Posted in Uplifting

Mothers Day

Growing up my dad gave of his time and money to make that day special for my mom. We would cook  give homemade gifts and cards plus with an older sister to boss or I should say “guide” us. Our celebrations should go down in record books.

Fast forward to mothers day 1993 it was coming fast I was excited because it was my first mothers day as a mom. I had visions of being doted on, showered with love oh the expectations were very high. The day came and went with not even a glance in my direction. I was hurt, mad and my thoughts had a lot of  colorful adjectives that I could use to describe my husband.

Mothers days came and went I never did get the celebration you see from Hollywood from my husband, he just didn’t have it in him but what I got as my children grew was better.

I would hear from my bedroom my daughter boss my son around as they would get breakfast so I could “sleep in” and eat in my bed with a had made card and gift. My breakfast in bed started out as cold cereal graduated to eggs with shells, so much protein. Then on to perfect looking and tasting breakfast that I could say come straight from a magazine. I look back missing those with egg shells.

Perfection or close to perfection is over rated. We can lose our self trying for it and trading our joy to never get it.

I have those wonderful memories but I can learn from them as well. I can give of my self to others not for perfection or anything in return. To be a servant like Jesus was, he was a perfect example.

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mothers day can be hard on some who no longer have their moms with them or they don’t have moms that they want to celebrate but what ever the case we can celebrate the joy of those women that give and enrich our life.

 

Posted in Recipes

Tofu Tacos

I really enjoy tofu it is so versatile and I don’t mind the texture but I know many who just can’t get over it.

I have made tofu tacos since my children were so little now they are grown adults that still enjoy this recipe, even my meat-eating son likes these better than meat tacos!

I don’t freeze my tofu for this recipe but those of you that have a hard time with the texture may like to do that step. I just pat dry all the moisture out of my tofu that I can with a towel then cut it into small bite sized pieces for todays recipe.

To Freeze tofu:

This will take about 15-20 minutes to prep but you may find it worth doing because you may keep it in the freezer up to five months.

Drain all water out of tofu.

I recommend using cheese cloth but if you have paper towels they work too. Place cheesecloth or paper towel on a flat surface such as a cutting board. Put drained tofu on the cheesecloth/paper towel then cover with cheesecloth/paper towel, finally place a heavy object on top for about 15 minutes. This will remove all remaining moisture.

After the 15 minutes place tofu in a freezer bags, make sure all air is out of the bags.

Don’t get alarmed when you see the frozen tofu’s color it will change to some form of yellow depending on the brand you use. Remember to always thaw tofu before cooking.

Tofu Tacos:

Extra Firm Tofu cut into small pieces ( the amount depends of the size and appetites of those eating but one block serves 2-3 people)

4-5 cloves of garlic diced

1 small onion chopped

1-2 green chilies chopped

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon red chili powder

1 Teaspoon veggie bouillon

1 8oz can tomato sauce

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Black and white pepper to taste

Tabasco sauce according to taste

Place olive oil in frying pan then add tofu, garlic, onion green chilies sauté let tofu get nice and crispy brown. add seasoning, veggie bouillon, tomato sauce and tabasco. Let simmer then serve on hard or soft taco shells top with the ideas below.

Taco toppings:

Grated Cheese

Lettuce, Tomatoes, Avocados and Cilantro chopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Worry

I had the pleasure to work in my yard on Monday. I have always enjoyed working outside and felt so blessed to be able to be out side working. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful.

I was enjoying the sound of the birds, the smell and feel of the soil with the sun on my shoulders I let out a sigh of happiness. I thought it just couldn’t get any better. I had no worries, life was as perfect as it could get. As I finished and looked with satisfaction on what I did, it got me thinking.

It is not in the absence of problems but instead while in the mist of the worst of what life can throw at you is when not worrying really matters.

Not giving in to worry during the worst of times. Understanding that it wont change a thing to worry so why take ownership of it. I reflect on scripture, meditate and mentally play catch with God. I label my baseball with my worry, I concentrate on my breath then I mentally see my self throwing it as if I am in right field and it needs to get to the pitcher mound. As soon as it leaves my hand I see it soaring and being caught by a large glove that is made to catch the biggest balls. As odd as this seems it not only helps but it makes life so much better and I am able to participate in my life without worry dragging me down.

I love the encouraging statement by Corrie ten Boom. Now she could have been given a hall pass to worry, in fact many are amazed by her strength as she was imprisoned by the Nazis during the Holocaust, talk about real problems.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Corrie ten Boom

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

 

Posted in Recipes

Lasagna

I know most enjoy doing different takes on family recipes for lasagna but I thought for today I would share the basic lasagna I do.

It is not an earth shattering recipe but just my basic go to old stand by. What makes me want to share is more about the noodle.

