Decadent Apple Cake

This cake is such a wonderful fall treat! We ate our first piece warm, that’s why it’s still in the center of the tube pan (we couldn’t wait)  🙂 , however, it’s really good cold too. Either way, pair it with a cup of hot coffee or tea and I promise, you will have a little slice of heaven!


3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 taps. vanilla

3 cups raw apples, peeled and finely chopped


Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Sift together flour, salt, soda. Mix into first mixture. Fold in pecans and apples. Grease tube or bundt pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.


1 cup packed brown sugar 

¼ cup milk 

¾ cup butter 

Mix and cook ingredients to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over hot cake while cake is still in pan. Let cake cool completely before removing.
Enjoy & Happy Fall!

Posted in Baking, Cake, cooking, Delicious, Fall, Favorite things, Food | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shrimp, Potato & Kale Tuscan Soup

This soup is kind of on the line of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup… except it doesn’t have sausage in it…but if you like sausage you could certainly add that.



1 large onion, chopped

1 package (1 lb) peeled & devined shrimp (chopped into smaller pieces)

3-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 TBLS olive oil

64 oz vegetable broth

2 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

6 Russet Potatoes (washed and cut in half lengthwise and then sliced 1/4 inch thick)

1 – 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 cups chopped fresh kale

12 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 Bay leaves

3 TBLS Italian seasoning 

1 TBLS flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat oil in a large pot, add shrimp,  or if your using Italian sausage here’s where you’d add 1 lb of it. However, if you are using sausage – completely eliminate the oil!! Cook shrimp (or sausage, or both) until it’s almost cooked, then add the onion & garlic. Cook until onion turns translucent. 

Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then add potatoes, cook for approx 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Reduce heat to low and stir in the heavy cream and kale. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with toasted French bread or hard rolls!



Posted in eating healthy, Life, Potatoes, Recipes, soup, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m coming back…

After quite a long absence…I’m coming back to the blogging world. I am hoping to begin blogging again soon with a whole new focus.

Looking forward to connecting again with my blogging friends and reviving my blog with a fresh start…

Soon!! 🙂


Posted in blogging, Blogs, Flowers, Life, People, sweet | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mushrooms & Fingerlings

I was recently given a cook book from some good friends (Jassie & Daniel). This cookbook is from Williams-Sonoma called Vegetable of the Day. It’s by Kate McMillan and has 365 delicious recipes for cooking vegetables. I wanted to share two of these recipes with you that I made last night…yum, yum, yum!! This recipe was cooked with entirely organic food :).

First recipe will be the Mushrooms recipe…


Mushrooms with Garlic Butter & Pine Nuts:

1 lb (500 g.) mixed mushrooms (I used Portebella, Porcini, Oyster & Shiitake)

4 TBLS (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter at room temperature (I used salted butter)

3 cloves garlic, minced

sea salt & freshly ground pepper

** I added a little thyme and oregano to the mix (sprinkled over the mushrooms before roasting) – I just like these flavors with mushrooms, but this is totally optional and not a part of the recipe.

2 TBLS dry white wine

1/3 (2 oz./60 g.)  – 1/2 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds (I used pine nuts)

1-2 TBLS chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley (your preference)

Preheat the oven to 450 F. (230 C.) Cut the larger mushrooms into pieces so that all mushrooms are close to the same size. Place cut mushrooms in a single layer in a large roasting pan…you can leave the smaller mushrooms whole if you prefer….

Mix together the butter and garlic, season with salt and pepper and dot the butter mixture evenly over the mushrooms. Sprinkle the wine over the mushrooms. I also sprinkled some thyme and oregano over this mixture because I like those flavors with mushrooms.

Roast the mushrooms until they begin to sizzle and brown, about 15 minutes. Take mushrooms out of oven and sprinkle with pine nuts…return to oven and roast another 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked.

Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and sprinkle with chives…enjoy!


The second recipe that I made for this meal is also from the book Vegetable of the Day by Kate McMillan

Roasted Fingerlings with Garlic

1 lb. (500 g.) small fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil

Leaves from 4 fresh rosemary springs, minced (I used dried rosemary because I didn’t have a plant…but I’m getting one!)

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F. (200 C).

Put the potatoes in a bowl or a plastic bag and add the oil, rosemary, salt & Pepper. Turn the potatoes (or seal and squeeze the bag) until potatoes are coated. Spread the potatoes on a roasting pan and scatter the garlic over the potatoes.

Roast until the potatoes are golden brown and tender …anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Season with salt and serve.


I hope you enjoy these dishes…they seriously were yum!!

