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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Magical Treat

I want to tell you about my grandson, the Gager. He will be celebrating his birthday today  February 10th. He is quite a character and very excited that he is turning 5. I must tell you that every thing to him is exciting he loves to go on a mission, talk about his collection, go on a hunt. In his life and world he stays very busy. How magical it is to be a child , unafraid to have fun and enjoy life Happy Birthday Bub Nana and Papa love you

In honor of him and his magical powers I decided to make up some magic bars. These I have enjoyed most of my life and yes they do taste very magical. That is my opinion and yours may be a bit different. But if you like nuts, chocolate, coconut treats then you have to try this.

You start out with a graham cracker base, pour sweetened condensed milk on top of the crust, then layer the coconut, chocolate chips and nuts on top. Bake and you're done. They're a little sticky and gooey in spots. They're sweet but not too sweet and they have great texture. The nuts are crunchy, the crust is buttery, it's just good. You could always add dried fruit or omit the nuts and switch out the chocolate of your choice.

Magic Cookie Bars from Eagle Brand

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.

Kids In The Kitchen : Valentine Fruit Juice Knox Blox Treat

Fruit Juice Knox Blox

  • 4 envelopes Knox Unflavored Gelatine
  • 1 cup cold fruit juice
  • 3 cups fruit juice, heated to boiling
  • Few drops food coloring (optional, see note)
In a bowl, sprinkle gelatine over cold juice; let stand 1 minute. Add hot juice and stir until gelatine is completely dissolved.
Pour into a 13x9-inch pan, chill until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares or cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
NOTE: Make sure you use clear juice. You can use orange juice or other nectars, but you won't get that shiny translucent effect that the clear juice gives. Also, make sure the juice is the color you want. Hold the jug up to the light in the supermarket to see the true color of the juice. I used cherry juice and it was a little pink so I added a few drops of red food coloring to make them more vibrant.

Corny Fried Chicken

This recipe uses cornmeal to help bread the chicken. It offers a different fried chicken and offers some great flavor as well. Try it out see how you like it leave in comments what you think 
Corny Fried Chicken

1 fryer chicken cut into pieces
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 tsp granulated garlic, or you can use one clove garlic minced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp cooking oil
Vegetable oil for frying

Boil the chicken pieces for about 20 minutes.

Mix together flour, corn meal, garlic, paprika, pepper, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the egg; add milk and cooking oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well with wire whisk.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Heat oil to 360 degrees. Dip chicken pieces in batter and fry about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Fry a 3-4 pieces at a time. Let drain on paper towels, serve hot.

- For a little extra kick, add some dried or prepared mustard to batter.
- Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the chicken, or else the batter will absorb more grease and it will be greasy. Test oil with a couple drops of water, if they sizzle and pop, the oil is ready

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Banana Bread French Toast

All you'll need:
4 slices banana bread, cut in 1/2" slices
2 eggs
~3 Tbsp water

Pre-heat a square frying pan over medium-low heat. The key to any good french toast or pancakes is getting the pan's temperature just right with pre-heating!

In a shallow bowl or pie plate beat 2 eggs with a few tablespoons of water (or milk) to thin out.

Cut your banana bread into four 1/2" slices. (Ok, maybe five slices so you have one to nibble on!)

Soak each slice of bread for a few seconds each side to absorb the egg mixture.

Spray the pre-heated pan with non-stick spray and lay the four slices on, evenly spaced. Cook on medium heat for a minute or two each side until lightly browned and no longer soggy from the egg.

Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Tip: If cooking more than one batch, the perfect place to store the plate is in the microwave! It is an insulated little box that will keep the heat in while you continue with the next batches. Just add each batch to the plate and place in the microwave and close the door until ready to eat! This also works for dinnertime if you are on slightly different schedules and expect to eat a little later.

How To Cut Up a Pineapple

My tip for fresh fruits and vegetables is to "process" them as soon as you get home from the grocery store, after you've put away the other items. Wash them, and if necessary, cut and peel them. This makes you more likely to grab and eat fruits and veggies because it's convenient and quick! Plus you get it all out of the way once and only one cutting board and knife wash!

First, grab the leafy top of the pineapple securely and twist, just like you're opening a stubborn jar. It should pop cleanly off! (Apparently you can save the top and sprout it to grow,)

Next I slice the pineapple into quarters for easier handling.

Lob off the leafy ends of each quarter. This is important because you are creating a flat surface to cut on.

Stand each quarter up on it's now flat base and cut the point off where the tough core is.

Now turn the quarter and slice off the exterior skin of the pineapple. I can usually do this in two knife movements, but sometimes go back to clean up areas that were missed.

You should have a cored and skinned quarter of a pineapple now. Lay it flat on your cutting board and cut into 1/2" slices, or your preference of thickness (TWSS). *giggle*

As you're done cutting each quarter deposit these slices into an airtight container for easy storage.

Voila! You've cut a fresh pineapple in just a few minutes. Depending on size, I'm usually awarded with about 4 cups of fruit.


Red Velvet Cupcake Treat

While looking for a red velvet cupcake recipe I found this super cool cupcake that offers the red velvet cake with cream cheese on the inside so there is no need for icing The red tender cake with a cream cheese center sounds like a yummy treat for your valentine. They are not as sweet as one would suspect so they may be considered muffins but to me muffins are a bit boring and these are very exciting to me.

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cupcakes from Cookie Madness via My Baking Adventures

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons lightly beaten egg (break egg, mix with fork, measure)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3/4 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 (I needed 9) muffin cups with paper liners.
Prepare filling first. With a mixing spoon, beat together softened cream cheese and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a second mixing bowl, stir together oil, sugar, vinegar, egg, red food coloring, vanilla and sour cream. Mix very well, then add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
Measure out approximately 1/3 cup red mixture and set aside. Divide remaining red mixture among the 8 muffin cups – each cup should be a little over 1/3 of the way full. Spoon cream cheese mixture over red mixture, dividing evenly between all cups. Drop small spoonfuls of reserved red batter on top of cream cheese mixture, making a bulls-eye pattern.
Bake for 20-23 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Carefully remove lift muffins from cups.
Best served slightly chilled. – Makes 8-9

Don't Say He Was Wrong

It was just February the 2nd when old Phil did not see his shadow. This gave us all hope that spring was on its way. The warmer than normal days also helped this out. But could it be that Phil was wrong?? I hope not but in the meantime here is a list of ideas to do inside with the family when it is too cold and snowy to head out there.

1. Pick a show on Netflix and watch an entire season in one day
2. Organize your Grooveshark, Spotify, Pandora, etc. playlists
3. Fold that basket of socks. Throw away all the mismatched ones.
4. Climb a tree
5. Bake muffins. Or cupcakes. Or both.
6. Give yourself a pedicure
7. Build a fire & make s'mores
8. Take a trip to the library and check out books on a new subject
9. Plan a wedding on Pinterest
10. Give silly names to random household appliances & label them
11. Write a letter to someone for no reason, maybe someone who is also suffering from Cabin Fever
12. Start an anonymous blog, post a few times, & see if anyone reads it
13. List unwanted clothes/household items on Craigslist or eBay
14. Create lists. Like this one.
15. Sew/hem clothes that don't fit well
16. Memorize a passage in Scripture (how about Galations 1:4-9?)
17. Photograph "A Day In The Life"
18. Scrapbook
19. Pull a prank
20. Go 4-wheeling
21. Go sledding. You are never too old, I promise you.
22. Prepare a ton of freezer meals for when you're too busy to cook
23. Learn how to play a new card game (Spades, anyone?)
24. Hold a Psych marathon complete with pineapple-themed desserts, snacks, and delicious puddings.
25. Take a nap
26. Have a picnic, inside. Complete with basket & plaid blanket.
27. Assemble a time capsule. Fill a plastic container or coffee can with photos, mementos, & present day items. Hide in a closet & wait until Spring - then bury it!
28. Plan your Spring garden
29. Cover SOMETHING with chalkboard paint
30. Bundle up, & go outside. Then you can... an igloo
32...have a snowball fight
33...make a snowman
34...venture into the woods and see if you can spot any animal tracks
35. Go to a roller rink & skate till you drop.
36. Do your makeup dramatic for no reason
37. Wrestle a grizzly bear
38. Make or give something...a pie, a pack of stationary, someone, maybe a neighbor, leave it on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, and run away. 
39. Take a YouTube lesson on self-defense, pilates, or how to play the guitar
40. Drive to a rich neighborhood & gawk at all the massive houses
41. Create a binder full of projects you want to accomplish and use photos from the internet or magazines. Yeah, I know this is what Pinterest is for, but sometimes it's helpful to have something at your fingertips.
42. Build a fort out of blankets. Again, you're never too old for this.
43. Learn to knit or crochet
44. Begin a stockpile of gifts for future use - baby shower, wedding gifts, hostess gifts, etc. 
45....what's else can YOU think of?

