Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bakery Story

My daughter, Brittany, recently moved to Las Vegas and because we are now 1000s of miles apart, we work diligently to think of ways to "come together" to nurture our precious relationship.

Here is Brittany and her niece (our granddaughter), who are both in Las Vegas!
Brittany sent me a text yesterday and encouraged me to download the Bakery Story Application on my iPhone. She said we could be "neighbors" and lavish one another with "sweet"-ness.
Having owned a real life coffee shop and bakery, needless to say... I jumped on this idea :) and of course, I will take any excuse to hang out with Brittany... she's my best friend!

Brittany's bakery, Puffins Muffins, is obviously much more established and adorable than mine. If you'll notice in this picture, her customers are eating strawberry shortcake and leaving with cute little pink hearts above their heads... this means they're tickled "pink" with her customer services and her tantalizing offerings :)

My customers have been leaving my bakery, Sweetie Pies with broken heart symbols above their heads. Britt says I need to bake and have the baked goods available for my customers and plenty of seating, so they don't leave disappointed. Needless to say, she has been giving me the help I need to make my little quest of "owning my own business" enjoyable (and delicious to boot).

Check-out my broken-hearted customers.. Though I have a few goodies to share, my quaint place is not roomy enough to accommodate all of the cute little bodies.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or and iPod touch, we would love for you to download this application and join us in our neighborhood! We can invite one another to visit, share gifts, and express how thrilled we are to be neighbors by lavishing one another with tips! It really is a lot of fun :)

If you would like to heed to the the calling of your entrepreneurial spirit and open your own bakery, make sure you don't neglect it... because if you do, the only customers you'll have are the flies :o) And, don't forget to invite Brittany and me to be your neighbors (our ID names are listed below).

Brittany's ID: babernard1
Marisa's ID: mber65

I'm always looking for a yummy cafe to shoot the breeze. I'd love it to be yours!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beautiful Northern Minnesota Sunset

This picture really touched my heart... an absolutely beautiful Northern Minnesota sunset! I thought I would share it with you :)

God's masterpiece in all of its glory!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spending Time With Dad

My dad passed away last fall. He was my hero!
I decided before school starts this year and I'm full-swing into teaching, I needed to spend some quiet time with dad... so, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to venture on my own to Northern Minnesota, where many of my extended family on my dad's side live, to share  in precious moments with them and to reflect on my dad's life. What a gift this experience was!

We visited his grave site:

It was his wish to have half of his cremains buried near his mom and dad's grave site, which is the headstone you see in the background of this picture:

While at the cemetery, me, my aunt Janet, and cousin Rachel visited other family members' sites. This next pic is of aunt Janet sitting next to her 2 boys, who were killed in motorcycles accidents at ages 17 and 18... so sad!
We shed some tears and reminisced about all of the wonderful family times we've shared and how we look forward to a great family reunion in Heaven some day.

This next pic is of me and my cousin, Rachel... love you Rach!!

 Aunt Janet drove me by my dad's childhood home. As we drove by, a warmth and a comfort surrounded me as if I were scooped up into daddy's arms and cradled for a moment (tears are flowing at this moment).

Aunt Janet then said she had a surprise for me... she took me to dad's old schoolhouse where he spent his first 8 school grades. Oh wow! Words can't even begin to express how special this was for me. I jumped out of the van and walked the grounds where he learned, played, and had sweet fellowship with his peers.

This was not an ordinary trip... it was as if God Himself had been my co-pilot and dad my tour guide. I will never forget this experience, this gift! It will forever be etched into my heart and interwoven into every thread of my being.

Aunt Janet, you are an angel. You are one of the dearest people I know! God used you and Rachel to bless my life abundantly and I will always love you and be grateful for you both. 

And, dad... thanks for hanging out with me!! We'll have to do it again sometime soon!! LOVE YOU!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Teens Turning Green"

Do you know teens ages 15-22 who need to change his/her lifestyle to one that is more eco-friendly?

Teens Turning Green is a 30-day challenge to see who can make the biggest holistic lifestyle change. And, guess what? The 10 finalists win an amazing trip... check out their website for details.
They refer to it as going from "conventional to conscious." This project proposes to help young people take charge of their health and well-being.
The challenge begins October 1st... let's encourage our youth to develop into healthy young adults by getting a "teen to go green!" With more and more teen obesity and the continual rise of fast food restaurants, video games, and social networking it is more important than ever to mentor and model for our young people the importance of leading a lifestyle of optimal health... the condition of the future depends on it.

Perhaps we, as adults, would benefit from a challenge of our own :o)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Busy Work Day Dinner

Today was my first day back to school after a pleasant summer vacation. My husband and I decided we would do our grocery shopping for the week on the weekends, so planning and preparing meals isn't such an ordeal each evening after a big work day. For tonight, we planned a tilapia dinner, which delighted our cravings for a white, flaky, and mild fish.

I began with coconut oil spray and a dollop of coconut oil in a stainless steel pan.

I heated oil in the pan while I prepared the egg batter (egg, seasoning, and German mustard) and bread coating (Italian, organic bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper) for the fish.

I also prepared organic risotto as our side dish...

This is simple and wonderful along side of fish and cooks about the same amount of time as the tilapia. Now it's time to prepare and cook the fish...

Let me tell you, the coconut oil is not only incredibly healthy, but makes this delicate fish taste amazing!

I served this up with a delicious veggie salad (made with organic greens and veggies of course:) and topped with our favorite salad dressing.

And, there you have it... a very easy meal with a very special appeal!! You really must try it... it just might become a favorite of yours on a busy work day.

It's okay if this meal tastes "fishy!" YUM!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mushroom Pecan Veggie Burger

I LOVE veggie burgers and when I tasted this Mushroom Pecan Burger served at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, N.Y., I just knew God would serve this up at the Great Banquet! I top it with a couple slices of raw organic cheese and mustard/mayo & voilĂ !

Here is the recipe:

Spray skillet with cooking spray (I use organic coconut oil spray). Add a tablespoon of coconut oil.

Chop 1 medium onion and a tub of mushrooms and add to skillet. Cook with 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram & 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme.

Cook until tender and add to a glass bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1/3 cups chopped toasted pecans, 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup oats, & 1 Tablespoon of chopped dill.

Add 1 -14 oz. package of cake firm organic tofu and mash all ingredients with your hands... add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape ingredients into 6 patties and place on greased baking dish, or parchment paper.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Add 2 slices of raw, organic cheddar cheese and you have an absolutely scrumptious veggie burger!

I serve with a mixture of organic mayo & organic dijon mustard. Can be eaten with or without a bun and with all of your favorite toppings (such as tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, sprouts...), or simply all by its absolutely, wonderful, flavorful self...