Things Happen...

 Last week, I started using a new template...but it wasn't working out right.  After a conversation with someone else about it, I decided to switch back to my old template. Blog List went away.

Take a look at my Blog List and if you aren't there and you want to be there, so I can visit you, leave me a comment and I'll add you.  I feel so alone here at this Blog now...without my entire list.  But, I checked comments for a few weeks, and checked Google Followers and found some of you.  Now all I need is to get everyone back together again.  It really isn't the same around here without you!

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Paths to Wellness

When I started this Blog, I shared about my weight loss [101#] and the strength I got when I walked with God every day down the path alone after my husband moved out almost 2 years ago.  

One of the directions I took was the Path to Wellness.  I began to change my diet and eating habits.  I continue to do so today.  I feel, stronger, more energetic and healthier.  Here is one of the recipes I've made several times...and I love it.

Chickpea & Quinoa Salad
With antioxidant-rich vegetables, protein-packed beans and fiber-rich quinoa, this salad is as healthy as they come. A tart cranberry dressing and crunchy pepitas—the inner kernels of pumpkin seeds—seal the deal. You'll want this salad in your recipe collection.
Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 20 min. Serves: 8 Difficulty: Easy
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. water, divided
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup Simple Truth™ Organic Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup red onion, minced
½ cup unsalted pepitas, roasted [see article below recipe]
¼ cup fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano and/or parsley, chopped

1. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups water and the quinoa; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine broccoli with small amount of water; cover. Microwave 3 minutes until bright green and just tender. Drain; set aside to cool.
2. To make dressing, in a blender, combine cranberries, oil, remaining 2 tablespoons water, the maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper; cover. Puree until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa and broccoli, chickpeas, onion, pepitas, herbs and dressing; toss gently to coat. Season with additional pepper to serve.
Nutritional Info
Calories: 260, Total Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 95mg, Total Carbohydrates: 30g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 9g. 

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Put some pep in your step with our raw pepitas! These tasty pumpkin seeds pack an irresistible crunch along with a major health punch. High in protein and healthy fats, pepitas are a good-for-you, satisfying snack. Toss them in salads, mix them in trail mix, or add them to your favorite recipes for a boost of nutrition. You’ll agree that their delicious nutty flavor is simply delightful.
What are Pepitas?
The name pepita comes from the Mexican Spanish phrase, pepita de calabaza, which translates to “little seed of squash.” Pepitas often refer to the seeds of pumpkins, although they can also come from other varieties of squash. Our raw pepitas are flat, oval-shaped green seeds that are removed from pumpkins and then dried for eating. These are shelled pumpkin seeds, meaning the shell has been removed, so they’re ready to enjoy! 

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
These pumpkin seeds may be little, but they sure pack a lot of nutrition, including:
1) Protein: Each one-ounce serving of pepitas provides a whopping ten grams of protein. Talk about an ideal post-workout snack!
2) Dietary Fiber: Pepitas also provide three grams of dietary fiber to support a healthy digestive system. Foods rich in fiber can help lower “LDL” bad cholesterol levels.
3) Minerals: Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Phosphorus is important for bone health, magnesium is involved in over 600 chemical reactions in the body and zinc supports immune system health.
4) Iron: A single serving of pepitas provides 15 percent of the recommended daily value for iron. This mineral is important for transporting oxygen-rich red blood cells throughout the body.
5) Essential Fatty Acids: High in plant-based omega-3s (known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA), pepitas can help lower inflammation levels and offer balance to your diet.
6) Antioxidants: Pumpkin seeds contain numerous compounds with antioxidant capabilities. One such compound, vitamin E, is available in a wide variety of forms in pumpkin seeds. Vitamin E offers significant protection against free radicals and toxins.

6 Ways To Eat & Enjoy Pepitas
1) Sprinkle on a salad: A handful of crunchy pepitas is a healthy alternative to croutons.
2) Mix in baked goods: Toss pepitas into your next batch of granola bars, muffins, or cookies.
3) Use as a topping: Oatmeal and yogurt are even better with pumpkin seeds on top.
4) Add to dishes: Pepitas are a tasty addition to chicken recipes, or quinoa dishes.
5) Puree for a dip: This pepita salsa recipe is delicious with pita bread or chips.
6) A healthy snack: As you can guess, they’re a great snack on their own or in trail mix!

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Southern Cornbread Salad

Jiffy Corn"y" Cornbread
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt.
16 oz. can creamed corn (or if you can find FROZEN creamed corn, it's even better)
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, optional
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup frozen Corn, thawed and drained
1 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
Note: you can use pinto or kidney beans instead of black-eyed peas
1 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
5 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1# Bacon, fried and crumbled
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
Choose Either Dressing #1 or Dressing #2
#1 - my Favorite
2 cups Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sweet Pickle Juice
1 1oz package ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups Hellmann's Mayonnaise
(10-12 servings)
Mix the Salad ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.  Preheat oven to 375°.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until
lightly brown. Allow Cornbread to cool and then cut into 1" squares.
Place half of the cornbread cubes in the bottom of a large glass trifle bowl. Then, top with half of the black-eyed peas, red bell pepper, corn, green bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, dressing, cheddar cheese
and repeat for a second layer. Top with crumbled bacon. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Toss just before serving. Yield: 8-10 servings
Suggestion: This recipe would work well layered in 2 12"x9" glass baking dish, for ease of serving at a Pot Luck Dinner.

