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Feb 28, 2009

Biscuit Pizza & Saturday Stirrings

Visit I Throw Like A Girl for more Saturday Stirrings.
Biscuit Pizza.

Last night I made biscuit pizza and served it with a salad on the side. I used 2 cans of refrigerated biscuits, 1 pound of JD sausage and we had leftovers.

Canned refrigerated biscuits

your favorite pasta sauce

grated cheese

Jimmy Dean sausage - prepared and drained

Italian seasoning

Pull biscuits apart at the sides to make 2 "pizza crusts". Place evenly spaced on a greased pan. I used my Pampered Chef jelly roll pan. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on each mini pizza. Top with a little bit of pasta sauce. Add grated cheese. Top with a little mound of sausage. After you have built all of your pizzas, gently flatten them with your hand.

Put in a 350* oven until the biscuit is golden.

You can adapt this to your liking. I don't like a lot of sauce and I feel that putting the cheese under the sausage keeps the cheese from browning before the "crust" is done. I used Publix brand biscuits and McCormick Italian seasoning "classic herb." If you crowd your biscuit rounds and press to fill in the seams, your "pizza dough" will be softer. I like it crispy so I allow space around each little "pizza."

Feb 26, 2009

My Life is Too Sweet for the White Stuff!

My life is sweet enough without adding the white stuff. From time to time I go sugar-free for several days. That doesn't mean I substitute with artificial sweeteners. However I do have stevia, a natural herbal sweetener, in my pantry for oatmeal or fresh lemonade. I am currently on day 5 of a 21 day sugar-free ride! Whee!!! I started to say journey, but that seemed so serious. So ride it is.
Like I said, I do this off and on. Last week I was on. On sugar, that is. You can see how my sugar celebration went down here.

I'll let you in on a little secret for curing a sugar crave. Grapefruit! I have been known to eat a grapefruit while the rest of 'em around here partook of doughnuts ~ Krispy Kreme. I'm telling you there's power in the grapefruit! I like mine chilled and sprinkled with sea salt.

Aside from being an excellent source of Vitamin C, there are so many other reasons to love grapefruit but here are just a few:

* good for your skin

* helps reduce appetite

* balances the nervous system

* excellent source of iron

* a cleanser for the digestive system

* high in antioxidant activity

How do you tame your "sweet" tooth?

My sweet goal: Reserve the white stuff for special holiday treats (groundhog day does not count) and the birthday cakes I bake for One Fine Man and the kids.
As much as I enjoy my Florida citrus fruit, maybe I should become their next spokeswoman.

Sweetly yours,

* Do you recognize the lady picking the Florida orange? One Fine Man didn't!
To read part 3 of "Hearing God" go here.

Feb 25, 2009

An Elaboration & A Bonus 5

I feel the need to elaborate on parts of my list of 10 Things You Didn't Know About Me. Elaboration in red...

#1 I was born in Louisiana and have lived in 10 states or more. (I've lost count.) While my dad was born and raised in the same town in LA I was born in, I actually never lived there. My parents were living in Arkansas and my mother went to stay with her MIL to have me. I have, however, lived in these southern states: MS, GA, TN. I have also lived out east, way out west and in the middle of the map. Florida has been our home for the past 18 years.
#2 While a college student, I got lost in Romania and asked for directions in French. That impressed the 2 guys I was lost with! Hey - I impressed myself! I was a member of a touring choir called The Lee Singers. One summer we went to Russia and Romania. My guy pals and I got lost from the hotel our group was staying in. My college French classes came in handy that day since the Romanian policeman spoke French. "Pardon, monsieur. Je cherche l'hotel ________, s'il vous plait."

#3 I drove a rental car in Italy; I prayed a lot in Italy.

My husband was taking a business trip to Italy during the month of our 20th anniversary. Using sky miles, I accompanied him. Since he was only free during the evenings and a weekend, it was either drive the rental car or be stuck in a hotel all day long! Our hotel was not in the heart of a city so there was no walking to see the sites. Only driving. I prayed. I drove. I ate gelato. I'm pretty sure I got the Italian "finger" at least once. Prego!

