Wednesday, April 25, 2012

God's Goodness

I've been dealing with some health issues for a little while now, and it's been extremely frustrating.  It's frustrating to go to the doctor for them to only continue to guess at what might be the problem.  I'm not blaming doctors.  Some conditions can't be diagnosed through blood tests, and it's usually a game of elimination.  It becomes frustrating when the answers and solutions don't come, and when others don't understand.  To someone on the outside, it looks like I've just simply put on weight, because I'm lazy or eat too much.  But the truth is, that's not the case.  Weight gain in and of itself is hard to deal with.  It's even more difficult when it's literally painful.  I've cried many a night and prayed for God to fix it.  I've prayed to be back to where I was just a few years ago.  I've prayed for others not to judge me and make comments about my weight.  I've prayed for the painful swelling in my body to go away.  While I'll continue to pray for health and healing, I know that it may not come.  I may never be the size 2 I was just three years ago.  God has blessed me immensely and continues to do so daily.  And while I pray that He'll bless my health again, it may not be so.  I just have to realize that His goodness is so much more than the physical.  Sara Groves helped me learn that a little better in her song "Open My Hands".  Maybe there's someone else that needed to hear her song today, and I hope it gives you comfort.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mississippi Visit

I've been a bit silent from the blog world this week, because I was in Mississippi for work.  I got to Jackson early (early as in 1:00 a.m.) Monday morning.  I had never been to Jackson before.  I've read and seen The Help, so I was constantly thinking of that storyline as I stayed in downtown Jackson.

I stayed at the Hilton downtown which used to be called Hotel King Edward (there's no filter on the photo below).

We started driving home on Thursday and stopped in downtown Vicksburg, MS. for shopping and lunch.
My grandmother was born in Mississippi, and her family is from Mississippi, but I've never spent much time in the state.  There's a ton of history there and lots of landmarks to see.  If you live a day's drive from either of these towns, I encourage you to take a day trip to see these historical places.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Free Photo: 2 Corinthians 3:5

Sunday night I spoke to some of the youth at my parents' church about how they can serve God in their youth and habits they should be forming at their age.  I had several Bible verses I encouraged them to memorize.  One verse that has been a constant reminder to me is 2 Corinthians 3:5.  It's a reminder that my talents and abilities are God given.  When I start think a bit too much of myself, I look over to this verse that I have framed on my desk.

I made up the simple graphic below and gave a framed copy to each kid.  I also wanted to share it with you in case it can be a reminder to you.
Right click to save.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crab, Avocado, Salad, Summer Food

It's vegetable season!  Yay!  This year I planted tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, and cabbage.  It's really nice to walk out the front door, grab some lettuce, and go back in to fix dinner!

I also love going to the farmer's market to get local fruit, vegetables, and meat.  I haven't gotten to the market yet this year since it's just started up.  But we do have a new Kroger Marketplace that I've been to way too much already.  It's amazing!

When it gets warm, I want meals that are light, cool, and refreshing.  I picked up some imitation crab and wanted to incorporate it into some recipes too.

Here's a couple of salads we tried out this week.

Green Crab Salad
I found a recipe but changed it up a bit.  I used lettuce a bit greener than iceberg.  I left out the avocado and added cheese.

Avocado Bean Salad
I found this recipe on Pinterest.  I changed it up as well, because I didn't have some of the ingredients.  I also added ingredients.

-Can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
-Sliced grape tomatoes (I added them until it looked like there were a good amount)
-1 sliced avocado
-1 can of garbanzo beans
-Garlic salt
-Dash of lime juice
-Dash of olive oil
-1 tbsp sugar
-cayenne pepper
-imitation crab

If eaten like a salad, this will make about 4 servings.  If you serve it as a dip with chips, it makes a good size bowl.
I love summer food!
Do you have any good salad recipes?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


I saw this post from Skunkboy Creatures and thought I'd tag along.

As you can tell from the photo, I am exhausted.  It's the end of the work day, and my day is far from over.  If only I could sneak in a nap!  A long nap!

