All posts by Pat Green

My name is Pat Green. I am a mother and grandmother. I love to cook and teach others, as well. I've had many jobs and several were related to food. I was a Tupperware lady and sales manager. I've sold Reliv products and continue to use them. Saladmaster is an excellent cookware line, which I demonstrated and sold for many years. My mission is to help people feel comfortable and empowered with their food. Eating is something we do, daily. We all need to be comfortable, shopping for and preparing our meals.

My Life, right now

When you get to be 75, your prospective changes. I have been living life and not preparing for my “Golden Years”. Oh my goodness, I’m in my Golden Years and just now starting to plan. Will I continue to live in this home or will I move into my forever home? What kind of business will I operate? What else will I do in my Golden years? I have 4 books I plan to write; our story(mine and Walter’s),how to give great customer service, how to be a lady in this world and how to go on without your life partner.

One of the things I never planned for was retirement. Because women never really stop working, sometimes we are getting paid and most times we are not. Over the next few months, I will take you on my journey. I will be preparing for my future home, work, goals and how to say goodbye. Some of these subjects are very hard to talk about, but let’s face it we are all going to die. Let’s have a plan. This is not just for me, but for all of us.

Thirteen years ago, Walter and I decided to move out of our home into a mobile home in a very nice park. It was the right decision at the time, but times and circumstances have changed. It was the perfect place to be as I would become a widow that year. It was a safe place for me to grieve and recover. You never really recover, when you lose the love of my life. What happens is you learn how to function without them. I went through most of the stages of grief. But I was never angry at either Walter or GOD, just the circumstances.

Walter became a diabetic at 39 and it changed the whole family. Both our fathers lived 49 years, so for us, this was a game changer.
The idea of working all our lives to retire just didn’t seem like the right plan. There was much sickness and struggle, but when he was healthy, we would hit the road. We were full time RV’s for years. We have been in all fifty states and several countries. What we were doing was living life and building memories. Our last motor home was a 36 foot coach and we towed our car on a dolly. Because of his illness, I had to learn everything. We had one of the first cellphones, it was large, black and in it’s own case, larger than a carton of eggs. We were very fortunate, Walter never got sick while we were on the road. So many stories I will share. Let’s just say that, we crammed many years into a few. I do not regret any of our decisions, they were right for us!

Over the years, I have left the work force several times. This is my time, I will continue to work, but for myself. Most everything
I’ve done is Customer Service. If you think about it, when we interact with others, it’s Customer Service of some kind.

For the past few months, I’ve been to seminars, on webinars and done lots of research. I’ve come to the conclusion, that writing is my path. I am now in the middle of a course on a special form of writing. Since I want to write books, this is the most logical step for me. Everyone I speak to tells me, there is lots of money to be made. My goal is to enjoy my journey and to make enough to more than cover my expenses and take a few more trips.

Moving is a four letter word. It’s not something I look forward to, but it is more than necessary. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of stuff, most of it I don’t need. This is forcing me to be an adult, who doesn’t leave a lot of junk for my daughter to deal with. Please be excited for me. I plan to have order in my life for the first time ever! I am making lists and leaving instructions, something we should all do. I don’t fear death, because I know where I’m going. I am really excited for that chapter. Not to worry, I still have work to do, here. My grandmother lived into her 90’s.

I plan to blog at least once a week and I will be sharing this journey and every so often, I will share recipes of food. Maybe I’ll put together a cookbook. This is the part of my journey where I share recipes for life. My outlook has always been positive and I try to learn something everyday. This will never change, it’s who I am. Mostly I am a child of GOD and that is all I really need to know.

Remember to Be Nice, Be Kind and Be of Service!

Pat G.

Let’s do lunch!

Thousands of dollars are wasted, because we don’t take the time to plan our lunch. If you are going on a road trip, do you wait until you’re on empty to fill your gas tank? We all know that the better plan is to fill-up before you leave. Why do we drop the ball, when it comes to lunch? Is there something in the vending machine that you’re craving? For the next 2 weeks, keep a running total of how much money you are spending on lunch.

When I started school, we went home for lunch. When we started high school, we had choices. I quickly discovered that I could keep more of my allowance, if I brought my lunch. Some lessons we only have to learn once. Almost 70 years later, I’m still bringing my lunch. Two of the most important reasons are; it’s exactly what I wanted and it did not cost a lot of money. Think about it, what gives you the most and sustains you through the rest of your work day?