#4 I attended a seminary; I prayed a lot in seminary.

I love God's Word. I love to teach. I am motivated to help people live their best lives. My classes centered around counseling.

#5 Two of my very best friends and I have communications degrees from the same university. (Birds of a feather...)
#6 I enjoy cooking but put off the dish washing, hoping someone else will do that part. (Sometimes someone else does.)

#7 The first time I saw my husband to be, I was in the choir loft and he was sitting with another woman. I thought to myself, "Stinkin' on it! Gina gets all the good looking guys!" Turned out they were just "friends." (Stinkin' on it...must be a Louisiana term.) "Stinkin' on it." Make sure you pronounce the word "on" like this "own." This may, in fact, be a Mississippi saying as my mother is from MS. Or maybe it was just a term we used in our family of 5!
#8 The last time I attended the opera, I had a secret desire to jump on stage and belt out, "O Mio Babbino Caro."
The last time I attended the opera, my 11 yr. old was not born yet! It may have been the 2nd time I ever attended the opera. While I did want to jump up and sing "O Mio Babbino Caro," I no longer sing the Italian arias that I rehearsed during voice classes. When I sing solos now it is likely to be a Yolanda Adams, Cece Winans or Vicki Yohe song. One of my favorite from Yolanda Adams is "Let Us Worship" and a favorite of CeCe Winans is "Jesus, You're Beautiful." Vicki Yohe's "I Just Want You" is one I love to sing, too.
#9 I started off as a voice major. (Now #8 makes sense!)

#10 The summer after I graduated from college, I interviewed a pilot for a local cable news show and he let me fly w/him and "steer" the plane.

Bonus 5 - I have homeschooled for 15 years. I teach in a Christian school part time. I am a homebody. I appreciate textiles. I organize my thoughts but my desk is a mess.

Feb 22, 2009

Opa! It's Greek to Me...except the squash

Every February we like to attend the Greek Festival in our community. We go for the culture ~ the live Greek band, the Hellas dancers, and the mosaic icons.

Let's keep it real. We go for the FOOD!!!

What's your culinary pleasure? Souvlaki, pastichio, lamb shanks
spanakopita, or tiropita?

Last year we had a sampler plate complete with stuffed grape leaves, dolmathes. This year we went simpler and had a gyro and Greek fries.

My gyro and Greek seasoned fries!

Our Favorite Greek Nurse
Our favorite nurse from the hospital in Colorado was visiting her family in Florida and we ran into her at the Greek Festival! Opa!We chatted, met her mother and took some pictures. She took good care of me, too, during One Fine Man's hospital stay.

Our night is not complete until we visit the lovely Greek ladies at the Philoptochos pastry booth. (philoptochos means friends of the poor.)

We like the galaktobouriko, baklava and the thiples.

One Fine Man, Guitar Girl and I enjoyed the pastries at home with coffee. Our boys opted for pizza. They do not enjoy the pastries either.

They called our goodies "old people's desserts." That's okay. More for us "old people."

Pictured are: baklava - Say: bak-la-VA - Dessert made with flaky filo layered with butter and walnuts and topped with a honey-flavored syrup;
galaktobouriko - Say: ga-lak-to-BOU-ree-ko - Custard wrapped in layers of buttered filo and topped with a honey-flavored syrup;
and thiples - Say: THEE-ples - Pastry deep fried and rolled with drops of honey
A cinnamon cookie - I don't know the Greek name for that one.

One Fine Man & Bella~Mella

Now for the not so Greek...
The next night we had spaghetti and fried squash at home because nothing is as American as mixing your cultural cuisine. I could eat a plate full of these little fried beauties all by myself. Wait. I think I did. Forget the spaghetti!

