Chocolate Strawberry Chia Pudding


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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Amazing Grace


 

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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.

 

Pancetta Gnocchi


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. 

2017


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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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Sage, Sausage and Roka Cheese Acorn Squash


 

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.

https://sassyandsavory.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/sausage-and-brown-sugar-acorn-squash/?preview=true