With the holidays so near it reminds us all what we have to be thankful for. Everyday I try to remember to take time to thank God for all I have. Sometimes life has us so busy with our day to day tasks that we can forget! It is also that time of year to be more giving. When I can’t give gifts of monetary value I at least try to give the gift of prayer. Perhaps this year we can all pray for those suffering from mesothelioma when reading this.
Heather Von St. James contacted me earlier last week to share her story. I was so inspired with her strength and desire to spread awareness that I felt compelled to share her story as well. She was only given 15 months left to live just after giving birth to her daughter but now she is an eight-year mesothelioma cancer survivor! You can read more about her story here.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. Some of the symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pain, or chronic coughing. Since these symptoms are common for other ailments the diagnoses of mesothelioma can be difficult. You can read more about exposure to asbestos and the symptoms here. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma there are multiple ways of treating this cancer depending on what stage you are in. Information about the treatments can be found here.
I hope this information brings knowledge and hope to those that may really need it. Remember to avoid exposure to asbestos. There is no such thing as a “safe” level of exposure. Also, remember to research about asbestos in the home. Asbestos was used in home construction in the 1940s-1970s. If you are worried about exposure in your home you can find a certified asbestos professional to come test your house for asbestos.
I hope you all have happy, safe, and hopeful holidays!
Ahhh! I just realized I had this post all set to go before Thanksgiving and then today I saw it sitting in my draft files! Zut allors! Je suis desole! These past two weeks have been full of doctor appointments (I don’t know why I scheduled my physical so close to the holidays, note to self: do not do that again) and family entertaining. Then shortly after it was followed by what seemed like a week long nap that involved fleece pajamas and Netflix. Family entertaining is lovely and I love doing it but you always seem to get a horrible head cold shortly after (or is that just me?).
Anyway, I don’t have any pictures of the recipes because everything was eaten so quickly and the week was pure madness. My apologies. Here are the recipes, they are very easy to follow and work well for any night of the week as well as any holiday really. They would make perfect dishes for a winter dinner party/get together.
Brown Rice Stuffing
- 2 cups dry brown rice (uncooked)
- 2.5 lbs ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork sausage
- fennel, sage, rosemary, thyme
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- sea salt
Cook your rice however you wish (could be by stove top, rice maker, or microwave… it’s the holiday season so no judgement). Cooking dry rice pretty much doubles the size so you should end up with about 4 cups cooked. Brown your beef and pork together. Saute your onions and celery in the fat drippings from the beef and pork. Mix everything together with your seasoning (I didn’t put specific measurements because everyone has different tastes, just season to your preferred taste). Voila, easy and gluten free stuffing.
Spiced Pumpkin Mousse
- 2 cans pumpkin puree
- 5 cups heavy cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese (at room temp)
- 1.25 cups maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Heat pumpkin, syrup, spice and 1.75 cups heavy cream over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Let cool. Whip cream cheese into cooled pumpkin mixture. Whip remaining heavy cream and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Fold pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream. Serves 16.
Gingered Apple Punch
- 4 liters ginger ale
- 2 12 ounce cans of frozen apple juice concentrate
Thaw juice concentrate. Mix with ginger ale. Voila, punch! Makes a little over 4 liters.