I have many favorites; sandwiches, soup, salads with protein and my easy favorite is peanut butter on graham crackers. Picture this, I have a lunch kit and it’s always stocked with my soup mix, a container of graham crackers and I use a clean medicine bottle, full of peanut butter. Even when I forget to make a lunch, I always have a lunch. One of my other quick lunches is the chicken salad and crackers in a box. No, I didn’t make it, but it’s only a $1 at the dollar store. That same exact salad may be $3 in the vending machine. Yes we are only talking about $2, but how many times does it take to add up to $10?
Let me tell you about my soup mix, I buy the package and it has 8 servings. Read the package, each serving is 1/4 Cup and to kick up the flavor, I sprinkle in some dry chicken bouillon (1/2 teaspoon). I use the snack size zip bags and measure them all at once. On the days that I want soup, I just dump the powder into a cup and stir in about 6 ounces of hot water, put on the lid and in 6 minutes I have soup.
My all-time favorite sandwich is a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomatoe. They can get soggy, so I pack the parts, separately and put it together just before I eat it. My next favorite is roast beef and Swiss cheese. I like the very thin sliced beef, so I go to the deli and have them slice it for me. I have a new system for these sandwichs. Because I don’t want the same thing every day, I still get a pound, divide it into sandwich portions, wrap each portion in waxed paper and stack them in a freezer zip bag and freeze. When I decide to make a sandwich, I get just the right amount out of the freezer, thaw it and make my sandwich. When I make dinner, the plan is to have it again for lunch, so I freeze individual servings. I thaw and warm up this meal and put it in my thermos.
I could go on forever, but you need to put on your thinking cap and figure out what you like and what works for you.
I also challenge you to see how much money you’re spending and figure out what you could do with that money? Once you figure it out, please let me know.

Remember to Be Nice, Be Kind and Be of Service!

Pat G.

2016 Presidential Election put me in a tailspin!

How could this happen? We had a well-qualified candidate and we had a wealthy man who stirred people with fear, racism, sexism, lies, offensive comments and actions. What affects me deeply are Christians, who support hate. None of us are perfect, but I hope we are working on being better. We are supposed to be our brother’s keeper. How can we say no to everyone having healthcare. How can we not have empathy for those less fortunate. The president of the United States of America is supposed to lead our country, not react to what others say about him on Twitter. He was chosen by the Electoral College and not by popular vote. That’s another thing, it discounts the vote of most voters. How do we reconcile that and the current events? Change is what we need.
Prayer is the answer.

Days after the election, I was still reeling. For the first time ever, I was afraid in my own country. Not just for me, but for our country. Never before did I have this feeling of fear and dread. My candidates have won and lost and I’ve always been okay with it. It’s how the process works, but this time, something is so different.

Finally I am coming back to the Pat I know. GOD is still in control! Once I realized that I couldn’t change anything, I decided to pray for our president and all our leaders. I will be mindful of all they do. I will be the good citizen, better that before. I am watching and taking notes. I know that I have a voice and people are listening. I’m reading the constitution and checking facts on what is published. I am still amazed, that in a country full of immigrants, this could happen. Let me say that as a Christian, my goal is to follow the 10 commandments. I also know that I am not to judge others. Difficult as that may be, I have opinions on what others do, but I am not to judge. GOD gave us free will and we get to choose what we do. On judgement day, we each are responsible for our choices. Remember, there is separation of church and state in our country.

A few weeks after the election, our pastor Graeme Sellers gave a message “Be swift to choose peace”. It was one of his best messages. We are to be peacemakers and he asked GOD how we can do this. The message GOD gave him was to
“open your heart and shut your mouth”. Not easy to do, I’m working on me! I’ve always said there are 3 sides to a story; yours, mine and the truth. We hear and receive things differently. What I must do, is respect the opinions of others. So I will “open my heart and shut my mouth.”

I love my church and pastors and it is a safe place. I am inviting you all to visit Wonderful Mercy Church in Gilbert, Arizona. If you are not sure or it’s too far away, we have an app(android or i phone) please download the free app. You can hear the messages and check us out. We also have a Prayer Garden, and it’s available to all. We all need that higher power and I will share mine, if you like. “Choose Love” was last year’s mission, it still is. I will always choose love over hate.
I will try to be the example GOD wants us all to be. When someone comes with hate, let’s turn them around with love.

I realize that people are frustrated with life. We must take responsibility for our choices. It is much easier to blame someone else, but let’s be honest. Put on our big boy and big girl pants and own our decisions.

