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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lemonade Recipe for adults

Vodka Lemonade:

  • ice cubes
  • mint
  • raspberries
  • 1 1/2 C. superfine sugar
  • 1/2 C. boiling water
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 C. lemon juice
  • 4 C. cold water
  • 1 C. chilled lemon-flavored vodka

Place one mint leaf or 2 raspberries into each compartment of an ice cube tray. Fill with water and freeze. Combine sugar and boiling water; stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Let simmer 5 minutes. Cool. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, stir and refrigerate until ready to use. To prepare lemonade, combine the lemonade syrup, cold water and vodka in a glass pitcher. Stir to combine. Add a few ice cubes to the pitcher for a decorative accent. Fill tall glasses with mint and raspberry ice cubes. Pour lemonade over. Garnish with a mint sprig. You can omit the vodka from the pitcher and add to individual glasses as desired.

recipe source here

Princess Plays T-Ball === choosing the right glove

This summer our little princess will be playing tee-ball. It is the first year and well while our own children played it has been quite a few years. So we needed to get all new equipment from a glove to a bat and new shoes. It does not take a lot of money to get the equipment as it is not necessary to purchase the top brands or the sharpest looking. In fact it is more important to purchase good quality that will last through the T-ball season.

Choosing a glove does matter in size. Fit is very important and size doe matter. Beginning players need a smaller glove so that they can tune up their skills of catching and fielding. A good youth glove will measure around 9 1/2" to 10 3/4". No need to purchase a specialized glove at this level of the game as t-ball allows player to understand the game, positions and how to play.

Most baseball gloves are constructed with a leather palm and synthetic material. A lighter glove allows the player to easily close their glove. A good leather glove properly cared for will last beyond the season of ball. Often children play 2 years of t-ball prior to working up the league. In the next division your child will need a new glove.

Once you and your player agree on which new glove is perfect for them have them to start practicing opening and closing the glove. Using the glove will help them to build their hand muscle and loosen the glove up.

more useful information on t-ball and other little league check out the website

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Family Pics from Spring Cookout

Grandmas Cucumber Salad

Tonight went to my daughters house for a cook out. The first of many to be this summer. While the food was good I just could not help to think about this delicious salad that my grandmother used to serve every picnic. Enjoy!!

Grandma's Cucumber Salad

3 Med. Cucumbers Peeled and Sliced 1/4"
1 Med. Onion sliced and separate into rings
3 Med. tomatoes cut into wedges...
1/2 C. Vinegar
1/4 C. Sugar
1 C. water
1/4 C. olive oil
2 tsp.salt
1 tsp. ground pepper

Combine all in a large bowl, toss making sure everything is coated well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs before serving

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Honest is important

To me there is nothing more innocent or honest than a child. Honesty is a virtue and like all vitues it can be emphasized  and put a importance for your child. Telling lies, cheating and other demeaning behaviors are learned often from their environment. Children learn what they see and are exposed to. It is very important to set a good example for any child that is in your life.

The old saying do as I do not as I say is not a proverb that one should live by. It is important to be honest with our children. There may have to be some truths omitted depending on age and maturity level. Demonstrating a self respect honest and ethical life style is one that children will come to know, admire an follow.

Talk to your child in a manner that is not one to shame your child when they are in trouble will help stop the need to hide truths or for them to feel the need to fib or lie. Morals also help bring the lesson home rather than shaming them making them feel as if they need to tell a lie. .

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies may be a gift delivered to us by the Chinese immigrants to our country. These cookies were traditionally baked with lard, an ingredient that you will find in many early cookie recipes. The reason was hat it was more accessible and cheaper than butter. These cookies offer a short bread texture with a slight butter flavor. It had been a while since I had made ice box cookies Perhaps it was back in home ec class but these cookies were so much easier to slice and bake prepared in the traditional ice box method.

Chinese Almond Cookies

Makes 30 cookies
recipe source here
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup almond meal or finely ground blanched almonds
¼ cup cornstarch
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons almond extract
2 eggs
30 roasted marcona almonds or blanched whole almonds

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the almond extract and 1 of the eggs and beat until just incorporated, 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and beat on medium-low until the mixture comes together and forms a soft dough, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Place the dough on a 26-inch-long sheet of plastic wrap and roll into an 11½-inch-long, 2-inch-diameter log. Roll tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350F and set the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from refrigerator and slice into ⅜-inch-thick slices. Place 15 cookies onto each prepared baking sheet, about 1½ inches apart, and press an almond into the center of each cookie. Beat the remaining egg with 1 tsp. water and brush on top of each cookie.
  4. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until tops of cookies are golden. Let cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
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No Bake Cookies

No- bake  Cookies
NO bake cookies have long been a favorite of mine. They are so easy to make and delicious to eat they very well may become a favorite of yours. My mother made them as a surprise when we came home from school when we were younger, I made them to treat and impress my friends during my teen years and yes I did the same as my mother and  made these easy to make cookies for my children as well.
 1 cube (stick) butter
2 cups sugar
½ cup milk
¼ cup cocoa
Stir together in a medium sauce pan, bring ingredients to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat then add:
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup peanut butter
3½ cups rolled oats
Mix together then return to burner for 1 minute. Drop by spoonfulls onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Cool to set.

A Spring Time Favorite == Pansies

My beautiful mother and our daughter recently at the wedding. It has been said that  among  the greatest gifts my mother had was raising her children and gardening.

I have shared with you my mothers love of gardening and flowers here before. So let me take a second to share with her another one of her favorites. For years when me and my sisters were growing up we would always buy my mother flowers for Mothers day. Up in the northern part of Illinois where we grew up pansies appeared on the market around that time. Here in the southern part of the state you will find these beautiful pansies out in early April and even late March. Pansies are perhaps the first flowers that will appear on your local grocers shelf. They are cold weather plants and grow in the early part of spring in most locations. The beautiful heart shaped, overlapping petals with the variety of colors is what makes this small flower so attractive.

We would often grow these in flower pots or hanging planters where they helped ad to the beauty of the spring weather. One of the most popular and recognizable cool weather annual they will appear in a variety of bi-colors and while delicate they are strong flowers that will stand up to the cold of the early spring. They are cousins to the violets and are edible as well.

Enjoy pansies while you can though as they are short lived. These little flowers are normally planted yearly but can multiply the following year as well. The sun is a great place to grow them but the more shadier areas are where pansies seem to thrive. Pansies normally bloom from spring to early summer and in some areas may bloom again in the fall. Other areas may be able to grow pansies through the winter months. They provide the perfect edging that allows other flowers such as spring bulb plants to get attention as well.

The Bingo Series of pansies are some of the prettiest to me. There is a variety of 14 colors that range from pale blue to burgundy and commonly bloom from late winter to early spring

The Joker pansie seems to have a pronounced face to the flower. The bi-colored flower appears in complementary colors.

Pansies known as princess are small dainty flowers that appear in colors from cream to deep purple with yellow centers. Grown from spring to early summer.