Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Hot Fruit Salad Recipe and A Little of This and A ...

Blessed Beyond Measure: Hot Fruit Salad Recipe and A Little of This and A ...: "I have four days off, in a row, this week. I've been looking forward to this time, this break in the action of working the overnight shift...."

Hot Fruit Salad Recipe and A Little of This and A Little of That...

I have four days  off, in a row, this week. I've been looking forward to this time, this break in the action of working the overnight shift. This past work week was tough, with lots of things to get done at night and I was really looking forward to a break!

I must admit, I spent most of my first day off this week sleeping! I came home from work yesterday morning so exhausted that I was falling asleep sitting up at the computer. That means one thing.....I need sleep!

So, I got a good night's rest, which is good, BECAUSE......

Today, I'm gonna go to Pittsburgh with one of my closest friends to her doctor' appointment and just spend time hanging out together! LOVE it!

I haven't been doing as much baking lately, because of the heat. What can I say, making the house warmer just isn't my idea of fun! BUT I have been using my slow cooker/crockpot and have a new cookbook for slowcooker recipes! Very exciting stuff, honest!

The new addition to my collection is Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good with the American Diabetes Association. There are several people in my overall family who are diabetic and I was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes several years ago.

With Type 2 diabetes, your body is either not making enough insulin or is not using it well. A lot of people, some of the the triggers for Type 2 are being overweight (which I have been most of my life) and being sedentary (which when I was working in an office and then coming home and crashing, no exercise in between). So what I have been trying to do since that diagnosis is try to help my body use the insulin my body produces by losing weight and being more active. Sometimes, I am successful...sometimes, not!  

There's some confusion that sugar is a no-no. Actually sugar is just another carbohydrate to the body. It's this way: An equal serving of brownie and of a baked potato will raise your blood sugar the same amount. Part of the problem comes from when you consume it. If you wait and eat only at the end of the day, it will cause your blood sugar levels to rise. So eating healthy balanced meals is important, as it eating regularly.

I have to admit....eating regularly with my working the overnight shift is not an easy thing! So what I've tried to incorporate instead is eating healthier and finding ways to get more active.

Thus....yeah, I feel the cookbook was a blessing of sorts. I love to cook and bake and using my slow cooker, especially in the summer months, seems like a good addition to a plan to be healthier!

The first recipe I've done from the cookbook, oh, my....yummy!!!! It's called Hot Fruit Salad and here's the recipe (which was submitted by Sharon Miller from Holmesville, OH).

Hot Fruit Salad
1. Combine the following in slow cooker (ideal size for this recipe is a 5-quart cooker) and stir gently:

25-oz jar chunky unsweetened applesauce
21-oz can light cherry pie filling
20-oz can pineapple chunks, packed in juice
15 1/2-oz can sliced peaches, packed in juice
15 1/2-oz can apricot halves, packed in juice
11-oz can mandarin oranges, packed in juice

2. Combine:
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Brown sugar substitue to equal 1 Tbsp
1 tsp ground cinnamon

3. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar combo over fruit mixture.

4. Cover and bake in slow cooker on LOW for 3-4 hours.
Makes 16 servings

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I tweak recipes to suit me. It's my way of being creative and making it my own. So here's the scoop on what I did when creating this deliciousness in bowl!

Instead of chunky applesauce, which I couldn't find anywhere, I used cinnamon applesauce instead and eliminated the cinnamon sugar mixture altogether.

I think the chunky applesauce would have made the mixture a little less....hmmm...runny? And I think the next time, I will use either apple pie filling or a can of fried apples instead to get the chunkiness/texture of the apples.

I couldn't find canned apricots either, and so, just left them out! I was going to dice up dried apricots and use those, but decided it would good even without them...and I was right!

And let me tell you! While this was delish hot and warm out of the crockpot, it's been even better (for me, in my humble opinion), cold! The cinnamon taste comes thru just great! I'll be doing this one again and again!

I'm so glad fresh fruit season is here.....I have been enjoying blueberries lately and grapes and strawberries....and I have a watermelon chilling in my fridge for later this week....yummo!

Another fave that I have done alot of lately is peppermint tea! And all I am doing is steeping 3-4 peppermint tea bags in a large jug of water and then removing the bags and adding Splenda to the mix. It is so refreshing cold, not to mention, downright relaxing! I don't know what it is, but sipping that ice cold peppermint tea relaxes me!

So, there ya go....A recipe and little of this and a little of that. Now, I am off to get ready to spend the day with one of my besties and enjoy the time off and away!

May you be blessed beyond measure today and always!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure: Catching Up Again!