Being the leader of the free world is hard. When President Obama was elected, Rush Limbaugh wanted him to fail.
Someone said, it’s like wanting your pilot to fail while you are on the plane. For 8 years president Obama faced unprecedented opposition. One of the most blatant wrongs was, when a new judge needed to be named to the Supreme Court and they would not even consider his candidates. We get fired when we don’t do our job. We have the ability to vote these people out of office. Let’s pay attention to what these leaders are doing and score them with our votes. I am praying for President Trump. I pray that he has a heart for all people. I pray that he remembers that we are all immigrants, except for Native Americans. I pray that he remembers that Social Security is not a handout, we paid for it. I pray that GOD gives him the tools and people to represent us as the greatest country in the world. Finally, I pray that he gets off Twitter and gets on with the business of running our country!

Remember to Be Nice, Be Kind and Be of Service!

Pat G

Award Winning Pepper Relish Shrimp with Veggie Pasta

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It was January 2009, just weeks before President Obama’s inauguration. It was my first international convention with Saladmaster and we were in Washington DC. So excited, to learn from the best and to compete in a cooking competition. The time was stressful, there were missed cues, the shopping list was not accurate and I was very sick. WE WON anyway!!

031-2 We are the winning team from left to right; me, Pat Green(home chef),
Pearlie Johnston, (professional chef) a great friend and Chad Smith(wonderful young man) who followed directions well. The secret to our success was practice, practice, practice and good feedback from our whole team. We worked on the recipe for many weeks.
Saladmaster is the best cookware.
It’s made with surgical grade stainless steel, it cooks faster, cleaner and without water. You are just tasting the food. Have you ever made a dish and it didn’t taste like the original? That’s because most cookware gives a taste or should I say aftertaste. That’s the metal giving off it’s flavor and chemicals. Saladmaster also cooks at a lower temperature, which helps to retain the nutrition.
One of the things we had to do was, send a list of ingredients and we added everything we thought we might need. We were not in a kitchen, it was a large meeting room with tables to create a kitchen atmosphere. We were teams of three and we had a small amount of time to prep and then we were timed on completion of the dish. We started with simmering minced garlic in olive oil(this flavors the oil and perfumes the room). We got every one’s attention.
The recipe is designed to be very healthy and tasty. It’s made with shrimp and many vegetables. You can not only change the protein, but add or leave off some of the vegetables. The recipe is just the starting point, enjoy and make it your own!
Since we didn’t have a kitchen, we decided to use the electric skilletWP_20160404_14_51_51_Pro and we also used the electric slow cooker(MP5)WP_20160619_08_11_46_Pro These are “kitchen on the go” items and we had a one burner induction unit. So, we included items to keep our “kitchen” clean and tidy. We had 30 minutes for prep and then 30 minutes to make the dish. The secret to getting the crowd involved was the garlic in olive oil, that great smell. Each team member had a specific job. We requested items to make it easier, such as easy peel shrimp and peeled garlic cloves. We got unclean frozen shrimp and a whole head of garlic, so we asked for extra prep time and they gave it to us. Because, I had a copy of the list of foods requested, they could see that we didn’t get what we asked for.

Award Winning Pepper Relish Shrimp over veggie pasta
1 Jar “Harry & David”pepper & Onion relish or my Sweet pepper onion relish(recipe is in Magic kitchen post)
1/2 C. Extra virgin olive oil – 6 cloves of garlic, minced – 1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped – 2 carrots, grated – 1 red & 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small strips
1 pound triple washed baby spinach,chopped – 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded
2 t.salt & 1 t.pepper – 1 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta – 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, shaved
1/4 C. pine nuts – 1 lemon(cut into 8 wedges)for garnish – 1 bunch of parsley or basil, minced
(few whole pcs,for garnish) – 2 pounds, peeled & deveined Shrimp, raw with tails on.

In a skillet, simmer the oil and garlic, until just cooked. Remove the garlic and 2/3 of the oil and set it aside.
Fill a stock pot 3/4 full of water, bring to a boil, add 3 Tablespoons of Kosher salt and the pasta.
Follow the package directions, but shorten the cooking time by 2 minutes and drain. Keep 1 C. of the pasta water.
In a large pan, saute the peppers, onions, spinach, cabbage, zucchini and carrots in the reserved oil for about 2 minutes.
The vegetables should still have a little crunch. Add the pasta, garlic, pine nuts and parsley to the veggies and toss.
If the mixture needs to be thinned, use some of the reserved pasta water.
Saute’ the shrimp in the skillet, with the rest of the flavored oil, until pink and set them aside. Pour the relish into the skillet
and reduce the sauce by half. Toss the shrimp in the sauce to coat and warm. Serve the shrimp on a bed of the pasta and
garnish with a lemon wedge, parmesan cheese and a sprig of parsley. ENJOY!

