Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thai Soup

Ok, I am a HUGE Thai food fan. It must be GOOD Thai food though. I have tried a few places here and nothing compares to my favorite place back home. Basil. YUM! Their peanut sauce is Heavenly and well...everything else is yum. I love a good soup. Not a huge soup person, but when I am in the mood and it is good, I will eat it up. This is my Thai Soup recipe. I love it because it is under 800 calories for the ENTIRE pan. I know...amazing! Please enjoy. Sorry, I do not have pictures.

1 small package rice noodles
2-3 Stalks lemon grass, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 teaspoons red curry paste (My CA friends, Albertsons is the only place to have this. I know because in June I went on a search. Food 4 Less and Vons do not carry it)
32 ounces Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Can Low Fat coconut milk
1/2 head Green Cabbage, shredded
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
1 Cup mushroom of choice, chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
*You may add small shrimp or diced chicken if you wish. I typically make this a vegetarian soup*

Prepare the rice noodles, as directed on package, and set aside. Saute mushrooms in a small saucepan with a little water til they become semi soft. Set those aside as well.

In a large saucepan add olive oil, garlic, ginger, and lemon grass. Saute til tender to the touch. Add chicken broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add in curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, and cilantro.  Simmer another 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and noodles. Stir all together. ENJOY!

I typically serve this with rice, chicken, and peanut sauce. I will post the sauce recipe below as well. This is NOT my recipe, but a family friends.

2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 Cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Red Curry Paste
3 Tablespoons water

Throw everything into your blender and blend til smooth and creamy.

This is seriously the 2nd best peanut sauce recipe EVER!!!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sweets and Treats

Ok, so many people have been asking me to get them my recipes. I have written a cookbook, unfortunately I am the only one with a copy. Ha! So, that is another reason for my blog. Yes, I will put all my recipes into a book, make copies, and let you all know so you can purchase it. But, please continue to be patient. So, I asked you guys on Facebook what you all wanted me to blog. A couple of you said baking. So, I will blog my first food blog on sweets. I will have a couple on this blog. These are items I make for Christmas and everyone always asks for my recipe. I do have a couple pictures I will add. Now, I will try to add the pictures in the correct space so they line up with the recipe. But, please be patient with me. If they all end up at the bottom, you should easily be able to match the picture with the recipe. ha! Ok, time to hush my mouth and start typing!

*These are all the EASIEST recipes EVER!!!*

Avalanche Bark

2 Bags WILTON white chocolate
2 BIG spoonfuls creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3 cups mini marshmallows (give or take)
3 cups rice crispies (give or take)

Melt the white chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl. Check and stir every 30 seconds. Making sure you do not burn chocolate. Not only will it no longer be useable, but it will also stink. lol! Once the chocolate is creamy add the peanut butter. Let it rest for a couple minutes. Allowing it to cool some so it will not melt other ingredients. Once it is cooled off a while (but still creamy and soft) start adding in mini marshmallows and rice crispies. Now, sometimes you need to add less or more. I start with a cup of each at a time. You want to make sure your mixture is more on the wet side. This will help harden your bark. Once you have added enough, add 1 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir. Pour bark onto a greased cake or cookie pan, or waxed paper. You then can sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips over top. Pat them down a little bit. Let set and then cut, and enjoy!  *Warning. This bark is super yummy, but super rich*.

Peppermint Bark (discs)

This is the EASIEST thing to make. EVER!

2 bags WILTON white chocolate
1 box regular candy canes- unwrapped and crushed

Melt white chocolate in a larger microwavable safe bowl. Check and stir every 30 seconds, making sure you do NOT burn your chocolate!!! Once chocolate is completely melted and creamy, add in 3/4 of crushed candy canes. Now, there are 2 ways of finishing up your bark. You can pour it in a greased or waxed lined cookie sheet. I started trying something new last year. I spoon a dollop of my mix onto waxed paper forming a disc. Once your bark is laid out, sprinkle remaining crushed candy canes on top.

Carey's Brownie Balls of Death

These were named by my brother. lol! So I decided to keep the name.

1 box of your favorite brand chocolate brownie mix. I like the dark chocolate fudgy kind.
1 bag milk chocolate WILTON brand chocolate
*optional* chopped nuts, sprinkles, cocoa powder, coconut, crushed candy canes, etc

Make mix according to the directions on box. When brownies have just about 2 or 3 minutes left, remove from oven. Let them cool for a few minutes before you begin working on them. You need them to still be warm/hot. Warning...they will be hot, but they need to be worked with during this time for them to stick together well. While you are allowing brownies to cool a couple minutes, go ahead and melt the chocolate. Have that prepared and ready. Also prepare a large sheet of waxed paper and items to roll your balls in if you so wish.  Spoon out a small amount of brownie and roll into a small ball. About an inch to 1 1/2 inches round. Once it is formed into a ball, set in melted chocolate and cover. Pick up with a fork and knock into side of bowl a little to try to shake off the extra chocolate. Set on waxed paper. If you want you can sprinkle on any of the toppings you wish, other wise let them cool as is.

Tiger Butter

I do not have a picture of this one, but oh well. You will soon find out the beauty yourself.

2 bags WILTON white chocolate
2 LARGE spoonfuls creamy peanut butter
1/2 bag milk or dark chocolate WILTON chocolate

Melt white chocolate in a large microwavable safe bowl. Check about every 30 seconds, making sure you do NOT burn chocolate. Once chocolate is completely melted and creamy, add in the peanut butter. Mix til smooth and creamy. Pour into greased cookie sheet, or waxed paper lined sheet. Smooth out over pan. Spoon spoonfuls of melted milk or dark chocolate in different areas of peanut butter mixture. With a knife, go back and forth, from side to side and back again in the other direction. Make a pretty design. Make it yours. Let this cool completely and become firm before breaking into bark.

If you wish, do with my bff, SK, did and knock over a glass of alcohol and you will have a little spiked bark. lol!!!


Sunday, September 4, 2011


The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. Is. 61:1a

Have you ever felt you were so cold, you didn't think you would make it through the night? Have you ever truly had no food and honestly had 
no clue where your next meal would come from? Have you ever gone through trash cans and dumpsters to try to find something that may help you 
stay warm? Have you ever been laughed at, mocked at, or walked past? Have you ever felt that there is no way life could ever get better? Welcome
to the life of a homeless man.

Growing up I really dont think I had a soft heart. Yes, I grew up a Christian. But honestly my heart really didnt break when it should have.
I was a teenager when it changed. Movies, songs, stories, people. I think it is a gift. Ok, maybe not crying during a sad movie, but you know 
what I mean. We need to cry out to have our hearts broken by the things that break Gods heart. For me that are the people hurting on the street.
It could be the children on the streets of Sudan whose parents were killed and they are left alone, afraid, and hungry. It could also be the 
middle age executive that lost his job then slowly lost everything. Now living on the cold hard street trying to find his way again. Where 
before he would easily pay $30.00 for a meal, he now is hungry and going through the trash on 9th Street searching for scraps some child didn't

God started speaking to me about the homeless years ago. I would literally get sick to my stomach when i would see one. Not in a "can we
please pass this person, they are freaking me out" kind of way. But, I need to stop and help them out kind of way. Through the years I was
able to do things for them. I would carry bags of food in my trunk to hand out if needed. Extra blankets or jackets I no longer used. I was
blessed to work at a store for years where we would have homeless people sit outside on the bench. Sometimes asking for handouts. Sometimes
taking the weight off their weary feet. Nothing was more enjoyable than sitting on the bench and sharing my lunch and my prayers. I remember 
this one man. I brought a hot cup of coffee and a donut from our morning meeting. He was ever grateful . I sat down next to him and asked him
his name. He began to share his story. I asked if I could pray for anything. He sat there a moment just looking at me with these eyes. These 
big dark eyes that told a million stories. He then said please. We prayed and I went back to work and he went on his day. I never did see him

Many times I have seen peoples faces or heard them talk about the person sitting on the cold ground asking for food. It saddens me. We may 
not be able to help that person, but please do not speak harsh of them. We do not know their stories. We do not know where they've been. We 
do not know what is going on. Simply smile. A smile means a lot. You never know when someone may be at the end. They want to give up, but the
smile keeps them going. There are many things you can do. Give a meal. Give a couple dollars. Ask them to lunch. Give them a coat or a blanket.
Serve at a homeless shelter. Pray for them. Even from your home.

In Nashville alone there are between 2500-3000 homeless people. 50 of them died in 2008. Anything from health issues, to being sick, to just
being cold and poor nutrition. This is JUST in Nashville. 

