TunaGarbanzoSalad

Looking for a healthy lunch option that will keep you full and satisfied? Well I created the perfect one. It has such great flavor you will want to eat the whole thing. Between the tuna and the garbanzo beans you will not be hungry after eating this because both are packed with protein. Plus Garbanzo beans are a great source of fiber. I also have this fight between eating well and enjoying a great food. I think this recipe not only tastes good but it good for ya!

Tuna Garbanzo Salad

1 can of tuna {I used tuna in olive oil} drained

1 can of garbanzo beans rinsed and drained

1-2 tsp of capers

1-2 Tbps of kalamata olives sliced

I Roma tomato

½ lime juice

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

I could tell you that it was really hard to put this together but it truly is a throw it all in and stir. But what I did before I threw it all in is some minor prep work. I took the tomato cut it into four pieces and spooned out the seeds and then cut it into pieces. Then I threw the tuna, garbanzo beans, capers, olives and tomato into the bowl. Stir it all together, squeeze the ½ lime over the bowl to add the juice and then add a splash of olive oil. Taste then add salt and pepper to taste. You will get the vinegar from the kalamata olives so no need to add vinegar. Watch the salt because the capers and olives have enough salt. I used very little salt.

 

A Letter to My Husband


20180118_151622.jpgEver wonder how God knows exactly what you need.

He knew I needed you.

God knew I would need someone strong to hold me up the last few years.

He knew that you would also need me to help you through your grief because I was already there.

God knew that you were the one that can make me laugh when I feel like crying.

He knew our love would be unbreakable.

God knew I needed a best friend.

He knew that we both needed someone who loves the lakes, oceans and boating.

God knew that I would be forever grateful for finding you.

He knew that you were needing someone who loves you as much as you love me.

God knew that when everything seems to be falling apart we will still have each other to hold on to through the storms of life.

He knew that you would be the best husband for me.

God knew that when everything is falling into place for us we would still be so grateful for everything we have.

He knew that if one of us is down the other would build us back up.

God Knew…. Our story will be full of adventure.

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I have been MIA from blogging. It has taken me almost a year to get back. I think this is therapy for me. So why haven’t I blogged lately? Well let’s say that 2017 was not my year. Jon and I had such a bad year. First thing Jon’s back went out and was in the hospital during my dad’s last days. So thankful for his sister Janis for staying with Jon so I could be with my dad.

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My dad passed away in April 2017.

August of 2017 our basement flooded, and we lost the entire contents of our basement.

October 2017 Jon’s dad Paul was taking Jon’s nephew for a helicopter ride for his 16th birthday and the helicopter crashed, and Jon’s dad was killed instantly. Jon’s nephew is ok, but the family is stilling dealing with the loss of Paul.

 

Three weeks later we had to put down our beloved lab Joey. It seems like death does come in three.

 

That is why I haven’t blogged lately. What brings me back to blogging today? Well, let me tell you. It starts with I missed a very important event today. Here is the story behind today.

Ever wonder if the decks are stacked against you. I am feeling this way today. I struggle with my weight. I have for many years. There are many reasons for this but not enough to be an excuse. I had a full hysterectomy a few years ago. Because of my sister who passed away from breast cancer I choose not to do hormone replacement therapy. I had my gall bladder removed because it just plain stop working. I sit at a desk all day. I had a terrible year last year. I have multiple things that I could use as excuse. I just don’t want to anymore. I have been doing the Keto Diet for about two months now. Today I must stop. My body just does not like it. This is where I am at today. Trying to figure out why. This leaves me wondering because today I missed a very important event because I was dealing with problems from this diet. I have lost 13 pounds on Keto and I would continue except for that my body and my doctor are telling me to stop. I had some severe side effects from this diet. This diet does not work for everyone. I did learn some very good information and that I will continue to use. So, what now?

I could not do this without my husband and some awesome cheerleaders in my corner. I will continue to use the information I learned from Keto but also follow my doctor’s instructions. Eat a healthy breakfast every day, weigh myself twice a week and workout an hour and half every day. Vegetables and a fruit for every meal along with some protein. No processed foods. Try, try, try again. Right. So, do you have people in your corner to cheer you on? I hope so because when I missed the event today I was so upset. My cheerleaders made sure I was ok. I am so thankful that I have cheerleaders, support, and people making sure you are ok on the days they know are hard for you.


Let me tell you what the event was that I missed today. Today was a Pancake breakfast for the EAA Chapter 1093. Paul Jon’s dad served breakfast for this chapter and the family wanted to continue in Paul’s shoes. Helicopters and planes flew in to show the kids. Paul loved doing this. It amazes me how Jon’s family honors our dad. Here is Jon, Janis (Jon’s sister) and Mike( Jon’s Brother in law) at the pancake breakfast today.

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Let your love ones know you love them.  EVERYDAY! Miss you Dad and Miss you Paul and Miss you Joey! All three of you left a hole to big to fill.

