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Posts tagged ‘Food’

Grateful for Food and Home (TY – 8)


The bare necessities such as food and shelter are things most of us take for granted; yet, it is very important that we appreciate the food we have to eat and the home we have to protect us from the outdoor environment. I deeply appreciate having nutritious meals daily. My husband and I almost always express thanksgiving before each meal no matter where we are (whether it be at home, at a restaurant or visiting friends or family). I find it really brings importance and satisfaction to our meals. The nourishment we receive is acknowledged and appreciated.

Our home provides so much more than just protection and shelter. It provides security and many comforts for which I am deeply grateful. Our home, like most in the United States (that I am aware of) has indoor plumbing and electricity. We have heating and air conditioning and adequate space for our needs. I feel so blessed to have a home, especially when I am aware there are many in our world who are without any form of shelter. Thoughts and appreciation for having a home too often come after natural disasters, when we realize how vulnerable we are. My heart will always be grateful for each day in which we have healthy meals and a comfortable home.

My Favorite Holiday Cookie


Magi’s Turbans (I like to call them Gift of the Magi Cookies because they are a gift of yummy.) These are molasses cookies with Hershey’s Hugs seated in middle of them. It is a delicious combination and a favorite among my family and friends. They look forward to these cookies every Christmas.

Makes 56 cookies.
Prep and chill: About 90 minutes
Bake: 10 to 12 min per batch

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup light molasses
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
56 Hershey’s Hugs (from a 13 oz. bag), unwrapped

1. Beat butter, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until well blended and paler in color. Beat in molasses and egg (the mixture will look curdled like cottage cheese).

2. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in flour just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.

3. Heat oven to 350. Have baking sheets ready.

4. Put granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoons of dough into 1-1/4 inch balls; roll in sugar to coat. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. (Doc Angi tip: Gently press your thumb into each cookie to create a seat for the Hershey’s Hug later.)

5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until tops crack but cookies are still soft to touch.

6. Place baking sheet on wire rack. After a moment or two, press a Hugs in center of each cookie. Transfer cookies from baking sheet to rack to cool completely.  (Note: The heat from the cookie will melt the Hershey’s hug; but, it will keep its shape if you do not touch it until the cookies completely cool.)

Storage Tip: Store in airtight container at cool room temperature up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 3 months.

The original recipe is from a Woman’s Day Holiday Cookies insert (at least 6 years ago). Magi’s Turbans are fairly easy cookies to make, they store well, and they are certain to become a family favorite.

Comfort Food…


As the temperatures drop we start thinking about staying warm, cozy and comfortable. Some foods lend themselves to warming and nourishing our bodies. Some are better than others. Soups are great comfort food and below I have included our family’s recipe for a healthy version of Butternut Squash Soup that can be easily made in a slow-cooker.

Comfort food for the heart and soul come from the warmth we give to each other through love and kindness. Next Monday, Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada. This is a great time to really contemplate everything for which we are grateful. Between now and the New Year there are many religious and secular holidays that have us give pause and reflect upon love, gratitude, charity and other positive attitudes.

As we start filling our bodies with warm foods and beverages, let us take time to reflect and send for positive thoughts to those who are without. My family delights in saying blessings before every meal, a prayer of thanksgiving and compassion for those who need comfort and love. Let the warmth of the foods and drinks that nourish our bodies remind us how blessed we are, filling our hearts and spirits.


This the perfect comfort food to nourish your body. No unhealthy calories in this recipe. You will need a crock pot/slow cooker.


One medium to large butter nut squash.

3 to 4 Chicken/Vegetable Bouillon Cubes

4 to 6 cups of Water

Salt and Pepper to taste


The prep work is what takes the most energy in this…you need to peel the butternut squash; a good, sharp potato peeler works well; and chunk up the butternut squash. Do not use the seeds.

Place the chunks of butternut squash and water in the crock pot. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours; OR on LOW for 6 hours. Add bouillon cubes, salt and pepper anytime after the water heats up to a boil. As you get near to the end of the cooking time (after 3 hours or so), mash the squash or use a hand-held mixer. If you like thick soup, use less water; if you like soups thinner add more water. You can add a sweetener of your choice if you like things on the sweet side.

Variation: add carrots, sweet Vidalia onions, or any of your favorite vegetables.

For any of you who are following Weight Watchers…this has 0 plus points per 1 cup serving.

Nourishment for the Heart and Soul

As food is nourishment for the body; love, kindness, and interaction with people, nature, art and music are nourishment for the soul. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Our souls need nourishment as much as our bodies do. Unfortunately many of us, me included, have used food to comfort our souls, when it really it is crying out for love, kindness, interaction with people, nature, art and music. When we were children, too often ice cream, candy and cookies were used as rewards, when hugs and attention would have provided the best nourishment to our spirit. Each of us need a daily dose of self-love and kindness, whether it be in the form of affirmations or simply giving ourselves time to relax, have fun and joyful experiences, pamper our bodies and get a full (night’s) sleep every day.

Interaction with people is also important to nourish one’s soul. Getting out in public provides one with opportunities to socialize and to help others, through simple and small, but very important acts of love and kindness. One’s own spirit is lifted when one can make another smile. Sharing the gift of time with others is one of the best ways to nourish both our spirit as well as the spirits of others. Jesus did this throughout His lifetime (and beyond). He was and continues to be food and nourishment for the weak in spirit. His love and his kindness has filled the void in the lives of thousands in His lifetime and now millions.

Spending time outdoors among the trees, plants, flowers, birds and other animals nurtures the spirit. When people actively listen, watch, and are fully present in nature to see, hear and feel all the wonderful sights, sounds and sensations of nature, their souls are lifted.  What is more lovely than hearing birds singing, frogs croaking, and crickets chirping? Who doesn’t enjoy seeing butterflies dancing and squirrels playing? The feel of a gentle breeze and drizzle of a summer shower has a way of positively touching one’s soul. Nature reconnects people to their spirits.

Art and music engage the spirit, encouraging and evoking feelings. The beat of a drum, the lull of a flute, the colors of a painting, the movement of a dance (just to name a few) satiate and nourish our spirits. Whether we are observing or performing art and music, our souls are filled. Art and music comfort us, as does love, kindness, people and nature. The next time you sense a bit of a void in your life, consider taking time for yourself, go out and interact with others and nature, and engage your heart with art and music. This food for your soul will nourish you spirit (without calories).

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