Posted in Food, gluten free, GMO free, kitchen, Mushrooms, organic, Potatoes, raw vegetables, Recipes, Vegetables, vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

For the Love of God…

“No, you can’t come home!” / “You’re life is worthless” / “You have made your own bed, now lie in it” / “Unless you follow our rules, you are not welcome here” / “You have embarrassed your family, so we will embarrass you”….


These are just some of the things that I have heard parents of beautiful children, who have “gone astray,” tell their kids. I’ve heard it over and over and I’ve watched those children as they’ve processed those words. My heart is saddened.

My heart is saddened because the processing that I’ve seen of these words has taken these children into a place that Christ never intended for any of His creation to go. A place of rejection and pain…a place of loss of identity and sorrow…a place of jealousy and hatred…a place of hopelessness and fear.

My mind and heart do not fit into the mold of most Christians that I know. My mind and heart do not find anything positive or Christlike about the words above. My knowledge of and experience in Christ do not allow me to receive the above words as godly in any way shape or form. I know that this post may be controversial, but these things have bothered me for a very very long time and I feel that it’s time I talk about them. I do not intend to offend anyone, that’s not my goal….but I do want to speak what I have learned to be the truth from God’s word over this subject.

Jesus said that the most important commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31. We would never treat ourselves the way we treat other people, nor the way we treat our children sometimes. We would never want to be treated in the manner that, among some Christians, is an acceptable form of treatment for a child that has “gone astray.” We were not commanded to “love” if they obey us, or “love” if they walk in the right way, or “love” if they don’t sin…rather love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

I very firmly believe that love trumps hatred / love trumps jealousy / love trumps rejection / love trumps pain / love trumps sorrow / love trumps loss of identity / love trumps hopelessness / love trumps fear! Love trumps everything that we could possibly get ourselves involved in. If love did not trump everything bad in our lives then Christ died in vain…His love trumped death – eternal separation from God! Therefore, Love trumps all.



So, why don’t we practice this in every area of our lives? As Christians we try to reach out to others with the love of Christ…sometimes knowing their past, sometimes not knowing their past…but each time telling them that Christ’s love covers all their sins and we try hard to reach out a NON-judging hand – so we can be the hands and feet of Christ in their lives!

So – why don’t we reach out to our children in the same manner? Instead what many children from Christian homes receive is – “you are not worthy”, “unless you follow our rules, we will not accept you” … this doesn’t compute to me! Where’s the NON-judging hand of Christ in those words or in that attitude?

Sometimes I think that family suffers the most at our “godly, loving, Christ-like, NON-judging hands” …. hmmmm, why is that?

Honestly, I don’t have an answer…maybe it’s because of the closeness (“closeness breeds contempt”), or maybe it’s because parents feel rejection from their kids when their kids grow up and no longer “follow their rules” or “choose their own path.” I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that the words spoken out of the parents’ pain are not words that heal their children!

I don’t believe in “tough love!” Let me say that again…I don’t believe in “tough love”!!! I don’t believe that is a Biblical concept at all!! Not even one time in my walk with God nor in my relationship with Christ did I feel a “tough love” from Him! The only love that I ever experienced from Christ was a gentle, sweet, wooing by His Spirit and a warm, accepting, embrace so powerful that it drove away all evil! That’s the love I have experienced from my God! Nothing “tough” about that!

I believe that “tough love” is a man-made concept that doesn’t really fit with how Christ loved me or how Christ loves people! So, if my goal in life is to become like Christ and to shine forth with the love of Christ….then why in the world would I ever show ANYONE a “tough love”???? That does NOT COMPUTE!! “Tough love” / Christ’s love = oxymoron – they are NOT the same thing! People respond to nonjudgmental love…Jesus said the greatest command is to love…then why do we do anything else?

I’ve heard people try to explain this away by saying “Well, I do love them, that’s why I have to be tough.” Hmmmm….how does that translate into love? I don’t see it! I see that if you love someone it is sweet and gentle and kind…not harsh and ugly and mean! The only tough thing about Christ’s love is that He loved us so much and that love drove HIM (not the other person) to the Cross! To love like Christ it may be tough, but the hardship is on ME, not the other person!  I don’t fit into the “tough love” mold!

I’m very discouraged by what I see in the “christian world” right now – a lack of godly love. A total consumption with “my way” even under the pretense that I am doing this “because I love you” … to be honest…that makes me want to puke! If it doesn’t feel like love, then it probably is NOT love but rather driven with some other motivation.

I know we can’t base things on how we feel about something because feelings are unpredictable. However, I can tell you that how Jesus has made me feel with His love has never been tied to rejection, sorrow, or pain! His love has made me feel welcomed, accepted, worthy, embraced!

