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The Path of Life

Stairs Upward

“You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”  Psalm 16:11

Sometimes the path we’re on seems overwhelming and we just can’t take one more step.

Yet God is always there ~ He walks in front of us to guide us, He walks beside us to encourage us and He stands behind us to catch us lest we fall.

He’s just faithful that way.

But if we decide we don’t want Him to walk with us at all, He stands aside. And if we happen to fall and call out to Him, He’ll rush to help us up.  He’ll heal our bruises and give us His shoulder to cry on. And He will comfort as no one else can.

He’s just faithful that way.

May you lean on the faithful God of the universe in your journey.

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Of David and Purity

Winter Lake

One of the stories in the Bible speaks about a man named David who was a king and abused his power.

David saw a woman bathing ~ a woman, named Bathsheba, who was the wife of one of his soldiers, and decided to take her for himself.  Then he had Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, killed so he could have her permanently.

There’s a lot more to the story of David and you can read this particular one here, and an interesting story it is.  For David commits murder, adultery ~ his heart is full of greed and selfishness.  YET, God uses David and forgives him of his sin.

The question is ~ why?

A small book I’ve been reading makes a very powerful statement regarding David:

“It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart.”  Steps to Christ, pg 24

David didn’t just want forgiveness, he wanted a changed heart.

You see sometimes we do things we know are wrong and we regret it.  Regrets are a start, but if we don’t want to change the direction of our lives what good are they?

God is able to work with me when I not only regret what I have done wrong, but when I allow Him to help me turn from doing it again. That’s what David experienced in his life ~ true repentance. A desire to turn from his wrong and do what is right.

And because of this, David was able to write in Psalm 32:1,2

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

Yes, the Lord can “cover” us ~ but like David, we need to want purity of heart.

May the Lord bless you on your journey ~ may He turn your face towards Him ~ the One who can transform hearts.

 

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Turkey Cashew Chili

Turkey Cashew Chili

What to do with all the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?

Actually, we were fortunate to have had all the turkey and fixings provided because we headed out of town to socialize with 40+ relatives.  And when a person is from out of town, they aren’t obligated to bring anything.  Pretty cool, no?

We did take some chips and dip though as that was “travel easy” and they were eaten up quickly.

When we returned home though, we went to Costco and they had a large turkey breast with dressing already prepared at half off the original cost.  So ~ we purchased it and my husband has been eating turkey sandwiches all week.

But that can get boring, no?

So I searched the world wide web (there is a lot out there) and found a recipe that I adapted and included cashews also ~ because I think cashews should always be included in chili.

This Turkey Cashew Chili, although it has beans, is more tomato-y tasting.  Just so you know …  UNLESS, you let it sit for awhile.  Then the beans and tomatoes blend perfectly.  That’s the best way.

So ~ here’s the recipe for you.  Enjoy!

 

Turkey Cashew Chili

Category: Entree

6

Turkey Cashew Chili

Turkey Cashew Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (crush them while cooking)
  • 1 teapoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 15 oz cans kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups of shredded, cooked turkey meat
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • Possible toppings: chopped green onion, sour cream, shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add then saute the onions, pepper, garlic, and spices (including the salt and pepper) until the veggies are soft.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, chicken stock, cooked turkey, tomato paste, and kidney beans.
  4. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low for approximately one hour.
  5. Add the honey and simmer another 10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
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http://www.simplynorma.com/2017/11/30/turkey-cashew-chili/

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Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria and Disaster Relief – A Christmas Project

Ever since hurricane Maria pounded the island of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, it has not been able to get anywhere near recovery.

Early on I found a non profit organization by the name of ADRA Puerto Oeste who was working diligently in the community of Mayaguez and the surrounding areas providing meals and food boxes.  Through the US postal service, I have shipped them food and hygiene products.

Currently they are collecting toys for the low income children in that area.  In addition, they accept monetary donations for the toys and other items like mattresses, tarps (a lot of people don’t have roofs on their homes still), Ensure Glucerna, powdered milk, etc.

Feel free to head over to their Facebook page to see the work that they are doing.

And if you’re interested in helping, here are a couple ways:

1) Give a donation to them directly through PayPal and mark it Proyecto Navidad and they will do the shopping on their end. The name of the Director is Adelina Reynoso and you can search for her name on PayPal. If you’d like a charitable receipt, just put your name, address, email and phone number in the notes section and advise her how you’d like to receive your receipt either via email or regular mail. I have sent several donations their way from friends and they are very responsive with sending receipts.

2) Mail your donations/toys to them directly. You can shop/ship for yourself or order through Amazon. The address to ship to is:

ADRA Puerto Rico Oesta

Barrio Algarrobo

Sector Cuba 1060

Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, 00681

(Note: Amazon can take up to 3 weeks for delivery, USPS is taking about 2 weeks so time is of the essence)

Most of the children in that area do not read English so any items donated shouldn’t have any lengthy English instructions. All ages are in need.

Thank you for your consideration in helping the children of Puerto Rico.

 

 

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Chili with Cabbage and Fresh Tomatoes

Paleo Chili with Cabbage and Fresh Tomatoes

Have you ever purchased a food item from the grocery store that was too much to use in one meal?

Well, as you can see, I purchased a whole schlew of tomatoes.

Grape Tomatoes

Since I had chili on my mind, I decided to use these tomatoes in my chili ~ good paleo chili recipe with cabbage and fresh tomatoes.  I couldn’t go wrong.

I decided to use chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin and oregano as my seasonings.

Seasonings

Since everything pretty much got thrown in a large skillet, this recipe is on my list of “simple and easy chili recipes.”

