Like most people I enjoy sweets and one of my favorite is German chocolate cake.
I also like to eat healthy so todays recipe is a healthy chocolate cake, yes I said healthy but the frosting is not. I found the Cake recipe on healthyindulgences.net but my love of German chocolate and my desire to save time I thought to do something different.
Healthy upside down German Chocolate cake
1 15 oz Black Beans
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
1/2 Sea salt
6 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup of Honey plus 1/2 Teaspoon of pure Stevia
6 Tablespoon of Coco Powder
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
Rinse and drain beans, place beans, 3 eggs, vanilla, honey, and salt blend together then add coco powder, baking soda and baking powder mix a little longer. In a separate bowl add remainder eggs, stevia and coconut oil together until fluffy then add to bean batter beat on high for about 1 minute.
Now in a 13×9 pan Add:
1/4 Cup of Melted Butter
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Pecans
1 1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
Now that you have added the above ingredients in the pan pour the black bean cake batter on top. Bake at a low temperature of 325 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.
Before the cake is all the way cool place the cake upside down over a platter to remove the cake from the pan, serve the cake on the platter but if it is easier you may want to just serve in the pan. Either way it is delicious.
I love to garden and work in the soil or to landscape. Yes it is hard work but just to be outside with my hands in the dirt even pulling weeds, that is one of my happy places.
Years ago I worked for my in-laws in the office of their landscape company. I enjoyed the fact I could take my children to work and have a flexible schedule plus I had a friend in my brother in-law that always took the time brighten my day with a joke or to explain things and help me learn about landscaping and on one occasion I found out about a French drain. It is not named after the country but after a person that came up with an idea to use the concept of how water flows down hill. It is a slightly sloped trench filled with small rock or gravel and pipe that diverts the water away from your house or other place you don’t want to flood then is collected and used.
This basic idea of collecting water that could damage property or hurt people if not done the right way got me thinking. What if in life we have French drains when hurts happen and our tears fall.
In my life as with everyone hurt will happen and tears will fall. I have had things happen that have left me crying my river of tears. I can look back and see those tears were collected and now used for good. I know that even when life hurts my tears are seen by God I am not alone He makes a French drain that keeps me safe in the middle of what would be damaging to me but stores those tears to be used for something good later.
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. (NLT)
Todays recipe came from me wishing to go to Greece and wanting to use up what I had in my refrigerator.
I use the basic Greek salad dressing recipe then add my ingredients to make this a very easy side or a light dinner.
2-3 cloves of garlic minced then crushed
5 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon of sugar
2 Tablespoon of lemon
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 Teaspoon of basil leaves
1/4 Teaspoon of oregano leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the above ingredients in a container, store in refrigerator.
Now that your dressing is chilling in the refrigerator assemble your salad.
4-5 Cups of Bow Tie pasta cooked according to the box directions
1 can of Chickpeas ( rinsed and drained)
4-5 Green Onion diced
1-2 Tomatoes cut in bite sized pieces
1 Cup of Kalamata olives diced (or in a pinch black olives work)
1 Cup of crumbled Feta Cheese
1 Cup of baby Spinach
Mix the above ingredients in bowl, add the dressing. This can be eaten immediately or saved for later. I like it better after it has had time to sit refrigerated for a few hours.
I am sure every one has heard if not played the game of Jenga. Incase you haven’t it is a game of wooden blocks. You place the blocks in a tower formation then each person takes turns removing the bottom block and putting it on top and as you can guess after some time it becomes a wobbly tower that eventually falls crashing down.
I have played this with my children when they were small and enjoyed it. Sometimes we would make up our own rules other times it was by the book. Either way it would go we would start out on the right track but at some point our tower would look like it belonged in Pisa. Our hearts would beat fast and hopes none of the blocks would come crashing done on our turn.
I was thinking of this game and reflecting on how my life can be like a big Jenga game.
I can start out putting God the first block on top. Everything is stable and going well but as life has it I then start pulling more “blocks” of life from the bottom and replace the top block with my priories and the busyness of life just keep going, block after block until my tower is so unstable my heart will race and I will start to have fear of it all coming crashing down on me. If I don’t take head to these feeling my tower crashes and I am left with pieces of what was my life.
I am learning and sometimes ever so slowly not to have my blocks of life a Jenga game but instead more like the quite but can be fun blocks of a Lincoln Logs set.
If you are like me and are having a hard time eating lately due to the hot weather you should try todays recipe. It doesn’t take long plus not a lot of cooking is required so you can stay cool as well.
I had red quinoa, steak tomatoes and an American cucumber but you can add any kind of quinoa, tomatoes or cucumber that you prefer, the sky’s the limits. You may want to increase the amounts as well if you are making this for a large group.
1 Cup of cooled quinoa ( if you don’t have any already cooked and in the refrigerator then go ahead and cook some for this recipe and after if is cooked put it in your freezer to cool it quickly while you do the prep work.)
1 medium cucumber cut in bite sized pieces and if you prefer peeled
1 large Tomato cut in bite sized pieces
4-5 green onions diced
4-5 cloves of garlic diced
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Teaspoons of lemon juice
1 1/2 Teaspoons of lime juice (if you do not have lime juice you may use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
The following per you taste Salt, Pepper, Parsley and Oregano ( if you have fresh herbs even better but dried works fine.)
Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl serve and enjoy. This can be done ahead of time if you wish or taken to you next BBQ.
