FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS

There’s just something about fall…  we want to spend more time in the house nesting, baking, pumpkin spicing EVERYTHING!  We get out long enough to enjoy a tailgate party and watch a football game – but even then we’re snuggled up in a stadium blanket.  It’s time to slow down and rest.  Are you weary and burdened?  Jesus says He will give us rest!  We can trust that promise to be true because Jesus doesn’t lie.

The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale.  – Cornelia L. Tuthill, “Virginia Dare: Or, the Colony of Roanoke,” 1840

It’s about time for me to change from plain cotton sheets to cotton flannel sheets.  They’re so soft and comfy and surprisingly cool.  I used to think they would be too warm, and I’d end up too hot at night, but that hasn’t been the case.  They’re perfect for the fall and winter months.

As I begin counting my blessings this year, at the top of my list is the way Jesus brings sweet rest to my weary and burdened spirit.  Along with the theme of rest, I will include the set of new flannel sheets on the bed.  The house is slowly transforming into a warm and cozy oasis from a cold and cruel world.  Isn’t that what home should be?

[T]hat old September feeling… of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air…. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes and failures had been wiped clean by summer.                 – Wallace Stegner

So many people get the urge to do a deep cleaning in the spring – we’re bombarded with magazine articles about spring cleaning.  I’ve always been prone to do my deep cleaning in the fall.  Don’t ask me why, but I have more energy and the spirit seems more willing, and if there’s one thing I know about myself – I have to strike while the iron’s HOT.  I know that energy won’t last.

I say a little prayer, then I’m off to the races, cleaning out closets and cupboards, scrubbing and mopping, sweeping and dusting.  When I’m finished, I’m more than ready to ask Jesus to give me that rest He promises.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time out shopping and fighting off the crowds of people so I could find some bargains.  I had people to buy gifts for, so I was part of the crazy rat race!  These days, I opt for a warm spot, hot tea, cozy slippers, and a laptop.  It’s a blessing to have a time of rest and renewal.  The older I get, the more I appreciate rest.

What’s at the top of your blessing list?  🙂

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VEGAN BAKING DAY

tl-9-30-vegan-baking-day

The awesome foods that do not raise blood glucose include:

☆ Eggs,
☆ avocado,
☆ Fatty nuts (walnuts pecans sunflower seeds almonds etc.),
☆ Dark green leafy veggies, i.e., “greens” ( mustard, kale, spinach, turnip greens), also lettuces
☆ Low carb crunchy veggies e.g., cucumber, celery, cabbage, bok choy, celery cabbage, green bell pepper,
☆ Any lean meat or
☆ fish,
☆ cheese (depending on the type this will give you protein & a smidge of fat or a whole bunch)
Greek yogurt, plain (be careful one cup will give you about 15 grams of carbohydrate and at least two to three servings in that 1 cup ),

and of course,
☆ herbs, spices etc… lots of flavor to our foods without adding tons and tons of carbohydrates or salts, provided you use straight season and not the seasoning salts {those are really just plain old table salt that’s been introduced do a minimum of herbs… you can make your own for far less money and far less salt}.

dessert-haiku

Just because you say VEGAN, it does not necessarily mean that you’re home free as far as baking goes.  Vegan can be low-carb, but it is not necessarily, so be careful.  This recipe does use a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of non-dairy yogurt, but everything else looks “legal” for low-carbers.  Notice that is LOW CARB and not NO CARB.

Vegan Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Makes 1, 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar-free cherry jam
1 ¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 cup Splenda
4 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

1) Grease your baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

2) Prepare the cherry almond topping

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar-free cherry jam, almonds and set aside.

3) Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.

4) Build the batter

In a large bowl, cream the soft Vegan Butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the non-dairy yogurt, then beat in the Splenda, followed by beating in the arrowroot or tapioca flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread half of the batter into the baking dish then top with half of the cherry almond topping. Spread the other half of the batter into the baking dish, followed by the other half of the cherry almond topping.

5) Bake the vegan coffee cake to perfection

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Wait until cake is completely cooled if you’re going to remove it from the baking dish.

dieters-prayer

So…  maybe we can have our cake and eat it too.  🙂

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHSometimes breakfast can be as simple as a bowl of steel-cut oats with a few blueberries on top.  Once in a while I just eat the blueberries by themselves.  I don’t always have to do much prep work to enjoy blueberries.BLUEBERRIES

I’d go to a lot of trouble to make a great coffee cake!  Fortunately, this recipe is not that difficult to follow, so I can have a piece of moist, melt in your mouth coffee cake in the afternoon with coffee.  At only 4g of carbohydrates per piece, there is absolutely no guilt associated with eating it.  That’s a wonderful feeling!

BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE

Makes 16 servings, 3g carbohydrates each

INGREDIENTS:

Topping:

1 C. almond flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 C. Splenda

1/8 tsp. salt

4 Tbs. butter, chilled & cut into small pieces

Cream Cheese Layer:

6 oz. cream cheese

1 egg

1/4 C. Splenda

Cake Layer:

2 C. almond flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 C. Splenda

1/2 C. sour cream

2 Tbs. oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 C. blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9×9-inch pan with PAM.

Topping:
Mix 1 cup of the almond meal, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup sweetener, a pinch of salt and the 4 Tablespoons butter until crumbly. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Layer:
Mix cream cheese, 1 egg, and ¼ cup sweetener. Set aside.
Cake layer:
Mix 2 cups of almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup sweetener (if using a powder). Set dry ingredients aside. Blend the sour cream (or yogurt), oil, extracts, liquid sweetener (if using), and 2 eggs and mix well. Add the mixed dry ingredients and blend well.
Assembly:
Spread the cake layer in the pan, and spread the cream cheese on top (if it’s the larger amount of cream cheese, you won’t be able to spread it evenly, but that’s OK). Then sprinkle the blueberries on the cream cheese and the streusel on the top of that.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick not inserted into center comes out clean. Cool and slice.
It’s just as good as it sounds!  Enjoy!  🙂
UPDATE: I just this moment walked in the door from a doctor’s appointment.  My A1c has gone from 8.9 back in April to 6.2!!!  I told her that I’ve not been needing my Levemir and she told me I could discontinue it – PRAISE THE LORD!  But wait…  there’s more…  she also told me that I could take just ONE Metformin in the morning and ONE at night – I was taking TWO in the morning and TWO at night.
First, THANK YOU GOD for guiding me to the right pathway.  And thank you to my friends in the DOC and others on facebook for all the helpful hints, ideas, suggestions and kicks in the rear when I needed them!  And thank you to my doctor for being so patient with me…  for keeping that little voice in my head that said, add regular exercise and cut carbs.
Why do I post this here?  Because there are some who don’t believe that a little activity can make such a big difference in A1c numbers.  It can!  I take a 30 minute walk on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – and go to PLANET FITNESS to tone up and do more cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  It takes about an hour – and they have these amazing massage chairs – sitting in one of those is my reward for doing my workout.  That’s what I need – a NON-FOOD reward!
Life abundant is what God wants for all of us…  I challenge you to take the first step toward a healthy and ABUNDANT life.  ❤

 

 

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

Blueberries

Two blueberries lean together on a white napkin. They are the eyes of my grandmother, piercing me from the doorway in her small kitchen, gesturing that the ice cream is ready. Icy, freshly churned in the wooden bucket, we eat it together on the porch at dusk, and in the first, sloppy bite, is summer’s entirety. The long season sloshing around in my stomach, like a caged bird longing to be free.  – Diane Lockward

I like to have blueberry muffins in the morning once in a while with a cup of hot coffee.  Traditional recipes are about 30g of carbs per muffin.  I knew I had to find an alternative that was not so carb-rich.  This one seems to fit the bill.

Low Carb Blueberry Muffins
Regular size muffins are 7g carbohydrates each
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C. coconut flour
1/4 C. Splenda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. blueberries
INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix coconut flour, Splenda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, mix wet ingredients – eggs, butter and vanilla extract.  When well mixed, add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  Add in blueberries.  You can use a regular 12 cup muffin pan or a 6 cup muffin pan for a larger muffin.  Scoop in batter until half filled.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I’ve not used the 6 cup muffin pan because I’m happier with a smaller muffin.  Of course, trying to eat just one – well, let’s just say that’s a challenge.  😉

NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTH

TL JULY IS NATIONAL BLUEBERRIES MONTHOne of the best things about summer is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  July is National Blueberries Month!  Join me as I search for the best blueberry recipes available.  As a general rule, fruits are off-limits or should be eaten sparingly when you’re diabetic.  Blueberries are fortunately one of the lower carbohydrate fruits.  One half cup of fresh blueberries is only 9 grams of carbohydrates!  It’s also 2 grams of fiber and 42 calories.  One half cup of unsweetened unthawed frozen blueberries is only 7 grams of carbohydrates!  It’s also 2 grams of fiber and 40 calories.

I’ll be sharing a low-carb blueberry recipe every day for the next 6 days, so we can all enjoy some yummy food without feeling guilty about it!  Yay!  I’m on board, how about you?

