Cardamom Spice, Recipes To Warm Your Heart

spice jars

Warming and Flavorful Spice for Your Cooking

A warm aromatic spice

While better known today because of its addition to Chai drinks and Indian cuisine, cardamom has long been a favorite in Scandinavian kitchens and in my kitchen, too. It add a “je ne sais quoi” to many dishes ranging from the well known Chai beverages to such diverse cuisines as Scandinavian, Indian, and Israeli.

In fact, it is a favored spice in many Middle Eastern recipes, and is sold in open markets there. One of the best places to purchase the spice here in the USA is from an Indian grocery, although Amazon is quick and easy. And most spice displays in your grocery carry it, too. “Decorticated” ground spice seems more flavorful, although you can also buy the pods and grind them yourself.

For me, Christmas baking just isn’t the same without my Cardamom rolls and Cardamom spiced cookies. I want to share the delightful and fragrant spice with you, whether it is an old favorite or new to your taste buds.

Nutritionally

Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

More about the Health Benefits – Cardamom Spice

  1. Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
  2. The pods are rich in many vital vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C
  3. Improves digestion and stimulates the metabolism
  4. Reputedly used in love potions as found in the tales of the Arabian Nights, which make frequent reference to it.

Scandinavian Cuisine – Cardamom is no secret there…

Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Danes all use cardamom in their cuisine. These cooking traditions are world famous for their baking and coffee drinking is part of their culture. It is common to invite people over for coffee and cakes, an intrinsic part of the hospitable culture. Spicing up the cookies or coffee with cardamom can be one of the delightful elements of this repast. (Try a dash of cardamom in your coffee for a real taste treat!)

The Rolls No One Can Resist

alt=”Warm from the oven” width=”200″ height=”150″ /> Warm from the oven cardamon rolls

A Family Tradition At Christmas

I bake it as a traditional Christmas ritual, and this is a wonderful recipe for anytime you wish to bake it, although for us it is part of our Christmas Eve celebration. My family loves the warm spicy taste of the cardamom mixed with fresh yeasty sweet bread and sprinkled with slivered almonds. I prefer not to glaze the rolls, but sprinkle with an almond/sugar mixture.

Here is a simpler version than the one I bake.

INCREDIBLE In Baked Goods

Ground cardamom flavors yeast breads with a sweet, yet refreshing, nuance. Cardamom bread, a traditional Swedish baked good, is often flavored with a combination of cardamom and almonds.

Serving Size

Serves: 16 rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 cup unsalted butter + more for buttering pans
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 cups flour + more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (about 110°). Let sit until foamy bubbles form on surface, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter in a pan over low heat and let cool just until warm. Let remaining 1/2 cup butter soften in a warm place until spreadable.
  2. To the yeast, add melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 4 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Stir or mix in a standing mixer with a dough hook until smooth, 5 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Butter two 9-in. cake pans. When dough has doubled, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 2-ft. square, spread with softened butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cardamom. Roll dough into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Cut log into 16 pieces and arrange, cut sides up, in a single layer in cake pans. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make glaze: Whisk together 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Remove rolls from pans and drizzle with half of this thin glaze. Add remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar to remaining glaze and drizzle over rolls. Serve warm.

If you are interested in using my recipe I have it online.

Christmas Cardamom Rolls

Cardamom Seeds (Decorticated) Whole

Arabic Flavor

Scandinavians aren’t the only culture to have an affinity for Cardamom- let the Arabic culture show their use of this aromatic spice.

American cooks often are not familiar with this culinary treat. Trying Arabic, Scandinavian, and Indian dishes will familiarize this addition which flavors breads, stews, and desserts with equal flair.

To get you started, an easy and well-loved dish is the following custard variation.

Middle Eastern Dream Custard

alt=”photo by phdstudent on Flickr” width=”240″ height=”180″ /> photo by phdstudent on Flickr

Serving Size

Serves: 4-6

Cardamom and Rosewater Lend Luxury Scent and Flavor

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder (commercial)
  • 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • Ground pistachios (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put milk, sugar and cardamom into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat.
  2. Mix the custard powder with a little water to make a smooth thin paste. Gradually stir it into the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until the custard is smooth. Remove from heat and add rose water. Return to the stove and place over a very low heat a few minutes. Pour into custard dishes, and garnish with pistachios. Chill.
  3. ~~~~~~~~wish to make it from scratch?~~~~~~~~~~
  4. Try this variation:
  5. * 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  6. * 1 tablespoon green or white cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  7. * 1/3 cup arrowroot
  8. * 1/2 cup sugar
  9. * 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or walnuts
  10. Bring milk, cardamom pods, and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a 2-qt heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  11. Whisk together arrowroot and sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in hot milk mixture. Return to saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Chill pudding, its surface covered with wax paper, until very cold, at least 4 hours. Serve sprinkled with nuts.

Flavor Your Coffee

Cardamom adds a “je ne sais quoi” to your coffee- it is fabulous in strong Turkish coffee.

My favorite Israeli restaurant uses it in the coffee it serves.

Fabulous Cardamom Cookies – Rich Buttery Cookies

With the secret ingredient of cardamom that will have everyone raving. And such a simple recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • For Decoration:
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. Combine flour, cardamom and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy, and add sugar. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flower mixture until well-blended, stir in ground almonds.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and cardamom. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, coat in sugar-spice mixture. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass into sugar mixture and flatten cookies to 1/2 inch thick rounds. Decorate with sliced almonds.
  4. Bake cookies until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Remove sheets to wire racks to cool 2-3 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Fresh Spices Make A Difference

Like most spices, cardamom loses it flavor strength over time. You can refrigerate for longer preservation, but be sure to use your spice and replace it when it seems less potent.

I recommend this Cardamom – Economically priced

If you have looked in your local grocery store you know this food flavoring comes at a premium cost. An organic source that is far more economical is this one, online.

