Tag Archives: Easy Recipe

M’m! M’m! Monday 5/8/17

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10(NLT)

Container Problem

 I have a container problem!  It never fails! When I go to pick out a container for the left overs from dinner, I almost always come back with a dish that’s too big for the amount of food I have.  On top of that….I’ve usually picked up and put down three or four different sizes before deciding on the one that ultimately ends up being too big!  Nine times out of ten, I don’t have what it takes to fill the container I picked to do the job. 

You know? Sometimes I feel the same way about myself!  (Yes, I’m comparing my Rubbermaid and Tupperware to life, now!) Stay with me….There are times when I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to do something but I’m afraid I don’t have enough…enough wisdom, enough energy, enough courage, enough whatever to fill the position or to do the job and so I. Don’t. Do. It.  Ever been there?  

Just like digging in my container cupboard looking for the right fit, I sort through in my mind  sizing up all the other people who I think would be better able to fill the need. The problem is: no one has started that book study that I’ve felt compelled to start, the idea to provide a free lunch for those in need remains just that, an idea, and opening my house as a gathering place? A big dream waiting to be fulfilled. 

Here’s what I’m learning. It’s not about me! (I know, I know. You’ve heard this before.  You should know by now I’m a slow learner!) All throughout the Bible we find people who believe they aren’t at all suited to do what God asks them to do.  Some of them tell God He’s making a mistake, some tell Him to find someone else, and some even run in the opposite direction. Me? I sit in my chair and think about what God wants me to do.   God reassured those He chose that He’d be with them and would provide all they needed until they’d become a perfectly filled vessel for the job. 

“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.  We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3(NLV)

It’s the same for you and me.  We can be confident that if God is calling us to do something, He has chosen us because with Him we will be the right fit for the job.  We may have to step out of our comfort zone (talking to myself here). It may require more faith than we’re used to. It might just be plain scary! But, in the end when we open ourselves to God’s calling, trusting in Him to give us what we need; we may just find we are a match with what He’s prepared us to do…..just like the right lid for the perfect container!  Oh dear, don’t get me started on my problem finding the right lid……

Instead, let me share with you a delicious recipe where the bites are small and the flavor is big! A perfect combination to me! Hope it “fits” into your dinner menu soon! 

Steak Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. top sirloin steak
  • 1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbls. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbls. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except steak in a Zip Lock Bag.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Cut steak into one inch pieces. Trim fat.
  • Drop steak in to bag and seal shut. Shake and squeeze gently to coat steak with marinade.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until skillet is very hot.
  • Remove steak pieces from bag using a slotted spoon and place them in hot skillet.
  • Throw marinade away.
  • Cook steak according to your desired temperature. Stir occasionally. Medium is approximately 3 minutes. (I like mine well so cooked them 5-6 minutes)
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M’m! M’m! Monday 10/10/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

It’s the Little Things

Challenging times can cause me to have vision problems. Oh, I can see just fine… but I find myself focusing on the big (or perceived big) hurdle ahead and I miss the gift of little things. Ever been there?  So today, I’m trying to take notice of those little things God has recently brought my way:


~A
friend’s offer to sit with me during the demolition of our house
~Familiar birds at my newly moved bird feeders

~Offers to help with my laundry
~An entertaining chipmunk outside my temporary kitchen window
~Kind, reassuring words
~The support of our children
~A car that’s dependable (ever think about that?)
~Safe travel
~Time with my grandson
~A patient husband (and believe me, he’s needed to be)
~Answered prayer
~Brightly colored leaves against an even brighter blue sky
~Music that touches my soul
~Time to type a list of little things…

It occurs to me as I reread my list, that maybe these things aren’t so little after all; for it’s through these gifts that we recognize God’s presence. Whether you’re lost in the midst of a storm, finding your way in the dark, navigating a hard road, or in a time of wait and see like me; seek out the little (or not so little) things that remind us that when we are blinded by worry, we’re not walking alone.  We have a guide who will see us through!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)

And now for a “little” recipe….

Little because it has few ingredients, takes little time to prepare, and there’ll only be a little left because it’s so good!  I know when you read this recipe you might question it, but I promise it’s my husband’s most requested dish (even on his birthday!) and everyone I’ve ever served it to has cleaned their plate. It’s been in my family since I was a “little” girl (that’s a loooong time), given to my mom by our neighbors, the Irons family.

