Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Kung Pao Chicken (diabetic friendly)


  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos (soy free alternative to soy sauce) or lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend or 2 tsp Whey Low Gold (low-calorie, low-glycemic, all-natural sugar replacement) [this is my preference]
  • 2 tsp sesame oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, cubed
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced or sliced
  • 1, 8-oz can water chestnuts, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 2/3 cup no salt, roasted peanuts
  1. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and chicken broth and whisk until cornstarch dissolves. Add vinegar, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, brown sugar, 1 tsp sesame oil, and garlic; stir well and set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat cooking spray and 1 tsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breast and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, and peanuts to pan. Stir fry for 4 minutes. Add chicken broth mixture to skillet and bring to a boil. Add chicken and any juices accumulated from cooked chicken back to pan and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Weekend Stitching

Decided to try and blog more and in order for me to do that, I need to be able to post off-the-cuff instead of feeling like I need to have something worthy to say which never happens.  Lol

On Friday, I finished all my outdoor yard work. Yay!

Then Saturday morning we woke up to cool breezes. Relief!  Then it started raining! Yay! That meant no outdoor watering and it became the perfect weekend for no-guilt stitching and eating chili.

I love Sue Spargo's projects and recently watched a lady stitching herself this needle roll. Oh no! The itch just wouldn't go away. Those cute little labels, the little wool circles, and those stitches...those awesome, jewel-like stitches. That's was it. I just had to make one for myself too! I'd thank her here but I don't know her name.

They look so pretty and remind me of little pieces of candy but much more healthy. And the needle roll is going to be oh so wonderful because now I can have a home for one of each type of needle right in its place while the 'overstock ones' can be safely tucked away in their appropriate tubes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


September is here and I can smell fall in the air. The higher temperatures still linger but fall is pushing its way in closer every day.

The title of my post is contentment and has been on my mind all this year for a number of reasons. I recently finished a Bible study in Philippians. In Philippians 4:8-9, Paul is reminding the Philippians to do the things they saw him do and remember what he taught them. He says to think on things that are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthly--mediate on these things. I claim these verses for myself daily so that when I feel a way I know I shouldn't I remember his instructions. And even if in the heat of the moment, I'm struggling to come up with a thought, I can always remember God is Good and loving to His children. I can be appreciative of having a husband that loves me and cherishes me, and to have friends that care and reach out to see how I'm doing. And if I'm really struggling, I may only be able to come up with 'it's nice to not hurt on my right side.' Let me tell you it is impossible to be harboring any ill-will or angst while being thankful. Mediating on God's Word, makes me a better human and I hope a better person to others. Which brings me to verse 11 where Paul says he has learned in whatever state he is in, to be content. I'm working on that one too. Some days I do better than others.

The picture above is my recent finish. Every part of the front is hand stitched. I was pulled into it because of the sheer amount of different techniques on it. It's an Ann Myhre stitch along from The Quilt Show. She uploaded weekly videos to You tube. I joined in very late (about the 4th week if I remember correctly). I tried to not do it but all those techniques just wouldn't stop calling out my name. It was a fantastic project and I ended up making up my fantastical bird because it just wouldn't allow me to make it any other way. Sometimes you just have to give in to the project.

My health took center stage this year as I developed arthritis in my neck and couldn't work or do just about anything I needed or wanted to do. Remember contentment? I practiced it a lot this year and learned/relearned how to be able to work around health issues or simply to just give in and rest even when I found it against every part of my being. I tend to have hummingbird tendencies and find it very difficult to not be a doer.

Last week, I knew I wanted to finish the top into a pillow. Here's the back. I added a zipper near the bottom of the pillow with a hidden flange. I really liked this process and will do this again because of the ease of making it and being able to remove the insert if needed.
 Another project I finished for myself is a stitching pillow. It hurts me to do handwork but I refuse to give it up. I saw Anna's (Woolie Mammoth) You Tube video teaching how to make a stitching pillow. This is unlike any pillow I have ever made and I've made lots. It was fun to make and really does help reduce the pain of handwork. I highly recommend it.
Last but definitely not least is a project that came late but finished before everything else is a tuffet for my husband. He requested it and wanted me to use his work ties that he's been collecting his whole working life. It was a joint project of selecting his favorites and then deconstructing and sewing it together and forming it around the tuffet form. Sharyn Cole's company called Tuffet Source has the patterns and kits. If you follow her instructions, you will have a perfect tuffet. Plus, she is one very sweet person who answered many questions and helped me get started when I told her I was using my husband's ties.

Here are some progress pictures with the finish at the end.
The Bowdee-man being a good prop for mama. He's the same height as the tuffet.

Enjoy today, stop and be thankful for something or someone in your life, and know you are eternally loved by God.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


This isn't a great photo technique-wise but I love it all the same because this is Bowdee waiting and watching for his favorite human to arrive home. I just love the shadow of him in the light. He adores his papa and gets on high alert when his 'it's time to come home' timer goes off.

Received two little travel pillows recently and had to make them their own pillow cases. It was a fast and fun project and the best thing is that I had everything in my stash. Goodness knows how old that tree fabric is, but I was happy to have enough for the two pillows. The naked pillows measured 12"x18". Couldn't resist adding the little cuff and flange. I think they are so cute and usable now that the covers can be easily removed and washed.
Speaking of Waiting....
This was me last week doing my duty. Sat through several hours of listening to attorneys and being asked questions. I wasn't one of the 9 chosen to stay for the trial so my duty is finished for at least two years.

The wind is howling something fierce but the sun is shining and the temperature is not bad. The wind is so strong that I cannot stand to be out in it though so here I wait with my nose pressed up against the window waiting for the wind to calm.

