Rustic Glazed Carrots

img_20161208_152920I LOVE carrots… any way shape or form. I love them roasted, in soups, and even just fresh. They are the epitome of “earthy”. So I rarely peel them. I buy organic carrots, wash them thoroughly and leave the skin on. I feel it makes them even better. So when we were forced to follow restricted diets in our house, I have had to slowly revamp our favorite holiday dishes… not an easy task. I was pretty happy with the results of changing my glazed carrot recipe and even though they aren’t perfect, they are much improved, and the flavor is still there. This recipe is lower in sugar, sodium, fat and calories than my original. But, don’t despair.. I will be posting my original recipes as well 🙂img_20170102_084043

You will need:

  • 6-8 large organic carrots washed thoroughly, not peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Truvia sugar substitute
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 TBS organic honey

In a medium saucepan put carrots then all other ingredients, except reserve 1/2 c of water to add during cooking. img_20161124_144642916_hdr

Cook covered on low to low/medium heat, stoves vary. You don’t want carrots to boil just simmer. At the 30 min point gently stir the carrots and if it looks like they need more water add some of your reserve. You don’t want them to get dry or they will stick or burn but you also don’t want them swimming lol you want them to get a little syrupy. Cook at same heat another 30 min checking and gently stirring periodically. Add more water when needed. The carrots will take 45-90 min to cook depending on your pan and stoves heat. They are done when you stick a fork in and the carrots are nice and soft. They will stay hot covered in the pan even off the heat while you take time to prepare other dishes for your meal. Stir well before serving and pour entire contents of pan into serving dish. You want all that good syrup in there 🙂img_20151127_095155-1**This is a pic of my original recipe. It’s a lot more syrupy but has more sodium, fat, sugar and calories. I will post my original soon 🙂

Serve with an added drizzle of olive oil and honey. Serves 6-8

**If you like more salt either use salted butter or add 1 tsp of salt to the other ingredients.

Enjoy! 🙂

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

17 Days… Chapter 14

fb_img_1461121487737Back to life…back to reality. (This about sums up how we felt about it all 🙂 )

We are now back from vacation and trying to get back to normal…well OUR normal. And, there is a pesky question eating away at us that needs to be addressed.

Before we went on vacation, Hubby was presented with a huge decision to make by his cardiologist… do I get a defibrillator implanted in my chest??? For those of you who are not familiar with what this is, it is literally bionic man type stuff. It is a little unit about the size of a business card with little probes that go to your heart. If needed it can send an electric current to the heart to re-regulate the heart beat. The heart is continuously monitored and if anything goes wrong it notifies the bigger programmed unit (sits next to his bed) and then notifies the company. At anytime they can check all his hearts functions and how it has been beating. See? I told you… bionic man.. so crazy.

At first, Hubby was very against this. When we left for vacation he was pretty convinced it was a no. They told him that out of 10 patients like him only 2 or 3 may ever need the defibrillator to save their life.. but that there is no way of knowing which patient or when. It acts as a sort of insurance policy just-in-case anything ever goes wrong.

I, of course, was totally for it and the doctor said Hubby couldn’t be intimate with his wife or step up his exercise if he didn’t have it done. I’m like… WHAT!!!! Ahhhhhhh.. Hubby! You are gettin this thing!!! And after he thought about it, he came to the same conclusion. And even though he hated the thought of this little machine being in his chest and causing even MORE limitations in his life, he knew it was the best thing to do.

So…we made the appointment and then the doc scheduled the surgery. Yes… SURGERY. Guess how much WE were looking forward to THAT! More lovely hospital, more lovely probing, prodding, and recovery. Remember when we were in the hospital in Florida and I was having that awful feeling of wow, my life is now going to be in and out of hospitals from now on? It was coming back. I am always so ashamed when I say these things. There are so many people so much worse off than we and I need to zip it and stop with the pity party! And thankfully I do. I come back, probably because General Char won’t stand for the whoa is me malarkey, and I suck it up and do what I need to do. It is so easy to forget that you are NEVER alone and God is there. He WILL take care of you. I really believe that God sent me the General to remind me of this and to keep me on the right track. And to give me strength when Everyday Char gets wimpy and loses faith.preview-23

