Sweet Potato Soup ~ with apple

sweet pot soup

 

Simple and Healthy

 

I made Sweet Potato Soup Thursday. I’m having the second helping today and am enjoying it

1] peel, chop, boil 1 good sized sweet potato. When nearly soft, chop into chunks a good sized Gala apple with the skin on and add to the pot. When both potato and apple are very soft but not falling apart, drain.

2] Pour half of the mixture into a blender. I used a Ninja mixer. Add half of 2 cups of chicken broth (if it doesn’t have salt, add to taste). Add half a cup of plain yogurt, preferably Greek. Mix well.

3]Pour into a large bowl or pot and set aside. Then repeat the process. Place remaining potato/apple mixture in the blender,  the remaining 1 C of broth, another 1/2 C plain yogurt, and wiz.

4]Pour this into the bowl with the other half of the soup. Add boiling hot water to obtain the consistency you desire. Mix well with a large spoon, careful not to splatter it out of the bowl. Eat what you want and refrigerate the rest for later in the week. I have not tried to freeze this because I eat it right up.

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:7, New American Standard Bible [NASB]

KNEE DEEP ~ in the 23rd Psalm


A path sunny

The Living-Word jumped out at me in a way I’d not seen before.

The 23rd Psalm has been my go-to for perhaps twenty-five years. That would be since I was saved. In that time, I’ve always thought ‘paths of righteousness’ would look something like this lovely photo. I thought those paths would have been put there by God for me to follow and they’d have sunlight and birds singing.

Today the words ‘paths of righteousness’ jumped out at me in a new way. They became living words, or rhama words. That is specific words from the Lord that sort of explode in a person’s consciousness and have special meaning. This is something that can happen to any believer, every believer. I think it most often happens during private devotions when reading and meditating in Holy Scripture, or some other devotional literature, or when deeply listening to worship music.

A path trees

Today I saw ‘paths of righteousness’ as paths other Christians have walked, perhaps even blazed…and I have followed in those paths where these righteous brothers and sisters have trodden. They may not always be bucolic paths where songbirds flit here and there filling the air with their song. Those paths could have hills, bumps, ruts, places where stalwart believers stumbled and got up again, places where the enemy lay in wait.

I got saved during a time of conflict in my husband’s family. Neither he nor I came from an idyllic Christian home where hymns were sung and where family members prayed together. This particular Sunday there was a huge and tumultuous family commotion, mostly in the kitchen. People had been running in and out of the house. Voices had been raised. I retreated to the living room to get away from it, started surfing channels, and found Gloria Copeland. She was smart, obviously extremely well versed in the Bible, and she didn’t have big hair. At the end of the program, I put my hands on the television and gave my life to the Lord. That was twenty-five years ago.

So, this morning, I’m thinking who blazed those paths for me? At that time, I didn’t know anything about Christian churches. I kept watching Christian TV and came under Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Kenneth and Gloria have had the greatest influence upon me in my walk with God. They are my parents in the faith. I soon bumped into a local woman who was under their ministry. Lillian and I began sharing cassette and video tapes (the dark-ages of audio and video). I’d go to her house and she’d come to mine, and we’d be so excited about the Lord.

Very soon, I learned that Oral Roberts was Kenneth’s father in the faith and I began listening to Oral Robert’s Ministry teachings. Of course the prime message at ORM is “God is a good.” And Oral always said, “Something good is going to happen to you today.” I took a course in the Holy Spirit from ORM and received a certificate. In those days, they sent you the lessons by snail mail. You returned your answers by mail, and they sent the corrected lesions back to you. Well, we’re talking 24-25 years ago. So, Oral Roberts became my grandfather in the faith.

I wish I could say there was a local minister/ministry, in that time, that blazed a path for me, but I can’t. I lived in an area where almost all of the charismatic churches had had church-splits and none of them had recovered from that. So, Christian television became my lifeline.  I met another woman who believed the Word as I did and Theresa and I also began sharing and praying together. She and I became volunteers in the Protestant Chaplain’s Office at the local Veteran’s Hospital and attended Sunday services there. We also attended a weekly Bible study and a weekly prayer group there.

