You Make a Difference

Recently I met an amazing women that exemplifies the influence one individual can have in her community. Her name is Karak Mayik Denyok. Karak from South Sudan. She was recently granted political asylum from the United States. Why? Because she made a difference in the women’s lives around her. In a refugee camp, she taught them to read and write. She encouraged the women around her. She taught them they were more than property.

Her story may feel extraordinary, because it is. However, as I listened to her share, I realized all of us have the opportunity daily to make a difference in the lives of those around you. Have you ever had someone change your day for the better? I have. However it was the small things they did that made a big difference. Two of these people are my dad and mom.

Everyday parents, siblings and spouses impact the lives around them. It gives all of us an opportunity to make a difference. As we try to be patient, lend a listening ear, extend encouragement or forgive, we are making a difference. These are the ways my parents changed my life.

Too often we may feel insignificant. If that happens, please look around. You are significant and making a difference in the lives around you. And that changes our world!

For more about Karak’s story, go to


Best Banana Muffins GF

I love banana muffins, so recently I was curious if my favorite recipes would work without gluten. Not only did they work, they needed no modifications other than the flour and my kids liked them better!

Can you tell which one is gluten free?20160110_091738

Here are the recipes I love:

Best Banana Muffins

Mix till light and fluffy
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 mashed bananas
Blend in:
1 1/2 c. Gluten Free Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c nuts (optional)

Line or spray muffin tin. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Banana Oat Muffins
This is a recipe from the allrecipes website. I don’t do the topping. I use 1/2 cup sugar. Use gluten free flour.


Yummy, Healthier Green Bean Holiday Recipes

Fresh green beans with a twist are great for holiday meals. Try one of my favorites that are both delicious and healthier than a traditional green bean casserole!

Lemon Pepper Green Beans
Source: Church Friend
Serves 12

2 lbs green beans
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 Tbl + 1 tsp. lemon pepper

Steam beans 10 minutes. Melt butter on medium heat, saute almonds with lemon pepper. Stir in green beans. Serve warm.


French Bean “Casserole”
Source: I cut this out of a now unidentified newspaper.
Serves 6 to 8
1 lb green beans
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved and sliced thin
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (I use the prepared)
1 lb cremini and/or shitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 low fat sour cream
2 Tbs fresh parsley and tarragon
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (gluten free for me)
1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds
1 tps. grated lemon zest
Ground black pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place green beans, 1/2 cup water and sprinkle of salt in an overproof skillet; cover, turn burner on high and cook until beans are bright green and tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Immediately cool by rinsing in cool water.

Meanwhile, heat butter and 1 Tbl of oil over medium heat until butter foams. Add onions; cook until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Add chicken brother; simmer until it forms a gravy, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream and herbs and then add green beans. Transfer to oven; cook 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile heat remaining oil in medium saute pan over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and almonds; stir until golden brown. Add lemon zest and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Sprinkle warm green beans with seasoned bread crumbs and serve immediately.