Believe-it-or-not, the surgery was scheduled right on Hubby’s birthday! 😦 We had to have a Friday so Hubby didn’t miss much work and that happened to be the Friday that was open. So… Happy Birthday Dear!! Poor guy. But, he seemed to be okay with it all. He just wanted it to be over with. This is not an easy procedure. You bounce back in about a week or two but it is VERY painful and you have to wear this crazy contraption wrapped around you to hold your arm still while you sleep. You can’t lift or twist your arm for quite a while until the scar tissue builds around the unit. You can’t take the chance of the unit moving or tearing anything or you will be back in surgery. img_20160819_075057430-1

The surgery went well. We stayed in the hospital for a night and 2 days…so in our usual hospital world…not too bad! As expected, Hubby WAS in a lot of pain but Tylenol took the edge off. We had fun every night wrapping him in that crazy mummy wrap thing. We still laugh about it. But, we were very diligent and followed all of doctors orders and he was recovering well. He went back to work early that week and was very careful. We later that week figured out that Hubby could no longer use his cell phone on the side the unit was on, nor wear his Fitbit on that arm. He also had to watch certain electronic waves like his work walkie talkies and if he were to fly he has to carry an ID card so they know he is now bionic and will set off the security alarms!! Like I said…just MORE limitations. But, we got used to the others and we will work to get used to these. 🙂

So as Hubby recovered he got the ok to become more “physically active”… and Everyday Char was having a party!! The General just took a backseat and had a good giggle at my excitement! You just don’t realize how much you miss one another until things settle down. I wrote about this in a previous chapter so you know my struggles with all of this, but it truly is the last thing you think about when you are in survival mode. You just think of having more time and how much you love each other. As Hubby became stronger and stronger, Wifey was sending out the signals…like, ok buddy! It’s time! And…. we will just leave it at that 🙂 419

As time goes on the doctors keep confirming that Hubby has defied all the odds with his recovery. When we left the hospital the first time, as I told you, they didn’t have much positive to say about his prognosis. They would have never dreamed he would be where he is today. When Hubby had his second V02 test the nurses were flipping out over his results!!! They said they had NEVER seen a patient go from the number he had on the first test to the number he scored on the second. It was such a huge jump! This test measures oxygen levels from the heart and lungs when you are pushed to your limit on physical activity. It’s done on a treadmill.

So along with that blessing, he was also recently able to completely go off his insulin shots and just take a pill. They also diagnosed him with type 2 diabetes instead of type one. Hubby is convinced that soon he will be able to go off the insulin pill as well.  And I believe him. He is so strict on his diet and exercise that I truly think he is right.

He works out just as hard as normal non-heart patients and maybe even harder. He still has limitations concerning how much weight he can lift and with running, but he is making it all work and I couldn’t be prouder of him.   img_20150205_114659987

I still see little moments when he silently struggles with his new self and I see a sense of mourning for his old life come thru… but I really think that aside from the limitations he now has, he is really in a sense, better than he was. I like seeing him take pride in himself and his health, and in turn it makes us as a family healthier and happier. He has become more independent and self sufficient and I think has a new appreciation for me. Looks at me in a different way that he really couldn’t until all this happened to him. And, I as well can look at him in a way I never did before.

The funny thing is, if you didn’t know Hubby before you wouldn’t look at him and think he had ever gone thru any of this. He looks like a wonderfully fit 52 yr old. But those of you who knew him when, he looks totally different than his old self.. and when you first see him you almost don’t recognize him.

Our goal now is to continue to improve his heart and his health and to hopefully get off some more medication. No one wants to take all those pills everyday if they don’t have to. IMG_20160324_205924314_HDR

I want to thank ALL of you as I finish this final chapter of our story. I want to sincerely thank you for reading this and taking interest in a time in our lives that changed us all. I felt lead to write this story and to work on recipes and this blog not only by God, but by all of the outpouring of concern and love we received from all of you. I felt I needed to share all of this with you because you deserved to have me take the time to write it for all you did for us. The prayer, love, donations, and concern will NEVER be forgotten and was a big part of why we made it thru. Please know that those things you do, no matter how small, when people are suffering, even if they don’t tell you at first, MATTER…and make the BIGGEST difference. Every word all of you wrote on Facebook or in a card, or words that were spoken, then and now, filled and fills us with joy and hope, and has blessed us beyond words. We appreciate and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts now and always. resized_20161225_140908

And please don’t leave me, lol, Char has much more to say and share and more recipes to create! So stay tuned on creationsbychar for a lot more to come! Especially as we embark on our last and final move… (gosh we are getting too old for this!) to go back home and bring our family back together. Do I smell a reality show? Ya never know.. and man…it sure would be a GOOD one!!! 🙂img_20160121_101050-1ohio-state(We’re comin back baby!!!!)

Until next time.. be a blessing…share a blessing…be blessed.. xoxo

Written by:

Char Head 🙂

Creations_by_Char

 

17 Days… Chapter 13

fullsizerender_3-1“Oh.. we will be fine.” Hubby says with his usual boasting confidence. But, I, the realist, and some would say the pessimist, do not share this “la-la land” opinion.

It is now July and Hubby has been back to work for some time now and we are all adjusting more and more and he is making small but great strides. One challenge with any heart condition is extreme temperatures. And when you live in sunny Tennessee the summers are brutal. The heat and humidity can choke you. Hubby has had to be very careful being exposed to this heat for many reasons. He is still on a fluid restriction so he doesn’t have much hydration to spare and the extreme heat can be very trying on a compromised heart.

So, with all this in mind we began to address our upcoming trip to Florida for our daughter’s national softball tournament. I was beginning to fret more and more about it and of course Hubby had his “head in the sand” (pun intended) and was thinking of beaches and relaxation and softball. A little itty bitty part of me was as well, but most of me WAS NOT. Here’s where MY mind was….

**To Pack: Blood pressure machine, blood sugar meter, meter supplies, needles, insulin (has to be kept refrigerated) all 14 bottles of meds, cotton, alcohol, OJ, appropriate snacks and meals for trip, medical notebook, medical paperwork and all medical phone numbers, insurance info, Ziploc bags, sharpie, organic spices, and special measuring water bottle…and Oh Lord please let that be everything! Hubby’s life depends on it. And, Oh yeah, clothes, toothbrushes and sunscreen!

Starting to see my point????

Luckily, we would be staying in a condo that has a kitchen because we will need to prepare most of our meals… so that means we will have to shop for all our special ingredients when we get there. The 2 biggest challenges I saw coming were the actual softball game schedule and of course the heat. Hubby was on such a regimented schedule that I was worried about how we would handle his blood sugar checks and meals. In addition, I was very concerned about him sitting thru these games in all that heat. Shade doesn’t make that much difference when its 100 degrees and so humid you can’t breathe.

And of course, no matter how much I voiced my concerns Hubby was still vigorously trying to convince me it would all be fine.

Now, I know most women would agree that men tend to have this “It’s no biggie” attitude with just about everything… with the exception of when they are at the top of the blood pressure scale, watching a football game with bated breath because they need just ONE MORE catch from their best receiver to win that week’s fantasy football…. you with me?? It’s only THEN that we actually see the female “worry wart” mentality rear it’s ugly head out of their normally passive suave demeanor. 🙂

So, I believe we got to the point of agreeing to disagree and sucked it up and began to prepare for this trip. There is no doubt General Char will have to make an appearance for a while or we will never leave in an orderly fashion.

With many, many double checks, a van packed with the 6 of us and a trunk bursting at the seams, we were off! General Char for some reason didn’t leave yet, probably because I was so worried about everything that I kept her around as a safety net for my own piece of mind.

