Overflowing

 

The day starts early.  The sun has not even hinted to it’s arising when the alarm sounds in the darkness.  I head straight for the kitchen to plug in the coffee pot.  This amazing man who has joined his life to mine, he always has the Peculator filled and ready.  His day starts hours before mine but at the moment I plug in the machine and hear it start to breath and bubble, I thank God for my sweet husband and how he speaks my love language… Coffee!

In the cold, dark kitchen, I fill my cup and sip in the quietness before the rest of the house has powered up.  Mornings are a new thing for me.  For many years I was a die-hard homeschool mom whose day started at a much more leisurely pace.  Coffee time could last until well into the day and getting dressed was optional.  Things are different now.  Life is busier and quieter all at the same time.  A new season… a path we have not walked before.DSC_0006-002

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trusting Him, So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

This week, as the car broke down, the water quit running and the hours rush on with never enough of them in the day, I ask myself….. “Am I overflowing with Hope”?  Many are concerned about events in the world and what our lives will look like in the future.  Sometimes I can’t get beyond my own small life and the trials that sometimes seem larger than my strength.

And yet… there is a quiet hope.  Maybe not the overflowing kind that I seek, but still….

You see, I am so filled with love from my Savior.  Every day, he shows me in new ways how great is His love for me.  It is a steady knowing in the midst of the unknown.  He is a God who’s very nature is Hope and as I trust in Him I am truly filled with Joy and Peace… the kind that surpasses all understanding.

As I sit outside surrounded by the changing colors of Autumn,  I watch my sweet boy who is pulling the leaves off the trees just because he loves to watch them fall.  His life is full of uncertainty and trials and yet such a simple joy that if fills me with wonder as I watch him play.  His happy giggle rings in the crisp fall air and it warms my heart.  It also reminds me to cast my cares on the one who cares for me.  Then I find my own hope and joy rising to a point where is just might overflow.

DSC_0037Friends, if you find yourself in changing times that weigh heavy on your fragile heart, Trust in Him who is the God of Hope.  Cast your cares to the wind and watch them blow away with the turning leaves.  Sometimes it really has to be a choice.  Sometimes we must choose the peace that He offers.  Practice with me the art of letting go.  Choose peace and joy today when fear comes knocking.  Together we might find that place of overflowing hope that the world so desperately needs.  And we may find that those New Mercies are always right there for the taking.

 

Why I Will No Longer be Blogging THM Recipes…

I know… It’s been a little quiet from my neck of the woods lately and I just thought I would take a moment to let you know why.

DSC_1362As you know, I have blogged about a few different topics, not the least of which has been recipes that fit in with The Trim Healthy Mama health and nutrition plan.  It has been so much fun for me to share with you things that I am loving to eat and apparently, you have loved some of them too…. Peanut Butter Whip anyone?

I want to assure you that I still love the THM plan and more than ever, am committed to this delicious and for many, life changing way of eating.

For over a year, now, I have been working with the Sisters over at THM on providing, what I hope, has been mouthwatering encouragement in the way of Food Photographs.  So I have to tell you that I am honored, humbled and to be honest, slightly giddy at the opportunity that they have given me to continue working with them behind the scenes on existing and up coming recipes and projects.  I get the amazing opportunity to try some of the new recipes they have coming out, since, in order to photograph the food, I first have to make it.  And after the pictures are done… My family gets to enjoy all that yummy food. There are some great new recipes that will be coming out in the months to come and I know that your family will love them too.

But, because of my Dream Job coming true and my commitment to them, I am turning my attention away from blogging recipes of my own….  Pearl and Serene have graciously encouraged me to share any of my new food ideas with them, however, and I am excited at the feedback they have given.  As I have gotten to know them better, I need you to know that they are as wonderful in real life as they are on the pages of their Best Selling Book and the pages of Facebook.

