Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: February, 2017

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Make Healthy Desserts!

After blogging a slow cooker recipe last week, we thought it’d be fun to share a few desserts as well.  We love to have something sweet every now and again and are trying to heed all the warnings about the negative health consequences of too much sugar. In that effort we are always looking for a delicious dessert that is on the healthy side and is super easy to throw together. Here are a couple that fit the bill!

Heather’s Strawberries & Cream:

strawberry-dessert

16 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup honey, 1 pint of fresh strawberries, 4 rectangles of graham crackers.

Put ricotta cheese and honey in a blender and mix for a few seconds.  Mixture will be very smooth and creamy.  Put 4 dessert cups out and fill each will hulled cut up strawberries.  Pour cream mixture into each bowl over the strawberries, evenly divided.  Crumble graham crackers and sprinkle over each dessert cup.  Refrigerate for a little while or serve immediately.

* As a side note, some healthier sweeteners for your dishes include dates, honey and maple syrup which comes in granulated form too.

Holly’s Pistachio Cake:

Image result for pistachio cake

1 box white cake mix, 1 box of sugar free pistachio pudding mix, 1 1/2 cups water, fat free whipped topping

Mix first three ingredients with a blender.  Pour into a cake pan and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.  Top a serving with whipped topping when cool.

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Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Snow Day Fun!!

Image result for snowy day looking out a window

Here in the northeastern U.S.A., we get a pretty good dose of snow every winter. In our part of the country it’s not an every day or even weekly occurrence so it’s enough to enjoy without getting tired of it. On those really snowy days, things really shut down around our towns. We are urged by officials to stay off the roads and stay home as much as possible. When that happens, we cheer, “Snow day!”

When schools and work close for the day (or two!) we look forward to some honored traditions:
1. Sleep in!
2. Stay in pajamas most of the day (if not all)
3. Put on a good movie or tv show
4. Light the fireplace
5. Read a good book or magazine
6. Watch the snow fall from a cozy spot in the house
7. Make (and eat) comfort food

Here is a recipe just perfect for a snow day:

Slow Cooked Stew

Ingredients: Beef cubes, diced carrots. cut up potatoes, one beef bullion cube, salt, pepper, paprika, splash of: water, Worcestershire sauce, cooking wine, soy sauce, tomato sauce

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours. Serve with rolls or biscuits.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Pick a Cause

Image result for helping hands

What are you passionate about? If you could take an action to help solve a world or community problem, what would it be? Every now and then we like to focus on a charitable endeavor that is near and dear to our hearts and there are so many that we care about.  Our father and uncle have Parkinson’s Disease and we will be blogging more about that in April which is Parkinson’s awareness month (this year we are hoping to find a local walk that we can participate in).

In supporting a cause, it is important to know if you are helping to raise money for research and/or a cure for an illness or disease, how much is going toward that effort.  Helping the poor is high on our list of volunteering priorities and there are big and small ways you can make a difference.  Our local churches collect money specifically for helping with heating bills, food and medicine.  You could donate clothes, cook or serve in a soup kitchen, or buy baby food and diapers for needy families with babies.

Even if you do one thing, once a year, you are making a difference in someone else’s life – and enriching your own.  What speaks to you?

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Continuing A Positive Mindset

Image result for positive thoughts

This week’s blog focuses on more helpful hints about how to achieve that positive outlook on a daily basis. There are so many negative stories out in the world; we need to constantly tell ourselves positive ones! Let’s think about our thoughts more closely. If we have two choices, 1. Dwelling on the positive or 2. Thinking about the negative, why would we choose number two?

If you feel your thoughts trending towards the negative, stop the trend.  Refocus your mind on something that makes you happy: a beautiful sunset, a peaceful song, a pleasant memory.  Wondering, “What if?” on an unpleasant thought pattern is like predicting a negative outcome in a world of possibilities that may never come to pass.

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