Iron Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. lean hamburger
  • 0nion, chopped
  • 1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
  • 1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 soup can full of milk
  • Hamburger Buns

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, brown hamburger and chopped onion over medium heat breaking meat apart like making sloppy joes.
  • Drain, if necessary. (I like to use hamburg with 7% fat to avoid this step)
  • In bowl, combine soups and milk. Stir to make smooth sauce.
  • Pour sauce into skillet over meat. Stir.
  • Simmer until bubbling, stirring occasionally.
  • Lay opened hamburg buns on a cookie sheet, inside up. Place in oven under the broiler until golden brown. Keep an eye on them as they can quickly burn. (You can also use your toaster if you have a bagel setting)
  • To serve: lay bottom of bun on plate, spoon meat mixture over bun. Add top of bun and place another spoonful of meat mixture over it all.
  • Eat with a fork to get it all....you won't want to leave even a ....little!
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It’s a Wrap! (M’m! M’m! Monday in Disguise)

"The season has shifted and changed so I let go of what I am use to and walk bravely into the unknown because I know God is right beside me with each step." A Modern Day Ruth / Pixabay

“The season has shifted and changed so I let go of what I am use to and walk bravely into the unknown because I know God is right beside me with each step.” A Modern Day Ruth / Pixabay

“That’s a wrap!” Words often used to signal the end of a storyline or season of a T.V. show, but today they’re words reverberating around in my chaotic mind. Part of MY story, a season of MY life is wrapping up and I’m going to have to wait for the new season to begin to see how things work out.  Just so you know; I don’t like waiting……I don’t like change…….and I don’t like not being in control……even when the new season promises to be good, great even!

Our new house was ordered today.  I’m packing the remaining odds and ends and we’re moving out this weekend. In six to eight weeks our house should arrive and we’ll begin to write a new story; live a new season! That means in this in-between time we must say goodbye to our old, blue house. In the world of television the time between seasons is full of reruns and it’s no different really for me.  This time of farewell to our home of 18 years is sure to generate lots of memories to relive and retell.

I’m not really sure how to say goodbye to walls that protected our family and gave us space at the same time.  To let go of bedrooms where books were read, sleepover giggles quieted,  bedtime prayers whispered, and goodnight kisses shared. The upstairs porch with its once grand brick-a-brack railing , a place where little girls could get lost in their imaginations, will be hard to see go. Conversations while we ate together, games played, homework done, and Christmas cookies decorated made our dining room the heart of our home. As I sat this morning in “my chair”, a place made for lingering, a place that allows me to gaze out to our majestic pine tree and the bird feeders that hang there, a tightness formed in my chest as I realized that my view will never be exactly like this again.

image

That’s life isn’t it? We take the familiar for granted and then it’s gone. We get caught up in the day to day and forget we are creating memories. We blink. Things change. WE change. The season ends.  

“For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-7 (NLT)

Yes, For now: “It’s a wrap!” It’s time to tear down. However, I’m so grateful it doesn’t end there.  It’s also a time to build – build a new house – build new memories – Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 goes on and says:

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”

We all find ourselves leaving seasons behind and venturing in to new ones.  What a wonderful promise that even when we can’t see where they lead; God has the whole beautiful journey planned for us, all the way to eternity!  So let’s “wrap” ourselves in that! 

Now for this weeks recipe……I couldn’t miss this opportunity to share with you a tasty WRAP recipe!

 

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 Lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 C. BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 C. pineapple tidbits
  • 1/4 of onion, chopped
  • 1-2 hearts of romain, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 4-5 large wheat or white tortillas (I used white)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken pieces to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring to be sure chicken is cooked through and a golden brown.
  • Remove pan from heat.
  • Add barbecue sauce and pineapple to the pan and toss with the chicken.
  • Warm tortillas.
  • On each tortilla, put a spoonful of chicken, sprinkle with cheese, onion, and romain.
  • Put cilantro on top. (I found this to be very strong and would not use near the amount again)
  • Roll burrito style and serve immediately.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 8/15/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

What happens when opposites get together? I’m left handed, he’s right. He’s a morning glory, I’m a night owl. I love my music up loud, while he prefers the volume to be down low.   My husband and I are completely different in almost every way possible and after 33 years together, we STILL find ways that we contrast each other. Yes, night and day, up and down, left and right, Cindy and JD…..as unlike as can be! It reminds me of Paul when he was struggling with opposites in Romans 7:19:

“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (NLT)

Good and bad, right and wrong, somehow we find ourselves attracted to both! I can’t count how many times I’ve set out to do the right thing and only a short while later find myself doing the reverse. It’s not necessarily the big things that send me in the wrong direction, but rather those little, I know it’s not right but “maybe no one will know”, “what can it hurt”, “everyone else is doing it” kind of things that bring me straight to the same place that Paul was: in deeep “do do”! (do, do not do, do, etc.)

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”  Romans 5:8 (NLT)

Thank goodness God knew we’d need help! He doesn’t wait until we’ve got it all right.  He met Paul then and he meets us today, right where we are; even if it’s in messy, deep do do. There’s nothing more radically different than our sin and the perfection of Jesus! But….put those two opposites together and We. Have. Victory!

Sweet and Sour

Opposites: Sweet and Sour = Tasty

Like JD and I, today’s recipe takes two opposites, puts them together, and makes something great! I first had this dish while on a girl’s get away to the lake with my mom and sisters. The sweet pineapple, sour sauce, crisp vegetables, and juicy chicken make it a family favorite here! And it’s pretty too! So, remember in people and in food…..different can be good! Enjoy!

Lake Isabella Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups Minute Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbls. all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbls. vegetable oil (I used Sesame oil for that oriental flavor)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 c. sugar snap peas
  • 1 jar sweet and sour or duck sauce (2/3 cup) Found in the oriental cooking section of the store
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • sliced green onions (optional) I liked them!

Instructions

  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Measure reserved juice and add enough water to make 1 3/4 cups of liquid.
  • Prepare rice according to directions on the box using the juice/water mixture.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Toss chicken pieces in the flour.
  • Cook chicken about 5-7 minutes or until golden.
  • Add pineapple chunks, pepper, and snap peas and cook until slightly softened (3-5 mins.)
  • Add sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, and orange juice to mixture in pan. Cook until sauce begins to boil and thickens.
  • Serve over rice.
  • Top with green onions if desired.
  • Makes 4 servings.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 8/8/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

What would you say if I told you that I have a recipe for you today that’s called a “Salad” but tastes like a “Dessert”? Woo Hoo is my response!  Remember eating Cracker Jack and finding a prize in the bottom? Who doesn’t love a “Buy One Get One” sale or qualifying for a free upgrade?  We humans know what we want and like it  much better when we get even more!

Before I got married I had three qualities I was looking for in a husband.  Are you ready? Older than me. Taller than me. Could sing. (I know, you can roll your eyes. I was young)  Guess what? I married a man who’s younger, shorter, and mmmm….not quite the singer I’d imagined.  But guess what else? I got much more!  A man of faith, a good provider, and a man that shows his love for me by making my coffee every morning! (That’s better than a singer any day!) 

So, what about me? Us? If we like getting more, and we do; shouldn’t we be giving more? If we’re looking to find a prize inside or get two for the price of one; shouldn’t WE be offering the same to the world? To our family? Thinking about it, I must admit, I don’t always give my best self to the ones I love the most. I’m pretty sure my kids have wished for a mom upgrade a time or two! In these days of sadness, hate, and just plain tasteless behavior; we need to stop and ask ourselves: are we being “a salad that tastes like a dessert”? Are we going above and beyond? Providing an unexpected richness to those around us? Are we making the effort to be the upgrade people aren’t anticipating? I want to try. I wish we all would.  Whether its a smile, touch, or kind word. A door held, an opening into traffic offered, or patience in a long line. An apology, an invitation, or forgiveness. Wherever we go, with whomever we meet; let’s be what we want to see in others, but not stop there. Let’s be the prize… the real deal… the dessert…. I’m guessing, if we work at it, WE’LL be the ones getting more than we ever expected!

