Day 28 – Plant a Seed of Hope

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When I was in my Junior year of college, one of my most treasured memories of my favorite old professor was when he took time out after a class to encourage me whereas my writing was concerned. At that time, no one had ever told me anything special about the things I wrote.   It was over 15 years ago, but I remember feeling significant in that moment.   God impressed him to mention something I wasn’t aware of and a whole new world was opened up to me. Perhaps it was the world that God had intended to begin with, but if he had not taken the time to encourage me – I never would have considered studying another subject. My life might have been a little different.

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What if we, as God’s children, did our best to make sure we made the people we encountered each day felt significant, heard, cared for or loved – just as God does for us.  We’ve become so busy and inattentive that taking the time to simply have a conversation while looking someone in the eyes has become a rare event.   We are too busy with distractions to notice God’s hugs and kisses, and we have no time to encourage one another and remind each other of God’s love for us.  I have a challenge for you. I want you to encourage someone who might need encouragement, or a seed of hope planted in their hearts.     Dedicate some time to encouraging that person and lifting their spirits.  You just might brighten their day – of change their life.

Here is a Seeds of Hope project I did.  I’m hoping you’ll do a Seeds of Hope Project of your own!

Seeds of Hope

I am taking part in the Write 31 Days Challenge.

Write it Down!

Day 27 – My Favorite Holiday

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So…guess what’s a month away? if you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, you probably know it is ONE MONTH away (11/27/14) here in America. Depending on your level of preparedness and anxiety, you’re either dreading it, excited about it or you don’t really care at all. Thanksgiving became my favorite holiday, when cooking became a gift to my mind and each day I lived became a day of giving thanks. For the past few years we haven’t had turkey for Thanksgiving (that’s why the turkey above is dancing). I think we had chicken though – sorry turkey. I’m not sure what will happen this year. There’s one month, I’d better get going!

So today, just a few delicious (meatless) Thanksgiving recipes

 

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Spiced Cranberry Sauce

12 ozs Fresh Cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 of a sturdy apple chopped- (I use Granny Smith or Pink Lady)
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice add cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir in the
cranberries and chopped apples. Cook until the cranberries start to pop and the apples start to soften a bit (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, remove cinnamon and cloves. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. To cool faster place cranberries in a wide bowl.

If you don’t mind the chunkiness of the sauce, you are done here, but it you would prefer a smoother sauce add the sauce you have made to your blender and and run it until your sauce is smooth, or if you have an immersion blender break it out and put it to good use! If one cup of sugar isn’t sweet enough, Add 1/4 more at a time until you like it.

 

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Sweet potatoes (or yams) are prevalent during this time of year. When I searched for a recipe that could use up some of the sweet potatoes I had, I came across a recipe for yam brownies. I thought it was a very strange name for a recipe, but no bother, what mattered was the taste! When I made it, I was pleasantly surprised. In my parents country this is what is called a pudding not a brownie (It’s not like the pudding we have here and you eat it with a spoon, it’s more like a moist, dense cake that you cut), but I don’t think it matters, it is delicious. You can change the name quite easily. The original recipe has quite a bit more sugar and features icing on top, and it has rave reviews, maybe you can try it both ways!

Autumn Brownies

(adapted from Golden Yam Brownies)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 – 1.5 cups peeled and shredded sweet potato/yam
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; add to wet ingredients combine. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean. Serve cold, room temp, warm or hot!

Energy Saving Tip: Shred more sweet potato than you need and freeze it. That way you can make these brownies as a quick snack whenever you wish!

 

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Mashed Potato Stuffing

1 tablespoon butter

1 minced clove of garlic

1/4 cup diced red pepper

1/4 cup diced green pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cups of your favorite stuffing -prepared

2 cups of your favorite mashed potatoes – prepared (thick and creamy mashed potatoes work best)

1/4 cup organic raisins or chopped apple (optional)

 

Preheat oven 325 degrees.

Melt butter in a large pot, add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add, onion, red and green peppers, saute until onions are translucent.

Add your prepared stuffing and combine with the seasoning well.

Add your mashed potatoes and combine well.

OPTIONAL:  If you like a little sweetness in your stuffing, add raisins or a little apple.

Transfer your mashed potato stuffing to a large greased baking dish and bake until the top is brown and crispy.  Some people dot the top with butter to aid in the brown crispiness!

 

Zucchini Patties (upcoming)

 

 

Head on over to my sister’s blog and take her fun TV Show Quiz

Do you have any Thanksgiving Food Traditions?

 

I am taking part in the Write 31 Days Challenge.

Write it Down!

 

Day 26 – Quick Mention

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Stop a great deal of companies from tracking you online
Stop Facebook Tracking

 

Stop telemarketers from disturbing you
National Do Not Call Registry

 

Because you don’t want to regret not doing it
Back up your computer – The “absurdly”simple guide (I didn’t find it absurdly simple)

 

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Strengthen your Body
SparkPeople.com
I first joined SP all the way back in 2006, I did enjoy a measure of success with it. It’s been completely overhauled, so there are many new features now. Also the audience has changed a little. I only track there these days.

Drink this after you work out
5 Post Workout Drinks that put Sport Drinks to shame

 

Strengthen your Brain
Lumosity or Fit Brains – I’ve taken a 31days challenge break, but Nov 1 I will be back on the wagon.

I am taking part in the Write 31 Days Challenge.

Write it Down!