Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Meat Potato Pie

Back in the 80's I was a Tupperware dealer. My manager introduced this recipe to her distributors and it has been one that I still use to this day.

It is very easy and smells luscious baking.

While living in Marksville, Louisiana, around 1995, I discovered a wonderful sauce served on meat pies at a restaurant in that area. It really puts the cherry on top! Hope you enjoy!

Feel free to email your comments to me.

2 pie shells, home made or store bought, I use store bought, thawed slightly, then shape my edges to appear a home-made crust

1 potato, chopped in small pieces, I cut mine in my food processor, but not too fine

1 pound of ground chuck beef

Salt and Pepper to taste

So easy...mix together the meat and potato, put in unbaked pie shell, cover with the other unbaked pie shell, press shells together at the edges. Cut a few holes in top crust or press a cookie cutter shape in the top.

Bake for about 1 hour. The crust will be golden brown and meat should be thoroughly done.

Top with the sauce. A Louisiana resturant's secret recipe:

Jezebel Sauce

Equal amounts of apple jelly and pineapple preserves
Add horseradish to the desired “bite”.

For a simple family meal, serve with a veggie. I serve with fresh corn and garnish with a few slices of fruit.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Give Your Room a Lift

Just as our body must have a cleansing, so it is with our homes. Over time, we bring in more and more stuff. If we do 
not take the time to take some things out occasionally, things begin to pile up. Sometimes we just get used to 

looking at something and ignore that it is even there.

When I begin to decorate a room using what I have, I begin by working with one area at a time. Here are some steps I use when I want to give a room a lift:

Detox...Get rid of all the clutter. Go through every drawer, corner, and shelf, and get rid of things that you do not need. Every item should be either beautiful or useful.

Rearrange...Move everything from it’s original place. You will never be able to really clean the room if everything 
forever stays in it’s original place. You will want to keep moving things around until you get the arrangement that you 
like. In the living room, your room needs to be in cozy conversational areas. My philosophy is, nothing is permanent. If I move it and it does not look good, it can be moved back or explore a new idea. Trust me, your couch can be rearranged
in many ways. You can make new arrangements work.

Cleanse...Clean the room from top to bottom. Starting with each area, clean windows, baseboards, curtains, blinds, 
accessories, everything in each area. Your room will get a fresh lift just from being totally cleaned.

Use balance...Don’t line up all the furniture against the walls. Generally, you will work with several key pieces of 
furniture. Balance them in the room, then add small tables, etc. to complete the arrangement.

Pull together focal points by using a strong color scheme in each area. You may use a framed art picture as your 
inspiration and pull colors from there. Display things that you love. Accessories should always be personal. Even if they are store bought, they can reflect your personal taste.

One way to give a room a new look is to drastically reduce it’s contents.
Honor favorite photos with good quality frames.
Go easy on symmetry - more than three matched pairs in a single room is too much.
Five minutes before guest arrive, spray your favorite perfume in the foyer.

Sweep all small decorating items in a drawer and take one out at a time. It’s

like discovering that object all over again.
Use baskets lined with fabric to gather up key, change, wallet, etc.

I encourage you to take a small step and try one of my "give your room a lift" ideas.  Even if you take a small area at at 
time, inch by inch anything is a cinch! You will be amazed how much your home will give you a lift just by taking small steps over a period of time.

Thursday, September 21, 2006



“The best bridge between hope and despair is often a good night’s sleep.”

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the
bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2

“How can my people expect healing, when they are violating the laws of diet and rest?”

When we are sleep deprived, life loses its luster and can leave us feeling exhausted. Our body needs good solid sleep every night. When we are unable to get the kind of sleep we need, this deprivation accumulates and can begin to create havoc in our daily lives. For example, a lack of sleep may leave you:

• unable to focus during the day
• tired and exhausted all the time
• irritable and short-tempered
• depressed or anxious
• more susceptible to colds, headaches, or allergies
• feeling vulnerable and less confident

Tips to get you a good night’s sleep:

1. Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Check for clutter, air quality, comfortable bed, sheets, comforter, noise level & cleanliness.

2. Drink milk before contains calming calcium, magnesium, and tryptophan.

3. A warm relaxing bath or shower.

4. Soothing herb tea.

5. No caffeine late in the day.

6. Don’t go to bed too early.

7. Exercise regularly, but not close to bedtime.

8. Don’t go to bed angry.

9. Learn to fall asleep without the radio or TV on. Research has shown a radio or TV running while we are asleep will cause us to be more wakeful.

10. Using the stress management exercise is wonderful. Start with your feet, point, hold, relax, then pull your feet up, hold, then relax. Do this going up your body stretching, holding, then relaxing each muscle as you go up. Usually, by the time you are to your shoulders and neck, you are already asleep.

Good night. Hope you have a good night’s sleep.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gaining Power Over The Things We Can Change

"Living beautifully with ourselves and others requires gaining the power over the things we can change, maximizing the positive things, appreciating without guilt all the good, and minimizing the negatives."

Alexandra Stoddard, Living Beautifully Together

Most of us at sometime or another are faced with situations that we cannot change. Pressures of life find us paralyzed and unable to function at our best. It could be having to deal with a sick child, financial reverses, living in an unpleasant situation, or coping with a physical handicap.

When I have felt myself backed up against a wall, yes, there are times that I really would like to just crawl in bed and hope to never wake up until the situation is resolved, but there is a better solution.

When life has you down, you feel you have no power and no control. I think most of us like to feel like we are in control. Look around. Right now, look around and see what it is you can control. Get into motion and begin to do something.

Success breeds success.

When you get to moving, your situation begins to change. It may be clearing off your desk, filing, cleaning your mirrors, exercising or any number of things.

Each day make a list of things you need to accomplish in that day and you will feel more in control.

Focus on what is good rather than what is bad. When you do, you will begin to feel more in control because actually, now, you are. Your situation may not ever change, but, be encouraged that you do have the power to change the things you can change.

Think about it.

A Light Unto My Path

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

This scripture was used in my Pre-Teen Sunday School class Sunday and has been in my thoughts. I am so thankful for His Word in my life!

I know that for many, reading the word of God can be a hard thing to do because it can be hard to understand if you just open up the Bible to a place where you are not familier and know what is taking place, etc. I think that is why attending church and hearing good preaching and teaching is so important. God uses anointed ministry to plant seeds of His Word in our lives, thus we grow.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Easy Great Recipe

My niece, Michelle, from New Orleans, mother of a teenager and twin boys made this while the family was all at my mother’s home. It was so incredibly easy, cheap to make, and, would feed a crowd ... not to mention how wonderful it tasted.

It has become a recipe I repeat often. If the ingredients do not sound good to you, trust me, I think you will really like it. I heard it was an original Weight Watcher’s recipe, but if you serve it with a hefty side of tortilla chips on the edge of the soup and a dollop of sour cream or grated cheddar cheese on top, it will taste even better. Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

Just remember, 7 cans: 1 pinto beans, 1 kidney beans, 1 black beans, 1 corn (not cream style), 2 stewed tomatoes (I chop mine finer in the food processor), 1 Rotelle tomatoes
1 pkg. Of dry Ranch dressing & 1 pkg. Of taco seasoning mix
1 cup of water
1 - 1 ½ pounds of ground meat, browned and any fat drained

I usually brown 3 - 5 pounds of ground chuck with some chopped onions, then freeze individual zip lock bags with about 1 lb. Of meat per package. Then, when I want to fix a menu that starts with browned ground beef, I have the meat already ready.

Start with the meat, 2 dry packages, 1 cup of water, then open all the cans. Do not drain any juices out of cans.
Let simmer for a few minutes and serve.

Please let me know if you try this and enjoy it.
Have a great week!

NOTE:  Pictured is one of my Box Lunch Deliveries I made when "decorating for the senses"  also did catering along with decorating. Featured here is the Taco Soup as the main entree'.  You may also enjoy the complete meal plan here:  The soup with tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese to go on the soup, a garnish of lettuce and tomatoes & a slice of Southern Living's Brown Sugar Coffee Cake.
taco soup, brown sugar coffee cake, easy easy meal, fast meal, ground beef recipe, tip using ground beef, decorating for the senses, donna madden, 

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday School Tip 101

I will never forget my experiences in the small Home Missions church in Belle Chasse, La. My family went down to help this work get started and from here launched my musical, teaching and outreach skills.

My Dad bought the church a Hammond organ with a Leslie speaker that I began to play. At the age of around 17, I was leading the music, teaching the Beginners class, singing solos regularly and doing weekly outreach on my own bringing 30+ kids in my car with several trips to pick them all up.

Since that time to now, I have taught various age groups. Just recently, I once again began teaching, teaching the Pre-Teen class at my church. It has been a joy to be my 11 year old daughter's teacher. There is really nothing to compare to the presence of God you feel when teaching from His Word.

In all of my experience of teaching, the one thing that I think is a good idea, is to have a browsing table. For example, if you are teaching the story of Adam and Eve, you may have a Barbie and Ken with real fig leaves for clothing, a fake or real snake in a cage, an apple and library books on ancient gardens. Then, the next Sunday have them dressed in animal skin clothing and so on. Your students will be happy to bring items for each lesson. Plan ahead, make phone calls to remind them the Saturday before that Sunday if necessary.

Just recently, we had a lesson on Jacob and his dream. We brought a robe for Jacob to wear, a candle in a ceramic holder, really lit, a large rock that he used for a pillow and some oil to anoint the rock. As we told the story, we took the items from our browsing table to use in the story. We had one of our students acting out the story as I told it.

"I promise that your lessons will be so much more effective at any age when you have a browsing table to enhance your lesson."

Try it and let me know your results!

Pictured: My first Sunday School Class, Belle Chasse, Louisiana (New Orleans suberb)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Your Home: In Control? or Seemingly Impossible?

Of all the books I have read on organizing, Sandra Felton's books have been fantastic for me. She really nailed me over and over describing the "Messie". After my life long quest of order, I think I have finally learned how these people with the perfectly kept homes do it.

My problem was if I was going to clean a room, it would be done so perfect that it required hours. I would have this one really fantastic room, beautiful, fresh and awesome looking, but just around the corner may be piles of clutter shifted to get this room to perfection.

Now, you may be one of those that has it all together, which I think you were born that way, but for me, I have had to work at it. Now, I do the unthinkable...instead of detailing a room at a time (which I still do occasionally), I do touch up cleaning. Since my new habit is to keep things picked up, cleaning is easy. I have often thought when hiring a maid that we had to get everything picked up before the maid came the next day. Then, I thought, wow, if all I had to do now is come in and just clean, it would be a snap.

" cleaning as part of your regular routines keeps things from building into big, discouraging jobs." Smart Organizing

The truth is, keeping things picked up is really key. It is amazing to me how touch up cleaning really works. Here are a few ideas I do to keep things really looking great: Vacuum heavy traffic areas. This may be the hallway, traffic paths in your living room and busier paths in your kitchen. Keep your kitchen counters clean. I love Clorox Clean Up. It has a fresh smell I like. Not everyone likes the smell of Clorox, but it smells really fresh to me.

Straighten the pillows on your couch. Make up your bed. Keep floors clutter free. For great ideas, go to Sandra's website and plan to read her book collections. The ones I have personally read are: Messie No More, The Messies Manual, Living Organized and Smart Organizing.

Visit Sandra's website at:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Now that I have traveled a lot of roads and covered many many miles behind me, I feel it is my God given duty to share some of the things I have learned in life. I am really a very deeply spiritual person possesing a strong relationship with God.

I have been comitted to "kingdom work" since marrying my preacher husband, March 1974. We have always answered the call even though it meant learning to survive on very little and making life it's fullest on a shoestring. Through my God-given creative abilities, I am going to share many ideas that have made my life full.

One of my passions that has become a hobby is organizing things around me. I love books on organizing. I faced my ultimate test when we lived two years in first a motor home then, on to a travel trailer full time on the road with two children.

I am a product of a family of many great talents and together we make up an ecclectic team with many creative genes! I think it will be interesting to you to get some insight in a life of someone who is passionate, has made a quest to keep a balanced life; balancing church work, children, a husband, jobs and personal development.