Sweat, Heat and Spending Time Outdoors

We need heat, but sometimes it becomes extreme. God created our bodies to have a way of cooling down by using sweat.

In my three haiku, heat and sweat seem to be opponents, but in reality both are important. Click To Tweet

 

Sun and sweat

 

 Heat and Sweat

 Summer heat is strong

Warming skin ‘til sweat beads form

Dripping down my brow

 

Outdoors in the Sun

Heat can be intense

Working outdoors in the sun

Sweat comes as relief

 

Summer’s Breeze

Touched by summer’s breeze

Sweat soaked clothes now keep me cool

Heat has been thwarted

 

 

Sun and Wind and Rhythms of the Earth

 

The third haiku above portrays the cooled sweat defeating the sun’s heat. It reminds me of the Aesop’s fable about the argument between the North Wind and the Sun. In this story the sun is portrayed as the gentle one. If you’re curious about the story you can find it HERE.

Though the sun wins in that story, North Wind does have a place. Wind, rain, sun, heat and cold all play a part in the story of earth, the planet we call home. Some people prefer one season over another, but all have their purpose.

 

God created rhythms that would repeat day after day, month after month, year after year. Click To Tweet

 

Spending so much time indoors with windows closed, electricity buzzing, lights that keep us up late at night, we have lost touch with the rhythms of the earth. Somehow I think if we could recover some of that and allow our bodies to relax and slow down, maybe our lives would take on new meaning and purpose.

 

 

Relaxing Outdoors

 

Last Friday was warm and sunny so I decided to go outside for awhile. Sitting on the grassy hillside I felt a connection to the earth. No electronics, just grass and dirt, sunshine and breeze, all natural and real. (I did have my cell phone but only to take pictures.) Grounding my body in this way helps me to relax and let go of some tension.

 

I've kept myself inside for far too long compared to the time spent outdoors. Click To Tweet

 

I need to find a balance. The time outside refreshes my outlook. I bask in the sun while listening to the sounds. Somewhere in the woods I hear a crow, but the other birds must be taking a nap. Or maybe I’m not listening intently enough.

Sitting out there I’m able to take my mind off some of the demands and enjoy being still. It’s a good feeling. My cat also enjoyed the extra attention and tried to interrupt my writing. She finally settled down to rest close to me.

 

 

Our Lord created a perfect world for us to inhabit. Beauty thrives even though parts of it are spoiled. Seasons come and go. I look forward to the changes each season brings, for all have a purpose. 

 

I thank God for all kinds of weather and for the change of seasons. Click To Tweet

 

Genesis 1:14,15

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

 

I’m participating in the #weeklyhaikuchallenge at #ronovanwrites  where Sweat & Heat are the prompt words. You can find all the details at the link above and are welcome to join in.

This post is also linked up with #LMMLinkup, #Glimpses, #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory, #TestimonyTuesday, #CoffeeforYourHeart, #ThreeWordWednesday

 

Apple Pie and Ice Cream: A Delicious Fall Treat

Today is recipe day! I’m sure you will love what I have in store for you, that is if you like anything apple related. First we will talk a little about food.

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Food is one of the areas that is important for a healthy lifestyle. If we eat junk food every day our nutrition is poor. It’s important to choose healthy options most of the time. I don’t think veering away from that occasionally is going to hurt much but should not be the norm.

Not everyone agrees with what is healthy and what isn't. Click To Tweet Each of us needs to research and determine what is best for ourselves and our families to eat. In sharing our choices with you I do not want to imply that you should do the same. I’m simply offering a picture of what our family likes and enjoys.

Local and Organic

There is a local food exchange that offers a variety of fruits, veggies, meats, raw milk and other items on a weekly basis. We like to eat organic and local if possible, but it is not always available. Click To Tweet So we choose the best alternatives we can find. We are blessed to have several farms that sell grass fed beef, pastured pork and free range chickens. Our own small flock provides us with delicious eggs.

As far as oils are concerned I like to use mainly extra virgin olive and coconut. I also use real butter and prefer it from grass fed cows when I can get it. We do use some organic cane sugar, but I prefer coconut sugar. Raw local honey and pure maple syrup are also good choices when you need a sweetener. I will sometimes use them for sweetening hot cocoa.

Are you ready for the recipe?

