Vegetable Soup


If you are looking for a fast and easy Lenten meal or a simple and satisfying meatless meal, you have come to the right recipe! This recipe was a creation based on what I had available in my fridge/pantry and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. My husband told me numerous times, "that soup was awesome!"



       Recipe:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green beans (drained)
5 red potatoes (cubed)
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth 
4 stalks celery (diced)
handful baby carrots
half onion (diced)
2 cups cooked pasta noodles (I used gluten free)
salt
pepper
celery salt
garlic salt

Place tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, chicken broth, celery and carrots into a large pot. Bring mixture to a boil and allow vegetables to simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender (about 20 minutes). While the vegetables are cooking, bring a small saucepan with water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Once the potatoes/carrots are tender, add in your cooked and drained noodles. Next add in your seasonings, start off adding 1/8 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 celery salt and 1/4 garlic salt. Add more or less depending on your desired taste preference of each seasoning. This recipe is very versatile, so feel free to experiment! 
Enjoy!



Natural Ways to Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn (Plus a Recipe!)




Years ago as a college student taking an A&P class I learned about the negative feedback loop in the body. The example the teacher used in regards to the negative feedback loop was heartburn. I am not going to explain in detail what I learned mainly because I don't remember it all! ;)

What I do remember is that when I am having heartburn/indigestion, it means my body is producing to much acid without an alarm going off. So, when I am having heartburn I need to eat acidic foods. By eating an acidic food my body will produce MORE acid and will realize that there is a problem.

Heartburn weapon number 1: I first turn to eating an apple.


If an apple does not help relieve my heartburn I turn to:
Heartburn weapon number 2: eating a lemon or drinking lemonade.


Heartburn Lemonade Recipe:

Juice of 3-4 lemons or 1/4 cup of RealLemon
Water
Stevia (or preferred sweetener)

Juice the lemons into a single serve cup, add water and sweetener to taste. This recipe is easily adaptable. Amount of lemon juice can be changed according to how bad you feel your heartburn/indigestion is.
Enjoy!




This recipe has always helped me with pregnancy heartburn but as a disclaimer I am not a doctor and if you are on prescription medicine, talk to your doctor first before changing your dosage or intake, etc. 




Strawberry Applesauce


Whats a girl to do with a bushel of apples and a flat of strawberries?
Use some to make strawberry applesauce of course!


Making your own applesauce is so easy. Chop it all up, throw it in the crockpot, stir, blend and magically you will have healthy and homemade applesauce!


Check out those beauties. For this recipe I used 15 large apples (mine were pink ladies).


Wash and peel.


Remove any unwanted bruises.


Cut and dice apple and repeat.


Throw the diced apples into a large crockpot. 
If you are pregnant like me, all that hard work will make you hungry. 
So go treat yourself to a tasty cheese stick. Good job momma.


Now for the strawberries. I used 3 very full pints. 
Wash, remove tops and slice in half (or leave whole, up to you).


Throw the strawberries into the crockpot and give the mixture a good stir.


Turn the crockpot to low. Cover with lid and walk away. 
Giving a good stir every couple of hours. 
This is the applesauce after it had been on low for 6 hours.


Very carefully spoon mixture into your blender (be careful not to burn yourself and make sure your blender can handle the heat of the mixture).


Puree until mixture is smooth. Allow it to cool for a bit and taste test to see if you would like to add any sugar or cinnamon (start with 1/4 cup). I did not add sugar to my recipe but it is up to your personal preferance.


Once cooled. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate or serve to tiny tummies nearby. 
Enjoy!  


Recipe:
Strawberry Applesauce
Yields: 10 cups

15 large apples
3 pints strawberries
large crockpot

Wash and peel apples. Remove any unwanted bruises and dice apples into bite size pieces. Place apples into the crockpot. Wash strawberries and remove tops. Slice in half. Place into crockpot and stir mixture to combine. Turn crockpot to low and cover with lid for six hours. After six hours the strawberries and apples should be combined into a mushy mixture. Transfer the mixture to a heat proof blender carefully and puree until smooth. Allow mixture to cool, taste test to see if you would like to add sugar (start off with 1/4 cup) or cinnamon (start off with 1/2 tsp). Place into container of your choice. Refrigerate or serve immediately. 



This recipe is being shared at OrgjunkieTuesday Talent Show, Musings of a Housewife,


Faith Friday: God Is Nature


For todays 'Faith Friday' I want to share with you my favorite place to pray.