Fried yellow squash

Rinse squash and brush well with vegetable brush. Slice away any brown spots. Cut the top end down by about 1". Slice the bottom off 1/4". Heat canola oil in your black skillet. Slice squash into thin even rounds. I put Martha White cornmeal mix on a plate (w/salt). Dust the squash rounds in the cornmeal. It will stick b/c the squash is naturally moist. When your oil is hot enough, drop one layer of squash in skillet. Don't overlap. When the top side is golden brown, gently flip over with a fork to brown the other side. Remove with a slotted spatula and let drain on paper towels. Add more salt. I use sea salt for everything! Continue to add the remainder of your squash. Try not to eat the first batch as you stand there frying the remainder. Or maybe that's just ME. You may have to adjust the temperature of your oil to keep it from burning. You can use the same process on zuchinni but I prefer the squash. They're better than french fries! REALLY. HAPPY FRY~DAY!

Sauteed squash
I also like squash and zuchinni like this: sauteed in olive oil with onion and Italian seasoning. Salt & pepper when done.

To read My Monday Magnificat go here.

Feb 21, 2009

Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Saturday Stirrings ~ See I Throw Like A Girl for more recipes.

My youngest son, Skate~Boy, enjoys mixing up these cookies on his own.
1 cup peanut butter (I use natural pb.)
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix and shape into small balls. Makes about a dozen.
Place on greased baking sheet and flatten slightly w/a fork.
Bake @350 for the usual time.
I go by this ~ When you smell 'em, they're about done!

Feb 20, 2009

Ten Things You Didn't Know (about me)

#1 I was born in Louisiana and have lived in 10 states or more. (I've lost count.)

#2 While a college student, I got lost in Romania and asked for directions in French. That impressed the 2 guys I was lost with! Hey - I impressed myself!

#3 I drove a rental car in Italy; I prayed a lot in Italy.

#4 I attended a seminary; I prayed a lot in seminary.

#5 Two of my very best friends and I have communications degrees from the same university. (Birds of a feather...)

#6 I enjoy cooking but put off the dish washing, hoping someone else will do that part. (Sometimes someone else does.)

#7 The first time I saw my husband to be, I was in the choir loft and he was sitting with another woman. I thought to myself, "Stinkin' on it! Gina gets all the good looking guys!" Turned out they were just "friends." (Stinkin' on it...must be a Louisiana term.)

#8 The last time I attended the opera, I had a secret desire to jump on stage and belt out, "O Mio Babbino Caro."

#9 I started off as a voice major. (Now #8 makes sense!)

#10 The summer after I graduated from college, I interviewed a pilot for a local cable news show and he let me fly w/him and "steer" the plane.

So, do we have anything in common? Do Tell!

Check out the latest Kitchen Kudos recipe in the sidebar.

Banana Muffins with toasted pecans & dark chocolate chips

Feb 18, 2009

Hearing God

Go here if you would like to read part one of Hearing God. I've posted it on my DoTell blog.

I'll be back here later with Stuck in the Middle With You!

Feb 16, 2009

Monday Magnificat has moved! & The Middle Man

The Middle Man
About a year ago, I casually, yet excitedly, blurted out to my family, "Let's change our lives!" My suggestion was met with various responses. Guitar Girl was the most vocal, "Mom, that is so like you! Here we are driving along in silence and you come out with that!"

Well...we have had some changes. Not what I had in mind and none that I would have asked for but God has certainly been in the midst of those changes.

Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” Revelation 22:13. And I have found Him to be right in the middle, too! He sees the end from the beginning but He doesn't leave us alone to work out the process of getting from beginning to end. He is in our midst ~ our middle.

The three Hebrew boys found Him to be a middle man, too! When King Nebuchadnezzer had those faithful men bound and thrown into the fiery furnace, 3 went in but a 4th showed up!

The king was astonished and said, "Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” Daniel 3:25. (The fourth man - a preincarnate appearance of the Messiah)

In the midst of our process I am changing. I have posted in the past about some new ministry projects that I have been working on. But so much was put on hold with my husband's accident on 1/1/09.

