SUNDAY SUPPER – SUMMER VEGETABLE STEW

Summer Vegetable Stew is delicious, with tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and more. Fresh flavors perfect for a weeknight summer meal when the garden is overflowing.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 14-oz can chicken broth
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced (or you can use 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, not drained)
  • 1 14-oz can corn (not drained)
  • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 cup diced chicken or ham, optional
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, to top bowls of stew with

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, heat butter over medium heat. Add in onions, garlic, potatoes and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until onions are translucent.
  2. Add in chicken broth. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are soft.
  3. Add in zucchini, tomatoes, corn, chicken or ham (if desired) and seasonings (except cornstarch.) Heat for another 10-15 minutes or so, until mixture is hot and beginning to boil.
  4. Reduce heat and add all but 2-3 TBSP of the evaporated milk. Mix remaining evaporated milk with the cornstarch and stir until combined. Stir it into the stew. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste. Top with fresh diced cherry tomatoes & a little shredded Parmesan cheese once stew is ladled into each bowl.

https://butterwithasideofbread.com/summer-vegetable-stew/

 

DAD’S PROFOUND SAYINGS

Dad

My father, a.k.a Superman, was a very intelligent man with a great engineering mind.  He was passionate about his beliefs including his faith in God.  He was a well-rounded individual enjoying art, opera, architecture, and poetry.  He was skilled in repairing or building anything from home appliances, our garage, the computer, to the DNA molecule I had to make for a school project.  Anyone who knew him would say he was rough on the outside but caring on the inside.  They would also agree he was quite a character with a sense of humor.  Well, he thought he was funny, anyways.  Being a three-time cancer survivor, he still found things to laugh about during his treatments.  So, to honor my Superman on Father’s Day I am sharing his top five profound sayings.

DAD’S TOP FIVE PROFOUND SAYINGS:

  1. “He’s got all his marbles but his bag is ripped”

He often expressed this when he thought a person was being illogical.

  1. Don’t leave mad, just leave“.

He would say this when I was mad because he would not allow me to do something I wanted to do.

  1. “I see your intentions of killing the cow”.

He said this when he prophesied something bad was about to happen.  It was funnier when he said it in Spanglish (Spanish and English together)

  1. “You got to laugh about something”.

Even in a most difficult situation, he still found something to laugh about.

  1. Don’t tell your mother!”

Of course he said this when he was about to something he should not be doing!

 

MY TESTIMONY OF FAITH

Since Easter is next week I thought it would be appropriate to share my testimony of faith:

I was born with a rare medical condition.  The doctors did not know if I was going to survive.  Having great faith my parents allowed the doctors to give me an experimental drug and it saved my life.  My parents told me I was one of God’s miracles.

We went to church every Sunday and Wednesday.  My parents served on several church committees and we were members of a Methodist Church.  When I was in the Youth Group I would attend occasional weekend retreats at the Methodist Church campground.  My parents would also attend Women and Men’s retreats there.  When my father returned from one weekend retreat he bought me a New Testament Study Bible which helped one witness to others.  I began reading this book each night.  I began praying each night as well.  This brought me closer to God.  I realized that I truly believed the words in the book.  I was surprised because I always thought I was a believer but I had never developed a relationship with God.  Now I had one and could proclaim without a doubt that I was a Christian.

God continued to bless my family with miracles.  When I was ten my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  He went through 2 years of chemotherapy and survived!  Nine years later the cancer recurred.  This time the doctors did a Stem Cell transplant.  They gave him chemotherapy and radiation until he had no white or red blood cells.  They then re-infused his body with stem cells to create a new set of blood cells in his body.  During the process, he spiked a fever of 104 degrees.  The fever continued for several days.  Sunday came and the nurse told my mother that if the fever did not go down soon his body would start to shut down, he would die.  It was almost 11am when the nurse left the room.  Just then, a friend from church called my mother.  Our friend updated the church on my father’s condition and at the end of the service, around 12:00, everyone stood in circle around the sanctuary and prayed together for my father.   The nurse came back and took my father’s temperature at about 12:20 and it had gone down to almost normal!  It was a true miracle!  James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  The bible, written thousands of years ago is still relevant!  Our church congregation prayed for my father and he was healed!

God is still blessing my life even today.  As I have gotten older my medical issues have persisted.  Since my youth I have been diagnosed with Diabetes, Thyroid disease, Psoriatic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Depression.  I recall one instance during my second encounter with Depression.  I was in the hospital and my head was spinning out of control.  I was having a psychotic episode due to the Depression.  I didn’t want to be in the hospital.  I was fighting because I did not want to take the medicine.  My brain was tricking me into thinking I was fine.  When I finally figured out I wasn’t going home I asked my husband to bring me reading material because I had nothing to keep me occupied.  He brought me an inspirational book.  It reminded me of Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”  I thought, “How did I forget about God?  I have been trying to fight this on my own.  I must trust that I am where I am supposed to be, in the hospital to get better.”  From there, I started taking medication and following the therapy.  I was soon released from the hospital.  Psalm 34: 17-20 states, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”   I was crushed but God gave me courage to face my troubles and move forward.