 


In my last few years of physicals I have found out I have high triglycerides. So I was reading that if you have a diet high in omega 3 you can lower your triglycerides. Chia seeds are loaded in Omega 3’s. I also read that if you eat a pound a strawberries in a day you can lower your triglycerides by 20% in a month. Not that I would do that,but hey any bit can help. So I created this chia seed pudding in hopes that it would taste great and then I could get my omega 3’s in.

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I mixed together the following ingredients in a medium bowl.

1 cup of coconut milk

 ¼ cup of chia seeds

 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

 ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix really well. Then I put the mixture into two small mason jars. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Then I sliced some strawberries and added them to the top of the mason jars. So after tasting this I would use less cinnamon. It adds something to the pudding I just put a just a pinch to much in. But I wasn’t sure if I would like the texture but after putting in the strawberries and stirring it up I loved it.  I will make this again with less cinnamon.

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  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.

My Dad just loves this song. He always sings it when we play it for him. He struggles to get it out but he sings. I miss his singing voice, “how sweet the sound”.

  1. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.

How a year can change your life. My dad last year started having problems with his brain. We found that he had a viral tumor on his brain and then he lost his short-term memory. Our fears were just beginning at that time. Fear he would walk out the house and not know where he was. Fear the tumor would become bigger. Fear that we could lose him. But through God’s grace we knew that all in his time.

  1. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

The past year has brought many dangers and toils for my dad. My dad has endured many doctor visits to U of M and here in Midland. But nothing was ever a definite answer as what was truly causing his short-term memory lost. The tumor had disappear but he still had short-term memory issues. But now as we have come to expect that he has been suffering from mini strokes all along. Jan.28 he had his first major stroke that took his ability to swallow and move the left side of his body. Somewhere in the past week or so he suffered another major stroke the involved the front lobe of his brain and it was a big one. He stills responds to us but is sleeping most of the time. But it is grace that lets us know that God has him in his hands. And by God’s grace he will be with him until he goes home. Hospice is now helping him to be comfortable.

  1. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
  2. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

The last few months Dad has become very agitated and to calm him we play hymns or read the Bible to him. ”His word my hope secures.” This has calmed him some and made him peaceful. He knows what God has promised him and many times he has told us he is ready to go. We often hear him talking to God and asking him to take him home. We know he is ready to go to heaven. “As long as life endures.”  “a life of joy and peace.”

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  1. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

My Dad has always been a Christian. As a child, we went to church every Sunday. He even sent the last three children to a Christian High School in Saginaw, Michigan Lutheran Seminary in hopes that one of us would become a pastor or teacher (that didn’t happen by the way). His love for all his children was to make sure all of us would be in heaven together someday. I have no doubt that my sister Lillian is waiting for him to give him a great big hug.

  1. When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.*

Well it feels like it has been 10 thousand years instead of just a year that my Dad has been dealing with all of this. We continue to rely on God for our support and strength. We will continue to sing his praise through this storm. Letting God’s light shine on us while we struggle thru this trial. We cannot thank all of the people enough that are standing by us and continue to pray for my Dad. Your love and prayers are such a blessing to all of us. Thank you!

*Song written by John Newton.

One of favorite versions of Amazing Grace is by King and Country. Use the link to check it out.

 


I love pasta. Any pasta really but hands down I am partial to Alfredo sauce. Don’t get me wrong I love all sauces but I really really love Alfredo. 

Jon and I are blessed to live very close to an authentic Italian resturant. This resturant is the best. In the summer you can sit outside on the patio that is surrounded by grapes and fresh herbs. So if you are ever in Midland Michigan please check out Villa D’Alessandros.  

One of my favorite dishes they have is the gnocchi with the gorgonzola sauce. It is to die for. So this is not even close to that dish but it is still very delicious.

Pancetta Gnocchi

1 pgk of parmesan gnocchi

1 pgk of pancetta diced

1 jar of Alfredo sauce

Parmesan cheese-Shaved

First you boil the gnocchi as the directions state on the package. While that is going saute the pancetta until crispy. When the gnocchi is done drain and put them in the pan with the pancetta. 

Saute until the gnocchi are slightly golden. Then you can add the Alfredo sauce and stir.

Then add the parmesan. Add a little or as much as you want. There are no rules for cheese. I don’t judge. 

This is what I used for parmesan cheese. But if you have a favorite use that. 

The end result will amaze you and deliver a great dinner. 


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It is another new year. 2017 oh what will you bring? I am looking forward to this year. Looking forward to all the possibilities that it holds. I have adjusted my sails for this year and the goals that I have. I want to make this year more of appreciation than that of goals. As I get older I have learned to celebrate to the small things as much as the big things in life. I have learned to look at life differently.

“Only the small things in life are important.” By Joseph Roth.

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” Booker T Washington

Don’t get me wrong I still have goals because if you don’t you stand still. They are just not as important to me as noticing the small things in life.  I decided to make a list of my goals and the small things so that I can look at both throughout the year and keep myself in check. I want to make sure that I keep the small things in focus.

