Cooking in 2020, A Healthy Recipe

One of the most popular resolutions for the New Year is to cook and eat healthier.  Anyone trying to do that?  Me, too!  There are many recipes, cookbooks, blogs, and sites out to offer us help.  Honestly, if I used more common sense and less sugar I believe I could figure this thing out myself.  Well, with prayer, too.  Couldn’t you?

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First off, pray for guidance.  Secondly, I know I need to eat more vegetables.  I love them so that should not be a problem.  Right?  Well, it can be.  Creativity is the issue with me.  Do you get bored with the same old way of fixing veggies?  It is time to experiment.

Do you like cucumbers?  Have you tried them in a salad with tomatoes, green peppers, and feta?  Delicious!  With a light dressing this fresh salad comes alive with flavor and has very few calories.  Winner!

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This Fresh Cucumber, Tomato, Feta salad comes from Pampered Chef.  Yes, I’m a Pampered Chef Lady.  My daughter-in-law brings a praise-worthy version of this to family gatherings.  This would make a nice lunch choice.  Even adding a lean protein and doubling the portion of the salad the calories would total less than 500.

The three lowest calorie cheeses are feta, Swiss, and mozzarella.  Bummer about cheddar, I know.  My cheese of choice is Swiss which I substitute in this recipe.  I am an onion fan so occasionally I will toss in a few.

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If I would just eat what God has given us, I know my body would be healthier.  Just look at the historical account of Daniel in the Bible. CEADFDB9-773B-46D3-87EF-4553A1B55134God has provided so many fruits, vegetables, and proteins for us.  Absolutely I love desserts, but I do not need them as often as I indulge.  They will be reserved for a special occasion or treat.  (I may need you to remind me of that later.)

My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit so I need to make 2020 a year of repairs on it.  What about you?  What shape is your temple in now?

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Enjoy the salad recipe!

Salad

  • 2   seedless cucumbers, cut into 3″ (7.5 cm) pieces and in half lengthwise
  • 4   plum tomatoes, tops removed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1   yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 4 oz (125 g) chunk feta cheese, cut in half lengthwise
  •  Black pepper

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp (7 mL) sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  •  garlic clove, pressed

DIRECTIONS

  1. For salad, cut cucumbers with the Quick Slice, place in a large serving bowl; repeat with remaining ingredients, except pepper.
  2. For dressing, combine all ingredients in Measure, Mix & Pour®. Mix until blended.
  3. Drizzle 1/3 cup (75 mL) dressing over vegetables; toss.  Refrigerate remaining dressing for another use. Top with black pepper, if desired.

Yield:

  • 12  servings of about 3/4  cup /175 mL

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 45, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 170 mg, Carbohydrate 4 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g

 

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Christmas, Cookies, and Memories

Christmas and cookies just seem to go together.  Kids of all ages love cookies.  Don’t you?  From the simple chocolate chip and peanut butter to fancier bonbons and cookie press spritz, a tray of cookies is always a welcomed delight at any home.

I remember making Christmas candy with both of my grandmothers but not cookies.  My mother and I made those along with treasured memories.  Mother is a wonderful cook and baker.  She is also a true Proverbs 31 woman even to this day.  I am blessed to have a Christian mother to teach me many things, especially about Jesus.

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One of our family’s favorite cookies is Spritz or Cookie Press Butter Cookies.  A hint of almond mixed with pure buttery goodness in small shapes of wreaths, Christmas trees, stars, and hearts give the kitchen a heavenly aroma when baking.  These are scrumptious any time of the year.  The best thing about them is the fun I have when making them with a loved one.

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Christmas memories don’t need to be about a gift you received.  Make sweet memories this year by making cookies for family and friends with your mother, daughter, sister, or friend.  Actually, that will be a gift in itself.  I still smile when I travel back in time to a little red brick house and am making cookies with my mother and little sister.   The smiles on faces of friends and family when we gave them a tin of homemade cookies warmed our souls.  Yes, the gift we gave became a gift returned to us.

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Need a cookbook for some great recipes?  Amish author Wanda Brunstetter has a Christmas cookbook that even has a recipe for these cookies:

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I love the Amish cookbooks.  If you are not familiar with Amish, they love to cook, bake, and eat!  Now that is a recipe for a great cookbook.  Get it at Amazon or wherever you normally buy books.

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St. Patrick’s Day Musings and Recipe

Well, top of the mornin’ to ya and Happy St. Patty’s Day! ‘‘Tis the day everyone claims to be at least a wee bit Irish,  What about you?  Are you really of Irish decent or just Irish today?

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A sea of green will be flowing everywhere today because most everyone wears green clothes, Irish or not, on this day. It is the day many foods turn green on purpose.  Even the river in Chicago turns green.  This is also the one day of the year that we all put a “Mc” or “O” in front of our surname and become Irish. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick was a soul saver. IMG_1716A soldier for the Lord.  That is what we are really celebrating.  He used a three leaf clover to teach people about the trinity.  St. Patrick turned thousands of hearts, minds, and souls to the one true God.  Now, doesn’t that sound like cause to celebrate!  I think so, too.

It isn’t about having things green and being Irish. No fictional little leprechauns with rainbows and pots of gold were there.  This is about celebrating the vast number of Druids, pagans that were saved and became Christians.

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Irish are supposed to be lucky among a lot of other things. You’ve heard of the “luck of the Irish,” right? Hmm, I am not sure about that. Well, I guess you could say the ones that met St. Patrick were lucky, or could you? Was it luck that drew them to St. Patrick or something else?  Perhaps the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in luck? Do you think there is gold at the end of the rainbow? Personally, I don’t really believe much in luck or leprechauns. Maybe if I keep losing when playing a game I say I have bad luck, but outside of that I don’t put belief in luck. My faith and trust are in Jesus. He is the one that guides and directs me just like He did St. Patrick.

When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He was the Way or rainbow to my riches. I followed Him. My gold happens to be where Jesus prepared a place for me at the end of my earthly life – in Heaven. IMG_3600That is where my heart is, too. In Heaven the Bible says there will be beautiful streets of gold.

My saved loved ones will be there. There will be no more sickness, no more death, no more tears. My Savior, Jesus, is there. Our Almighty God, my Maker, is there. Talk about hitting the jackpot or pot of gold! That is everything I could ever want. Wow, no riches can compare to that. None. So what about you? Where is your pot of gold?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21.

Traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day Dish

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Irish Colcannon, an Irish Treasured Dish

1 lb. potatoes peeled white or unpeeled red potatoes
½ lb. bacon (cut into small 1-inch squares)
1 T. Kosher salt
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (approximately a head)
6 T. butter (four for the cabbage and two for the potatoes)
½ cup whipping cream (or milk)
Fresh parsley chopped finely-a few sprigs will do
A large onion, chopped
5 or 6 scallions or a clump (handful) of chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash potatoes and peel if you’re using thick skinned.
Cut the potatoes in quarters and place in a large pot of boiling water.
Add the Kosher salt. Boil for approximately 25 minutes.
Stick one of the potatoes with a fork to see if they’re cooked. They should be tender and easy to penetrate with the prongs.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat.
When they’re finished cooking, add 4 T. butter.
Add the cabbage and onions.
Sauté the cabbage mixture until almost done, with the onions translucent and cabbage a bit crispy. Some people prefer to cook the mixture until everything is soft. It just depends on whether you like a bit of crunch or not. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and add the butter and cream or milk, mashing it to silky smoothness—unless you left the skins on, then almost silky smoothness.

Add the onion, cabbage mixture and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Enjoy this Irish classic dish.