Tag Archives: food

Senseless Indulgence

Photo above is of Zeke’s First Birthday Cake

Tea ~ Clean Sweep, a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law

For the last 2 days, I have literally been unable to taste or smell anything. Even sticking my head over a bowl of hot water with peppermint and eucalyptus (which Greg said was like being punched in the face with peppermint), nothing. I feel the burn, but cannot smell it. We considered going out for a nice-ish dinner last night, but why? What’s the point?

It got me thinking about how much of our eating is indulgence and purely done for pleasure. Of course, God created our senses to enjoy and find pleasure (or displeasure) in the things we see, smell, taste, touch and hear. Our senses are used to tell us if there is danger, like the heat and smell of a fire where there should not be one or the sound and vibration of a glass that has fallen and broken. And they are used to bring us gratification and delight through a hug or kiss from a loved one, or the sound and sight of your child giggling. I ate a bowl of ice cream last night based on the memory of what it tasted like, trying to recreate the same experience I’ve had hundreds of times before, but was left with disappointment and calories I probably didn’t need.

Even drinking this tea right now, I’m disappointed I can’t taste it and am drinking it purely for the health benefits and because I should. How would our food choices change if we could not taste or smell? Even Subway pumps that fresh bread smell out into the air and on to the sidewalk as you stroll by. It’s like they know we will indulge if we could just smell how good it is and much of our taste is from smell, so then we would have gratification with our 6-inch (ok….footlong) veggie delight (ok…meatballs with extra cheese…aaaaand bacon). What a sales tactic! The Blommer Chocolate Factory in Chicago smells amazing when the wind is blowing just right in River North, but on some days, it smelled just as close to chocolate as it did to poo. I’m sure that was just a hybrid mixture of Blommer and the Chicago River. Ew. But to prove my point, our indulgences can make us feel as awful in guilt and sickness as they do in pleasure and enjoyment.

I pray that we can make healthy choices with our minds, bodies and senses, and will indulge in God’s Word and plan for our lives in 2015. I want to recreate the love God has for me with the love I pour out on others and I want to experience the joy and peace that only comes through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35

Be encouraged!

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Cheddar Biscuits

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Ingredients:

Biscuits:
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
4 Tbsp cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Butter Glaze:
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (I just used 2 forks). Don’t worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes in preheated oven or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits. Makes one dozen.
Need to use up some zucchini? Grate a small zucchini, about 3/4 cup. Strain the grated zucchini in a cheesecloth or some paper towels to get rid of the excess moisture. Add the grated zucchini to the biscuit batter when you add the cheese and milk.

Dutch Apple Baby Pancake

Tea ~ Caramel Apple

Have you ever used a Vita-Mix? It’s the most amazing blender/food processor ever! They use it to make blended drinks and smoothies at coffee shops and restaurants. It heats up pureed soups while it’s on, it turns wheat berries into flour, it grinds coffee, you can put all your ingredients into it to make guacamole…only halving a tomato, no need to chop it! I love it!

I tried making my own flour for the first time since getting one in April, and I didn’t realize how easy it would be! I may just do this regularly. All-purpose flour tends to bleach out important nutrients like zinc and magnesium, which I’m pretty sure I have been deficient in and has been causing some health issues for me the last few months/years. And even “whole wheat flour” could be caramel colored to make it look more healthy, the key word is “grain” if you are looking for a flour that has not lost much of it’s nutritional value, as in “whole grain wheat flour.”

Hubby & I got up a little early this morning before church to make this Dutch Apple Baby Pancake for breakfast together. See below for the recipe or skip below for my quick summary of it (based on the photo at the top of this post).

Dutch Apple Baby

Wheat berries turned into flour, sugar turned into to powdered sugar (I did not know that was how powdered sugar was made! Just stick it into the vita-mix!), sauteed apples in butter, cinnamon, sugar & nutmeg, blended pancake batter mixed in the vita-mix & poured over the top of the apples top and bake. Garnish with powdered sugar & cinnamon. DELISH!

This might be a new signature breakfast/dessert dish in the Amidon house. Taking it to our Bible Study/Gospel Community right now along with a big carafe of Caramel Apple Rooibos Tea. I’m sure it will be a hit!

Running late.. Always?

Tea ~ Herbal Spa
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Here are a few quick tips to improving your arrival time. The first thing you have to do is tell yourself you ARE going to change your behavior. As a mom or a woman, we are notorious for coming up with any excuse we can to explain why we should be privileged enough to be late and be continuously excused for our tardies. I promise if you arrive early you will be less stressed and you will enjoy your day and your life more. Plus, if you are ready before you need to leave, you could impress your friends, spouse and kids that you have your life together. This isn’t a competition or a status builder for anyone but yourself.

Quick tips.

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    1. GROOMING Sit down and think how you want to present yourself daily; if you want to shower and do your hair and makeup, think about how much time you would need if you didn’t want to ever be rushed. I know for that part of my day if I am going to dry and style my hair I need 1.5 hours, I don’t like to be rushed on ME time so if I need to be somewhere I get up early so that I feel presentable.

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    1. FAITH Are you in a small group right now that is going through a book? A women’s bible study that is going through some material? How about a daily devotional you do just because? Have you wanted to read and just haven’t made the time. Instead of being rushed to all our to do lists, kids, and work things after your grooming CARVE OUT 5-10 mins to read and pray before you start your day (notice I didn’t say try to, I just said do it!). That way when Monday night rolls around and you are off to small group, you’ve already read your material days ago and you have been praying about it and letting it be on your mind. I suggest not using any screens (NO PHONE, TABLET, COMPUTER or TV on) for your Faith time. It is so good to have your bible that you can write in, your book you can mark up and no distractions. If you have kids, your Grooming and Faith time will work out better before the kids are even awake. Trust me. I know it seems early but then when you “clock in” as mom your time is devoted to your kids and you don’t feel neglected because you have taken time already for yourself.

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    1. TEA [COFFEE] BREAKFAST Feel free to enjoy a brew of your favorite TEA over your Faith time but don’t let this consume your minutes with our Father! Your breakfast can wait. Think of it this way, if you only ate one meal a week you would probably die sooner than later. Now think of your one meal as your Sunday service helping of time with your Father. If you aren’t feeding your soul with the good news of the Gospel than you will be frail and starving in everything else you are doing. So try to focus on feeding your soul with the Good News, your Sword, the BIBLE, because I promise if you are feeding the Holy Spirit inside of you, you will not starve physically. Breakfast is the most important part of your day. I start with a minimum of 8 oz of water to rejuvenate my body from its long night of work while I slept. If you close your eyes and focus on your body when you drink that cold water first thing in the morning you can almost feel it reaching to every part of the inside of you. I would encourage you all to drink something warm with breakfast. I of course recommend  TEA but there is also that other thing called coffee if you must. 🙂 By eating some form of food following your drinks you will kick start your metabolism. By not drinking water or eating food before you start working or taking care of other people, you aren’t taking care of yourself #1 and #2 you are telling your body it doesn’t need to turn on yet. Buy not eating you will find your self more tired and less energized. So grab a banana, oatmeal, cliff bar, a single serving of yogurt with a fruit like raspberries or blueberries and watch your body burn calories. Make sure you are watching your serving size as breakfast isn’t suppose to be a heavy meal. I try to make whatever one serving would be and then put the rest away.