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I know that I am not a fanciful or gifted writer and sometimes I struggle to make the words on the page reflect the passion I feel in my heart.  But I will still occasionally be writing my heart about Faith and our Journey with Autism as well as photographic art.  And since, I have been wanting to branch out my skills into restaurant photography, I thought I might attempt a series on eating out with Trim Healthy Mama.

So, I just thought is was only fair to let you know of the direction I am heading in.  In case you are one who is “only here for the food”, I want you to know that I won’t be offended if you don’t stop by as much.  All of my existing recipes will stay right where they are so check back anytime you need one.

I have so enjoyed all of your companionship in the journey and wish you all A Cup Overflowing, Strength for Today and New Mercies Every Morning.

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As always, it is fun to chat over on my Facebook Page as I sometimes check in there most often.

Celer-Berry Smoothie (low carb, sugar free, THM-FP)

This snazzy little drink started out as a way to incorporate more celery into my daily menu.  I had been reading about the anti-inflammatory properties of this crunchy little veggie and found  lots of other great info on it’s wide range of benefits.  I don’t mind the taste of celery but if you, like my husband, can’t stand the taste of it, this is a great way of including it without even noticing.

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Unlike some of the thick, Icy Frappas that I love to make, this one is thinner and easier to drink down in a hurry.  It is a great breakfast on busy mornings and keeps me fueled for hours.  The basic recipe is low in fat and carbs but you can easily add some MCT or Coconut oil or a different kind of fruit to change it up a bit.

2014-06-081Celer-Berry Smoothie

(Pin It)

Into a high powered blender add:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup water

1 stalk of Celery, washed 

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

3 to 4 frozen strawberries

1 scoop of unsweetened Protein Powder

4 Doonks THM pure stevia powder

1 tsp chia seeds

Blend on high for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.  Serves One.

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While this might not be a beautiful, frilly, fancy dessert, I actually make this more than any other recipe I have on this site.  I hope that you, too will try it and love it!

For THMamas, this recipe is a FP but can be adjusted to any fuel type.

Nutritional Info:  5 grams of Fat, 9 net carbs & 23 grams of Protein.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Brownies with Cream Cheese Whip (Sugar Free, Low Carb, THM-S)

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Chocolaty, fudgy, sweet… with lots of nourishing ingredients… Now that is the way to eat a Brownie.  Here is a way to use up some of that Zucchini and enjoy your dessert at the same time!

The Zucchini adds a wonderful, moist texture without adding too much extra fat or eggs.  You see, I didn’t want chocolate flavored scrambled eggs… Even though I do like to eat these for breakfast!

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Zucchini Brownies (Pin it for later)

1 egg

1/4 cup butter (softened)

2 Tbls coconut oil

1/4 to 1/3  cup THM Sweet Blend (or your desired sweetener to taste)

(I like things really sweet but if you like it less so, use less sweetener)

2 tsp vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Blend above ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Add:

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup unsweetened protein powder

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Add:

1 ounce (or about a 1/4 cup) of sugar free chocolate chip or 85% dark chocolate bar, chopped.

Mix and pour into well greased 8×8 pan.  Mixture will be quite thick but as the zucchini cooks, it will release it’s liquid and make a nice moist brownie.  Bake at 350* for 30 min.  Cool. Makes 9 servings

Topping:  Cream Cheese Whip

1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

3 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons of Sweet Blend (powdered)

In a bowl, beat cream until it is firm and fluffy but not yet turned to butter.  Add vanilla and sweetener and then then the cream cheese.  Blend just long enough to incorporate.  Add a dollop to each serving of brownie.  Save extra in a container in the fridge for later.DSC_2751

For Trim Healthy Mamas, This dessert needs to be served in an S setting.

Makes 9 servings

Nutritional Information For Brownies,  per serving:

Calories-137,  Net Carbohydrates-3,  Fat-11,  Protein-5.

Topping adds 1 carb and 7 grams of fat per serving.