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:36-39 (NLT)

Now, on to this recipe! I recently sent this salad with my “young” husband for a work event.  The bowl came home empty and he had requests for the recipe.  Let me know what you think of it.  As usual, it’s easy and delicious.  So go ahead! Have your dessert (salad) and eat it too!

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 container of Cool Whip (Lite is fine)
  • 1 box of Jello Instant Cheesecake Pudding
  • 3 containers of Strawberry Yogurt (I use Dannon)
  • 16 oz. of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Miniature marshmallows (I use about a half of bag)

Instructions

  • Mix the first three ingredients together thouroughly and refrigerate at least an hour (can be overnight). When you are ready to serve, add strawberries and marshmallows. Stir to blend. I top with a few slices of strawberry in the middle.
  • ***The last time I made this, I couldn't find the cheesecake pudding mix so I bought a Jello No Bake Cheesecake mix and used the powdered cheesecake in it. Also, the original recipe calls for sliced bananas in addition to the strawberries. I usually make this to take somewhere and bananas don't hold up, so I just leave them out.
  • ***I think this would be good with raspberry yogurt and raspberries or blueberry yogurt and blueberries, too.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 8/1/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Family Reunion
The O’Jays, 1975

It’s so nice to see
All the folks you love together
Sittin’ and talking’ ’bout
All the things that’s been goin’ down

It’s been a long, long time
Since we had a chance to get together
Nobody knows the next time we’ll see each other
Maybe years and years from now

Family Reunion……

It’s that time of year!  Time for grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and everyone in-between to come together for a family reunion.  I love to see pictures on Facebook and in the newspaper; pictures of all the different generations of a family posing together, arms interlocked, with smiling faces, and a look in their eyes that says “we’re home”!

Home. The definition changes for me. When I’m with my mom and sisters in Michigan, I’m home. After being away and the “Welcome to West Virginia” sign passes overhead, I’m home. Sitting within the protection of the walls of our old house…..home, and soon, new walls will provide the security of being home.  But…..nothing says home to me more these days than having both our children, their spouses, and our grand baby within arm’s reach! Yesterday I was HOME! Sitting around the table with our four “children”, grandson, my husband, and my mother-in-love filled this ole gal’s heart to overflowing! I so treasure these times of reunion.

Because here in the mountains of West Virginia, most family reunions require a covered dish; I thought I’d share a recipe that is perfect for just such occasions!  It’s easy to make, easy to transport, and I’m pretty sure you won’t have to worry about what to do with leftovers because there won’t be any! So, kiss your aunt, play horseshoes with your cousin, hold your granddad’s hand, and cuddle that grand baby! Our time on this earth is short. We DON’T know when we may see each other next. Isn’t it a comfort, that a Reunion awaits us one day; where there’ll be no more sorrow, no more worry, no more pain…just rejoicing and love, and who knows? Maybe horseshoes and a covered dish!

“This world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home that is yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)

Hash brown Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag frozen, shredded hash browns, thawed (1-2 minutes in microwave)
  • 1 Cup onion, chopped
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 Pint sour cream
  • 1 Stick butter, melted
  • 1-2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 Bag or so of crushed potato chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine thawed potatoes, onion, soup, and sour cream.
  • Spray a 9 X 13 casserole dish with Pam.
  • Place potato mixture in pan.
  • Melt butter and pour over the top of the potato mixture. (I make holes in mixture with the end of my spoon first)
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of butter layer.
  • Cover entire casserole with crushed chips.
  • Bake 1 - 1 1/2 hours until chips are golden and casserole is bubbling.
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What means home to you? Share that and your favorite dish to take to a reunion in the comments below!  I’d love to hear from you!

M’m! M’m! Mmmmm-uesday!

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

So, me and this Monday thing are just not working out! Somehow I keep missing it!  Retirement’s to blame, I think.  It’s taken a while but, I’ve finally reached the point where Sunday night stress doesn’t set in anymore and so…. I now hardly recognize Monday. (I’m sorry to all you young working people out there. Don’t worry I remember what it’s like and it makes not getting up to go to work everyday oh, so much sweeter! Don’t despair! It’s what you have to look forward to!)

