A picture began circulating in November. It should be 'The Picture of the Year,' or perhaps, 'Picture of the Decade.' It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.
The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.
During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.
The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope". The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."
Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person." Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful.
See "Hand of Hope" photo here.
Quips and Quotes"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package until al dente. Drain and rinse very well with cold water to prevent noodles from sticking together.
1 (8 oz. pkg. brown rice lasagna noodles (Tinkyada is good)
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 3/4 c. traditional bone chicken stock (get the recipe here)
3 c. organic heavy cream
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. butter
2 T. extra-virgin, expeller-expressed olive oil
1 small to medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 mushrooms, chopped (optional)
Meat from 1 whole roasted or stewed chicken (use the carcass to make more mineral-rich bone stock - get the recipe here)
real sea salt (it's gray) or Redmond Real salt
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 16-oz. bag frozen spinach, partially thawed
3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir till mixture is bubbly. Cook one minute longer, stirring to prevent excess browning. Using a whisk, slowly stir in stock till all is added and of a smooth consistency. Raise heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and continue cooking till sauce is thickened. Stir in cream and Parmesan cheese. Return to a simmer, stirring frequently until well blended.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the oil until tender, then add garlic and mushrooms. Mix in the chicken and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle just enough of the cream sauce into a baking dish (larger than a 9x13) to coat the bottom. Layer with 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, 1/2 c. of ricotta, 1/2 of the spinach, 1/2 of the chicken mixture, and 1 c. mozzarella. Top with 1/2 the cream sauce and repeat the layers. Place the remaining noodles on top and spread with remaining sauce.
Bake one hour or until browned and bubbly. Top with the remaining mozzarella and continue baking until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Makes 12 servings.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Posted by Sharon K at 2:47 PM
Sunday, April 27, 2008
To link to other Menu Plan Monday menus, click here. Also, if you want to share a recipe with me, I'd love to include it on the Monday menu sometime. Email me with your recipe.
Here's what on the menu for this week:
Monday: Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Bean Soup), Mixed Green Salad with Easy Poppy Seed Dressing, cantaloupe slices
Tuesday: Everything Green Chili Verde, Pinto Beans, Veggies with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce, hot buttered corn tortillas
Wednesday: Salsa Meat Loaf, baked yams with butter, Sliced Tomatoes with Feta, buttered green beans
Thursday: Sloppy Joes, Classic Cole Slaw, Raw Sauerkruat
Friday: Curried Chicken Salad, fresh fruit salad
Sunday: Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce, mixed green salad, buttered yellow squash
Friday, April 25, 2008
1 recipe yogurt dough (get recipe here)Directions: Arrange pie crust in a pie plate and pre-bake for about 20-30 minutes. Remove and srinkle shredded cheddar evenly over bottom of crust. Spread drained tomatoes/chilies and green chilies over cheese. Sprinkle olives over top. Beat eggs, sour cream, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and garlic powder until well mixed. Pour over mixture in pie crust. Bake at 375 for 50 minutes, until firmly set. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies, drained
2 ounces diced black olive (canned)
3 egg 1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Directions: Combine all ingredients except the grape seed oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse to chop. With the motor running, gradually add the grape seed oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Once thickened, season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. Champagne vinegar
2 shallots, minced
1 T. chopped fresh mint
1 t. agave nectar (Wholesome Organic Raw Blue agave is good)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. grape seed oil (organic, expeller-pressed)
Note: The roasted chicken you prepare today will provide for Friday's meal also. The directions for this recipe will specify how much you need.
One 5 lb. roasting chicken (or 2 if you have a large family, in which case you would double the first seven ingredients)
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. raw, unfiltered honey
1/4 c. chopped fresh rosemary
6 T. extra-virgin, expeller-pressed olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 t. coarse ground black pepper
1 t. real sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
2 c. organic green grapes, halved
1/4 c. Gorgonzola cheese
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thin
1/2 c. chopped, crispy walnuts (get recipe here)
1 c. Champagne Grape Vinaigrette (get recipe here)
6 bibb lettuce leaves in the shape of a cup)
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine orange juice, honey, and rosemary in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually add olive oil in a steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Add vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Fold back the wings of the chicken and place in a baking dish. Rub with olive oil mixture. Bake until browned and cooked through about 1 hour and 20 minutes or so. Remove to let cool. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones (save for chicken stock) in strips. Measure out 4 cups of chicken and set aside. Refrigerate remainder for Friday's meal.
