Life is definitely a journey and an adventure if you know anything about me. Every day brings new and exciting things and also some overwhelming moments. For the past two weeks my husband has had two major falls from having seizures which led him to be in the chiropractor’s office 2 to 3 times a week plus having to have physical therapy and wear a back brace.
Because of this we decided to take a quick weekend away that we called a Saturday vacation. While on this vacation he had a seizure, his scooter that he uses to get around in large places died in the middle of the museum. This led to us having to push it out of the museum, to loading it in the car manually, and causing me to be completely overwhelmed and having to have a good cry.
If you asked me is it all worth it I’d say 100%. If you asked me what I marry this man again I would tell you absolutely 100%. He is the man of my dreams and if he comes with an extra package called epilepsy …I wouldn’t change a thing. Now having said all that… I have stated over and over it many times that I have found “my new normal and it’s a moving target”.￼￼￼￼￼￼ so what does all of this mean, for me there is no normal, normal is only for a moment and that changes again. And I am OK with that. I’ve had to learn to be OK with that… Otherwise I would not have survived life and all that has been part of it.
This is made me in the long run realize how precious life is, it is giving me the desire to encourage other women and their walk and their journey, it is also encouraged me to invest in peoples lives whenever I can.
But having said all that… I have a new journey in life and an adventure and that is my YouTube channel. Come and join me and come and visit me and see what this crazy life entails.￼￼￼￼ I hope you will find encouragement along the way, maybe some new ideas that you’ve never thought of before, maybe a few laughs, but most of all I hope that you leave feeling a little bit better about yourself, a little bit more encouraged than when you first started to visit with me.
My husband and I have been talking more and more of late about having just a fresh start in life. So many times we get down, by the things we should’ve done, didn’t do or should do better. Attitude has a lot to do with how we perceive things and our attitude can drastically change our perspective.
So my husband and I have decided to sit down over the next 52 weeks and make some changes in our life. Nothing that drastic, nothing so miraculous that it will change the world… but what it will do is change our lives and how we look and view life.
The 52 week challenge of 2020will be as simple as this. Each week on a Tuesday I will post here on the blog, also on Instagram and Facebook what our challenges are that we have chosen to do for that up-and-coming week. Feel free to take on the same challenges as us or come up with your own. We may not always meet that challenge… and that’s OK. The whole point of this is to make a difference in our lives. It’s to make a better you. It’s just a start fresh and recharge in life.
At the end of 52 weeks… We can look back and honestly tell ourselves that we tried new things, we face challenges, we set out to make a difference. Again whether all of those challenges were met exactly to perfection or not is not the point. But at the end of 52 weeks the point is that we are two better people because of having tried.
Our challenge for each other this week is called the “take 5”. We have challenged each other for this week to come up with five things over the next year we want to learn that we have been putting off for years. Graeme and I each need to come up with five different things that we want to either learn or experience. You might think five things are too simple… but when you add that to a full plate already …those five things will be a challenge in itself.
Come follow us on our journey as we begin the 52 week challenge as well as trying out five new things in this up-and-coming year.
Comment below if you dare to take the 52 week challenge 2020. Let me know what some of your challenges might be or if you’re going to follow along with the challenges that we put in front of ourselves. I would love to hear from you!
I’m sure we have all had a bunch of bananas sitting on our counter and after a week come to realize that no one has eaten any of them… and they’re all getting extremely ripe. So here is a great recipe for you to try….my family just love it! Grab a bunch of ripe bananas about 6 to 8… this is just perfect for this double batch of sour cream banana bread.
In one bowl beat together…
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
10 heaping tablespoons of sour cream
2/3 of a cup of vegetable oil
After this is thoroughly mixed add in your 6 to 8 ripe bananas and whisk or I like to use an electric hand mixer to thoroughly mixed it together.
And then in the second bowl mix together…
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
4 cups of flour
Optional items that you can add could could be a half a cup of dried cranberries, dried blueberries, walnuts, or even chocolate chips.
Combine your dry ingredients with your wet ingredients and gently mix together.
Grease to 2 bread loaf pans, place them in a preheated oven on 350° for 45 to 50 minutes
Let stand for 10 minutes and pop out the banana bread from the bread loaf pans… Place on a plate cover until it cools off.
Make sure you lightly cover it even when it is still warm, so that the bread does not dry out.
Add a little butter… peanut butter… or your favorite fruit jam and enjoy this delicious homemade bread.
I decided to take on the challenge of dehydrating chili… And so many of my friends were critics that it couldn’t be done. So I sat and I googled ideas, of course there’s also Pinterest and YouTube videos to check into. And I found that it is something that can be done.
The people that I saw on YouTube were going backpacking or camping and so this was an idea that they would have to bring with them for a simple and easy meal to rehydrate. It might be something you want to use to keep in storage just for an extra meal, or if you live in an area where there’s frequent power outages due to weather conditions it’s something that’s a simple meal to make. For me I have a son with Autism and I don’t allow him to use the stove… So to have something that I make homemade, and he can add hot water to and rehydrate and have a nutritional meal that I prepared ahead of time …I think is fantastic.
I took my favorite chili recipe… then I let it cool in the refrigerator overnight to thicken up. Next I put it on my dehydrating trays. It took about 18 to 20 hours to dehydrate and it came out fantastic.
To rehydrate it all you have to do is to add 1 cup of hot water to 1 cup of dried chili let it sit for 10 minutes and you have a delicious meal.
You can use a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber to keep it fresh for a long time until you need to use it.
Check it out… It might be something you would enjoy having on a cold winter night, by the fireplace… for when the power goes out.