I love to eat a blueberry scone with a nice hot cup of cinnamon tea.  When I saw how many carbohydrates a regular scone made with traditional ingredients was, it broke my heart!  This recipe uses a combination of almond and coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour.  When I saw this recipe, I wondered about the use of molasses, but it’s only 1/2 teaspoon.  It didn’t appear to raise my blood sugar at all.

LOW CARB BLUEBERRY SCONES

Makes 12 scones, 5g carbohydrates each

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 C. almond flour

1/2 C. coconut flour

1/4 C. Splenda

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C. butter, chilled

1 C. blueberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 tsp. molasses

1/3 C. heavy cream

1/3 C. unsweetened almond milk

2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix flours, Splenda, baking powder and salt.  Cut butter into dry mix.  Add blueberries and stir to coat berries.  In separate bowl, whip together molasses, cream, almond milk and eggs.  Slowly pour wet mix into dry mix.  Stir until dough forms.  Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into a ball and flatten into a circle.  Cut each dough circle into 6 triangles.  Bake triangles for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sometimes I just get a craving for scones and tea.  With this recipe, I can satisfy that craving and still keep my carbohydrates in check.  Works for me!  🙂

 

 

 

 

OREO COOKIE DAY

LET IT SNOWWe only have a few more days of winter, at least according to the calendar.  Mother Nature may have other plans, as we here in Kansas know all too well.  In any case, today is Oreo Cookie Day!  How will you enjoy these sweet treats?  A favorite, of course, is a big glass of milk for dunking – or how about a large cup of coffee for dunking?  That sounds good!  🙂

Not to put a damper on the day, but a friend on facebook mentioned that Nabisco is moving to Mexico and it made me so sad.  I really hope our economy turns around to the point where they bring Nabisco and many other companies back to America, don’t you?

Through the years Nabisco has come up with SEVEN varieties of Oreo cookies:

  • Oreo Chocolate
  • Oreo Fudge Cremes
  • Oreo Chocolate Birthday Cake Flavor Cremes
  • Oreo Double Stuf Chocolate
  • Oreo Lemon Cremes
  • Oreo Double Stuf Golden
  • Oreo Double Stuf Heads or Tails

There’s a perfect Oreo for every mood you find yourself in – and let’s face it, variety really IS the spice of life!

How about adding a few Oreos to your favorite brownie mix?

OREO BROWNIE TREATS (makes 24 brownies)

Ingredients:

1 pkg. (19-21 oz) brownie mix (for a 9×13 pan)

15 Oreo Chocolate Cookies, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

Stir chopped cookies into batter.  Prepare pan and pour batter in pan.  Bake as directed on package.

Note:  When baking in a glass baking dish instead of a metal pan, always reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Per Brownie:

170 calories

8 g fat

2.5 g saturated fat

20 mg cholesterol

125 mg sodium

25 g carbohydrates

1 g fiber

16 g sugar

2 g protein

To lower the carbohydrates and sugar content, I use Pillsbury Sugar Free brownie mix – but it takes two boxes to make 9×13 size.  Adding Oreo pieces does add a bit of sugar and carbohydrate back into the brownie, but it’s not enough per brownie to matter.  🙂  Now, if you sit and eat the whole 9×13 pan of brownies – remember you’re adding 15 cookies!  Then you have to count them!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL HEAVENLY HASH DAY

TL 2-2 NATIONAL HEAVENLY HASH DAYYes, it’s called HEAVENLY, but if you have diabetes like me, this little treat packs a sugar PUNCH and should be eaten with extreme caution!  Even if you substituted Splenda for sugar, that would do very little to lessen the intensity of the sweetness.2-2 SWEET

Heavenly Hash Bars

Makes approximately 12 squares or 16 clusters; can be doubled

1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 cups roasted, salted almonds, kept whole
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper with enough excess hanging over the sides of the pan to use as “handles”; spray paper with cooking spray.

Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and corn syrup in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often, and continue boiling the mixture until it reaches 218°F to 220°F on an instant read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate and vanilla and stir until melted. Let cool for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, then fold in the nuts and marshmallows.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly with a silicone spatula. Refrigerate the candy until firm, at least two hours. Using the parchment paper handles, remove the candy from the baking dish and cut into squares. (It helps to use a knife dipped in hot water.)

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Pull 5 to 10 minutes prior to serving.

Recipe Notes:

To make clusters instead of bars: using a spring-form ice cream scoop, drop round clusters onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; pull out 30 minutes before serving.

If you indulge, ENJOY!  🙂