The trip wasn’t too bad. About 7 hours. We did pretty good with stops and Hubby’s blood sugar and meals. Got stuck in traffic for an hour when we got there. It was so congested. I guess it was big day for most people to arrive. img_6550-1

The small resort we were staying at was an older place, kinda reminded me of something from Mad Men. It was much more affordable than most places at this beach and our new strained budget was thankful. We were pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was. It was private and had its own beach. All we had to do was walk out our door, walk down the sidewalk, and we were on the beach! If you have ever been to Fort Walton you know just how BEAUTIFUL that beach is. The water is crystal blue and the sand is pure white. I have never been a big beach person but this one won me over..it was Heaven on earth. And, after all we had just been through, it was a welcome blessing. img_20160718_172409130-1

So, we began to get organized and I spent a lot of time setting up our food supply and all our belongings. It felt like home pretty quickly. the condos were not fancy and a lot of them pretty outdated, but they were clean and pretty roomy. I think that’s what gave them a homey feel because they WERE so outdated. Ours had some updates though and newer appliances which was perfect for how much time we would be in that kitchen. They had a gorgeous pool which the kids thoroughly enjoyed and this place was so neat they even hosted weddings. There was a banquet hall on site as well. As you can tell we would highly recommend this resort 🙂 img_20160718_175907335-1

We seemed to be managing ok. Hubby would try to get his walking in early and he stayed in the shade as much as possible. But, it was just so hot ALL the day through. And, we really kind of forgot to take into account how much hydration Hubby would lose in all that extended exposure to that heat and didn’t increase his fluid intake enough to compensate for it. Remember, we were in “keep the swelling away mode” and we were petrified of that coming back, so we thought we were doing everything right. I felt Hubby was exerting himself a little too much on his walks but he claimed he always felt good, but what we learned the hard way is that dehydration doesn’t show any signs until it becomes serious…

All of a sudden, Hubby started telling me his stomach didn’t feel right and he was increasingly having a hard time eating, which is not good for his blood sugar. We both thought it may be from him just doing too much so he stayed back at the condo for the day and rested. But, then out of the blue, he started throwing up… probably every hour and could not keep anything down.

Now this all started to seem just too familiar. Too much like when he first got sick and we thought he had the stomach flu. I kept it to myself but my thoughts were this was heart related and I was getting more than worried. I already told myself and was getting myself prepared for an ER trip. I could feel General Char bubbling up because in my gut I could feel what was coming. The kids were getting worried. I felt so bad for them and for Hubby. I know he was feeling guilty for interrupting the vacation and the kids felt guilty if they did anything fun while Dad was so sick. img_20160722_185113811img_20160722_132341104

So, after a full day of this I made a decision and Hubby didn’t have a say this time. I wasn’t taking any chances. If he was having another episode I wasn’t waiting… even though his blood pressure and blood sugar numbers seemed to be fine at the moment his other symptoms were not good signs so we packed it ALL up and headed to the nearest ER. It was in the evening so I knew we would probably be there all night so I prepared the kids and made sure they had all they needed.

We would have never expected what we walked into.. this ER was somethin! When we first pulled into the parking lot we were relieved because it was a heart center. Ok..that’s good. Looked like a pretty good hospital and thankfully it was the closest. Then we walked in….

WOW… if I hadn’t been so desperate we would have left. I am pretty sure we were in a waiting room with every scary person who had an emergency in town. We tried really hard not to make eye contact and sat in the only corner we could find.

Hubby was holding up pretty good. He stopped throwing up mostly because he had nothing left. I kept making him sip water at least. We got called in to get registered pretty fast because he was high risk and I think they wanted to make sure he wasn’t having a heart attack. They did an EKG and thankfully it was good. That was a huge relief. But, still the mystery of why he’s so sick?

We, unfortunately had to go back to the waiting room… ugh it was terrible. After about an hour or so they called us in. They put Hubby in a bed and we went thru paperwork and a million questions. It had become obvious to them that Hubby was severely dehydrated and they immediately started him on an IV of fluids.

He was so tired so he slept for a while. I had brought a book so I tried to read. It wasn’t easy to do any of it with the sounds happening all around us. The only thing separating us from all these scary moans and screaming, yelling and coughing like I have never heard is a thin curtain hanging around us. We were all crammed in there like sickly sardines and I felt like I needed a mask and lots of hand sanitizer.. and possibly a security guard!