First let me ask you a question, do you or have you ever felt God? Or do you just pray memorized words and hope that someone is listening because you do not feel him. Growing up I feel like that would describe my prayer life. I would pray because that is what I was supposed to do, what the church and my parents told me to do. Little did I know that prayer is a conversation. It is two sided and it is the building blocks for a deeper relationship with Christ. What I was missing growing up was the desire to know him and a lack of openness in my heart. Sadly, my heart was full of materials possessions, boys, and worst of all myself. When I finally started to empty myself of those things is when I made room for Christ to enter. He desires to have a relationship with you and I and He desires to speak into our hearts and bring us true peace and fulfillment.

Back to my favorite place to pray...
I feel God the most when I am outside. Last fall I fell into a habit where I would wake up an hour before the kids and take my rosary outside to sit on the patio and pray. I felt God everywhere. In the wind blowing through the trees, in the birds flying slowly across the blue sky, in the sounds that surrounded me like the leaves rustling and the birds chirping, even feeling the warmth of the sun on my face brought me peace and let me know He was near.

Lets face it, God can be anything! For me, I feel God's overwhelming love when I am surrounded by nature with all the beauty He has created for you and I to enjoy. Nature proves to me that God loves us. He paints us beautiful pictures in the sky, He has made so many interesting and colorful animals to brighten our day, the list goes on and on. His love for us is in everything He has touched.

I also like to think of this passage when I am outside meditating:

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?" Matthew 6:26

Birds Fly Sky

Do you have a favorite place to pray?


Things I Am Looking Forward To...


Our dog last summer (she has grown so much since then!)
Puppies!
We are looking forward to our dog having puppies of her own soon.

My son holding a new 'friend'
Toads!
My boys love catching toads! Last summer my son caught the biggest toad I have ever seen. It looked like it weighed five pounds! I love watching the boys run around barefoot catching toads, snakes, snails, ladybugs, etc.

My son enjoying tree ripened peaches

Fruit!
The boys and I have so many good memories of picking fruit from local farms in the summertime. I cannot wait to eat seasonal summer fruit like strawberries, peaches, blackberries, etc.

Sushi!
After our little girl makes her debut, I am going to have some sushi. Lots and lots of sushi!


Wine!
Another item on my wish list after the baby is born. Wine. Cupcake wine to be exact!

Our garden

Gardening!
I am excited to start a new garden and enjoy fresh produce. We are planning on strawberries, green beans, zucchini, okra, cucumbers, watermelon, asparagus and much more (we have more garden boxes in another area)!




Enough about me, what are you looking forward to this summer?



Faith Friday: Jesus was a Homeless Man


For todays 'Faith Friday' I want to share with you an inspiring story of a man in my community. I have yet to meet this man but was fortunate enough to read about him in our local Catholic Advance (a monthly newspaper). His name is Bob and he is touching the hearts of so many who are in desperate need. He is making a difference in the lives of the homeless. 

Reading Bob's story, it reveals that he was not always a friend to the homeless. In fact, he thought very poorly of them. He had an encounter with a homeless man while on vacation that he would come to remember for the rest of his life. The homeless man asked if Bob could spare some change, to which Bob replied rudely. The homeless man's reaction is what changed Bob's life. The homeless man felt sorry, for him. It was as if he could see into Bob's soul and the horrible place he was headed. 

Bob did not realize what God was calling him to do. It wasn't until Bob was skydiving and faced a near death experience in which he thought of the homeless man that he had encountered and the terrified feelings he felt when death was starring him in the face. From that day on, he knew that God wanted him to serve the homeless.

Bob now makes it his responsibility to find the homeless in the area, offer them food and drink and a friendship that they never expected. 

His story reminds me of Mother Teresa. She was always a friend to the poor. She found Jesus in the sick and suffering. To her each person she encountered was Jesus in distressing disguise. I think it is safe to say that Bob has also found Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor. 



I truly admire Bob's courage to accept Gods call. God calls us all but it is up to us to say yes (and continue to say yes). Letting go of yourself and saying yes is not easy. 
I hope Bob's story has inspired you and I hope you will contemplate what Jesus is asking of you today and everyday.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. God bless!

Faith Friday


For todays 'Faith Friday' I want to share a website that you may or may not know about. It is a great resource for Catholics! This website is http://www.vatican.va.

Today I have been enjoying the 'daily meditations of the Holy Father Francis during the daily masses celebrated in the Chapel. As much as I would love to see the Holy Father preform a mass, reading the daily meditations is probably as close as I will ever get. He has wonderful meditations to share with us.

The vatican website includes prayers, homilies, encyclicals, and much more! I hope you will explore this wonderful resource and enjoy it as well.

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