Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

happy turkey day !!!! yum-yum-yum

i am thankful to have been given a wonderful family,
 friends, and path in life.


 ~ may this day bring you love, joy, and memories for life ~
 p.s.- I also give thanks to the precious turkey who gave his life for me to enjoy this day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

meal ideas ~ 4 weeks of yummies -wk4


Thanksgiving has arrived--- yum! Over the past weeks I have had tasty side-dishes for you to add to the table.  I hope you found something new to add to your holiday feast---- ~Since it is especially hard to watch our healthy meal plans during the holidays, I have included nutritional facts-  enjoy knowing these all are healthy dishes approved for Diabetic, Cardiac, and Low Carb meal plans to print just click the print icon in the upper corner of the side-bar.



Cranberry Cucumber Salad
High in antioxidants, cranberries are all too often hidden in a thick, sugary sauce. This colorful salad, packed with fresh produce and dressed with a dash of olive oil and lemon juice, is a beautiful and healthy opportunity for the red berries to shine.
 3 cups mixed salad greens
 1 cup fresh spinach
 1 medium cucumber, seeded, and chopped
 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
 1/4 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 2 tablespoons lemon juice
 2 tablespoons water
 1 1/4 teaspoons  Homemade Spice Mix
 Cracked black pepper (optional)

 In a large bowl, combine salad greens, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and cranberries. Set aside.

 For dressing: In a small screw-top jar, combine oil, lemon juice, the water, and seasoning; shake well. Pour over greens mixture; toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle with black pepper. Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.

Homemade Spice Mix
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 In a small bowl, combine paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, and cayenne pepper. Store any leftover mix in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Servings Per Recipe: 6: 88 cal., 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 200 mg sodium, 6 g carb. (1 g fiber), 1 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 1.5


Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
Crisp greens, creamy avocado, and zesty grapefruit are topped with raspberry vinaigrette in this beautiful side salad. Make the dressing a day ahead for easier entertaining. 

 8 cups torn mixed salad greens or fresh baby spinach
 2 grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
 1 tablespoon water
 1 teaspoon sugar
 1/8 teaspoon salt

 On a large serving platter or 6 individual salad plates, arrange the mixed salad greens and/or spinach, grapefruit sections, and avocado slices.

 For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together raspberry vinegar, avocado or olive oil, the water, sugar, and salt. Drizzle over the spinach mixture. Makes 6 (2 cups salad and 1 tablesoon dressing) side-dish servings.  Salad and dressing can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd.

Make Ahead Tip Prepare dressing as directed in step 2. Cover and chill for up to 1 week. To serve, prepare salad as directed in step 1. Whisk dressing; drizzle over salad.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  Servings Per Recipe: 6 PER SERVING: 134 cal., 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 60 mg sodium, 14 g carb. (4 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 2 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Vegetables (d.e): 1; Fruit (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 2
______________________
the dishes....
11-6    Butternut Squash Soup ~ Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
11-13  Carrot Mushroom Stuffing ~ Wild Rice Stuffing
11-20  Rosemary-Chive Parker House Rolls ~ Buttermilk Corn Muffins
11- 27 Cranberry Cumber Salad ~ Avocado Grapefruit Salad

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

chilled salad anyone??

update just in from the ranch- thank you Eileen for the pictures of the girls.

Babe and Spirit out in the snow getting their evening snack of oats and hay. both girls look very pregnant and happy... but burrrrr that’s what I call a chilled salad....lol.

Friday, November 22, 2013

fun friday ~ adventures anew

i post this in celebration.... 
a friend flutters to sweeter flowers

Lois: 
good luck my friend in your new endeavor. 
you were one hell of an ER nurse; with this new freedom may your wings carry you to happiness and many exciting adventures.

congratulations  !!!

hugs, love, and pooch smooches~  M

Thursday, November 21, 2013

peek-a-moo~ still here

yeah... i'm still here ~LOL~
a couple of minor complications, to be expected;
 however, in truth, i'm doing very good.
the posts might be a little erratic for a couple of weeks;
 so, bare with me and see everyone soon.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

meal ideas ~ 4 weeks of yummies -wk3

Just a couple weeks until that Thanksgiving feast--- yum! Over the last weeks I will have had some tasty side-dishes, perhaps new ideas, for you to add to the table. Even if you’re not in United States you can enjoy these holiday fall/winter recipes~Since it is especially hard to watch our healthy meal plans during the holidays, I have included nutritional facts-  enjoy knowing these all are healthy dishes approved for Diabetic, Cardiac, and Low Carb meal plans to print just click the print icon in the upper corner of the side-bar.

Rosemary-Chive Parker House Rolls
Delicately flavored with herbs, these classic rolls taste wonderful with a pat of butter or a dollop of gravy -- and they have only 10 grams of carb per roll! Bake and freeze up to a month ahead to enjoy more time with your guests on Turkey Day.
 
 3 -3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 package active dry yeast
 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
 3/4 cup water
 1/4 cup butter
 1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute
 1 egg
 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
 3 tablespoons butter, melted

 In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, chives, and rosemary. In a small saucepan heat and stir water, 1/4 cup butter, sugar, and salt until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter almost melts. Add butter mixture to flour mixture. Add egg and mashed potatoes. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir in as much of the remaining flour as possible.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Grease two large baking sheets; set aside. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a floured 2-1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Brush with some of the melted butter. Reroll scraps as necessary.

 To shape rolls, fold dough rounds in half, making the crease slightly off center. Place rolls, larger halves on top, 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover; let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush tops of rolls with the 3 tablespoons melted butter.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes about 30 rolls

Make Ahead Tip
Advance Preparation: Prepare and bake rolls as directed. Cool completely. Place in an airtight container; cover. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature for several hours. To reheat, wrap rolls in a single layer in foil. Heat in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until warm.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 75 cal., 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 14 mg chol., 66 mg sodium, 10 g carb. 2 g pro.Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5;

Buttermilk Corn Muffins
Our low-carb corn muffins are less sweet, more savory, and completely diabetes-friendly. Enjoy one of these delicious, low-cal, low-fat muffins with your holiday feast, or with a steaming cup of soup any night of the week.
 
 Nonstick cooking spray
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 cup buttermilk
 1/4 cup refrigerated or 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1 tablespoon canola oil
 1 tablespoon lower-fat stick margarine, melted
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar (if using), baking powder, and salt.

 In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, oil, margarine, vanilla, and butter flavoring. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Don't overmix; batter should be slightly lumpy.

 Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake about 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 12 SERVING: 92 cal., 2 g total fat 1 mg chol., 129 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (1 g fiber), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1

______________________
next week--
11- 27 Cranberry Cumber Salad ~ Avocado Grapefruit Salad

Friday, November 15, 2013

fun friday ~ Rudyard Kipling's story in real life


sent to me by a co-wildlife-friend from the "Into the Wild" nature blog


Young elephant gets surprise bite from crocodile

Wildlife photographer captures images of croc latching on to elephant’s trunk; incident prompts comparisons to Rudyard Kipling’s story ‘The Elephant’s Child’n   by 


A crocodile lurks under the nose of a young elephant; photo from Caters News Agency used by permission
A crocodile lurks under the nose of a young elephant; 
all photos from Caters News Agency used by permission
Ouch! The crocodile latched on to the elephant's trunk; photo from Caters News Agency used by permission




A young elephant innocently walked up to a watering hole to get a drink of water, not knowing of the danger lurking right under its nose until it was too late. As the pachyderm dipped its trunk into the water, a crocodile leaped up from out of the water and latched on to the elephant’s trunk.
Wildlife photographer Ian Salisbury, who is also a general manager of a safari lodge at the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, captured the amazing wildlife moment in a series of photographs.


