Friday, May 14, 2010

Yes some people (or restaurants) use peanut butter or crushed peanuts in their chili.


This is so scary to me as a mom of a child who is anaphylactic to peanuts.  Who knew?  I've never put peanut butter in my chili, but some do.  You will NEVER find this recipe in my home.



Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  •  
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 2 cups tortilla chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the diced tomatoes, water, garlic, and bay leaves into a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and season with the cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. After 15 minutes, pour in the black beans and kidney beans; return to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter until dissolved, then remove and discard the bay leaves, and season the chili with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with a sprinkle of Cheddar cheese, tortilla chips and smile!

Interesting statistics on peanut allergies.


Researchers surveyed 5,300 households in 2008 and found that 1.4 percent of children were thought to have peanut allergies. That's more than three times the rate -- 0.4 percent -- found in a similar survey that was done in 1997.
The percentage of kids with allergies to either peanuts or tree nuts grew to 2.1 percent in 2008 from 0.6 percent in 1997.
Among adults, the level of peanut allergies didn't change: It remained at 1.3 percent.
"Our research shows that more than 3 million Americans report peanut and/or tree nut allergies, representing a significant health burden," Sicherer said. "The data also emphasize the importance of developing better prevention and treatment strategies."
It's not clear why the number of reported allergies is on the rise. One theory suggests that people are developing less immunity to allergens because they're exposed to fewer germs. Another suggests that people are wrongly diagnosed with food allergies that they don't actually have.
The researchers caution that they only called homes with telephones, possibly skewing the results toward the experiences of wealthier households.
The findings appear in the May 12 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

This innocent looking package of candy that Amanda was about to eat said that it is processed in a plant that also manufactures peanuts.  I'm so thankful Amanda is diligent enough to read every label before she eats something.  It just goes to show the amount candy and foods that are unsafe for a peanut-allergic child.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Loving Life

What is the most important element in life?  Confidence, happiness, contentment and love rank high. Courage, successful living, hope. But all of these come from a single source.
Confidence is faith in God and yourself. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Happiness and contentment arise from faith that God’s hand is in everything that happens. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21).
Love is faith and trust in another. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6).
Hope is faith for the future. “Put your hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
Courage is faith that you can win. The Bible’s heroes “through faith conquered kingdoms…shut the mouths of lions…escaped the edge of the sword… (Hebrews 11:33-39).
Successful living
 is taking action through faith. “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
 

Book is finally finished!

I had a tough decision to make the last couple of weeks.  I mulled over whether or not to make a minor change to the tile of my book "Peanuts".  I finally gave the go ahead over the weekend and now finally after almost a year of editing and re-editing this book, it is now going to be a reality.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.  I am now awaiting the hard copy in the mail so I can do one last edit.  I'm kind of a perfectionist and don't like to put out anything less than perfect, which is why it has taken me so long on this book.  It will be well worth the wait.

I can't wait to get that hard copy in my hands!! I remember when I received my first copy of my first children's book called "I Spy a Dragonfly".  What a thrill it was!  I could barely make it back home with shaking hands to show my kids.  I didn't stop smiling for a very long time.

I have my next book idea and am working on it trying to get it just right!