Yesterday I tried the easiest dish that maybe I have ever made. It is simple, healthy and very good.
Try it - you'll like it!
Summer Vegetable Casserole
2 small yellow squash, washed and sliced
1 smalll zucchini, washed and sliced
1 small onion, sliced (I used a red onion)
1 tomato, washed and sliced
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. of sea salt
1/2 tsp basil
pepper to taste
Rub a little olive oil on the side of your baking dish.
Place vegetables into the dish.
Mix other ingredients and put on vegetables.
Cover and microwave 8-10 minutes or
cook in conventional oven for 20-25 minutes, 350 degrees
Kay Arthur at Precept.org has a very inspiring message in her June newsletter.
It is based on Psalm 119:25-40 and there is a download for a free lesson for these verses.
It is a wonderful focus on God's ways and and great message on where to direct our thoughts.
The author is under stress as he mentions that his soul clings to dust. He weeps
because of grief. He has taken some false ways and his eyes have looked at
things of vanity. This could relate to almost anyone.
To God he says;
Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your Precepts so I will meditate
on Your wonders. Grant me Your law and give me understanding. Strengthen me according
to Your word. Enlarge my heart and guide me as I go the way of Your commandments.
Revive me in Your ways and through Your righteousness. Establish Your word to me as that
What a difference it would make to keep a focus on God's word and His ways.
The Enviromental Working Group's has reported on suncreen for 2010. The top rated ones all contain the minerals zinc and titanium but these are not considered to be hormone disruptors. None of the top rated ones contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and none are sprays or powders.
None of the none mineral varieties earned a top rating.
A few of their selections are:
Purple Prarie Botanicals
Check EWG.org for a full list and to check how your favorite brand fares.
Some of their facts about sunscreens are:
1. there is not evidence that sunscreens help prevent skin cancer. There is some evidence that they might actually increase the risk of melanoma - the most deadliest form of skin cancer. A form of vitamin A in sunscreen may speed the development of skin cancer.
2. There is no proof that a higher SPF does any better.
3. The body needs vitamin D and the natural way to get it is with direct sunlight. The American Medical Association recommends direct sun without sunscreen for 10 minutes several times a week. The dermatologists do not agree - they say there is not evidence for that.
I think moderation in the sun is best and definitely limiting the times between 10am and 3pm.
By studying dietary patterns experts have comprised a list of super foods that are high in antioxidants and immune building properties. When eaten regularily these foods help heart health, blood sugar levels and protect against the aging process. Some may even help prevent tumor formation.
These include: Avocados; Beans (Legumes); Blueberries; Broccoli; Cinnamon; Kefir; Oats;
Olive Oil ; Oranges; Soy; Pomegranate ; Pumpkin Seeds; Atlantic Salmon Spinach;
Tomatoes; Green or Black Tea; Turkey; Walnuts; Yogurt with active cultures
Yogurt Healthy Treat
1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt with active cultures
Add 1/8 cup of crushed walnuts and 1/8 cup of cut oranges
sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon powder with 1/2 teaspoon honey
Drizzle over 1st 3 ingredients.
You can use a cake mix or the following simple yellow cake mix for 2 - 9" layers. Mixes have a lot of chemical sounding ingredients and I like to keep it more natural.
2/3 cup of butter, softened to room temperature
1 and 1/3 cups of grandulated sugar
2 cups of sifted self rising flour
2/3 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Use an electric mixer to cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream for about 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Alternate adding flour and milk to cream mixture beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and mix just enough to blend in.
Grease and flour 2 - 9" cake pans. Divide batter equally into the pans. Hold pans 3-4 inches above counter and drop several times onto counter to even the batter and release air bubbles.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
7 Minute Frosting
2 egg whites, unbeaten
1 and 1/2 cups of sugar
5 tbsp water, cold
1 and 1/2 tsp of light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Put all ingredients except vanilla in top of a double boiler.
Mix well by beating with a rotary egg beater.
Cook 7 minutes over boiling water, beating constantly with egg beater.
Frosting is done when it stands in peaks. Remove from heat and add vanilla and beat until it is thick enough to spread.
Use diagram to cut and arrange the two cake layers. (stack 2 ring pieces to form paw)
Cover bunny with 7 minute frosting. Decorate ears, nose and bottom paws with coconut tinted pink with a few drops of red coloring. Sprinkle rest of bunny with 2 and 1/3 cups of plain coconut. Add a jelly bean nose, tongue and eyes, a licorice smile and 3 licorice toes on the top two paws or any way you want to decorate it. Also can add a bow at the neck.
To make a natural freshener for a closet or drawer you will need:
1/2 lb. of table salt ( not iodized)
1/2 oz of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, borox
lemon and orange peel, dried and pounded
Place in open dish or tie in a cloth for a sachet.
Researchers have found that it is best to avoid spray cleaners because they can increase the chances of asthma symptoms by almost 50%. For years I have used more natural cleanings methods such as vinegar and soda because some of these smell so bad they just seem unhealthy.
Spray products can contain VOC's (volatile organic compounds). These are connected to hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. They enter the earth's atmosphere and many are harmful to our health. They are chemicals we do not need to breath if we can avoid it.
6 major sources of indoor air pollution according to the Shop Smart magazine are:
Aerosol Sprays - air fresheners, cleaners, glues, furniture polish, paints and pesticides. Avoid.
Air Fresheners - get rid of the source of the odor or leave a large box of baking soda in the smelly area.
Don't use these just to smell good.
Dry Cleaned Clothing - The perchloroethylene in some of the cleaners causes cancer in animals and a probable human carcinogen. Limit dry cleaning; air out treated clothes before bringing them indoors; consider buying only clothes that can be washed.. Ask your dry cleaner about eco-friendly options or call the local dry cleaning association for a list of eco friendly cleaners.
Dust and Mites - dust and mites as well as pet dander, pollen, bacteria, mold, mildew and viruses can trigger allergic reactions and some types of asthma. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in mite proof covers. (at least start with the pillows) Wash linens in the hottest water. Avoid carpets and upholestered furniture in the bedroom. Vacuum upholestry and mattresses often. Leave pets out of the bedroom. Remove shoes at the door to avoid tracking pollens and dust.
Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaners - some of these have VOC's. Some cleaners and scouring powders might contain chlorine bleach that can form toxic gases if mixed with other cleaners. Drain openers and oven cleaners can damage eyes, skin, and lungs. Avoid these. Use a plunger or plumber's snake in drains. Another idea - pour in a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar. When the bubbling stops pour boiling water down the drain. For over cleaners use steel wool and baking soda as soon as the spill cools. For stubborn spills add some salt. It you use a self- clean feature ventilate well.
Personal Care Products - Nail care products especially polish removers contain a lot of volatile chemicals. We all smell that when we are around a nail salon. It can irritate the lungs, affect the nervous system, irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Perfumes and scented products have been linked to birth defects, reproductive and hormonal abnormalities. Use more fragrance free products. If you use perfume switch to every other day. Drop it if you are breast feeding or are pregnant. Use nail care products in well ventilated areas. That stuff smells so bad I just stay away from it.
I remember the wonderful "teacakes" that my grandmother use to make. We all loved them but no one has the recipe because she used a pinch of this and a cup of that and it was never written down.
I make a similiar cookie and add icing to mine. All of my family love them too and they know where the recipe is. All the grandkids love to help ice the cookies so it is a fun time for all. Maybe some of you would enjoy making them with you children.
Cream together: 1/2 cup of crisco and 1/2 cup butter (softened)
Blend in 1 & 1/4 cup of sugar, 3 eggs, 1 tsp almond flavoring, 2 tsp vanilla flavoring.
When this is smooth use a mixing spoon to slowly mix in 4 cups of flour.
Roll into 2 balls, wrap in wax paper, saran or foil and chill.
When ready to cut cookies, remove from refrigerator for 10 -15 minutes. Roll out on a floured board or wax paper. Sprinkle the dough and rolling pin with flour as you go. Use a cookie cutter to cut them into shapes. Bake on 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Soften 1 stick of butter ( I had rather use butter - margerine doesn't have anything real in it)
3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla flavoring
2 tsp almond flavoring
3-4 tbsp of milk
Using a mixer blend 1 cup of sugar with the butter. Add flavorings. Alternate the remaining sugar and milk a little at a time to get the consistency that you want. You may need a little more or less of the sugar and milk. Judge as you go.