Dreaming of Flowers

While you are waiting on spring to arrive so you can enjoy your outdoor garden I thought I would share with you a special flower of the day. The Nigella Damascena a annual that is well known by the name of Love in a  Mist. I often am attracted to the old fashioned annuals that look as if they were ones my grandmother may have raised. 

The foliage of the Love in a Mist resembles Asparagus foliage. It is both fine and delicate after the foliage appears the flowers of the Nigella will appear in the spring and disappear in the early part of summer. The flower comes in beautiful soft shades of white, blue and pink. 

Love in a mist plants are easy to grow. They love the full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The soil should be rich, loose and drain well. Fertilize once good when first planting then once a month after that . As long as the soil is moist to slightly dry and you offer water during dry periods they should grow well. Weeding is a job that must be done. The plants grow easy and well with few insect or disease problems

Love in a Mist plants make great bedding plants in a flower garden or plant them in containers and pots alone and they even make beautiful hanging baskets. This early plant may be started inside or out. They may be sowed a week or two before the last frost in your area. They are annuals and claim their territory coming back year after year. 

Fat Tuesday

Did you have a feast today?? If you did not then maybe you were not aware that today was the time to party it up and eat, eat, eat. Today is fat Tuesday, the day directly before Ash Wednesday. In many places it is known as Mardi Gras or Shrove Day. A day set aside to let people eat all they want, indulge in anything that they want and get ready for the next day. As Ash Wednesday begins a long fast for Christians as they give up something special that they enjoy. But today, today Fat Tuesday was and is a day to celebrate and enjoy the favorite foods or snacks that will be given up for Lenten season.

New Orleans is famous for celebrating Fat Tuesday. Bourbon Street celebrates the day with festivities and parades with the best part being food and drink.  One dish you may find there is Gumbo. Try our Gumbo and see what you think

2 lb shrimp, shelled, deveined, cooked
2 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons butter
1 lb okra, sliced
1 onion, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cups stewed tomatoes
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
1 can oysters, with liquid
1 package frozen crab meat
1/4 teaspoon tobasco sauce
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
2 cups rice, cooked

In a large pot, combine butter, onion, green pepper and flour.
Begin to cook.
Add stewed tomatoes, and bring to near a boil.
Add water and salt.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add shrimp and oysters.
Continue to simmer for 15 more minutes.
Add tobasco, worshestershire and crab meat.
Simmer another 15 minutes.
Serve hot over cooked rice.

Recipe Tip: Don't hesitate to experiment. Try  including additional seafoods, as available.

National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention month. When I think about Cancer I can not help but to think about those that I lost to the terrible disease. The big C as many may call it I know us in the health field do. I took care of a lady once that was diagnosed with breast cancer, and while many will say that they lived a good life now let them go. This ladies family fought back, she had her breast cut off and treatment began. So lets start today looking at what a few of the causes of breast cancer and what we can do to prevent it.

First of all, life style changes may be in store for us who are looking to reduce risk of breast cancer. Limiting alcohol: the more you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer limits to 1 drink a day is the recommended any more makes the risk go up

Don't smoke: If you don't smoke dont start and if you do smoke stop. Studies have shown a link between smoking and breast cancer. Not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health

Weight: I know we hear it every where these days but the truth is being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. If obesity happens later in life especially after menopause the risk increases

Physical Activity: Being physical can help you maintain a healthy weight. An average of 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week is recommended

Breast feeding is both good for the baby and for the moms body as well. A link between breast feeding preventing breast cancer has been shown. The longer you breast feed the greater the protection.

Hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. Hormone therapy is often used to treat menopausal symptoms but there are other options including nonhormonal therapies and medications. If you do choose hormone therapy use the lowest dose that works for your and continue to have the dr monitor the length of time.

Monday, February 8, 2016

LittleMissMatched Deal

Take advantage of this deal from LittleMissMatched. Take a look and find the perfect deal 

Prevent Heart Disease

With February being America Heart Month it would be a miss of mine to not use my blog to share with you a few ways to help you prevent heart disease. I do know that we are all human and make mistakes. I do know as well that we all want to live as happy and healthy as we can. Here are some things to think about

Smokers put their selves at a risk for heart disease They are more likely to die if they suffer a heart attack.

Improving Cholesterol Levels will help to reduce risk of heart disease. To much LDL (bad cholesterol) and not enough HDL (good cholesterol) places an individual at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.

More than 50 million individuals living in the U.S. have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is most common heart disease risk factor. The best thing to do is to try to control high blood pressure.

Americans have become lazier over the years. In the past people would work in the garden, work in the yard, take more walks and get out and be fit. Now, many are leading a more sedentary life with less infrequent or no exercise in their lives. It only takes 20 minutes a day to help lower risk of heart disease. Simply being more active is the answer.

Eating right and more nutritious is the answer to many health problems. Watching what one puts in the body and what one does not is often the answer. Lower bad cholesterol and controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels is the answer along with maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight puts to much strain on the heart and worsens several other heart disease risk factors such as diabetes.


Whats for Supper Meatless Meatloaf and Crack Potatoes

This is perfect for experienced vegans, newbie vegans, and people who simply want to increase the amount of plant-based goodness in their nutritional lives.
You will be truly shocked at the flavor and texture of this meatloaf – so true to the 50’s American classic! Best of all it is good for you and puts more veggies in your diet as well. 


Meatless Loaf
All American Meatloaf, minus the meat!
Our latest cookbook creation,  “Virgin Vegan: Everyday Recipes for Satisfying Your Appetite”, will be officially released on March 1st (though you can of course pre-order it now).
This is perfect for experienced vegans, newbie vegans, and people who simply want to increase the amount of plant-based goodness in their nutritional lives.
You will be truly shocked at the flavor and texture of this meatloaf – so true to the 50’s American classic!
 Recipe from 


1 cup dry brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 medium carrots, grated
1 cup diced Medjool dates
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted vegan margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons steak sauce, of choice
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1/2 cup ground or very finely minced pecans
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal, softened in 1/2 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lentils in boiling salted water for 20 minutes, or until very soft. Drain well. Place in food processor and pulse until very small bits. Sauté the carrots, dates, onion, and celery in the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 6–8 minutes, until very soft, stirring frequently to remove moisture. Add in garlic, cumin, steak sauce, and soy sauce and cook another minute. Add this skillet mixture to food processor and pulse until very well blended. Remove from processor and stir in pecans, rice, bread crumbs, and flaxseed. Place an aluminum foil sling into a loaf pan and prepare with cooking oil spray. Spoon mixture into pan. Bake for 30 minutes at center of oven. 
Glaze: While loaf is baking, simmer 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small saucepan for about 2 minutes, until thickened slightly.
Remove loaf from oven and spread glaze on top. Return to oven and bake another 20 minutes. Slice and serve as you would meatloaf.
What makes a dish “cracked out” you may ask? It’s the combo of cheese, bacon, and ranch seasoning, that beautiful food trifecta. This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. It just includes 5 ingredients, and all you do is mix and bake. Then take this to your next family gathering and soak up the praises they will sing of you.
  • 2 (16oz) containers sour cream
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
  • 2 packages Ranch Dip mix
  • 1 large (28 - 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes - shredded kind

  1. Take the hashbrowns out of the freezer and set out to thaw slightly. They don't need to thaw all the way, but you need to be able to stir them, so you just don't want it to be a solid brick. I let mine sit out for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Combine first 4 ingredients. Mix in hash browns. Spread into a 9x13 pan.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Source: Plain Chicken