Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So Wednesday came and gone but not without lessons. I am a pretty organized person, knowing what needs to be done & in what order it is going to get done so that more things can be accomplished and no time wasted. But God had other plans for me today. Up at 1 AM with a sick little girl; complaining that her throat hurt and running a very high fever. Settled her down to make her comfortable, laid down for a little longer. Then up at 5 to cook the breakfast casserole for Ms. Mary's family this morning. They had plans to make and didn't need to worry about what they were going to eat. Had it delivered by 6 and back home at 6:10, to a fever that was even higher and a even sicker little girl. Sent the boys off to school, put her in the tub to try to lower the temperature. Needless to say, we ended up at the Dr. office at 10:30 and was there until 2:30. She has acute strep. Yes, God is definately in control, all the plans that I had for today was wiped away in order for him to have his way. I still got done with my "to do" list, but it was not on my schedule it was his.

Isn't it funny how a moment like a child being sick we can see God working. All the time that we spent in the Dr. Office, Shebly slept when she was getting sick in the bathroom. This gave me time to read Revelation, the book not the chapter in the bible. After all the drama of yesterday, it was good to spend time with God, that I wouldn't have spent if I went on my schedule.

Pay attention and grow wise, for I am giving you good guidance. Don't turn away from my teaching. ~Proverbs 4:1-2 NLT

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes

Combine chopped cooked chicken with chopped tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese and chopped basil. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Spoon onto low carb tortilla, roll, then serve.

1 large eggplant, ends trimmed, sliced into rounds
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 pound spaghetti
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
5 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper
Lay eggplant on paper towels and season with salt. Let stand 15 min. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Heat grill or broiler. Blot eggplant dry with a paper towel. Brush on both sides with 3 tbs oil. Grill or broil, turning once, until browned and softened. Set aside to cool slightly, then coarsely chop.
*Cook spaghetti as package directs until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Toss spaghetti with eggplant, tomatoes, basil, garlic, Parmesan, remaining oil and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, adding cooking water as necessary to moisten. Toss with ricotta and serve immediately. MAKES 6 SERVINGS OF SPAGHETTI.

1 peach, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
4 oz sliced ham
6 oz thinly sliced Cheddar cheese
1 baguette (bread), cut into 4 pieces, each sliced in half lengthwise
2 tbs peach or apricot jam
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Heat a sandwich press according to manufacturers instructions. Use can also use 2 skillets, one to grill the sandwich in and the other one to press the sandwich down with.
*Spread mustard and jam on bottom half of each baguette piece. Arrange peach slices on top. Lay ham slices on top of peaches. Top with cheese, then remaining baguette halves. Put sandwiches in press and cook until brown and crisp, then serve.

2 croissants
1 pint ice cream
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate and 3 tbs water in a microwave bowl. Microwave on high until chocolate is melted. Whisk until sauce is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Beat cream and powdered sugar until firm peaks form.
*Put croissants on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until warm and lightly crisped. Cut each croissant in half, split each half lengthwise. Place bottoms of croissant halves in dessert bowls. Scoop ice cream on top. Drizzle with warm chocolate sauce and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Place croissant tops over ice cream and sauce. Serve immediately.

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
6 tbs raspberry jam, melted
16 oz can vanilla frosting
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, beat cake mix, oil and egg substitute and 1 1/3 cups water 30 seconds. Increase speed, beat 2 min. more. Stir in zucchini. Divide batter among cupcake liners placed in two 12 well muffin pans. Bake 15 min. or until done. Let cool.
*In bowl, combine frosting and 2 tbs jam. Pipe frosting mixture onto cupcakes. Drizzle remaining jam over cupcakes. Garnish with raspberries, if desired, then serve. MAKES 24 SERVINGS OF CUPCAKES.

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."– Anatole France

Wishing you all a very happy Wednesday, tomorrow we will bury a sweet dear lady from our church. Then traveling to Nashville until Sunday. Have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So Tuesday has come and is almost over. Today started as a great day, sunshining with the wind blowing and a to do list ready to be tackled. But God had different plans and proves onces again that he is in charge. We lost one of our dearest saints from our church, today. God took her home in a peaceful sleep. She will be dearly missed not only in our church but our community. Our God is an awesome God and he is the one always in control, we should never doubt that.

Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. ~Psalm 25:4-5 NLT

Recipes, Recipes, & Recipes

In bowl, combine 1 pound ground turkey, 1/4 cup oats, 3/4 tsp garam masala and a handful of chopped cilantro. Form into balls. Saute 5 min. Toss with warm chutney, BBQ sauce or ketchup.

1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup pasteurized egg substitute
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 pkgs 1.5 oz each instant oatmeal with fruit
2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, beat first 4 ingredients and 1 1/3 cups water 2 min. Divide batter among cupcake liners placed in two 12 well muffin pans. Bake 15 min. or until done. Let cool. In bowl, combine next 3 ingredients, spoon into pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe mixture onto cupcakes. Top with coconut, then serve.

4 slices bacon
2 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, cut into wedges
1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
1 pound each dandelion greens and Swiss chard, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
In skillet, cook bacon 4 min. turning once. Remove bacon, drain and chop. Add next 3 ingredients to drippings in skillet. Cook 4 min. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook 3 min. or until greens wilt, then serve.

1 cup baby spinach, chopped
6 potatoes, peeled, cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
3/4 cup chicken broth, heated
2 tbs butter
1/3 cup diced roasted red peppers
Place spinach in colander. In pot, bring next 3 ingredients and enough salted water to cover to a boil. Cook 20 min. pour over spinach to drain. Discard rosemary. Return spinach and potatoes to pot. Add broth and butter. Mash mixture until smooth. Add peppers, then serve.

2 lemons
1 whole roasting chicken
3 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
1 small yellow onion, peeled, quartered
2 bulbs fennel, cut into wedges
2 red onions, peeled, cut into wedges
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Juice 1 lemon and quarter remaining lemon. Season chicken with salt and pepper, if desired. In bowl, combine oil, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary and 2 tbs lemon juice. Spread 1/2 lemon herb mixture under skin of chicken.
*Place lemon and yellow onion in cavity of chicken, tie legs together. Spread remaining lemon herb mixture over chicken. Place fennel and red onion in roasting pan. Place chicken on top of vegetables in roasting pan.
*Roast 15 min. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Roast 1 hour 15 min. more or until thermometer reads 170 degrees. Let sit 10 min. before slicing, then serve.

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas

*Instead of flowers for a funeral, give the family postage stamps. This will help them cut down on costs when sending Thank You notes for floral arrangements, food, and help.

*Recycle, Reuse, Reduce: Coffee drinkers save your grounds and put them in your flower beds, flower pots, or around your roses. It is a great way to start compost and enrich the soil for great looking flowers/plants.

*Dryer Lint: Instead of throwing this away, simply use an old pair of panty hose or knee hi's fill with the lint from the dryer and hang it in a tree. The birds will use the lint to help build their nests.

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
– James Bryant Conant


Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Monday! I do hope that you enjoyed your weekend with you family and friends. We had a great time! Pizza & movies vegging on Friday, bowling on Saturday, and attending God's house on Sunday. It was a great family weekend for us. Hubby left Sunday evening for his last week of work out of state. It will be great having him home nightly again. They say that the heart grows fonder when there is a separation. This is true, but I also believe that respect for each other grows and admiration for each other; as well.

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas:

*Bundt Pan: Cut corn from the cob without the mess. Place an ear in the center of a Bundt pan. As you slide the knife down, the corn will fall right into the pan.

*Rubbing Alcohol: Ears clogged with pool or sea water? With an eyedropper, insert a few drops of rubbing alcohol into each ear canal to evaporate it. Rubbing alcohol comes to the rescue, too, when you've gone overboard with self-tanner: Fix too-dark
splotches by blotting

*SILENCE A LEAKY FAUCET INSTANTLY: Cut a piece of dental floss thats long enough to reach from the faucet to the sink basin. Tightly tie one end around the faucet and let the other end lie in the drain. Instead of dripping, the water will silently travel along the thread, so you can live in peace until the plumber arrives.

Recipes, Recipes, & Recipes:

Combine 1/2 cup each oats, flour, brown sugar and chopped nuts. Blend in 2 tbs butter. Divide 2 peeled, sliced apples among ramekins, top each with oat mixture. Bake in 375 degree oven 25 min. then serve.