I’m excited to report that one of  the last members in my circle of teacher friends retired in June! Now we are all hoping to spend a lot more time together…..OUTSIDE of school! Between us, we have well over 200 years of teaching experience.  That’s a lot of lesson plans and hours supporting each other through tears, laughter, frustration, achievement, sickness, health, bad days, good days, bad years, and good years. We’ve been sounding boards, cheerleaders, advocates, listening ears, and so much more for each other. Anyway, now it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekday or the weekend; we are overjoyed that we can get together whenever we want to!

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (ESV)

Whether you’re retired like us, close enough to be counting down the days, or just starting out; don’t forget to “rejoice”!  It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday of life (even for us retired folk) that we miss out on the everyday of life. I’m speaking from experience so listen to your elder……Yes, it’s exhausting. Yes, trying. Yes, sad, scary, and hard! It’s also short. Don’t. Forget. To. Rejoice. Dinner with your family, a call from your mom, reading a bedtime story, a hug, a touch, a rainbow, a car that works, pets, a dishwasher, and a million other things!

Yep, I missed posting on Monday, BUT I’m not going to miss out on finding reasons to rejoice no matter WHAT day it is!  And for starters, here’s a delicious reason! In honor of my dear friend’s retirement, I’m going to share one of her recipes that’s also one of my favorites! Enjoy and….I’d love for you to go to the comments section and let me know what you’re rejoicing in today!

Robin Ann's Squash Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of yellow summer squash, cubed
  • Small-medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of Minute Rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Grated cheddar cheese to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook squash and onion in a small amount of water until soft.
  • Drain excess water. (I leave a little in)
  • In a bowl, mix together rice, soups, and squash/onion mixture.
  • Put in a 9 X 13 greased pan.
  • Top with cheese.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes.
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This is a perfect recipe for this time of year as the Summer Squash are ready to pick right now!  I’ve thought about adding ham to this recipe but haven’t tried it yet.  We just had it as a side dish with grilled steak and fresh strawberries! Did I mention REJOICE?

M’m! M’m! Monday 7/4/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Last week we were just thinking about the Fourth of July and now here we are!  My weekend didn’t turn out quite as we had planned.  It’s disappointing how easily I get out of whack when MY plans don’t work out the way I’d hoped.  (Cue the sad violin music) I sigh, (loudly) I boo hoo, (pitifully), I grumble about how it’s not fair, and… I. Feel. Sorry. For. Myself!  I am such an Israelite!

 The Israelite people were living a life in slavery. Through Moses, God saved them. To do this, they’d walked across the dry bed of the Red Sea, followed a light at night and a cloud in the day to guide them to safety, manna fell from Heaven to satisfy their hunger, and water poured from a rock to quench their thirst. They’d witnessed miracle after miracle, grace after grace, and what did they do in return? Felt. Sorry. For. Themselves. And just like me, they grumbled!

“Moses also said, “you will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we?  You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” Exodus 16:8 (NIV)

“Grumbling against the Lord”…..Yikes!  It’s so easy for me to invite myself to that pity party, dance with my disappointment, and never once think that I’m grumbling against the One who saved ME!  The Israelites pity-partied on for way too long and it didn’t turn out so great for them. Pretty sure there’s a lesson here for me! Please tell me, I’m not alone!

It’s time for me to establish a no grumble zone and instead look at all my blessings! So, our weekend didn’t go according to plan…. we still got some jobs done that we’ve been avoiding, had an unexpected visit with our son, daughter-in-love, and granddogs, and have had some much needed down time, too. Manna from Heaven for sure! 

Our weather didn’t really cooperate today for our traditional Fourth of July grilled hot dogs either. No worries though, I pulled out my Fancy Hot Dog recipe, instead. Super quick, easy, and the best part? No grumbling! Enjoy!

Fancy Hotdogs

Ingredients

  • 1 package of hotdogs (I've used Oscar Mayer and Ball Park)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • Cut hotdogs into quarters.
  • In a saucepan, combine ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.
  • Add hotdogs and simmer 15-30 minutes.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled and also fixed in a crockpot!
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M’m M’m Monday! 6/27/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Can you believe that June is almost over and Independence Day is a week away? It’s been a busy month here!  Our grandson turned one. I went on a mountain retreat to celebrate a dear friend’s retirement. We enjoyed the wedding of my daughter’s best friend on our 33rd anniversary. We’ve pretty much celebrated the month away!

