Charlie’s Advice for a Stress-Free Life

Charlie 7/22/18 Mars, PA

Charlie’s Advice for a Stress-Free Life.

Many dogs have said it before me,
but it bears repeating….

If you can’t eat it
or play with it,
then pee on it,
and walk away.

Don’t make life so complicated!

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike the UPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: thecreativelifeinbetween.com.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

Roasted Spiral Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Garlic, Rosemary & Browned Butter

Roasted Spiral Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Garlic, Rosemary, and Browned Butter.

O. M. G!

Where have you been all my life spiralized butternut squash?

Many of us have been spiralizing our zucchini squash into beautiful noodles, but am I one of the last on the bandwagon for spiralized butternut squash??!!

So simple…
So quick…
So DELICIOUS!!!

I happened to come across a package of fresh spiral-cut butternut squash at my local Aldi Grocery Store recently.

I thought about pan frying it in butter and garlic, but then chose to roast it like I typically do with cut butternut squash, and WOWZIE PaZOWzie was I pleased!
And so was hubby!

What a quick, easy, delicious, and nutritous treat!

Here is the super simple, yet amazingly delicious way I prepared it.

Roasted Spiral Butternut Squash with Garlic, Rosemary, and Browned Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz package of prepared spiral cut butternut squash “noodles” (or spiral cut your own)
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, browned
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. flaked sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Brown butter in skillet.  Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.  Once browned, remove from heat and stir in garlic.

Spread spiral-cut butternut squash “noodles” onto a stoneware bar pan or your favorite shallow baking pan.

Sprinkle with salt.  Drizzle with garlic-enhanced browned butter.  Top with minced rosemary.  Toss to coat all.

Roast for 7-9 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

What Would You Be?

Bumble Bee in Red Petunia Flower Basket – Mars, PA – July 2018

What Would You Be?

What would you be
if you could be
anything you wanted to be?

Would you be
Kind?

Would you be
Loving?

Would you be
Compassionate?

Would you be
Understanding?

Would you be
Generous?

So many wonderful things we can be…
What would you be?
What are you being?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Mommy’s New Love

Mommy’s New Love – Watercolor 11×14

Mommy’s New Love.

The only thing
that can even possibly compare
to the indescribable feeling
of Mommy’s New Love….

might just be
Grandma’s new love.

This is another illustrative watercolor
meant to express the joy
that can only come
from watching your children
experience the joy
of having children…

and getting to be a part of it.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon – Watercolor Illustration – 11×14

A Daddy’s Love is as Big as the Moon.

I was playing around with illustrative art one day as I continue to practice drawing techniques and watercolor.

I love painting loose, but I also admire those that can create bigger-than-life illustrative characters with their art.

Inspired by the birth of a new grandbaby, my heart feels as big as the moon.  I know my son feels the same way.

Today is also a special “anniversary” day for my Dad and me.  It is our 8-year reunion anniversary.  On July 17, 2010, my Dad and I were reunited after many years apart.  I now know his love is, and always has been, as big as the moon.

So this watercolor painting is meant to express that bigger-than-life feeling through illustrating the BIGness of that love.

Can you feel it?

I could picture this as a Daddy character in a children’s book, and it melts my heart.

A Daddy’s love…
my son’s – my husband’s – my dad’s……
is as big as the moon!

Just like my love is for them.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Gluten-Free (Flourless) Banana Oatmeal Bread

Gluten-Free (Flourless) Banana Oatmeal Bread.

When you have a bunch of bananas that ripen before you eat them – and you know nobody will eat them – they are perfect for baking.

I have a really yummy banana bread recipe, but it is not the “healthiest.”  I decided I wanted to make something with less (or no) sugar, and maybe no flour either.

I was excited when I found this super-easy and oh so yummy recipe at The Baker Mama.

It’s been very hot here, so I baked this early on a Sunday morning.  I made one loaf for my youngest son and his wife (my son loves banana bread and my daughter-in-law likes to eat healthy and gluten-free if possible) and one loaf for hubby and me.

My son mentioned that if I added some protein powder to the recipe, it would be the perfect breakfast.  I will have to try that next time.

But how simple is this recipe with five healthy, wholesome ingredients?!

Hope you will give it a try.

Gluten Free Banana Oatmeal Bread

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2  eggs
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and well combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
Garnish the top of the batter with thinly sliced bananas or pecans or walnuts, if desired).

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake or bread will be dry tasting.

Let loaf cool completely in pan. Store in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator,

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Hope is the Thing with Feathers…

Abstract Feather 1 – 11×14

Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

Do you think
every feather
is uniquely different?

Just like
snowflakes…
and leaves on trees…
and blades of grass…
and grains of sand…
and people.

Abstract Feather 2 – 11×14

As I was playing around one day
with pouring paint
and creating feathers,
they sure were!

Abstract Feather 3 – 11×14

Instead of pouring on canvas,
I poured these abstract feathers
on 300lb cold press watercolor paper.

They are all so very different,
even though I used the same exact colors and same paper…
yet there is something I uniquely like about each.

There is something so magical about feathers…

What bird is it from?
Or did it perhaps fall
from the wings of an angel?

Hope is the thing
with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tunes
without the words,
and never stops at all.

– Emily Dickinson

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Overflowing Abundance

Fuchsia Flower – The Symbol of Overflowing Abundance

Overflowing Abundance.

Love abundantly.
Laugh abundantly.

Give abundantly.
Receive abundantly.

Work abundantly.
Play abundantly.

Live a life of overflowing abundance.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

There are some that believe the fuchsia flower symbolizes overflowing abundance.  Looking at the abundantly-blooming baskets hanging on my front porch, I couldn’t help but be inspired to feel the overflowing abundance life has to offer.  I hope you will think about it… if only for this moment…. and choose to live a life of overflowing abundance.  Abundance because you choose to love and laugh and give and receive and work and play abundantly.

Daylily in Watercolor

Loving Lily – Daylily in Watercolor 11×14

Daylily in Watercolor.

The daylilies are in full boom
this time of year.

Along the edge of the woods.
Along the sides of roads.

Varying shades of oranges
and yellows and pinks and reds.

I have Lily fever!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

PS  Congratulations Lynn at Lynz Real Cooking for being chosen as the random winner in the drawing of the #WorldWatercolorMonth Yellow Canary Souvenir Pouch!  Lynn – please email your mailing address to mckinneyjodi@gmail.com so I can send it your way.

Old-Fashioned Classic Stuffed Peppers

Old-Fashioned Classic Stuffed Peppers.

People stuff peppers with a lot of different things and prepare them many different ways.

But there is one classic, old-fashioned way I sometimes crave.
The way Grandma used to make them.

Simple.
Hearty.
Lots of tomato sauce.
And served with a side of mashed pototoes.

Last Sunday, I made them for dinner.

Here is my recipe – like Grandma made.

Old-Fashioned Classic Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 4 stuffed peppers
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red or green peppers (best if you use the one with 4 lobes – or bumps – on the bottom as opposed to those with 3, so they stand nicer)
  • 1 lb. “Meatloaf Mix” (a mixture of ground beef, pork, and lamb)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, cooked rice, onion, salt, and pepper.  Combine with your hands until evenly incorporated.

In another large mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, tomato soup, and water.  Whisk until evenly incorporated.

Add 1 cup of sauce to meat mixture.  Combine well.

Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds.  Stand pepper “cups” in a deep roasting pan.  Stuff peppers with handfuls of meat packed and mounded.  Pour remaining sauce over all.

Cover and roast peppers for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until meat is cooked, sauce reduces, and peppers have softened.

Serve with mashed pototoes and ladle additional sauce over all.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi