Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Flowers and Vegetables and Me

This winter, I bought a bunch of pots, put them on my patio, filled them with dirt and planted flowers and vegetables in them. I don't have a big yard or any acreage for growing things, at the moment;  What I do have is a delightful little patio that looks out onto a delightful little pond. with two comfortable patio chairs, a patio table and all of my little pots planted.  They are a comfort to me in a new environment, with Steve coming and going so much while we are still in transition.  They are fresh and new and yet remind me of every day things that I am used to.  Each morning they give me pleasure as I notice their changes and look forward to the flowers and fruit yet to come.

I love seeing the seeds come up and grow.  Each one is a like a friend.  Every bit of growth I see them make is still always wonderful to me. I am getting ready to make salad of them, and I have actually pondered quite a bit about "what kind of salad I want".  This is usually a "no brainer", but because this is my own  little patio container garden,  (rather than grocery store vegetables), I am feeling a great sense of care about how I will enjoy.  I believe  that our Heavenly Father looks down on us the same way.  We are very special to Him, because we are His. He takes time to look upon us and see how we are. He has pleasure in seeing us grow and flourish even in small surroundings, and He has delight in the fruit we will produce, that fruit will be very special, because it is from His own garden. 

Sadly, we don't always remember that we are His own special planting in His own special garden. Sometimes in our every day living of life, we struggle with contentment in who we are and how we've been planted.  We look around and see the apparent success, togetherness, abilities and focus that other people seem to have, and think we are lagging behind, or not quite good enough. 

Each one of us is a very special creation of God, our purpose or calling may be simple or profound, but we each fill a place that no other person in the whole world can fill.  God has given each of us something unique that makes us who we are.  I have sometimes just read a little bit about a person's life, and gained a sweet measure of joy or encouragement just from knowing about them. 

Remember the movie "Its a wonderful Life"?  My favorite line from that movie is spoken by Clarence the Angel to George Bailey.  It is what he tells George after George has just received the answer to his  wish that He had never been born: “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”  
I have learned that finding contentment with myself is accomplished by trusting God that I am  "enough", because I am His creation.  It is not to say that I am complete without Him, only that He is good and He created me. It only takes one little tiny seed to grow a huge tree.  That tiny seed is enough.  If you plant a hundred tiny seeds very close together because you are trying to grow a huge tree, and you are afraid that one tiny seed isn't enough,  you will make a handicap for that little tree to grow big.  There will be no room for it.  Trust God, believe His love.  He creates what is good.  We will grow, and we will become what we ought, if we remain in Him, and abide in His love.  

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

I made an Asian Chicken Salad the other day when the girls came over.  Asian Salad with Peanut dressing is one of my favorite salads. 

 I have been growing some salad veggies along with my flowers in little pots on my back patio/deck, and they have been making me mull over ideas for salads.  I went to the farmers market on Saturday and got the rest of the veggies I needed.

I washed and dried my vegetables, then prepared the dressing.

Then I was ready to chop and layer the salad.

Chopped Cabbage

Chopped greens

Chopped red onion and sweet red pepper

Snow peas

Chopped chicken breast (pre-cooked)

Sauteed mushrooms

Mandarin organges

Chopped Cilantro

Chopped peanuts

Add Peanut Dressing

Toss together with dressing until all is covered. Serve and Enjoy.

Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
3 cups chopped or shredded cabbage
3 cups chopped salad greens of choice
1/3 - 1/2  red pepper sliced thin (Julienned)
1/8 of a medium sized red onion sliced thin (Julienned)
1 handful of snow peas
2 chicken breasts, poached and sliced (I poached my in shallow liquid and added teriyaki).
5-6 mushrooms, lightly sautéed (I sautéed mine in peanut oil with a few drops of sesame oil added).
1 or 2 fresh Mandarin oranges divided into segments, or a lightly sliced orange with rind removed. Or 1 small can of Mandarin orange segments, drained.
2-3 sprigs fresh Cilantro chopped
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts
Peanut Dressing (see below)


  1. Prepare ingredients by rinsing, drying and chopping vegetables. Poaching chicken breasts, and sautéing mushrooms
  2. Layer Salad in order of listing
  3. Drizzle with  dressing
  4. Toss and Serve
Peanut Dressing
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh onion
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons vinegar (rice vinegar, cider vinegar or wine vinegar are all good)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
3 Tablespoons coconut sugar, sucanat, honey or sweetener of choice
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend approximately one minute or until all is smooth.
  3. Drizzle over salad.  
  4. Enjoy!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Celebrate Springtime Strawberry Muffins

These Strawberry Muffins were the last of my March Muffin Madness posts…. that I didn't get posted in time.  The muffins were done, and the pictures were done, but I ran out of time to get them posted with the March Muffins.  So… I am posting now; for a "celebrate springtime" post. I had a little fun with these after they were made, because I had an abundance of fruit and flowers, and ended up playing with the wonderful colors and shapes to make a delicious picture of springtime bounty.   But for all their exotic presentation they are really just humble Strawberry muffins…yet so delicious.  In fact, they are one of my favorites.  

I used only half whole wheat flour in these, along with organic cane sugar, to produce a pretty, and light colored muffin.  I wanted a muffin that was light in color and texture for a special occasion such as Easter or Mother's Day.  For everyday healthier version, use all whole wheat flour, and perhaps Sucanat or a sweetener of choice.

Strawberry Muffins
1/2 cup Sucanat or Organic Cane Sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour (white whole wheat is my favorite)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup diced Strawberries

For topping:
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup organic can sugar for dipping finished muffins in.


  1. In a medium mixing bowl mix together eggs, sugar and softened butter until well blended.  
  2. Add buttermilk and whisk or mix until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  5. Add Strawberries.
  6. Mix all together; being sure to mix gently, and not over mix.
  7. Spoon batter evenly a  twelve cup muffin tin.
  8. Bake 15 - 20 minutes.
  9. When cool enough to the touch, dip muffins in reserved  butter and sugar. 
  10. Serve with butter and Jam.
  11. Enjoy!! 

Happy Spring!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Making Resurrection Rolls

We made some happy memories today. The girls and grandsons and I made Resurrection Rolls. These rolls are also known as "Empty Tomb Rolls".  We had a lot of fun together making a delicious mess, and taking all kinds of silly crazy pictures: so be warned…. excessive grandchildren pictures will follow… what can I say; I just couldn't help myself.  Thanks for sharing our fun.

Click here for the recipe and Instructions.

 Many blessings to you all as you celebrate the Passover and Resurrection Sunday.