On a side note.. after all was said and done, when it came time to report all this to Hubby’s cardiologist we came to find out his nurse practitioner had her first job at that hospital in Florida and she said it was the WORST place she ever worked and tried everything to get out of there!! We weren’t surprised…

Finally, after I think like 4 hours we finally see a doctor. It was confirmed that Hubby was dehydrated and this doc did not like how low his BP was. We tried to explain that this was normal for him but that wasn’t enough. They wanted him to stay until his BP went up a bit. But after another 4 hours they FINALLY let us go home because he was no longer symptomatic and could see his BP was just going to stay low. I was never so glad to leave somewhere. I think I had about 10 crying episodes during that ER visit. I tried to keep it from Hubby though because he felt bad enough. I just kept feeling this fear creep up on me that our life had now become about THIS. About being in and out of SCARY ER’s and always worrying. But, once we got back to the condo I pulled it together and realized how thankful I was that Hubby was ok and that we dodged another bullet. img_20160718_175925023

We had a couple days left before we had to leave so we made the best of it. We kept Dad as cool and hydrated as possible and he was feeling much better. He was starting to eat better and was getting some energy back. The kids were so relieved and were starting to have fun again. I just sat back and watched them. I don’t care how old they get I never tire of watching them goof off and have fun. I never tire of watching them do anything. We are very fortunate… our kids have such crazy unique relationships and it’s adorable, dysfunctional, and just so entertaining all at the same time. They are special and we are so blessed…we love those goofballs so much 🙂 img_6646-1

We hated to leave that gorgeous beach. Even though we had a crazy couple days we would like to forget, that was one of the best vacations we have ever had. Being on that beach was really good for Hubby’s spirit and all of us being together was wonderful. We were missing our oldest son and his family.. unfortunately they couldn’t get the time off work 😦 Hopefully we can have the ENTIRE gang there next time.

And as for the softball games, it wasn’t a very winning week but not too bad. I have NO idea how those girls played in that heat.. bless their hearts.. they are tough cookies!! img_20160717_164735807_hdr-1

Since this trip we have had no crazy scares and we are ever so THANKFUL. But, with that episode and the advice of Hubby’s doc we are now faced with making a new decision…

Defibrillator or no defibrillator????

Until next time.. be a blessing.. share a blessing.. be blessed… xoxofb_img_1469577080612

 

 

 

 

A Beautiful Home in Sunny Middle Tennessee Just Waiting For You…***THIS HOME IS SOLD!!! :)

img_20161203_111040If you have ever thought of moving to middle Tennessee or the Nashville area you MUST take a look at this home! A beautiful 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1.5 story ranch style home with 2676 sq ft and much curb appeal and charm. This home is move in ready and very well maintained with very motivated sellers offering incentives to the buyer AND the selling agent. The home offers warmth and hominess while still maintaining a classy polished feel. Located in a very quiet, quaint, and safe neighborhood close to schools, freeway access and where every home is well maintained. Perfect for walking, biking and just enjoying the beautiful Tennessee weather. This is a must see!

Just think of sitting out on your inviting front porch in your perfectly appointed rocking chairs on a warm Tennessee evening, or with hot cocoa on a crisp southern December night filled with endless starry skies. Tennessee is the perfect place for those who want to migrate south away from the harsh winters but still enjoy season changes.

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An all brick home with a fenced in yard and beautiful seasonal views. How would you like to see this gorgeous sight everyday out your kitchen nook window during every Fall on this lovely property?

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A striking contemporary style that sits on this property like a picture postcard.

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And how BEAUTIFUL is a very rare Tennessee snow storm? Doesn’t get prettier than this!

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Beautiful black granite countertops sparkle in this classic, roomy adorable kitchen perfectly designed for cooking and serving.

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Enjoy all the beautiful perennials and rock garden in this spacious yard that is perfect for cookouts and gardening!