Obsessing over: I am totally obsessed with the newest Coldplay album.  Although it's been out for a bit, it exactly what I was needing to listen to right now.  Funny how music means more when the songs fit your current life situation!  This CD is for sure going to be in my car all summer.  It's best when turned up loud...especially song #10!

Working on: I am working on finishing up several projects at work.  I'm also working on remodeling our house.  And I'm working on a new project that I'll be able to tell you about soon.  This is why I'm tired!

Thinking about: Easter.  I've got to take up the shoulders in my Easter dress.  I better remember that before Sunday!

Anticipating: I'm off work on Friday for Good Friday.  I'm so looking forward for a day to catch up on stuff at home.

Listening to: Sucre

Eating: Lara bars, peanut butter chocolate chip in particular.  

Wishing: For a day of rest...which is coming very soon!  I also have some very big wishes coming true...but I can't tell you just yet what they are!  (And no, there are no babies on the way...better clear that up!)

What's going on with you currently?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Crispy Cheesy Chicken (Gluten Free!)

I see all kinds of recipes on Pinterest that look delicious but include ingredients full of gluten.  Uh!  Not acceptable!  Instead of feeling sorry for myself for not being able to batter my chicken with Ritz crackers or cover it with cream of chicken, I'm bound to find a GF solution.

Here is a solution for all those recipes floating on Pinterest about crispy and cheesy chicken.

-Get a bowl of milk, bowl of shredded cheddar cheese, and bowl of gluten free crackers (see below).
-Dip the chicken in the milk, then cover it with cheese, then cover it with crackers.
-Place it in a pan (spray the pan with cooking spray first).
-Bake for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees, turning the chicken halfway through baking. (I used boneless, skinless chicken strips).
I used Pecan Nut-Thins crackers and put them in the food processor to use them as batter.
Yay for solutions!
Say hello to the Pinterest broccoli that I make weekly!  It makes a regular guest appearance in cooking posts!

Monday, April 02, 2012

How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware

It's not fun, but it's necessary.  I'm talking about cleaning cookware.

I know many people my age that when they registered for wedding gifts, they registered for nonstick cookware.  I agree that nonstick cookware is easy to clean.  I have a nonstick wok that I use quite a bit, because not only do I love the way the wok cooks, but I LOVE how easily it cleans.  But I don't love how the nonstick coating is slowing fading, and this is an expensive nonstick wok.  That's the problem with a majority of nonstick cookware-- the nonstick coating fades and may chip.

When I registered for cookware three years ago, I registered for stainless steel cookware and for one nonstick pan.  I think one nonstick pan is great, but I think the benefits of stainless steel far outweigh nonstick cookware.  My parents got married 35 years ago and are still using the stainless steel pots and pans they got as wedding presents.  Stainless steel will last you a looooong time!

I know that the main complaint for stainless steel is that it can be difficult to clean and keep looking new.  But don't fret!  I have an easy, quick solution!

Saturday morning I cooked some hash browns for breakfast.  Some of the potatoes stuck to the pan (cooking on stainless is a post for another day!).
To clean stuck food off of your cookware, put some water in the pan (or pot) and bring it to a boil.
As the water boils, the food will release from the pan and float to the top. (This boiling technique also works for cast iron skillets!)
Keep a watch on it, and keep a controllable boil going until all the food has freed from the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat, and let the water cool.
Empty the water into the sink once cool.
Put some dishwashing soap and water into the pan, and wipe it down.
It will come off easily with just a few wipes!
If there are a few spot of food left that don't want to budge, use some Bar Keepers Friend (liquid or powder) to remove any tough spots.  Bar Keeper's Friend (or Bon Ami brand) are also great for rust and cleaning all kinds of places around the house.
Rinse out the Bar Keepers Friend and dry.
Now you have a pan that looks like new!
I have to give credit to my mom since she taught me this technique.  I'd say she's an expert since her pots and pans classify as antiques but look like new!  (Hi Mom!)
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