Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Cooking’

Drinking Healthy Thanks To My NutriBullet

IMG_5592IMG_5593Sometimes you just need to have one of these – not only good for you but tastes GREAT TOO!

 

Made in my Nutribullet – here is what I put in it:

1/2 stalk celery

1/2 carrot

4 spinach leaves

4 organic kale leaves

handful of organic berry mix from Costco

6 or 8 salted almonds

one teaspoon honey

 

I also love to freeze bananas (after they are peeled) and add a half a banana to some greens, strawberries or pineapple – fresh is the best!  I usually add almonds or walnuts to any combination above.

The rule is:

Fill up half the glass with greens and then add whatever else on top – sweeten with honey or leave alone depending on how sweet the fruit.  Fill up to the line with water – and THERE IT IS.  In a liquified form to drink!

 

I had a very frustrating morning and ended up with a headache – and I must admit that this helps and no pills!!

 

I love my Nutribullet – it does make it easy to consume those green veggies that are so good for us!

 

Anyone have some yummy recipes of your own?  Please share!

 

God Bless

 

A Little Yankee

My favorite scents of the fall –

Yankee candles in Fall Festival, Pumpkin pie, Autumn leaves and Caramel apple cider.  You can see some of my other favorite products on pinterest here.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Here’s a little jar of yankee that sits on my desk – reminding me of all the delicious scents of this season.

If you put your nose close enough to your computer screen – you can smell it too 🙂

God Bless

The Joy Of Turkey Soup

turkey cream soup at tunnel diner @ 9:57 pm

Image by graciepoo via Flickr

I love making soup – all kinds.  But this year right after Thanksgiving I made turkey cream soup from a recipe I found online that a friend had posted on facebook.  I simmered my turkey bones all night in my slow cooker and the next morning added the rest of the ingredients.

Unfortunately, I had added too much water when simmering the bones and the result was a very watered down broth.  What to do – what to do?  I added salt, chicken bouillon cubes, other spices – even chicken broth to get the right strength.  I FINALLY got it right and was happy enough with it.  We all had some – it was delicious and it made A LOT.  So I cooled it – and froze it in individual zip lock bags with the serving size to feed about 4 people.  I had 4 bags in the freezer.  Gradually as the weeks went by – I would take one out and thaw it out – heat up the soup and EUREKA!!  Lunch in about 5 minutes!!

Today I am taking out the last of those soup bags to have for lunch.  I am going to eat it slowly, knowing that with all my variations on the original recipe I will never be able to duplicate it again.

And so with making soup – is what we call life. We are never able to duplicate past accomplishments, joys, or even struggles.  Oh we can try to put the same ingredients into things that once had a different conclusion – but in the end – the story is always changing – the ingredients different – never the same.

My soup – although always different – has the same ingredient. A lot of love.

Make some soup today – and be sure to add the ingredient that never changes.

 

God Bless

Holiday Eating Tips (via Weatherstone’s Blog)

So HILARIOUS – I was sipping coffee while reading this and almost spit it out and made a mess on my computer monitor – Oh yeah – it’s FUNNY!! Enjoy!

Holiday Eating Tips 1.  Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately… Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or … Read More

via Weatherstone’s Blog

What Is Your Slot?

All of us have a place where we just – fit. A lovely little slot where we shine and flourish.

I am happiest when teaching, playing piano, listening to music and when I’m writing.  I love to do a lot of other things too – but this is where I shine and feel happy.

But I am also undisputed in my ‘role’ as the chief cook – Queen of the kitchen.

Greg  has many interests and a couple of businesses which make him very happy – that is where he shines.  But his role in our home is ‘clean-up guy’.  He is very happy to do this.  He is one of those people who is the only one who knows how to load the dishwasher correctly – and does so with a pride and arrogance that is undisputed in our family.  It’s a great set-up – I cook – he cleans.  As long as we keep to that prescribed formula – things are great.

Once in a while it is necessary for me to step in and clean the kitchen and *gasp* LOAD THE DISHWASHER.  It’s never pretty – because I have no love for loading dishes – and Greg can tell.  He sighs and pats me on the head – like he would a small child – and is very patient and gracious with my feeble and uncaring attempts at order and precision under his tutelage.  I am somewhat of a lost cause.

And once in a while it becomes necessary, with my teaching schedule for Greg to step in and begin dinner preparations.  He doesn’t like this especially when I have not thought ahead and just say something like, ‘Greg could you start on dinner?”  It freaks him out.  He has NO IDEA how to just ‘start’ dinner.