Chili with Cabbage and Fresh Tomatoes

Make sure you adjust the seasonings (spices) to your taste.  Some people like spicy chili but I prefer mine mild.

And … here’s the recipe.

Chili with Cabbage and Fresh Tomatoes

Chili with Cabbage and Fresh Tomatoes

Chili with Cabbage and Fresh Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground garlic
  • Grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, melt the olive oil then add the onion, pepper and cabbage.
  2. Cook the vegetables until they are soft.
  3. Add the beef and cook until it’s browned.
  4. Add the spices, salt, and pepper then stir.
  5. Taste and adjust spices if you'd like.
  6. Allow to cook through for about 20 minutes then add the tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with a baked white sweet potato.
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http://www.simplynorma.com/2017/10/26/chili-with-cabbage-and-fresh-tomatoes/

Enjoy!

For more paleo recipes, click here.

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Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

Well, autumn is officially here and almost gone.

I never tire of the beautiful colors that our neighborhood affords us.  God’s beauty simply cannot be outdone.

Autumn in Minnesota

The colors are so vibrant and, even though this signifies the trees are dying, it brings a sense of joy with its beauty.

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

Anyone ready for a walk?

Autumn in Minnesota

Autumn in Minnesota

But then, of course, there’s always a downside to so much beauty … raking leaves.  (hehe)

It’s fun the first couple of times, but when you have to leaf blow the driveway every day or every other day, this middle aged body gets sore.

Driveway Leaves, Autumn in Minnesota

I hope you’re enjoying your autumn wherever you are.

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Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

 

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

I purchase frozen tilapia filets at Costco to have them ready for a quick dinner.

The tilapias usually take 8 hours to thaw in the refrigerator although I’ve found that I can take them out frozen and thaw them in cold water.  I simply fill a large bowl with cold water and place the tilapias in them, wait 15 minutes, empty out the cold water and replace with new water and start the process over again until they are thawed.  This takes maybe 45 minutes to an hour but in a pinch it works better than having to wait 8 hours (unless you’re super organized and remember to take them out in the morning).

This recipe is fairly quick if just a bit messy but it’s a recipe that’s worth making.

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

I’ve heard it said that tilapia has less Omega 3 levels than salmon but hey, that’s okay.  It’s not like one eats it every day, right?

So ~ without further ado, here’s the recipe for you try.  Enjoy!

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

Category: Entree

Cuisine: Seafood

2

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (at room temperature)
  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. steam-in-bag fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs to the garlic then cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic/breadcrumb mixture and put it in a wide based shallow bowl.
  6. Place the flour and egg in separate shallow bowls also.
  7. Salt and pepper the tilapia.
  8. Coat the tilapia in flour then dip it in the egg and lastly coat it in the breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, oil, broccoli, and carrots on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray.
  10. Add the tilapia to pan.
  11. Bake everything together at 400°F for approximately 15 minutes or until the tilapia is cooked through.
  12. Serve with lemon wedges.
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http://www.simplynorma.com/2017/10/24/baked-tilapia-with-roasted-vegetables/

Did you know? Tilapia is the fourth most consumed fish in the United States dating back to 2002.

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A Late Autumn Getaway

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Traveling through southern Minnesota, we finally made it to our destination where we had rented a cottage through Airb&b called the Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska.  This is the second time I’ve used Airb&b and it has worked out great.  (Have you ever used them before?)

Our cottage had a view of a bay off of the Mississippi River.  It looked beautiful to me but my husband said there was “scum” in the water.  Well, if scum can be beautiful then this was it.  Kind’ve an olive green, no?

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

Here’s another view.

Onalaska River, Onalaska, Wisconsin

We sat on the bench and watched the sun go down one day.  It was magnificent!

Sunset, Onalaska, Wisconsin

The cottage had a view of the water from the deck and one of the bedrooms.

LaCrosse, Wisconsin Cottage

The inside of the cottage was quaint and comfortable.  I like when the wifi works with no glitches.

I was really impressed with the mother/daughter team that rents this cottage out.  They were proactive in getting in touch with me and checking to see if we needed anything.  The cottage was quaint and clean.

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

Northshore Cottage on Lake Onalaska

The restaurants nearby had really good food.  I was especially surprised at how good the food was at the Red Pines Bar and Grill in Lacrosse, Wisconsin which was nearby.  They even knew how to make sweet potato fries that weren’t greasy!  Yum!

Across the street from the cottage we were able to take a trail through the National Wildlife Refuge.  And for the first time in my life, I can say that I walked through a trail of grasshoppers.  I don’t know why there were so many out but as we walked the grasshoppers on our path hopped out of our way.  Very very odd.

National Wildlife Refuge, Onalaska, Wisconsin

National Wildlife Refuge, Onalaska, Wisconsin

This is definitely an area that I would like to visit again.

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Autumn in Seattle

Autumn Begonias, Washington

Almost every year I visit friends in Seattle.  It’s always nice to keep in touch with people you can count on at any time.  I once heard that you can count your friends on one hand.  I’ve been fortunate that I can count them on two.  And you?

The weather was perfect while I was there.  The Richmond Beach area (right outside of Seattle) is such a peaceful and beautiful place to visit and my friends backyard was still in autumn mode.

I can sit here all day ~ so peaceful.

Autumn Backyard, Shoreline WA

The begonias were still in full bloom in mid-October.  Quite impressive!

Autumn Begonias, Washington

A quick drive to see the Olympic Mountains, even if there wasn’t much snow on them yet, was perfect to end the day.

Olympic Mountains, WA

Have you visited the Olympic Mountains before?  In winter, on a clear day, they are majestically beautiful.

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