Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Great Thanksgiving Was Had by All!

  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  My family sure did.  It could only have been better if my#2 son was home from Spain.  Just 24 days and counting!  I do miss him so!
  I have tried to update my blog to a Christmas theme but to no avail.  Blogger is letting me down today!  I'll try again tomorrow! Anyone else having trouble changing layouts, and page colors?

Blogger Blessings,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Diabetics Holiday Survival Guide-Recipe

    My biggest problem in life is that I like to eat!  I mean, I love to eat!  If you have seen pics of me, it is obvious that I love to eat!  Our family gatherings revolve around food—right or wrong-- that is how it is and probably always will be. So in order to control my diabetes, I make substitutions so I do not feel deprived—because deprivation is depressing and I do not want to be any more depressed than I already am!! J I am allowed to poke fun at myself, but I digress. So, here is a recipe that I adapted from the Philly 3 step cheesecake recipe—my old go to cheesecake recipe. I have eliminated the carbs from the typical crust-substituted nuts and a Tbls. of Flour instead. (Think easy bisquick no crust pies)I have used Splenda to replace the sugar. I do not know the exact exchange but this is a much better option for diabetics.

Lisa’s Low Carb Cheesecake 

4- 8oz. pkgs. Cream Cheese
1 ½ cup Splenda
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 heaping  Tblsp. Of flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts—your choice—pecans, almonds or walnuts 

Mix all ingredients except nuts in a mixer—do not over mix.
Spray a 10 inch springform pan with Pam or other cooking spray.
Pour finely chopped nuts into pan and shake to cover entire bottom and half way up the sides of the pan.  Then pour cheesecake mix into pan.  Tap to get air bubbles out and bake for 55-60 minutes on 350 degrees. Turn off oven and crack door (leave cheesecake in oven) until cool. Refrigerate. Serve with fresh berries and lite whipped topping.
  No one could feel deprived eating this!
I hope you enjoy this low carb cheesecake as much as I do!

Yummy Blessings,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Diabetics Holiday Survival Tips and Recipes


Diabetes : Low carb labels sticker for food product packaging, print materials, or websiteFor most of the last year I have not been dealing with my diabetes. Heck, I haven't dealt with it properly for years now. I have buried my head in the sand way too long for too many reasons, mainly depression. Well, I received my wake up call a week ago. I now have mild kidney damage.  To keep the damage to a minimum, I need to eat right, monitor my blood glucose, and take my meds religously--the three things I haven't been doing.
   So you may be asking what that has to do with this blog--well......I want to post recipes and tips to help others with diabetes cope with the holidays  and help them to not feel as deprived!
 I will be offering sustitutions for some of the old standbys. Lets think of this as what we CAN HAVE, not what we CANNOT HAVE!  It's hard to hear you cannot have some foods--much more positive to say what you can have!  If you have friends or family members with diabetes, your thoughtfulness will be much appreciated!
Here are a few tips to start:

 *Sugar free Cranberry jello can be a great sustitute for the sugary sweet cranberry sauce at                Thanksgiving.

*Use crushed pineapple and juice to sweeten canned yams.  Just drain the syrup from the yams and pour crushed pineapple and juice over and heat.  Add Splenda to taste(optional).  Sprinkle cinnamon on top!

*Instead of going to the expense of making the famed greenbean casserole, save money and carbs by just having plain greenbeans. The soup has a ton of carbs!

See.......just a few little changes and you  have better options for the diabetics in your life! More tips coming soon!
                                                               Low Carb Blessings to you all,


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to make Herbal Firestarters( or How to Use up Sweetgum balls)

  It's getting to where most people with fireplaces are going to be using them soon if they are not already!  Brrrr....the cold is really bothering me this fall.  I found an idea for herbal firestarteres on Pinterest and with a modification, I made a basket of them.  I Used what I have an abundance of---Sweet Gum Balls.  I do not have any pinecones around so I thought the annoying sweet gum balls work just as well.  Now I have a great use for the pesky sweetghum balls that are all over my front yard! Yippee!!  Now I just have to pay my neice and Grandaughter to pick them up for me!!
     Here are the materials needed:

Fresh herbs--I cut rosemary and thyme.
String or Hemp rope
Sweetgum Balls(seed pods)
Newspaper-not the shiny ads
Cut one sheetof paper in half and place the herbs and sweetgum balls or pinecones on  the end closest to you.  Roll up tightly and tie ends with string or hemp.  I personally think the hemp string would be just adorable but I didn't want to buy hemp so I used what I had available--crochet cotton.
It's hard to see in this pic but I inserted a piece of herb into the one end tie.  Adds a little interest!
Here is the basket of firestarters that I made this evening. Only took a little while and is so aromatic.
Even my Hubby thought they smelled nice!
Remember you can use any herb or cinnamon sticks.  If you are lucky enough not to have a sweetgum tree in your front yard, you can use small pinecones or even dried twigs.  What kind of firestarters do you use?
Warm Blessings to you all,