I’m going to make this short and sweet tonight because as busy as my June has been I’m sure yours was full, too and you don’t have time to read the wandering words of this chaotic mind. So, let’s think Fourth of July for a minute.  It’s a weekend full of parades, picnics, and fireworks.  There’ll be hotdogs on the grill, cool watermelon slices, and ice cream churned by hand.  Flags will be flying, horseshoes tossed, and “I’m Proud to Be an American” will play on the radio.  We’ll laugh, light sparklers, and hug family members. We’ll celebrate the holiday away!

In the midst of all our fun, let’s not forget that there are service men and women who instead of celebrating are putting their lives on the line, fighting for the freedom we so often take for granted.  Let’s take time to gather together and say a prayer for those brave soldiers and for their families who try to carry on even though there’s a person missing at their picnic table. And at days end as we gaze into the night sky watching the trails of light dance between the stars; may the music fill our souls, singing: “Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the U.S.A.!”

Need an idea what to take to the picnic?  Here’s an old standby all decked out for the Fourth!

Red Velvet Rice Krispy Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 10.5 oz. bag of mini marshmallows or approximately 40 large marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Red Velvet cake mix (the more cake mix the redder the treats)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
  • Red, White, and Blue sprinkles (if you want to add a little pizazz)

Instructions

  • Spray pam generously in a 9 x 13 pan and on a spatula.
  • Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and cake mix until blended.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cereal until evenly coated.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan. Press down with prepared spatula.
  • Shake sprinkles over top if you choose.
  • Cool and cut into squares.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 6/13/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Things here are on the rise…..my blood pressure, the number on the scale, and my pants size!  Arghhhhh! You know what that means……visiting those two evil twins…….diet and exercise! I would much rather stay home with the more pleasant and comfortable ones…..cooking and eating!

Counting calories, sweating, and feeling hungry are not my favorite things.  In fact, I’ve obviously tried to avoid them; that is, until now. Being a “MiMi’ has started me thinking.  I want to be able to jump in the ocean, hike in the woods, and a million other things with my grandson.  I want to see him graduate, even marry, and be around to cherish him for as long as I can.  To do that, I have to be healthy!

Being healthy is a good thing, so why do I dread it so?  I’m pretty sure it comes back to my age old problem of self. I want to be comfortable, satisfied, and in control. Those aren’t words I associate with losing weight and getting into shape.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Whoa!  I haven’t ever really thought about it in that way, have you? These words challenge me and to be honest, make me feel a little uncomfortable (just like the waist band on my jeans). I guess it’s time for an attitude adjustment; focusing less on the what (what I’m giving up, what I have to do) and more on Who.

Tomorrow I go and pick up my new increased dosage blood pressure medicine. I’ll also continue to clean and sort through my closet where I’ve found way too many clothes that no longer fit. Now that I think about it,  a visit to diet and exercise may not be a bad idea after all; and maybe they shouldn’t just visit, they should move right in, so this ole temple will be around for a long time to come; keeping up with grandchildren and honoring the One who bought it with the highest price of all.

I know and you know that this won’t be easy, especially for a gal who loves to cook.  Here’s where I’m going to challenge myself.  In addition to losing weight and lowering my BP, I’m going to begin to search for recipes that still are easy and comforting, but healthy, too!  No better time to start than now!

Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 large or 4 smaller zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 -1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Prego Heartsmart)
  • grated mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9X13 pan with Pam.
  • Combine turkey, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a skillet, cook until turkey is browned.
  • Layer zucchini in the bottom of the pan. Don't leave gaps.
  • Spread ricotta on the zucchini, then 1/3 of the turkey, then 1/3 of the sauce. Start with zucchini again and continue the layers three times.
  • Top with a light layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • It will be juicy. You can attempt to pour some off but be careful. (I just left the juice)
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I have to tell you, I was skeptical at first about this recipe but I LOVED it! If you have healthy recipes that you love, share them with me in the comments section.

P.S.  I’ll keep you up to date on how the “evil twins” and I are getting along as we learn to live together!