Hibiscus, cinnamon and clove spice tea…

This morning I brewed a big pot of one of my favorites. Hibiscus flower, cinnamon and cloves. Nothing ground here, everything was whole and tossed into my stainless steel pot. I let simmer for about an hour before taking it off the wood stove. I have plenty of this brew to keep me happy for at least a few days.


Hibiscus Spice Tea_1 12.18.14

Simmering pot of Hibiscus Spice Tea

Not only is is tasty, but it’s loaded with nutrients. Hibiscus Flowers has a large amount of vitamin C, cloves improves digestion, and cinnamon is helpful for fungal infection. I only included one benefit for each of the items listed, they are chock full of nutrients.

I do find that consuming healthful foods I am rarely sick. Imagine that, what we consume can actually help us fight off infection!


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Beef and Ground Pork burgers

Ham_pork Burgers.12.15.14These are the burgers I mentioned yesterday. I added hard cheddar cheese to some of the burgers, since my daughter likes them a lot. I made enough burgers too freeze and set aside for when I’m to busy to cook. This way, the only thing I have to do is heat up the food and serve to my daughter.

My daughter loved these burgers because they were super moist and flavorful… and they were loaded with finely chopped vegetables.

Adding the veggies, is definitely a much healthier choice than just making a burger with plain old ground meat. This would be a great alternative, for someone looking to add vegetables into their daily diet, without giving up the meat. The toppings, for this burger were more veggies; finely grated carrots, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach. Occasionally, my daughter, will add pureed avocado as a spread. It’s a much healthier alternative to mayonnaise, and since it’s lightly seasoned with freshly ground herbs and spices, it enhances its flavor.



Nothing but burgers….

Red bean burgers_1

Recycled photo – Homemade Red Bean Burgers; vegan

This past weekend, I made black bean burgers for my daughter. Similar to the ones shown to the left. I’d prepared those a while ago,  but instead of red beans… I used black beans.

Many of my non-vegan friends are surprised at how delicious a bean burger can taste. I don’t add all those crappy meat substitutes that you’ll find in many of the veggie burgers that are sold. I use beans and produce. I’ve found those make the tastiest burgers.

Since my daughter is still on a burger kick, yesterday, I made more. But this time I used animal products and so I used ground beef and pork. Since, the thought of just eating meat has no appeal to my daughter whatsoever, I added finely chopped carrots, onion and mushrooms. In my mortar and pestle I ground Himalayan sea salt, black cumin seeds, cumin and other spices. Both varieties (vegan and non-vegan) received an enthusiastic thumbs up from my daughter. Some of my daughter’s friends think she’s a bit off, since she really does not care for fast food and who could blame her. Since she consumes meals freshly prepared meals daily,  she can tell the difference and she thinks that fast food and processed food tastes a bit “off”. She’s right, it does to me also, but then again, we don’t eat that way. Our diet is whole foods, which simply means as close to the natural food source as possible. If anything is going to be “processed,” I (or she’ll) be the one doing that.

When I get around to uploading pictures, I’ll be sure to post them on Celebrate Life. Today, most likely, will be a simple meal. Tonight is my daughter’s Christmas play and I have some finishing touches left to do on her dress that I’ve sewn for her. The good news is she really loves how the dress looks.

At peace…

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 26:3
King James Version (KJV

I normally refer to the New American Standard Bible, but I must admit, that I love how this reads out much better than NASB’s version, which I’ve included below.

3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Despite the turmoil that is surrounding me at the moment, I must admit that I Two dovesam at peace. Of course, that brings to mind the above passage… and I have to admit that it is so true.

So yes… through everything that is happening, my stress is low, and I am actually happy. Being a Christian, and an active follower of Christ, I know that has everything to do with the close relationship that I have with my heavenly father. If you don’t have that connection, what I might have just written, might come off as a bit off the rails, but trust me it isn’t. But you to can have that connection, all you have to do is believe and accept Christ into your own heart.

9 [a]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Romans 10:9
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

I wasn’t expecting to write this type of post, but I felt led to do so and I’m simply following that command.

Sugar Scrub: A bit of pampering

Sugar Scrub Wow, has this weekend has been challenging!

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Whew… if I was a weepy person I’d have been in tears most of this weekend, but I’m not. Praying (and reading the Bible) are things I do daily, not just when I need something, so that has been helpful. Also, about thirty minutes ago I had some brief me time. What did I do? I made a sugar scrub for my skin!

I’ve posted sugar scrub recipes on some of my other sites years ago (2003). I first posted about them (on this site) way back in 2010; July 13, 2010 would be the exact date. So… click on the above link if you want to know some of the benefits of scrubs.  Here’s the recipe for the sugar scrub I made a few moments ago…

Sugar & honey scrub

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 drop of lavender essential oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Massage gently onto skin
  3. Let the sugar scrub remain on skin for 3-5 minutes
  4. Rinse off
  5. Enjoy your softly scented skin

And now, I’ll copy/paste what I wrote on that first sugar scrub post in 2010…

Be kind to your skin! If you exfoliate too hard or too often you can leave your skin raw or cause skin irritation.

Skin Patch Test

If you’re trying a new product on your skin I always do a patch test. I choose an area on my skin that isn’t noticeable. I apply the product and then wait 48 hours. If I don’t have a reaction I’ll use the product. I cannot think of the last time I’ve had a reaction to my natural skin care products, however just because a product is natural doesn’t mean you can’t have a negative reaction.

If you haven’t tried sugar scrubs, give them a try. They can be amazing and a perfect pick me up!

Cooking adventures: Black beans & veggies with tomato soup

A few hours ago, I prepared my washed dry black beans in my eight (8) qt. Presto pressure cooker. I can’t stop talking about how much I love this kitchen appliance. It shortens the cooking time significantly. Twenty minutes later, my dried black beans were cooked to perfection!

Since, I foresee some very busy days in my future, I prepared an entire bag of the beans. The bulk of the black beans will be frozen and set aside for future meals; however, today I made this dish.

Bean w veggies_1 12.11.14

Black Beans with stir fried vegetables

It’s a simple dish of black beans and vegetables. See how colorful it is? It’s so good for you too. The vegetables added were broccoli and carrots. I also added ginger, onions, freshly ground Himalayan sea salt, cumin and coriander.


Bean w veggies and soup 12.11.14

Bean w veggies and soup


To accompany that, I added tomato soup. I’d made this soup on Monday, and it still tasted like the tomatoes had been recently picked from the garden. While my daughter feasted on the black bean and veggies, I curled up with a the mug of tomato soup that you see above. Savory, rich and simply delightful. While my daughter does eat meat, she much prefers veggie dishes and the meat dishes she does eat is served as a condiment. While some might think this is because I am the one preparing the meals, even when we go out to various events if she does select a meat dish, it will have vegetables.

Prince Royce: Stuck on A Feeling

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I heard this song for the first time. I must say that I’m loving the beat. I never heard of Prince Royce, but of course, I’ve heard of Snoop Dogg. I used to have all his CD’s back in the day.

I do believe this song will be going in my iPod. I’ll be working out shortly after work today.