Here are the goals for 2017.

  • Be debt free except for house and cars.
  • Lose weight-it truly doesn’t matter how much long as I am making progress
  • Go somewhere new.
  • Try new foods.
  • Draw more

Here are the small things I will try to notice.

  • Breathe in fresh air
  • Smell the rain
  • Feel the sunshine on my face
  • Make someone smile
  • Laugh more
  • Enjoy the silence
  • Spoil someone else
  • Find something good in every day
  • Enjoy exercise
  • Focus on the people in my life
  • Be present more, less phone, Facebook, etc.
  • Tell others how important they are
  • Compliment others
  • Plant a garden and enjoy the process
  • etc.

I ask you as we have entered the new year… what will your focus be on? What adventures are you going to do? What goals do you have?

I leave you with this quote and wish you a Happy and Joyful New Year.

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you a happy. In the future think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” Earl Nightingale.

My Dad


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As I sit in the hospital watching my dad as the nurses and doctors come and go I wonder what he is thinking. My dad has a tumor on his brain that is causing seizures and short term memory loss. I think he has to know something is wrong but his memory won’t let him remember what that is. I thank God for that. It breaks my heart to see such a vibrant man a few months ago be so lost. 
    My dad served in the Navy and supported seven kids through some tough times.

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He is a great man of faith in God. He knows that God is watching over him. My mom told me yesterday that he is not afraid of dying and that he knows where he is going. What a great reminder of where our faith should be. That we should not be afraid of death or any other worldly enemy or disease.

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I thank God for all the lessons that my Dad has taught me. Even today as I watch him I see lessons. You smile and laugh even in the worst of times. 
   One thing for sure he is surrounded by family.

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2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 43 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


 

Sage Sausage Roka

Last year I blogged about my Sausage and Brown Sugar Acorn Squash and it is still one of my favorites. But I am always looking for new twists on my old favorites. So tonight I made Jon the Sausage and Brown Sugar Acorn Squash and then I had a great idea for a twist for me. I love blue cheese so when Kraft releases their Roka Cheese spread I go a little crazy for it. So my mind was wheelin’ tonight. Sausage and Blue cheese hmmm think that is a winner. So here is what I created for me.

Sage, Sausage and Roka Cheese Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash cut in half and seeds scooped out.

Kraft Roka Cheese Spread

1 tsp of butter

1/2 to 1 cup of cooked Sausage crumbles

4 fresh leaves of Sage

Salt and pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375°. Take the two halves of Acorn Squash and put flesh side down on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Place in oven until you can gently squeeze the squash. Then you know it is cooked through. It takes around 20 to 30 minutes. Depends on how big your squash is. While the squash is baking in the oven brown your sausage and towards the end add your sage finely chopped.

When the squash is done flip them over and add the butter. With a fork run the butter over the edges and inside the cup of the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Mix a spoonful pr two of the Kraft Roka Cheese and the cooked sausage together and then place into the cup of the Acorn Squash and put back into the oven for about 5 to 7 min. until the cheese is warm and gooey then enjoy this savory combination.

Here is the Sausage and Brown Sugar Acorn Squash link.

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Nipla

What is comfort food? The definition of comfort food is this: food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking. I guess to each of us it is most likely something different. One it is something that reminds of us of our youth. Two it brings well comfort to us when we either eat or remember or smell that food.  For me my comfort food is Nipla. This is something I grew up with. I am going to tell you right now that you either love or hate this recipe. I happen to be a lover but in my family we have both lovers and haters of Nipla. I have made this for my kids and one loves and the other hates. I honestly think of Nipla every time I smell onions cooking in butter. That is my comfort trigger.  Have you read William P Young’s book The Shack? Here is a link to his webpage for the book. http://wmpaulyoung.com/the-shack/  In his book he mentions Nipla “And I enjoy food—a lot. Nothing like a little shaomai, ugali, nipla, or kori bananje to make your taste buds happy….”. So I want to share with you something I have enjoyed since a little girl, my comfort food of choice so your taste buds can be happy too.

Nipla

(This recipe is for 1 to 2 people but can be easily adapted to make more.)

3 eggs

Half a stick of butter

½ cup of chopped onion

¾ cup of flour

Salt and pepper

flour

First chop your onions and then put butter in a sauté pan on low to melt and add onions.

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Then bring a sauce pan half full of water to boil.

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Crack three eggs into a bowl and whisk.

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Add salt and pepper to the eggs and whisk again.

Then add ¼ cup of flour at a time until the eggs become like thick dough.

 

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Drop the egg mixture into the boiling water a spoonful at a time.

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Turn the heat up on the onions and butter until the onions are translucent.

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Once the Nipla are floating and have cooked for about 5 minutes drain the mixture and place into a bowl. Pour the butter and onions over the Nipla.  I add a little sea salt before enjoying but you can omit that if you like.

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