Sunday, December 23, 2012

Brown Christmas

We have long and snow winters in Northern Japan. A White Christmas seems to be a well-earned bonus....but this year...things are BROWN.

We had white. We've had a "warm front" this week. It's sad, melty, wet and brown.

We're praying for a White Christmas. It would be a special Christmas gift for the kids....and today is 24 Dec.

Michael drove yesterday - there is no fear of not being house-bound - please Father - send the snow.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Lazy Talks, Ocean Trips, Yummy Food, Advent Hunt

This was a red-letter day! A lazy Sunday - not the norm around here. Michael is still on convalescent leave until 26 Dec. We sat and talked about Birthday Party plans for the 25th. I thought I'd make Chocolate Cupcakes (these are good, low fat and vegan) with candles and sprinkles. Michael would like an ice cream cake. I'll probably make some cupcakes, eat one and freeze the rest - and make an ice cream cake for the rest of the crew. 

We also discussed a 2013 Family Prayer Verse and Family Focus. We have a verse; we're still working through the focus....trying to separate what we are hearing from various ministry themes, what may be an overall family vision and my personal word of the year. Yes, I know it seems to be over-thinking but it works  and is meaningful for us

 I cooked....and then...I suggested Michael get dressed and I'd drive us to the ocean. I thought getting out of the house would do us all good. 

He got dressed and DROVE us to the ocean.....both great signs - jeans and keys. I don't like the cold but I love the I stayed in the warm van and Michael got out and took photos.  They are still working on transforming our beach since the tsunami. 

Stacia was in the van with me. She, truth be known, was the reason I didn't even try to venture to the cold. She didn't bring a coat and Michael didn't want to leave her alone in the car.

Doesn't he look great in JEANS? 
 This man is amazing. He knows I've been struggling with the food issue the past few days. I got up early and climbed into my "secret place" with Jesus and felt much better today. I was excited at dinner when Michael passed up the meat entree. I said I thought he was becoming flexitarian. He fessed up and said he thought I could use the support and was joining me in my nutritarian lifestyle for a bit. While I was sad he wasn't you know - CONVERTING - I was touched my meat and potato man was taking such concrete steps to support me on my journey to health.

Jesus is the Light of the World - and the darkness did not overcome him!

Advent Clue Hunt: "Got a can-can?" Stacia ran upstairs. Nolan and Arielle found it quickly and went back to the couch to wait.....

The Muppets - from a year ago - watched this with all 9 in TX last year

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Hazelnuts (Deliciously Organic)

Serves 6

1 pound brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons ghee (click here for an easy homemade recipe)
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup crispy hazelnuts (I used this method to dehydrate the nuts)

Place brussels sprouts in a medium-size pot and cover with water. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and bring pot to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Drain. Coarsely chop the brussels sprouts. Melt ghee in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add brussels sprouts and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts begin to turn golden brown. Remove from heat, spritz with lemon juice and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serve.

I only had 1/2 a lb. I'll need a full lb next time. Three of us loved them. The other three didn't try. BUT there were NO leftovers. I didn't have hazelnuts and used almonds....still good. The hint of lemon was perfect.  I didn't use Ghee.

I found this recipe at Deliciously Organic.

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Golden Cheddar'd Potatoes (Mouthwatering Vegan)

These were a hit with the entire family - even the non-vegans.  I'm not sure WHY there were so oily looking  - I will cut the oil by 1/2 next time - make it more nutritious anyway. LOL  This, and other yummy vegan recipes, are at Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes

Serves 3 to 4 (depending on portion size)
3 cups (750 mL) soya milk, or other non-sweetened dairy-free milk (I used Alpro)
1 Tbsp all purpose plain flour
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fine garlic granules
salt (don’t omit)
a knob of vegan butter
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp vegetable stock powder or granules (try Kallo)
a little water if needed

4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large quarters (Cyprus potatoes are ideal)
1 large onion thinly sliced
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil for roasting
¼ cup water
paprika and fresh rosemary for garnishing
  1. Preheat your oven to 440ºF (225ºC).
  2. Place all the ingredients in a ‘milk’ pan and whisk.
  3. Heat the mixture up, mixing virtually non-stop, until you have a thickish consistency.  Lower the heat, and continue cooking for a further minute or so.
  4. Next, arrange your potatoes and onions in an ovenproof dish, (around 8 x 8 inches), pour on the oil and the rest of the ingredients, except for the garnish of paprika and rosemary.
  5. Place in the oven for an hour, or until the potatoes are all golden.  Remember to take them out after 30 minutes to turn them around.
  6. When golden, pour the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes, making sure to allow some of the potatoes to show themselves through – so don’t dowse the entire surface.  Do this by pouring the cheese sauce all around the edges, and the rest on the top, leaving a few inches of space between the sauce mix and the potatoes.
  7. Place in the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until a skin is formed.  Remove, garnish and serve.

These were yummy  - almost like dessert Arielle said. I think this is because I didn't have enough potatoes and used a sweet potato too. I didn't use the vegetable stock powder and it was fine. Next time I'll cut the oil.  No animal products and it tasted wonderful - even better than cheese potatoes. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Kale Salad (Oh She Glows)

I bought more Kale and tried this salad today. This is from Oh She Glows, and yes it is vegan - nearly nutritarian if it didn't have oil. The "sauce" is wonderful. I think I will make some, massage the Kale and then make chips with them in the next day or two. 

Yield: 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings
  • 4 cups (packed) torn kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 tbsp hemp, flax, or avocado oil (or use extra virgin olive oil in a pinch)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup, or to taste
  • Herbamare (or sea salt) and cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1 radish, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 large avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp hemp seeds

1. Tear leaves off kale stems and discard stems. You can save the stems for juicing or blending if you wish. Break leaves into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly.
2. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle on the dressing ingredients (oil, lemon, maple syrup). With your hands, “massage” the dressing into the kale until all leaves are coated. Sprinkle on Herbamare (or sea salt) and a touch of cayenne pepper if desired.
3. While the salad marinates, chop the vegetables. Mix into kale and serve, topped with hemp seeds if you desire.

Isn't it lovely. I didn't have radishes, I added carrots and artichokes.  I still find Kale very filling so we had two salads and a left over. 

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...