Comfort food that is actually good for you!

Hi guys!

I am going to share what I just made. I recently have been cooking up a storm every Sunday and canning the food.  I know that if I don’t do this, I eat poorly. I did some experiments in my kitchen and I will share this receipe I made up. It is soooooo good!

How I thought of this was I was cooking a ham in the oven, so naturally, I had to think how can I use the ham bone. I decided to high tail it to the store to pick up a bag of split peas. If I am going to go through the trouble of canning, I may as well make a ton! So, I picked up 2- 1pound bags and went home. I had never ever cooked this before, so with the help of the internet, I learned how to cook the peas. Whenever I cook, I always add my own flare to it.  Here is what I did:

In a large, huge pot, I poured in 8 cups of hot water. Then I dumped the peas in it. I turned the stove on high and I boiled the peas for 25 minutes. I turned the burner off and let it sit for 1 hour.

In another pot, I filled it with 4 cans of sliced carrots, one cut up celery stalk, one cut up onion, fresh cilantro, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. I cooked the veggies until tender, added the ham bone to the peas, and combined the veggies into the pea pot. I cooked the mixture until the peas were tender.

After I tasted it and like the taste, I removed the ham bone and threw everything in the blender. After it was pureed, I put it back in the pot. I thought it needed a little something, so I added some milk, a little more salt and pepper, then stirred it up. To Top off the soup I threw in small pieces of ham! Delicious!!

If you are going to can the soup, fill the hot soup into hot jars and boil in a canning pot for 40 minutes. Allow to sit and seal before putting it in the cupboard.

The next time I am in a hurry, I can pop open my soup and eat it!

Nutritional value of peas:
In addition to folates, peas are also good in many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Furthermore, they are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
Green peas nutrition facts and health benefits
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/green-peas.html

 

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Family Traditions…….

The neighbor invited us over to their house to make their great grandmother’s ravioli from scratch. It literally took all day and there were 20 people all helping. This family is a tight knit bunch. I was not only amazed at how well everyone got along, but at how loving they were towards us as well. It felt like we belonged there. The ravioli was an adventure in itself. After we made about 300 of these things, we ate some. The sauce and every detail was made from scratch. This event last night got me to think about my grandma. I loved cooking in the kitchen with her. I enjoyed helping her do everything. I miss my grandma. The sad part is, all the family traditions died with her. Last night was an eye opener for me. I realized if I am going to have family traditions, I need to start them. I will be the one to begin and hand them down to my kids and so forth. Traditions have to start somewhere. So, the neighbors do the ravioli tradition once a year and that is the only one they have. I suggested we do cookies before Christmas, they all liked that. Now we are starting a cookie tradition with their family and I will implement it in mine.

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AS I prayed this morning, I didn’t expect this…..

I woke up this morning in Thanksgiving. I had stayed up as my kid was sick last night. In spite of some of the things that happened, we were able to go serve the poor( minus the sick kid). I prayed for God to bless our day and our actions. We went and grabbed the food, which fit perfectly in my car. We brought the food in and began serving up plates. The folks were very grateful, some weren’t, and I reminded my kids that we just don’t know what is going on in their hearts or lives. Serve with a smile and be polite is what I say. We had over 110 people to serve. I thought we were going to run out of food. Guess what, some had seconds and took food to their rooms. We had leftovers still! So, we served up portions in to go containers, then set out to find those on the street who were hungry. This man on a corner looked so hungry. We asked him if he wanted a meal, he took it graciously and said please go before I start crying. You just never know what is going on in someone’s life or how they got where they are. It is not for us to judge them, just feed them. No matter what condition someone is in, we all deserve food. I was thinking that I think there are two conditions that are the worst and those are in my opinion hunger pains and being cold. We managed to put together 25 additional food boxes with the food we thought we were for sure going to run out of. I instantly thought back to the loaves and fishes story. When you ask God to bless your food and actions, he can and will amaze you. Another person we saw on a bus bench hunched over with a blanket covering her whole body and head, two of my kids went up to her and asked her if she would like some food. She took it and didn’t speak but was able to eat it. I plan on holding on to these memories of humanity. There are so many things wrong in this world but there are so many right things too. If we choose to see the bad we will miss the good. Prayer works but you also have to be willing to be God’s hands and feet to move and help those down here. We are all hurting in some way. Let’s spread love and crush darkness.

Matthew 25:31-46New King James Version (NKJV)

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am thankful for those who are in my life. I am Thankful I have another day to serve God. I am Thankful for those my family will be serving today. WE go to a highrise and volunteer for the Union Gospel Mission.  Those older folks that are waiting for us have taught us so many things. They have taught us their many life lessons. It is amazing what you learn through serving others. I would not have our holidays any other way.

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How do you spend your days?

WE all get the same number of hours in a day. WE all have wishes, desires, and floating thoughts in our heads. What do you do with the hours you have or even minutes you have each day? Some people are really good about using their time wisely. Some people pack the most work in each day to get ahead, maybe even perhaps get that promotion they have been yearning for. Are we chasing that proverbial carrot in front of us. The next shiny thing we go after and then realize we are really not working towards anything? If we listen to others and listen to their embellishments, we can see nothing but shiny things. We all hear what we want to hear. It is easy to get caught up in words. What do you want out of life? Is it money, fame, to leave a legacy, to be remembered, or do you actually want to enrich your soul? I choose enrich my soul. Money can only get you so far in life. Without people and relationships, you have nothing. Spend time. Time is the one thing that you can spend but not get back. I think about the many people who are suffering in this world and the only thing I can do is pray for them. Trust in Jesus to help them. We are all on a journey. We are not in a race with anyone. Everything we do comes in our own right time. Each person in this world is at a different stage in their journey. WE can all learn from one another if we try. The only thing we own is our actions. WE all belong to Jesus if we want to belong to him. He has us written in his heart. He will never leave us, especially in our most perilous times of need. WE have to choose him. WE have to trust in him. When you are unsure how to spend your time, pray and then help others. Truly those actions will enrich your soul. It can’t hurt right?

Jesus, I trust in you! Please forgive me for all I have done to make you sad…….the longer I live, the more I fall, the more I realize how broken I am and only Jesus can give me the grace I need to get through this life. When we are at the point in our lives where we fall and realize, we can choose to  fully abandon ourselves and allow God to come into our hearts. When we abandon what we think we need, we get what we truly need. Only that can come from God. Only God can fulfill that void in our hearts. WE crave God and we fill it with other things that are so bad for us. We don’t realize how destructive we can be to ourselves. Then one day, we feel so broken and ask for help. It takes time, but God will fill you with his grace. I truly believe at our deaths, we will see the sacrifice  Jesus made for us and the price he paid for us, so that we can enter heaven. Without Jesus paying that price, none of us would be able to enter heaven. Jesus is the key and the way to heaven. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the Holy Trinity. I have tried, believe me I have tried. The conclusion I have come to is that some things are just too big for our brains to comprehend. This is where true faith comes in. Yes, we all falter from our faith because we are human. I do believe we come back to it though. God has written his commandments in our hearts and he has claimed us as his own. With Free will comes a huge responsibility. We can choose him or not choose him. Telling someone they have to love you isn’t love. Being chosen and that person loving you, truly loving you, is love. WE don’t have to love God. We don’t have to choose him. That is the beauty of this gift of FREE WILL. Jesus had FREE WILL and he knew we needed him. He CHOSE to subject himself to the cruelty of his creation. He didn’t create evil, but he gave us FREE WILL. Without light, darkness lurks. We all have fallen to Satan’s false promises. He makes it look shiny and sooooo good. The problem is, once you choose, the light in your soul begins to become no more. My opinion is we all need to work on keeping the light on in our soul. The only way we can do that is through desire and trust in God. God doesn’t promise things that aren’t real. He won’t offer you the next shiny thing. He can offer you true happiness. Many of us feel we don’t deserve true happiness because we continually punish ourselves for our sins. I am here to tell you that if you don’t forgive yourself, you cannot move forward. If Jesus can forgive you, you can forgive yourself. It is not an easy task but it is as simple as that. Forgiveness is letting go, being truly sorry, and trying not to do it again. We never forget what we did but that is a good thing. Without our recollection, we can fall into the same mistake/sin. When we learn from our sins and falls, we are on a good path. Ego can get in the way sometimes. WE can maybe feel like we don’t need his grace. When we feel that, we are throwing his gift away. It is like telling a friend you don’t need or want their present they are giving you. How do you think that makes them feel? Every time we throw God’s gifts away, we are hurting him. Most of all, we are hurting ourselves.

The picture of Jesus’ face down below, my grandma Kraker had that picture in her guest bedroom. I used to look at it and feel that was the closest picture to what I felt Jesus looked like. One night I was feeling a little scared. I prayed to my guardian angel and I prayed to God. I opened my eyes and that in the dead of night, that room was so dark, the halo behind his head began to glow. I could see the picture clear as day. Almost as if a flashlight was shining on his picture. After that, I always, think of this when I am scared. it calms me down and reminds me I am not alone. Yes, I have gotten caught up in things in my life that I have strayed from Jesus, but I always come back. I just really felt like you should know this story.

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Amazing world we live in.

There literally are all types of people in this world, I hope you choose to make yourself one of the good ones, not the bad ones. In the end, it comes down to a conversation between you and God about your own personal actions, not the actions of anyone else. Did you do all you could to be kind to others? As the Dahli Lama says, “if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

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