Simple and easy is the way to go for a working mom or any busy person. We just love the smell of bread baking in our home and more importantly we love to eat a warm loaf of homemade bread!!! But how in the world do you find the time to bake it? #breadmachine
Years ago we purchased a bread machine and used it once or twice. I decided to dig it out a few months ago and try it again. We just love it. We are trying all new types of bread and are having so much fun.
Here is a simple and easy sandwich bread recipe for you to try! Whether a peanut butter and jelly or a yummy ham and cheese…..you will certainly enjoy this bread.
So let’s get started!!! What you will need is….
For a Large loaf (1 ½ to 2 pound)
1 cup of lukewarm milk
½ cup lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons of butter
3 ¾ cups of Flour (I use unbleached)
3 tablespoons of sugar ( I usually omit this and use Honey instead)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
1 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast or I use instant Yeast
And for a Small Loaf (1 pound)
2/3 cups of lukewarm milk
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons of butter
2 1/2 cups of Flour (I use unbleached)
5 teaspoons of sugar ( I usually omit this and use Honey instead)
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoons of active dry yeast or I use instant Yeast
How many times have you been left with bananas that you justdidn’t know what to do with, or you saw a good sale and wished you could buy abunch of them… no pun intended, and keep them for future use. I know somepeople like to freeze them for smoothies etc., but here’s another great idea.
Why not dehydrate them? I was blessed with a dehydrator forChristmas… So now I am in my kitchen trying things fast and furious to see howthey turn out.
This was one of my first attempts. I saw a lot of recipes whereyou could dip the banana slice in lemon juice, but I decided to go completelynatural and they are absolutely delicious.
Peel the skinsoff, and I also sliced off a little bit off of each end.
Then slice eachbanana into quarter inch slices.
Lay them on thetrays so that they are not touching each other, otherwise they will end upsticking together.
Depending on yourdehydrator’s instructions… Set your dehydrator to the correct setting forfruit. My dehydrator is just one setting. Or you can place them in the oven ona baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn your oven on to the lowestsetting and let it dehydrate that way.
My banana slicestook about 12 hours in the dehydrator and about eight hours in the oven todehydrate completely. From everything I understand they need to be dry, not wetto the touch, and leather like in feel.
They will stick alittle bit to your trays when they are done… but with a little tug they peelright off.
Store in anairtight container, a mason jar, or a storage bag.
A great way to have a healthy snack… Or add to your oatmeal inthe morning.
Comment below if you have ever hydrated bananas and what yourexperience has been. Have you done it with or without lemon juice… addedcinnamon or honey? I’d love to hear from you!
Need a quick and easy cookie swap idea or a holiday treat for your table… Try these truffles out. This was the first time I ever made them, and it definitely will not be my last. They were so quick and easy… and they were a complete hit at our Thanksgiving dessert table.
A bag of Oreo cookies or similar
One 8 ounce block of room temperature cream cheese
Candy melts of your choice of color
How to assemble:
Take about 30 to 35 Oreo cookies and crush them in a bowl or chop them up in a food processor to the consistency of cookie crumbles.
Add in room temperature cream cheese and mix together
Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill
Take mixture and roll into small balls on a cookie sheet layered with wax paper
Please entire cookie sheet with rolled balls on top of the wax paper into the freezer for about 15 minutes
In the meantime melt down your “candy melts”
Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and dip each ball into the melted chocolate’s and place back on the cookie sheet.
Add sprinkles to the top of each chocolate covered truffle
Let cool for about 20 minutes… And it will be either ready to eat or ready to package up.
A side note… I totally dipped most of them in the melted chocolate and only a handful did I swirl chocolate on the top of the chocolate balls. Unanimously it was voted that the truffles that were completely dipped in chocolate came out the best.
I absolutely love having turnip at our Thanksgiving meal and or Christmas holiday dinner table. This year I found some nice large turnips at one of the Amish farms, and as much as I love turnip I dreaded the thought of having to cook it once again.
So this year I decided to give it a try in the Instant pot. Never again will I boil it on the stovetop for what seem to be an endless amount of time.
At one point we became members of a 4H group… for a fund raiser they would make pumpkin pies to sell at a annual fall festival. People swarmed over to our table to get these homemade pumpkin pie’s as if they were something really special. Being new to the group I couldn’t figure out what was so interesting about these pies… since it didn’t looked any different from any other pumpkin pie I’ve seen in the local supermarket. So I had to ask them what the secret was… and they shared it with me, it was Hubbard Squash.
First of all I have never heard of that style squash… and when I went to look for it here in New Jersey I had a hard time finding it. One fall afternoon we were in Pennsylvania… and I spotted this weird looking blue colored squash, when I asked them what the name of it was lo and behold it was “the Hubbard squash”. Absolutely overjoyed that I found it… I picked it up for just a couple of dollars and brought it home.
At first glance I thought I would just cut it into chunks and cook it down like I would for a pumpkin. There was no way in the world unless I got an axe that I could actually cut into this thing. So I decided to put the whole thing in the oven and cook it down and it took about 12 hours. So I have continued doing this for the past 12 years or so.
One of our favorite outings is to go to Pennsylvania and hit the Amish farm markets in the Fall. There I can get a 5 to 7 pounds Hubbard Squash… anywhere from $3 to $5 dollars. This is a good size to make several loaves of bread, muffins, soup and or cookies. It freezes well… And taste just like pumpkin but even better!
Here are a few pictures of it going into the oven, what it looks like coming out of the oven, cutting it open and scooping up the pulp etc. I will put it in freezer bags… and freeze it for when I need to bake. Check out this funny looking squash… try it out and taste and see how delicious it is! Let me know if you have any good pumpkin bread recipes to share!
Before going in the oven…
After cooking on 200 for about 10 hours…
The first cut before cleaning out the pulp…
Cleaning out the seeds….
all cleaned out….
yummy pulp for pumpkin pie, bread, soup, muffins and cookies….