This is still food for thought for me, and this post will be continued…but for now, I have to say that I have come to a place in my walk with God that I totally reject this “Christian teaching” of tough love…it is not Biblical and it does NOT represent my God!

Posted in Choices, Family, Family Things..., God Things..., Life, love | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Pests, pests, pests….

Well, I’m kinda discouraged about my garden this year! I have gone totally organic and I am not having much luck with my squash…in fact, I think the squash & the cucumbers are going to be a bust this year!

There are two pests in particular that I can’t seem to control! The first one I’ve already talked about – the squash bug:


These squash bugs seem to be somewhat under control with the Neem Oil. At least the Neem Oil appears to have stopped them from being able to lay eggs.

But now I’ve discovered a new pest and maybe they are related, I’m not sure, but this pest is a worm and they have eaten all the leaves on my cucumbers and my summer squash. I was too discouraged by this to give you a picture of my destroyed crops :(.

Here’s the picture of these little culprits:


These little worms look like inchworms, but they don’t move like them. They have little webs that they build and you can see some eggs on the leaves too! Oh my goodness…I’m so discouraged that my squash and cucumber crops are ruined!! 😦

I’ve never planted totally organic seeds before and I know this is the reason that I’m having such trouble! I should have done more research before I planted my organic garden…but I was so excited to get started and I also started so late in the season that I was anxious to get them in the ground. Didn’t realize there were so many critters that love squash and cucumbers! 😦

If anyone has any experience with planting organic veggies – and how to control the bugs – I’m ALL EARS!! Please share your experience with me…I’m novice to the organics, but I will not grow the gmo/pesticide ridden veggies anymore…therefore, I have no choice but to move forward and educate myself. PLEASE HELP!! SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE with organics with me! I need help!!

On a brighter note…the evil pests have not touched my green beans, peas, tomatoes or sweet peppers! I am very grateful!!

Here’s my beans:


and my peas…


Sorry for the blurriness….I couldn’t get my phone to focus on the pea! But you get the idea…pea pods and beans with NO BUGS!! 🙂

Posted in Bugs, cucumbers, garden, garden boxes, garden pests, Gardening, gardening help needed, organic, organic help, pests, squash, squash bugs, Vegetables, worms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Garden Woes…with silver bells and cockle shells

My oh my, I have discovered something that I’ve never had to deal with before! I’ve grown squash and plenty of vegetables and have never experienced the super, plentiful bugs that I experienced this year! Sheesh!

Let’s start with the squash bug… This is my new discovery this year. Of course this has been the year of all the bugs in Florida! I don’t know if it has been because of all the rain, but bugs are everywhere this year. The Mosquitos will pick you up, carry you away and eat you for dinner! The fleas are everywhere this year and are resistant to all forms of control except trifexis! So why did I expect any different in the garden? Partly should have expected it since this is the first year that I have grown ENTIRELY GMO-free and organic vegetables! Since these veggies’ seeds have no pesticides already in them, my poor plants are have been totally on their own defensively … And the bugs have been having a hay day!

Here’s the culprit – the squash bug! I’ve seen these little red bugs crawling all over my squash plants!




I hand picked each little bug off and squished them… Then I began to realize that they’d laid about a million eggs on so many leaves! Oh my goodness! So I pinched off all the leaves covered in eggs and put them a zip-lock gallon-sized plastic bag …I filled two bags! Ugh. Then I went inside and googled this little insect and found out it will be a battle that I will have to fight all summer long! If I did not get it under control I would have NO squash crop! These little creatures LOVE squash :(.

Here’s my healthy squash plant:


Here’s what these little Red Devils can do to a healthy plant in just two days:


Then they lay their eggs everywhere!! On the leaves, on the ground… Oh my gosh!!!



But this girl doesn’t get defeated easily and these little pests just made me step up my game. Google truly is my friend! After I’d hand picked all the bugs off the plants and removed as many eggs as I could, I got online and googled organic ways to defeat these creatures! Most people said all you can do is hand-pick them off and remove all eggs. Then I found a forum and someone mentioned Neem Oil

I don’t know if this will really work, but I’ve sprayed all of my squash this morning with a mixture of 1 TBLS to 2 quarts water. We’ll see what happens! Hopefully, I can defeat these little Red Devils!

Fortunately, I found out that when this bug is red it is still young, when it becomes an adult, it looks like this:


On a brighter note, my green beans are doing really well and starting to flower! Yay! The squash bugs don’t seem to even care about the green beans, for which I am very grateful!!



Moral of this story…always squash those squash bugs!!! 😉

Posted in garden, garden boxes, Gardening, GMO free, Insects, neem oil, organic, pests, squash bugs, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment