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!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

God gave His very BEST to us and for us…  this truly is the season of giving…  how many ways can we give this year?  Does it take a large budget to give?  No – not a large budget – just a creative mind and an intent of heart that bends toward giving.

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We just enjoyed a lovely celebration of Advent at church and are feeling the true meaning of Christmas – and the Spirit that comes with it.  I have an idea…  since today is Monday and a bit of an anti-climax of sorts, to put it mildly…  why not take snacks to work without being asked???

One of the perks of being part of the workforce is the Monday morning you walk in and there are homemade goodies setting on the conference room table for anyone to indulge in.  Oh yeah – it’s like a big score to begin the week!

COOKIES AND CAROLS

You don’t have to spend hours making these goodies either – and you don’t have to hire a professional baker or pay a high price at the bakery.  There are tons of quick and easy recipes that turn out great every time and will be sure to please your co-workers.  Whether you sing Christmas Carols as you serve them…  well, that’s up to you!  😉

Here’s one of my favorites:

ALMOND-CHOCOLATE-CHERRY COOKIES

Makes 24 cookies

11 g. carbohydrates per cookies / 81 calories / 6 g. sugar

INGREDIENTS:

6 Tbs. butter, softened

3/4 c. Splenda

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted & cooled slightly

1 1/3 c. flour

1/2 c. dried cherries

1/3 c. sliced almonds

1 recipe Chocolate-Almond Glaze

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  In a medium bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add Splenda, beating until creamy.  Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla until combined.  Stir in melted chocolate.  Stir in flour.  Fold in dried cherries and almonds.  Cover and chill dough for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.  Shape dough into one inch balls.  Place balls about one inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set.  Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely.
  3. Drizzle Chocolate-Almond Glaze over cooled cookies.  Let stand until glaze is set.  To store, layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container.  Cover.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

CHOCOLATE-ALMOND GLAZE

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 tsp. butter

1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 Tbs. fat-free milk

Dash almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

In small saucepan, combine chocolate and butter.  Heat and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in powdered sugar, milk and almond extract until smooth.

As cookies go, these are the most healthy and tasty ones I’ve had.  I can actually eat a couple of these without causing my blood glucose to raise too high.  So, while everyone else is bringing in goodies that you know you need to stay away from – you can bake these up and know that everyone will enjoy them – and not wreck their health.  Wink!  😉

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 

BATHTUB PARTY DAY

TL 12-5 BATHTUB PARTY DAY

 

12-5 YOU DESERVE A BATHTUB PARTY

Let’s review:

You helped the kids have a fantastic Halloween.  You made everyone’s favorite food for Thanksgiving.  You helped your friends and family in a million different ways this year, sometimes at the expense of your own well-being.

It’s time to turn off the cell phone, put your favorite CD in the player, get the rubber ducky out of the bathroom closet, light the candles around the tub, draw a nice warm bath, adding a generous dose of your favorite bath oil and have a personal party!  Today is BATHTUB PARTY DAY!

Don’t feel guilty – you deserve this!  If you’re like me, you don’t always take much “me” time because you’re too busy making sure everyone else is taken care of.  So make arrangements to have someone watch the kids while you focus on relaxing and rejuvenating.

You and the ducky will soon be so much happier and healthier.  There is something about self-care that makes you more effective in caring for others.  This holiday was created and is provided courtesy of  Wellcat.com

and it is copyrighted.

This is cute…  lol.

That Garfield…  he’s a wild one.

If you want to use an essential oil in your bath that you’ve not tried before, make sure you do a little test on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin like me.  Some oils may cause you to break out in a rash (which would definitely work against the goal of relaxation).  Just put a drop or two on the back of your hand.  If there’s no reaction after a few minutes, go ahead and add about 7 drops to your bath water.

The best scents to relax your senses and sore muscles are lavender and Chamomile.  Did you think it was only good for tea?  No – these essential oils work wonders in your bath.

Are you tired and need something to kick you into high gear?  Just as you would drink a mint tea, the peppermint essential oil will soon tell you to “Get up and get going!”

Most of us take quick showers every day because we lead busy lives.  Today you need to plan a nice long soak with your favorite music, candlelight, essential oil that will either make you relax or get you moving and a snack or whatever else makes you smile!  🙂

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 

 

 

 

THANKSGIVING DAY

TL THANKSGIVING

(11) HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE STEEPLE

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  – Psalm 95:2

What is Mel thankful for?  Well, God healed him of terminal leukemia in 1998, so it’s obvious that he is very thankful for life.  He’s also thankful for the Holy Ghost.  He’s thankful for another day to praise God for His goodness!

How many ways can we thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us?

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.  – Meister Eckhart

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.  – Psalm 50:14

Thanks be to God for all the miraculous deeds He has done in my life.  I don’t know why He is so good to me, but I’m sure glad He is!

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”  – William A. Ward

What would Thanksgiving be without Charlie Brown.  Put on your jammies and fuzzy socks.  Grab your favorite snack and watch this cute cartoon with me.

 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.  –  Psalm 26:7

This day and every day I will lift my hands to the heavens and praise the Lord for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me.

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.   – Terri Guillemets

This is a cute little song –  you’ll be singing this all day!  You’re welcome.  😉

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.  – Psalm 69:30

Shine Your everlasting light in my perpetual darkness, heavenly Father.  May everything I do be for Your honor and Your glory, for there is no other reason to do anything I do.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve made Monkey Bread in the past, but this Apple Monkey Bread looks so delicious!  I’m always thankful for the food on Thanksgiving Day – aren’t you?

