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Saturday, February 11, 2017

National Bird feeding Month



February is the great month of love. The love for each other and for all things. Love is in the air but cupid is not the only winged object that people need to watch our for this month. February was named National Bird Feeding Month in 1994 by congress.

Over 46 million North Americans participate in backyard feeding month. Feeding our feathered friends is only part of what we can do for them. Birds need both food to eat and clean water as well. Bird feeders should be cleaned at least once a month even in the winter. There are professional cleaners you can purchase or use one part vinegar to nine parts water to clean bird feeders. Making sure the feeders are clean will help stop transmission of disease between birds that are under stress.

Bird baths should also be maintained year rounds. Birds need water for drinking, bathing, and preening. Having a dependable source of water is a simple and important way to increase the variety of birds in your yard. Bird baths also help them maintain healthy feathers that will help them in flight.

The winter months are hard for birds but by spring the prime food sources are depleted making it hard for birds to find food. Bird feeders provide an easy source for birds to get food. This easy craft will allow everyone to get in on the act of feeding the birds




you will need:



cheerios and pipe cleaners to make this bird feeder.


Loop over one end of the pipe cleaner so that you can lace on the cheerios without them falling off. When the pipe cleaner is full loop over the other end and hang from a tree outside.

Psalms 136

Psalms 136 

The main theme of this chapter is to give thanks. How is it that we can give thanks to the Lord?? 

  • love him with all our hearts.
  • spend time with him.
  • tell others about him.
  • do the things he wants us to do.
  • pray.


What is it that God has done for you today?? 

I must say that I feel blessed beyond measure with all that I have personally been given. The freedom to worship as I please, my husband and our relationship the past 30 years, my children and watching as they become stable adults, and my grand-children and the love they offer. I am blessed because of my job and the individuals I work with as well as care for. I am lucky and Praise God and thank-him for all these things and so much more.

Get Out Your Guitar Day



I grew up with friends that played violin, banjo, guitar and other instruments. The beautiful music soothed my soul. I chose to share this little bit with you today.

Few Valentine Quotes for my Friends





7 layer finger Jello



4 pkg. 3 oz Jello (lemon, orange, lime, strawberry) 
4 pkg. Knox unflavored gelatin
 
1 can sweetened condensed milk



Mix 1 pkg flavored jello with 1/2 pkg of unflavored gelatin. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Cool to room temp and pour into 9 x 13 glass pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (and make sure your refrig is level!)

Mix 1 can sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a small bowl, sprinkle 2 pkg unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Let stand a few minutes and then add 1/2 c boiling water to dissolve gelatin; add to milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temp and pour 1 cup of milk mixture over first layer of jello. Refrig for 15 minutes.

Repeat for next three flavors. Let jello set. Cut and serve!

This Valentine Day Don't forget Those Who Can Not Get Out

There are those that are in need of things that they can not be simply given. They are in search of encouragement, comfort, sense of belonging and a visit from someone. Most of us would love to be accepted but there are those that are more need of it than others. These individuals feel rather lonely at times. 
  • elderly people still living independently especially if they are shut-ins
  • elderly or disabled people living in nursing homes
  • people who are sick for a prolonged period of time
  • people who are hospitalized
  • bereaved people
  • prisoners
  • people in shelters
  • people in crisis

Many people will not go visit others because they do not feel as if they know what to say or do. The truth is that you do not have to have a play you are simply going to visit someone, to say hi how are you doing. A visit means a lot more to some than what the conversation is about. A planned out speech or agenda could turn people off as they believe you have a plan of some sort that you are not there for them. At your visit you may want to:

  • Create and give (or send) a St. Valentine’s Day care package.

  • ♥  Hold Hands

  • ♥  Bake homemade goodies for someone, or better yet bake with them so the smell of something sweet fills their home.

  • ♥  Make and give a home-made card with your own personal message of love.

  • ♥  Give a gentle shoulder or arm massage. Give a hand massage using lotion.

  • ♥  Pray together.

  • ♥  Watch an old movie together while eating popcorn or other snack.

  • ♥  Bring a pet to visit and let him love on your older family member. Place a colorful scarf on your pet before you go.