Meanwhile, combine grapes, cheese, fennel, walnuts and Champagne Grape Vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add 4 c. chicken and toss, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve in lettuce cup on individual plates with crusty sprouted bread (Alvarado Street is really good). Makes 6 servings.
1 lb. brown rice spaghetti, penne or fettuccine noodles (Tinkyada is good.)
1 recipe Alfredo Sauce (get recipe here)
Cook noodles according to package directions. Combine with hot Alfredo Sauce (get recipe here) and serve. Makes 6 servings.
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
1/4 c. mayonnaise with monounsaturated, expeller-pressed safflower or sunflower oil (never soybean oil)
1/2 t. real sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 c. frozen organic green peas, thawed
1 c. diced red pepper
1 c. diced cucumber
Combine the onion, mayo, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; stir until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently to coat. Makes 8 (1/2 c.) servings.
When facing trials we tend to question God’s goodness. “How can God be good? He has control to bring this trial to an end, but it continues? Why?” Job, when confronted with the incredible heartache of the loss of all ten of his children, his servants and livestock, said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity.” (Job 2:10) How was it that Job did not question God’s inherent goodness?
Here, at my house, in the midst of asphalt, concrete, houses, autos, and noisy children there is a resident mocking bird. I am amazed when I hear him sing his repertoire of songs. In listening to him, rarely, if ever, do I hear the same melody twice. He has the good and God-given ability of imitating any other bird species (or even noise) that he hears, but has no song of his own. It is my understanding that the mockingbird is capable of remembering hundreds of bird songs and singing any of them at will.
2 T. peeled and minced fresh gingerDirections: Heat 1 T. of the ginger with 2 T. of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle steadily and becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains become opaque and start to brown in places, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, water, and 1 t. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
1/4 c. peanut oil (organic, expeller-pressed)
2 1/2 c. long-grain organic brown jasmine rice
One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (not reduced fat)
3 c. filtered water
real sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
4 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
3 c. diced leftover chicken (from earlier in the week)
1/2 c. chicken stock
2 T. organic soy sauce (real brewed)
1 T. rice vinegar
2 t. Rapadura whole cane sugar
or agave nectar (Wholesome Organic Raw Blue Agave is good)
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for sprinkling
2 t. arrowroot powder
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat add the remaining 1 T. of ginger and 2 T. oil and cook until it just starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the scallions and jalapeno pepper and cook until softened and browned in places, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, stock, soy sauce, vinegar, Rapadura sugar and cilantro and cook, tossing, until the chicken heats through, about 2 minutes. Stir the arrowroot together with 2 T. water, add to the sauce, bring to a boil so the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat.
Fluff the rice with a fork before placing a mound on each plate and topping with the chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with a lime wedge fro squeezing. Serves 6.
18 husked, medium tomatillosDirections: Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse off and on until all ingredients are finely chopped. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Use salsa within three days. Makes about 4 cups.
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (Embassa brand is good), drained and seeded
3/4 of one red onion
1 t. finely shredded lime peel
3 T. lime juice
3 T. fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic
3 T. raw, unfiltered honey or agave
nectar (Wholesome Organic Raw Blue Agave is good)
1 t. (scant) real sea salt
or Redmond Real Salt
3 yellow-green mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 medium red onion
8 grape tomatoes, halved
juice from 1 freshly squeezed lime
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
real salt and pepper to taste
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
Directions: Place mangoes, cilantro, red onions and tomatoes in a bowl. Pour lime juice over. Season with salt, black pepper and red pepper. Fold in the avocados last. Combine all ingredients. Add more seasoning to taste.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Left over roast beef from earlier in the week - use 2/3 c. beef for each sandwich
Trader Joe's All Natural Barbecue Sauce
Alvarado St. Sprouted Whole Wheat hamburger buns, toasted
dill pickles and/or pepperoncinis
Break beef apart with fork. Place in medium-sized saucepan with a little filtered water (several tablespoons). Warm over medium heat, stirring with fork to break apart beef. When beef is warmed and broken apart, add enough barbecue sauce so that beef is very moist. Stir to combine. Heat thoroughly. Serve on toasted buns with pickles and/or pepperoncinis.
3 T. extra virgin, expeller-pressed olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried rosemary
8 c. chicken bone stock (click here for recipe)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 thin-skinned potatoes, largely diced
2 carrots, peeled and largely diced
2/3 c. organic small brown rice shell pasta or elbow macaroni (Tinkyada brown rice pasta
1 (16-oz.) can red or white kidney beans
1/4 c. tomato paste
2 c. kale leaves or green cabbage, finely shredded
1 1/2 c. Jack or Parmesan cheese, shredded
Directions: Heat oil in a 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 7 minutes. Add stock, garlic, potatoes, carrots and pasta. Increase heat. Cover pot and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is barely tender, about 15 minutes. Mix in beans and bean liquid, tomato paste and kale (or cabbage). Simmer uncovered, until kale is barely tender and soup is heated through, about 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with grated cheese, if desired. Serves 8.
2 c. long-grain Jasmine brown rice or other long-grain brown riceDirections: In a heavy large skillet (with tight-fitting lid), melt butter; add olive oil. Add cardamom seeds t the pan. Add rice and saute, stirring constantly until rice begins to turn a milky color. Pour in stock or broth, add salt and optional gelatin and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until water has reduce to the level of the rice. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook for at least 1 1/2 hours. Do not remove lid during cooking time. Serves 6 to 8.
2 T. real butter
2 T. extra-virgin, expeller-pressed olive oil
3 cardamom pods, opened and seeds removed (throw out pods away; use only seeds)
4 c. homemade chicken bone stock (click here for recipe) or 1 (32-oz.) can organic chicken stock
1 T. gelatin, such as Knox (optional)
1/2 t. real salt
3 c. cooked Soft and Savory Brown Rice (click here for recipe)
3 T. butter
3 T. chopped green onion (white and green parts)
1 c. frozen peas
1 bay leaf
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
Direction: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place brown rice in a buttered casserole dish (if rice is not already hot). Cove with aluminum foil and heat in oven for 30 minutes or until very hot. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions, peas, bay leaf, cayenne pepper and salt. Heat, stirring to heat peas until hot. Remove bay leaf. Take hot rice from oven and stir in pea mixture and parsley. Serves 6.
2 lbs. red potatoes
4 T. soft butter
1/2 c. half and half
freshly ground pepper
Directions: Wash and cut potatoes (do not peel) into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Place in large saucepan and cover with filtered water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes until they are tender when pierced with fork. Drain water off of potatoes (save potato water for gravy if desired). Smash potatoes slightly with potato masher. Add butter and let melt into potatoes. Add half and half, salt and pepper to taste. Smash with potato masher just until potatoes are creamy but still have chunks of potato remaining. Serves 6.
1 (3-4) lb. beef pot roast (7-bone, round or rump) (see note below)
Redmond real salt or real sea salt
(should be grayish in color - not white)
garlic powder (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place roast in a Dutch oven that has a tight-fitting lid. It is important that the lid fit securely without letting steam escape. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over all sides of roast. (Use slightly more than you think you should.) Place lid on Dutch oven. Bake for 6 hours, checking periodically to make sure roast has plenty of liquid on it. Roast is done when it is fork-tender and pulls apart easily. Remove roast from oven pan and transfer to serving platter. (If it is a bone-in roast, remove bones before serving.) Use rich liquid from roast to serve over rice or potatoes if desired.
Note: This should be a large enough roast to have leftovers for Sunday's barbecue beef sandwiches also. Adjust the size of roast if needed. Cooking time will still be the same.
2 bunches fresh brocolli or 2 (10-oz.) pkgs. frozen broccoliDirectons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook broccoli in boiling water; drain (cook just until crispy tender). In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter; blend in four. Add chicken stock; cook and stir until thickened. Stir in cream, sherry, salt and pepper. Place broccoli crosswise in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Pour half the sauce over. Top with chicken slices. To remaining sauce, add Parmesan cheese; pour over chicken; sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Place under broiler until sauce is golden. Makes 6-8 servings.
