Nov 20, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Creamy Garlic Spinach Spaghetti Squash Bake

Good morning!  Happy Monday!  I hope you have had a great weekend!

We had company arrive from Uganda on Thursday and they are still here visiting.  Our trip to Africa continues to impact our lives.  Though the land is behind us, the people are ever before us.

The recipe I'm sharing today (besides having one of the longest titles) is from the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook.  It is in the Comforting Casseroles and Bakes chapter and is on page 135. Our friends, Don and Paula, gave us two boxes of spaghetti squash from their garden and I have been enjoying making new recipes.  I will be making this one again. Delish!  Two of my friends tried it and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up!  The Salesman ate it and thought it was ok...  It was delicious!  The texture and the taste was amazing.  I am going to make it again...soon!  It is an S (satisfying) meal.

I baked two spaghetti squash as the recipe calls for - you won't use all of it; but it is so tasty to eat, I had no problem using the leftovers!

Casserole baking in the oven:

Fresh out of the oven and ready to eat:


Nov 17, 2017

For the Love of Lamp Lights - Stage Lights

For the past several months, I have been rehearsing for a play called: A Candle in the Window.  We opened last weekend and will give our final performances this weekend.  It has been a fun adventure! The last play that I was in, Anne of Green Gables, I was three different characters and did not have many lines.  In this play, my character is Trudy, and there were many lines to memorize!

Last night at our last "speed through" rehearsal, I took some pictures and marveled at the expressions captured and the beauty of the stage lights against the dark backdrop.  I've always enjoyed taking pictures - anyone who knows me knows this!!! My favorites are always "real life shots" - those that aren't posed and are captured in all their natural beauty and glory.  I'm sharing some of my favorites from tonight.

This young man gave his most expressive performance tonight...

 My new BFF is in this picture.  We bonded through carpooling...

The best picture...The best friend...

I was capturing one moment at the tree; but was so blessed by my little smiling friend when I viewed the picture...

HIS light is breaking through!

Look up!

Nov 15, 2017

Are you okay?

It's one of those phrases that you will hear occasionally from a good friend:

Are you okay?

It comes with eyes that look past your beautiful brown, blue, green or hazel eyes, to the eyes of your heart.  The question comes from the friend that maybe isn't around you all the time; but who is caring and perceptive and must ask because they sense that maybe you need to be asked and that you need to answer honestly.

And the canned answer that begs to roll off the lips as easily as I'd say, "I'm fine" to a "How are you" question; but, with this discerning friend I can share.  Sometimes it is all to easy to say "I am fine" or "I am okay" to questions.  But, recently a friend looked into the eyes of my heart and a real  conversation followed.  No holding struggles close or keeping them inside.  I realized lately just how much of a private person I am.  So much more comfortable listening to others; but not so comfortable sharing my own life.

Sometimes the perception of everything being okay is easier than the reality of struggle, strain, hurt or pain.  Never-the-less, there are safe people to share with, and encourage us along the way.  I pray that you have those kind of friends.

Are you okay?
Are you feeling stressed?
Do you have a lot on your plate?
Wishing things could be different?

I don't know what you are going through or what your situation is today; but I would like to take the opportunity to look into your eyes and ask you if you are okay?  I want you to know that you can answer honestly.  I want to say that I care about you.  I want to be there today to tell you that your struggles are real and important and weighty.  I want to tell you that I am so sorry.  I want to encourage you in any way that I can.

With a heart of concern for you today,
I'm wanting to know if you are okay?

Nov 13, 2017

Celebrating Twenty Three Years

Good morning!!! I do hope you had a restful weekend!

We celebrated Victoria's 23rd birthday this weekend with family. It was wonderful to have her home and to celebrate! We had such a good time just doing life: talking, laughing, cooking, going to the grocery store, laundry, visiting with family, going to the play, staying up late, sleeping in the same bed, and crying. We have to always include a good cry.

Do certain cakes/food/dishes bring back memories to you? This cake does for me. It has been a favorite of Victoria's for quite a while and here is a link to the Swiss Chocolate Cake Recipe that I posted last year.

I also made a Trimastic Cake from the original Trim Healthy Mama cookbook for those of us who are not partaking of sugar.  Victoria iced this cake and topped it with fresh berries and made it look absolutely delicious! It is a delicious cake; but her artistic flair added so much! And this picture that she took of it makes me hungry right now!

 She requested that we have Corn Chowder for her birthday meal...yum!

 A beautiful display.

Simeon and Baby Jesus in the background.

Ready to make a wish.

 A beautiful daughter. A beautiful birthday. A beautiful life.

Happy Monday!

Nov 10, 2017

Nov 8, 2017

Twenty Three

From precious baby
To a beautiful young lady,
Happy 23rd
Victoria Leigh!

Nov 6, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama Cheesy Bread Sticks or Pizza Crust

Good morning!  Happy Monday to you!  I hope your weekend was a good one!  And that you got some extra rest because of the time change!

I had play practice for six hours on Saturday... Had I told you all that I am in another play? Well, I am.  And this time I have many, many, many lines to memorize!  The last time I was in a play, I didn't audition and ended up agreeing to be three small part characters for Anne of Green Gables.  It was so much fun!

This time, *things* are a little different for me.  Personally, there is much going on at work, there is much going on relationally, there is much going on with opportunities to speak and share, and there is much going on - you get the picture, right?  It's a crazy busy season and I found myself trying out for A Candle in The Window.  And surprise of all surprises, I got the part I tried out for, a lady named, Trudy.  I wasn't expecting to get the part... It is the part of an older sister and I don't like much about her character now that I feel like I know Trudy.  Oh my, I digress.

Back to Trim Healthy Mama.  This week I tried a recipe from the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook in the Breads, Wraps, Biscuits and Loaves chapter.  The recipe for Cheesy Bread Sticks or Pizza Crust is on page 252 and is categorized as an S (satisfying) meal.  It is a NSI - No Special Ingredients recipe.

I have made other gluten free bread sticks and pizza crust.  This one was good.  Hands down, I believe it is the quickest prep one that I've ever done.  Most GF crusts call for cauliflower and this one does; but it gives the option to use frozen cauliflower - what a convenient form, right? Well, it is actually quite amazing at how you use the frozen vegetable in the recipe and that it turned out good.

I made the recipe as bread sticks and served it with sugar free sauce.  The Salesman was not really thrilled with them.  I have several more to still in the refrigerator.  I don't think I am going to make these again unless I am in a big hurry. But who wants to sacrifice taste for convenience? Not me.

They do look delicious though!


Out of the oven before slicing:

Cheese, cheese and more cheese:

Sliced in to sticks and served with sugar free pizza sauce:

Nov 1, 2017

A Pictorial of New York City

It has been a doozy of a couple weeks...  And today I am going to share architecture pictures of my recent trip to one of my favorite places:  New York City.  There maybe a couple pictures from Central Park that aren't architecture!