However even in my middle, God is speaking and I am listening.

A change on my blog is my Monday Magnificat has been moved here. It is my 2nd blog that has been up for awhile, more as a placeholder than anything else. But things are changing...

Are you in the midst of change?

Feb 14, 2009

My Oh My! Fudge Spoon Pie & a Give-A-Way

I Throw Like A Girl is hosting her weekly Saturday Stirrings. This week she is combining it with a great give-a-way! Check it out!

Fudge Spoon Pie

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 (1-oz.) square unsweetened chocolate or 3 T. cocoa + 1/2 t. fat (butter, shortening)*

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour (I always use self-rising but all purpose works, too.)

1 t. vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

~Melt butter & chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often; remove from heat. Stir in sugar and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into a greased 8-inch square pan. Bake @ 325 for 22 minutes.

(Do not overbake.) This will not cut like brownies. You spoon it out. And, the best part? Don't wait until it cools!

Serve warm with ice cream or real whipped cream. (9 servings)

*I never have the chocolate squares so I always use 3 -4 T cocoa powder + a little extra butter for the fat needed. It works out fine!

Feb 11, 2009

Worth the Wake-Up - and why Guitar Girl owes me BIG!

Why do you wake up early?

For that first cup of brew?
A long commute?
Or an 8:00 class?

No matter your reason for rising early, make sure you load up before you go! Even if you’re just going back to bed.

Florida Citrus…loaded with Vitamin C and other good stuff.

It’s worth the wake-up….even when you don’t have to.

What you have just witnessed is the reason Guitar Girl owes me BIG!
I served as the subject of her story board for a college communications class assignment. I left out some of the pictures she used: Woman yawning. Woman walking down hallway to kitchen. Woman walking back to bedroom. Woman laughing hysterically as Guitar Girl "directed" me in my commercial debut. (She didn't use that picture either.)
Her project was on power point and she narrated the copy.

Check out Ted, the Wonder Pup. He couldn't figure out what we were up to!

Thank you and Good Night.

Feb 10, 2009

Kitchen Kudos - something new

Kitchen Kudos can be found in my sidebar. See it over there? No? Scroll down.
For the most part, my family loves my cooking. There was, however, a season of experimenting with low fat/no fat recipes when they were not my biggest fans! I repented and returned to the recipes of my upbringing. Truly, fat is funner!

Of course, I'm talking about the good fats. You know, avocado, olive oil, nuts & seeds...those fats. Although I do reserve bacon drippings for seasoning. Okay, I just busted myself with this picture. I'm frying catfish & hushpuppies. No good fats there!
Occasionally I have featured recipes in a blog post but I am going to try something new - (I'm copying Angela.) . I'm posting recipes in the sidebar. For a while. Until I tire. Which I may. Because I like change and the "new".

Why Kitchen Kudos? The recipes in Kitchen Kudos are those my mother taught me or are from other sources I like. I rarely follow a recipe to the letter. I tweak a lot!

My mother, who taught me how to tweak, would be tickled to hear me say she taught me "recipes." She didn't teach recipes. She taught me how to cook. And tweak. She's a master tweaker. Mistress of Tweak?

Oh! Why Kitchen Kudos? It features food I like to cook in my kitchen and kudos means fame and renown resulting from an act or achievement.

Well I am famous in my kitchen and renown for quick & tasty. And keepin it real, sometimes I am just famous for burning popcorn on the stove (2 nights ago). Nevertheless I enjoy the kudos from my kiddos & One Fine Man on my efforts in the kitchen. Today I give you the recipe for My Favorite Cornbread. Tomorrow? Who knows...maybe my favorite roast beef.

If it sizzles when you pour the batter in the skillet, you've got a winner!

And we have a winner! Moist on the inside, crispy around the edges!

Check out the recipe in the sidebar. Do you make cornbread like I do? Do you add sugar to yours?