3/4 pound eggplant, cut into cubes
Salt and Pepper
2 tbs oil
2 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 each red bell pepper and tomato, cut into pieces
2 zucchini, cut into pieces
1 tbs basil
In saucepan, cook eggplant and a pinch of salt and pepper in 1 tbs oil 5 min. remove from pan. In same pan, cook onions in 1 tbs oil 3 min. Add last 5 ingredients, cook mixture 5 min. Stir in eggplant, reduce heat. Cover and cook 5 min. then serve.

1 box angel food cake mix
1 tsp almond extract
8 oz pkg low fat cream cheese
1 cup frozen fat free whipped topping, thawed
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup strawberry jam, warm
12 strawberries, halved
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, adding almond extract. Divide batter among cupcake liners placed in two 12 well muffin pans. Bake 20 min. or until done. Let cool completely. In bowl, beat next 3 ingredients 1 min. Pipe cream cheese mixture into heart shape on each cupcake. Fill center of hearts with jam. Top cupcakes with strawberry halves, then serve.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbs oil
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cubed
3/4 cup milk, heated
1/4 cup each butter, chopped green onions, and parsley
Heat oven to 425 degrees. On baking sheet, toss together cauliflower and oil. Roast 20 min. In saucepot, bring potatoes and enough salted water to cover to a boil, cook 15 min. more. Drain. In food processor or blender, puree potatoes, cauliflower and milk. Transfer to a bowl, add remaining ingredients, then serve.

1 onion, peeled, chopped
2 tbs oil
6 slices bread, cubed
3/4 cup milk
3 pounds lean ground beef
12 oz Italian chicken sausage, casing removed, crumbled
3/4 cups pasteurized egg substitute
3/4 cup ketchup
1.4 oz pkg vegetable soup mix
1 tsp herbes de Provence
10 oz white mushrooms, quartered
2 tbs flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups beef broth
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In skillet, cook onions in 1 tbs oil 3 min. In bowl, combine bread and milk. Let sit 3 min. Stir in onions and next 6 ingredients. On broiler pan, shape meat mixture into a loaf. Bake 1 hour or until thermometer reads 160 degrees. Transfer meat to platter, reserve drippings.
*In skillet, cook mushrooms in remaining oil 1 min. Add flour, cook 1 min. Add cream, broth, and reserved drippings. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat let simmer 3 min. Serve gravy with meat loaf.

Today started week two of school and we already have had one home sick. With the weather changing the way it did yesterday with storms moving in, I believe it is the sinus crude that got the best of him. Luckily, the house was clean by 9 with my workout done an hour of bible study before the call came in to come get him. When the other two came home it was homework & supper, now enjoying a little family time before bed. So glad we are back on a schedule that works for everyone! Have a wonderful week and thank God for the many blessings that we receive every day from him.

Until tomorrow~Tina

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh No! It's Friday the 13th! Really? Does anyone really believe that this is a bad day? Not me! It happens to be our anniversary~16 years with my wonderful hubby. There are no words to express the trials, joy, obsticles, and triumphs that we have endured so far. Each one helping us to grow as a couple. Wishing everyone a super weekend! Remember, those that matter most to you and spend time with them.

Worried about Friday the 13th? Only 13% of millionaires indicated luck as a major factor in explaining their success. - Thomas J. Stanley

Recipes, Recipes, & More Recipes:

8 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbs oat fiber
1 tbs almond butter
Combine all ingredients in a blender, pulse until smooth, adding ice, if desired. Then pour into a glass and serve.

4 tsp each dried rosemary and thyme
1 cup coarse sea salt
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs peppercorns
Pulse together herbs, peppercorns and salt. Remove from grinder and stir in zest. Sprinkle on meats and fish, mix into salad dressings, soups or sauces, finishing touch to vegetables.

