By Denise Grisham, author of Man that Stuff is Good

For pairing with Hunter’s Run Cranberry Wine

It’s hard to believe five years has passed since I started the “Man, That Stuff is Good!” blog. When I scroll through the folders on my computer, I’m even more overwhelmed by how many recipes I haven’t gotten around to posting. To say I’ve been in a transitional state for the past four years has been an understatement. It seems I woke up one day and my zing, energy, gusto, etc. flew out the door. In hindsight I realize how excessive stress can and will destroy your health. Add to that, as my husband tells me, “you do too much for everyone.” He has accused me of putting other peoples needs (personal and work) in front of my own and worrying about the consequences of other’s peoples actions and trying to fix it for them. Guilty as charged. I’ve been working on changing that to a positive. It’s hard to say No when you are a people pleaser at heart. The last six months I quit doing so much for people who did so little for me. All I can say is I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner.

My last doctor appointment showed that my TSH jumped in one year from 3.78 to 4.958 with 5 being the magic number that a traditional doctor will begin treating you for hypothyroidism. To me, that was like saying, “OK. I realize you stay fatigued, have brain fog, your skin is dry, hair is falling out, nails are breaking, face is puffy, you can’t lose weight, muscles and joints ache and you can’t sleep. However, we’re gonna wait and check your blood again in a few months. Then, if you push five and over, we’ll see about prescribing a synthetic hormone.” After thinking about it a week, I opted to check into a holistic option. If it works, the proof will be in the next blood test. I will say, two weeks in and my energy has improved and I seem to be sleeping better. And the cause of that stress? Let’s just say the sooner you get rid of it, the sooner your health can begin to improve.

Time to get off the soap box. I believe in the motto “Life is Good” and try to embrace that everyday!

Here is a simple casserole filled with two of my favorites: artichokes and mushrooms. The pictures show my old counter tops so it’s been a while since I fixed it. I have my scratch pad sheet with my hand-written notes of what I put in the casserole dish. I don’t know if I was making this with stuff in the fridge or what. I’m really surprised I don’t have spinach in this dish. The next time I do it, it will.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (stewed and shredded)
16 oz. sliced, fresh Portabella mushrooms
2-3 cans quartered artichokes, drained (I used 3 cans, but I love artichokes)
Olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic salt to taste
1 tablespoon capers
5 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large casserole dish, layer artichokes and mushrooms.
Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Season to taste.
 Add chicken to casserole. Pour broth and lemon juice over meat and veggies.
Drizzle olive oil over the top.
Spread capers over all. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
 Bake until mushrooms are cooked and Parmesan cheese is melted.
Serve with steamed broccoli and carrots for a delicious, healthy meal.