Ouch! The crocodile latched on to the elephant’s trunk

“You know what they say about sticking your nose in where it is not wanted … well, this elephant found that out the hard way this afternoon,” Salisbury posted on his Facebook page Oct. 29.
Elephant whips its trunk to dislodge the crocodile; photo from Caters News Agency used by permissionA guest at the lodge reported seeing a similar attack earlier in the day so Salisbury returned to the scene in hopes of photographing another encounter.
“The action was so quick—a couple of seconds—and fortunately I had the camera pointing in the right direction,” Salisbury told the U.K. Daily Mail. “Having spent 30 years in the African bush, I realize how lucky I was to catch the scene.”

Elephant whips its trunk to dislodge the crocodile;

Elephant trumpets before fleeing into the bush; photo from Caters News Agency used by permission

The elephant whipped its trunk out of the crocodile’s jaws. Salisbury said it sustained a few scratches, but no real damage was done.
“For those of you who wanted to know what happened next. … Well, the elephant just trumpeted, blew its nose, and fled into the bush … maybe a little wiser?” Salisbury said on Facebook.


Elephant trumpets before fleeing into the bush;


The incident prompted comparisons to the children’s story by Rudyard Kipling.  “The Elephant’s Child” depicts how the elephant got its trunk: by a crocodile stretching it out by pulling on it.
Salisbury said on Facebook that the elephant was “probably trumpeting in a slightly higher key” after the incident, adding, “Maybe in the future he will think twice about which bars he hangs out in?”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

thursday's garden ~ mi corner

In the garden... well, before my heart decided to revolt of all the hard work I had placed on it last Wednesday, I was able to dig up the last portion of grass I had out front.  The goal is to make that section match the opposite side of my driveway. I think it going to look perfect. 

I am going to call this area of my garden “MI corner” yeah, I know sic humor, haven’t got anything else to do.



the corner- base without the Red Clover- 
my gift to my bees, they love it.




the front area with the clover







opposite side of the driveway.
 I think it will be a beautiful match.





the rest of my project that day was to put out some of my favorite flowers... the violas. I scattered them around the front areas and in Jesse’s Magnolia Tree. A gift from my brother & sister-in law just after he passed away; it has grown so much. Only had three leaves last october, i’ve left it in a pot because it will move out to colorado with us.


one last garden item I would  like to share with you is actually from Carol, my friend’s garden. she brought them to me in the hospital in the perfect and my favorite kind of vase, a plastic bottle. A breath of sunshine and garden beauty; these line her walkway up to her front door.


Nice gardening Carol, it must be beautiful!
______________________
since gardening for awhile is probably off my to-do list... and the holidays are quickly arriving it is the perfect time to start our annual--- thursday's holiday ideas~ coming next week, see you then. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

meal ideas ~ 4 weeks of yummies -wk2

Just a few weeks until that Thanksgiving feast--- yum! Over the next weeks I will have some tasty side-dishes, perhaps new ideas, for you to add to the table. Even if you’re not in United States you can enjoy these holiday fall/winter recipes~Since it is especially hard to watch our healthy meal plans during the holidays, I have included nutritional facts-  enjoy knowing these all are healthy dishes approved for Diabetic, Cardiac, and Low Carb meal plans to print just click the print icon in the upper corner of the side-bar.

Carrot-Mushroom Stuffing
This award-winning diabetic Thanksgiving side-dish recipe uses shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce to liven up traditional stuffing. Best of all, this Asian spin is low in calories and high in flavor.

 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
 6 cups sliced fresh shiitake and/or button mushrooms
 1/4 cup sliced green onions
 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
 2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano 
 1 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary 
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 6 cups dry whole grain bread cubes*
 3 cups coarsely shredded carrots (6 medium)
 1 -1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Add green onions for the last 1 minute of cooking. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, oregano, rosemary, and pepper.
 In a very large bowl, combine mushroom mixture, bread cubes, and carrots. Drizzle with enough of the broth to moisten.