I’m thankful for food, shelter, love of friends and family and Charlie Brown cartoons around the holidays.  All of these things bring to mind happy times of the past and provide hope for the future.  I hope you will take some time today to let your friends and family know how much you love them.  Take time to let God know you love Him too.  ❤

 

 

NATIONAL NACHOS DAY

TL 11-6 NATIONAL NACHOS DAY

11-6 NACHOS ANYTIME

If we were in Hawaii, we’d order Kalua pork and pineapple nachos.  If we were in Music City, Memphis, Tennessee, the nachos would be barbecue with pulled pork strewn over the top with a ton of cheese sauce poured over them with jalapeño pepper slices.  These yummy chips can be made any way you like, but there is usually one common ingredient – melted cheese!

Ignacio Anaya, a Mexican from the border town of Piedra Negras, accidentally invented nachos in 1943.  Hungry guests showed up at a Victory Club, the restaurant he was working at across the Rio Grande River from Texas.  They were the wives of American soldiers who had shopped in town and needed food.

He improvised with the ingredients he had on hand – tortillas and cheese.  He cut the tortillas into triangles and melted the cheese along with the triangular chips.  He topped the dish with jalapeño peppers – and Voila’ – the first recipe of Nachos was created.

This is from 2009 – but still fun to watch.  I sure could not eat that whole platter of nachos – could you?

Anaya was called Nacho because he was short – so the dish he created was called Nachos.  It grew in popularity in Texas and the Southwest over the next 20 years.  Anaya went on to work at the Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, which still uses the original recipe.  Later he opened his own place, Nacho’s Restaurant in the border town.

Nachos really gained popularity in the 1970’s and 1980’s thanks to Frank Liberto.  He began selling nachos at Arlington Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers.  He created a melted cheese product that was part cheese and part secret ingredients.  His cheese sauce didn’t need to be heated and the shelf life extended well beyond the original recipe, which used perishable cheese.

Nachos were introduced to famous broadcaster Howard Cosell, who put in a plug for the snack during a Monday night football game.  That endorsement helped turn nachos into a household name.  Nachos are now a part of tailgate parties nationwide.

Nachos are a common snack and are fixed in many ways.  Some people like them with just cheese and other’s like them loaded or super.  You can add meat, refried beans and melted shredded cheese.  Cold toppings such as shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, onion and jalapeño are piled on top to make it a sort of mini taco snack.  Add a dollop of sour cream or guacamole to that.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.   Some ideas include cilantro, chicken, chorizo, bacon, lime, olives and Pico de Gallo.

Celebrate today – with nachos!  Happy NATIONAL NACHOS DAY!!!  😉

Linda’s Favorite Nacho Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1/2 lb (8 oz.) Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

7 cups tortilla chips (6 oz.)

1 c. shredded lettuce

1/4 c. sliced black olives

1 can (10 oz.) Ro*tel diced tomatoes & green chilies, well-drained

Directions:

 meat in skillet; drain.

 Velveeta in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until completely melted, stirring after 30 sec.

 chips on large platter; top with Velveeta, meat and remaining ingredients.

Enjoy and have a blessed day!  😀

 

 

NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY

TL 8-31 NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY

8-31 TRAIL MIX

A nature hike with John Minton.

Damita Jo Rogers used to say, “I’m gonna SCHOOL ya about this!” I smile when I think of her. Today I decided to do a blog to SCHOOL ya about Diabetes and healthy snacking.

There are so many misconceptions and falsehoods about Diabetes and food, regardless of the “type”. People tend to focus on keeping sugar away from Type 2 Diabetics. That would be fine, but if a Type 2 has a low blood sugar, guess what they need to bring that number back to normal? Yes, they need SUGAR.

It’s true that we can’t sit around eating anything we want all day long (bummer). We don’t have to do as much pre-planning and calculating as Type 1 Diabetics do, but we do need to be prepared for a low blood sugar when it happens. I carry glucose gel and hard candy (not sugar-free). If I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking or be very active, I also carry some homemade trail mix in my backpack or tote bag.

I like to make my own because that way I know what is in there. Sometimes there are added ingredients in the store-bought varieties. I’ll be brutally honest – it’s also much cheaper to make your own trail mix. It is outlandishly expensive, especially from convenience stores. A small bag can cost over $5.00. Yes, I am frugal, thank you very much!

It’s not only NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY, but today is also PORTION CONTROL DAY!

I like the motto:  Respect your body, respect your health, respect your life!   

Here’s my recipe for Diabetic friendly Trail Mix.

Low-Carb Trail Mix

1 cup raw almonds (I use sliced but you can use whole)
1 cup pumpkin or squash seeds (you can toast them or not)
2 ounces unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins or currants, loosely packed

This makes about 16 servings of 1/4 cup each. I bag each serving separately to avoid overeating. This mix has only 6.5 g. of carbohydrate. I think you will see that it’s better than the pre-packaged stuff at the store!

You can use sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin or squash seeds. Also, hazelnuts, soy nuts or walnuts in the place of almonds once in a while is good.

I’ve also learned that if I have a craving for chocolate (c’mon… who doesn’t?) I can add a SMALL BAG of regular M&M’s to the mix and it will take care of the craving. I usually have my worst cravings around Halloween. There’s just something about Autumn and Halloween that brings out the chocolate cravings! It does add a few carbohydrates to each serving, but it’s better than going crazy eating a candy bar!   😉