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And Holidays are easy to enjoy with the very little effort it takes to make this house festive and inviting 🙂

This home is waiting for the perfect buyer and that could be you!!!! For more info please call Dana @ 931-434-2491 or @ Remax 1st Realty 931-728-5552

 

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img_20161203_111040Created and written by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

 

Peppered Bacon Green Beans

img_20151126_193203-1If you are looking for a change from green bean casserole for the holidays I invite you to try this delicious and easy recipe. Now this doesn’t fall into my Healthy Selection category (AT ALL) but it IS for the Holidays when you make those little splurges. I have never been a fan of the good ol’ green bean casserole and this is what I have always made, and as far as I know, I haven’t had any complaints 🙂

You will need:

  • 1 pkg. (includes 3 bags) Schwan’s Live Smart Microsteam Green Beans (you can also use fresh washed green beans)
  • 6-8 slices Schwan’s Thick Sliced bacon thawed and cut into 1 inch pieces (you can use the whole package if you like more bacon)
  • 1 c water to start- may need a little more throughout cooking
  • approx. 1 tsp fresh ground pepper up to 1-1/2 tsp if you like a little more pepper flavorimg_20161122_094245284

In a 5-7 quart pot, non-stick works best, on medium heat fry and stir bacon pieces until crispy. Remove from heat. Remove half the cooked bacon and set aside…you will use it for serving. Put all 3 bags of frozen green beans in pot and add the water. Yes, you will leave the bacon and bacon grease in the pot. Cover and cook on very low heat for at least an hour. I prefer 2 hours. Check and stir occasionally because you may need to add a little water at times and you want to mix those flavors around.

Beans should become a lighter green and limp but not mushy… then you will know they are done. Give them a gentle stir and transfer to a serving dish and garnish with remaining bacon. Can’t get easier than that!! 🙂  Makes approx. 10-12 servings

They are also great leftover and can be made ahead for large groups and warmed up to serve. img_20151126_193203-1

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

Mexi Magic Go To Meal

img_20161117_121734I call this recipe “magic” because it’s literally like you wave a magic wand and dinner is done!! Any day and anyway. I make this weekly. It’s fast, easy, and the serving possibilities are endless! We are talking.. burritos, tacos, nachos, pizza, taco or burrito bowls, salads, or anything else you can come up with. And guess what? It’s one of my Healthy Selection recipes! You just can’t go wrong. Another plus is you can easily interchange some of the ingredients to match whatever you have in the pantry. So, just don’t sit there.. make this tonight!! And don’t forget it’s great leftover 🙂

First you will need:

  • 1 lb. Perdue ground chicken ( you can also use ground turkey or any other meat or seafood.. but when you use beef the nutritional numbers will change)
  • 2 TBS Canola Oil
  • (I prefer Simply Organic herbs and spices in my recipes)
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1- 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Curry powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Wooden spoonimg_20161114_154117811_hdr

Then you will need:

  • 1- 14.5 oz. can No salt added Diced tomatoes, drained a little (any flavor is fine)
  • 2 c Frozen corn
  • 1 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1- 15 oz.can Reduced sodium black beans drained and rinsed (or any beans you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 2 tsp Dried Cilantro (or fresh if you have it)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp Onion powder

****Suggested toppings….

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Tortilla Chips ( for salads or bowls you can use the “at the bottom of the bag chips”)
  • Jalapenos
  • Salsa
  • Hot Sauce
  • Fritos
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Sour cream

In an iron skillet or non-stick pan warm Canola oil on medium heat. Add ground chicken, wash hands thoroughly.

Begin to break up and cook chicken then add pepper flakes, 1-1/2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp curry, 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp cumin. Continue to stir, chicken should begin to turn white and no longer pink. Add tomatoes and corn and gently stir. Then add pepper, and 1-1/2 tsp chili powder. Stir. Add rinsed black beans and fold them into the chicken mixture. Now add coriander, cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp curry, and 1-1/2 tsp onion powder. (you are adding spices in layers, it creates the best flavor) img_20160820_181122105

Turn heat down to low and continue to gently stir until all ingredients are blended and hot. Remove from heat and that’s it!!! (If mixture gets a little dry before serving just stir in a little more canola oil)

Serve in burritos, taco shells, salads, on pizza, in burrito or taco bowls, on nachos, throw it on a bun like sloppy joes or just eat it as is! I have listed suggested toppings but you can top with anything you choose. You can double the recipe for larger groups or for leftovers. If you want more heat add more chili powder and maybe some cayenne.img_20161117_121734

Created with love by:

Creations_by_Char

Char Head 🙂

Enjoy!!!