A while back I was in the store looking for my whole wheat lasagna noodle when lo and behold I found Delallo whole wheat oven ready noodles.

This might not sound so great and I never got on the ban wagon of oven ready noodles but I thought I would give them a try. I am so glad I did, they are awesome!

So today I thought I would share this great find incase some of you have not heard about them. The amount of the ingredients below depend of the size you want to make so it’s just an out line of lasagna.

1-2 boxes of Dellallo 100% organic whole wheat lasagna oven ready noodles (one box makes about 9 servings)

Marinara sauce

4-5 cloves of garlic (diced)

Fresh basil and parsley ( any kind of basil , it is up to your taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Baby Spinach washed and patted dry

Ricotta cheese ( or low-fat cottage cheese)

1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

1/2 to 1 cup parmesan cheese

In bowl add Ricotta ( or cottage cheese) garlic,  basil, parsley, salt and pepper.

In a 13×9 pan put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the pan, spread noodles over the sauce start to layer ricotta or cottage cheese mixture, spinach, followed by the mozzarella parmesan cheese. Repeat layers add sauce and final bit of cheese, cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Apple Juice a Vacuum and a Four year old

 

I have always been in awe of children and how they think. As my own children grew I was in constant wonderment. I now get to see this with my four-year old grandson Milo.

He loves to take charge giving a helping hand, no job is to big, no job is to small. In his mind he can do anything a grown up can do and in fact because of this attitude he flourishes when he has challenges.

It was this kind of thinking last week that brought me to blog about Milo today.

My daughter was taking a quick shower because as any mom with little ones knows when they are sleeping you are lucky to have a few minutes to yourself. She is about done when she hears the sound of a vacuum coming from down stairs throwing on her robe and running down the stairs she sees her four-year old vacuuming the tile floor in the kitchen and so much yellow sticky liquid she was surprised she did not fall or that he didn’t get electrocuted.

He smiles up at her as she enters. He turns it off standing so proud begins to tell her that he got up, wanted apple juice and decided to pour it for himself but the juice was to full he spilled it on the floor but not to worry because he cleaned it up. To him he had taken care of it. It wasn’t until he went to walk and got sticky did he realize it. My daughter finished cleaning it up, took apart the vacuum so it would dry out  and was thankful he didn’t short out the vacuum or get shocked.

So many times we are like Milo, we think no problem is to big for us to handle it on our own or we don’t need to bother God with it because we can do it ourselves. Instead of taken care of it we are left with a sticky dripping mess and a miracle that we didn’t harm our self. If only when things come up if we just stop and ask for help.

As funny and precious as this is and I do laugh at it. I can take away with this thought of so much heart ache and extra work could have been avoided in my life if only I would have stopped and asked for help.  I can be stubborn and have a take on anything attitude perhaps Milo has a touch of me after all.

I am learning that so much of the heart ache and problems could have been avoided if I would have stopped and prayed and how God sees us wishes we would have waited or asked for help but the best part is He doesn’t condemn but helps us move forward taking care of the mess as only He can.

Psalm 46:1

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Hebrews 4:15-16

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Posted in Recipes

Eggplant Parmesan

I just love eggplant it was not love at first sight so to speak. Growing up I was the one that would be the last at the table because I had an appetite of a football team, so to me eggplant was just something to fill my stomach, I did not appreciate how great it was until I got older. It was a taste that grew on me.

I  enjoy eggplant parmesan made ” the correct way” but I try not to eat or make fried foods to often so I bake the eggplant instead of frying it. I also have a love affair with cheese so I add a few different ones, yes I know counterproductive with trying to be healthy and not eating fried foods but what can I say, I love cheese.

Depending on your family size you might need to make more or less. I make it just for me and love warm ups, so it’s all up to you.

To draw the moisture out of the eggplant and some say the bitterness. Cut up the eggplant put on a cookie sheet or large platter sprinkle with salt on both sides. Let set for about 30 minutes rinse and pat dry. I have done this and left this step out, to me it’s not a noticeable difference.

Eggplant

Marinara sauce ( I make mine but any from the store you like works great)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs

1/4 cups nutritional yeast flakes

1 egg

Parmesan, mozzarella and feta cheese

Pre heat oven to 450

Cut and peal eggplant set aside. Add breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast flakes to a bowl.  In a different bowl add egg and a tablespoon of water together and mix well.

Now dip the eggplant in the egg mixture then roll in the breadcrumb mix, place on cookie sheet. Continue this until all eggplant is covered and on the cookie sheet.

Cook for about 30 minutes at 450 turning the eggplant half way.