Please take a couple minutes to watch the video I posted (this is the first video I have posted, lets hope we get it on). I was leading worship for a while down at Tent City, a homeless community down in Nashville. It was destroyed during our big flood. My very talented friend put this together. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Zumba. Ok…A lot of you know how passionate I am about working out. I LOVE IT! Running, walking, biking, elliptical, swimming, stair climber, etc…I love it all! But…as a lot of you know you can get so bored and start phoning it in at the gym and that isn't good. You want and need to find something that is going to push you beyond your limits and take you to that next level. I would be at the gym 5-6 days a week doing whatever. Some days I would stay a lot longer than other days. I could burn 300 calories to 1000 calories. Depending on what i did and how long I stayed. I started getting bored, which is never a good thing. I wanted to change it up a little. I wanted a personal trainer, but at the moment cant afford one. A friend of mine lost a TON of weight doing Zumba. She said it was a lot of fun, so thought I would give it a try. Now, mind you, I am in NO way a dancer. I didn't think I even had rhythm. But, you do NOT need to know anything about dancing. If you can walk and move your body, you can Zumba. Yes, it is all choreographed, but you get the hang of it very fast. I have become addicted to Zumba and try to get there 5-6 nights a week. Each class is an hour and let me tell you. This house goes by so fast. You are having so much fun, with so many other people, dancing to upbeat music and burning MAJOR CALORIES!!!!! Im talking around 900-1000 calories. *high calorie burn all depends on your level of working out*

Zumba is a latin-inspired fitness program. Each instructor is different, but majority of songs are latin based, with some hip hop thrown in. You will learn to salsa, merengue, and some fun and funky hip hop moves. Your body will be moving in ways you never thought possible. 

Each Zumba class is different. You will have young and old. Small and bigger. People with amazing rhythm and experience and some who have never worked out in their lives. 

You can go to www.zumba.com and find Zumba classes in your local area. I HIGHLY recommend everyone trying it at least once. You may tell me "im too old". Let me tell you I have women in their 70's in my class. I have women who are very over weight in my class. So, lets quit the excuse making and get your dance on!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When I grow up...

Growing up in a very musically talented family I had a huge feeling that was what I was going to do when I grew up. Everyone in my family played at least 1 instrument and a couple of us sang. As I typically describe us, we are The Partridge Family. I wanted to be in music in some form. Back up singer, lead, worship leader, something. I started working for a local Christian Bookstore as their music buyer. With them, I was able to go to Nashville for work and thats where I became very interested in the industry side of things. I got a job with Provident-Sony Music and moved across the country to Nashville, TN. I thought I found what was going to be a long term job, it was cut short. With cut backs going on all around, I was one of the unlucky ones. I was left feeling sad, bitter, hurt, confused, lost, and wanting nothing more than to move back home. God had other plans...

I decided to start looking into Nanny Agencies. I became a nanny and my first family I had was amazing. 3 of the best kids ever and decided, for now, this is what I was going to do. Though, in my heart, I knew this was not my long term job. I was still left thinking of what I wanted to be/do when I grew up.

About 6 months ago I was driving to work with the music off just talking to Jesus. Finally I stopped. God told me to hush and just listen. I remember him telling me I was to work with people in need of losing weight. In other words, become a personal trainer. I was beyond excited and I knew this was it. This is what I was to do. I have such a huge passion for people and a passion for helping others on their way to their personal wellness journeys.

About a year ago I started my journey. I will be honest and tell you it is hard. Some people understand. Some will never understand. This is a battle I will fight every day for the rest of my life. I am still learning and still fighting for what is mine. I am learning to eat well, and limited. I have become addicted, in a good way, to working out. Especially Zumba. (We will talk about this gem later). I personally believe in old fashion weight loss. No surgery (unless it is life and death) and absolutely NO PILLS/DROPS/DRUGS/HORMONES/ETC. I feel VERY strongly against these. Just good old fashion calorie counting and working a big ol sweat. (We will discuss the IMPORTANCE of working out later)

So, I am currently concentrating on getting off the rest of my weight and bettering myself. Starting this coming Spring I will begin training to become a certified Personal Trainer. My main goal will be to focus on the obese and the morbidly obese. I am highly contemplating becoming a Zumba Instructor as well. I have had about 10 people contact me asking for advice on how they can start their journey. Nothing gets me more excited that sending out that email full of advice and hope. Sharing how I believe in them and helping them believe in themselves. Because until you believe in yourself and come to the understand that you want this and you have it in you to do it, then it is simply just a dream.

Anything is possible if you just believe. You are strong. You are powerful. You are unique. You are beautiful.

Oh Blog...

Well, I woke up this morning and thought to myself, "Self. Let's blog." So here I am. This will be a place where I will share my thoughts, dreams, recipes, poetry, and just simple and sometimes fascinating, ramblings. So here we go. Ready, I think so...