Ground for convenience, use it up within a year. Buy these smaller amounts more often for freshness.

Tandoori Chicken

alt=”photo by my_amii” width=”240″ height=”160″ /> photo by my_amii

Indian cooking uses cardamom in many of its spice mixtures- and no wonder since this is where the spice originates.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5 hours (marinate)

Total Time: 1 1/2 hour

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (3 lbs.) quartered
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 8 garlic cloves- crushed through a press
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper- to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring(optional)
  • Scallions and lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Remove skin from chicken; make two deep gashes in each piece of meat. Rub chicken all over with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in a 12x8x2-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine yogurt with ginger, garlic, cardamom, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, remaining lime juice and salt, and food coloring, if desired. Pour over chicken and turn to coat. Cover loosely and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 4 hours or overnight to develop flavors.
  3. When ready to cook, light charcoal grill or preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grill over medium-hot coals or bake 40 to 50 minutes, turning and basting frequently with yogurt marinade. Garnish with scallions and lime wedges

Christmas Cookie – Cardamom Pistachio Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter- chilled, (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 cup sparkling decorative sugar
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped

Buttery Rounds

delicious cookies
delicious cookies

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for one minute. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat an additional minute.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt. Spoon the flour mixture into the butter mixture and add the cardamom. Beat on low speed, then increase to medium and mix until the batter is combined.
  3. Spoon the dough into a cookie press and press out onto ungreased baking sheets. Or roll the dough into a log, wrap in parchment paper and chill for two hours before slicing into rounds and arranging evenly onto the cookie sheets. In a small bowl, combine the sparkling sugar and the pistachio nuts, then sprinkle some on each cookie.
  4. Bake just until the edges of the cookies start to turn a pale golden color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, then remove carefully to a wire rack. The cookies will firm up as they cool. When they are completely cool, store in an airtight container. They may be kept frozen up to two months.

Cardamom Extract

More Ways To Start Using This Flavor To Set Your Cooking Apart

“Heavy Table” recommends starting your experience of baking with the flavor of cardamom with addition of an extract. Use it with vanilla or even instead of it.

Use as the flavoring in cakes, cookies and ice cream, pancake or waffle batter. It might become your favorite spice, too.

The flavor of cardamom captured in an extract is the easiest way to infuse its flavor into your cooking.

For custards or entree dishes you may want this form. I like the flecks of the ground spice for my baked goods.

The Cardamom Plant – True Cardamom

botanical stamp of cardamom plant
botanical stamp of cardamom plant

Foundational Facts

Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum

Family: Zingiberaceae, the ginger family

Cardamom is native to the monsoon forests of India and Sri Lanka, but is cultivated throughout tropical Asia. The plant may be grown as an outdoor perennial in Zones 10 and 11which include southern Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, in most parts of the USA it can only be grown indoors. If you chose to grow in a container, keep it moist, but not soggy. Place on a a sunny windowsill (facing west or south) and give high humidity, (by way of a bed of rocks or a mister spray).

Culinary Cardamom can be either the true or green Cardamom, which is this plant, or its close relative the black Cardamom. Green, this species, has the more desirable, delicate flavor.

“It is fruity, floral, citrussy and pungent, and its essential oil contains cineole, which gives it a dash of warming eucalyptus” – [1]

History notes:

“It’s a well-travelled spice, too, believed to have been brought from India to Greece by one of Alexander the Great’s soldiers in the fourth century BC, where it was used in both medicinal as well as culinary concoctions. In the ninth century, the Vikings took it from Constantinople to Scandinavia, where it’s still a fragrant favourite in baking and even in some versions of pickled herring.” {1)

Cardamom Cookery – More Recipes

Cardamom Rolls

Your Opinion on this Spice

Used to flavor rice pudding, cakes, chutney and creme brulée, it is included in Indian spice mixtures like Garam Masala. Scandinavians flavor glogg, yule cake or aebleskivers (apple pancake puffs) with generous sprinklings of Cardamom, too.

What do you use Cardamom for?

YOUR FAVORITE SPICE IS… – CARDAMOM OR ANOTHER?

Smart Styles for Silver Hair

Aging Gracefully Category

What makes a style work for you? If you’re looking for a smart style to suggest to your hairdresser next time a haircut is due or just dressing up a bit for a night out. I’m creating a curation of some of my favorites for future reference, here. Maybe they will suit you, too.

silver hairstyle
Simple, and tousled

What I Like

With a bob that has casual side-swept bangs the tousled “not too done” look is very European.  It looks elegant, yet seems effortless. For a more polished look, smooth it with some serum, add a bit of shine spray.

 I use this one by Paul Mitchell and absolutely love it. It leaves a beautiful polished shine without any weight or stiffness. The light fragrance of the “Wild Ginger” line is a great plus in my book.

I’ve used this product for several years, going back for more whenever I run out. It makes my hair look healthy, even in winter, which is notoriously hard on gray locks.

Useful for any style on this page- wavy, straight, casual, or updo.

Next Up(do)

I love this updo because it is easy, can go from housework to out on the town, and is a great way to corral longer hair. The important thing is to smooth all stray hair into the topknot ponytail. The topknot itself can be looser, but to look smart, the sides, front and back need to be kept smooth and neat. A good hair wax or strong hold hair putty will work.

Smart Topknot
Smart Topknot

Holiday Hair Short Styles

Keep it shiny, and somehow short hair transforms into a classy holiday look.

Silver Holiday Hair
Silver Holiday Hair

No one does Silver Fox classy better than either Helen Mirren or Judy Dench. Anyone who takes a leaf from their style book is going to look more beautiful, I believe. They start with a core style, but vary the length or polish of the pixie cut ( Dench) or short bob (Mirren) for all sorts of great looks in all types of fashion situations.

Their look is equally wonderful with bangs or if you would brush it back from your face. The versatility of this with just a little different comb-out or more or less messy or smoothed makes these smart styles for mature women.