1 large egg
8 oz white button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 links hot or sweet sausage, casings removed
30 jumbo pasta shells
1 cup each part skim ricotta cheese and baby spinach leaves
1 tsp salt
28 oz jar garden style pasta sauce
1 3/4 cups shredded Italian blend cheeses
1 eggplant, diced
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta and stir. Bring back to a boil, cover and remove from heat, let stand 10 min. Drain and rinse pasta, set aside.
*In a skillet, cook sausage, onion and mushrooms, breaking up sausage until onion is tender, set aside.
*In a bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup cheese blend and spinach. Stir in cooked sausage mixture, set aside.
*In same skillet, cook eggplant, stirring until softened. Add pasta sauce and remaining salt and bring to a boil.
*Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon 2/3 of the eggplant sauce into bottom of a shallow casserole dish. Fill each shell with 2 tbs sausage mixture, arrange in dish and spoon remaining sauce over shells.
*Cover and bake until sauce is bubbling, 25 min. Remove from oven and sprinkle shells with 1 1/4 cups cheese blend, bake, uncovered until cheese has melted, then serve.

1/2 cup each low fat sour cream and pitted olives
2 tsp each chopped garlic and chopped rosemary
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1.2 oz pkg onion gravy mix
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
1 onion, peeled, chopped
2 tbs oil
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 small zucchini, sliced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare rice according to package directions, substituting broth for water, set aside. In skillet, cook zucchini in 1 tbs oil until golden brown, remove from pan. In same skillet, cook peppers and onions in remaining oil 3 min.
*Add beef and garlic, cook until beef is browned. Add rosemary, tomatoes and onion gravy mix and 2 cups water. Increase heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat let simmer until thickened. Remove from heat.
*Stir in sour cream. Spoon 1/2 rice into greased casserole dish. Top with 1/2 each beef mixture, zucchini, cheese and olives. Repeat layering. Bake 15 min. or until heated through, then serve.

1 cup each converted rice and low sodium chicken broth
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, cut into pieces
12 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
1/2 pound cooked ham, cubed
2 tbs oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tbs oil. Add chicken and cook, turning 4 min. transfer to a plate. Add ham and sausage, cook until lightly browned. Transfer to plate with chicken. Add remaining oil to Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, garlic cook until softened. Stir in rice, tomatoes, broth, bell pepper, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves and meats and bring to a boil.
*Cover and bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is nearly tender, 35 min. Add shrimp, pushing into the mixture, then cover and bake until shrimp is opaque, 10 min. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with parsley and green onions, then serve.

1/4 cup each steak sauce and flour
1 cup each dry red wine and low sodium beef broth
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 1/4 cups biscuit mix
6 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
5 carrots, sliced
2 tbs oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper, toss with beef until coated. In a pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tbs oil. Cook beef adding 1 tbs oil to second batch, turning, until browned. Transfer to a plate. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic to pot. Cook, stirring, until wilted. Stir in beef, mushrooms, wine, broth, steak sauce and Italian seasoning. Cover, bake 50 min. Remove from oven.
*20 min. before serving, stir together biscuit mix and milk until combined. Increase oven temp to 400 degrees. Drop biscuit batter in mounds over beef mixture. Bake uncovered until biscuits are lightly browned, 20 min. then serve.

"Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life."~Matthew 19:29 NLT

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas:

*Colander: Make ice cubes last longer at your next cocktail party: Put them in a colander set into a bowl. As they melt, the water will drain through the holes instead of sitting and turning the ice to slush.

*Baby Powder: Prevent sweat stains on white shirts: Sprinkle powder on the underarms and the collar, then iron. The powder acts as a barrier.

The secret to leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow. ~Godin

Have a wonderful weekend with your family. Take your family to church, they deserve it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to my youngest son! Twelve years ago today, God blessed me with my second son. When they laid him in my arms he was so precious, his big brother waiting to meet him. Every day I learn something new from my children, they are such a blessing.

"My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish." ~John 10:27-28 NLT

Recipes, Recipes, & More Recipes:

8 oz orange juice
1 small banana
1 tbs ground flaxseed
1 tbs flaxseed oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth, adding ice if desired. Pour into a glass and serve.

1/8 tsp each pepper and paprika
2 tbs each flour and oil
1 tbs each chopped oregano leaves and chopped thyme leaves
3 tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
8 oz whole baby carrots, green tops trimmed to 1"
1 pound potatoes, cut into quarters
2 small onions, cut into quarters
4 bone in chicken breast halves
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine pepper, paprika and flour. Coat the chicken with flour mixture. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the chicken and cook until its browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
*Add the onions and potatoes to the skillet and cook 5 min. Add the carrots, stock, lemon juice and oregano and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet. Bake 20 min. Uncover the skillet and bake 15 min. or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the thyme, then serve.