Feb 9, 2009

Monday Magnificat ~ The 5th Day

My Monday Magnificat ~ The 5th Day
Last week I shared what happened on February 4th, following the three days I had set aside for my Happy New Year do~over. On that fourth day, God impressed me with ONE WORD ~ Double.

And on the very next day the enemy tried to hijack my ONE WORD to this word ~ half. You see while God is into multiplying, the enemy is all about division.
Of all the nerve!

On February 5th, I returned from my morning teaching job. As I stepped into the front door, I took my glasses off and laid them on my desk. Lately I have been wearing my glasses a lot because I have not taken the time to go to the vision store and pick up new contacts.
Since I am nearsighted, I could not clearly see One Fine Man’s face when I entered the living room. He was sitting on the couch and even though I could not read his expression, I felt something was wrong. I was right.

A new challenge had presented itself that morning while I was at school teaching my Spanish classes.
In past years, I would have succumbed to fear under the threat of this kind of division (the half). But we have been through some things…and God is Good.
One Fine Man and I talked and agreed that fear would have no place as we faced this newest challenge (opportunity for further growth), instead we would continue to trust God, overcome fear with faith and stay on our journey.

Those of you who left comments on my ONE WORD post, have blessed me with your insight. Thank you for that. I am searching God’s Word and seeking Him for ways in which I can be a double blessing to those in my circle of influence. You may remember that on the last day of 2008, I wrote about getting out of my circle of ease! It was a fun post & vlog for me to do. I enjoyed it doubly because One Fine Man had a hand in it!
I plan to do more of those…though not on skis for awhile!

I can truly say I am leaving my circle of ease one step at a time. I am moving upward and onward. While reading this week, I was drawn to this statement: If you want to move up, that will inevitably mean doing something new (author, Shaunti Feldhahn).

As I move up I declare I will:

choose faith over fear

seek God and His wisdom

love my husband like no one else


_____________________ (I’m leaving this one for God to fill in.)

My Monday Magnificat? When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19). For this I utter my praise!

Magnificat ~ an utterance of praise from the Latin magnificare ~ to magnify.

Feb 7, 2009


ONE WORD for 2009

The clue in the post concerning my watchword or theme for 2009 is found in the picture of the bells. Notice there are two bells in the photograph. Or, one might say, “double.” The ONE WORD I felt God impressed upon me for the coming year is double.
I have begun to research the biblical passages concerning the idea or principle of “double.” In the Old Testament, especially, God often provided a double portion or double honor to His people. I don’t know why or how the word “double” will pertain to my personal story this year, but I look forward to soaring high with Him in 2009.
And I have more to share about the 5th day...

Feb 5, 2009


I got my do~over! However my self-appointed Happy New Year did not turn out exactly as I had imagined. (What does?) From February 1 – 3, I was determined to look for God in unusual places. I chose something I could offer as a sacrifice of worship to God during these three days. (No details here.)
Nevertheless, the Mom/Wife life continued and, for the most part, my special three days to seek and hear from God looked much the same as the previous three weeks!
I rose early to take TechSon to his school, taught my morning high school Spanish classes at another school, drove One Fine Man to treatment and homeschooled Skate~Boy in the van while we waited. We picked TechSon up from school and then finally home again to prepare dinner!

In between I did what so many of you also do daily: put chicken/beef/pork in the crockpot, fed/walked/watered the pup, swept/washed/assisted with a 9th grade Middle Ages history project and talked with Guitar Girl about a possible change in her college major.

Amid the "dailies," I grabbed snatches of time to pray, ponder and prepare my heart to hear from God. My three days passed and I was beginning to think I would have to declare yet another Happy New Year and a second do~over!
But Day Four…
On the afternoon of the fourth day, I sat at my desk and thought how even though I had made a small sacrifice and tried to make myself more available to God’s voice, I felt I had not hit the mark for the purpose of my appointed days.

And then God interrupted my thoughts. He brought to mind two separate occasions…both occurring on the fourth day. On the first occasion I felt God leading me to do something but since it involved anther person I felt a bit hesitant but jumped in anyway.

On the second occasion, I felt God leading me to NOT do a thing. It was regarding something that is very opposite to what I would normally do in the given situation. But I obeyed and refrained. God reminded me of these two acts of obedience and brought this scripture to mind, “[Obedience] is greater than sacrifice" I Samuel 15:22.
I thanked God for His word and His reassurance that I had not spent my do-over in vain.
That in and of itself was a blessing to me.
But then there was the desire I have for my yearly theme. What about that I wondered? This is one time that I didn’t have to wait on the answer to that question.

No sooner did my thought wing its way upward than God gave me my theme. And what He gave me was One Word. Was I disappointed that all I got was one word?
No! All it takes is ONE WORD. One word from God can give you renewed hope, a new piece to your dream puzzle, and a punch of color for your purpose! God has ignited a new fire in my belly for 2009. There is stirring a hunger and a thirst for MORE, MORE, MOREOF HIM.
I would love to share my ONE WORD with you but that will have to wait for the appointed time and another word from HIM on that one. That next word? GO!
(There is a hint here somewhere as to the ONE WORD if you can find it.)

Now I must share with you what happened on Day Five…

Feb 3, 2009

FODD stuff...

This week, and it's only Tuesday, I have had some things that have happened to me. Funny or odd (FODD)? You decide.

#1 Last Sunday I came down from the choir loft and walked down the side aisle of the church. When I got to the back, I bent down to greet a couple and hug their necks. I rose from my crouched position...so far so good...but about 3 footsteps past them, I got the left heel of my peeptoes caught in the right cuff of my very long dress pants. In that instant a few thoughts flashed through my mind. "The pastor and all of the people still on the stage are faced my direction." "The people in the sound booth and the overflow section are wondering if I am going to do a face plant." "I wonder if an usher will help me up if I fall." And, "Please don't fall. Please don't fall. Please don't fall."

Fortunately I recovered my footing and didn't fall. But I did a little hop, skip and duck. However as a former high school musical cast member (not that one), I stayed "in character" and continued on my way with a noble smile.

Guitar Girl, who was on stage and witnessed her mother's performance, had to stifle her giggles. And that afternoon she kindly re-enacted my performance. A couple of times.
What are kids for if not to mirror your mishaps and weird mannerisms...which they'll inherit ~ you watch!

The thing is, this has happened to me several times when I wear cuffed trousers. (I like the word trousers.) Trousers. Trousers. Trou~sers.
Say it. It's fun.

#2 Monday while teaching a high school Spanish class, a student to my right leaned in to me and picked a leaf out of my hair! A leaf. A dead, brown leaf. In my hair. I just have no idea...But "Muchas gracias, Ashley."
Now back to trabajo, clase. Como se dice "leaf" en espanol? Yeah...I thought so.

#3 Following an afternoon of homeschooling in the van (vanschooling)while we waited for my husband to finish his hyperbaric treatments, I had promised Skate~Boy a treat. Down the road we went until we spied a Dunkin' Donuts. Skate~Boy belted out the "Hallelujah Chorus" and I took that as a sign to swerve in. You may not believe in signs but I do. Since I am taking a break from sugar, this visit to the drive-thru was strictly for Skate~Boy. Strictly.

I pulled up to the menu and got confused by the lunch options. (Actually I am menu-challenged and may do a future post on my menu malady.) So after the "May I help you?" my brilliant reply was, "Are ya'll still serving donuts?"

Yeah. At Dunkin' Donuts. The place that makes and serves donuts 24/7. If Bill Engvall had been there, I'm sure I would have heard, "Here's your sign." 'Cause like I already said, "I believe in signs."

Hey Dunkin' Donuts! Just so ya know...I love your coffee way better than some other fancy schamncy coffee houses! See? And I'll be back for lunch! But first I'll have to peruse your lunch menu online. Because that's what I do. Because I'm menu-challenged.
How about you? Had any Fodd occurences lately? Do Tell!

(Top photo by Linda Charlene)