Todays recipe is one that I did not come up with but instead being up late and on Pinterest paid off big time.
I stumbled across this great drink and would like to thank Alyssa at “my sequined life” for sharing.
To say that watermelon is one of my favorite fruits is putting it mildly. I love this wonderful summer fruit so this drink not only showcases it in a great way but can be done with out a juicer.
If you are like me and buy watermelon with seeds then it is a little time-consuming picking them out but oh so worth it.
Watermelon, Orange, Ginger, Turmeric Juice:
7 Cups of Watermelon
18 oz. Orange juice
3 knob Ginger, root
3/4 Teaspoons of Turmeric
After peeling and cutting up watermelon and ginger add to blender and blend then add the turmeric and orange juice until all ingredients are blended.
Serve over ice and enjoy. Not only is this a great cool summer drink but the health benefits from all the ingredients will be great for you too.
Todays recipe is another one to keep you cool and it is perfect when your appetite is a little smaller because of the hot weather. I grew up eating this with a nice egg salad sandwich but sometimes change it up to chickpeas for protein.
I love the fact that I can make this first thing in the morning and let set in the refrigerator all day waiting for me to come home and just set it out then eat.
Based on your family size you may need to add or decrease the amounts but for a nice summer meal it’s great.
Chilled Cucumber Soup:
1 quart of buttermilk
1-2 medium cucumbers ( depends on size and how chunky you would like your soup)
Hand full of Green onions or 1 small purple onion
Fresh ground pepper to taste (I like to add “garlic pepper seasoning grinder” by McCormick)
Peel cucumber, chop green onions, grate cucumber and if using purple onion grate this as well. In container add grated cucumber and onion, pour in buttermilk add seasoning. Chill for the entire day. Best if served in chilled bowls.
1 Can of chickpeas washed and drained
Mustard, olive oil mayo ( vegan mayo)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Bread of your choice
Pour chickpeas into dish, mash with a fork then add the mustard and mayo enough to make a tasty paste ( think consistency of egg salad ) now season to taste. Refrigerate the when ready make into sandwiches. This will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator.
The day my daughter met her new little brother it was love at first sight. In her mind I had given her a live baby doll to take care of. This love affair continues with them but its more a love/hate relationship now.
The rose color glasses came of for my daughter when her precious little brother decided to have a mind of his own at such a young tender age of only one. The fights started and never really ended. Even today when we have dinners together as supposed adults the teasing and verbal insults laced with love can and do fly.
I had tried everything from setting timers and letting them hash it out then when the timer stops they had to say at least five nice things about each other. To if fighting continued we would get in a talking circle and pass a talking” oven mitt around ( because if we used a talking stick, why that’s just asking for it) but that would end with them turning and laughing at my expense. I could go on with the creative ways to deal with the arguing and at family dinners we laugh at some of them but one in particular stands out and actually worked more often than not.
I would have them sit on the floor with their backs to each other, lock arms then try to stand. I have to admit that at times I enjoyed watching the struggle and how they learned to work together. Sometimes it took longer for each to cooperate and stand but other times they stood together no problem.
I thought of this and how it parallels with life. I have been so busy with getting my blanket business off and running and my eBooks written plus mix all other normal life activities into my day-to-day that I started feeling stressed. As I had my quite time this morning I remembered I have a God with me always, willing to help, in fact would love to take the pressure of if I only allow him to take it. Plus I have some awesome people in my life that I could work with and help me to stop struggling.
In todays electronic driven world we can become an island. With becoming an island it bring so many health problems that can be avoided if we just remember to reach out to other. Even just a smile can go such a long way.
We as people were never meant to be alone. Things go smother and happier when accomplished together.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Growing up in Phoenix I was used to my mom trying out easy cool dinners for our family. I carry on this tradition by using part of her bean taco salad she would make then added a few things.
This recipe is served as a taco salad bar making it a great way to serve people of various appetites who like to help them selves and socialize.
1 bag of corn chips (low salt)
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 small onion ( any will do but I like green or purple onions best in this)
Lettuce chopped (any type works, I enjoy a mix of greens in this)
Avocado chopped into bite sized pieces
Light Catalina dressing
To assemble salad:
Place desired amount of corn chips in your bowl, place rest of ingredients on corn chips including Catalina dressing, mix together and enjoy.
Winter has come back for a quick hello, it made me think of a warm comfort food dish for today.
I didn’t grow up eating pierogies but found out how good they are when I had them home-made as an adult. I love lasagna and enjoy a good pierogie so this a great marriage of the two.
Vegetarian bacon ( made from tofu or store bought)
6-8 medium Potatoes
9 Lasagna noodles
2 cups of Cheddar Cheese or per your taste
1 small onion or 5 green onions
2-3 cloves of garlic
Milk, Greek yogurt, chives for making the mashed potatoes
Wash, peel and cut potatoes, cook them until done. Drain and return potatoes to the pot mash them adding the milk, Greek yogurt, chives and butter. You want them nice and creamy.
While the potatoes are cooking dice onion and garlic, crumble vegetarian bacon in pan. Cook until onion is clear and bacon is done.
In another pot cook lasagna noodles per package directions
To assemble you will need a 13×9 lightly greased pan.
Spread the mashed potatoes on the bottom of pan place cooked lasagna noodles on top of mashed potatoes, spread onion, garlic bacon mixture on the noodle then sprinkle with cheese. Continue layering until last noodle then spread the remainder of the mashed potato on top and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes