Saturday, March 8, 2014

Leader Enterprise - March 5, 2014 - Showing and Feeling Appreciation


First off, I want to wish my sweet husband a very happy 46th anniversary. We celebrate next week. My man of 'steel and velvet' is definitely a keeper and I am more than blessed to be his wife.

Feeling appreciated is one of the strongest human desires. There's so much power in a loving word or an affirming touch. Just being there or showing up when it counts. Internal messages that tell someone they are loved and are special. I truly believe every person deserves to have at least one person in their life who is crazy about them.

In today's world of email and instant messaging, a handwritten note is getting rare and that makes it even more special. 

Now that I have you thinking of how you can lift someone around you, I want to focus on the special-ness of a handwritten note and encourage you to send a card soon. I have had a card ministry for years. A short message of hope can be a ray of sunshine in the darkness when someone is struggling. Once again, it's the little things in life that make a BIG difference. Knowing you are valued by someone in the world can help you climb mountains and aid in times of tragedy.

Among the best things about a hand written note is that it means so much to see the personal touch that comes with seeing someone’s handwriting. A card can stand on your counter or table to be reviewed again and again. The few minutes taken to add your own words can mean so much. I have kept special cards I've received for years. When I'm having a glum day, I pull some cards out to read,and am renewed and revived.

If you are one who doesn’t know what to say, simply tell the recipient that you are thinking of them, are there for them, and that you’re sorry for...whatever the situation. Keep your message simple and remember that anything from the heart will be meaningful and beautiful. But then again, you don't have to wait until someone is struggling to let them know you're thinking of them. 

I realize these are times of economic crisis, but you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to let someone know you care about them. The dollar stores have some beautiful cards. You don’t have to have a special gift to reach out to someone at any point in time. Trust me-the reward you receive for thinking of someone else, is worth far more than the money you spend to make it happen.

Tuck little ‘surprises’ inside a card....a bookmark, a tea bag, or a paper sachet. Those small items seldom need additional postage, but be sure to check with the post office when sending anything bulky. It’s always a thrill to receive pictures also. You can purchase little "Pass it On" cards, with a simple thought or scripture on them. Hallmark has tear-off post-it notes in tablet form with quips and quotes to uplift and encourage.

Sharing some tasty dishes that have sugar free options if you desire.
IMPOSSIBLE COCONUT PIE WITH RUM SAUCE 

4 eggs
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. baking mix (Bisquick or Jiffy)
3/4 c. sugar (or Splenda or xylitol)
2 c. milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 c. flaked coconut 

Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in blender, except coconut, and blend on low for about 1 minute. Stir in coconut. Pour into greased 9"pie plate. (or deep 8") Bake 50 - 55 minutes, (if using Splenda check at about 35 minutes into baking) or until a knife comes out clean. 

RUM SAUCE:

1/2 c. brown sugar
(I used 1/4 c. Splenda brown sugar blend)
1/4 c. butter
2 Tb. water
1/2 tsp. rum extract

In small saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and water to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in extract. Serve warm over coconut pie. 

CHERRY PIE FLUFF

1 (20 ozs)can  (no sugar added)cherry pie filling
1 (4 serv. size) box (sugar free) cheesecake pudding mix
8 ozs. lite cool whip

Combine cherry pie filling with pudding mix. Fold in cool whip. Chill and enjoy.M-M-M!
'SKINNY' BANANA CREAM PIE SMOOTHIE

1 c. cold water
1 (4-serv.size) box (sugar free) banana cream instant pudding mix
(do not make as directed on box)
20 ice cubes
1 c. skim milk
1 c. (low-fat)frozen vanilla yogurt
1/4 c. sugar substitute
(or 1 or 2 Truvia packets)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In blender, combine water with pudding mix. Blend on high for 20 seconds or until the pudding is completely dissolved. Add the ice cubes, milk, frozen yogurt, sweetener, and vanilla to the blender and cover. Process on high speed. If needed, pulse the blender off and on, stirring in between pulses to make sure all the ice cubes are crushed and the ingredients are blended. Once the ingredients are well blended, blend 30 seconds longer to assure a thick, smooth drink. Pour into cups or glasses and enjoy immediately.Yield:4-1/2
(1 c.servings)