I love to garden

There is nothing like the fresh from the garden flavor that spices, herbs and produce brings to a meal.  Last summer I planted a patio planter with basil, thyme and chives and used them all summer and well into the winter when I brought the planter inside.  The sauces smelled of fresh basil and the pork made our mouths water when we put the fresh thyme on the roasting meat.  

Winter is a great time to Plant an indoor herb garden, it is easier than you think.  First you must find the sunniest spot in the house.  Your herbs need lots of light.  After you find that sunny spot and have a shelf or table to set your garden on you will need a container.  There are ready made kits available if you want to purchase it all together, but remember I am a do it yourselfer and love to make things from scratch.  I have chosen to use and old fish tank.  It will have a green house effect with all of the glass for light and walls for holding in the moisture.  Now add in some small rocks for drainage, 3 – 5 in of soil to plant your seeds in.  Make rows for your favorite herbs and plant the seeds or small plants into the soil.  Water lightly, don’t over-water you will drown your plants.  Now sit back and watch them grow.  

Your herbs will be getting leaves on them that you can use in a couple of weeks.  Clip them off, wash them and chop for fresh tasting sauces and dishes.

Take the chance to grow something wonderfully tasty with very little effort.  Mmmm, yummy.


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Depression battle WON!

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It comes in like a lamb barely making an impression, then bam! Whap! There is a heavy blanket thrown over everything in life.  Colors are less bright, crying is the only option and everything is piling up and things are bad, bad, bad.  This was my week and I decided to let it run its course under the watchful eye of my family and friends.
Healthy Fruits & Vegetables
It started with not eating properly or enough.  Two bowls of soup and some crackers for the whole day is not an option.  Three meals a day with snacks is what some people need to stay active, mentally, spiritually and physically.  Now that is not giving us permission to over eat, eat foods full of sugar, fat and generally all around unhealthy.  My body craves the natural health benefits of raw apples, carrots, lettuce and super foods.  Protein is a must for each meal.  Stop the sugar, it only adds to the problem and makes me mentally berate myself for indulging.

1)  So step number one is to eat healthy and often.


Sunlight is another must for optimal health.  15 minutes a day out in the sunshine or in front of a sunny window will do wonders for mental health.  I have opted to bask in the light of a tanning bed once a week to chase away the black hole of depression.  It is less expensive than pharmaceuticals and less addictive.  My bones get warmed all the way through and I am doing something to take care of myself.  

2)  Sept number two is to get out in the sunshine and feel the warmth of it on your skin and in your bones.

Music warms my aching heart when times are blackest.  I have many genres that help to bring back the light into my dark spirit.  What ever your favorite and brings back the memories of fun and laughter put them on your I- pod for times when you are wanting to remember better days.  

3)  Step number three make, an I-pod of heart lifting music.

Friends have surrounded me and let me cry and vent watching helplessly as I work through the depression.  I have friends that are connected by our Christian walk that listen when God tells them to reach out to me.  They are there for comfort and support and friendship.  Family is the circle that surrounds me as I fight through.  It is scary for them as they wonder how long it will last.  Family members cook and comfort me, making sure I am eating the healthy foods that will do combat in the battle.  Friendship

4)  Step number four, let your friends help, let your family in they can see things that you maybe don’t want to see, while holding your hand in love and friendship.

As I come out of the darkness to the light, I am finding that I am not spending enough quiet time with God, just taking care of my own self.  I have a friend that call’s it filling my bucket.  When giving to others, working, being a person in the world we sometimes forget to take the time to take care of self and our bucket gets depleted and needs to be refilled.

5)  Step number five is to take care of yourself.  By taking this step, you will be have a full bucket to give to others.
Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com
I am back in the dance.  Live, Laugh, Love, in the Light.

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.  For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.  He will neither fail you nor abandon you.  Deut 31:6


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Heart of my home

Good food, good health, good life, good blessings.  My take on cooking is that the heart of any home is the kitchen.  The kitchen can bring joy from sorrow, peace from strife, hospitality from rejection.  I find God in my kitchen; He meets me when I am kneading the dough for whole wheat French bread to take to a friend.  He blesses my life when I cook a pot of soup to take each week to my volunteer work at church and share with whomever walks in the door. He brings joy to my family when we try new spices and healthy changes in an old recipe.  My heart is full when I can teach my grown children new techniques that will help their busy lives to be more manageable.


In Genesis 18 Abraham tells Sarah “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal: knead it and make cakes.  Vs 7 Abraham ran to the heard, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man and he hastened to prepare it. Vs 8 so he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them: and he stood by them under the tree as they ate”.  Hospitality has been a gift from God to bring us together in peace and harmony.  I will make a commitment to bring more to my kitchen to show them how much they are loved and how to love one another.


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Meal Pizzazz from The Kitchen Koach

   herbs and spices

◊    Need more pizzazz in your kitchen?

◊    Are you in need of recipes for easy preparation?

◊    How about a recipe that is quick to cook?

◊    Budget friendly recipes you ask?

I have found that putting pizzazz into any meal; breakfast, lunch or supper means taking advantage of the many spices and herbs available.  Just this morning, we had an omelet using ground beef, pablano paste, onions, zucchini and mushrooms.  This wonderful omelet is a mainstay in our kitchen. We vary the vegetables on hand and change the ethniticity of the eggs with spices and herbs.  Add a little tofu sour cream, topped with chopped tomatoes and you have a gourmet omelet at half the cost of going out to breakfast.