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God Loves Us This Much

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 
4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 
11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,and he will divide the spoils with the strong,because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Have a Blessed Day

What A Beautiful Name
You were the Word at the beginning
One With God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ
What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
You didn't want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now
What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again
You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
Songwriters: Brooke Ligertwood / Ben Fielding
What A Beautiful Name lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

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Boston Cream Crepe Cake

This is one of my favorite "go too" dessert recipes of all time.  Yes, it can be a bit time consuming making all those crepes, but the trick is to have 2 or even 3 pans going at the same time.

Boston Cream Crepe Cake
 Ingredients (12 Servings)
·         4 large eggs
·         4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
·         4 cups milk
·         2 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 tablespoon sugar
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         3 cups all purpose flour
 Pastry Cream
·         3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         1/3 cup flour
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         2 cups milk
·         3 egg yolks, beaten
·         2 tablespoons butter
·         1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
·         1/2 cup whipping cream
 Chocolate Ganache
·         6 oz. milk chocolate, finely chopped
·         3/4 cup cream
+NOTE:  The day before serving the cake, make the crepe batter and the pastry cream.+
Crepe Batter
·         Add ingredients to blender jar in the order listed, cover and blend until smooth. Refrigerate overnight or for 1 hour prior to cooking. (Or if you’d rather, you can strain out any lumps and use immediately.)
·         Heat an 8-inch skillet or crepe pan over medium heat and lightly coat with butter or cooking spray. For each crepe, pour 1/4 cup batter into the center of the skillet and immediately rotate the pan until the batter covers the bottom of the skillet in a thin layer. Cook until light brown and the top begins to dry out, approximately 1 minute. Flip and cook an additional 30 seconds.
·         Repeating with remaining batter. Stack completed crepes on a plate. (If your crepes are sticking together, put wax paper between the crepes.)
Pastry Cream
·         In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Cook for 2 minutes until thickened.
·         Remove from stove. Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in the saucepan. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Transfer pudding mixture to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic; refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour or overnight.
·         When pudding is chilled, whip cream to form soft peaks and gentle fold in to pudding. Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
Assemble Crepe Cake
·         Place one crepe on a large cake plate. Spread with 1/4 cup pastry cream. Top with another crepe. Continue layering with filling and crepes, using about 24 crepes and ending with a crepe on top. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Chocolate Ganache
·         Place half of the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add remain chocolate and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool until ganache is thickened but still thin enough to drip down the sides of the cake.
·         Spoon chocolate ganache on top of the cake, spreading to edges and letting the ganache drip down the sides. Refrigerate until ganache is set, about 20 minutes.

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Remembering Benny...

Today, Benny would have been EIGHT years old.  Due to a sudden neurological attack, he passed away at only 4 1/2 yrs of age.  This is a post I shared a couple of years ago.

After making a trip back to the Breeder in Indiana where we'd gotten Jasper, our Maltese, just 3 weeks earlier {at only 9 months of age}...we welcomed this beautiful, loving and funny furry kid, who we named Benny {who was formerly named Squirt} into our hearts and lives.  That was June 6, 2009.  Benny was born on March 20, 2009.   I don't think I'd ever seen a Havanese before I saw Benny, and he was so cute.  He was only 12 weeks old and he weighed only 5# and could run UNDER Jasper!  That was a sight!!  You see, Maltese are small dogs and Jasper was 7# at 9 months of age.  He was calm and submissive and didn't skip a beat when it came to running up and down our porch steps.

He paid lots of attention to me when I got Bell's Palsy and would lay with me and lick my face where he KNEW it hurt me.  Then he would lay his warm body against that spot until my face was so warm and actually feeling better.

The painting of him {above} was done from one of the last couple of photos I took of him.  He was laying in his crate on his very favorite blanket after I'd brought him back home from the Vet on a Saturday morning.  He woke up that day not being able to step on his front right paw.  They gave me pain meds for him and scheduled tests for the follwoing Monday.

He never made it to those tests on Monday.

Shortly after I took the photos, he began a steady downhill turn in his condition and later that afternoon, he began having an awful time with coordination, not being able to stand and twisting his head way off to the side.  Since our Vet's office was closed and I was growing more concerned about him by the minute, I called the Emergency Vet Hospital.  They suggested that we could bring him in and the Vet would possibly change the medication.  I put his blanket on my lap and held him and did Reiki on him and used my Essential Oils on him...and he fell asleep.  A few hours later, when he went outside with the other 2 Pups, he couldn't do anything but barely stand in one spot...and then tip over.  That was it!

I called the Emergency Hospital and took him in.  After an exam, he appeared to get much worse, and developed seizures.  They did blood work and a few other things, and then the Vet said we could take him to a neurologist, which would probably cost upwards of $4,000 with no real chance of improvement or we could take him home and watch him.  Then I asked her if she thought Benny would die from this, because I was the feeling he wouldn't.  Tears welled up in her eyes and she said as much as she hated to even think that about our 4 1/2 year old sweetheart, she believed he probably wouldn't make it through the night.

I couldn't, in good conscience, allow him to go through what he'd gone through the entire afternoon and evening...and get WORSE...and die alone.  So, after spending some quiet time with him and the other 2 pups and dad...I decided the best thing we could do for him was allow him to die with us all right there with him.  Belive me, that was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but I knew it was the right one.

Benny passed away with us right there with him...on his favorite blanket.  It took Jasper & Rosie about 15 minutes of sniffing him and laying by him and they were wanting to leave.  We got them down off the table where Benny was and they went to sleep on the floor...while I sat with Benny.  Shortly after, we left.

That was December 7, 2013.

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