2 tbs each minced parsley, chives, basil, lemon juice and oil
1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 oz snow peas, sliced
2 radishes, trimmed, diced
1 small carrot, peeled, diced
6 oz asparagus spears, sliced
8 oz orzo
Prepare orzo according to package directions. In skillet, cook asparagus, carrot, and radishes in oil 4 min. Add peas. Cook 2 min. In bowl, toss orzo, vegetables, parsley, chives, basil, lemon juice and lemon zest, then serve.

1 pound each frozen rhubarb, thawed and strawberries, halved
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs cornstarch
4 egg whites
2 tbs orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup strawberry jam
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line 9" pie plate with piecrust, crimp edges. Pierce bottom of crust 5 times, line with foil and pie weights. Bake 10 min. Remove weights and foil. Bake 3 min. or until golden. Cool.
*In pan, cook rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, jam, orange juice 5 min. In bowl, combine cornstarch and 3 tbs water, add to fruit. Bring to a boil. Let simmer 2 min. pour into crust. In bowl, beat egg whites and powdered sugar 4 min. or until stiff peaks form, spread over hot filling. Bake 3 min. Let cool, then serve.

1/2 cup each flour and chicken broth
4 oz part skim mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
3 tomatoes, sliced
1 medium onion, peeled, diced
1 cup marinara sauce
1 small eggplant, trimmed, peeled, cubed
4 tbs oil
2 small zucchini, trimmed, sliced
12 oz turkey breast cutlets
8 oz egg noodles
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions, transfer to greased casserole dish. Season turkey with salt and pepper, if desired. Place flour in plastic bag, add turkey. Shake to coat.
*In skillet, cook turkey in 2 tbs oil 4 min. or until browned. Remove turkey from pan. In same skillet, cook zucchini 4 min. remove from pan. Add remaining oil to skillet. Add eggplant and onions, cook 5 min. Stir in marinara sauce, vinegar and broth.
*Increase heat, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, let simmer 5 min. Pour sauce mixture over noodles, toss to coat. Fan turkey, zucchini, tomatoes and cheese over noodles. Bake 10 min. then serve.

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas:

*Bundt Pan (Another idea): Use the pan to make a clever ice ring for a punch bowl. Freeze water in the pan, then pop out the ring to chill the beverage instead of cubes

*Cupcake Pan: Make serving ice cream at your children's parties easier: Begin scooping before the party starts, using a cupcake tin lined with paper baking cups to hold individual servings. Stash in the freezer for up to several hours.

*Keep Your Freezer Full To Save On Electricity: Here is a way to be green and prepare for an emergency at the same time. I rinse out 2 liter soda and juice bottles and fill them 2/3 full with clean water. I then lay them almost on their sides (without the lids on tight), leaning against something, in our large freezer. The next day I screw the lids on tight. This keeps my freezer full so that it uses less electricity. The bonus: If we ever have a water outage, I have gallons of water to rely on. I also grab one or two to use in my ice chest when needed.

*Keep your house cooler by putting trash bags on sliding doors when it is hot and
sunny outside. My sliding door lets a huge amount of sun and heat in in the
morning. I use those large black yard waste trash bags to block the sun and
heat. Painters tape will hold the bag. I only need two pieces at the top. When
the area is shady I just take the bag down and fold it up to reuse. I stick the
painters tape to the sides of the door frame and reuse it also. I am sure it
would work the same if you get evening sunlight. Standing outside on a sunny
day, you can't even tell it is there.

*Water Azaleas with Pickle Juice My azalea bushes are 20 years old. Several years ago, I pruned them back severely. because they were getting very leggy and sparse. This spring they did not bloom for the first time in years. I found that they enjoyed an acid soil. Instead of mixing up pickling vinegar (which is the best), I use the juice from a pickle jar any other jars that have vinegar in them. After I have eaten all of the pickles, instead of pouring the juice down the drain when the jar is empty. I pour it over my Azalea plants. They do seem to love it and are thriving.

"Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them."– John Updike

Hope everyone has a terrific Thrusday! Get ready for family time this weekend, plan a night that is game night. This can be such a blast and start up conversations that a movie can't.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Wednesday! So excited about tonight at church, we are starting our mission meals up again tonight. This is a great time for families to go to church together and close the door on the wacky world for a little while. Studing Revelation, in the 6 chapter. We looked at the churches historically, devotionally, & prophetically; an amazing study!

"My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish." ~John 10:27-28 NLT

Recipes, Recipes, & More Recipes:

Combine chopped lettuce with diced cooked chicken, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes and avocados. Top with shredded cheese. Toss with vinaigrette.

8 oz carrot juice
3/4 cup pineapple chunks
1 tbs psyllium husk powder
1 tbs fish oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender, pulse until smooth, adding ice, if desired. Pour into a glass and serve.

(Cupcakes with butterflies on top of them, so cute) and yummy too.
1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
2 drops red food coloring (I made the frosting red instead of pink) just add more food coloring
48 vanilla wafer cookies
24 pieces 1" long each chocolate licorice (I used black licorice, even red licorice would work)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, beat first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water 2 min. divide batter among cupcake liners placed in two 12 well muffin pans. Bake 15 min. or until done. Let cool. In bowl, combine sugar and milk, reserve 1/4 cup. Add food coloring to remaining frosting spread on cupcakes. Arrange cookies and licorice to form butterflies. Pipe on dots with reserved frosting, then serve. (Cookies are the wings of the butterflies, licorice is the body of the butterflies and the dots are decorations on the wings of the butterflies).

(This is a casserole dish and very delicious and easy to make, we all enjoyed it, hope you do too).
1.3 oz pkg pesto sauce mix (contains basil, Parmesan cheese, salt and garlic) found in the packages of taco seasonings, gravy mixes, etc. isle.
1/2 cup pitted olives (I used the black ones)
2 cups milk
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 tbs oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped shallots (I used white onions)
1/2 pound green beans
20 oz bag frozen roasted garlic seasoned potato wedges, thawed (I used plain potato wedges and added fresh garlic to them)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare potato wedges according to package directions. In saucepot of boiling salted water, cook green beans 5 min. or until crisp tender. Drain, rinse in cold water.
*In saucepot, cook shallots in oil 2 min. Add beef and thyme, cook 5 min. or until meat is browned. Stir in pesto sauce mix and milk.
*Increase heat, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat let simmer 2 min. Remove from heat. Stir in potatoes, green beans and olives, transfer mixture to greased casserole dish. Bake 15 min. then serve.

2 pounds assorted kinds of potatoes, sliced
3 tbs coarsely chopped dill
1 lemon, zested, juiced
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillet
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together 1 tbs melted butter, bread crumbs, zest and dill, set aside. Butter the bottom of a casserole dish. Cover the bottom of the pan with half the potatoes. Season with some of the salt and pepper, sprinkle with half the feta.
*Repeat, topping with remaining potatoes, feta and some salt and pepper. Combine 1 tbs butter and the broth, pour over potatoes. Cover and bake until potatoes are softened, 45 min. Cut salmon into 3" pieces and toss with lemon juice, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.
*Remove potatoes from oven. Increase oven temp to 425 degrees. Place salmon over potatoes and sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Bake uncovered until salmon is cooked through and bread crumbs are golden brown, 15 min. Garnish with dill sprigs, then serve.

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit."
– Peter Ustinov

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas:

SPOT CLEAN DRAPERY: Laundering curtains and drapes is not an easy chore, so instead of wrestling them down from the windows, just sprinkle some baby powder onto any dirty patches. Then use a clean dry toothbrush to rub the powder in before letting it sit for 10 min. Baby powder absorbs the moisture that makes dirt cling to curtains, so you can easily brush the powder and the grunge away.

Quick Cleaning tip: (A tip I came across on the web to share with you!)It never fails that just when you think the house is clean you find another spot
you've missed. This morning I reached for toilet tissue and noticed the holder
looked a little dull. Like a lot of people, I keep baby wipes on the back of the
toilet. Well, I pulled one out and wiped off the holder and what a beautiful
shine I got. Looking in the mirror I noticed a few toothpaste stains, so I
proceed to wipe it away with another baby wipe. I couldn't believe all the
pretty lint free shiny areas I cleaned in a matter of seconds with a single baby

Quick Biscuits: There is no good way to freeze biscuit dough and still have
them taste good and fresh. Once the dough is mixed, without baking, the shelf life is limited, as the baking powder slowly becomes inactive. However, once baked, biscuits freeze well. When ready to eat them, defrost, sprinkle with water, and heat
in a medium oven for five minutes. They will not be as good as
fresh-baked, but almost.