Monday, November 12, 2012

Propagaing a Christmas Cactus

  This is the time of the year that you will see those amazing Christmas Cactus available for sale in stores. They are so pretty and exotic looking. I LOVE them!!  These succulent plants are sometimes called "heirloom" plants because the live for years and years and can  be handed down through families. Did I tell you I love them??
  Several years ago, my Mom bought one for me for Christmas because she knew I had always admired them. I couldn't justify spending money on a plant for myself though--money was tight.  The blooms were so pretty and festive through the winter that I wanted more of the Cacti for my home.  My Mom told me how my Grandma used to just break off a piece and let it dry out a day or two then plant the piece in another pot.  She would always have "starts" for anyone who wanted one!  Both of my Grandmas had green thumbs--guess that is where I get it from--at least that is what my Mom tells me!
  So here are pics of my propagating process:

                  Several of my Christmas Cacti in the kitchen window.  The one on the left is the original one my Momma bought for me. I just counted and I have 9 pots of these beauties in my kitchen and dining room!  Told you I love them! :)
Just break off pieces with several segments on them.  Let the pieces dry out or scab over for a few days.
Then plant several pieces in a pot  together.  Water lightly at first and just water once or twice a week after that.  The segments may wilt a little but be patient.  Less watering is more!
So if you are lucky enought to have one of these beautiful plants, you can easily propagate more. More for your home or like me, more to give away or sell!
Have you propagated any plants lately?
Blooming Blessings,


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Deal of the Week

My local grocery had 2 crates of pie pumpkins on sale for 50 cents each!! Guess what I am going to be doing?  You guessed it.....making pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter!

These will make some awesome pumpkin pies and pumpkin butter is like fall in a jar!  Yummy!

Autumn Blessings,

Ps. I you want to learn an easy way to ,make the pumpkin puree see this page:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dill--Herb of the Week!

Dill, a plant that hails from the Mediterranean and South Russia, is a very easy herb to grow in the home garden.   It loves nice hot summers and lots of sunshine.
Two parts of the dill plant can be used—the leaves (dill weed) and the seeds.  The seeds are very similar to caraway seeds.  Dill is best used fresh. When dried it loses flavor very quickly.
Dill is most notably known for its use in making Dill Pickles in the US. It is a very popular herb in Europe, India and Canada.  Canadians favor it to season their salmon!
I have used dill in my pickle making and also in a few recipes.  My favorite use is to sprinkle it onto my cucumber sandwiches.  Here is how I make mine:
Cucumber sandwiches
Party Rye Bread
Thinly sliced cucumbers
Cream cheese-softened
Salt and pepper
Fresh Dill

Mix cream cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Spread cream cheese onto the party rye slices. Place 1-2 cuke slices onto the bread and then sprinkle with fresh dill. You can also sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste. These are always a hit at showers and holidays!  My children love them!




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Let there be Lavender Soap!

Yesterday was a fun day of soap making with my cousin Christina. She has been wanting to learn to make soap for ages so yesterday was the day!  My favorite soap recipe comes from the West Ladies--Homestead Blessings --The Art opf Soap  Making.  I find it very informative and the DVD is very easy to follow.
                                          Here are some of the soapmaking supplies:

Getting all of the supplies together takes more time than it takes to make the soap!  Measuring the ingredients properly is very important but the most important part of soap making is saftey.  Gloves and goggles are needed and keep vinegar handy to neutralize any caustic splashes.  I forgot to take pics of the process--we had such a great time!
                                               Here are pics of the soap poured into the molds:
I chose to put lavender on the top of my bars--Christina chose to keep hers plain.
After pouring the soap into the molds, you need to cover them and put a towel or blanket on to keep the soap from cooling too quickly.
 Today I was able to cut the bars and now they need to cure for 3 weeks before they can be used.
Here they are:
                     Lovely Lavender Soap Bars-   Look for them to be on sale in three weeks!

So pretty and they smell heavenly!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our Fall Mini Vacation

Last week My hubby and I , along with our Moms, went on a mini vacation to Lake Cumberland.  We stayed in the Lure Logde and let me tell you it was gorgeous! See for yourselves!

View from our balcony 
                                                          View from the Dining room
                                                                  5 Turkeys                                       
We had a wonderful,quiet 2 day stay!
Fall Blessings,

Easy Pumpkin Pie Spice-Revisited

This is a post on making your own pumpkin pie spice that I published last year but I felt it is relevant for this time of the year!  So Here it is:

If you are like me, you hate to buy the spice blends--especially since you probably have most of the spices on hand anyway. Pumpkin Pie spice is one of the most popular spice blends and is soooo easy to make your own!

Here is my recipe for it:
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • Just put all in a bowl and mix. Put in a small lidded jar to store!
    Voila...its done! Don't forget to label it!

    Have a great day!
    Fall Blessings,