Blessed Beyond Measure: Catching Up Again!: "Oh. My. Word. (or the lack thereof!) It’s been quite some time since I last wrote on my blog! Like the end of April! Yikes! It’s not that I ..."

Catching Up Again!

Oh. My. Word. (or the lack thereof!)
It’s been quite some time since I last wrote on my blog! Like the end of April! Yikes! It’s not that I haven’t wanted to – and would you believe, I had one all typed out and ready to go yesterday, but the internet decided to “eat it” and “POOF!” it disappeared!

So here I am, starting over. And to be honest, don’t know what I said yesterday so I guess I’ll start from scratch and share some of my memories from the month of May with pictures I took!

This is Aurora. Aurora is a new addition to my household. Aurora is……..

My new paper shredder!!!!

I got a really good deal on her at Wal*Mart….on sale for $15 on clearance! She’s actually a much brighter green, almost neon-ish. I’d been looking for one for awhile but reaaaaaally didn’t want to spend the big bucks for one. I hated just ripping up old checks and such and had been looking, but not looking (if that makes sense!). There she was in the clearance aisle, sitting next to her twin sister dressed in pink. Since I looooovve green, yeah, it was an easy decision which one was coming home! It’s come in very handy!!!!! And ya gotta love a bargain, to boot! What a blessing!

Let me explain this picture….it’s a picture of part of a picture! I was blessed to be able to spend some time with an old friend of mine who took me to lunch one day last month. After lunch, we were walking Main Street in my town and stopped in this store, It’s A Dollar & More, and were just looking around. We saw a bunch of pictures towards the front of the store and my friend asked me which one I liked best. I chose this one….and he was so sweet and blessed me by purchasing it for my home! There’s another saying on the picture that we both thought was really neat:

Jesus knows me, this I love!

How true is that!?!?! But how often do we realize it, down deep, that we have a Savior and Redeemer and Friend Who knows us even better than we know ourselves!? Something to think about!
This is a mat now graces my front door entry. I love the colors and the message! It looks rather summery, doesn’t it?

Okay… you think you know what this one is all about? What’s your guess?
If you said “Ice”, you are correct! Yep, one of the basic household chores this past month was defrosting my refrigerator freezer. I wish I had a frost-free one, but seeing as how my home came with a stove and fridge, I am really not gonna complain! Besides, the upside of having to manually defrost the freezer is that I end up cleaning it out and tossing the old stuff that needs to go!

Ah, yes…..another project! This one was in my living room and had to do with the couch and the cushions that belonged on the back part of the couch. I bought this couch like 12 years ago when I first moved to Gainesville, GA. It has seen better days and if I ever buy another new couch, it will not be a cream colored one! I learned my lesson!

So, I have had some company these past few months and some of my visitors have found the couch to be a little uncomfortable for them without the back cushions. I’ve had them in a storage box for quite some time and knew I needed to come up with a plan of some kind for covering them.

The solution? I went to the local Goodwill Store and bought several flat queen size sheets. The couch is covered with a dark navy blue sheet. I wanted to come up with something pillowcase-like for the back cushions, which are kind of big. I found these two plaid sheets that worked wonderfully for making BIG pillowcases for the cushions. I *love* how they look! And it really is nice to have those cushions back on the couch again! Oh, and the picture above….that’s just one of the cushions, there’s another one besides the one in the pic!

Thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of what sits on top of one of the bookcases in my living room! I love lighthouses and these are variations of lighthouses/birdhouses. There are also two little ceramic birds sitting up there along with the bird/lighthouses! As you can also see, my bookcases house my movie collection! And yes, there are books on there, too….just lower!
I love the bookcases….I have two… dad built these for me probably about 15 years ago. I treasure them because they were from him and I know they were made with love and great care! Oh, and by the way, the two little birds on top of the bookcase… mom gave me those a long time ago, too!

This little bundle of joy is my newest great niece, Liliahna Marie Johnson. She is the daughter of my oldest niece, Rebecca and her husband, Frank. They are both in the Army and stationed at Ft Hood, TX. They are due to be here in PA in a few short weeks before Frank is sent overseas for an extended amount of time. So it’s going to be a very happy time while they are here, getting to meet this precious little one! I cant wait to hold her and love on her! I have funny feeling, I may have some competition in that area, coming from the big family I’m a part of! ☺

I hope that you enjoyed your time with me today. I hope to get back to blogging more regularly and sharing with you whatever the Lord lays on my heart. I’m happy you stopped by….please, come again!

May He bless you and yours always
and may it always be beyond the measure you expect!
In His care,