Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections of 2013

To tell you the truth, 2013 has been a rather interesting year.  I have had my share of ups and downs.  I am sure we all had our share of ups and downs.  However, I am also sure that this past year has had plenty of both ups and downs for me.  I am reminded of all of the people who have lost ones, and those who are lost. I wish I could help everyone and give them a hug....so to speak.  From my obsession to my weight, I am glad that in a few hours, a new year reigns.  Hopefully I will learn more in 2014 than I had this past year.  On the other hand, I wouldn't trade my year for anything.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Health is important

I am feeling so much better now.  God has given me what I needed, not what I wanted.  I gave up on myself yesterday and that does me no good.  I am a diabetic and I have a desire not only to lose weight, but to also eat healthy.  A diabetic who eats unhealthy and not care is being foolish or in denial.  It is very straightforward and that is how I feel.  I am motivated to lose weight because I have motives.  I want to lose weight for my own reasons and I know that I can benefit from losing weight.  Giving God control is best for a spiritual path.  I do wonder, however, if being or eating healthy means taking care of God's temple?  I wonder if someone who is not taking care of themselves defiling our bodies spiritually.  Could it mean something else?  I am just wondering.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Taking stock continues

I have and am continuing to, take stock of my life.  There was a lot of unforgiveness and holding on to the past.  It was the root of my fear.  Things have changed over the years, and not always for the better.  That was the source of my problems.  I always felt like walking on eggshells because I hate confrontation.  Maybe I should love it more because pro-activity is what I need to do.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Taking stock

I realize that I need to take a long, hard look at my life. I know that I have written various posts and said various prayers, but I have come to realize that I have to take stock of my life or else I will be stuck or worse.

I have been on meds for a long time for a variety of conditions.  It has been rough because it can be frustrating, but they are necessary for me to function.  I am overweight and I am a diabetic who is diagnosed as having PCOS.  I admit that I have not been taking care of myself over the years.

I wonder if I could accept the fact that I have bipolar disorder, then why is it so hard to have to accept that I have OCD.  Having OCD is no joke.  I have dealt with it, but that is all I had to do.  My response has always been "I can't take it anymore".  How to let the thoughts pass or embrace that I have these thoughts is very hard.

As mentioned earlier, I am overweight.  I have gained a lot of weight back and now I wonder how much of a toll my weight has taken.  I want, need, and desire to lose weight.  The problem is, I have no clear set goals. I have a lot of issues to deal with.  I need to take a lot of time to take stock of my life.  I need, want, and desire to change.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The day after Christmas

Today is the day after Christmas.  I had a pretty good Christmas yesterday.  I ate way too much food, but at least I received great gifts.  I do hate it when it has to end.  But today wasn't so bad however.

I was wondering if I will ever get to know any celebrity.  I would like to meet some but I cannot recall their names at the moment.  The truth is, I am not sure if I will like these people.  I am sure these are nice folks, but they are just that: folks.  I don't know the people that I will ever obsess or have an idealization about people.  Why am I writing this?  It has been a theme of mine for almost all year long.  I will never get to know any of these people realistically nor should I care.  They are just people after all.  In the grand scheme of things, it is all vanity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I love this story.

Christmas is About Christ, or is it?

This is truly my favorite time of the year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pumpkin crumb pie with caramel sauce

Courtesy of kidscooking

Ingredients for pie filling
1 can pumpkin
1 large egg
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Ingredients for crumb topping
1 stick butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Ingredients for caramel sauce
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients of the pie filling until it is well-incorporated and the batter is smooth.  Set aside.

To make the caramel sauce mix the white sugar and water over medium heat in a medium sized pot or pan. Stir often until the syrup turns brown.  Then add in the brown sugar, and the butter.  Stir until butter is melted and the brown sugar dissolves. Slowly pour in the milk for the syrup will be hot. It is best to take the pan or pot off of the stove to add the milk and then stir until the milk is well-incorporated.  Once well-incorporated, take the caramel mixture off of the stove and set aside.

In a deep baking dish, pour in the pumpkin mixture which was set aside earlier.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

While it is cooking, in a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the crumb topping.  Make sure the ingredients are well-incorporated.  Set aside for now.

Once the 30 minutes are up, take out the pie.  Set the pie on a cooling rack and drizzle some of the caramel sauce on top of the pie.  Then add the crumb topping on top of the pie making sure the pie is fully covered. Bake again for another 25 minutes at 375 degrees until the pie is well-set in the center. Once the pie is taken out of the oven, place pie on a cooling rack and let it "rest" for 10 minutes.  Once the 10 minutes are up, then drizzle again with more caramel sauce and let the pie continue to cool.  Once cooled, serve.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sweet Potato Pie

 Courtesy of dirtyprettythangs.com

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut-up
1 large egg
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. flour
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

In a large pot, boil the sweet potatoes.  They would be ready after at least half an hour.  Once they are ready, drain.  Then mash the potatoes in the pot and set aside.  

In a large bowl, mix the sugars, flour, vanilla extract, margarine, and spices in a bowl.  In a smaller bowl, temper the egg and the milk because the potatoes are hot.  Add that in and finally add the potatoes.

Once the mixture is well-incorporated, pour into an unbaked deep dish pan.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven.  Bake for at least 30 minutes or until the center is set.  Once ready, let pie cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Once the pie has cooled, then serve.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sound of Music

I love this movie.  It is one of a few movies that I watch that I can watch over and over again.  I know it is over 3 hours long, but it doesn't matter to me.  I personally liked the live NBC version and would purchase a DVD copy of the live performance.  Carrie Underwood is not a trained actress by trade, but she did an adequate job otherwise.  Singing is her strong suit.  However, she was believable as Maria.  It I'm sure was not easy to live up to the Julie Andrews movie version.  But a person will always have their haters.  Either way,  the live version was good enough to remind me of the original, which I am watching now.  I personally didn't think the live version was horrible and that I would recommend it.  I would give the live version a 7.5 out of a possible score of 10.  However, I would give the movie a 10 out of 10.  There is nothing horrid about each versions.  Critics were being too hard on Carrie Underwood.  But haters are gonna hate.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Doubting and hopefully no wrath

Yesterday I was blank.  Today I am doubtful.  It is quite painful to have doubts.  One minute you are full of faith.  The next minute, all doesn't seem right with the world.  That is how I felt today.  I am questioning myself and doubting God.  There are things that I need but maybe I am focusing on the wrong things.  I am here to write that doubt is close to unbelief.  Unbelief should have no place in a believer's or anyone's life. Maybe it is a good thing that I have doubt, but at least there is a small measure of faith there.  I just don't know how to express that faith.  There is a need that seems impossible to obtain yet I am not sure if even God will supply that need.  It seems so wrong to ask Him.  Maybe I should tell God just how I feel.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Where do I begin?

Today I find myself just bored out of my skull literally. I literally have nothing to write.  This is so sad because I have a recipe, a video, or something to say.  But there is nothing to say or write.  I am just a blank slate with no substance in it.  I am so sorry right now.  I have written about so many things in my life I don't know what else to write.  That is the problem.  Where do I go from here?  Where do I start?  Who do I direct my thoughts on?  It is just a lonely place to be.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reflections about today

I have Christmas music playing in my head today.  It is a feeling of joy I guess.  I feel so much better about how to handle the obsessive thoughts I have been having.  I wish that I could feel this good about the day after Christmas.  I survive on that day every year, but I hate it.  The festivities will end and so will the fun. Today is something else.  I am not in a festive mood however.  I wish that everyday could be like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Orange Cupcakes

1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick softened butter
1 cup orange juice

Mix together the butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Beat until fluffy.  Then add the flour and orange juice.  Beat until smooth and well-incorporated.  Pour slowly into the baking cups.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20-35 minutes.  Use a toothpick to poke in the center of the cupcake.  If it comes out clean, then it is ready to frost and then serve.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Citrus-Pineapple Cake with Almonds

4 cups of self-rising flour
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup almond butter
3 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
1 stick softened butter
1 cup slivered or chopped almonds
1 can vanilla or cream cheese frosting
1 can lemon frosting

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, butter, and eggs; beat until the mixture is fluffy.  Then add 2 cups of self- rising flour, orange, and pineapple juice; beat until mixture is well-incorporated.  Then add the remaining self-rising flour to the mix.  Make sure the batter is thick enough so that the cake won't' fall while it is baking.  If the batter is too thin, add a 1/2 cup of extra flour and another 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp each vanilla and lemon extract.

Pour batter into 2-8" or 9" baking pans; bake in a 325 degree oven.  Once those two layers are ready, pour the remaining batter into those pans (making sure they have been floured) and bake in that same oven.  Each layer will bake for 30-45 minutes at 325 degrees.  Use a skewer, knife, or toothpick and poke in the center of each layer.  If they come out clean, then each layer is ready.  After taking each layer out, let it cool for 10-15 minutes.  Once cooled, spread the top of  bottom layer with almond butter; sprinkle with almonds.  Then frost the top of the next layer with lemon frosting.  Then on the top of the third layer, frost with the almond butter and sprinkle with almonds.  Finally frost the rest of the cake with the vanilla or cream cheese frosting making sure the sides are frosted as well.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Finally serve cake.  Will serve at least 12.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Loving to cook

It is amazing how much I love to cook.  I consider myself a decent cook.  I am not a chef but I wonder what my cooking repertoire would be if I were a chef.  I spent the past week putting up recipes of various foods, mostly baked goods.  I wonder if I could have been a baker.  I have often wondered a lot of things and I have worked on it, but I tend to procrastinate on my plans.  For a long time, I wanted to own a restaurant or a bakery.  That, however, takes a lot of planning and a lot of funds.  I don't have enough patience for that.  I have been baking since I was a child.  It isn't so easy, but it isn't so hard either.  It is an exact science but it is not rocket science.  Baking is also fun but it is also hard work if one allows it to be.  Baking is therapeutic for me.  I plan to make a Pineapple Citrus Almond Cake.  This is the first time I will bake such a cake.  I have remembered to use more flour than sugar.  I have also used lemon juice, pineapple juice, and orange juice. Now all I have to do is buy the frostings, both lemon and cream cheese or vanilla and also almonds.  I look forward to finishing the cake for Christmas.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Glazed chocolate cake

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate glaze (1 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 cup powdered sugar)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups self rising flour

In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Beat mixture until fluffy.  Then add the flour and the cocoa powder.  Beat until well-incorporated.  Pour into a lightly greased and flour  two 8" or 9" pans.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.  After that time period, poke the center of the cake with a butter knife or toothpick.  If the butter knife or toothpick comes out clean, then it is ready.  Cool at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.  Then frost cake with chocolate frosting.  After cake is frosted, make the chocolate glaze in a smaller bowl.  Mix the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and milk until well-incorporated.  Slowly pour glaze over cake.  Then finally, serve cake.  Makes about 12 servings.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Another pound cake recipe

2 eggs
2 cups white sugar
3 cups self rising flour
1 cup softened butter
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup milk

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, vanilla extract, and the softened butter. Continue beating and slowly add the eggs and beat until it is fluffy in texture. Next add the flour. Beat until well corporated. Then pour in the lemon juice and keep mixing. In a greased and floured bundt pan (preferably), bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. After baking for 45-60 minutes, use a butter knife or toothpick and poke in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, then it is ready. Let cool at room temperature for at least an hour. Then flip the cake onto a plate; store on a cake plate. Finally serve.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Raisin Cake

3 cups self-rising flour
1 stick softened butter
2 large eggs
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger or pumkin pie spice

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, the butter, the sugars, and the vanilla extract.  Beat mixture until fluffy.  Next, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.  Keep stirring and add the flour and the milk. Finally add the raisins, making sure they have been drenched in flour.  This will keep the raisins from sinking. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until done.  Use a toothpick in the center to test if it is done.  If it does come out clean, then it is done.  Set cake aside in a cool place for at least 20 minutes.  Once cake has been cooled, serve.  Will serve at least 8 people.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lemon Coconut Cake

4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package lemon pudding
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups white sugar
2 sticks butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 package shredded coconut
1 can vanilla or cream cheese frosting
1 can lemon frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix softened butter, sugar, eggs, and lemon extract.  Make sure to slowly add eggs, one at a time until thoroughly mixed.  The mixture should be “fluffy” and “creamy” in texture.  Then mix in the flour, pudding, milk,lemon juice, and sour cream until the batter is well mixed.     Then in two 8” or 9” greased and floured pans, pour in the batter.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.  Insert a knife or toothpick; if the knife or toothpick come out of the cake clean, then it is ready.  Let the cake cool for about half an hour at room temperature.  After the cake is cool, then frost each cake layer and cover them with the sweetened (unsweetened) coconut.  Finally, serve.  Serves at least 12 people.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chocolate Chip Almond blondies

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup melted margarine or butter
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the margarine, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract until well incorporated.  Add the flour, morsels, and almonds; stir until well-incorporated.  In a 13" X 9" pan, bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Cool on rack for at least half an hour.  Cut into bars and then finally, serve. Will serve at least 12.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fruitcake Blondies

Fruitcake Blondies

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup melted margarine or butter
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the margarine, sugars, lemon juice, egg, and vanilla extract until well incorporated.  Add the flour, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate morsels,  and spices and stir until well-incorporated.  In a 13" X 9" pan, bake in oven for 30-45 minutes.  Cool on rack for at least half an hour.  Cut into bars and then finally, serve. Will serve at least 12.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Penne and cheese

16 oz. penne noodles
8 oz. cheddar cheese
1/2 cup flour
1/2 margarine
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. tabasco or hot sauce
1 Tbsp. mustard or 1 tsp. dry mustard

Cook the penne noodles as it is written in the package then drain in a colander and set aside.  In a large pot, make a roux of the milk and the butter.  Keep in mind not to let the roux brown.  Slowly pour in the milk and stir.  Add in the milk.  After a while, the sauce will thicken.

Next, add the cheddar; stir until incorporated and the cheese is melted.   Take the large pot off of the stove, which is set to medium temperature,  so that it can be set aside.  Next, pour in the penne noodles and stir into the cheese sauce.  Stir until well incorporated.  Set aside. The stove should still be set to medium.  Next, add in the mustard, hot sauce, and the spices and stir well.

Pour the penne noodle mixture in a greased baking sheet.  Also, sprinkle penne  mixture with grated cheese, bread crumbs, or anything else that you wish to sprinkle with such as bacon or ham.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until the cheese melts and the penne browns.  Once taken out of the oven, let it cool for at least 10-15 minutes.  Then serve.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jesus is the reason for this season

Jesus is the Reason for the Season.  I believe He is the Reason for all seasons.  We are to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  I celebrate Christmas all year long.  Well, it means that Christmas is about celebrating not just Jesus' birth, but His very life and what He has done for us.  I want to remember His whole life all day long.  Life is too short not for us to do that for the other 364 days.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Never give up

There are seven things I know that i can do to motivate myself and to never give up.
1- respect my body
2- love myself
3- work to overcome binging
4- exercise
5- continue to affirm myself
6- meditation
7- learn to fight against the wiles of the enemy whatever they may be

I have to learn to do those things.  I have been binging for the past few days and I have been left frustrated and unhealthy.  I am not comfortable in my own skin.  I am just tired of being sick of being sick and tired.  I have grown that way for a while.  The solution is to bring all of my problems to the Lord and cast my cares upon Him.  I believe that the Lord will solve all problems and lift heavy burdens.  I tend to stress myself out too much and have a desire to give up.  I don't know why I tend to make the simple things hard.  This time, I am ready for a change.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift of song

I admit that I didn't put up any videos worth of thanks.  I thank God everyday for all He is and all He has done for me.  These three songs have helped me to cope with life's up and downs.  I am so thankful that God blessed these voices with the gift of song.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Musings about Christmas

This version sung by the late Andy Williams reminds me of not only the "Ellen Degeneres Show" by also of my life right now.  I have been dealing with a lot this past year.  Without God, I would not have made it.  This is my favorite season of the year.  In no time, will Christmas be around the corner.  It seems like Christmas will be around the corner.  Life is so short.  It is a great time to celebrate.  I understand that there are people who have lost loved ones and friends, so it should not only be a time of celebration but of solemn rememberance. 

I don't listen to a lot of country music, but former American Idol Carrie Underwood is fantastic.  I tend to post videos on there to comment on them.  Oftentimes it is because I don't wish to skip a day and to catch up.  Other times it is because a song is quite important to me and I love to post videos online like I have doine here.  This is a great version of "Do You Hear What I Hear".  Jesus has arrived, has ressurected, is alive, and is coming back.  That is certainly enough reason for us to celebrate, especially those who are believers in Christ.

This version of "Mary Did You Know" by Clay Aiken is my favorite.  I do wonder what Mary was thinking when she gave birth to the Savior.  I have wondered if He was a rather easy child to raise because to say He would have been well-behaved would be an understatement.  I even wondered if Jesus even needed to be disciplined every once in a while.  I am sure that Jesus was raised by good parents and that God knew what He was doing when He chose Mary and Joseph to raise Him.  I wish I knew what happened during the 18 years from when His parents were looking for HIm to His ministry.  What did happen to the Lord over those years?  Does it really matter?  Maybe it doesn't, but it certainly doesn't hurt to wonder.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Even so, come Lord Jesus

Revelation 22:20-21
20 He which testifieth these things saith,Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 Corinthians 15:50-58

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Human" by Human League

This video and song is just simply fascinating.  I like that it takes me back to what was a simpler time for me.  However, I cannot say that it is nostalgic as much tragedy has occurred during that period as well.  I cannot recall other sad memories other than those.  We are all humans trying to live and survive on this planet.  We are created by God, yet flawed and a little lower than the angels.  God is the greatest Artist of all time.