Goodbye Comfort Food

IMG_1177What if you have to give up your favorite comfort food?

When my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teen, he said good-bye to his favorite comfort food and all-time staple – Pizza. It was a tough summer for him since pizza was also the food of choice at parties and outings. Maintaining sugar levels and managing this auto-immune disease while working to secure a starting spot on the varsity football team was a huge challenge for Jake, but he did great.

He managed exceptionally well — I’m such a proud mom — and eventually went on to play professional football in the NFL. Harvest House Publishers just released his first book, an awesome, inspiring devotional: First and Goal – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up.  UnknownEventually, Jake brought pizza back into his diet and used insulin to correct sugar levels, but he still maintains a very healthy diet. So, in honor of Jake, I’m sharing a diabetes-friendly pizza recipe from Nikki Sheriff @  Diabetesconnect.com

320x260Chicken Pesto Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust By Nikki Sheriff
Crust:

1 small head of cauliflower

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 egg

Pesto: (1 cup bottled pesto may be substituted)

1 cup fresh basil

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

pinch sea salt

fresh ground pepper to taste

Toppings:

1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

6 thin slices of a Roma tomato

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: To make the crust, trim and wash cauliflower florets (not including the stems). Pulse in a food processor until fine.Pour into a microwave safe bowl and microwave covered for 5 minutes. Lay out a clean kitchen towel and lay a paper towel over it. Pour the steamed cauliflower onto the towels and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, wrap up the steamed cauliflower and wring out as much liquid from the cauliflower as possible.Pour into a bowl and mix with cheeses and seasonings listed above under “crust”. Add the egg and mix with your hands and shape into a ball. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, placing a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.Lay out a piece of parchment paper and press and shape the cauliflower mixture into the shape of a pizza, about 1/4 inch thick. Once the oven is preheated, carefully lay the parchment paper with crust onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.While the crust is baking, make the pesto if using fresh pesto (or you could use bottled pesto).For the pesto, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese in a food processor until well mixed.Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, followed by the salt and pepper. Let it puree until well incorporated. Mix half of the pesto with the shredded chicken and set aside.When the crust is baked, remove from the oven and spread the other half of the pesto onto the crust, like pizza sauce. Top with the chicken mixed with pesto, the tomato slices, and both

Pour into a bowl and mix with cheeses and seasonings listed above under “crust”. Add the egg and mix with your hands and shape into a ball. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, placing a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.Lay out a piece of parchment paper and press and shape the cauliflower mixture into the shape of a pizza, about 1/4 inch thick. Once the oven is preheated, carefully lay the parchment paper with crust onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.While the crust is baking, make the pesto if using fresh pesto (or you could use bottled pesto).For the pesto, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese in a food processor until well mixed.Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, followed by the salt and pepper. Let it puree until well incorporated. Mix half of the pesto with the shredded chicken and set aside.When the crust is baked, remove from the oven and spread the other half of the pesto onto the crust, like pizza sauce. Top with the chicken mixed with pesto, the tomato slices, and both

While the crust is baking, make the pesto if using fresh pesto (or you could use bottled pesto).For the pesto, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese in a food processor until well mixed. Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, followed by the salt and pepper. Let it puree until well incorporated. Mix half of the pesto with the shredded chicken and set aside.When the crust is baked, remove from the oven and spread the other half of the pesto onto the crust, like pizza sauce. Top with the chicken mixed with pesto, the tomato slices, and both cheese’s.Bake 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted. Slice into 8 slices and serve.

Looks and sounds yummy, doesn’t it?

***

Holly Michael has enjoyed a writing career as a journalist, features writer, and a regular ghostwriter for a Guideposts magazine before authoring novels and nonfiction books. Married to Anglican Bishop, Leo Michael, Holly has three grown children; daughter Betsy and football-playing sons—Jake (NFL) and Nick (University of Louisiana-Lafayette). Kansas City, Missouri is home and she blogs at www.writingstraight.com

Contact her at www.HollyMichael.com or on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/AuthorHollyMichael or Twitter: @HollyMichael

First and Goal: What Football Taught Me About Life can be pre-ordered at Amazon now by clicking this link, but will soon be available in most book-seller markets.

Thanks for stopping by. We are happy you joined us at Writing Prompts in June for our “Comfort Food Month.” Be sure to stop over in July. You will enjoy “Greatest Movie Ever Month.”

And now for the writing prompt…

The doctor lowered his eyes and studied the file. He raised his head and peered over his glasses. “You’re going to have to make drastic changes in your life.”

And go! Respond below in the comments section.

Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens

Jennifer Hallmark

betty owensToday I’d like to say welcome to my friend, fellow author, and blogger, Betty Thomason Owens.

Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Now for the first question:

What inspired you to write Annabelle’s Ruth? Where did this idea come from?

Betty: I’ve always loved the Book of Ruth. I’ve read it many times, seen several of the movies. A couple of years ago, I’d just read through the book again and I wondered, what if I wrote a story similar to Ruth’s, but set in more modern times? Say, the 1950’s, and what if…

That’s really how it began. Then I had the idea to blend in elements of my mother’s early life, a story I’d heard throughout my childhood, but more often now, as she ages. Mom was 17 when she met my dad, a sailor temporarily stationed in the Puget Sound. He was 19—they were…

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Delicious, Low-Fat Mexican Casserole

owfi & Mothers Day 006By Janet K. Brown

We love Mexican food & to keep my weight down, I’m always mindful of keeping it light. I make this Mexican casserole all the time. It’s easy to fix, too, an extra bonus. It’s low-fat and delicious. Serve the casserole with pinto beans and a dinner salad for a complete meal. I often fix it to take for funerals or to shut-ins.

 

Mexican Casserole

Ingredients:

93% lean ground beef

½ onion, chopped

98% fat-free cream of chicken soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes

2 cups 2% Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese

28 Multi grain Tostidas chips

 

Directions:

Brown meat and onion in a skillet coated with cooking spray.

Add soup and tomatoes

Simmer for 15 minutes

Spray 6-inch x 12-inch pan with cooking spray.

Crush and scatter chips on the bottom of the pan.

Spread meat mixture over chips.

Sprinkle cheese over meat mixture.

Cook in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Freezes well to serve later.

Enjoy!

 

Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after worthretiring from medical coding.

Worth Her Weight is the author’s first inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her previously released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.

Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.

Janet and her husband love to travel in their RV, work in their church, and visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren.

Janet teaches workshops on writing, weight loss, and the historical settings of her teen books.

Find her at http:/ /www.janetkbrown.com

on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janetkbrowntx

on Facebook   http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Janet-K-Brown-Author/143915285641707

E-mail:  Janet.hope@att.net

3 Questions Wednesday with Betty Thomason Owens

img_9412 copyToday’s 3 Questions Wednesday guest is Writing Prompts crew member, Betty Thomason Owens. Betty is a multi-published author and has been a contributor to the blog since 2012.

We’re so glad you could join us, Betty. First question:

Which author would you never get tired of, and why?

Betty:  My list of favorite authors grows almost daily. But my all-time favorite keeps me coming back to read and re-read some of my favorite parts. I know it’s a little predictable, but I love Jane Austen. Her style, her characters, her insight–challenge me to create something beautiful. And I don’t have to choose between some of my uber-talented writing friends. I would have to settle for eenie-meenie-minie-moe to choose my favorite, because they’re all so good.

Nice one. So let’s get antagonistic. I know Austen has a few really good villains in her stories.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Betty: The champion of the literary villain is Dickens, in my book. He created some doozies. My favorite is Mr. Murdstone, from David Copperfield. I truly loved to hate him. He reminded me of Mrs. Reed in Jane Eyre. Wouldn’t they make a cute couple!

Ah, consummate villains. I love it.

What project are you currently working on?

Betty:  I am currently editing book 2 in the Legacy series for Write Integrity Press. It’s called Carlotta’s Legacy. It’s the story of Rebecca Lewis, whose family lost everything in the Stockmarket crash of 1929. For those of you who’ve read Amelia’s Legacy, Rebecca was Nancy Sanderson’s best friend. She’s forced to make a tough decision that will change her life, hopefully for the better. Most of the story is set in the Umbrian region of Italy, pre-war.

I’ve also donned a new hat, as contributing editor for a brand new digital magazine for readers and writers, Imaginate. IMAGINATE has articles for writers, as well as creative pieces like short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and special features for readers. For more information, visit our website: www.ImaginateZone.com

How exciting! We wish you great success in all your writing endeavors. And thanks so much for taking the time to complete our 3 Questions.

Readers, please leave a comment in the comments section below for a free copy of Betty’s newly-released, Annabelle’s Ruth (see writeup below). The winner can choose either the Kindle version, or the print version as soon as it’s available. Winner will be contacted via email.


Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers. She is a co-founder of Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!–a blog dedicated to inspiring writers, and a contributing editor for the online magazine, Imaginate.

Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press). She also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

Releasing in June, a 1950’s historical novel based on the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth, book 1 of the Kinsman Redeemer Series (Write Integrity Press).

You can connect with Betty on her personal webpage, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and here on Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! Betty O. at Writing Prompts.

Annabelle's Ruth Final-SmallAnnabelle’s Ruth

After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again.

Inspired by the Book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth is a 1950’s era “Ruth” story, set in western Tennessee.  How will Connie adapt to her new life amid the cotton farms, racial tension, and culture shock?

*Inspired by the Book of Ruth and loosely based on the early life experiences of the author’s mother.

Available in June 2015

The Comfort of a Potato

Ginger pic (1)

By Ginger Solomon

When I’m down, I head for the pantry. Food brings comfort. Something about a warm chocolate chip cookie, a potato chip or two or the whole bag makes me feel all is right with the world.

But far above cookies or chips on my comfort food list is potato soup. I’m not sure why. My mom didn’t make it when I was growing up. I’m not sure I even had it before I was married. Somehow I came across the recipe and started making it and fell in love. I don’t make it often because it’s a bit calorie laden, usually once a winter, sometimes twice. The biggest problem? I eat most of it by myself. I make tomato soup for my kids, which they love with grilled cheese, and I eat my potato soup. For the next week.

It is one of the few meals I will eat every day and not have an issue. Yes, I’m one of those people. The ones who don’t like to eat leftovers because I just ate it the day before. 🙂 I go so far as to not eat ground beef, chicken, pork, etc. two days in a row. Extreme, I know. And I am getting less persnickety about it. IF the meals are completely different, like hamburgers and lasagna (both contain ground beef), it’s okay, but if we have chicken strips, then I won’t make grilled barbecue chicken the next night. Just can’t do it.Slide2

Okay, I know you’re just dying for that recipe now, so here it is…

Potato Soup

2 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled

1 lb onions

1 whole clove

pinch of thyme

2 cups milk

2 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

Slice peeled potatoes and onions into ¼ inch thick slices.  Put water (I usually have to add more to cover potatoes), thyme and clove into soup pot.  Add the potatoes and onions, some salt and pepper; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. (Drain slightly, if necessary, save water just in case).  Rub mixture through a strainer, or process in food processor or blender 1 cup at a time until smooth.  Return to pot, stir in milk, reheat but do not boil. Taste and correct seasonings.

***Variation 1:I’ll fry some bacon until crisp in the pot. Remove bacon, but leave drippings. Add crisped, crumbled bacon on top of soup in bowl.

***Variation 2: I’ll add a couple cups of shredded cheddar cheese at the very end, when the soup is rewarmed after the addition of the milk. Stir to melt.

And because I know not everyone likes potato soup, here’s the tomato soup recipe…

 

Tomato Soup

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 (28 oz) cans crushed or diced tomatoes

3 1/2 cups broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp ground pepper

4 drops Tabasco sauce (more or less to taste)

Heat oil in dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until the onion is tender. Add carrot and celery; cook 7 to 9 minutes until tender, stirring frequently (I have never waited for them to be tender. I usually let them saute for about 5 minutes then move on.) Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

***author note: because my kids don’t want to see carrots and celery in their tomato soup, I use an immersion/stick blender to blend the soup. You could also use a blender or food processor.

Serve one or both with grilled cheese and sweet tea (I am a southern girl), and you have the ultimate comfort meal.

Blessings!

Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest four, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for two blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, horses especially, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and sometimes cross-stitch), and loves to sing.

www.gingersolomon.com

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