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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Have you ever tried a cream cheese biscuit?? I grew up eating dinner rolls, it was not until I met my husband and ate at his grandmas did I eat my first home-made biscuit. Since that time I have enjoyed many. Cream cheese biscuits are one of my favorites partly because they only need a few ingredients. There may be only a few but that first bite will send a delightful message to your taste buds. 

These biscuits are loaded with cream cheese and butter. They seem to melt in your mouth as they contain flaky layers that will delight your mouth. Cream cheese, butter and self rising flour is all that is needed. 

These delightful biscuits have large taste but are only 1 inch in size. 

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup self-rising flour*, plus more for dusting
*To make your own self-rising flour whisk 1 cup of flour with 1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder plus ¼ teaspoon salt.
    1. Pulse together the cream cheese, butter and flour in a food processor until combined, about 10 pulses, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
    2. Turn out onto a piece of lightly floured parchment paper and pat it into a disc. Refrigerate 1 hour.
    3. Place an oven rack on the highest rung and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    4. Sprinkle a work surface with flour, unwrap the dough and sprinkle the top and a rolling pin lightly with flour.
    5. Roll out to ½-inch thick and cut with a 1 + ¼-inch thick biscuit cooker. Place them on the baking sheet about an inch apart.
    6. Stick the scraps together and make more biscuits. If you can't fit them all on the baking sheet refrigerate and bake them in turns.
    7. Bake about 14 minutes on the top rack until golden and puffed, rotating the pan halfway through. You can brush the tops with melted butter if you like.
    8. They're best eaten fresh and warm!
    Recipe from Southern Biscuits

    Oriental Salad with printable recipe card

    I love to take this salad to potlucks , reunions, church dinners or where ever a vegetable or salad dish is needed

    National Chocolate Milk Day

    Each year on September 27 national chocolate milk day is celebrated. It is often configured that chocolate milk comes from a brown cow. While this is not true it did sound like a fun idea. So we decided to share the recipe for a brown cow to help celebrate this special day.

    You will need:
    chocolate ice cream
    a cup it does not have to be a milkshake glass but it is fun to serve a brown cow in
    whip cream
    chocolate chips
    a cherry to top the drink off right

    Dip chocolate ice cream into a blender add milk and sugar. Blend well
    Pour milk shake into a clean cup Top with desired amount of whipped cream and chocolate chips
    Top with a cherry

    shared at
    turn it up tuesday
    homeschool hop

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    Goody-Bye Summer

    This was some summer time fun. We had a blast and the kids loved it as well. Just take a look at the boy in the red batman shirt and the girl sitting next to him. Those are my grand-babies. Yep!!! That they are. By the way that sky looks like a beautiful blue as well. What a wonderful day to celebrate summer this was. Now time to head out and celebrate early autumn

    shared at
    blue monday

    Peach Crisp with printable recipe card

    Philly Cheese Steak Its whats for dinner

     Philly Cheese steak

    This recipe is going to be a new favorite in our house It is super easy and so tasty!

    Here's what you need:

    - 1 lb deli roast beef
    - hoagie buns
    - red pepper (or green if you prefer!)
    - onion (unless you don't like onions like us!)
    - 4 oz cream cheese
    - 1 clove garlic
    - 1 t oregano
    - shredded mozzarella
    - olive oil

    Start by cutting up as much pepper and/or onion as you like. Saute it in a little bit of olive oil.

    Cut your roast beef into strips. I just did this while it was still in a big stack straight out of the bag. It doesn't need to be nice, clean cuts.

    Put your meat in a frying pan and heat it through. Add your veggies.

    In the meantime, soften your cream cheese and add the garlic  and oregano to it. Spread it on your hoagies.

    Sprinkle some cheese on your hoagies (we're fat and put it on both sides).

    Broil your buns (that sounds funny!) until the cheese is melted and the buns are slightly toasted.

    Top with your meat and enjoy!

    Get Your Veggies : Mashed Potato & Veggie Enchiladas

    One of the hardest things to doe when my children were small was to get them to eat their veggies. If you do a search here on annies home you will find that there are many different tips and recipes for hiding veggies. These enchiladas do the job with style. 

    Mashed Potato & Veggie Enchiladas
    all recipes recipe

    • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
    • 8 ounces whole button mushrooms
    • 3 small zucchini, chopped
    • 2 cups chopped carrots
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 cups water
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 (7.6 ounce) package instant mashed potato flakes
    • 1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
    • 3 cups enchilada sauce
    • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

    Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

    Cut up your veggies and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

    Spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes, stirring them up about halfway through. Your mouth will be watering because they smell so good!

    Bring your milk, water, and butter to a boil. Add your mashed potato flakes. Mix it all up and then let it stand for about two minutes. Then stir in your veggies.

    Put the mixture in tortillas in a baking dish. You can obviously see that my mixture was much too runny. I admit it. I was scared of having too many veggies and didn't end up cutting enough! (But it didn't matter because they were still delicious.)

    Pour some enchilada sauce in there.

    Top with cheese and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

    Don't be scared of the veggies. These are sooooo tasty.