I usually just leave it white and let the children add sprinkles. They like shaking those bottles.
"Blessed is the man whose trust is in the Lord. He will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by the stream. He will not fear when the heat comes and will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
What a nice example of how to conduct ourselves when things are not going as smoothly as they might. The tree extends its roots in the direction of the stream for refreshment as we should extend ourselves to Jesus who will refresh us to make it through life's experiences. When fear and anxiety come with the trials of life our trust in Him will refresh us. Not only refresh us to handle our life experiences but to also to be a benefit for His kingdom. We never know when a kind word or act of Christian kindness may be a blessing to someone else. May our lives be a constant witness for Jesus.
It is always good to find multi-uses for the products we buy. Baby shampoo is gentle, safe and inexpensive. Following are some interesting uses:
1. Hand wash. Fill a soap dispenser with 1 part baby shampoo and 2 parts water, swirl. Wash away germs and keeps skin soft.
2. Eye make-up remover. Apply baby shampoo to a cotton pad and gently rub on eyelids. Wipe with warm damp cloth. Will not irritate eyes.
3. Hair brushes. Place hair brushes and rollers in a jar with warm water and 1 tbsp. of baby shampoo and soak overnight. Rinse in the morning.
4. Soap scum. Mix together 1 tbsp of baby shampoo and a dash of baking soda. Apply with a sponge to soap scum in the tub or shower.
5. Swimming masks. Put 1 drop of baby shampoo on a swim mask and rub with fingers, then rinse. Your mask will stay fog free.
I am not sure anything happens on the post about ordering pizza in 2015. It was about all of our personal information being spread all over and it is scary how it happens. I guess that is a negative of the computer age.
Visit kathrynalbrecht.com for more scary information. She recommends using startpage.com rather than google because google really spreads all information they get.
Chocolate covered strawberries are wonderful but so are white chocolate strawberries. These are actually dipped in vanilla flavored almond bark. It melts nicely in the microwave. Let the strawberries dry completely after washing so the coating will stick properly.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
The test of love is that love never fails.
Love is kind and does not envy. Love does not parade itself and is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. Love rejoices in truth. Love endures all things.
Love never fails.
How wonderful to find that love that never fails in a human but it is a sure thing that the love of God never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Spring cleaning is just around the corner. Something about warmer weather makes us want to get moving and brighten up our homes.
Don't be hesitant to get rid of things! You will feel so much better when there is less clutter around and if you can take it to a resale shop you might be able to make some extra money.
KIDS AND ADULT CLOTHES that are too small - sell, give to a charity or throw out. When you buy a new one get rid of an old one.
HOLIDAY ITEMS - try to avoid buying at holiday time until you check what you have from the past. It is easy to get wrapped up in the atmosphere but if you already have too much you need to use what you have or throw out. Keep it simple and don't waste a lot on decorations.
TOYS - if it is broken or you child is too old for it get rid of it. Keep an area near the back door with hooks, shelves and baskets for the kids to store their things. Make them responsible. Expect them to pick up and keep their things in a certain place.
BUYING BULK - Sam's and Costco's are great but if you don't have room don't buy too much bulk. Buy things that you use up quickly. Know what you have so you don't duplicate.
Set a a certain amount of time each day to tackle the cluttered areas started with the worst area. Put in a pile things that go in another room and then put it away or if it is something that isn't being used get rid of it.
Our lives are so full of activities, schedules, problems and running to and fro. Most of the time it is our ways and our plans. Many times they don't work or we make mistakes. The cycle starts over. Many plans are in a man's heart but the counsel of the Lord will stand. How comforting. We make mistakes but if we truly seek God's counsel it will stand. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. I see God at work in my life daily but I don't always seek His counsel. I seek my own way. It may work or it may not but God's way will stand. Keep a focus on Him and His word. Dwell on these things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute and worthy of praise. May the Lord do what is good in His sight. 1 Chronicles 19:13; Proverbs 3:6, 19:21; Philippians 4:8
"Eat This Not That" is a nice series of books that list name brands and which are healthier than others. They include: "Restaurant Survival Guide", "Supermarket Survival Guide", " No Diet Weight Loss Solution", The Best and the Worst Foods in America", and "Eat This Not That for Kids". You can get them from their website eatthis.com but they are $20 each. I found the supermarket one at Lakeside.com for $10 but I don't think they have them anymore. You can find some information on the eatthis website. This one about supermarket shopping has a lot of information on every section of the supermarket including a money saving section.