I have had a few more episodes of Depression in the past few years and each time I learned from the experience.  I am now stable with most of my medical issues and I continue to learn how to cope with the multiple disorders.  My afflictions are many but with God by my side I can endure them and look forward to the future.

“...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

UNDER A STARLIT SKY

A couple of weeks ago my husband tells me he wants to go to Everglades National Park at the end of the month.  I said, “Sure I have always wanted to go there”.  Then he adds, “…and we need to go at 3:00am so I can take photos of the Milky Way”.  My response:  “What?!  You want to go out in total darkness to a place that is infested with alligators and poisonous snakes?!”  Yep, of course he does.  He is obsessed with photography.  Of course fear immediately came over by entire body.  What could happen out there especially with no one else around?  Doesn’t the Creature from the Black Lagoon live out there?  What would I do if my husband got bit by a poisonous snake?  How would I help him?  My head was spinning with all sorts of scenarios.  Finally I decided it may not be like that at all.  We have been to many nature preservation areas and other national parks.  We never see wildlife except for birds and squirrels.  So I thought, let’s do some research and go check things out during the day to see how it is.  Well like most parks there are marked trails with boardwalks so it is mostly safe as long as you stay in the designated areas.  We prepared by wearing proper clothing to shield us from the giant mosquitoes and deer flies. We took a First Aid kit and we scouted the area during the day so we would know what to expect.  We found what areas we wanted to go to and where we did not want to go and set out a plan.  When we went out at 3:00am it wasn’t so scary.  The experience was beautiful and peaceful.  Being out in nature under the starlit sky was amazing!

I have been in fear for most of my life.  Fear of making wrong decisions, fear of the failing, and fear of the future.  The terror of the Everglades at night appears to be a legitimate reason for concern.  But after assessing the situation I decided to face my fear of the darkness and I am so glad I did because I experienced an incredible event with my husband.  If I had succumbed to panic I would not have had the opportunity to see the beauty of the Milky Way.  Maybe the reason I overcame this anxiety was because I have had several events in the last several years where I had to overcome obstacles.  Again, I have defeated fear.  It is a wonderful feeling to actually participate in life rather than sit on the sidelines filled with distress.  I am finally able to move past apprehension and embrace new encounters.

While gazing at the stars I realized that this experience echoes that of living with chronic illness.  When first diagnosed with a new illness one ponders what will happen in the future?  How will daily activities be accomplished?  How will this affect quality of life?  These are legitimate fears but first, don’t panic and then, set up a plan.  Do research on the disease, talk with others who have the illness in an online support group, discuss with the doctor the available treatment options, and attend education classes about the condition if available.  Once the scouting is done the illness becomes more manageable and hopefully not as scary.  There will always be low points but with knowledge and a developed plan for dealing with the bad days, the instances will be less stressful.  Management will create a more consistent living pattern which will result is more frequent good days.  By moving past fear of the illness, establishing a treatment strategy and accepting the situation, the future will shine as bright as the stars in the sky!

SUNDAY SUPPER -Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad and Guacamole with Chips

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • Salad
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for garnish
  • 4 green onions chopped, save half for garnish
  • Dressing
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I recommend Franks)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions:

In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking make the buffalo sauce dressing and cook the chicken and broccoli. In a measuring cup or small bowl combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and seasoned salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the broccoli for about 5 minutes. You want it to just start to soften, but still be crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the same pan and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add 1/4 cup or so of the buffalo sauce and cook until the chicken absorbs the sauce.

When the quinoa is ready add the chicken, broccoli, carrots, shredded cabbage and as much of the dressing as desired (I ended up using all of the dressing, but we like things extra saucy) toss well. Add the blue cheese and half of the green onions. Toss again and serve warm with extra blue cheese crumbles and green onions.

http://www.halfbakedharvest.com

Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz (from 3 medium hass) pitted and halved avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the pulp from the avocados in a medium bowl and slightly mash with a fork or a potato masher leaving some large chunks. Add lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion, garlic and mix thoroughly.
  2. If you are serving this at a later time, a great tip to keep the guacamole from turning brown is to cover tightly with plastic wrap so no air gets on it. Makes 2 cups.

I added some diced red pepper to add color.

http://www.skinnytaste.com

Sunday Supper – A Treat for You!

NO BAKE ENERGY BITES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.*
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  3. Makes about 20-25 balls.

Have a few of these for breakfast with some fruit and a glass of milk, so good and good for you!

(http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/)