Back to trail blazers. I soon found Joyce Meyer, who to me is the Mother of Independent Women of Faith. I particularly liked her practical preaching because she didn’t come from a wonderfully serene Christian home. She came from a nonChristian home with turmoil. I said, okay, I can relate to that.  I was then, and still am now, the only member of my immediate family and almost the only member of my large extended family who knows the Lord. My cousin and his wife on the other side of the county are believing Christians, and I am in contact with them electronically.

Today, I live in northeast coastal Florida where I attend Destiny Church. I’m waiting for the church to reopen from Covid 19. I so want to “do church” again.

Who are your spiritual fathers and mothers in the faith? Whose footsteps have you followed? Who has helped to shape your faith?

Psalm 23 ~ my go to

A war room

Table Service

Psalm 23 has been my Scripture since I was saved. However, in the last month it has become a ‘super-Scripture’ to me. I usually read it aloud every morning.
I’ve had the awareness before that the ‘table’ He prepares before my enemies was a table for two (me and the Holy Spirit). In the past, I’ve seen it as a banquet. Holy Spirit and I are relaxing and dining in the presence of my enemies (spiritual enemies).
Today I saw it differently. It’s still a table for two, Holy Spirit and me. However, now it’s a ‘war table’ where battle plans are drawn up and later executed. The Holy Spirit is the commanding general.  The battle is the Lord’s. My job is to stand in faith, to stand on Scripture. And, the enemies are still spiritual enemies, wicked spirits.  Praise the Lord for this personal revelation at this time in my life. God is good.

Memorial Day ~ when we’ve been attacked on our soil

A memorial-day-354082_1920

Honoring the brave men and women in the American Armed Forces…and…

Whether the Corona Virus was designed to be a biological weapon and just got away from the Chinese Communist Party or not, in the aftermath they used it as if it were a weapon. They threatened the United States of America with the possibility of withholding our medicines which are manufactured in China.

This year, 2020, I honor those who have died in the line of duty in every branch of the US Armed Forces: The Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard. I especially want to remember those sailors and medical personnel on the two Navy hospital ships. I want to remember the Army that built entire hospitals in a matter of weeks. Hopefully none of them died of Covid19, but if they did, they were there for us, as they always are and I honor their sacrifice.

I also honor those working round clock in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities who lost their lives fighting Covid19. I honor those in meat and other processing plants who lost their lives, cashiers and stock clerks in supermarkets and drug stores, and other necessary markets. Yes, also dollar stores. Truck drivers and delivery personnel who lost their lives due to Covid19 so that the rest of us could continue living, though living was restricted. I think of them all as first responders, those on the front lines who perished. Maybe they are the New Minute Men/Women, resisting a deadly virus sent to our shores by a foreign power, an enemy. This year it’s been a different kind of Memorial Day for me.

A Navy Hosp Ship

Waking Up With My ‘Roomie’ Sophie ~ and being a blessing

A Sophie

This is the day that the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24 [English Standard Version, ESV]

 

During this Cornona Virus pandemic, I was diagnosed with a health issue. I’m in the “vulnerable group” even without a health issue. You’d think Covid19 would be a time when I’d be totally secluded.  First one of my senior cats needed life saving surgery. That required three visits to the vet. When I paid the bill, that was my contribution to a local small business.

Then there were the weekly visits to the supermarket. My senior care medical office referred me to a specialist and I went into the hospital. So there were trips back-and-forth to doctors and to-and-from the hospital. I was one busy lady.  Through all of this my friends, neighbors, and my animals (Sophie and 5 cats) were such a blessing to me. Those who live with animals know they are keenly aware if the mistress of the house is not up to snuff. This is especially true of dogs. Sophie is 14 years old and 90% blind and she has been trying as best she can to take care of me.

In the midst of all this, I’d been asking the Lord for a way to bless somebody. Not so easy when you’re shut-in.

