A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)There are times in life when you have to eat cake – one of those times is your birthday, right?  Does that mean your blood glucose has to get out of whack?  Not long ago I would have said, “Yes – yes it does.”  Now I’ve found a great recipe for chocolate cake that serves two people – and takes just three minutes to whip up!  Perfect for a couple like my husband and myself.sacher-cake-1194524_1920

THREE MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Makes 2 servings – 9 carbs – 4 net carbs

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C. almond flour

1 Tbs. cocoa

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Splenda

2 Tbs. butter, melted

1 Tbs. water

1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and Splenda in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.  Stir in butter, water and egg.  Mix well.  Scrape batter down evenly with a rubber spatula.  Cover with plastic wrap and vent by cutting a small slit in the center.  Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute until set but still a little moist on top.  Cool slightly and serve warm with Reddi Whip.

If you are used to eating wedding cake with butter cream frosting, this will probably not taste wonderful to you, but if you’re like most of us and haven’t eaten wedding cake for years – and you avoid sweets as a general rule – you will notice that almond flour has a sort of “mealy” consistency, but if you can get past that, and appreciate that this cake will not cause your blood glucose to spike, you may find yourself yelling YEE-HAW because hey – this is the closest thing to chocolate cake you’ve eaten in a long time!

Almond flour is also much more expensive than all-purpose flour.  I rationalize spending the extra money by thinking of how much it cost to buy insulin every month.  My Levemir was costing about $400 a month.  A small sack of almond flour costs about $7.  I won’t eat too many things with it – but once in a while I want some pancakes or waffles – or some chocolate cake for a birthday celebration.

Isn’t it fantastic that we can eat a low carb diet that sometimes includes cocoa – and more to the point, know that our blood glucose will be happy?  I’m just so tickled with this discovery!

 

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.  😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (29)

How important is TRUTH to you?  Is there such a thing as a little white lie?  Well, what does God’s Word say about building a house on sand?

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  – Matthew 7:24-27

NO EVIL

One cannot build a lasting house of TRUTH using cement made with lies. We all have history but we cannot be captives of our history – for if we become slaves of our past due to simple things in life, we are destined to lose it all at the end. Whatever you build on a lie, you shall lose – for it lacks the blessing of GOD. We believe in the working God who never gives greatness to lazy and myopic multitudes, but to those few disciples who are willing to sacrifice present goodness, feel the pain and are willing to work hard for His blessings. Using the words of Martin Luther, “You cannot steal second base with your foot on first.” Today, decide to move forward; to accept to work hard for what you want; to sacrifice and sometimes feel the pain for what you love: desist from easy life and having free things – or else fulfill the saying that, “today’s easy gain is tomorrow’s hard loss.” My brothers and sisters, do not worry how long it is taking you to get to the promised land, simply walk and stay on track and one day, you shall realize that those who looked powerful before your eyes were the most weak in the eyes of God – for they were never truthful. Build your life; your business; your relationships; your marriage and your future on TRUTH no matter how hard, tempting and painful it can be – for you cannot build a life on lies because a time comes and the truth manifests itself before the eyes of men.  – Mark Farouk

 There are rewards for an honest life filled with hard work and good clean livin’…  may we embrace God’s way and be a good witness to the world around us.  🙂

NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

Are you under the mistaken idea that spinach salad can only be made with strawberries?  What do you put in it when they are out of season?  Here’s my resolution – make a traditional spinach salad with FIGS!

Doesn’t that sound good?  It really is – and I think the figs are sweeter tasting than the strawberries.  It’s the fall alternative to a summer fave!

SPINACH SALAD WITH FIGS

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

Salad

2 – 6 oz. bags baby spinach

1 12 C. dried figs, quartered

1/2 C. dried cranberries

1/2 C. sliced almonds

1 Granny Smith apple, cored & thinly sliced

Dressing

3 Tbs. pomegranate juice

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1 Tbs. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)

DIRECTIONS:

Salad

Place spinach in large salad bowl.  Top with figs, cranberries and almonds.  Cover and chill.  Add apple slices just before serving.

Dressing

Measure and whisk together pomegranate juice, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper into small mixing bowl.  Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking all the while until blended.

Serve salad with dressing on the side.

Let the world slide, let the world go; a fig for care, and a fig for woe!  If I can’t pay, why I can owe, and death makes equal the high and low.  – John Heywood
Amid the heavy autumn meals you will most assuredly partake in, maybe this could be a light, healthy alternative at some point when you feel like you can’t have one more slice of pumpkin pie.  Wink!  😉

NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

Do you have a favorite fig recipe?  Please feel free to share it in the comments below.  We can never have too many, you know!

Before I share this amazing fig recipe, I want you to read this wonderful poem by Allison Elrod called First Fig. 

 

First Fig

by Allison Elrod

The fig tree has spread its generous
canopy across my late summer side yard.
Its branches are heavy with fruit.

Every day now, the figs grow softer
and fuller; they are taking the rain
and the warmth of a hundred summer days
and making them over into pleasure;
taut green skin and soft pink flesh.

Wearing only my nightgown
and my work boots, I have come
outside at dawn like some
post-modern Eve, yearning
for a taste of the fruit of the tree. I reach up
into the branches, reach up for the fruit
that hangs just beyond my reach,
the fig whose skin is just beginning
to bear the flush of readiness.

Maybe I am Eve. After all,
isn’t the light in my garden still
what came of “Let there be light?”
And isn’t everything to come
in human history beginning
on this very day, this very morning,
when this very fig—the one I am holding
in my hand—is finally ripe?

Or maybe, I am
a middle-aged woman outside
in my nightgown at six a.m.—
filled with happiness so pure it feels
like innocence—savoring the sweetness
of summer’s first ripe fig
before the light shifts,
before history resumes,
before I come inside to wake you,
temptation on my mind.

It’s day number two of NATIONAL FIG WEEK!!!  Here’s another recipe from my treasure trove of nutritious and delicious autumn dishes…  featuring the fabulous fig!

FIGGY FOCACCIA

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Plain cornmeal

1 lb. bakery pizza dough

8 fresh figs, halved

1 Tbs. fresh rosemary leaves

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat grill to 350 -400 degrees.

Cut onion into 1-inch slices.  Brush with 1 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill onion slices without grill lid, 3-4 minutes on each side or until tender.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly dust work surface with cornmeal.  Stretch dough into a 10-12-inch oval onto work surface.  Place dough, cornmeal side down, on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil.  Rub oil into dough.  Arrange fig halves and grilled on dough, pressing lightly.  Sprinkle with rosemary.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Bake at 425 degrees on lowest oven rack for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Voila!  Enjoy!!!  🙂

AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

TL AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

SIMPLIFY – To make simple or simpler: as a :  to reduce to basic essentials 

b :  to diminish in scope or complexity :  streamline <was urged to simplify management procedures>

c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

A SIMPLE LIFE

It seems to me that it should be simple to simplify, ya know???  No matter how much effort we put into trying to simplify, it seems we work twice as hard to make it happen.  Now, does that make any sense to anyone?  No, I didn’t think so.  :-/
Well, here’s my take on simplicity.  I honestly believe that it begins within.  How high-maintenance are you, and what would you be willing to live without?  I’ve had many friends through the years and have traveled with a few.  I never let them know I was doing this, but I was secretly observing the luggage they carried.  You see, the things we travel with are the things we are not willing to part with.
The more stuff you are willing to live without, the more simple your life will be.  If you truly desire simplicity in your life, it’s necessary to let go of some non-essentials.  I know they seem like essentials right now, but stay with me.  This may make you re-think things.
For example, do you need a ton of makeup when you travel?  I’m not suggesting you go without makeup altogether (oh, heaven forbid) – but there are ways to travel with less.  I take one container of mineral make-up, a tube of mascara, a shadow, brow pencil and lip gloss.  Choose one color of lip gloss and plan your wardrobe around that theme color.  I usually choose red in the fall/winter months or dark pink in the spring/summer months.
I believe simplicity begins with the discarding of extras.  It’s about organization and pre-planning.  To make life easier, surround yourself with less.  It sounds like you would be denying yourself of things, but it is the most freeing experience to rid yourself of clutter and get organized.
Recently I went through my closet and took out pieces that I have not worn in the past year – for whatever reason.  If you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it.
In the kitchen, organize with cook ahead cookbooks, or go online to find some great recipes.  Here are 20 of my favorites!  http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-0
If you cook on the weekend and freeze each serving, that frees up the weeknight to relax and enjoy your family.  Simple.
Teach kids to pitch in and help with things like laundry.  Even boys will need to know how to do that at some point when they get older, so you’d may as well get them involved now.  They will feel like they are helping out and it will take some of the load off you…  get it – load – laundry?  Never mind.
 When you make a conscious decision to make do with less, that is when simplicity will become a reality.  When you organize things a bit and enlist help from the rest of the family, it will pay off in the long run.
Give it a try…  and bask in simplicity!  🙂

NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY

TL 12-22 NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY

 

12-22 WHEN YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES

From the title, you may think we’re going to talk about dating nutty people, but no – that’s not what this is about.  LOL!!!

It’s NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY!!!   Doesn’t quick bread sound like a good snack to bake up and take to work or give to a neighbor?  Baked goods are a wonderful last-minute gift to give.

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Here’s a great recipe for diabetics – it’s only 4 ingredients (one of them is coffee – yay), easy and inexpensive to make!

Here’s another recipe that looks very good:

Dates do have natural sugars, but are rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut.

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.  – Harlan Miller

Nuts are also rich in fiber as well as healthy fats.  There are about 90 calories in a slice of Date Nut Bread, so it’s best to fight the temptation to eat the whole loaf in one day.

 For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas.  Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.   – W.J. Ronald Tucker

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
– Author Unknown

I wonder if this recipe would be better if we used Splenda in place of sugar – but it also has shortening in it – so…  hmm.  So much for healthy alternatives.  We don’t use shortening in our family.  The finished bread sure does look good though.

Well, I hope you can find a recipe that you like in this collection.  You might want to try more than one of them.  Date Nut Bread is one of the favorites in our family not only because of the health benefits, but because it reminds us of Christmases past.  What is it about food and holidays?  I don’t know – but I sure do like it!  😀

When the Christmas Baby Cries:

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx