Recipe Friday: Cherry Poke Cake

This is an easy and tasty dish for a potluck – pure sugary junk food. The varieties are up to your imagination, but here are a few ideas:

  • Spread frosting over the cake, instead of Cool Whip or whipped cream.
  • White cake, use chocolate pudding instead of gelatin (can still mix in the cherries); sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the whipped topping
  • Chocolate cake, use chocolate, butterscotch, or vanilla pudding; drizzle caramel sauce over the whipped topping
  • Chocolate cake; mix strong brewed coffee with chocolate pudding mix; mocha frosting
  • Any kind of cake; any kind of ice cream, softened, then re-freeze before adding the topping (cake should be cooled before adding the softened ice cream)
  • Lemon cake, use pineapple gelatin mixed with crushed pineapple
  • White cake with lemon gelatin and lemon pie mix
  • White cake with canned coconut milk (thick part only, save the watery part for another use) mixed with sweetened condensed milk; mix some coconut into the Cool Whip
  • Spice cake with vanilla pudding (mix in some cinnamon); mix cinnamon and nutmeg into the Cool Whip
  • Spice cake with green apple gelatin and apple pie filling (blended into smaller chunks); cream cheese frosting on top

You can do an internet search for poke cake varieties, and find dozens of ideas.

Whatever flavor mixes you choose, be sure the gelatin or pudding sets up pretty thick, so you don’t dissolve your cake into a puddle of mush.

Ingredients:

1 yellow cake mix with additional ingredients to make and bake the cake in a 13×9” pan

1 21 oz can cherry pie filling

1 3 oz package cherry gelatin dessert

1 cup boiling water

1 tub of Cool Whip or whipped cream

Directions:

Bake the cake according to package directions in a 13” x 9” pan. Cool slightly.

Use the round end of a wooden spoon to poke the cake at 1-inch intervals. I found that the cake starts sticking to the wood (and spreading cake crumbs all around) about half way through, so you might want to rinse it; I didn’t care, since it was all going to be covered up with the Cool Whip, anyway.

While the cake is cooling, pour the cherry pie filling into a 4-cup container. Use an immersion blender to blend the cherries into smaller chunks.

In a separate bowl, mix the cherry gelatin with one cup of boiling water, and stir until completely dissolved.

Pour the gelatin into the mashed cherries, and stir to combine.

Pour the cherry mixture evenly over the cake, making sure it drizzles down into the holes.

Refrigerate the cake for two hours or overnight. I put plastic wrap over mine, and the gelatin and plastic stuck together the next day. It came apart easily with a spatula, though. You may want to spray the plastic wrap with some oil before laying it over the cake, or cover with a high cover.

I cut the cake before adding the Cool Whip (although, at the potluck, the person putting out the dessert didn’t know that, and cut it again 😉); you can cut it before or after.

Spread the Cool Whip over the cake, and serve.

Free Herbal Webinar Opportunity

I have personally learned so much from Rosalee and John, and continue to subscribe to their newsletter. In their latest offering, they outline herbs and how they interact with the viruses that run amuck during the cold and flu season. Here is information from their registration page at https://explore.learningherbs.com/secrets-of-antiviral-herbs/  :

LearningHerbs presents a FREE webinar

The Secrets of Antiviral Herbs

7 Powerful Remedies, 6 Misunderstood Herbs & The 5 Stages of Winter Wellness

Presented by Rosalee de la Forêt and hosted by John Gallagher of LearningHerbs

  • Understanding viruses and how antiviral herbs really work
  • How to know if an herb is actually antiviral or not (Also, which information to trust)
  • The 5 Stages of Winter Wellness (This is the key to knowing which herb to use and when to use it)
  • Herbs for upper respiratory infections
  • Is it still safe to use elderberry?
  • Going beyond antiviral herbs to eliminate the Cycle of Sickness (So you and your family can get healthy and stay healthy)

During the webinar, we’ll give you this Key to Winter Wellness chart, along with recipe cards for 7 of Rosalee’s favorite cold & flu season remedies.

Pray for Our Church

Prayer is of the utmost importance! We must be on our knees daily before God Almighty, bowing before Him with obedient hearts, interceding for ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, our church (the Body of Christ), our nation, and the world.

Churches are suffering. Some suffer persecution in their righteousness. Some suffer from lack of knowledge and wrong teaching, moving away from God’s Word and falsely interpreting. Lord, forgive us, teach us, move us by Your Holy Spirit to do what is right in Your Eyes. Humble our hearts, and may we bow before You, our Living Word and Savior.

Here are some ways we can pray for our church:

  • May God give unto us the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Ephesians 1.17-19)
  • God put a hedge of protection around our church and its people, protect from division and evil
  • May God count us worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and us in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1.11, 12)
  • May we be deeply rooted in God’s Word, daily reading and meditating upon His Scripture. Lord, create a gnawing hunger in us for Your Word.
  • May families have a deep trust in God’s ways and His Word, firmly believing what God tells us. May we ever fully obey Him.
  • May we train up our children, and parent unto salvation, providing Godly examples with joy
  • May husbands and wives be faithful and true to God; and therefore faithful and true one to another
  • May we edify one another in the Spirit
  • May our church be obedient ambassadors of God in our community, rightly representing Jesus Christ, fully displaying our joy and peace
  • May God bring all those He wishes to our church; may He give them special promptings and grace to attend
  • May we be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1.9-12)
  • May our church people welcome and embrace one another – those we know, and visitors
  • God prepare the hearts of all who attend services, meetings, and group events. Especially anoint the preacher / teacher; prepare the hearts of the listeners so that Your Word penetrates deep into our hearts and changes our lives.
  • God loves a cheerful giver. May we give generously from the abundance God gives us: in time, love, material resources, from hearts filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • May our worship together reflect the moving of God’s Holy Spirit.
  • May our singing and our prayers come from hearts of true worship and praise.
  • May we ever worship and work in a Spirit of unity and cooperation. We serve One Lord: One Spirit lives and moves and has His Being in all of us.
  • May the Lord prepare the hearts of those whom He calls for special leadership. Lord, call your workers, for the harvest is plenteous
  • Because we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2.10), may we be tuned to God’s guidance and direction as we have our conversation and daily walk.
  • May we fellowship in the ministering to the saints (2 Corinthians 8.4); fellowship in the gospel (Philippians 1.7); fellowship in the Spirit (Philippians 2.1); and fellowship in His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3.10).
  • God has given us, individually, unique and valuable gifts. We are each precious in His sight. As we learn our gifts, may we desire to use them to serve God and, by serving Him, serve one another, thus functioning as His Body
  • May we praise God and garner favor with all the people; and may the Lord add to our church daily those who are being saved (Acts 2.47).
  • May we have a heart for missions, praying and giving to the need.
  • May we be a lighthouse in our community, a beacon of hope
  • We give the running of the building, and the business of monetary and work operations into God’s hands. May we be faithful stewards in handling the gifts He provides. Our building and grounds are God’s; we ask His protection, His wisdom in maintaining, and His provision in caring for physical structures.
  • May we ever give thanks and show appreciation to those who work to serve
  • May we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God, confessing our sins and repenting of our fleshly ways. May we speak, honor and obey God alone.
  • May we be ever forgiving one to another, lest Satan should get an advantage of us; may we not be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2.10, 11)
  • Prepare us for persecution: may we be hiding God’s Word in our hearts, memorizing and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, ready to give an answer as God provides
  • May we live in an attitude of holiness
  • May we ever give God blessing and glory and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honor and power and might (Revelations 7.12)

Recipe Friday: My Other Morning Drink

This hot drink is comforting and filling, besides being pretty healthy. It can be enjoyed any time of day. It is a mixture of Dandy Blend, turmeric bone broth, collagen, sucanat, and rice milk.

Dandy Blend is an easy-to-dissolve blend of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root, and sugar beet. It is touted as a good coffee substitute, with no headache upon withdrawal. It has no caffeine, acidity, or bitterness. I enjoy the taste as-is, and it can be prepared hot or cold. It’s sold in most health food stores, and online (I buy it through vitacost.com). I first bought the smallest size available, but I liked it so much, I now buy it in the blammo-size packages.

Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein – Turmeric delivers 20 grams of protein per serving. (Bone broth is one of the healthiest nutrients you can consume. See my other posts, https://maggietiggles.wordpress.com/2021/10/08/recipe-friday-how-i-make-bone-broth/  and https://maggietiggles.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/recipe-friday-bone-broth-and-butternut-squash-soup/ for more information.) I bought it for the turmeric content: turmeric is a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory. I don’t know what made me think of adding it to my Dandy Blend, but I’m glad I did. The taste is really good. Ancient Nutrition also sells other flavors: pure, chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salted caramel. I haven’t tried any of the other flavors in my morning mix. The turmeric blend does not contain any sweetener; most of the other blends have stevia or other natural sweetener (except the pure). If you use a sweetened blend, you will likely not need to add any sweetener to your drink.

Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein delivers 20 grams of protein per 2 scoops, besides the 5 types of food source collagen. (Collagen promotes healthy hair, skin, joints and digestion.). It is mostly tasteless, but adds some richness and body. You can also get other flavors of collagen. I get both Ancient Nutrition products from store.draxe.com.

My sweetener of choice is sucanat, but use any kind you like, or none at all.

It works best if you mix the powdered ingredients together really well before adding the hot water. The protein powders tend to clump badly; but they don’t if you mix well first. I top it off with a splash of rice milk.

To make one 16 oz. cup:

1 spoon of Dandy Blend

1 scant scoop of Bone Broth Protein – Turmeric

1 scant scoop of Multi Collagen Protein

½ spoon sucanat

Directions:

Measure ingredients into a 16 oz mug. Stir the ingredients together well.

Add boiling water, stir to dissolve.

Add some cream, milk, or non-dairy alternative to taste.

Because I drink this often, I make up a larger quantity at a time. Ingredient amounts can be adjusted to taste.

Quart mixture:

5 heaping spoons of Dandy Blend

5 heaping scoops of Bone Broth Protein – Turmeric

5 heaping scoops of Multi Collagen Protein

5 heaping spoons of sucanat

Add all ingredients to a 1-quart mason jar. Mix contents thoroughly.

To make a 16-oz mug:

Add two heaping spoonfuls of the mixture to the mug.

Add boiling water.

Stir to dissolve.

Add milk, cream, or non-dairy alternative to taste.

Recipe Friday: Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin stew! This is a yummy and different way to present a dinner.


To make: Prepare your favorite recipe for stew. (We put ours in a slow cooker for 8-10 hours overnight.) Cut the top off a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and pulp.

Set oven to 300 degrees. Be sure to lower the rack and take out the upper rack, because you’ll need the vertical space.

Prepare a baking pan by pouring 1-2 cups of water into it.

(I sprayed inside and outside the pumpkin with cooking oil, but I don’t know that I needed to.)

Spoon the stew into the pumpkin.

Place the pumpkin into the prepared pan. Bake the pumpkin for an hour; after an hour, put the top on the pumpkin, and bake one more hour.

When you serve it, scrape the inside of the pumpkin as you scoop out the stew, to make sure some of the pumpkin meat gets into the bowl.

Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

Recipe Friday: How I Make Bone Broth

Bone broth is my morning hot drink. It is one of the most nutritious things you can ingest because of its healing, protective, and regenerative capabilities.

For more information about the healing properties of bone broth, go to draxe.com and do a search for bone broth. One of the articles is here: https://draxe.com/nutrition/bone-broth-benefits/ .

Before I get into how to make bone broth, I should divulge that you can take easier routes. Sometimes I buy bone broth. You can do your own search for your favorite type/s. I buy bone broth from Walmart as a backup. It says it’s bone broth (not chicken broth or beef broth, i.e.), and it’s organic, so I believe them. I stipulate, however, that I fortify that bone broth with collagen and gelatin (the same as I do my own bone broth, and how I do that is at the end of this post).

Another easier route is to buy powdered bone broth. Dr. Axe’s store sells several types of flavored and unflavored powdered bone broths (some may also be purchased through vitacost.com, one of my favorite sites to shop). My favorite is the turmeric bone broth. Be aware that his powders (Ancient Nutrition brand) take a lot of mixing to get all the clumps out, and it’s best to use very hot water (or whatever liquid you’re using), unless you are using a good blender. These powders can be used many ways (again, visit Dr. Axe’s site for ideas), such as baked goods, oatmeal, and drinks. My favorite is to mix Dandy Blend, turmeric bone broth, and a bit of sucanat with hot water, then add a splash of rice milk.

To make your own bone broth, you can use a large saucepan, a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker. I use an Instant Pot.

If you use the slow cooker or the saucepan, you will need to simmer the bone broth for 2 or 3 days (36 hours is prime), adding water as needed to keep the pot full.

In an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, 5 hours will do it. When I use my Instant Pot, I plan on the whole day to make bone broth: from prep, to cooking, to pressure release, to draining and cooling, to cooling in the jars, to clean up and refrigeration. I bought a strainer insert for my Instant Pot, and it saves the time and hassle of straining hot broth from the bones and veggies at the end.

Ingredients:

  • Bones (can use chicken, beef, pork, or fish, or any combination) In my Instant Pot, the bones of one small chicken is just enough for one batch. Or, three or four T-bones. If you’re using raw soup bones, it’s a good idea (for the sake of flavor) to roast the bones first. If you have stuff like chicken’s feet and necks, those are good.
  • Veggies: when I chop onions, celery, and carrots for recipes, I keep the ends in a freezer bag. I use some or all of these ends. You can just chop up any vegetables you like, too. Garlic is a good addition.
  • Organic apple cider vinegar (this helps draw the nutrients from the bones; the vinegar taste does not come through to the finished bone broth, unless you add too much)
  • Natural sea salt or Himalayan salt (PLEASE, do not use grocery store, white table salt. It is pure sodium chloride and is bad for you. Natural mineral salts, on the other hand, contain minerals that are salty, and they’re not all sodium: there are magnesium salts, for example, among others. Even if you’re buying labeled “natural” salts, read the label to see what’s in it, and make sure it’s not a bunch of chemicals.)
  • Filtered water

Directions:

If you have one, put a strainer in the Instant Pot insert. Dump your bones and veggies into the strainer. (Yep, they’re still frozen, and that’s okay. Break them apart if you need to, to fit in correctly.)

Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of good salt

Pour 2 tablespoons of organic vinegar into a pitcher of water. (I just do this to get the vinegar mixed in well. You can add the vinegar and water separately, if you like.) Add it to the pot.

Add more water as needed to the fill line.

Put the cover on the pot and make sure it’s properly locked. Turn the vent to Seal.

Use the Soup function, if you have it. The highest number for time is 4 hours. I cook mine for 5 hours, but I set it at 4 for now.

The pot will start heating and cooking. Once it comes to pressure, the timer will start the countdown.

Somewhere in the middle of the countdown, but after at least one hour is up, I add an extra hour.

After the cooking time is up, let the pressure release naturally. Wait for the pressure pin to drop. This will take 30 – 60 minutes.

After the pressure has released and the pin has dropped, carefully take off the lid.

Use pot holders to take the full insert out of the pot.

Use the handle to lift the strainer full of bones and veggies out of the broth. Put a cooling rack on top of the insert, and rest the strainer on top of the cooling rack. Let the strainer drain and cool.

When the broth has strained out of the bones and veggies, remove the strainer. You can compost the bones and veggies, or throw them away.

Make sure the broth is cool enough before you pour it into jars.

Wait until they’ve cooled enough; then screw lids on (I use plastic lids, but the metal bands and lids are fine) and refrigerate.

To prepare bone broth as a hot drink:

I heat enough bone broth each morning for two people. Yes, you can just heat and drink, but I like to stretch mine with amendments. When heating, please use a stove and not a microwave; microwaves destroy some of the vital nutrients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 scoops collagen powder
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • Natural salt, to taste

Directions:

Pour about 1 cup of bone broth into a small saucepan.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of powdered gelatin over the top.

Sprinkle 2 scoops of collagen over the top.

Add some healthy salt. Start with a few shakes. You will need to taste your bone broth before you pour it into your cup, to see how much salt you’ll need to add when you prepare this batch of bone broth.

Turn the burner to high. After a minute or two, start whisking the mixture. Don’t wait too long, as the gelatin will sink to the bottom and stick.

Heat and whisk until all the lumps are out. The mixture will be fairly hot by this time.

Add 1 ½ cups of filtered water. Stir and heat until hot enough for you to drink.

Use a spoon to take a taste, and add salt if needed. Stir well.

Pour into two mugs. Your bone broth is ready to enjoy.

You needn’t worry about consuming too much salt, if it’s the healthy kind, and used in moderation. I used to drink salt sole (pronounced “so-lay”) every morning, but now I get my salt via bone broth. Salt sole is simply a saturated mixture of salt (REAL salt, not table, store-bought salt) and water (FILTERED water). Why is it so healthy? Because Himalayan salt or Celtic salt is naturally occurring, and provides a multitude of essential minerals our bodies need to function properly. And, the minerals are delivered in a way that our bodies can assimilate and use. Please see my post on Salt Sole here: https://maggietiggles.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/recipe-friday-salt-sole/

Hole in the Heart

These pictures are from a yard I pass by in my neighborhood walks. I knew the man who lived there.

I met this man at an assisted living facility. He liked to visit his wife twice a day. The facility was large, and he got his daily constitutional by walking the long halls. He had a smile and a joke to tell whomever he passed in the hallways. The staff and residents loved him. He would sit and chat with his wife for a while, then leave to go about his other business. But he visited morning and afternoon. He was always a jovial fellow.

His wife was an Alzheimer’s patient. She always had a smile on her face. I suspect she enjoyed visits from her favorite suitor.

When covid hit, this gentleman was no longer allowed to visit his wife. At first, there were through-the-window visits permitted, but then the facility said no more of those, since some of the residents were perturbed by people walking around outside. Eventually they allowed inside visits, through plexiglass and with masks. Then those rules passed, and they could visit in her room. By this time, she had been moved to the memory care unit, and I don’t know if she knew him.

I didn’t see him for well over a year, not even in the grocery store or at community events. I wondered how he was.

As I passed his house on my walks, I pictured him with a hole in his heart, like this tree in his yard. He took meticulous care of his yard, even at his advanced age. All the trees and bushes were trimmed up, his grass was always mowed. I wondered if he worried about the hole in his tree; whether it would be better to take the tree, or let it live with its hole.

After all, he was living with a hole, himself, being unable to visit his wife, his life-long partner and lover. And, like the tree, I pictured him still being well-trimmed on the outside. I wondered if he was still telling his jokes, and to whom.

I saw him last month, at his wife’s funeral. He had a smile on his mouth, but sad and tired eyes. We recalled his jokes, and his walks in the hallways, and his beautiful wife.

Last week we read his obituary in the paper. They published it after his funeral was held, and we wondered why; we would have liked to go and say goodbye, and hug his family again, and relive some fond memories.

So I’m reliving my fond memories through this post. Goodbye, Gene. We miss you, and hope to see you in Heaven.

Herbal Workshop Opportunity

I learned a LOT from Chris Dalziel, and wanted to share her recent opportunity with you.

The website to register: https://ultimatebundles.com/uhlb2021-webinar-registration/

From her e-mail:

Cold and flu season is coming up fast. Are you prepared?

If you’re looking for reliable natural remedies, I can help!

I’ve partnered with Ultimate Bundles to teach a free class called:

5 Essential Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

In this free workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to be prepared for flu and cold season
  • What easy-to-find ingredients you can use to make remedies for your family
  • How to make herbal remedies even when you “don’t have time”
  • How to take herbal remedies effectively when you feel under-the-weather
  • Why you can feel comfortable with the treatment you’re using on yourself and your family
  • And more!


Save your seat right here!

I’m super excited about this class, and even more excited about you learning these skills to help your family, especially this winter.

If you are wondering why I love to teach this class?

In this class you’ll not only get recipes to make 5 essential cold and flu remedies that have helped my family weather the current “big nasty”.  But you’ll also learn 9 herbal medicine making skills that you can use over and over. 

I believe strongly in giving you a quick-win to build your momentum in learning these essential self-reliant skills.  And this class will help you do just that.

The class is on Monday, October 4th at 3pm EST (12 Noon Pacific time).  Its a live class where you can get your questions answered in real time.

Click here to register!