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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Taco Meat for all Your Mexican Inspired Meals

One thing that my family loves is Mexican inspired recipes. Today , October 3, is the day to celebrate the soft taco. To me it is the inside of the soft taco that I love the best so I offer you this tasty taco meat recipe. Of course there is many other dishes besides soft tacos that you can use this easy to make taco style meat. Enjoy
1 pound of ground beef, chicken, or turkey
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
In a large saute pan, brown ground beef for about 4-5 minutes. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic. Saute until cooked. Once the meat mixture is cooked through, add spices and water. (The water will cook out leaving you with a nicely seasoned ground beef to use in any Mexican-inspired meal.)

Dyslexia Awareness === Look for Early Signs

Dyslexia, while many think of it as a written language the earliest signs can appear as a spoken language. As we all ready know children read symbols before they know how to actually read. A delay in language may actually be an early sign of a problem. Another early step is difficulties learning to rhyme, phonemic awareness and ability to read common words.
Dyslexia grows with the child. From the pre-schooler who has trouble learning his or her letters to the kindergartner and first grader who struggles to match sounds to letters. If the problem goes unidentified the high-schooler who dreads to read out loud and adult who reads super slow. It is a trait that will not go away and thus is very important to ID early. Early signs of dyslexia may show up like such:

The preschool years

  • Trouble learning common nursery rhymes such as "Jack and Jill" and "Humpty Dumpty"
  • A lack of appreciation of rhymes
  • Mispronounced words; persistent baby talk
  • Difficulty in learning (and remembering) names of letters
  • Failure to know the letters in his own name

Kindergarten and first grade

  • Failure to understand that words come apart; for example, that batboy can be pulled apart into bat and boy, and later on, that the word bat can be broken down still further and sounded out as: "b" "aaa" "t"
  • Inability to learn to associate letters with sounds, such as being unable to connect the letter b with the "b" sound
  • Reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters; for example, the word big is read as goat
  • The inability to read common one-syllable words or to sound out even the simplest of words, such as mat, cat, hop, nap
  • Complaints about how hard reading is, or running and hiding when it is time to read
  • A history of reading problems in parents or siblings
In addition to looking for indications of problems in speaking and reading, here are some indications of strengths to look for and applaud in your child:
  • Curiosity
  • A great imagination
  • The ability to figure things out
  • Eager embrace of new ideas
  • Getting the gist of things
  • A good understanding of new concepts
  • Surprising maturity
  • A large vocabulary for the age group
  • Enjoyment in solving puzzles
  • Talent at building models
  • Excellent comprehension of stories read or told to him
Many of these indicate strengths in higher-level thinking processes.

resource information was found here

Warm Up With A Bowl of Roasted Butternut Squash Chili

Our family truly loves a good dish of chili. We often shake up the recipe and do not think it is ever made the same. I can remember my husbands dear grandmother, her recipe for chili was memorized and followed faithfully every time. I truly wonder what she would think if we shared this vegetarian variation of chili with her. We tried the recipe and enjoyed I hope you do as well.
4 small jalapeño peppers, roasted
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into approximately ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
½ teaspoon finely minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ cup red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their juices
Corn kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn
1 ( 15-ounce) can red kidney beans
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh oregano
Olive oil
Sea salt and brown sugar to taste
⅓ cup each for garnish: shredded sharp cheddar cheese, diced avocado, diced red onion
To roast the jalapeño peppers: preheat the broiler. Cut each one in half and remove all of the seeds. Place the peppers round side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and put directly under the broiler until the skin is fairly evenly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove from the broiler and then wrap them in the foil you broiled them on, leaving at least a few inches of air inside. Let them steam this way for about 5 minutes. Use your hands or the dull side of a paring knife to remove the skin. Finely chop the peeled peppers and set aside two tablespoons of them to add to the chili.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Add the cut butternut squash to the foil and drizzle it generously with olive oil. Then sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon and toss to evenly coat all of the squash.
Place in the preheated oven until the squash becomes golden brown, about 10 minutes per side.
While the squash is roasting, coat the bottom of a large stock pot or Dutch oven with olive oil.
Add the onion and garlic and over medium heat, cook until the onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add in the 2 tablespoons of the finely chopped jalapeños, along with the chipotles, cumin, and chili powder. Cook until it becomes very aromatic, about 1 minute.
Then turn the heat to low and deglaze the pan with the wine.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the wine is reduced by about half, about 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, corn, all of the beans, and the roasted butternut squash. Lower the heat a bit and simmer for about 10 minutes to blend all of the flavors.
Add the oregano and season to taste with salt and brown sugar.
Serve with cheddar cheese, red onion, and avocado.
recipe source here

Fall Soup Night: Spinach and sausage soup

With the weather changing as soon as fall enters the picture the appetite seems to grow. Have you ever noticed that our idea of what should be served for supper changes with the season. Now this may not be everyone but our family does this. We do not like a hot filling soup in the summer time but when the cooler weather of fall arrives that is one meal that we love to have. This delicious spinach and sausage soup reminds me of soups of my younger years. What do you like to eat in the fall?

Spinach and Sausage Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 pound red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
5 – 6 cups chicken stock (homemade, or low-sodium broth)
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 large bunch of spinach, thick stems removed, roughly chopped (about 4 cups, packed)
salt, to taste
herbs or seasonings of your choice – I used some fresh thyme

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onions are softened.  Add potatoes, 5 cups of stock, and barley.  Turn up heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until barley is tender.  Meanwhile, squeeze sausage from its casings, crumble and brown it in a skillet.  Drain fat and set the sausage aside.  When barley is tender, add spinach and sausage to the soup and fresh herbs if you are using them.  Add more stock if necessary or desired, bring soup back up to a simmer and let cook for another 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serves six.

recipe source here

Halloween Decorations giveaway

Super cute handmade giveaway. These Halloween decorations are adorable. Now the witch looks like she could get a bit spooky but all 3 look like they may have been from out on the farm. Simply love them. You can check them out at mixed kreations

Friday, October 2, 2015

Popcorn Poppin' Month--- Jello Popcorn



This is a fantastic twist on caramel corn.  Make any flavor you like, its very easy!  Enjoy!

10 cups plain popped popcorn (about 3 bags microwave popcorn)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 oz. box jello mix, you choose the flavor
1 tbsp corn syrup
3 tbsp water

 Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Grease a large sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper and place it on a large baking sheet.
In a large saucepan combine butter, sugar, jello, corn syrup and water; heat to 250-265 degrees.
Add popcorn to jello mixture and stir to coat.
Spread coated popcorn on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 5 minutes.
Stir and bake for 5 more minutes.
Remove from oven and slide the foil or parchment off of the baking sheet onto the counter or a large wire rack.
* You could let it cool slightly and then form into balls.
Cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

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Polish Sausage Cabbage Casserole

This polish American dish is also a super tasty tailgate special. Perfect for all those ready to watch the game. Yummy!!!
1 tablespoon butter
2 large coarsely chopped onions
1 medium head coarsely chopped or shredded cabbage
2 red-skinned apples, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick (peels can be left on, if desired)
2 large russet potatoes (peels can be left on, if desired), parboiled for 5 minutes (save the cooking water) and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Vegeta or Maggi seasoning
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (or to taste)
1 pound smoked Polish sausage (skin removed, if desired), cut into 6 pieces and scored diagonally 3 times
1 cup reserved potato-cooking water
In a large, Dutch oven or skillet with a lid, sauté onion in butter over medium heat until translucent. Then, without stirring, add cabbage and sprinkle evenly with Vegeta or Maggi seasoning. Add apples, caraway and pepper without stirring. Top with sausage and 1 cup of the cooking water from potatoes. Cover. When the water begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Uncover and mix all ingredients together. Replace cover and simmer 10 minutes more. Remove the cover and test for doneness of the cabbage. If there are too many juices, cook over low heat until reduced. But the pan juices are delicious when sopped up with rye bread.
recipe source here

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for drizzling
3 to 4 large onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pizza dough, store-bought or from your favorite pizzeria
Cornmeal or flour, for sprinkling
2 cups (a few generous handfuls) shredded provolone cheese
1/2 pound deli-style roast beef, roughly chopped or torn

Preheat oven to 400F. If you're using fresh dough from a pizzeria, take it out of the fridge and bring it up to room temperature before stretching it out. Place a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add EVOO. Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes, stirring every now and then so the onions don't burn. When caramelized, remove from heat and reserve. Sprinkle some cornmeal or flour on the baking sheet so it doesn't stick on the bottom then roll out the dough and stretch it to make it fit the pan. Brush it with EVOO and bake for 10-15 minutes, until almost cooked through. Spread the caramelized onions out over the dough to cover. Add the torn pieces of roast beef and cover with cheese. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and brown up.

Rachel ray recipe

caramel apple cupcake

October is national apple month. To help celebrate I will be sharing several apple recipes. Today this sweet apple cupcake is delicious I hope you enjoy

For the Cupcakes:
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup diced apples
For the Filling:
1 (13.4 ounce) can dulce de leche

For the Caramel Frosting:
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

For the Caramel Drizzle:
10 soft caramel candies
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Line muffin pan with baking cup liners; set aside.
Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box, adding cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to the batter. Fold diced apples into the batter. Evenly divide batter among prepared baking cup liners.
Bake according to directions on the box, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make the filling, heat the dulce de leche in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until warm. Transfer to a piping bag; set aside.
Once cupcakes have cooled, use a paring knife or apple corer to cut out a small circle in the center of each cupcake. Remove the core and trim leaving the core just big enough to be used to plug the hole once it is filled. Pipe the caramel filling into each hollowed cupcake. Once the filling is in place, place the trimmed core of the cupcake back into place.
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt and brown sugar and heat the mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the caramel frosting mixture is lukewarm, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Adjust consistency with a little more milk or powdered sugar, if necessary.
Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe a spiral of frosting, beginning at the outer edge and working inward.
To make the caramel drizzle, microwave caramels and heavy cream in medium bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag and drizzle onto the cupcakes.
recipe source here

October is National Cookie Month== Perfect Fall Cookie recipe


October is national cookie month. I will be sharing lots of great cookie recipes this month. Some new, some old, some our favorites and some simply fun. Check out the cookie we shared today


While the leaves have not all started to change colors in our area, I am sure that they soon will. I love this super fun cookie idea. You can find out how to make them here

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hot Mulled Apple Cider

A great way to stay warm on a chilly Fall night is to pour yourself a cup of hot mulled apple cider. Hot apple cider not only warms you up, it brings together many classic Fall flavors — apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, allspice, and clove.

Hot Mulled Apple Cider
  • 1 Gallon apple cider (filtered or unfiltered will do)
  • 3-4 Whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. Whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. Whole allspice
  • 1 Orange
  • ½ Cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Piece of cheesecloth and string OR coffee filter and string OR tea ball (Optional)
This can be done either on a stovetop or in a slow cooker. Start by pouring the apple cider into a pot or slow cooker and adding the brown sugar. Then it’s time to work with the cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
One way you can spice cider is to put them straight into the pot with the cider and brown sugar and strain out the whole spices when it’s done. If you’d like to save yourself that step and avoid finding surprise bits of spice in your drink, wrap all the spices in a piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter and tie the pouch shut so it will be easy to remove.  A tea ball will also work perfectly for this.
Next, slice the orange in half and place it flat side down in the cider. If you’re using a slow cooker, put the cover on and set it on “low” for several hours or on “high” for 1-2 hours. If you’re making it on a stovetop, bring the cider, spices, and orange halves to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove oranges and spices before serving and enjoy! For an optional garnish, add a cinnamon stick to cups of the cider before serving.

ADHD awareness

ADHD is a disorder that affects people of every age, gender , IQ and background. Many believe that it only affects the young people but that is not the case. In the past the medical, psychological and those in charge of education in the U.S. declared ADHD to  be a real, brain based medical disorder. Appropriate treatment would help all those that suffered. Then the debate of what treatment was best.

Scientist are not sure what causes ADHD. It seems as if genes play a large role of what causes the disorder. There are likely a combination of factors. In addition to genes, researchers believe that environment, brain injuries, nutrition, and the social environment might contribute to ADHD. ADHD often does run in families.

It is believed that cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy and ADHD in children. Preschoolers exposed to high levels of lead, can sometimes be found in plumbing fixture or pain in older buildings. Researchers are debating on whether sugar causes ADHD or not. British researchers are trying to prove a link between consumption of certain food additives like artificial colors or preservatives and increase in activity.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Not seem to listen when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions.
Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
  • Fidget and squirm in their seats
  • Talk nonstop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
  • Be very impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.
ADHD can be mistaken for other problems such as emotional or disciplinary problems

Self Improvement Month

September, is self improvement month, and while it is the last day of the month. There is no better time than to turn over a new leaf, take a step and move forward. What is it in your life that you would like to improve? Perhaps it is simple or maybe it is a life long passion you will go after.
Perhaps for you to work harder at school or maybe it is your job. Perhaps it is your job that you need to change is it a bit to much for you? Perhaps you want to build a better blog, lose a bit of weight or get more organized. No matter what it is don't give up sit down and decide what your goal may be.
Lets see my goal would go something like this
Work my job maybe 3 days a week with time to do lots of picking and selling at the flea market
Take more time with my children be sure that they know they are loved and create wonderful memories as well
October goals include
2 flea markets, I can not really wait it will be so fun to go and make some $$
most likely working 80+ hours at work
more family time including pumpkin patch and bonfire night
posting no less than 3 post a day on my blog and sharing more as well
I will be posting 2 to 3 giveaways and more reviews as well
trying some awesome fall recipes
what is your goal?

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monthly goals