In this rushed and fast paced world we live in today, simple things like compliments and kindness have become overlooked. A simple “Good Morning” with a smile to a passing person may have been the only smile they saw that day.
Think about how you feel when you are given a compliment or someone in your life does something kind for you. It’s hard to put it into words. But to be honest, for me, it’s an instant warm fuzzy or high. It’s a moment you feel noticed and or loved. And who couldn’t use a little more of that in their life?
Yesterday, I saw a friend share an act of kindness of her facebook feed, not to have the neon arrows pointing at her saying look at what I did, but to remind folks that we have an opportunity to make a difference to others. That we have become a judgemental society and folks, my stand is there is one judge in the end. He is the judge that matters. I’ll share what she did because I think it warrants being shared. She was walking into Target and at the checkout was a new mom with a very unhappy baby. The baby couldn’t be soothed. She was frazzled and appeared to be a tad overwhelmed. My friend walked up to her gave her a big smile and looked at her and said, “You will survive this, I’ve been there and none of the judgmental glances you are getting matter, you do you and keep on trying your best.” She walked away to the pharmacy to conduct her business. The mom found her at the pharmacy and just wanted to tell her “thank you”. They exchanged a few words and then my friend told her, “In case no one has told you, you are doing a GREAT JOB.” Amazing job! It made me smile and want to go out and do something nice.
Scrolling through my newsfeed, I would see people post about how the person in front of them paid for their order. I must admit at first I’d be like “COOL” but then I would be like man, that’s never happened to me. Or I’d think, “How do I get so lucky?” But the thought occurred to me that I had never been the giver so how could I expect to be a recipient. Not that we should give to receive. But how could I complain about never having experienced someone paying it forward, when I hadn’t paid it forward. So I started. What a cool and sneaky feeling to be in the Starbuck drive-thru and say I want to pay for the car behind me. I LOVE THAT RUSH!!! But a strange thing happened after I started doing that. It happened to me! It was even cooler to experience.
After one of Izzy’s basketball games, we decided to go to DQ. Izzy and I went inside to order while Tator sat in the car, after all, he was 1-week post op from his hip replacement. I decided to be kind to him. There was a line on this particular Saturday, and they were all family. I started chatting and joking with the older couple in front of us. We were laughing and cutting up. When it was my turn to order, the older gentleman said, “I’ve got it.” I was so floored by his action. I thanked him. His wife came over and said, “Honey, this order was smaller than the last one wasn’t it?” He then shared with me that he had been in Walmart and the lady in front of him had a declined bank card and no money so he paid for her order. It was $190.00. Now folks that is generosity.
I share these moments with you in hopes that it may inspire you to be more intentional in your life with moments of kindness or giving of compliments. They are simple things to do. It doesn’t always have to be a “paying” for something moment. It could be as simple as returning a grocery cart for an elderly person or mom that has her kids. It could be holding the door for someone or smiling and saying “HELLO”. I love to compliment people. If I see a lady that has on a pretty top I’ll say, “Your top is beautiful.” Simple words but the smile on their face says it all. So my hope is that you will share compliments and kindness like confetti.
Now on to the chicken tacos. On this journey to eat healthier, I am learning that healthy wasn’t created in one day. It is a journey, not a sprint. I have had moments of thoughts like, “I’m never going to eat cookies, brownies, cake again.” But the truth is I will. Just less or not as often. It’s hard for me because food is the center of my life. I mean after breakfast I’m thinking what’s for lunch. Or Izzy gets straight A’s and I’m thinking what can I cook to celebrate. Colton’s birthday is Tuesday, I’m thinking what can I make him or what kind of cake will he want. Tonight is pizza night at the Ponderosa, I’m already pondering what kind of pizza can I make. Are you picking up what I’m putting down????
The Ponderosa residents really like Nacho night. But let’s face it Nachos aren’t exactly high on the healthy scale. So, I faced my first obstacle. How to make them healthier. I decided to use chicken instead of beef. I opted to make mine a burrito bowl, Tator opted for 2 small soft tacos and Izzy and Colton had nachos with multigrain chips. (Tator was like UM, NO to the chips)
I started with my Instant Pot and chicken thighs. I had about 6lbs of chicken thighs. I added them to my Instant Pot and added salt, pepper and a little bit of water. Hit the poultry button and set the timer for 16 minutes. It was fall apart done! I shredded it. I made such a large quantity so that I could baggy up some for a future use. Now for the sauce. The taco seasonings in the store are so full of CRAP! Words I can’t pronounce and certainly don’t know what they are and why they are in my tacos. So I went on a search for a chicken taco sauce. I found a couple I liked and tweaked them to get the one I used. The recipes I found used a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce, I only had a 28oz can. So I made more to freeze.
- 28 oz can tomato sauce
- 3 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
- 3-4 cloves of pressed garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 4 teaspoons chili powder (I used Dark)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon dried onion (You could use fresh)
- 3lbs of shredded chicken
Add all ingredients but chicken. Stir around until hot and bubbly. Add the chicken and cook about 10 minutes to heated through.
It was delicious and simple. My bowl had rice on the bottom, black beans, chicken taco meat, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and a little bit of cheese. YUMMY. The kids really liked the multigrain chips. So dinner was a success.
So stay with me as I continue the journey to healthier food at the Ponderosa. It may be a little bumpy along the way. But I promise to be honest and share the bumps along with the smooth. Thanks for your support and love.
Remember, kindness and compliments start with you. Today, just try it out. See how it makes you feel and those you share it with.
As always, from the Ponderosa Kitchen to you!
Elizabeth, Queen of the Ponderosa Kitchen.