An aside: It so happened years ago when I lived in NYC, my husband and I bought a bicycle for our youngest daughter’s birthday. She had just finished 8th grade with good grades. I took her to the bicycle store and she picked out a candy pink wide-tired bike with a detachable bright-white basket  and a large bright-white bell. Of course, in September she went into 9th grade she became much too grown up to ride a candy pink bike. So, after not even a complete summer of use the bike sat in our garage. I brought it with me to Florida and I rode it…maybe four times in four years. It still looked brand new.

So, my friend (the lady across the parking lot in my condo complex who loves animals as much as I do and has watched mine when I’m away), told me her daughter called and mentioned she wants to get a bike to ride to the supermarket. A lot of people ride bikes in northeastern coastal Florida, especially for short trips. This was my blessing to give. My friend was so happy. She said her daughter talked about getting a baby seat to attach to the back of a bike so she could take her baby out riding. I gave her the bike and it really blessed me to do so.

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:9 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

 

 

 

 

What’s A Virus Busting Diet? ~ healthy eating in a dangerous world

My people are destroyed for lac of knowledge;… Hosea 4:6 [English Standard Version, ESV]

I’ve researched a great number of websites on antivirual eating/foods. Most of them quote studies and research. I didn’t include those notations. I did select the foods that were common to and showed up on most of those sites.

These are the viruses we mainly deal with in 2020: covid19, the flu, HIV, cancer, hepatitis, the measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and shingles, polio, common cold, rabies, ebolavirus disease and hantavirus fever,  herpes and cold sores. These viruses are much more difficult to heal than bad bacteria which we treat with antibiotics. However, we are not helpless. We can eat a diet that is hostile to viruses. And we can follow the advise of our doctors. And we can pray for healing. You can believe what you want. I, personally, believe food is not the healer. The Healer is God. God can work through prayer, doctors, a healthy diet. I believe healthy food provides a supportive environment for health and healing.

Antivirus Foods to add to your diet:

a garlic

Garlic and Onions: Garlic gives a threefold punch. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. . Raw garlic when it’s crushed or sliced gives the most benefit, but most people can’t eat it that way. When you cook it, peel and crush/slice it right before it goes into the pan. Jarred garlic bits in water is second choice, garlic powder third. Don’t use garlic salt. Studies have associated over salting with stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Garlic is part of the Onion Family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots) Everything in the Onion Family has anti-viral benefits.

            Steamed Broccoli w/Garlic and Red Onion: Combine ¾ C water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1Tbsp fresh sliced garlic in a skillet and bring to a boil over a high hear. Add ½ C very thinly sliced red onion, 2 C broccoli florets and boil at high heat for 5-7 minutes (or to the tenderness you like). Individuals with a thyroid condition will have to boil the broccoli until it is very tender. If there’s too much liquid, drain some of it. At the end, add 1/4  tsp- salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, toss, and serve. You can sprinkle grated cheese on at the table, if desired. Serves 2.

Note: cancer patients who are cautious about frying foods can steam/saute foods. Spray the pan with pan spray, add the onions, garlic, veggies, meat/fish/poultry and begin to cook over a low flame. Slowly add 1/4 C – 1 C water, broth, cooking wine, wine, or even fruit juice. Slowly raise the heat to the desired temperature. Don’t drown what you’re cooking. This steaming/sauteing will remove the fear of carcinogens that comes with pan frying and grilling.

a tea

Black Tea/Green Tea: Tea plants have properties that protect the plant from viruses and fungi. This does translate to human consumption. Tea has been shown to fight a number of viruses.

a salmon

Fish/Seafood with Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, oysters. Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce inflammation and acts as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral agents. Chronic inflammation has been shown to lead to heart disease and cancer.

A orange-4663073_1920

Citrus and Leafy Greens:  provide Vitamin C which boots the immune system. Flavonoid rich foods. Many of the articles I’ve looked at report that when an imbalance of healthy antioxidants and harmful substances called free radicals occur in the body there is increased risk of stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Foods rich in Vitamin C help to restore the balance.

A nut-1569252_1920

Nuts and Seeds: provide supportive Vitamin E, Selenium, and Magnesium. All it takes is a small handful of walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds. Caution: portion control is important. Nuts are a healthy virus fighting food but are calorie dense. Keep the portions small because overweight has no health benefits. 