Did anyone else participate in the online Taste and See Bible Study? It was so good (good for the soul, spirit, and belly!). I never fully recognized how important food was in the Bible, but if you think about it -- we all have really great memories and many of them started around a table with friends and family. Jesus has invited us all to His table and what a wonderful, bountiful table He has for all of us who love Him; makes me smile just thinking of reaching out to His outstretched hands as I accept food from His table. Figs, bread, fish, wine and more. Can we say Amen and Bon Appetit!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Small accomplishments

Finished my little sewing kit today. It was an enjoyable slow stitching project. I think it's good to do small projects that have new to me techniques because then I can see if it is something that I enjoy and even if I don't like it, the project gets finished because it is small. Crazy patch and hand embroidery will be something that I will continue. It was fun and meditative to do.

So what did you play with this week?

Here's a couple more pics of my sewing kit.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Puppy Teeth & Happenings

Bowdee's big boy teeth have started coming in which means that his baby teeth are being pushed out. He's been a little moody because it hurts having teeth shoved out and new ones coming in. Did you know that puppies have 28 teeth and that when they start to lose them, they are replaced with 42 adult canine teeth! That's a lot of teeth to squeeze into a space where only 28 had been previously. I'm sure I have either vacuumed up or he has swallowed many of them but occasionally he actually gives them to me. I'm sure you are wondering just how he 'gives' me a baby tooth. Well, it goes like this. Bowdee comes up and sits in front of mommy. He is twisting his face and asking me to pick him up. I bend down and pick him up and he looks me in the face and starts sucking on his lip. I'm like what are you doing and he gets more enthusiastic about the process. I then open his mouth and right on his little tongue is a baby tooth which I promptly snatch out and then tell him what a good boy he is and then he gets a cookie. I have a collection of 5 so far. They are interesting looking, aren't they.

Here he is looking all cool and showing me he has decided to confiscate papa's chair. Papa is at work so no one can object! LOL He's grown so much and is quite the 'little tank.' I love the feel of his body. Nothing wimpy about this boy!
I finished putting all of the embroidery stitches in on my future sewing kit. Just waiting for the instructions for sewing it together. I will definitely keep up stitching because I had such a wonderful time making this. It feels so wonderful.
Homemade vanilla was made using my Instant Pot. Here it is with vanilla beans and vodka.
Here's the result after completing the cycle in the Instant Pot. This would be the equivalent of it sitting for several months and all it took was 30 minutes.
Here it is a week later. It will continue to deepen in color and flavor. I will wait a month and then transfer it into individual bottles. There is nothing like homemade vanilla in your recipes. Try it even if you don't have an Instant Pot. You will be a convert forever.
Thought I would leave you with some sunshine. This is a picture I took at the Tulip Festival last summer. It was a beautiful day and it was our first time visiting.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Savoring the Process

Now those pictures are sure to get your mouth watering. I made some things that hardly ever are made here, which was homemade cinnamon rolls and caramel candies both hard and chewy...some with sea salt and others without. It was a delicacy to enjoy them and even more so to share them with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I also made homemade fudge (the one that gives your arms a workout), but it didn't get into the pictures. I had to get it out of the house as quickly as possible because fudge is something I simply cannot keep my fingers out of. It was soooooooo good.

Next Monday, January 21, I'm participating in a free online Bible Study called Taste and See. Psalms 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!" is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I love being in the kitchen and making meals for family and friends so how can anyone resist savoring time with the Lord and learning how much God and Jesus loves food too. I hope you will join in with me on the study. I think we will all come away from the table filled and happy.

I love the process of creating. My hands have a difficult time not being in perpetual motion. This equates to having many projects in differing stages of progression. Some things complete faster than others and then there are the long-term projects that spread through years. Many times it is because what I need to do is not currently in my skill toolbox so they wait patiently for me to catch up. The end of 2018 and our Christmas Holiday enabled me to finish one of those long-term projects and I am so pleased to have finally completed her. Her name is The Lady and she has been a decade long project. I'm not sharing a full picture yet because I hope to enter her into a few shows and don't want to disqualify myself just in case they have a policy of not showing the completed piece online.

She is faced to not distract from the front and this stopped me from finishing her for quite some time. A big shout out and thank you to Terry Knott for her help and on-going patience in repeating herself over and over again as I asked for clarification for the umpteen time. Thank you Terry! Love you to pieces!

And then I also finished a a tablecloth that I've been working on for about a year. Sewing all those houses with windows and doors and trees with leaves (Yoko Saito house pattern) took much longer than I anticipated. Of course I made up the tablecloth pattern and got almost a little too creative for myself with the linen insert, fancy joining stitches and cording. Although I do love the linen insert and I am keeping up with my pledge of using as many as possible of all those pretty stitches that are available on my sewing machine.

Here it is with two sides of the 'ground' added.

All done and on the table.

I sure do love it!
And I've had some really wonderful logos to digitize at work too. I had to do a lot of online research to get the cow and tractor details correct since all I had was a shadow. Oh and for those observant ones (you know who you are), I did go back in and add the brand mark on the cow. Sometimes, I can get lost in the trees when digitizing and don't see something until I've stitched it. Of course, then it's blaring in my face and I wonder how I missed it!
This one was fun too. Love it when customers want to GO BIG!
Quick little project for a company. I love making pillows.
And I started working on a small project that Valerie Bothell started last week. There is still time to join in on the fun if you'd like to play too. I'm having a blast hand embroidering the stitches.
Still quilting this Shabby Fabrics Forever My Valentine quilt. I have three more background blocks to quilt and then I can start quilting the hearts. This has been a very enjoyable project and one that just makes me smile every time I look at the hearts. 
Can't end the post without a picture of the 'Bowdee man' all comfy in mama's chair. Enjoy your day wherever you are and know that God loves you.