Silver Fox Inspirations

Long Holiday Hairstyles
Long Holiday Hairstyles with far right style from instagram /@brushwithlove

If you have some length to your hair, the updo with soft curls or a smooth, loose chignon can be a way to level up your look. A bit of sparkle inserted into the french roll is a marvelous touch.

Hope you liked this bit of inspiration for smart hairstyle that will look good on any occasion.
Starting the New Year off right with ideas to give yourself an update and bring an experts advice into your choises for hair, makeup, and fashion.

I really liked this book for the perspective its gives in developing your own style, rather than try to run after trends (many of which can be less than becoming).

For me, that emphasis helps the most when choosing how I want to wear my hair… or especially when trying to make my way to buying clothing that looks best for who I am now.

Cute Corgi’s on Society6

I’m just starting out on Society6, which is a POD site for artists ( much like Zazzle). Anyway, while seeking to discover how to use the site and create designs that fit its demographic and products I came across some sute Corgi designs.

I like the Corgi breed of dog ever since seeing a cousins absolutely adorable pup. I am thinking of getting one sometime in the next year.

It seemed like a good idea to share my discoveries with the world ( both the Corgi design and my newfound affection for the breed.

Here is a pattern on a mug:

isn’t this darling?

Why do I like the Corgi breed? Cuteness factor is quite high, it is friendly without being too needy. Intelligent and good watch dogs.

They are said to be stubborn and need training, as well as prone to bark. Those downsides need to be taken into account, but isn’t different from the other dog I just love: Great Pyrenees. 

However… the difference in size between the two means a smaller dog like a corgi will be much easier to manage. 

We Need To See More Corgi Designs

Okay… take a look at this:

who wouldn’t smile, seeing these stickers?

Coming Soon: My Own Designs

I have loads of design elements to play with and  intend to make some work (hopefully including patterns) for Society6 site. It has bedspreads and wall papers, along with many other products that aren’t found elsewhere. I’m hoping to do as well as I have on my Zazzle stores.

What about Supplements, Herbs, and Vitamins?

Herbs & Vitamins

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. All information is offered from my own personal opinions and experience for you to use for informational purposes only. We are responsible for our own health decisions and that includes consulting medical professionals for advice and care.

Why use them? I run across opinions from the medical sector and “experts” who dismiss the use of supplements, normally with the statement that they’re unnecessary when a balanced diet is consumed. I suppose that those ideas come from insufficient knowledge of agricultural practices.

So where are my degrees? My clinical experience? Nonexistent. I’m a gardener, I’m a mom. But, think about this: Our bodies are composed of what we eat, our nutrients.

In the same way a plant or animal food is composed of its nutrients. If foods are grown on selenium deficient soils, will they have enough selenium in them? Iodine deficient soils are known to cause problems, thus iodized salt.

Modern farming uses depleted soils to grow crops, sometimes repeatedly the same ones, with the chemical additions of the “big three” – nitrogen, potassium, and potash. Additionally, many modern hybrids are raised for disease resistance or ease of handling. This doesn’t translate into better nutrition.

Herbal and vitamin supplementation of the best diet we can avail ourselves of just makes sense.

Fresh herbs and tea count, too

My Routine

Because there have been many challenges to deal with in the last decade, there have been a number of supplements I have been trying to add into my daily diet. The most outstanding problem has been hypertension, which I will tell you about first.  Besides that, I have routine vitamins, (those taken regularly) :

Admittedly, I sometimes feel like I’ve amassed a small pharmacy worth of vitamins and herbs; but this has been helping me.

Dealing With High Blood Pressure

In working on the pressures- a doctor suggested having a glucose tolerance test. If blood sugar imbalances are damaging tissues then many of the things which help a diabetic condition would also aid the eye and blood pressure to normalize. This is a confirmation to me to exercise, add supplemental selenium, and antioxidants.

What Am I Doing Now? What Works.

I have been on blood pressure medication for a number of years now. I am trying to cut it back with the goal of no longer needing it. I have had trouble from the beginning with sometimes wild fluctuations, and developed a way to manage this. First I will list what I use, and then explain why.

  • I eat beets and drink beet juice supplements
  • I take Cinnamon and alpha-lipoic acid capsules
  • Fish oil or Krill oil for healthy Omega fats
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium drink (Calm)
  • Probiotics

Beet consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure; it works in that way for me. Fish oil is often prescribed for heart health and has blood thinning properties.(1)

Magnesium is a mineral that many Americans are deficient in, and it is needed for blood pressure and glucose regulation. (2)

Ginko Biloba and Some Words on Balancing One’s Life

More on Gingko biloba: this definitely is a helpful herb and its effects ought to be considered. First, I understand it acts as a blood thinner- which might explain some of its helpfulness in the peripheral circulatory system.

Beware of Combinations

be careful
be careful

You should be aware of other blood thinning products you might be using (like aspirin). Another, subjective, observation is that it has stimulant properties. So, I personally don’t like to take it in the evening – sort of behaves like caffeine in my system.

We are often advised to be careful how foods or others things interact when prescribed medications.

Herbs and even vitamins can interact both with each other, with foods or with medications we are taking, in the same way. Blood thinning factors are one thing to be aware of, but some foods, like grapefruit juice can either magnify, cancel or otherwise change effectiveness or safety of what we ingest.

When devising our own health plan, we should research or ask advisce about possible interactions.

Natural Means Are Not A Quick Fix, But Take Time

My weight is moderate at 125 lbs. and I really don’t want to drop weight, but if you carry extra pounds, the additional exercise and some chromium picolinate can only help. People who need to lose weight should do it for themselves-your health is worth it!


UPDATED: I originally wrote this article in 1999-2001 time period. Today, in 2018 my body and health requisites have changed. I have learned a lot in the meantime, but I have also battled serious issues that include weight gain. I have learned how difficult it is to lose weight when your metabolism has changed, when medications taken have side effects on your appetite and weight gain. I will keep the pertinent original info, but this page must reflect my new status of fighting to keep down blood pressure and weight gain.

Herbs and supplements are not a ‘quick fix’, so moderation and patience (the same qualities needed for all permanent life changes) will be necessary. The concept of homeostasis, picture a balance or stacking building blocks , means we adjust our system gradually. Here is as good a place as any to compare and contrast health philosophies.

This Is Not A Diatribe Against Doctors

There is a place for the medical establishment and for self-help; the two have always coexisted along with the third, the spiritual factor. I have to believe doctors have always found it frustrating to shoulder the responsibility of prevention. It is up to an individual to do the actual exercise and common sense activities of eating, sleeping, etc.

Doctors and hospitals seem best suited for emergency intervention – I definitely want them for injuries or a heart attack! But in daily situations , they are like very expensive personal trainers, if you have the money and the need, avail yourself.

The rest of us are being priced out of the market; besides, it is very pleasant to experience a healthy lifestyle. That’s the reason to use nutrition, herb, and fitness information.

Spiritual Factors

I really have to throw one caveat in here: we cannot guarantee our own health and well-being. No doctor can, either. That’s why there has always been the spiritual factor.

You know the saying “Life happens” (and the variants thereof), well, despite our best laid plans the principle of entropy can manifest. .or lightning can strike…or…or..And in the meantime we can do what we can.

For me, the spiritual factor is Jesus Christ, and I really don’t want to hem and haw around yours if its different. I have a page on why I believe in Him, but, for now, allow me to share one amazing fact. When I exercise for a couple of days, I easily lower my blood pressure points about five-ten; when I pray for maybe ten minutes the same effect occurs. Just thought I’d throw that in since it shows that dealing with the whole person (not just the body) is important.

mind and body connection
Go back to  Body Beautiful index page

National Cherry Dessert Day and Sour Cherries

red cherries

Among the more obscure nationally proclaimed holidays, were you aware of the day set aside to celebrate cherry desserts? Well there is one! For most of us, that means the tart fruits of the sour cherry tree, the  Prunus cerasus. The pie cherry has been consumed since prehistoric times. The earliest record of the cultivated cherry is recorded as having been brought to Rome by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from northeastern Anatolia, the country now known as Turkey.

Romans introduced cherries into Britain before the 1st century AD, where they became very popular in the time of Henry VIII.

the sour cherry tree
Botanical details of the sour cherry tree.

In America, Massachusetts colonists planted the first sour cherry, ‘Kentish Red’, and they have since become a much loved fruit here. That variety of cherry tree may even have been the one in the famous legend of George Washington, who knows?

Whatever its history, it is the flavor that assures ongoing popularity, and reigns supreme in every type of dessert. For your own celebration, whether on the official day or not, some well loved recipes are included in this post along with the surprising health benefits and a bit of trivia about the fruits themselves.

May 26

It’s a National Holiday for Tart Pie Cherries in Desserts

Even though cherries seasonally ripen in June, the Presidents Day holiday gives February the honor of being named “National Cherry Month”.

luscious cherries
They are tart, or sour, cherries from the tree Prunus cerasus. Their tartness makes them preeminent for the flavor they give baked goodies like cherry pie, cobblers, and other well loved recipes we remember from our mothers and grandmother’s kitchens.

While sweet cherries, from the Prunus avium tree, are best chosen for fresh eating, nothing beats a pie cherry for any recipe that calls for cherries for cooking.

Pie cherries with their tart and tangy taste create the zing that ignites a plain fruit pie into a memorable sweet summer surprise of flavor. Just the right contrast to the flaky crust of a home baked pie, or the biscuit topping of a cobbler.

Those “down home” desserts are only two of the ways you can use pie cherries to give your table a treat in the early summer month of June, or during other times of the year if you freeze or preserve the the cherries.

Tart Cherries Have Health Benefits

Health benefits of pie cherries include the fact that they have anti-oxidants.

 

  1. * Promotes circulation
  2. * May help you sleep better due to the melatonin content
  3. * Helps relieve migraine headaches
  4. * Helps prevent free radical damage
  5. * Helps you heal faster from muscle related sports injuries

 

Facts about Pie Cherries

Life's story on cherries

 

  • Pie cherries keep their bright red color when cooked, naturally
  • Sour cherries, like the sweet, are picked ripe
  • Look for cherries that are plump and brightly colored, cherries do not ripen off the tree.
  • Store in the refrigerator and rinse just before using
  • Cherries are highly perishable: Their shelf life is about four days in the refrigerator.
  • Cherries can be frozen
  • They may reduce the risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.
  • 20 cherries a day might keep the gout away.

Of course there are even more cherry facts:

Cherries are one of the foods least often associated with food allergies according to World’s Healthiest Foods.

Findings on Remedying Gout

They are good for preventing gout. It is said, “six cherries a day” will keep the gout away, and it is certainly a delicious remedy to try. Research indicates that cherries have urate lowering properties. Uric acid crystal buildup is indicated in the onset of gout. (This is not medical advice, but information about the research results on the benefits of tart cherries).

More Reason to Love the Tartness

Tart cherries have fewer calories and more beta-carotene than sweet cherries

dessert cherries

Additional Health Benefits

Tart cherries are loaded with antioxidants that are believed to relieve the pain of arthritis and gout and help fight cancer and heart disease.

At more than 12,000 ORAC units per hundred grams of fruit, cherries have a higher antioxidant capacity than grapes, oranges, plums, raspberries and strawberries combined.

They’re also especially high in the antioxidant melatonin, which may help prevent or reduce brain deterioration associated with aging. And to top it off, they’re high in vitamin A and beta-carotene. [1]

Did you know? Dried cherries are made from the tart cherry variety. They have iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as some melatonin- which is a hormone important biologically.

The Celebrated Pie Cherry

  • Most tart cherries are grown in the state of Michigan in the USA. Traverse City, Michigan is called the “Cherry Capital of the World” and is host to the National Cherry Festival.
  • In Australia, the New South Wales town of Young is called the “Cherry Capital of Australia” and hosts the National Cherry Festival of Australia.
  • Fun Facts About Cherries: Cherry pits have been found in Stone Age caves.
  • Thomas Jefferson, grew cherries on his plantation at Monticello

Harvest Season

Tart cherries ripen two or three weeks after sweet cherries. Look for them in mid to late July.

The Dessert Side of the Story

Desserts are made of this
Cherries are good for you, but all that cream, sugar, and pastry? Maybe not so much… but the taste!
Besides pie, cobbler, or cherry dump cake, how can you fix this fruit as a dessert? Healthier choices to enjoy as desserts.

    Try cherries

  • with yogurt
  • with sherbet or gelato
  • baked into oatmeal

Because of their tartness, most people will want to sweeten them, which makes them ideal for desserts.

classic latticed pie
classic latticed pie

Prepare Your Pie Cherries with Professional Quality Cherry Pitter

During the season when stone fruits are available, you may be buying fresh produce. In order to use them in desserts, it is necessary to remove the pits. If you have ever tried this, you know how much a kitchen gadget makes all the difference.

If you are going to pit lots of cherries this is a professional style of machine to make the job easy. Highly rated and recommended.

Fun for Cherry Dessert Day

Wear a cherry patterned apron, bake a cherry pie or make some quick and easy cherry cobbler to celebrate the day.
May 26

photo by Rusty Clark
Cherry cobbler | photo by Rusty Clark

Cherry Cobbler, Classic Recipe
Print Recipe
Cherry cobbler is like an easy, messy cherry pie, but that yummy topping soaking in the juices is what makes it such a well beloved dessert cousin of the cherry pie. Emeril uses cinnamon, but I suggest experimenting with mace or cardamom - two spices that complement the cherry flavor extremely well.
Servings Prep Time
8  15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Servings Prep Time
8  15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Cherry Cobbler, Classic Recipe
Print Recipe
Cherry cobbler is like an easy, messy cherry pie, but that yummy topping soaking in the juices is what makes it such a well beloved dessert cousin of the cherry pie. Emeril uses cinnamon, but I suggest experimenting with mace or cardamom - two spices that complement the cherry flavor extremely well.
Servings Prep Time
8  15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Servings Prep Time
8  15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
TOPPING:
FILLING:
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan combine filling ingredients and cook, stirring until bubbling and thickened. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until it is crumbly.
  4. Mix together egg and milk. Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork just until combined. Drop topping by tablespoonfuls onto filling.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until browned and bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Emeril's rendition of a classic

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Alternative Cherry Pitter Choice
Leifheit 37200 Cherry Pitter with Stone Catcher Container | Cherry Stone Remover Tool

Leifheit 37200 Cherry Pitter with Stone Catcher Container | Cherry Stone Remover Tool

A cherry is a fruit with a hard seed pit which must be removed before using the cherries in baked goods. There are a number of types of gadgets to do the job, which is important to own if you have a large number of cherries to prepare.

 

Cherry Delight Cake

Yield: 8

Cherry Delight Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine- melted
  • 1 egg -beaten
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart or "pie" cherries- lightly drained (reserve 1 cup juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts -walnut | pecans | or hazelnuts
    Cherry Sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 cup cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, combine butter or margarine, egg, sour cherries, almond extract, and nuts: add to flour mixture.
  4. Bake, uncovered, in an ungreased 9-inch square pan 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cut into squares.
    Prepare Cherry Sauce.
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cherry juice, cornstarch, sugar, almond extract, and butter or margarine
  2. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Serve the Cherry Delight Cake with Hot Cherry Sauce and whipped cream.

 

February is…

National Cherry Month

A Look at the Harvest

Using Weights To Improve Physical Fitness

fitness and strength

Strength Training

Whatever your age or difficulty, it seems training with weights can help you. Eventually, a whole body regimin could be introduced into your exercise routine, but where (and how limited) would you like to start? I chanced onto Jane Fonda’s routine in “Complete Workout”.

As I look back, my activities could have pointed out weaknesses: my legs, through ballet, bicycling, and walking were my strength and my poor performance in softball and chin-ups indicated a weak upper body.

When we’re busy juggling child care, housework, all the car travel time, collapsing on the couch, I don’t think we have time to assess our loss of good posture, muscle strength and flexibility.

From adolescence we’re thinking “What shape am I?” However, that simply clouds our viewpoint even more.When it hurts to turn your neck while driving, or exhausts you to lug groceries from the car, or your two-year-old outruns you, that the hint starts growing in your awareness.

shoulder exercise

So, where’s your weak spot? Your back and shoulders? Lower back? Legs,abdominals? All of the above? Get yourself some wristweights and/or dumb bell free weights or even some soup cans.

My Method When Using Weights

Stretch a little first – the “cat” where on all fours the back is arched, then slowly dropped to a concave position: then get up to stretch your hands as high as possible circling outward and sweeping slowly up.

Move your head around, or better yet, get a book on stretching and another on weight exercises ( the libraries always have several )and go through a series as recommended.

Shoulder Shrugs

After you’ve warmed your muscles, take your hand weights and shrug your shoulders while keeping a straight arm, roll down and shrug again. Repeat these moves in repetitions of 8-12. I like to start here and add these in between more taxing moves. Ready for more?

Work Those Abs

Something people don’t always realize is that strengthening the abdominals improves your back strength and relieves lower back pain. As you improve the strength of the back and abdominal muscles, your posture improves, as well.

That benefit alone can make you look ten pounds thinner! Benefits, benefits!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

One way to use weights is to add some challenge to other exercises with wrist or ankle weights that strap on with velcro. Try the leaning camel and then get some floor work done with your crunches.

So, flatten your back to the floor and crunch a little; this is one of the exercises that you can do daily. Confession: no, I don’t do these daily, but I think I’ll try, how about you?

situp

Cross train

Cross training programs such as The Firm series of videos combine aerobic and weight training. In the video above a workout in a pool of water takes the stress off joints.

There are many books to guide your in the how-tos, and plenty of online information. A set of weights, a video or book, plus a small amount of time, and you are ready to get fit!


Weight training has benefits in many areas of health. Indicated for prevention of osteoporosis problems, increases metabolism once muscle mass is increased, besides helping to sculpt your body shape.

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Exercise Your Way

yes or no choice

Exercise and the Christian Woman

Follow your heart

If you are like many Christians, it is a temptation to make such a division between the spiritual and the physical that the two realms almost seem mutually exclusive. Or you may not have a spiritual emphasis, but an intellectual one. It is as if to be truly spiritual or intelligent, we must almost deny we have bodies.

This is a grave mistake and not what scripture refers to when we are told to deny the flesh. Since that statement demands some exegesis (or whatever you call bible study), it will have to wait for an addition in the bible section of my page. For now, let’s just look at the matter practically and ask these questions:

Things To Ask Ourselves

* Do I need good health to carry out my responsibilities to my family?
* If I have physical strength, can I work more effectively taking care of the elderly, the needy, or others who have need of my services?
* If I have more energy, could I additionally serve the Lord? In other words, will it prepare me for future ministry?

If You Answered Yes

Now, perhaps you feel more virtuous praying “God, help me lose weight, help me overcome fatigue, or this besetting illness” and then sitting back in faith. Or in your intellectual quest, you are willing to read book after book of self-help or the latest diet.

Now it is time to add works to your faith. Add action to your knowledge.

That is not to say those spiritual things (looking to God for help or asking to be healed) aren’t necessary, they are, but we need to add a little balance . Try to eat right, exercise, rest properly…all those things that are the attributes of moderation. And if you carefully read much of the scientific findings on good health you will see it all boils down to being moderate.

“Let your moderation be known to all men”.

Philippians 4:5

A word here on what exercise won’t do. There is a scripture ( I Timothy 4:8) that states “bodily exercise profiteth little”. And that is absolutely true: it profits something, but doesn’t take the place of character and spiritual building. One look at the number of athletes with moral problems ought to illustrate that point most eloquently.

Let’s say you’re ready, convinced that exercise is going to be part of your life, what choices are out there and how will you fit them into your life? What are some choices and what considerations are there for Christian women?

  1. Weight training is important when you live a Western lifestyle (when was the last time you hauled water from a well?). For healthy bones and maintaining muscle strength some form of weights should be used. If you have a body type that bulks up easily, a program like The Firms cross training should work fine since it combines aerobics and light weights.
  2. Martial arts and workouts such as the Tae-bo type should fulfill your aerobic needs, as long as you skip some of the Oriental Philosophy involved. Actually, many forms of exercise have philosophies and sometimes religious beliefs included; if you have qualms about this just avoid that type and make your own program.
  3. Yoga was one form I avoided for awhile since it comes from an Eastern religion, but I found myself doing many of the exercises in my tapes. The stretches are wonderful and you may find the ones you need in one of the Wharton’s books, or in a Pilates program, as well as in many videotapes available. The flexibility that stretching gives your body is necessary, the yoga program is not. Choose according to your conscience.
  4. Dance gives gracefulness along with flexibility and aerobics in a fun format. Again, though, some people have reservations and should follow their choice to other forms. But for those who like this way of getting a workout, there are so many types of dance- each with its own feeling and demands. Ballet is athletic, jazzercise is fun way to get fit, bellydance is feminine and sensual, etc.
  5. Take yourself outdoors to witness the glory of God’s creation. Begin walking or gardening and if the nasty little creatures are bothering you find some Avon “Skin So Soft” and learn to praise the Lord for the day when there won’t be such curses!

What I’m not trying to do is make judgment calls on the forms of exercise and whether you should engage in them.

The Biblical hierarchy is always spiritual first, soul second, body third. One does not nix another, as in forgetting about the body or soul in pursuit of spiritual growth. It might help to remember how interdependent the heart, soul, and body are. How many times is physical health undermined through the damage done to a person’s heart and mind? Or vice versa? 

The Bible addresses “wholeness”, and others may use the term “holistic”, but the idea is that we are not compartmentalized beings, and fragmenting our view of ourselves leads to poor health. 

Exercising the body is one part of the wholeness. Not more than building good character or growing spiritually, but alongside these important goals.

There are so many ways to get the bodily exercise you need that there is no reason to wound your conscience by engaging in a type that you are disturbed about.

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Making The Time For Exercise

finding time

How can I find the time to exercise? This can be tough when your schedule is already full or you have small children at home (duh, same difference). It is terrific to know that small bites of exercise throughout your day are an accomplishment that can give you results.

points to Keep in Mind

  • Move exercise time to the top of your priority list.
  • Strategize the best times of day to develop a habit.
  • Determine that your health is important enough to not tolerate competition from other demands.
  • Vary your exercise efforts and incorporate an element of fun and enjoyment.
  • Consider using a fitness app or watch to spur you on to exercise regularly throughout the day and week.

Aim for the three to five full workouts, but understand that you will, many times, have to skip some of them. Just be prepared with exercises you can do in the car and at your desk, free weights in the bedroom for some back and arm exercises for five minutes between coffee and the rest of your day or at night while you watch that video or wait for SOME peoples pages to load. We’ve all been there…

I joined Curves to provide a consistency to my efforts; I found that exercising together with other women in a positive environment is very helpful. We all talk about how it is time that we take for ourselves, because we need it. We are the better for taking the time and those around us are better for it, too!

After Curves, our family signed up for a membership at our local YMCA. I haven’t taken classes there, but used the equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals. My grown kids have joined gyms, and these are all helpful ways to stay motivated and put in the time for fitness.

Exercise Will Do You Good

You know it is sort of an overused joke that people who go to fitness clubs jockey for the closest parking spaces. Make up your mind to do a little extra walking, stair climbing (in real life), etc. during your day. This is a great stress reliever, as well; instead of fuming about that creep taking the spot you were waiting for, you are actually thinking Pollyanna thoughts of how good the exercise is since you won’t have time for the regular workout this day. REALLY.

me in the garden

This is a totally new way of thinking and very freeing. The workouts you do ought to pay off in more strength for those everyday chores. All work is some sort of exercise! The reason for structured workouts is so that you are building muscles that are somewhat neglected in your daily activities, compensating for the fact that you overwork some muscle groups while underusing others.

Stretching exercises can be squeezed in almost anytime. Stretches, once learned, can be worked into the day to increase flexibility – you won’t believe how much better you function after working on lengthening some of your poor contracted muscles!

My favorite way to learn stretch exercises is through (have you guessed?) – a video. Although I did find books from the library and magazine articles which illustrate a regimen to try.  However, it is  just that I love someone else thinking up the sequences and moves, while I just follow along with music and timing all worked out for me.

How I’ve been making time for exercise lately

You know how we waste time on Facebook? Frittering away more time than is reasonably rational. Well, we can turn at least some of that into a creative way to get a bit more exercise. All we have to do is use some of the posted videos to turn some of that time into a fitness routine.

I love this! My new preferred way to exercise is available in streaming or with dvds.
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Creating A Fitness Plan

Exercise: Where to Start?

I thought about starting here because exercise is so foundational to good health. My equation is HEALTHY=BEAUTIFUL as well as its reverse (I knew it, algebra was worth something!).

In the last few years, I’ve been regularly exercising-originally to combat back spasms, rising blood pressure and eye pressure. My pressures are down, back spasms no more, and I have some other truly valuable benefits besides. I’ve shaped up (my husband is so appreciative), I have more energy (needed that!), and (what I most appreciate) I’m stronger. Much stronger. Human beings, being compound organisms require compound components, so exercise is only part of what’s needed, but that’s the part addressed right here.

Betty Boop

Key to consistent effort in exercise is finding something you like, so you keep working with it. In my twenties, running was really popular and my husband was interested in it, so I thought I’d try that. I did, once. It was so boring for me.

What I find I really like, many women I talk with find boring: exercise videos. I love exercise videos. My “Jane Fonda Complete” started me out in weight training. I’m so grateful, Jane! This was when I began to notice my strength improvement – and have found many references in medical articles on the necessity of this type of exercise.

Fitness On Video

Susan Powter is great in this respect, too. Her videos are a great workout with “real people” partners. Kathy Smith has the best pregnancy workout, and her “Body Basics” was the first video I purchased.

There are so many fitness types and stars of every type to lead us in routines that cater to every level of ability that there is really no excuse to delay creating your plan. Stretching, yoga, Latin dance, even chair exercises to deliver personal training right in your living room

I always rent or borrow videos to work with before I buy and it gives variety to my routine. So this is my main form of aerobic exercise, which I supplement with free weights.

Since I first wrote these tips, so much has changed on the video fitness front. Now, you can choose from DVDs to Youtube, and I notice that Amazon Prime offers a wide range, as well. 

One of my favorites, for the thoughts, the music, and the movement

One that I have fun with lately is “Body Groove” – check it out! I like its loose, fun style that fits the fact that I need movement and don’t have lots of ability right now.

Tactics to Tackle Exercise

stretching

I keep some dumbbells in my bedroom so that I can fit in exercise easily. Please, no jokes about that last sentence. I know none of this is new, mostly it’s just a pep talk – you have to “just do it”.

The observation I have at this point is that so many times we limit ourselves to activities which don’t fulfill our needs: team sports, good weather activities, gardening. These activities are exercise, but usually they’re marathon efforts with long absences between sessions.

Find something to fill in the spaces of everyday activities.

I would compile it this way:

  • stretching exercises
  • aerobic of your choice
  • recreational events(hiking,skiing,double digging a rose bed)
  • weight training

Women, particularly, need to take responsibility for their wellbeing. We’ll be more purposeful in our lives, feel better, prevent diseases, alot of things because we add exercise. It’s not the answer to all of life’s problems – I believe only Christ is-but bodily exercise is a key to bodily wellbeing.
You already know I like exercise videos, but thought I’d list the ones I like best:

jumping rope is good exercise

Oldie but Goodies

  • The Firm series: these are tough and effective; be sure to pace yourself and add the weights in carefully.
  • Jane Fonda series: I like the dance moves, variety of weights and spot exercises.
  • Kathy Smith Body Basics: This is the best warmup, and best ab and leg work in my opinion.
  • Marilu Henner Dance Aerobics: fun dancing
  • Susan Powter: no nonsense strength training and shaping. Great attitude!
  • Various Pilates-type videos: Kathi Smith, Denise Austin, and many more to try. Concentrated.

There are so many more to choose from now than when I started. I have especially liked the wide range of Yoga workouts.

yoga time
yoga time

Many of the stretches and strength exercises were given to me when I had to have some physical therapy in recent years. I believe we lose fitness without being completely aware of what’s happening.

This is all the more reason to create a deliberate plan and stick to it. It is the habit that is important, the challenge level or even the forms ( dance, aerobics, yoga) may well change to adjust to our interests and needs, but the fact that we need to keep using all our muscle groups remains the main goal.


A fun way to get aerobic exercise is in a dance class. There are many forms of dance, jazzercise, ballet, modern, but an unusual type I tried was bellydance

I have some pages on the many aspects of belly dance, including the costuming part of it.  They will soon be posted here.

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3-Step Motivation For Fitness

Get Motivated!

do it today, not tomorrow

Greetings! I’d like to write a few words on motivation before I add new pages to this section. I’m sure it is different for everyone, but sooner or later something trips up our regimen.

My Story

Some years ago, for me, it was some family/emotional crisis I went through. I just did not have the motivation to continue regular (oh, let’s be truthful: any) exercise for weeks. When I could make myself care about it I put in an hour or so once a week. I knew for the sake of my health and energy, that this situation couldn’t go on.

As time as gone on, I have found that motivation has been an increasingly important factor.

At one time I joined Curves to provide that extra impetus to remain focused on exercising for health. It was motivating for a time, but I still needed to follow the following steps to “get back on the bandwagon”.

…And here is the method I follow to get back on track.

Keep It Simple

woman walking
Keeping it simple

1 First, dispose of all guilt. It simply is counter-productive and exercise is not one of the ten commandments. Yes, you are healthier and you feel stronger; you get those endomorphins surging, but that is something you do because you want to, and you are not a bad person if you haven’t worked out lately.

2 Next, start back slowly, realizing you won’t be doing as much, at the pace before your layoff. The good news, of course, is that because you were exercising, it will not be as long to regain stamina, strength, and shape, as when you first began.

Still, you shouldn’t go all out and short-circuit your newfound resolve. Achy or injured muscles tend to dampen enthusiasm for most of us. Build up your mind-set with a little positive thinking…

  • “I’m worth it”…
  • “my family will benefit from it…and they are worth it”
  • “I will feel better, if I do this ” …whatever is your form of affirmation.

3 Finally, recognize that the ebb and flow of life means that you may get the flu, or have family matters that require lion shares of time, or any number of things that interfere with scheduled workouts. The resumption of workouts is part of the flow- you just have to decide that good health is non-negotiable and remember all the benefits of exercise.

The number of diseases exercise staves off or ameliorates is amazing. You will look better and function better, all with a few hours week spent in a simple work-out program. Not because I say so, but reams of medical research has come to this conclusion. (1)

When exercise is made a lifestyle habit, it helps such wide ranging problems as heart health to diabetes management to eye health. 

Starting slow or with enthusiasm?

On to the rest of the fitness pages with determination to make your own life better. You will love the person you become if you take time to meditate on good things.

If you schedule time to enjoy yourself and those around you, and if you build strength. In whatever ways and whatever amounts you are able!

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De-stress Yourself

yoga helps reduce stress

Get Rid of Stress

We all need to get rid of excess stress. Few people realize how destructive and debilitating stress really is to their lives. Instead of wishing it different, there are real things we can do to lessen the drain of daily accumulations of stress.

We can’t, and wouldn’t want, to have all stress removed. It has its usefulness to help us handle urgent situations, but modern day life and mentalities give us more than we were ever meant to handle. So, when you’ve received advice to get rid of your stress, or have those physical symptoms of “too much overwhelm”, why not try some of the relaxation suggestions here?

I also have a mood helium section, from the old “House of Happiness” blog, filled with all the things that help me feel relaxed or happy – or both! If you want further inspiration from poetry, art, suggestions for spa products or ideas on how to enjoy life more, check out “Happy Thoughts” for some mood helium.

Start with some good advice from dogs that someone gave a human voice:

Animal Mammal Cute Terrier Pet White Dog
It’s a dog’s life

Things We Can Learn From A Dog

  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
  • Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp and play daily.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout …run right back and make friends.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Exercise articles

Be sure to keep up your exercise program. Exercise is one way to relieve stress, along with things that you do to relax and renew yourself. So don’t let your exercise program be a source of stress: find things you enjoy, pace yourself, diversify your activities.

One of the reasons exercise is a stress reliever is because it gets your circulation going and causes your body to release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that affect your brain to reduce perception of pain and can trigger positive feelings in the body (if you have experienced “runner’s high” you know what this feels like.

I have put together some helpful relaxation hints

spa time
Serenity in the spa

Relaxation Hints

Helpful Hints and Tips for Getting Rid of Stress

  • Allow yourself some private time each day, as little as half an hour can make a difference.
  • Pray and meditate.
  • Take a long walk. Exercise that relaxes and gives new perspectives is rejuvenating.
  • Buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself. Or pick one from your garden, even roadside Queen Anne’s Lace will do
  • Turn off the phone, and allow your answering machine to pick up your calls. This is a mindsaver.
  • Snuggle up with a good book.
  • Put on your favorite music. You can even turn it up loud, and dance; if you have toddlers they love this, too.
  • Call a friend, and settle in with a hot cup of tea, give yourself time to enjoy the conversation.
  • Run the hot water, pour in bath salts, and luxuriate in your tub for a long, fragrant soak at the end of the day.
  • Indulge in getting (or giving) a massage.
  • Fix a little favorite comfort food.
  • Recall favorite memories, and allow yourself to recreate that feeling with loved ones, or a special moment in your life.
  • Write. In your journal, or a love letter to anyone you love, or a poem to express yourself
  • Treat yourself to a trip to the salon,a manicure and a pedicure, a shampoo and styling, nothing too different, maybe, but just for the fun
  • Rent a great video. Or better yet, go to the library, and borrow it with some good books
  • New Books! There are times only a Borders or Barnes and Noble store will do! Spend the afternoon, on your own or with a friend.
  • Start a Blessings journal, and take time for God.
  • Go outside: to the beach, hike in the park, walk in the neighborhood. Bask in the sunshine, examine the trees and the flowers, make up pictures in the clouds, delight in the day.

This article was originally published by Ilona Erwin © Copyright 1999 – 2018

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Cherry Cobbler, Classic Recipe

National Cherry Cobbler Day is on May 17th, just in case you wondered.

History Fact About Cobblers

“The earliest meaning of the word “cobbler” refers to one who makes (or “cobbles”) shoes. Sometime later, “to cobble” came to mean “to put together clumsily or roughly” (American Heritage Dictionary).

This second meaning is most likely the origin of the name of fruit-based dessert known as “cobbler,” in which the ingredients are thrown together with little of the precision required to make a classic fruit pie. Cobblers are thus easy to make.” – The Dictionary of Americanisms