1/4 c. real butter
1/4 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 c. homemade chicken bone stock (click here for recipe) or 1 (16-0z.) can organic chicken broth
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (not whipped)
3 T. cooking sherry (make sure this is "cooking" sherry)
1/2 t. real sea salt or Redmond's Real Salt
dash freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken cooked, boned and meat sliced thin
Directions: Place broccoli salad mix, pecans and cranberries and onion in a salad bowl. Add dressing as desired and toss.
1 bag Trader Joe's organic broccoli salad mix (this is shredded broccoli stems with some carrot shreds)
1/2 c. toasted maple pecans (recipe is below)
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. thinly sliced red onion
Easy Poppy Seed Dressing (click here for recipe)
Toasted Maple Pecans:Directions: In a heavy skillet (I use cast iron), melt butter. Add pecans and stir to coat on all sides. Add maple syrup, keeping heat at medium. Maple syrup should bubble lightly. Carefully continue to stir till maple syrup begins to dry onto pecans, watching that mixture does not dry out too fast and burn due to pan being too hot. Spread mixture on plate, separating nuts, to let cool. Store in zipper baggie or use as directed in recipe.
1 c. raw pecan halves
1 T. butter
3 T. real organic maple syrup (not maple-
flavored pancake syrup)
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
3 large bell peppers, red, green and yellow (or any color you prefer)Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise, cutting through the middle of the stem. Remove the seeds and membrane but not the stems. Divide the meat loaf mixture evenly among the six pepper halves, pressing mixture into peppers (they will be rounded on top). Place the peppers into the baking dish. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the filled peppers. Bake, uncovered for about 45 minutes or until internal temperature of the meat mixture reads 155 degrees.
1 recipe Salsa Meatloaf mixture (click here for recipe)
1 jar Trader Joe's Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms (fat free)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each cut into 3 serving-sized pieces (sandwich size)Directions: Make marinade. Place chicken pieces in zipper baggy with marinade. Refrigerate for 4-12 hours, turning occasionally. Grill chicken on barbecue or under broiler. Do not over cook. While chicken is grilling, saute bell pepper slices in olive or coconut oil till limp and slightly browned. When chicken is done, place one piece of cheese on each breast portion and transfer to a plate. Cover with a pot lid and keep warm in the oven. Toast hamburger buns on the grill. Place a breast portion on each bun and top with peppers. Spread mayonnaise and/or mustard on bun half and enjoy!
teriyaki marinade (recipe is below)
1 each red and green bell peppers, cut into thin slices
3 T. expeller-pressed olive oil or coconut oil
6 thick slices of jack cheese to top chicken pieces with
6 Alvarado St. Whole Wheat Spouted hamburger buns
Wasabi mayonnaise and/or hot mustard
Teriyaki MarinadeDirections: Mix ingredients well. Use as directed above.
1/4 c. toasted sesame oil
1/4 c. expeller-pressed safflower oil
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons raw amber agave nectar
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons sherry
1 c. sour cream, not low-fat or no-fatIn a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients except blue cheese; process till smooth. Pour into a refrigerator storage container and stir in blue cheese. Refrigerate for several hours before use. Makes 2 cups.
1/2 c. mayonnaise (with expeller-pressed mono-unsaturated oil)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T. plus 2 t. buttermilk
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. real sea salt or Redmond's Real Salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. blue cheese, crumbled
O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions. Ps. 104:24
This is the first post I've done with personal photos. I went out this morning and took pictures of what caught my eye in the garden. Creation causes me to worship our creative God. Who can do what He has done?
Besides the flowers, and edibles in the yard, the animal kingdom was quite apparent today - bees buzzing, my little dog and cranky cat followed me about curiously. But what was of special interest, was the two baby mocking birds that were nestled in an old dead vine near the roof line. This morning they left the nest. One landed in a small walnut tree in the yard next door. While I was taking pictures I spotted the little guy (or gal). What a photo op! When you come to that picture look for the baby bird in the middle left of the photo.
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