Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

The hope of it all...it can be as tender as raw eggs...

Today, yes, even today, I had to explain once again the amazing difference between purchased from the store and having your very own hens that lay amazing eggs. I can go into all the scientific, biological, physical benefits of having your very own homegrown eggs, but why? That isn't what this is about anyway...the bottom line is...they are sooooo delicious and fantastically yummy! So professionally written I know, but I promise that once you have had a homegrown egg cooked just the way you like it, then you are hooked forever. 

As for me, I love eggs, cooked any way, but sunny side up...then you have my attention. I have a wonderful Tupperware microwave egg maker that makes three eggs just right for everyone else and I can make enough for two people at a time, up to ten, pop them in the fridge and we are set for several days. I boil a batch for salads on Sundays and then we have them for the week. I am not the best peeler so when they come out just right, then I am a happy southern gal and my grandmother is looking down from heaven smiling at her girl I am sure lol. Now if I could make her potatoes the way she did...

 Then sometimes the shells might not peel just right. That is the way our faith might be. Shaken. Cracked. Scrambled. Torn. What is missing? Why are are feeling our faith is like these delicate eggs? Maybe our faith isn't matured, grown in the Word, watered with prayer, boiled with the gathering of the saints, then set with the foundation of the Holy Spirit in knowing that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. In all of that Hope is woven like a tapestry of fine stitches sewn into a beautiful fine linen to make a precious picture of embroidered cloth. Hope is the evidence that we know the best is yet to come and the shells of what is inside of us is living and going to grow and bloom. Faith. Christ.

Romans 15:13 says,
"May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing with hope."

Bubbling over. Experiencing Faith. Filled. Overflowing. Believing.

Though the egg starts as a fragile item within the palm of our hands, easily crushed, as believers in the palms of the hand of our Heavenly Father, we are protected and matured if we will trust, obey and know Him. I love that. Joy. Peace. What more can be promised...read his Word to find out...

Hugs, Rita
Saturday, April 11, 2015 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Rita's Iron Skillet Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe...Add the vanilla ice cream please!

Have you ever come home on a Friday afternoon, got a few chores done and then thought, "Something warm and a bit chocolaty would be every so good!" Well, I looked in the pantry and saw three bananas and some rice flour that would be perfect to make some delicious banana bread. Using my iron skillet collection that came from my mother and her mother is my favorite items to use, so here is the recipe.

Rita's Iron Skillet Gluten Free Banana Bread

Cooking Spray (flour free)
2/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute
2/3 cup butter, melted or apple sauce
3 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed well
1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
1 teaspoon real vanilla
2 1/4 cups gluten free rice flour
1/4 brown sugar blend
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coffee, prepared 
1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray iron skillet generously with cooking spray. Put all ingredients into an electric mixer and mix together well. Pour into iron skillet and bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean. I put chips on one side because believe it or not, not everyone in my home likes chocolate. However, for those curious why I don't add nuts, I am allergic, but also they are high in fat, good or bad for you, I don't want the calories...I would rather have the chocolate calories lol!

Hugs, Rita

Friday, March 20, 2015 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Momma Rita's Mustard Style Franks, Beans and Kraut Recipe!

What's for Supper? Well, that is what I often splash across twitter from time to time and add a photo like the this one above. It is almost nightly too! This recipe was inspired literally in the grocery store this very afternoon! I rarely, super rarely, get off my two-week calendar menu that I shocked myself! However, I was wanting "hotdogs!" Seriously?! Me!?

 As I was picking up the necessities I needed, I thought of the this recipe from probably twenty-five years ago that included hot dogs, bake beans and kraut. I thought through the process of how I could make it healthy, checked my budget, and set off to get the items I knew I did not have at home.

 The recipe is very simple:
1 package Gluten-Free low fat Hot Dogs, sliced 
(which came recommended by two guys working the meat counter 
because I don't buy hot dogs lol)
1 can of kraut, drained well
1 large can of Vegetarian Baked Beans, drained
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar blend
1/2 teaspoon of the following:
cilantro, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, ground mustard
3 Tablespoons Honey Mustard

Saute onions in iron skillet on high until brown.
Add hot dogs and slightly brown them. 
Mix together kraut, brown sugar and spices.
Pour beans over the onions, hot dogs.
Spread the mustard evenly over the bake beans.
Spread the kraut mixture on top.
Bake at 450 degrees for 1 hour.

The meal is complete with Gluten-free Sweet Yellow Cornbread...
To make this a bit healthier, I use applesauce instead of oil!
You can do this in any dessert recipe as well. I never use oil in my baking.

 Open a small piece of cornbread and add 1 cup of the Franks, Beans and Kraut on top. Delicious! I was very pleased with the combination of spices and flavors. Much better than our usual Friday night leftovers lol.

Another Tid-Bit-Tip:  The key to weight loss and living healthy is portions. Trade your plates and bowls in for smaller ones. Go from 10" to 8" plates. Then look at your bowls, go smaller. Do things gradually for your family so you don't create stress for them...or maybe they won't even notice the change. A friend of mine even uses smaller silverware so that she takes smaller bites. Whatever works best for you.

Hugs! Rita

Thursday, March 12, 2015 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Italian Black-eyed pea and Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

 I love to cook! I tease everyone all the time that I really don't like to cook, but, seriously...I love the organization of it all. I take recipes, the sale papers, coupons and prepare my menus for two weeks at a time. Then I know what I have the pantry to freezer as well as what we are having for the days ahead. I may tweak the recipes or plans a bit, but ninety-percent of the time, I stick to the plan. So, I would say it's the organization of it all that I love the most.

This Weight Watcher's recipes was on the calendar the other night for supper. Now, I don't eat Barley so I knew I would have to make the one substitution. I did make a few other substitutions and created a dish that could be ate cold or hot plus have a bit more "stick to your ribs" consistency to it than this recipe had in it without changing the calorie value very much.

First, I prepared gluten-free pasta.
Then I added 3 Tablespoons of fat-free Italian Dressing to the pasta.

Then I peeled, diced one sweet onion, 2 gala apples,
shreeded 1 carrot, 1 each green and red bell pepper, chopped, and sauteed them until tender.

I drained and rinsed 2 cans each of black eyed peas and great northern beans, mixed them together.
Then I added 2 diced jalapeno peppers. 

Mixed the bean mixture with the onion/apple mixer and
add 1 teaspoon each of black pepper, minced garlic, dried cilantro, dried parsley,
dried oregano.

Mix the sauteed mixture with the pasta and toss. 
Serve immediately with shredded Parmesan cheese or pop it in the fridge for later.

Ta-da! Supper is ready!

I challenge YOU to take a recipe and make it your own!
During the winter months, you may have the ingredients in the freezer or in a can...
Don't limit yourself to what a recipe calls for. Try to stay close to fat-free and gluten-free as well as low in calories...
How much fun can cooking be if we make it fun and creative...


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