I’ve been away for a while. There was surgery, broken computer, loss of internet and the election. I appoligize for not helping you through the holidays. Sometimes we struggle with life, but that’s why I’m here. I just had to take time to get me back on track. We don’t always have it together, we are human. I will always come from a place of love and sometimes I have to find my way back to love.
Next time we will talk about the election.

Remember to Be Nice, Be Kind and Be of Service!

Pat G

Patty’s Magic Kitchen

I make dinner 5 – 6 times a week. Many of these meals are ready in 20 minutes or less. Even though I love to cook, not everyday. Over the years I developed some practices to make it work for me. Whenever I make a special meal, I make twice as much and freeze a meal for later. I enjoy shopping and when I find the great deals, I buy extra. My time counts when I’m in the kitchen. I stock up, if it makes sense.
WP_20160607_11_34_25_ProI use peppers and onionsWP_20160518_12_30_01_Pro in lots of recipes. When I have time, I buy a lot, do the prep (slice or dice) and put them in the freezer.WP_20160617_16_39_26_Pro When it’s time to cook, much of my prep is already done. I also love mushrooms and buy at the best price. Saute a large container, cool them and lay them flat in a zip bag and freeze.WP_20160611_20_08_21_ProWhen ready to use, I can get the exact amount I need.

In 2009, I was part of an international cooking competition for Saladmaster. Many countries were represented and we won! I’ll be sharing that recipe next time. This time I want to share one of the key ingredients in the dish and how to make it from scratch. When we won the contest, we used Harry & David’s Pepper and Onion relish (classic recipe).H&DpepperandonionrelishA few years later I decided to try to duplicate the recipe, with the help of the Internet. After several trys, this is very close to the original recipe. During one of our cooking classes, we learned to make the recipe. We even learned how to can and process.WP_20160901_11_16_35_Pro (2)

Sweet pepper onion relish
6 C.tomatoes (skinned, diced & drained) or 4 large cans(diced)
6 large red bell peppers, diced – 4 C. sugar (white or brown)
2 T. salt – 3 C. white vinegar – 1 t. cayenne pepper
4 Jalapenos (seeded & diced) – 3 large onions(diced)
1 envelope Pectin

Mix all the ingredients except Pectin and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and
let simmer 2-2 1/2 hours, until thickened. Whisk in the Pectin and continue
to simmer 1 minute; Pour into sterile jars and process. yields 12 jelly jars.

One of the benefits of making your own relish is cost and the other is being able to make it your own. The real jars sells online for $6.99 and our recipe is about $1 per jar. Being able to make it your own means, you can change the spice level and the flavorings. My daughter Cynthia and I have always made something special for family and friends for Christmas. One year our “Sweet pepper onion relish” was one of our special gifts. The relish is a great ingredient in many dishes, including the Awesome dip. The recipe can also be made in a slow cooker over several hours. We got the canning kit at WalMart and it included instructions and all the tools we needed. It’s really easy, the jars, rings and lids need to be sterilized. You boil everything for the required time. Next drain to remove any water. Fill each jar and the instructions tell you how full, wipe away anything spilled, top with the rings and screw on the lids, but not too tight. Next you place the jars back in the boiling water and process the amount of time specified. For the relish, I leave ¼” space at the top of the jars, seal them and process for at least 5 minutes. When I pull the jars out of the water, I place them on a kitchen towel and as the seal forms there is a popping sound. Once they have cooled, I tighten the lids and store in the original boxes with the dividers in place. WP_20160902_15_28_40_Pro

The Awesome dip is just 2 ingredients – 1 jar of relish and 8 oz. of cream cheese. Blend together and it can be stored in the original jars. It is great with crackers, veggies or chips. (really good party food)

Some of the other foods always in my freezer; grated cheese( I grate it, bag it & freeze it) cooked bacon (wrapped in paper towel), all the nuts go in the freezer to preserve freshness. I have hamburger patties, packages of butter and leftover dinners.
The leftover dinners are also perfect for lunches, I bag them in 1 meal servings and put all the bags into a larger zip bag.WP_20160613_14_08_34_Pro Since, I don’t use a microwave, I thaw and heat my lunch in a skillet and put it in a Thermos or it goes on a plate for my dinner. Next time, we’ll make the Award winning recipe.

Remember to Be Nice, Be Kind and Be of Service!

Pat Green