 Place stuffing in an ungreased 2- to 2 1/2-quart au gratin or baking dish. Bake, covered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through. (Or to use to stuff a 10- to 12-pound turkey, prepare as above, except use 3/4 to 1 cup broth instead of 1 to 1 1/4 cups broth. Spoon lightly into turkey neck and body cavities; do not pack. Internal temperature of stuffing should register 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.) Makes 12 (3/4-cup) servings.
Make Ahead Tip

Make-ahead directions: Prepare as directed through step 2. Place in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart au gratin or baking dish. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake casserole, covered, for 60 to 70 minutes or until heated through. (For safety reasons, do not make stuffing ahead if planning to use for stuffing a turkey.)
Tip

*To dry whole grain bread: Cut enough slices of whole grain bread into 1/2-inch cubes to equal 8 cups (10 to 12 slices). Spread out in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in 300 degrees oven about 15 minutes or until dry and crisp, stirring twice. Cool. You should have about 6 cups dried bread cubes.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 12 -PER SERVING: 130 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 225 mg sodium, 24 g carb. (4 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 0.5;

Wild Rice Stuffing
A hearty partner for turkey, this low-carb side dish is easy to make ahead and heat up just before the feast -- keeping you free to enjoy your company. Best of all, it has just 66 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving!

 1/4 cup wild rice
 1 3/4 cups water
 1/4 cup brown rice
 1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground sage or nutmeg
 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
 1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
 1/3 cup sliced green onion (3)
 1/2 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts, toasted (optional)

 Rinse uncooked wild rice in a strainer under cold water about 1 minute; drain. In a medium saucepan combine wild rice, the 1-3/4 cups water, uncooked brown rice, bouillon granules, and sage. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
 Add mushrooms, celery, and green onion. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat about 25 minutes more or until vegetables are just tender, stirring frequently. If desired, stir in almonds. Serve immediately, or cool and use to stuff a 3-1/2- to 4-pound broiler-fryer chicken (see stuffing tips).

Make Ahead Tip  Prepare as above through step 2. Transfer stuffing to a 1-quart casserole. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Stir in 1/4 cup water. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Servings Per Recipe: 6: 66 cal., 1 g total fat 155 mg sodium, 13 g carb. (1 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 0.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1
______________________
coming next--
11-20  Rosemary-Chive Parker House Rolls ~ Buttermilk Corn Muffins
11- 27 Cranberry Cumber Salad ~ Avocado Grapefruit Salad


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

healthy living ~ even then it can crumble

Just wanted to check in with you, some may know, some may not. Wednesday, November 6th, I had the misfortune of experiencing an acute heart attack.

Firstly, I am great! Yep, imagine me tripping, falling, and jumping up with fist raised in the air... "I’m okay!" Well, perhaps without the fist... okay, maybe not jumping either, nevertheless I am okay!

I was at home in CA, actually just finished digging around in my garden when I became ill (kind of stomach flu sick) real quick, I had enough lucidity to reason was it: too much exercise- not enough food- taken diabetic meds earlier.... was it something I ate... was it not enough water.... was it.......by the third possible and 4th heave in the chamber pot, it hit me.  The best way I can explain the moment... have you ever seen ALIEN? The dinner scene?

I called Steve, (yea I know) then 911, then laid back gasping for air and waited. Minutes later, wondering if that little critter was going to burst forth and take off down the street, there was a rush of activity; it seems so surrealistic. Remember guys...I am usually on the outer rim hubbub, not the middle, of a scene like this. I answered questions without really thinking, felt myself being carried somewhere, heard a code three siren- off in the distance, then was at the Emergency Room at St. Joseph Hospital- orange county's cardiac receiving center, and 20 minutes later... I was getting two stents placed in my heart.
  
For those of you who aren't familiar with that:  stents are the high-tech modern replacement for the cardiac bypass. Except.... there is no cracking open of the chest - yippee - and even more modern, they were able to go into the heart through the wrist's radial artery -- double yippees-  (as opposed to the groin- much more painful, greater chance of complications).