This afternoon, I rescued a wild rabbit that was injured. Hoping to nurse it back to health. My daughter is going to be super excited since she is a major animal lover. Hope you all have a very blessed day~Tina

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is having a terrific day today. Kids are back in school and my power hours are back into play so that means the "To Do" list is being completed in a more time effective manner.

Are you wondering what the power hour is? Take an hour and break it up into 15 minute intervals where you work on something for 15 minutes. Uninterrupted time, 15 minutes NO MATTER WHAT! We can accomplish so much using this technique, simply set a timer and don't stop until it goes off. Do you think that you can clean your house in 15 minutes? I do! You can start clothes and dishes, then clean bathrooms, vacuum, and still have time to dust.
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome.
Ephesians 3:12 NLT

Recipes, Recipes, & Recipes

9 oz cheese tortellini pasta
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken, turkey or ham (use leftover meats you have or rotisserie chicken you can buy already cooked in a store)
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tbs Italian seasoning
1 cup light Ranch dressing
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool. Prepare other ingredients and toss all together, chill before serving.

2 thinly sliced cloves garlic
2 tbs oil
2 pounds ruby Swiss chard with tender stems, cut into ribbons
4 tbs water
Salt and Pepper
In skillet, cook garlic in oil 3 min. or until garlic is lightly golden. Add Swiss chard, water and a pinch of salt. Cover, increase heat and cook 5 min. or until greens are tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

(Savarin means a rich yeast cake baked in a ring mold and served with a syrup).
2 1/4 cups flour
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
10 tbs butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
1 tbs lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup each lemon juice and limoncello (lemon liqueur)
1 quart strawberries
1 pint raspberries
Coat a tube pan with nonstick spray, then flour. Combine 3/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter until very warm. Add to flour mixture, beat 2 min. Add eggs, 1 cup flour and zest, beat 2 min. Stir in remaining flour until blended. Spread dough into pan. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 min.
*SYRUP---Mix sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 min. or until syrupy. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and limoncello. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 25 min. or until done. Prick surface with a skewer, brush warm cake with half the syrup. Run knife around edge to release, invert cake onto wire rack set over a pan, brush remaining syrup over cake. Let cool completely. Mound berries in center, then serve.

8 large eggs
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tsp trans fat free margarine
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together first 4 ingredients. In skillet, cook bell peppers and green onions in margarine 3 min. Add egg mixture. Cook 2 min. or until eggs thicken slightly. Divide among 4 (1 cup) ramekins or cups. Bake 25 min. or until edges pull up and top is golden. Serve immediately or let fall and unmold.

(This recipe is really delicious, we like chicken and easy to make). ENJOY!
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 slices bacon, minced
2 tbs minced shallots (I used white onion)
3 tsp chopped thyme and/or rosemary (I used rosemary, I have a big bush of it)
1 whole roasting chicken
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp balsamic vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
Heat oven to 450 degrees. In saucepan, cook garlic in oil 10 min. or until soft. Remove garlic, mash. Discard all but 2 tbs oil. In skillet, cook bacon, shallots and 2 tsp herbs in 1 tbs oil 4 min. Let cool, then spread under skin of chicken.
*In bowl, mix remaining herbs and oil, brush over chicken. Place chicken on rack set in roasting pan. Place lemons in cavity. Add 1/2 cup broth to pan. Place chicken in oven. Reduce temp to 350 degrees. Roast 1 hour 45 min. or until thermometer reads 175 degrees, basting with broth often. Transfer chicken to platter.
*Pour pan drippings into glass measure. Skim and discard fat. Place pan over heat, add remaining broth and drippings. Cook 2 min. stirring. Add vinegar and garlic, serve with chicken.


Tips, Tricks, & Ideas!

* Save time when it comes to folding clothes. Many of us have that basket we hate to even touch, the dreaded sock basket! Make things easier, when the socks come off have them put them together with a safety pin. You will wash them together, dry them together, making it easier to match them.

