Dreaming of Warmer Weather

Welcome  If you are a follower of faith-family-food on Facebook or Instagram, you have heard and seen pictures of our big snow last weekend.  Our community reported a range of snow totals between 10 and 14 inches.  It was about a foot deep at our house.  It was a heavy, wet snow and many people had tree damage.  We have four broken trees in our backyard, which makes me sad, but we really were blessed.  So many people in surrounding communities were without power, some for up to five days!  We also didn’t have any major property damage from the falling trees, while some lost fences or had damaged cars or homes.  We didn’t have to travel during the storm.  We were safe and snug in our home.  So I truly hesitate to complain about the snow or the tree issue.

We have another round of snow predicted for this weekend.  It will or it won’t, but I’ve made my grocery store run, we have snow shovels and ice melt.  We removed all events from our calendar, as they weren’t urgent.  And now we wait to see how much, if any, snow will be added to our current piles.

Messy, beautiful winter!!!

Food For Thought  It’s all about perspective.  I already feel like we were blessed to have experienced very little inconvenience from this past snow.  But even as we are complaining a little at the idea of adding another few inches of snow to our current mess, sometimes it helps to hear another’s perspective.

We were talking to another couple who used to live in South Dakota.  Their perspective was, well, this snow is nothing.  They shared that by spring, there would be snow piles over six feet tall from the shoveling and plowing.  Waist-deep snow was not an uncommon event.  Many of us have never experienced that type of snow accumulation.  In fact, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen even as much snow as we had last weekend.  One thing is for sure, as grateful as we are to not have several feet of snow, we’re still getting antsy for the warm, spring weather that will make its way here…eventually.

Today’s Recipe  As we are all dreaming of warm weather and sunshine, I decided we needed a dessert that makes us think of a more tropical locale.  I haven’t spent a lot of time in tropical locations, but when I did, I sure appreciated the warm breezes, blue skies, and gorgeous sunshine.  The flavors of pineapple and coconut have a way of taking my mind back to those summery temperatures.

Today’s dessert brings a little bit of the tropics right into our winter home.  How fun!  It’s a reduced-sugar trifle, featuring the easiest pineapple cake layered with cheesecake flavored pudding, coconut flakes, crushed macadamia nuts, and cool whip.  I used sugar-free products and pineapple packed in 100% juice, but it’s not completely sugar-free, but the sugar content is greatly reduced.

If you really want to beat the winter blues, try having a tropical-theme night for the family.  Eat dinner on beach towels, play island music, make kid-friendly ocean-themed cocktails (check out my Beverages board on Pinterest), and maybe set up some indoor limbo games.  And, of course, serve this Reduced-Sugar Tropical Trifle for dessert!

Reduced-Sugar Tropical Trifle

  • 1 16-oz box sugar-free yellow cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
  • 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, in 100% juice
  • 2 1-oz boxes Jell-O sugar-free cheesecake flavor pudding
  • 3 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, crushed (if you can’t find macadamia nuts, you can substitute slivered, blanched almonds)
  • 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 2 8-oz containers sugar-free Cool Whip, thawed
  • additional coconut, to garnish, if desired

 

 

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Set oven to 325 degrees.

In large bowl, whisk together cake mix and pineapple, undrained, until well blended.  Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes at 325 degrees.  Cool completely.

While cake bakes, whisk pudding mixes and milk together.  Refrigerate until ready to assemble trifle.

To assemble trifle, cut cake into thirds.  I like to cut each third into cubes.  Layer one third of the cake on the bottom of a trifle dish.  Add one third of the coconut and nuts to the cake layer.  Top this layer with one third of the pudding and half of one container of Cool Whip.

Repeat these same layers two more times.  Garnish top with additional coconut, if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Today’s Scripture  Something we always seem to notice about big snowfalls, is how bright and light it is at night.  In fact, our whole yard has a constant pink glow throughout the night, no matter how close to dawn or dusk it may be.  I’m sure it has something to do with urban lights reflecting off the snow, or some other logical explanation, but our family is pretty fascinated with this unusual nighttime brightness.  My husband remarked how he was able to shovel the driveway in the dark, simply because there was such a glow on the snow.  The glow lit his path clearly.

You know what else lights our path, permanently, no matter the season?  God’s Word!  This valuable wisdom is stated clearly in Psalm 119:105:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (ESV)

How great is it that our path will always be well lit and easy to traverse if we keep God’s word ever-present in our lives!  Stumbling around lost and in the dark is not a fun experience, so this gives me hope and courage to press on, even in the darkest times in my life, knowing that God will light the way!

Here is my Bible journaling page for Psalm 119:105:

Psalm 119:105 Bible Journaling
Bible Journaling; Psalm 119:105; watercolor and black marker