In a casserole dish put in marinara sauce just enough to cover the bottom. Place backed eggplant on top of sauce add cheese then eggplant. cover with marinara sauce sprinkle with more cheese. Bake on a lower temperature at 350 for about 30 more minutes. When it is bubbling and the cheese is slightly brown you know it is done. Take out let cool, then enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Hide and Seek

I loved playing hide and seek with my children when they were little. My son was the champ. He had a huge imagination, could fit in any place and this usually energetic louder than most children would become still and a mute. My daughter would get so mad that she couldn’t find him. She would call and call looking everyplace she could think of and still could not find him.

I must confess that I loved the fact that he would hide so well. I would take that time to have a much-needed break or yes even eat a cookie with out the fear of being found out.

After a very nice break I would join in the fun and look for my son . Most of the time I could find him with ease but on a few occasions I would need to call his name with a promise we would close our eyes if he would just come out. He then so stealthy would appear, sometimes I never did find out where he was.

How many times do we feel like we are playing hide and seek with God.

We walk around calling and calling out looking for him and getting mad and even sad because we can not find him. We keep up the search but still nothing. We know he must be there but in times of our valleys it is as God is someplace off hiding that can never be found. We feel alone and wonder why.

If only during this time we STOP our exhausting search, call out and be still. God will show himself. He will never leave us but we are the ones that walk around in search getting more upset and forgetting that He is with us all along.

The Bible is full of this frantic search from old to new testament so many examples of  people in their valleys and then God shows himself and comforts.

We just celebrated Easter and I am reminded of Thomas who gets a bum rap for not believing Jesus was alive. Thomas was overcome with grief and had to hear all others talk of seeing Jesus now that would have left me feeling left out, mad and perhaps wondering where Jesus was and why if he was alive he didn’t just come out and show himself.

In John 20:26 We see Thomas not searching but was still and in a room when Jesus came to him. Jesus knew what Thomas needed and showed up in a big way and gave it to him. I also found that in verse 28 it is the first time recorded that Jesus is addressed as “My Lord and my God” this was said by Thomas he realized what we all sometimes forget.

Next time you are feeling alone and thinking you need to keep searching just stop, breath and know God is there just ask him to show himself but the trick is to wait until he does.

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:”

Isaiah 55:6

 

 

Posted in essential oils, Health and beauty

Natural Nose Spay

Yes spring is in full bloom ( at least in my part of the world) but with it comes the dreaded allergies.

I worked for years in an ENT office. When I would give info to my patients I found it was always the simple home remedies that usually worked best.

This is easy to make, does not take long and can be used when needed with out side effects. (Its always best to consult your physician before starting any home remedies)

Nasal spray bottle

Salt

Essential oils :

4 drops of Frankincense, 6 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Melaleuca tea tree

distilled water

To make this put a pinch of salt in bottom of spray bottle add the essential oils let the oils absorb into the salt then add the distilled water to top of bottle.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Classic Basil Pesto

I love pesto it can enhance any recipe or stand alone with so many variations but this is a classic pesto  that only takes about 10 minutes and I use it in my zucchini lasagna from Mondays recipe.

To have a more intense green color of pesto just blanch the herbs. To do this is simple just add herbs to boiling water for five seconds then shock them in ice water squeeze them then pat dry.

4 cups of basil leaves

1 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 to 3/4 pine nuts

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

salt to taste

3/4 cup virgin olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil)

Combine Basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic in food processor mix until finely chopped. Pour oil in finish mixing.

I like to use this fresh but it can be frozen for a month for those nights that you need a quick go to dinner.

Posted in Uncategorized

Zucchini Lasagna

What a great weekend. The weather was nice and sunny the storm I thought might make it so I would need to bring the egg hunt indoors didn’t show until late Sunday evening.

With the clouds and rain still hanging around I thought a nice casserole sounded good for todays meatless Monday.

You can find a zucchini lasagna recipe all over the internet but I thought I would add to the assortment of them.

This is an easy dinner plus if you are wanting lasagna but don’t want to use noodles or to change it up this is one way to do it.

Depending on your size of meal you can make changes as needed.

3-4 medium-sized zucchini

3 cups baby spinach

1-2 cups mozzarella cheese grated ( I find I use a little more cheese but this is a good amount)

1 cup feta cheese crumbled

pesto sauce ( I make my own but you can buy a jar and that will work)

marinara sauce ( I also make this but if you like to buy yours any flavor will be good)

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes

Clean the zucchini and baby spinach pat dry. Set aside the spinach, cut zucchini in long thin strips. In a 13×9 pan pour a small amount of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Put zucchini strips on top of the sauce spread pesto on the zucchini strips add baby spinach then sprinkle on the two different cheese, top with zucchini strip. Continue this one or two more times. Finally adding the  rest of your marinara sauce and cheese for on top. Cover for about the first 15 minutes, remove cover and continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked and the lasagna is nice and bubbly. Let cool then enjoy.

I have done this in the crock pot as well if you are looking for a nice dish to come home to after a long day,this works beautifully, just layer as above in your crock pot then put on low.