 

 

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Side Dish, THM, E)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet Potatoes are a sweet little gem of a root.  They are high in Vitamin A as well as many other nutrients.  They taste great and they are a perfect way for Trim Healthy Mama’s to their E meals going.  These little cubes work great as a side dish or added to salads and soups.  They are great right out of the oven but I usually store them in a container in the fridge to be added to anything that I want  some healthy, sweet tasting carbs added to.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

(Pin it for later)

3 to 4 cups of cubed, peeled sweet potatoes

1 Tbls of Coconut Oil

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Paprika, (I like the smoked one but regular will work too)

A sprinkle of Black or Cayenne Pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Cube Sweet Potatoes and put into a mixing bowl.  Add melted coconut oil (or other oil of your choice) and mix well with hands being sure to evenly coat the pieces.  Add spices and stir to distribute.  Pour onto a baking dish.  Bake at 375 for 30 min or until they are softened and slightly browned.  You may want to stir them once or twice during baking.  Sometimes at the end, I like to turn the broiler on to get them a little more browned and crispy on the outside.  This is optional but if you do it you will want to watch them very closely.

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These are going to have about 27 carbs per cup and 3 grams of fat.  I usually like to use about 1/2 of a cup added to salads, soups or brown rice dishes.  They always feel like such a treat, added to just about anything.

 

Mommy Tea (Sugar Free Cranberry Cocktail)

DSC_0790Mommy Tea…. It is a name that was affectionately given to this drink by my sweet little girl back when she was still little.  She has since grown to a lovely young lady but the name has endured and she still get’s excited when I make it for her.  When my children were little…. and especially when I had recently given birth, I would drink this sweet, fruity goodness all day long.  It was “mommy’s tea”…. hence the name.

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Don’t be fooled by it’s fun colors and sweet taste, it is actually quite nourishing for Mother’s and children and the last pitcher I made, my daughter suggested that we hide it from Daddy because he drinks it ALL!

Here’s What’s in it:

Mommy Tea

3 bags Tazo Passion Tea, (steeped in 2 cups of boiling water and then cooled)

1/4 tsp THM Pure Stevia Powder (or sweetener of choice)

1 tsp Vitamin C Crystals (optional for a vitamin boost)

1/2 Cup Pure Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

More Water

Steep tea and allow to cool.  Add remaining ingredients, adding water at the end to make 2 quarts.  Chill and serve.

 Pin it for later!

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Trim Healthy Mamas: This recipe makes 4 (2 cup servings) and each serving contains about 2 grams of Carbohydrates from the cranberry juice.  Juice in any form is not recommended for weight loss.   You may choose to leave it out or sub it for lemon juice or just make it for your kids or as an occasional treat for yourself.  It is not officially part of the THM plan.

Here is a photo of the ingredients in case you need help with what to look for:

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (Sugar free, THM S dessert)

I have been working for months on a yummy, chewy, chocolatey chip cookie that is also low carb but still taste and feels like a real cookie.  I have finally created one that is perfect for me!  But let me tell you that I learned long ago that one Man’s perfect cookie is another’s failed recipe. DSC_2064

Years ago, we hosted a weekly Bible Study at our home and a wonderful woman would sometimes bring a homemade batch of cookies that my Husband would just rave about.  He never raved about the cookies I made.  I thought my cookies were amazing but he would hardly eat any.  I didn’t understand.  After making inquiries, I was shocked to learn that not everyone likes chewy, soft cookies.  Those dry, crispy ones that I thought were burnt are actually the ones that my husband LOVES… Go figure.

So, if you already have a cookie recipe that you love and is working for your dietary goals then feel free to move along.  Such was not the case for me… Until Now!DSC_2149

I wanted buttery and soft but not Cakey.  I wanted them to taste like brown sugar and flour without actually having any of those ingredients.  While there is no actually substitute for brown sugar and white flour taste… I think I have come pretty close.