    Invisible Illness

    Many members of my family suffer from bipolar disorder. They suffer with shame and they suffer without others knowing unless an episode happens. The world even with as much information that we now have does not recognize those who suffer from mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health defines signs & symptoms of bipolar as:

    Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.

    About 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6 percent of the population age 18 and older in any given year,1 have bipolar disorder. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.

    Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression.

    Signs and symptoms of mania (or a manic episode) include:
    Increased energy, activity, and restlessness Excessively “high,” overly good, euphoric mood Extreme irritability
    Racing thoughts and talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another
    Distractibility, can’t concentrate well
    Little sleep needed
    Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
    Poor judgment
    Spending sprees
    A lasting period of behavior that is different from usual
    Increased sexual drive Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior
    Denial that anything is wrong

    A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, four additional symptoms must be present.

    Signs and symptoms of depression (or a depressive episode) include:
    Lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
    Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
    Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
    Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
    Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being “slowed down”
    Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
    Restlessness or irritability
    Sleeping too much, or can’t sleep
    Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
    Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury
    Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

    A depressive episode is diagnosed if five or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

    While most may not be aware of it there are two types of Bipolar. The second type leaves an individual with manic episodes. The mood of the individual relies upon depression tendencies. Anxiety commonly social anxiety disorder accompanies this type of Bipolar. My mother suffered from this type of Bipolar. Often staying long hours in bed or alone away from us children. My grandparents hired individuals to come in and care for the house and children. My father worked many hours to support the family. 

    If you suffer from a mental illness my prayers are that there will be a chance for you to find a doctor to help you reduce the pain you are in. Yes, I say pain as even invisible illnesses have pain as much as physical illnesses. 

    Sunday, September 25, 2016

    Johnny Appleseed

    There once lived a man named John Chapman. John was born on September 26, 1774. As an American pioneer John was a nurseryman who introduced apple trees to the United States. Without John the apples we enjoy today we may never have known. As John traveled through the states of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois John would earn his way into the history books and his name as Johnny Appleseed would become legendary. Johnny was a kind man who always gave a helping hand and he lived his life this way. He would take the lead in conservation in America. Johnny taught all those that listened more than lessons on conservation he also shared stories about Jesus and his love for all. John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed was a source of inspiration for all those living out on the hard prairie. He not only taught families how to grow and care for apple trees but also brought apples to them. John led an innocent simple life and wanted nothing in return for his hard work. If he was paid he would donate it to a worthy cause. Johnny Appleseed would leave this world a legend as his death would come about due to winter plague. 

    Now that you are aware of the story let me fill in a few points of history:

    John Chapman was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the midst  of the American Revolutionary War. His father was a minuteman at the battle of Bunker Hill. His father also helped to construct the defenses of New York against British invasion with George Washington. His father would survive the war but Johns mother would not. She would die in childbirth July 1776. His father expected John to become a farmer and quickly started teaching him the trade of farming. 

    Building on the knowledge John learned from his father he would become a nurseryman. The early 1800s John would work the orchards alone. While the legend shares the life of Johnny Appleseed as a nomad he was actually very smart. The planting of 50 apple trees was enough to claim land so during his travels he would plant trees and start orchards. When the land was plentiful he would sell the land to settlers At his death Chapman owned more than 1200 acres of land. 

    When we think of apples we think of the fruit that can be eaten raw, one that makes delicious desserts or side dishes. John Chapman better known as Johnny Appleseed grew apples but they were not for eating but more for making hard cider and applejack. The nickname of the apples that John grew was "spitters" as the apples were small and tart and may make you spit. These apples were more valuable than edible apples. Apples in early America were most likely grown for cider. Cider often took the place of wine, beer, coffee, tea, juice and even water. Water could house dangerous bacteria but cider was both safe and delicious.

    The legend of Johnny Appleseed also known as John Chapman was often noted for his appearance. With ragged clothes and bare feet.  It may have been true as the church of Swedenborg or the New Church may have led to how he looked. John Chapman not only planted apple trees but was an animal rights activist and vegetarian as well. The church was most likely the reason that he did not have children.

    John Chapman's nickname of Johnny Appleseed seems to have appeared after his death in 1845. His appearance, view of the world, and contributions for settling the frontier all helped to create the legend of Johnny Appleseed.

    shared at
    merry monday

    Have You Ever Tried: Spaghetti Squash

    What you need:
    - squash
    - olive oil
    - salt/pepper
    - foil

    The first thing you need to do is cut the top off of your squash, and then cut it down the middle. Our squash was really really hard - I had to have my husband cut it! Even he struggled with it!
    Then you want to scoop out all of the seeds and guts.
    Brush a layer of olive oil over each half.
    Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    I cut my foil to be long so that I would be able to wrap it around my squash halves.
    Wrap your foil loosely around your squash halves.
    Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

    After 20 minutes, un-cover your squash and bake it again for 10-15 more minutes. Our squash was really hard, so we popped it in for an extra 8 minutes.

    Use a fork to shred your squash into 'noodles'.
    Top with sauce and serve!
    My thoughts:
    I thought it was pretty good. The texture is different than spaghetti but the taste is not bad. The squash taste did not come through and that was a good thing. I believe we will try this again for a few more times. It takes at least 4 times to get it into meal rotation at our house.

    thinking outside the pot