A yogurt

Yogurt/Kefir: Yogurt is rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that support intestinal health. A large proportion of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating yogurt regularly (daily or at least 4 times a week) can improve immune function because it increases the body’s production of antibodies that fight off viruses. Best is unsweetened plain yogurt, but any yogurt is better than none. At least one brand of Greek yogurt has no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners. It is slightly sweet. Drinking Kefir is also very good.

A asparagus

Foods rich in zinc: Zinc helps to keep viruses from attaching to cells and helps prevent them from replicating. Among the foods with the highest zinc content: garbanzo beans and other beans, asparagus and spinach, mushrooms, dark chocolate, nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts), oysters, shrimp and scallops, beef, lamb, and poultry.

My personal advice: take a multi vitamin every day and add a zinc and a vitamin C supplement to that.

Portions: Imagine your plate is divided into three sections like summer picnic plates. Your veggies go in the large space. Protein (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese, etc) go in one of the small spaces. Carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes or red skinned potatoes with the skins on, whole wheat pasta, 1 slice of whole grain or multi-grain bread) goes in the other small space. If you are having fruit for dessert put it in one of those little bowls that look like finger bowls. Those are dessert bowls. The ones we tend to use are actually a cereal bowls.

A fruit

 

 

 

 

Salisbury Steak ~ stuck at home, make it homemade

A Salisbury Steak jpegMy Little Cooking Journey

I’ve never had homemade Salisbury Steak before. I’ve selected it in college and hospital cafeterias, but homemade is a totally different culinary experience. The opposite of gummy cafeteria fare, it’s full of flavor. And, it’s easy to make.

I had a pound of organic ground beef and I had yellow squash. So, Salisbury Steak was a logical choice with the squash as a side. I can’t give you recipes because I almost never use them.

The first thing I did, which I often do, is google “easy Salisbury Steak recipes”, then “Salisbury Steak with Brown Gravy recipes”. Basically you need a pound of ground beef, 1/2 C or so of bread crumbs. I didn’t have bread crumbs so I used the oats on hand which wasn’t enough for breakfast. Was it a 1/2 C? I don’t know. I just mooshed it into the meat with minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, 1 egg, salt, pepper, garlic. I had some made-from-scratch savory golden gravy (chicken stock base), and I threw a couple of tablespoons of that in with the meat for added flavor Then you make them into four oblong shaped patties. Sear them on both sides, and pour the rest of the gravy over them in the pan.  I didn’t let them get charred. In a few Youtube demonstrations, they got charred. Up to you. If you’re not experienced, don’t char them the first time. It takes 35 minutes to cook Salisbury Steak. If you’re a beginner, don’t walk away from the stove. Even if you’re not a beginner, don’t walk away from the stove.

I looked online at five or six recipes and a few Youtube demonstrations. One of them said to add diced red pepper. I had jarred roasted pepper, so I threw what I had left, drained, into the meat mixture and mooshed that baby up. Note: Preparing Salisbury Steak is like making meatloaf, except you use 1/2 C bread crumbs or rolled oats instead of bread. No bread in Salisbury Steak, and it has a higher meat content than meatloaf. You also must use Worcestershire sauce. You can cook the patties in jarred beef gravy. I’d add a little water to the jarred stuff when cooking.

Here’s the secret to making Southern Style Yellow (Summer) Squash. You wash and then cut them into rounds. Spray a pan and saute them for a bit. When they sizzle, add water, salt, pepper, some garlic…and simmer them to within an inch of their life. As the water evaporates, add more. Easy Peasy. You can let one or two of them get charred, for visual interest but don’t let them burn.  I add about a 1/2 C of cooking wine. That’s not traditional Southern, so don’t tell anyone. You can cook them for 35 minutes and they’ll be ready to serve with the Salisbury Steak. As with the meat, don’t walk away from the stove.

If you need a recipe, here’s one for Salisbury Steak I think is really easy to follow. It explains the difference between and hamburger patties and Salisbury Steak patties https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/salisbury-steak.