Case and point – the other day I was busy teaching and in a small break I asked him if he could ‘start dinner’.  I laid the items out on the counter and told him quickly what to do.  I was assuming he would get it – forgetting that he is not comfortable in the kitchen unless he is making breakfast items – or following along (precisely) from a cookbook.  So I left him in the kitchen – very much in distress – and very much to his own devices.  Very scary.

I went back to teaching.  When the last student had gone – I went into the kitchen hoping that dinner was ready.  Greg seemed pleased with himself.  I looked around and spotted a half-opened jar of marinara sauce on the counter.  Hmmm.   I did not see any container or pan with sauce in it.  The trout was simmering in a pan on the stove – the butternut squash was in the microwave – just as I had directed.  Where is the sauce? –  I wondered.

I peaked in the microwave and under the paper towel.  And what to my horrified eyes should appear – but butternut squash with marinara sauce on top – bubbling away!  I was horrified – and couldn’t imagine what ever could  have possessed him to think that I wanted him to cook it that way!  He saw my horror – and began to quickly explain, ‘You said you wanted squash with marinara sauce’ – as if that settled the question – and would assure me that he had done everything just as he was directed to do.  I took out the raw squash with the very hot and bubbly sauce out of the microwave and proceeded to spoon the sauce into a bowl while explaining, ‘Greg, what I meant was that the squash would be served with marinera sauce.  Squash takes a long time to cook so you can’t have sauce on it – when cooking it’.

I realized something.  Men and women don’t think the same way – even about food.  You can’t assume.  My husband needs very clear directions.

Butternut Squash with Marinara Sauce

Squash with Marinara Sauce via Flickr

Very clear.  A woman would have understood that I wanted the sauce on the side and heated up separately – but not a man.  I should have said, ‘We are going to have squash served with marinara sauce for dinner.  This is how to cook the squash – slice in half, put a little butter and salt and pepper – cover with a paper towel and cook for 15 minutes on high in microwave. – pour the sauce in a pan – put a lid on it and cook on low heat’  Next time I will be more clear.

He was very happy to let me take over – and was happy to clean the kitchen.  He feels very much at home doing it – it is a good fit. And all is well that ends well – the dinner was a wonderful success – fresh trout – butternut squash with sauce – on the side. It was very funny – and he was such a good sport about it 🙂

The Bottom Line is this:  We all have areas where we shine – tasks are easy, almost effortless!  Those we do with joy because we love them.  And then there are those that do not seem to fit us.  We struggle.  We get it wrong.  There is no love.  It is in these times that we need to have grace and patience for others and understand that we cannot – nor should we be good at everything.

What is your slot?  Where do you shine?  Or not shine?  Have you figured it out?  Are others patient with you?  Are you gracious to them?

Here’s hoping that you will find it – as you slosh your way into what is the best fit for you – and as you discover how to fit in your slot.

God Bless

Queen Of The Kitchen

Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian Natio...

Image via Wikipedia

I am the only woman in my home – since my daughter left home about three years ago.  What this means is this:

I set the emotional tone in the home.

I can act irrational and my ‘boys’ just look at each other and shrug their shoulders.

I am in mid-life.  Yeah – you get the picture.

I am the nurturer and care giver – kissing all the ‘boo boo’s’ providing soft soothing words of comfort, and  tea or soup to make it better.

I have lots of personal space – no one questions me.

I can get away with crying at sappy movies – or even those that aren’t sappy.

But most of all –

I am Queen OF THE KITCHEN.

This may not sound like too much to you – but believe me.  It’s huge.  Two women in the same kitchen does not make for pretty relationships.  I am alone and rule with authority.  My husband (the King) is great at following behind me and cleaning up my many messes.  As long as I cook – he is quite happy to do this.

Now I am aware that the greatest chefs in the world are men – but in our home I am Julia Child.

I am picky about how I chop things – taking extra care that no skin or rind gets into the pan.  My ‘boys’ are not so picky – so I give them other jobs.  It is better that way.

I am patient when it comes to bringing things to a boil – and being careful to stir so things don’t burn.  My ‘boys’ are not so patient – they are in a hurry.

Great cooks are not in a hurry.  And neither am I.

I love my slow cooker.  We are very good friends.

I experiment with different healthy meals – and they usually turn out really well!

I made baked eggplant covered with marinara sauce for dinner last week – and it was like a healthy lasagna.  Only my husband didn’t know if my 19-year-old son would like it – (no meat) – and took a look at the peculiar looking dish – then told our son  he should probably pick up a hamburger on his way home.  Can you believe that?  WELL I NEVER!!  And the thing was – my eggplant was really good.  Hmph!  I still get a good chuckle over that!

But they still keep coming back – there are just some things they can’t make as well as I can.  Oh they can make breakfast items – and grill to perfection – but in everything else that requires experience and patience – that is left to me.  So Queen of the kitchen I shall remain ♥

Eggplant anyone?

 

God Bless


Turn Up The Heat!

Simple "pressure cooker" type autoclave

Image via Wikipedia

I love pressure cookers.  I even owned one that did three different things – was a rice cooker and also a slow cooker.  It broke about a year ago and I have been very sad – as it it hard to replace – they don’t make them anymore.

The job of a good pressure cooker is to apply heat and pressure to even the toughest cuts of meat – and they will come out fork tender.

Our pastor spoke about ‘pressure’ on Sunday – and more to the point – ‘how to deal with pressure’.  It is not an ‘if’ pressure happens – it is definitely ‘when’ it happens.

There are many kinds of ‘pressure’.

There’s the IN YOUR FACE turn up the heat to BOILING, uncomfortable PRESSURE COOKER.

Then there’s the firm, solid and constant pressure like one who applies pressure to a wound – to stop the bleeding.  It is necessary and does the job.

Then there’s the HOT pressure applied – like a HOT iron applied to clothing to straighten out the wrinkles.  Without the heat – it would be near impossible.

There’s nothing wrong with these types of pressure – they are good and we use them all the time in our daily routine.  If you are a cook – a pressure cooker is a must – with that pressure – the most delectable and tender meat is achieved.  If you have an injury – there’s nothing like a cloth and a little pressure to stop the bleeding – even a tiny cut is helped by applying a band-aid – and that applies enough pressure to stop the bleeding and help the cut heal.  If you have wrinkled clothing – a hot iron will straighten out the wrinkles and make everything you wear look smooth and pristine.

In our own personal life – the same principle holds true.  But no one likes to feel like they are in a ‘pressure cooker’ – pressed down and heated up – feeling like you’re getting your brains beat out of you.

But pressure has a very useful purpose.  If applied to our lives – it can take a hard heart – beat it into submission and produce softness.  When pressure is applied to my life – I find out what really makes me tick. The deep things that were  hidden – all the selfish narrow minded thinking come to the surface and I experience a ‘cleansing’ of sorts – as the impurities rise and get skimmed off the top.  It is a character builder.  Nothing like a little pressure to find out just what I’m made of.

I have seen the process in those close to me.  The pressure comes – the ‘heat’ and ‘stress’ of life – and there are always two different reactions:

1) Lashing out – blaming, controlling and hiding.

or

2) Resignation, becoming contemplative, listening and receiving.

In the first group – the person takes the pressure, set-backs and stress and blames others – even God.  They question their choices and relationships – even a relationship with God Himself.  They never admit – they point fingers and then hide away – never dealing correctly with the pain – pushing those further away from them in an attempt to hang on to their ‘rightness’.  I call this group of people the ones who care more about being right – than being reconciled.  Maybe not right away – but eventually – these people become negative, distant, and have a ‘victim mentality’ for the rest of their lives.  It is a spiral downward into a very dark existence – and only Jesus can heal the person caught up in this mentality.

The second group of people take the same pressure, set-backs and stress and look inside of themselves – trying to allow those things to shape and educate – bringing introspection, deep faith and wisdom.  They have all the same feelings and even sometimes, reactions as the first group – but there is a difference: They see the ‘pressure cooker’ of life as an opportunity for growth and development of character.  Maybe not right away – but eventually.  It opens their eyes to pain around them – they try to reach out to others – even though they themselves are still hurting.  These people become mature – wise, empathetic to the suffering of others and a tool for Jesus to use for His glory.

I am praying for you today – that you would allow the ‘pressure cooker’ of life to mold you and shape you into a sweeter, more compassionate person – full of depth and maturity – so that you too can be a role model and someone others can turn to in need.  Allow the stresses and hurts of this life to come – embrace the pain – let it embrace you – turn up the heat.

God Bless

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