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    1. NIGHT PREP Before I go to bed I make sure that Laney’s diaper bag is fully packed for the next day. If we are going to be gone at any point for an extended period of time I prep the fridge food too. I usually portion it all out and have it in a bag ready to grab and go, *don’t forget the utensils. I bought a pre-measure container for her formula which I refill every night. I clean out the diaper bag so I always know what is in it. I don’t believe in depending on anyone, so always bring what you need or may need. A fully stocked mom is a prepared mom. Less stress = a little more prep but you will not be scrounging around in the morning and then getting places without extra diapers/outfits/ food.  Same thing with my purse. I go through every pocket throwing trash and eliminating confusion in my purse everynight, it doesn’t take long anymore. Organize things so that when you are out running errands you aren’t wasting time digging around. I try not to carry things I don’t use. By going through my purse everyday I don’t build up my stash of “goodies” in my purse. I remember there would be weeks that would go by when I would run late and my purse was always a mess. Now I know my purse is ready to go if an emergency would arise and I wont be stressed that I don’t have my basic needs in my purse. I invested in some hooks from Ikea for our hall closet so when the diaper bag is loaded, when my purse is clean and loaded I hang them by the door in the same spot so I never lose it and it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. This whole process can take 1 min it can take 15 mins. Just prep everything you can at night so that when you get up you can focus on GROOMING, FAITH, and TEA [COFFEE] BREAKFAST. For those of you with school aged kids:  setting them all down at once around the table with their take-home folders asking them if there are any papers you need to sign or send back is a huge stress reliever. By asking at night and asking all the kids at once, you can have your calender handy and feel like you have all their school paper needs taken care of, you can also add that holiday party you want to go to your calender so that you can adjust other “appointments.” It’s just one more way to eliminate that constant TO DO list item out of your thoughts. Having your spouse sit down with you and the kids, having one Google Calender that syncs to all your devices is a way to stay highly effective as a team of parents. By having electronic schedules you can set reminders and communicate quicker with the whole family. Everyone can see what is on the Family’s calender! Include everyone and get it all out on the table so that when you go to bed it has been talked about. Again this isn’t a once a week thing, it’s a everyday thing, it can take seconds or a few minutes, but I believe it eliminates oodles of stress.

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  1. LEAVE TIME vs. BE THERE TIME   I struggle with this one a ton. A good way to start practicing the difference is actually by using GoogleMaps. I add 15 minutes to the drive time Google maps says when calculating what time I need to leave to get somewhere. In general if I have Doctor, Dentist , Eye, Pediatrician, OBGYN, Counseling, Hair, or scheduled appointments with a PROFESSIONAL I add an additional 10 minutes to the Google Maps with my original 15 minutes of added time. Being late for an appointment with a professional is not only inappropriate but it can cause them to run late all day. As a hairdresser I have fired clients, told them they could not make appointments anymore because they abused their appointment times too many times. Some companies will charge you for not showing up or being late can cause you to lose precious time with that particular professional, don’t schedule appointments if you don’t have time. Simply reschedule and try again for a different date. Try to let them know 24-48 hours in advance so then can also fill in your appointment time with any last minute clients. Just because something came up doesn’t make you a bad person, there is always another appointment time. Don’t lie when you call in either. As believers we are called to be truthful. As late running women we can “fib” in order to make ourselves feel better about why we can’t go, this is a dishonest practice that you can eliminate easily. If your day started off late, call the professionals office that you will be visiting and just let them know you will be late so they aren’t waiting for you. Ok, if you are meeting family, friends, small group, or anyone for that matter. Be early to hang out with them. Not only does it show them that you didn’t forget about your time with them but it shows that you want to be there.  Use my simple method of Leave time = google maps estimated drive time+ 15 minutes of whoops time for an appointment with a professional +10 additional minutes.  The more you practice this the better you will get. On Sundays for church our church is 10 minutes away we always add extra time for kiddo drop off, at least 20 minutes. That way we can talk to people and get a seat before the music starts. Start your day early, plan your leave time, and if necessary set alarms on your phone so you leave on time, this way you will arrive EARLY!

Ok! So I think we have our bases covered.

Make time for You in the AM!

Make time for Jesus in the AM!

Make time for Food in the AM!

Prep Time for bags and equipment for You, Spouse, and Kids in the PM!

Prep Schedules for You, Spouse, and Kids in the PM!