I chose ingredients that I usually have on hand.  I know some of you will ask about substitutions and you certainly can try different things but after trying lots of different combinations, this recipe is how I like them.DSC_2154

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

In a mixing bowl combine and blend:

1/2 cup butter

3 egg yolks

1 tsp molasses

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 TBLS THM Sweet Blend (or sweetener of your choice)

Add:

2 Tbls Oat Fiber (not the same as oat flour, I get it here)

2 Tbls Protein Powder (I use this one)

2 Tbls coconut flour

5 Tbls almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Mixed until well combined.  Then stir in:

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/3 cup sugar free chocolate chips or 85% dark chocolate bar chopped.

Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Makes one dozen cookies.DSC_2049

Notes:

~Oat fiber is not the same as oat flour so you will want to make sure that you have the right thing.  You can substitute with coconut flour but I didn’t find the texture to be what I liked that way.

~After trying it different way, I decided to go with just the egg yolks for this recipe.  You can use 2 whole eggs, or one whole egg and 2 egg yolks if you must but I found them to be more of a cake-like consistency with the whole eggs and I really wanted cookies.  I save my whites in a jar in the fridge for making my Apple Oat Cake or the Rockin’ Roll Cake from Home With A Purpose.

~The protein powder was a way of adding more flour without them getting too heavy.  You can leave it out, if you need to but you will need to add some extra almond flour to make up for it.

~Molasses? Yes, technically it acts like a sugar and some of you will have concerns about this ingredient.  It is a concession that I am willing to make as that 1 tsp spread over a dozen cookies doesn’t add up to many carbs (5 for the whole recipe) but sure does add a lot of flavor.  If you are uncomfortable with using it, you could add caramel or maple extract or just leave it out.

~ I have always bought the Aldi 85% dark chocolate bars and chop up two of them for this recipe.  If you have a good chocolate chip that you like, they will taste great.  I would recommend one that is on the natural side and sweetened with stevia.  But since these are harder to find, I usually just  chop up the bars to be more economical for me.  (The bar option does add a tiny amount of sugar)

~ You can make the dairy free by substituting palm shortening or Earth Balance natural buttery spread.

~ For Trim Healthy Mama’s, The is an S dessert and I would keep the serving size to 2 or 3 cookies.  ( each cookie has 11 grams of fat and 1 net carb with 3 grams of protein).

You can Pin this recipe here

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Crock Pot Shredded Chicken

Life gets a little busy around here sometimes!  

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So here is one of my quick and easy crock pot recipes to help keep me eating healthy when life gets crazy.  It is simple, really, and probably doesn’t actually need a whole blog post but you are getting one anyway!  It is an easy staple to have on hand that lends itself to so many different recipes and eating styles.

Crock-Pot Shredded Chicken

Into a Crock-Pot add:

6 pounds of frozen chicken breast

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp salt

ground black pepper to taste

Turn on low and allow to simmer for 8 to 10 hours.  When it is done, you should be able to shred it easily by stirring with a fork.  

Pin if for later: rohndasue on Pinterest

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Options:

~If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this is a great base all 3 fuel types.  Add it to brown rice and veggies for an E meal.  Use it as the protein base for an FP meal and add butter and sauces or use in S recipes that call for chicken.

~You can portion this out and freeze in individual serving sizes for later use.

~There are so many great ways to use this tasty staple, use your imagination and feel free to comment with your favorite uses!

~You can use this chicken on salads of all kinds.  Here is one of my favorites

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Kale-Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Here are a few other recipes that I use this Shredded Chicken with:

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Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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Lentil-Kale Soup

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Sweet Potato & Oat Soup

Have a Fabulous day!

Peanut Butter Whip (low carb, S dessert)

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I wanted to call this little number the “THAT-Time-Of-The-Month Peanut Butter Whip”!  And while I am dropping that as it’s official name… well… You get the idea!  There are just some days when a good creamy fat with chocolate is just what the hormones ordered!  So this has been my Go-To, quick and easy, Gotta-Have-It-Now dessert.