There was someone's hand holding me up that day. 
  • I have a wonderful friend and husband who makes my life worth living.
  • I was in California - instead of out in the woods in Colorado... like I was supposed to be.
  • I happened to get Orange County’s top cardiologist, who happened to be right there ready to begin what I needed done at that moment.
  • I do have great medical insurance....(scary thinking of what the bill will look like; but with dedication of 19 years of employment to Kaiser Medical- it’s all okay, it’s their pocketbook- 100% )
  • I am still young at 59 and alive; just moving a little slower today.
  • .....and Steve learned how to clean Tiera’s "kitty box".... LOL 
How much residual damage, once my little "organ" stops pouting with her "you've been mean to me" temper tantrum; there is great optimism due to the speed and efficiency of all.

 
Yes, my life will need to change...come back slowly, (which is going to be REALLY HARD!) take it day by day, and let the AWR wildlife have their winter's sleep in peace.

Were there things that I could have done to prevent this? Sure.

Having diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, predisposition to be overweight... I had the frame work for cardiac disease. I treated and took conscious care of all of the above except.... the cholesterol. Which was genetic...not dietary. I exercise 4 days a week for 50 minutes at least, I would walk 6 flights of stairs at work three times a week. I had had a cardiac workup a year ago...complete workup with honors of health.... I relaxed one little thing- cholesterol medicine, because I couldn’t eat my favorite fruit-grapefruit- and got constipated...and that little mistake took only a year to catch up to me-whew. Okay, so I got in an extra year of good shit and grapefruit.
 
I am okay....I am going to be okay..... I was lucky!

What I am saying with all this is, my friends and blog followers... if you have one of the above four conditions....even healthy test results.... just know when it hits, it hits us women differently than men. It really does, until that “critter bursting out of my chest” feeling....I had NO clue.

Now, I have a couple of weeks to rest, write, and do some simple to-dos....no excuse to procrastinate now.  Most of my “needs to be done” can be done sitting in a chair. Boring? Oh well, what can one do. Besides...Steve still has kitty duty...garbage duty....all new and exciting things to learn.  LOLOLOL

be healthy, take care, and thank you for being my friends. and look forward to many new Healthy Living ideas that are even more so...

 and like that Visine commercial guys says....

~ wow ~

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

meal ideas ~ 4 weeks of yummies -wk1

Just a few weeks until that Thanksgiving feast--- yum! Over the next weeks I will have some tasty side-dishes, perhaps new ideas, for you to add to the table. Even if you’re not in United States you can enjoy these holiday fall/winter recipes. ~Since it is especially hard to watch our healthy meal plans during the holidays, I have included nutritional facts-  enjoy knowing these all are healthy dishes approved for Diabetic, Cardiac, and Low Carb meal plans ~ to print just click the print icon in the upper corner of the side-bar.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
Low in calories and positively bursting with vitamin A, this creamy low-carb soup is a must-have for your menu. It's the perfect way to kick off your holiday feast!

 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
 3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
 2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4 medium carrots)
 3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks or chopped onion
 2 14 1/2 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
 1/4 cup regular or fat-free half-and-half or light cream
 Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)

 In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter or margarine. Add squash, carrots, and leeks or onion to pan. Cook , covered, for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.
 Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover; process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg. Bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half or light cream; heat through. Ladle into soup bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh tarragon. Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 103 cal., 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 447 mg sodium, 16 g carb. (4 g fiber), 3 g pro.  Diabetic Exchanges-- Vegetables (d.e): 1.5; Starch (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
This flavorful, low-calorie take on mashed potatoes is sure to impress your guests. Serve it in miniature pumpkin bowls to add a touch of whimsy to your holiday table.

 1 pound medium baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
 2 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 cup canned pumpkin
 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
 1 tablespoon butter or tub-style vegetable oil spread
 1/8 teaspoon ground sage
 1/4 cup fat-free milk
 1 recipe Miniature Pumpkin Bowls (optional)
 Fresh sage leaves (optional)

 In a covered large saucepan, cook potatoes and garlic in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed until nearly smooth. Beat in canned pumpkin, cream cheese, butter, ground sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Gradually add milk, beating until light and fluffy. Return to saucepan; heat through.