One last hoorah, Mom, Wife, Sister, Roommate, Dad, whoever you are reading this. The house work can wait when it’s time to run out the door. When it’s time to shower, when it’s time to eat, when it’s time to Glorify God put down your screens, forget about your house work and take care of you. Don’t let your schedule eat you alive, rest, be prepared and plan to be ON TIME … Always!

Egg Casserole (Lactose and Gluten Free Options)

Tea ~ Herbal Spa

I have tried many egg casseroles over the years and I still tend to enjoy this version the best. Since Lactose is a Milk Sugar, there is no lactose in egg!

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Oven 400*     Prep time 10 min     Cook Time 30 mins    Serves 6    Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner

Ingredients 

  • 1 Lb. Ground Meat Browned ( I use a breakfast pork sausage or a spicy pork sausage in a tube)
  • 2 c Grated Cheese ( I use Cheddar Cheese usually the Cabot brand since it is Lactose Free)
  • 2 c Milk ( I use 2% Lactaid brand milk since it is Lactose Free, Target’s Market Pantry also carries Lactose Free Milk)
  • 4 Eggs ( I tend to use 6)
  • 1 c Bisquick ( I have been using the Aldi’s brand Baker’s corner Baking Mix if you need this meal to be gluten free I know Arrowhead Mills brand carries a Gluten Free it is a Rice based mix)
  • This calls for 1/2 tsp Salt and 1/4 tsp pepper sometimes I add no salt and pepper to taste because the pork sausages adds so much sodium naturally. I have tried to stop adding salt to meals because  I noticed a lot of people adding additional salt after being served food in general. I’ve just been trying to cut out my sodium intake as I get enough naturally from my food. Try it without, you’ll be surprised natural really is GOOD! When I do use pepper I use freshly ground only!

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400*
  • Brown ground meat and drain thoroughly. The key is to strain the meat and place on paper towels to soak up as much of that fat grease.
  • Place Meat and cheese in 9×13 I use a deep dish pan sometimes for fun
  • Combine egg, milk, and bisquick (salt and pepper). I use a egg beater to mix them up but you can also place them in a blender for 1 min on high.
  • Pour egg, milk, bisquick mixture over the meat and cheese
  • Bake at 400* for 30 mins Check it can be cooked for up to 45 mins depending on your oven. I like the top to be browned.
  • If the cheese has produced some grease on the top of your casserole you can lay a paper towel over it and dab it dry again. I prefer little to no grease it leaves the casserole too moist and oily.

Sweet & Savory Roasted Butternut & Acorn Squash

Tea ~ Satin Pear

This has all of your favorite things about fall and holiday dishes! Squash is quite inexpensive in the fall and this will feed the whole family with it’s salty, sweet and garlicky notes.

  • 1.5 LBS. butternut squash, peeled & chopped, seed scraped out
  • 1.5 LBS. acorn squash, peeled & chopped, seeds scraped out
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 2 TBSP butter (see directions)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated or shredded
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup already brewed Violetea Apple Harvest Herbal Tea Steep
    *optional, but adds raisins, currants, cranberries and almonds to the dish; This is a steep-and-eat tea and is delightful to drink while cooking! You could substitute with these dried fruits soaked in hot water to plump and add them in with the slivered almonds

Directions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. 2. Grease a 13×9 glass baking dish with butter. Extra butter will be chopped and put on top before baking
  3. 3. Peel & chop the squash into 1/2″-1″ cubes; chop the onion and apple as well. Put all fruits & veggies into the greased baking dish
  4. 4. Drizzle with EVOO and mix in garlic, maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, parsley, parmesan cheese and salt & pepper. Mix well to coat fruits & veggies. (Optional, but recommended – add in the already steeped Apple Harvest fruits & nuts while enjoying your delicious cup of herbal tea)
  5. 5. Top with remaining butter, cut into small cubes
  6. 6. Bake in oven for 45-55 minutes or until squash is soft when pierced with a fork. Stir occasionally for even cooking.

I hope you enjoy one of my favorite dishes, leave a comment with how you liked it or variations you made.