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Here’s how!

Peanut Butter Whip

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 Doonk of THM Pure Stevia Powder (that’s about 1/32 of a tsp or the little tiny scoop that comes in some powders… or you can use the sweetener of your choice)

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbls peanut butter

85% dark chocolate bar or pre-made Skinny Chocolate (Chopped)

Roasted Peanuts

Directions:

Pour 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in a jar or bowl.  Add sweetener and vanilla and whip until thickened.  Add 2 Tbls peanut butter and whip briefly to incorporate.  Pour into dish and top with peanuts and chocolate.  Serves one!

Pin it for later  or follow me on Facebook!

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For me, this little dessert is so satisfying, especially when those craving are raging like a hurricane.  It is loaded with fat and sweet creamy goodness but won’t spike your blood sugar like a whole package of Oreos will…  Not that I have any personal experience with that scenario…

This dessert is an S and you will want to keep it as an occasional treat… Perfect for those few days when is seems the world might end if you don’t have something decadent right now.  Can anyone relate is is that just a crazy-me thing?

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Pancakes (grain-free, dairy-free, low carb)

Pancakes (grain-free, dairy-free & low carb)DSC_0272

Sunday Morning and fresh pancakes, hot off the grill… It is an experience that will always take me back to my childhood and that house on Middle Rincon Road with Dad in the kitchen beating egg whites into stiff peaks that would make Yosemite proud.
It usually was my dad who made Sunday Morning pancakes, though mom could certainly whip up a batch just as well. I guess it was their division of labor, or his labor of love or just the reality of Sunday morning and getting a big family fed and off to Church.  It could have been his way of reminiscing about the Company of two-hundred and fifty soldiers he used to cook breakfast for in the Armed Forces.  Whatever the origin of this  family tradition, it is part of the memory that shapes childhood and therefor life itself.
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It has been years since my Dad has made me pancakes, But I still remember the lessons…
“Make sure you beat the egg whites stiff.”
“The pan needs to be good and hot but not too hot… Sprinkle some finger tips full of water on it and see if the bubbles dance… then it is ready.”
Don’t flip it until bubbles start to form in the middle.  27 bubbles is good number.”
Well, The “27 bubbles” rule might have been a tad too literal but you get the idea.
We now have pancake traditions of our own that have included many different recipes through out the years.  Here is one such recipe.  This version is free of grains and dairy, is low carb and is delicious as pancakes or waffles.
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2nd Generation “Sunday Morning Pancakes”    
(click here for printable document: S pancakes)
3 eggs (separated)
Add yolks to a bowl or blender
Add whites to separate bowl and set aside
To the yolks, add:
1 1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or other oil)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp truvia (or pinch of stevia powder)
1/4 tsp salt
Blend then add:
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup ground flax
1 TBLS Baking Powder
Set aside.
Beat Egg whites for several minutes until stiff peaks form when removing betters.  (This step is optional but it is the secret for fluffy pancakes so I recommend it.)
Gently fold batter into egg whites, stirring g-e-n-t-l-y just until combined.
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In the meantime, preheat your griddle to a medium heat.  You know it is ready when drops of water sizzle when they hit the pan.  You want to cook these slowly to make sure they are done on the inside.  Watch for air pockets to rise to the surface before you flip.  (It took about 3 minutes on each side for me.)
Makes 8 to 12, depending on size.  Serve warm with butter and syrup of you choice or try my quick and easy  Maple-Butter Syrup.
DSC_1030Maple Butter syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp Maple flavoring
1 Tbls Truvia or other sweetener
Combine and heat and pour over cooked pancakes.
Hey Trim Healthy Mamas…. This recipe is to be enjoyed in an S setting… so go ahead and have a side of bacon and lots of cream in your coffee! Enjoy!
Would love to chat over on Facebook, if that’s how your roll!