Make sure to have the tools close at hand, making your chores more efficient and easier preparation.  Having an onion chopper that will chop all of your vegetables in minutes is a top priority.   Whipping up the eggs in a batter bowl will keep the eggs in the bowl not on the counter and of course every chef has to have a wire whisk.  A non-stick skillet will make folding your omelet easier and make clean up a snap.  Good tools are essential to quick and easy preparation.

If you are in a hurry and need some ideas for quick meals, here are some ideas for you.

◊    Precook 5 lbs of beef or turkey burger.  Stored in containers in the freezer can be dumped right into a skillet for the base of your next omelet.

◊    Pre chop your onions, place in a glass leak-proof container and store in the refrigerator.  Zucchini, mushrooms and green peppers can be pre chopped when you get them home from the grocery store and place them on a metal cookie sheet and freeze, then transfer to zippered storage bags for your next omelet day.

◊    Try buying eggs that have more omega-3 in them and mix them half and half with regular eggs to get a bit more nutrition without such a big hit to your wallet.

◊    Learn how to use your tools correctly.  You don’t want to spend money on them then get frustrated with them the first time you use them.  Read the directions so you know just how they work.

◊    There are wonderful resources when it comes to spices.  Learn how and when to use them to create meals that taste as if you had a chef in the kitchen.

Learning some easy ways to save time, space and money will help you create your own pizzazz and you will be the hit of the kitchen.

simple kitchen


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Healthy Homemade Fast Food Cooking

I am a “from scratch” cook and have found satisfaction in the creation of ingredients to finished on the plate.  I have friends that don’t find that kind of creating relaxing or satisfying.  In thinking about their frustration I have developed some creative ideas to help make their time in the kitchen just a little more relaxing.
Start by having some ideas of the things that you like to eat and want to eat.  Having a menu plan is just as important as having a financial plan.  It makes it so much easier to cook later when you are short on time your planning efforts will be rewarded.
What do you have on hand?simple pantry

Inventory what you have in the cupboards, freezer, refrigerator, basement, and garage.   Remove items that you don’t use or that are not healthy for you.

What is the meal for?

What you cook and how you cook it is going to depend on the type of cooking that you are going to be doing.  Is this a home meal, a picnic, are you traveling, or simple lunches for work.

Organizing your kitchen to serve you will pay you in the long run.

Big kitchen, little kitchen, no tools, some tools, no matter the kitchen that you have, organization is the key.   It is my philosophy that utensils are very useful when organized properly.  When organizing your kitchen be sure that all items are as close as possible to the work area where they will be used.  This saves you precious minutes that you can be spending with your family and friends.

Once you have everything in its place you are ready to start enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Baking cupboard TKK

Here is a recipe to get you started.

Purchase a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.  You will also find frozen egg noodles in the freezer department.  When you get home, de-bone the chicken while the noodles cook.  Add a cup of chicken stock in a saucepan then add the chicken.  Thicken with 2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/3 cup cold water.  Add to the broth and chicken and stir until thick.  Add the noodles and serve with peas or a green salad.


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Menu Planning for the richest source of oxygen producing foods

Take 3 deep breaths and relax.  Breathe in slow, cleansing breaths and exhale slowly the stale, old air.  When taking breaths, life will flow richer, minds quiet and our bodies are more open to healing our bodies.


Our family is discovering that lack of oxygen is causing many symptoms that can be addressed by getting more air, which can help with better sleep, in turn helping our bodies to heal, weight loss, lowering blood pressure and elevating our mood.  Jerry has had high blood pressure all of our married life.  Medications work for about three months then his blood pressure rises and we start all over again.  A year ago we started using a fan at night directed right at his face.  As we did this we found that he snored less and his blood pressure medication was able to work longer periods of time.  Winter came this year and it has been cold so we quit using the fan and guess what?  His blood pressure started to go up again.

Chariti started working on her air capacity and found she is not getting enough which is causing lack of sleep and lack of weight loss.  Through work with her Doctor she is getting a handle on her oxygen levels and will see how she progresses.

How does this relate to our topic of food?  We need to concentrate on oxygen producing foods and healthy food that will give us more energy so we can be more active and get more oxygen into our bodies.  Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, which is close in atomic structure to human blood. When you eat green vegetables, the chlorophyll allows blood to transport oxygen to cells. Foods rich in chlorophyll include spinach, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae.  We have found including a super food smoothie can increase the amount of greens you can add to your diet.  Our overall attitude is elevated and our energy has increased significantly.


Here are some easy, simple actions to take:


  • Take time each day to breathe deep.  Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.  3 times is a good start.

  • Put a fan next to your bed and get used to the air flow and white noise.  Sleep will be sounder and it will help your body to reach the healing sleep you need.

  • Check with your doctor if you think you are not reaching that deep healing sleep.  You may have to do a test for sleep apnea.

  • Include green vegetables and green super foods in your diet.


Now get out there and go play.  Your dance is waiting.



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Dancing in the Kitchen

I remember when my kids were small and even into high school, my husband and I would dance in the kitchen to the radio before they all went off to school.  It is one of my fondest memories of raising my kids.  Our daughter would stand on her dad’s feet as he danced around the kitchen.  The boys would dance with me until we were all ready for the day.  What a wonderful memory.  That is why the kitchen is the heart of any home.  Memories are made there.  Lives are built there.
Come with me and let us dance in the kitchen.


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