Some of their suggestions are: EAT Breakstone or Organic Valley whipped butter NOT I Can't Believe Its Not Butter EAT Uncle Ben's Fast & Natural Whole Grain Instant Brown Rice NOT Uncle Ben's original Converted Rice EAT Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner NOT Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner EAT Natures Own Whitewheat Bread NOT Wonder Classic or Arnolds, Double Fiber 100% Whole Wheat EAT Krispy Cream Donut - original glaze NOT Otis Spunkmeyer Banana Nut Muffins or Quakers Banana Oat Muffin Bars (Surprise) EAT Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, Honey Comb, Honey Nut Cherrios NOT Lucky Charms, Capn Crunch, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios EAT Better'n Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl NOT Jif Crunchy Reduced Fat, Jif, Skippy or Peter Pan Creamy EAT Oreo Fudgee's, Chips Ahoy, Nabisco Ginger Snaps NOT Oreo Original, Nilla Wafers, ELFudge original
When your world turns upside down and your soul is overwhelmed; when all turn from your side, the Lord will accomplish what concerns you. For the sovereign Lord helps me and I will not be disgraced. In the day of adversity consider, God has made the one as well as the other. God is near to all who call on Him in truth. Blessed be the Lord my rock, my stronghold and deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge. How blessed is he whose hope is in the Lord. Psalms 138:8; 141:1-2; 142:3; 145:4,18; 146:5; Ecclesiastes 7:14; Isaiah 50:7
As God called Samuel to go and anoint a king to follow Saul he said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance. For God sees not as man sees, for a man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
How wonderful God sees past our skin, sizes and all imperfections. He doesn't care about any of that. He cares about our heart which involves our feelings, our will, our understanding, our intellect and our wisdom.
Appearance is such an obsession in our culture. We look up to the Hollywood crowd, athletes, politicians and well-known people in our communities. Eating disorders are wide spread and are causing health issues.
What peace that we could have if we looked up to God only and strive to keep our hearts pleasing to Him.
We have been waiting for snow for several days and the "big day" has arrived. We received only a few flurries. I feel bad for the children because the weathermen get us all excited and then it is a flop. That seems to be the norm in my area - they are wrong more than they are right. We should get some benefit from this cold. Yesterday when the sun was out it was bearable but today it has just been all gloom. Our area is not use to this so it is hard to handle. I guess when the summer gets here we will all be saying it is too hot. The children were in anticipation of this like it was Santa coming so that was a let down for them. They even announced yesterday afternoon that our schools would be closed today because of the snow storm.
However, we have a bigger excitement in this area for this evening. Our Crimson Tide is playing for the College Football Championship. A large portion of the state of Alabama will be glued to the TV. Roll Tide Roll!!!!!
As I look out my window this morning on a day that is not going to get above freezing I see two birds playing in a tree. They are so carefree and seem to be having so much fun. They don't know that we have about five more days of below freezing weather with possible snow in a couple of days. This kind of cold is unusual for us and it is hard to get motivated. While watching these birds I immediately thought of the verses in Luke chapter 12 where Jesus tells us to consider the ravens and the lilies and how God knows their needs and He will provide. He knows our needs and we should not be anxious or worry because He will provide for us too. Seek first His kingdom. As my birds fly around today they are totally leaving it all in God's hands. It can be hard for us to "totally" leave our lives in His hands. We try to figure out our own ways and plans. It is a growing process to leave it all to Him. We have to keep focused on His ways and not be so wrapped up in the ways of the world. I have found that if I start the morning with prayer and Bible study that my day runs smoother. Obstacles come but there is a peace throughout the day. God will keep in perfect peace those whose mind stays on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)
I have been dealing with back issues for over 30 years. It is something that has to be taken care of but we have responsibilities in life that often prevent the proper care. I hope to share information that I have discovered through my research.