of the patience and understanding of my dear one - 
the joys of growth.

14 years of decorations

14 years of valentines and treats for the children in our lives

14 years and still learning.

14 years and more in love than I could have imagined.

14 years of struggles and difficulties that strengthen.

14 years of joys and surprises that encourage and uplift.

14 years of experiments with flows and successes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Another Puzzle Piece

The transformations are not limited to our physical home.
For years, it seems as though we have been "tweaking" things
trying to improve my health without doctors and meds.
The Lord has allowed us to find herbs, diets, and exercise that have done wonders.

Recently, hubby made comment that sometimes during the night, I stop breathing for a time.
He also observed that it was only while I was on my back.
So, I promptly urged him to please push me over when he noticed it
and researched the problem.

With research,
I found that I could probably fix my problem with a tennis ball sewn in my PJs,
with a special "bumper belt,"
or with a special pillow.
I opted for the pillow that keeps me on my side.

I am now waking much more refreshed and less "foggy."
My morning series of about 30 sneezes has ended
and we are waiting to see if there are more positive results.

The moral of the story is that breathing is GOOD!
Not breathing is BAD!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lighten It Up

Disappeared for awhile again.
I found another project.
Hubby and I spent 3 days helping to build some porches on the Parsonage at church.
They were full days and there was no time for anything past Bible reading and prayer, exercise, meal prep, and building.
It was a lot of fun.

Last week, I said that I had tried some new recipes that were a hit around here.
One recipe was a result of trying to replace a meal on our eating plan.
The plan called for a cold pasta salad that included pasta, cottage cheese, and tomatoes.
I tried it once and with cold gluten free pasta, it was YUCK!

So, I visited my friend google and found a hot dish.
I love Italian, so it looked promising.
It is not as cheesy as the Italian that I usually crave,
but is much easier on my dairy sensitivities.

Baked Pasta Cottage Cheese

  • 8 ounces pasta (such as penne or rotini)
  • 1-1/2 cups low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.
  2. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.
    Drain and return to the pasta pot.
    Add the cottage cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, parsley flakes, zucchini, tomatoes and olives.

    Stir until well combined.
  3. Spread the pasta mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan and mozzarella.
    Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
    Remove the foil and bake until the top begins to brown lightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

If At First You Don't Succeed ...

There are sometimes that my job is frustrating.
I want to be a GREAT homemaker.
I want to keep my family healthy.
I want to make not just healthy food, but tasty food.
Sometimes recipes just don't work out as planned.

I have mentioned that we follow a written diet.
Sometimes we follow it to a "T."
Sometimes we use the ingredients and discover great tastes.
One meal we have been struggling with is quinoa for breakfast.
Every time I cooked it, it was just bitter and hard to get down.
The best way was to throw it raw into our smoothies but even that was not the most pleasant.
About once a month, I try a new cooked quinoa breakfast porridge.
This morning was the morning.
I approached it with fear and trepidation...
but ...

Coconut Milk Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 c quinoa
3/4 c canned coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla
cinnamon to taste

Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.

We served ours with banana slices.
We could have added nuts, granola, or another fruit as well. 

Quinoa is a complete protein and is full of nutrients, high in fiber,
high in protein, high in magnesium.
Glad to finally find a way to eat it for breakfast.

Monday, January 25, 2016

We Are Survivors

We have survived the January 2016 storm.
It is amazing that 4 inches of slush could shut things down for 3 days.
The mixed precipitation came in on Thursday night and continued through Saturday morning.
We finally got out of the house on Sunday afternoon for a 3:00 service.
I finally saw a plow (aka a grader posing as a plow) come through at 10:00 this morning.
Aahh - life in the South.

It was nice to have time with my dear one.
We exercised (of course).
We tidied.
We rearranged whole rooms.
We cooked.

We discovered 4 really good recipes - 
3 casseroles and 1 cookie.

BBQ Sweet Potato and Chicken Casserole

1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes
1 large sweet potato cut into cubes
1/2 TBSP paprika (I used Smoked)
3 TBSP BBQ sauce
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c bacon, cooked and cut into pieces (I omitted this)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Combine seasonings, sauce and oil.
Pour over chicken and sweet potato
Bake 40-50 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes.

I love the easy prep and it was really good.
Simple foods.
The recipe actually called for buffalo sauce or a combo of buffalo and bbq,
but we chose to go with the straight bbq.

We also enjoyed 2 italian casseroles and a new chocolate chip cookie recipe - 
perhaps I will share them next week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Value of Consistency

Still working on this one.
I want to be faithful,
to be consistent,
to have a routine that makes me dependable.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Merry Christmas to Us!

We combined a few Christmas gifts this week.
We were given some gift cards to our favorite restaurant - Asian.
We decided to "take out" and share it with a family in our church in our home.
That was definitely a treat for all of us on Friday night.
We were also given a Costco gift card.
Did you know that with a Costco gift card you do not need a membership?
In any case, we tried to be practical ... TP, avocados, nuts, PB, frozen fruit ...
things we usually buy each week.
We did sneak a bag of shrimp in.
So on tonight, we used the leftover rice from our Asian takeout
and had what hubby deemed as "better than Red Lobster."

Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice

  • 1 cup dried rice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bag (12-ounces) extra large, cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp
  • ¼-cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

  • Prepare rice according to directions or use 3 c. leftover rice.
    In large skillet, melt butter over medium-heat.
    Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
    Stir in the shrimp and cook for 1 minute.
    Add prepared rice to the skillet and mix until well combined.
    Add cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper; 
    mix and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy and heated through.
    Remove from heat.
    Garnish with parmesan cheese.

    From here.