Monday, August 3

Good Eating Monday: Quick Creamy Fruit Salad!

One of my favorite things for a quick semi-dessert style salad is just throwing together a can or two of fruit cocktail, a sliced banana  , if I have one ready, and some cool whip! 
But apparently there are "levels" of fruit salad.
What I just described is "basic" Creamy Fruit Salad:

Basic Creamy Fruit Salad
2 to 4 15oz cans of fruit cocktail, drained
1 or 2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 container of whipped topping

In a bowl combine the drained fruit cocktail, sliced banana, then add enough whipped topping to thoroughly coat your fruit. Cover & refrigerate until time to serve.
I often pick up various kinds of canned fruit on the dent & bent shelf at the grocery and creamy fruit salad is a good way to use them.

You can make your Creamy Fruit Salad fancier by adding any of the following:
*A small jar of Maraschino cherries, halved or whole
*A can of Mandarin Oranges
*Other canned fruit, such as pineapple,peaches, apricots or tropical fruit cocktail
*Fresh berries or blueberries

If you want to elevate your Creamy Fruit Salad to "Fruit Salad Fluff" add:
*Mini Marshmallows

Or, most deluxe of all:
Ambrosia Salad
1  15oz can of Fruit Cocktail, drained 
1 20oz can of Pineapple Chunks, drained
1  15oz can Mandarin Oranges, drained
1 small jar Maraschino Cherries, drained
1 to 2 cups Mini-Marshmallows
1 container of Whipped Topping for coating the fruit mix.

In a bowl combine all the drained fruit, marshmallows and enough whipped topping to thoroughly coat. Cover & refrigerate.

True Ambrosia Salad usually also includes:
1/2 cup to 1 cup of shredded coconut
So now you have a whole variety of quick Creamy Fruit Salads options, from simple to elaborate, to choose from!
What's your favorite creamy fruit salad combo?
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

Thursday, July 30

Mama Kat Thursday: The "I Am" Poem

The Mama Kat prompt I'm doing today is called, "The I Am Poem."  
It's based on this template that has blanks with suggestions for you to fill in that's keyed on words like, "I hear" or "I feel" or "I dream" and so on. 
It's a little like doing a serious mad-lib.
I did a little fine tuning once I got my basic poem here. The template will NOT save your poem once you've clicked, "Create my poem," so copy and paste it some place. If you don't, you'll have to fill the form out all over again. 
So, here's my "I Am" Poem: 

I Am
I am artistic and introverted.
I sometimes wonder what heaven will be like.
I hear the sound of solitude in my house.
I see what I want to draw in my mind's eye.
I want to make that idea a reality on my graphic program.
I am artistic and introverted.

I pretend I'm more interested in  idle conversations then I actually am.
I feel like a boat bobbing along on it's own little course in a great, wide ocean.
I touch my cat and feel her purr.
I worry often about what lays ahead for my life.
I cry alone in my quiet house, so no one knows how much that really worries me.

I am artistic and introverted.

I understand that I can only do the best I can with what I have.
I say what is positive and encouraging to others when I can.
I dream about having a couple Christian ladies my own age to meet with weekly for coffee.
I try to join my Yoga class for their once-a-month lunch out.
I hope to be a boat bobbing along with a few other boats like mine.
I am artistic and introverted. 
(Disclaimer: this is a poem put together on a fill in the blank format. While I do cry sometimes; I don't spend all my time crying; my life is relatively happy & fulfilling.)

You might like to give writing your own "I Am" Poem a try!

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Wednesday, July 29

Garden Pic Wednesday: Peek-A-Boo!

My friend, Jacqui, asked me how I manage caring for all my flower beds & garden.  There is always something that needs doing and,  in her case, she has a much larger yard with more extensive landscape she's trying to get established. 
I replied, "I just focus on one project at a time."
Especially in the summer Florida heat. I can't stay out all day like I could in the cool spring. I have to choose particular tasks on days I have allotted for working outside. 
This past Monday, the single outdoor project of the day was hedging & shaping the large gardenia shrub out front. That took about 2 hours and I took a cool down break for 30 minutes somewhere in there.
Today's single outdoor project was re-working a small section  of the back bed by thinning out the native day lilies from other locations and moving them to form a border there.
I worked for about an hour, then went in for lunch. While I was inside, a summer thunderstorm suddenly popped up and poured rain for about 30 minutes. The weather forecast predicted a 20 minute break between rain storms, so as soon as it stopped, I ran back out to finish planting the lilies I'd already dug up.  Despite a little sun, it was thundering and by the time my 20 minutes was up, it was ready to rain again, so I put tools away and got inside just as drops were falling.
Now, two hours later, it's all sunny again. That's Florida gardening.

Today's Garden Pics include a young Canary melon and a recent container garden addition:

"Peek-A-Boo" Melons!
I say thus because young melons blend in among the leaves, making them hard to see. Here's one just visible enough to get a snapshot of!
 Every morning, I'm out searching through the leaves for young forming melons, so I can put a can or something under them.

This is a Canary type melon called, "Amy." The outside turns a bright yellow and the white flesh inside tastes like honey when fully ripe. 

Next: My Newest Container Garden!
I have an over abundance of Gladiolas. Since the ground doesn't freeze in winter, they naturalize and, by that, I mean they prosper and spread readily.
Yet I like them. They make good vase flowers. So I saw a picture in Pinterest of Glads in a container that looked nice, so I decided to replant a number of Glad bulbs here, in the center of this large container.
I put a bamboo stake in the middle, so I can tie them up next spring and planted the bulbs in a circle around it.
Glads die back in winter, so I planted some other things around their circumference: a couple Vinca's, which will bloom still frost, a cutting of Dusty Miller which will stay blue-green all winter, and that gold stuff in front is "Creeping Jenny," which will also stay the same all winter.

Creeping Jenny is a ground cover often used as a "spiller" in containers. I decided I like  it so much, I looked up how to propagate it. It's just a matter of cutting a runner, stripping the leaves off an inch or so, dusting the stem in rooting hormone, thend sticking it in a small pot of soil.
So, I have 3 cuttings going that I'd like to add to my rain 
That's all for today! Come tomorrow for Mama Kat!

Tuesday, July 28

Polyvore Tuesday: Boho Chic with Faith Hope & Love!

Today's Polyvore set themed on more of a hippy look, called, "Boho Chic," with the slogan "Start Your Own Revolution!"
I was thinking of the Beatles song when I wrote it.
This set features a retro graphic cross-stitch design I created that looks like various fabrics have been cut into letters to spell the words, "Faith Hope Love" then cross stitched!
It reminds me of the old jean purses I used the carry in high school back in the 70's. Making your own jean purse from an old pair of faded jeans was the "in" thing! All the girls were making them.
It was just a matter of cutting off the legs, seaming the bottom together, stitching the fly closed, making a shoulder strap from a leg, then covering the bag with hippy peace sign patches and assorted embroidery. It was cool. And fun!
Designs shown here include a tank shirt, a Courier Bag that can serve as a purse & a Throw Pillow!
They're available on many shirt styles, bag sizes or pillow types
in my store  under the category marked: "Christian."
Also newly added with this design: a mug, a teapot and a corked-back coaster set that match the pillow!
There's mini-thumbnails below the picture you can click on for each Faith Hope Love item shown.

Boho Chic: Be Your Own Revolution!

That's it for today! Stop back for Garden Pics tomorrow!

Monday, July 27

Good Eating Monday: Planning A Balanced Meal

My Hubby used to eat lunch sometimes at the Bowling Alley on the Air Force base. He'd come home and tell me they were serving Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes and corn.
Well potatoes are a starchy vegetable and corn is a starchy vegetable: you never serve double starchy veggies and call it good!
I'd say, "What! Doesn't their chef know their food group basics for balanced nutrition?"
But large scale cafeteria operations frequently fall back on corn as their "veggie of choice" simply because it's cheaper then fresh broccoli and they can buy it in those giant, industrial sized cans.
Not that there's anything wrong with corn. I love corn. It does have nutritional value.
I'm just saying in the area of nutrition meal planning it's a rule of thumb to try and avoid having double starches in a single meal, when possible!
Eating burgers and fries at the fast food is actually another example of a double-starch eating situation. Bread and potato fires = two starches. To reduce this to a single starch eating situation, you'd want to order the side salad instead of fries.

Did you learn the food pyramid in school?
If not, here it is. Ideally, you want to work all these food groups into your daily eating to be healthy.
They're arranged in order from what you need the most of, such as grains & cereals, at the bottom, to the least important, such as sugars and oils at the top.

Recommended servings: 
Meat, Fish, Legumes, Nuts: 2 to 3 servings a day
Dairy: 3 servings minimum for kids. For adults this varies depending on gender and age. (Girls & women need a good calcium in-take all their lives.)
Fruits & veggies: Serve for every meal and as some snacks.
Whole Grain Breads, Rice, Pasta, Potatoes, etc: Every meal & some snacks. 
You want these kinds of starches in your diet because they digest slowly and help you feel full longer.
Now this is also a general rule of thumb and there's wiggle room for adults, depending on your purpose, such as body building or weight loss.
However, for your intestines to work properly keep in mind that all people absolutely need good solid, daily intake of both vegetable roughage and whole grain roughage. Also eating fruits with skin, like apples or grapes offers additional roughage.
The Balanced Plate:
This is a visual aid for meal planning & food portions.
The main point is to see that you're supposed to eat twice as many veggies as meat & grain products on the plate.
(I say "on the plate," because I usually have a cup of milk with every meal for calcium in-take, which I consider my drink.)
The grain portion of the plate represents "starchy grains or veggies," so, as you plan your meal, you can choose put a baked potato for the "grain" spot, a steak for your meat PLUS the equivalent of 2 green veggies--but let's say you want to add a salad---which has multiple veggies in it--well, you've  more then met your goal for a for a balanced, nutritious meal!

But what about a stir-fry or a casserole or jambalaya?

Now you've got a mixed pile of stuff on the plate that's not in neat sections anymore.
 That's where  principle of "more veggies then protein or grains" comes in.
Casseroles often have  meat, several veggies plus cheese! Just add a fruit on the side or a salad for bonus veggie points.
Stir-fry's are naturally loaded with more then 2 veggies plus a meat served over rice. That's already fantastic. 
What about lasagna? If you make your own, add extra veggies: bell peppers, onions and even mushrooms to the sauce before making. If you buy it, have a salad with lots of veggie additions with it.
Just some examples.
What about beans? 
This is the legume family, like Chick Peas, Navy Beans, Black Beans, Kidney Beans and so on.
I generally plan them as a protein in a meal, though technically they're also veggies & something of a starch.
Green baby & regular size lima beans are legumes as well. Mix them with corn and create a protein- packed veggie mix called "Succotash."  (Though try not to serve it with potatoes.)
Life's not perfect. Eat what you enjoy. Eat a wide variety of things.  Our bodies need a balance of protein, fiber, calcium & vitamins from a wide assortment of sources. Make you plate as full of as many colors as you can  and it will be fairly healthy.

Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!