* Are you running with school starting? Instead of running through drive-thru for dinner, think about the nights you are cooking. Simply double the recipe to make an extra dish & freeze it. Taking it out in the morning or starting it in the crock pot will allow you to have a homecooked meal instead of the quick dinners even on the go!


"When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object."
– Milan Kundera

As a woman, wife, and mother we tend to do for others before ourself. That is our nature. Sometime this week take one hour to do something for yourself, it will help energize you, relieve stress, and make you ready for yet another busy moment with friends, associates, and family~Tina

Monday, August 9, 2010

Whew, finally back!

Hello fellow bloggers. I have been missing in action due to a horrible virus that sneaked in through facebook. It messed everything up on my laptop and oh how I missed you all. However, the set back on my laptop did allow me more time to do things with my family, bible study, study Esther, and catch up on some much needed items. I have really been searching what to do with this page and hope that what I am coming up with to share will interest so many other women. Studying Esther with Beth Moore we are learning that it is Tough being a woman and how to be more like her. With this blog, I am hoping that Mothers and women in general will find that it doesn't have to be stressful. We have been giving such a gift from God in the form of our husband & children.

So everyday there will be several things on my blog. There will be tips, trick, & ideas that are sure to help when it comes to time savers or money savers. Recipes that anyone can fix; quick & easy meals along with some meals that just want to make you throw a huge neighborhood party. Motivation Quote along with a bible verse to look up and pray on.

I do hope everyone is ready for the ride and will invite all your friends to share in the information. Your suggestions and feed back is welcome as I know that will be a way that I can grow as well.

The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him sincerely.
Psalm 145:18 NLT
Recipes, Recipes, & More Recipes:


1 pound leeks, trimmed, cut into rings
1 carrot, peeled, cut into thin strips
4 medium zucchini, sliced
32 oz container low sodium chicken broth
1 tbs oil
5 oz can Vienna sausage, sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp chopped thyme

In saucepot, cook leeks, zucchini, and carrots in oil 4 min. Add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer 5 min. Add sausage, thyme and pepper flakes. Let simmer 2 min. Season with salt, if desired. Goes good with crackers or bread.


2 tsp oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into cubes
1 cup green salsa
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 corn tortillas, heated
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1 cup shredded lettuce

Heat oil in a skillet. Add pork and cumin, cook until golden brown on all sides. Add garlic and cook 1 min. Stir salsa into skillet, cook 1 min. or until heated through. Stir in cilantro, shred cubes of pork.
*TO ASSEMBLE---Fill warmed tortillas with pork mixture, then add lettuce. Serve with diced tomatoes, avocado, and lime wedges, if desired.


1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, halved
2 tbs flour
3 tbs chopped parsley
2 tbs oil
2 large leeks, trimmed, white part only chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled, minced
1 cup chicken broth
4 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded, sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise and sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
15.5 oz can navy beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In bowl, toss chicken with flour and 1 tbs parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. In pot or Dutch oven, cook oil 30 seconds. Cook chicken until golden brown, turning once, remove pieces and set aside.
*Add leeks and garlic to Dutch oven. Cook 2 min. Add broth, stirring, bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Add next 4 ingredients. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30min. Stir in beans and olives. Cook until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining parsley, then serve.
FOR SLOW COOKER METHOD---After browning chicken, combine all ingredients except zucchini, 2 tbs parsley and cheese in slow cooker on low heat. Cook 6 hours. Stir in zucchini, cook 1 hour. Sprinkle with parsley and cheese before serving.

Tips, Tricks, & Ideas

*If you are out on the water, particularly in smaller vessels such as jet skis,
canoes, kayaks, etc., take note of the following tip. Place your cell phone
inside a drink cozy and then place inside a plastic zip top bag. This way should
your cell phone take a dive in the water, it should float as well as stay dry.

*When you want to tie back your curtains to let air in, but their not usually
tied back, use a ponytail holder/hair tie. Gather the curtain panel and pull the
holder/hair tie up from the bottom. It allows the air to flow through the window
without leaving creases in your curtains and easily pulls right off to close
them up again. You could be creative and use hair ties with flowers, gems, or
other fun things on them too.

"If you haven't forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?"
– Dolores Huerta

Have a marvelous Monday!