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 14, 2014

fun friday video ~ it it fits, I sits

last entry for my I need a smile week

a huge thank you to Tony, who shared this on facebook, which gave me a smile and chuckle when I needed it most

for my email friends here is the link: it will not post in your email. be sure to turn on your sound.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

meal ideas ~ healthy thanksgiving side-dishes

Show your holiday guests how much you care by cooking up a nutritious celebration. Here are three scrumptious healthy side dishes to create an indulgent feast while keeping a healthy eating plan on track. Thanksgiving dinner, actually eating turkey, my second favorite food after duck, is one of the most delicious meals I enjoy all year!

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 
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

Sweet Potato Soup with Toasted Pecans
Our sweet potato soup is packed with veggies and low in calories. In fact, this holiday-worthy dish is so delicious, you might decide to enjoy it on weeknights, too.

2 teaspoons canola oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped leek
1/3 cup chopped orange or yellow sweet pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 14 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound sweet potatoes peeled, halved land thinly sliced
1 small potato (4 ounces), peeled, halved thinly sliced 
1/3 cup dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

 In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, leek, sweet pepper, onion, and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or just until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

 Add broth, sweet potatoes, potato, wine, black pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Discard the bay leaf. Remove from heat and cool soup slightly.
 Transfer half of the soup to a blender or food processor. Cover
and blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return all soup to saucepan. Heat through. Sprinkle individual servings with toasted pecans.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 142 cal., 5 g total fat 358 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (3 g fiber), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1;

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

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

more wonderful ideas can be found on

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

healthy living ~use extra herbs for healthy nosegays

   We all know how healthy the scent of herbs can be, and this time of the year especially with all the holiday recipes, I use a lot of different kinds of herbs. Have you ever hesitated to make a recipe because it calls for 1 or more fresh herbs? Perhaps you have them in the garden…perhaps not. You’re at the store just about to buy some and your mind says: “but that is so much, I’ll never use it up, it is a waste.”

     Well, no more, announcing the Herbal Nosegay for a holiday gift idea, or your own kitchen, bathroom, any room in your house. With these simple steps, you can use those extra herbs in the best way, next to cooking.

     Even if you have fresh herbs in your garden, they need to be trimmed and cut back for better growth…again… comes in the Herbal bouquet for your counter.

     First: the nosegay has an interesting history. The term literally means a "gay or happy nose". This is because men and women carried nosegays in medieval times to mask unpleasant odors.

     Nosegays were popular fashion accessories during the Victorian period. Their mothers taught women of this era how to create these beautiful arrangements to enhance their personal beauty and the beauty of their home. Creating a nosegay is an easy way to craft an arrangement to put in a small vase. They can also be given as gifts.

  1. Start with a miniature vase, small jar, or container. You don’t need to spend money on anything. Usually I have some sort of small bottle lying around. It is best if the opening is small.  What did you do with that last bottle of dried herbs you finished? I once used a Tabasco bottle, washed thoroughly, it worked great, and leaving on the label gave it character. On the other hand, if you wish, go to Michaels, Tall Mouse or any craft store and purchase a bottle with a small opening; good time to pick up some paints or labels for decorations too.
  2. Wash the herbs you wish to bouquet and trim the stems so they are long enough to sit almost to the bottom, or at least half way. (that way you don’t have to refill the water so often.)
  3. Fill bottle with water, and arrange the bouquet as you wish.

     Whalla--- you’ve got a miniature herb arrangement that you can pick up whenever and fill your senses with a whiff.

    You can leave one next to the stove and even pinch off what you need the next time you cook. Check the water every couple of days to keep fresh. Mine usually last about 2 or 3 weeks.

     I also keep one (using my mint, sweet basil, rosemary and a flower from my garden) sitting in my guest bathroom. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dr. Seuss' 30 Thoughts on Life

It's once again a new month and time for my “Thoughts on Life.” Not sure the reason...yet... but I woke up this morning thinking about Dr. Seuss- maybe it was the strange dream I had; it was one of those that requires much thought as to the “wtf” was my unconscious trying to say. ha!

Nevertheless, I decided this would be a great day to share my “30 Dr. Seuss Quotes that can change your life” poster. I love this, and I still remember- word for word- many of the Dr. Seuss works I've read.  (click on the picture to enlarge for better reading)

My favorite all time story was called The Zax, it had a moral that stuck with me throughout my life. If you haven’t read it, I really suggest you do, no matter what age. The story raises questions as to whether pride is a beneficial or detrimental quality to possess and whether one should compromise with another individual and if you aren’t flexible...the world and time will just pass you by.

One day in the Prairie of Pax a North-Going Zax and a South-Going Zax run into each other. Both are trying to get to their desired locations, but neither will move out of the way to let the other one pass. While both stand facing each other too proud to compromise, they fail to see that the world continues on moving and time passes by.

~ what was your favorite Dr. Seuss story? I would love to know ~