 

Thanksgiving is Almost Here!… It’s My FAVORITE Holiday and I’m Gonna Fight For It! :)

img_20151129_144806-1Most do not pick Thanksgiving as their favorite holiday. In fact, nowadays Thanksgiving is almost forgotten. Forgotten among the explosion of Christmas décor, marketing and sales blanketed all over every retail outlet and television on the planet IMMEDIATELY after Halloween….and some don’t even wait that long.

Every year without fail it saddens me. Every year our beautiful Holiday of Thanksgiving gets pushed further and further into oblivion. I feel as if it is treated as a hindrance to the Christmas season. Like people would rather it just disappear so they no longer have to bother with it when they want to shop and decorate. It just gets in the way. In fact.. Black Friday… really?? People now plan their Thanksgiving dinner AROUND Black Friday. Ooooo but wait! Black Friday has now bled into THURSDAY… now we go “Black Friday” shopping on Thursday.. on THANKSGIVING! Now it doesn’t even have it’s OWN day. Before we know it, Black Friday will turn into a week long event and instead of turkey and dressing on a beautiful plate we will be eating turkey subs at Subway on a pit stop between the sale at Walmart and the sale at Electronic Express.  img_20151126_185416*That’s what I’m talkin about!! Pumpkin pie baby!!!

Thanksgiving is such a beautiful thing and I am here to remind you all of this. It is the most simplest of Holidays. You sit, watch football, eat, sleep, eat, watch more football, eat, and talk about what you are thankful for. Yes, for the Thanksgiving cook, it’s not all THAT easy and relaxing… but most of us who host Thanksgiving dinner do it because we love it. We do it because we get pure joy out of this Holiday and get much satisfaction out of seeing others enjoy the fruits of our labor. I personally want to cry every year when the people I love are sitting around my beautiful table, eating my food and laughing and just enjoying the moment. There’s no pressure.. no buying or wrapping gifts..no costumes.. no singing carols out of tune.. no hoping you bought the right size or if you will please the receiver of your gift…usually no big snow storms.. just amazing food, love, thankfulness, togetherness, simplicity, and in my house laughter, brutal roasting and good stories. Oooo yeah, and lots of Chex Mix!!! img_20151127_085109-1*Mouth watering stuffing…making you a believer yet??

And Fall décor… are you kidding! It’s the BEST! The smells are intoxicating! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, the smell of pine and Christmas décor but there is just something about leaves starting to fall and cinnamon and pumpkin spice and that first Fall cool air…the smell of burning leaves and pumpkin patches. This year we ran across a huge pumpkin patch in Ohio that was ALL white pumpkins.. it was breathtaking. Then there is Fall clothes of course! When we get to layer our clothes, wear scarves and boots, and our makeup actually STAYS on. You only get these special things in Fall 🙂img_20161007_123325307_hdrimg_20161108_111845*If you burn these two scents together your house will smell like a pumpkin spice latte!

And as I regularly express my frustration over the unfair treatment of Thanksgiving I also have a huge problem with what has happened to the meaning of Christmas. It has become so commercial and so much about sales, gifts and shopping that we have lost the real love that is supposed to be in there. We forget who’s birthday it is and WHY it’s called Christmas. fb_img_1459092382034

So my little protest, and I don’t know if anyone cares lol, is that I REFUSE to put up ONE Christmas decoration, buy ONE Christmas gift, or shop ONE sale until AFTER Black Friday. I would rather give birth again than to go shopping Thanksgiving weekend. Why oh why do you all go thru that torture just to save a few bucks? Guess what? The sales will continue ALL the way until Christmas Eve. And better yet… you can sit at home and shop in your jammies and eat leftover Thanksgiving food while you do it!img_20151127_091949-1*Best pic of mashed potatoes EVER! Bet you can taste them! (These are MY Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and MY photography…thank you very much! LOL)

So as you begin to plan your Holiday festivities for 2016 please try to remember poor little Thanksgiving and give it it’s well deserved due. It is important TOO, and I think if you make it important again you will begin to remember just how special of a Holiday it has ALWAYS been and will continue to be. 🙂 img_20151201_093217-1*My Thanksgiving leftover casserole… always a hit!!!