Our family loves homemade applesauce and apple butter, but our absolute favorite is apple pie. Click To Tweet
I’m sharing a recipe for two pies. That way you have one to eat and one to save. In my experience the first one disappears very fast, because everyone loves it. As a result there’s nothing left to show all your hard work. By making two you can still enjoy looking at the fruit of your labor.

Apple Pie Recipe

(makes 2 large pies)

First, preheat oven to 400ºF.

Filling:
10 – 12 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
¾- 1 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. of nutmeg
Put apples in a bowl. Add other ingredients and stir till mixed. Then set aside.

apple

Crust:
4 cups flour (I usually use half unbleached white and half whole wheat)
2 tsp. salt
3 sticks butter (1 ½ cups)
¾ cup cold water (This is approx. Today I needed a whole cup)

Mix dry ingredients. Then cut butter in small pieces and add to dry ingredients.

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Mix well using your hands, a fork or my choice -the KitchenAid mixer. After the butter is incorporated add the water and mix till dough forms. (It’s okay if there are still some lumps of butter)

*If using the mixer while blending in the water be sure to watch it closely and turn off when the dough begins to follow the beater. Too much beating can cause the dough to be tough and hard to roll out.*

Divide dough into four sections, two for each pie.

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I like to take one section, place it directly in the pie plate and roll it there bringing it up to cover the sides and top edge. Do the same for the second pie. You can also roll out on a floured board and transfer to pie plate.

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When you are finished divide the filling between the two pies.

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Then roll out the top crust to about ½ inch bigger than the pan. I do this on the counter or a floured board.  Next place the top on the pie and roll the extra under the edge all around the pie. Then take a fork to press down all around the edge and make air holes in the top. (Or you can use a knife and make a design in the top crust. My daughter, Sara, loves to be artistic in that way.)

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Now it’s time to place the pies in the oven and bake about 35 minutes. Voila! You now have two delicious pies.

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Finally, you can enjoy a delicious piece of apple pie.

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I’m linking up with: #SmallWonder, #LMMLinkup, #TeaAndWord

This is Day 25 in my #write31days series of 31 Days to a Healthier Lifestyle. ***To find all my #write31days posts click on the button below. You can also click on the Write 31 Days 2016 tab at the top of my blog.***

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A Neighbor is One Who Cares and Shares (Plus a Pizza Recipe)

Neighbor is the #5MFW for Day 18 of #write31days.

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When I hear the word neighbor I immediately think about people who live near each other.Jesus had a broader definition when a certain lawyer asked him a question of who his neighbor was. Click To TweetHe answered by telling him a story. You can read the full account in Luke 10.

A man had been attacked, robbed, severely injured and left for dead. A priest and a Levite spotted him but did nothing. A third man, a Samaritan, stopped and went out of his way to care for the man. Not only did he treat his wounds but took him to a place where he could be cared for. He even promised to pay whatever was owed when he came back through town. After telling this story Jesus posed a question to the lawyer: Click To Tweet“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36,37 NIV)

When I read this I see that my neighbor is not just the person that lives next to me.A true neighbor is one that will show mercy and compassion to whoever comes across her path. Click To TweetIt doesn’t negate my responsibility to people who live near me. It just widens the definition to include anyone I may meet along my journey of life.


Now I’m going to be a good neighbor and share a recipe. Hope you enjoy!” 

Homemade Pizza 

*You can use any kind of flat pan, just whatever you have. I have two pizza stones and an iron pizza pan so I’ll share with you how I make it. My oven has convection so I can cook all three pizzas at once on different shelves. The first thing I do is set it for multiple shelf convection at 450ºF. Then I put the pan and stones in to heat up.

**Crust
(Makes 3 large pizzas with thick crust or 4 with a thin crust)
2 Tbsp. dry yeast
5 cups flour (I use half white whole wheat and half all purpose flour.)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups very warm water

First mix dry ingredients, then add oil and water. I stir it a bit, then use my Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook on Speed 2. It usually takes awhile for the dough to become pliable. Then transfer to greased bowl and let it rise about 30 minutes.

Sauce
12 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. garlic

1 ½ tsp. basil
1 ½ tsp. oregano

Mix together and set aside.

Toppings
Because everyone has their favorites, you can just pick whatever you want. Here’s our usual, but sometimes we change it up with different toppings.

Mozzarella cheese, shredded ( 1 ½ lbs – ½ lb per pizza)
pepperoni
sausage
onion
pineapple
black olives

Preparation

 I use two pizza peels and a cutting board. First spread a mixture of flour and corn meal on each surface. Then divide dough into 3 parts. Next, flatten dough and roll it to about a 12 inch diameter circle.

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Lastly, fold and press down the edges as shown in the picture below.

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Then spread with sauce. Add cheese and other toppings.

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Next, slide pizza from peels onto hot stones in oven. (To make this easier, it’s important to have plenty of corn meal under the pizza.)

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Turn oven temperature down to 425ºF and bake pizzas for 15 minutes.

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When done, use potholders to take from oven and slide off pans onto cooling racks. Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting into slices. I use scissors to cut the pizzas. Works much better than pizza cutters.

Everyone was hungry, and I completely forgot about taking a picture of the finished product. Maybe I’ll remember the next time I make pizza.


Notes:

*If you use pans rather than stones you do not have to preheat them, but preheat the oven to 425º F. Also, if you don’t have convection you may have to cook them one or two at a time. Grease the pans and put the rolled out dough on them. Then bake for about 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and put on the sauce, cheese and preferred toppings. Bake for about 10-15 more.

**Crust recipe is from a neighbor when I lived in South Dakota many years ago. She got it from a friend who worked at a pizza place. It was her idea to use scissors to cut the pizza. My son is the one who perfected sliding the pizza from the peel to the pan.

I’m linking up with: #RaRaLinkup, #LMMLinkup, #TestimonyTuesday, #TellHisStory, #TeaAndWord, #FaithFilledFriday


***All my #write31days posts can be found by clicking on the left button below or on the Write 31 Days 2016 tab at the top of my blog.***

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Thanks for Friends, Family and Face Pancakes

Giving thanks is always appropriate when we want to show appreciation for someone for what they’ve said or done. Thanks are in order for all my friends who continue to encourage me on this journey to a healthier lifestyle.I give thanks for God daily for the blessings but also for who he is. Click To TweetWithout Him I would not be able to accomplish many things.  Thanks is the word prompt for #5MFW #write31days.

Give Thanks

If I seem to fall short in my goals, there is always someone to cheer and tell me I can do it. Friends are praying for me and I give thanks for each one. I thank God for the community I have found with many like minded bloggers.

Today I hope you will give thanks for the delicious recipe I am going to share with you. It is one our family enjoys very much. Last week I said I might share the pizza recipe, but that will have to wait until next week. I wanted to be sure to include pictures when I share it.

Instead I'm going to share what we often use for birthday breakfasts. Click To TweetNowadays we use it for any special occasion, and I consider it special when grandchildren come to visit. They love face pancakes! 

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Tonight we will have them for supper as I am visiting some of my grandchildren. That way I can take pictures and tempt you with their individual creations. There are variations, but this is the recipe we all love the most.

FACE PANCAKES 

Ingredients:
4 cups flour (half whole wheat, half unbleached all purpose)
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
¼ cup flaxseed meal (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 or 3 eggs
3 cups buttermilk
approx. 1 cup water

Mix dry ingredients together. Add olive oil, eggs and the buttermilk. Stir until mixed. Then add water gradually and stir until you have a pourable consistency. It may take more or less water depending on how thick you want the batter.

Heat griddle or frying pan on medium low until hot. (I use iron skillets already seasoned. If you use different pans or unseasoned ones you may need to grease them with butter or coconut oil before cooking pancakes.)

Pour batter onto prepared pans.(For large pancakes I use a ½ cup measuring cup to pour the batter. For smaller ones use 1/3 cup or ¼ cup measure.) Cook until it looks done around the edges, then flip and brown on other side. Transfer to plate and decorate.

FOR FACES:

chocolate chips
cherries
whipped cream

Basically, you use chocolate chips for eyes and mouth with a cherry for the nose. Surround with whipped cream or use it for hair or mustache or beard… There’s no limit to the kind of faces you can make if you use your imagination. Try it yourself and enjoy!

Notes:
If you would prefer using whole milk rather than buttermilk, increase baking powder to 4 tsp. and omit baking soda. When I am out of buttermilk I sometimes use equal amounts of plain yogurt and cold water as a substitute.

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Lacey and her pancake

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Simon and his pancake

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Jonah and his pancake


***To find all my #write31days posts, click on the the left button below or on the Write 31 Days 2016 tab at the top of my blog.***

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