 If desired, spoon mashed potatoes into Miniature Pumpkin Bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Makes 4 servings (3/4 cup each)

Note: Miniature Pumpkin Bowls: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut off 1/2 inch from the tops of 4 miniature pumpkins (6 to 8 ounces each); discard tops. Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and membranes and discard. Place pumpkins, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or just until pumpkins are easily pierced with a fork.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 159 cal., 5 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 13 mg chol., 206 mg sodium, 26 g carb. (4 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges: Fat (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1.5; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5
______________________
look for these over the next weeks--
11-13  Carrot Mushroom Stuffing ~ Wild Rice Stuffing
11-20  Rosemary-Chive Parker House Rolls ~ Buttermilk Corn Muffins
11- 27 Cranberry Cumber Salad ~ Avocado Grapefruit Salad

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

healthy living ~ simplicity of winter skin care

The application of masks is one of the most ancient forms of beauty treatment all around the world. In old times, women of nobility used to apply many exotic substances on their face skin in order to keep it smooth, silky and beautiful and protect from aging and elements. In the North, traditional societies used animal and fish fats to shield their skin from cold and dry winter air. We need not go to that extent... :)

I love facial masks, they leave my skin refreshed and nourished. However, some of the products on the market are filled with chemicals that undo all the good you are trying to accomplish. Natural, from Mother Nature, face masks are gaining popularity among many women, especially those who avoid using toxic commercial products and prefer to nourish, cleanse, heal, and protect their skin with unadulterated, home-made remedies.

Here are a few on my favorite winter masks for busy modern women! These are simple, easy to make, and luscious; your skin will love it!

1. AVOCADO MASK 
An avocado mask is perfect for dry skin that may become very irritated in the winter.

It is easy to make: mash the flesh of avocado with a fork, add a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, and apply this smooth, fragrant mixture onto your face.

This nourishing mask will supply your skin with a whole range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and softening agents to fight winter dryness.

2. CULTURED MILK MASK 
A cultured milk mask is a simple and effective cure for tired skin.

Just apply a bit of natural yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, or kefir on your face avoiding areas around the eyes. Relax for 10-15 minutes and rinse your face with cool water.

This mask softens, rejuvenates, and restores a natural pH balance of your skin, thus, protecting it from negative influences of winter air.

3. EGG WHITE MASK 
An egg white mask is good for oily skin with large pores.

Smooth a beaten egg white all over your face, let rest for half-an-hour, and rinse with water.

This mask will refresh and tighten your oily skin and will make it look much healthier than before. In the winter, it will create a natural barrier to protect your skin from harsh winds and frost.



4. OATMEAL MASK
An oatmeal mask is a great remedy for skin beaten by a cold wind. To make it, mix together in equal proportions raw oatmeal flakes, egg yolk, and honey. Keep the mask on your face for about 20 minutes, wash with lukewarm water, and pat dry. After the application, your facial skin should feel very soft, refreshed, and healed.



5. BANANA MASK 
If you have combination skin suffering from winter elements, try a softening banana mask. Mix mashed banana with fresh sweet cream and apply this wonderful mask all over your face for 30 minutes. It will smooth, soften, moisturize and nourish your skin whenever necessary and will make you forget about the cold, harsh, and nasty winter outside!

Monday, November 4, 2013

10 Thoughts on Life ~ November

                     ~~~~emotional health~~~~

 1. There is no substitute for rest. Get plenty.
 2. Deep renewal comes from resetting your rhythms.
 3. Never underestimate the power of pen & paper.         
 4. Your energy naturally ebbs and flows -- live in 
       sync with its tides.
 5. Experience stillness; it is the source of your 
       inner power.
 6. Coping with stress becomes easier when you
       know what deeper fear it's triggering.
 7. Compassion and intent are the keys to self-care.
 8. Experience the power of pure silence. Find a
        few minutes each day to completely unplug.
 9. The only truly unhealthy emotions are those
        you don't express.

10.  Your energy doesn't run out -- it gets blocked. Find ways to free your flow.