  • ♥  Share a piece of pie, piece of fruit, or cup of coffee and conversation.

  • ♥  Make a large pot of soup and share it. Store the rest of the soup in freezer bowls for meals later on.

  • ♥  Smile, laugh, and give a lot of hugs. When you give these things, you usually get them back.

  • ♥  Look through old photos or photo albums. Or, look through a loved one’s old greeting card scrapbook and find the Valentines cards.

  • ♥  Bring a warm fuzzy blanket as a gift.

  • ♥  Write notes of love on sticky paper and leave them around the house for a loved one to find.

  • ♥  If you have an elderly neighbor check on them and leave them with some goodies.

  • ♥  Share favorite quotes, sayings, or bible readings about love.



Happy Birthday Mr. Edison and meet a few other inventors through time



Today, February 11 is Thomas Edison's birthday. He was an extra-ordinary man who invented many different things that makes our life much easier. Born in the late 1800s in a time before electricity Edison would change that as well. To this great man who never gave up. He was home-schooled, possibly would have been considered ADHD in this time and place and always learned from his mistakes.

Thank you Mr. Edison

since February is a time to celebrate African Americans and their tributes I thought I might share a few other inventors who made life as we know it easier


In 1867 Sarah Breedlove a.k.a Madam C.J. Walker was born into a former slave family. She was a ladies hair dresser and developed products for hair. She was at times criticized for trying to conform black women's hair to that of white ladies hair. She fought back and demanded her products were to help women take proper care of their hair and promote its growth. She was the first African American woman millionaire and pass from the earth in 1919.


In 1893 Frederick McKinley Jones was born. He would become a prolific inventor with more than sixty inventions. One of his best known and most helpful inventions was that of the automatic refrigeration system for long haul trucks in 1935. He did this through a roof mounted cooling device. This would be used for both trucks and railroad cars. With this invention the risk of food spoilage during long distance shipping trips was eliminated. Jones was issued the patent on July 12, 1940. In 1961 Jones would pass to a better place.




Granville Woods was often referred to as the "Black Thomas Edison" Woods would obtain more than 50 patents for inventions including an automatic brake and an egg incubator for improvements to other inventions such as safety circuits, telegraph, telephone, and phonograph.


Celebrate Peppermint Patty

The peppermint patty candy is the oldest commercially made mint patty or cake. The Quiggins family made the cakes since 1840 on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man is located in the middle of the Northern Irish Sea. In 1880 four of the Quiggins sons formed the Kendal Mint Cake Company. The company would make and sell the peppermint patties. Later in the 1900s the patties would be sold in the U.S.A.


The Regional Confectioneries company in the U.S. started making the candy in the early 1800s. Other companies such as the Idaho Candy Company, Trudeau Candies and Pearson's would make the peppermint patty candies as well. The York Peppermint patties have gained wide spread attention through commercialism are not the oldest but best known peppermint patties. 


York peppermint patties were first made in 1940. They were distributed regionally. The firm, crispy candy seemed to dominate the market because other candies were made to be soft. The York peppermint patty would go under a "snap test" before the candy was allowed to leave the factory. The candy had to break clean in the middle if it did not then it did not go on the candy shelves. 



Peter Paul Cadbury would purchase York in 1975. Celebrate Peppermint Patties by purchasing one and enjoying the chocolate cool mint treat. 

Peppermint Patty Brownies
cocoa brownies from smitten kitchen via alice medrich

10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup pus 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup peppermint patties, halved or quartered

preheat oven to 325. line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of simmering water.  stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot. remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside to cool until it's just warm, not hot. it will look gritty at this point. (these steps should be able to be done in a microwave as well.)
stir in the vanilla extract with a wooden spoon. add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. when the batter looks thick, shiny, and well-blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for about 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or spatula. fold in the peppermint patty chunks and spread into the baking pan. 
bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, a few moist crumbs is ok, about 25-30 minutes. let cool completely on a rack. cut into squares. 
like most chocolatey things, they'll be even better the next day. 


Butterfinger Blondies



BUTTERFINGER BLONDIES
Adapted from Six Sisters


Preheat oven to 350F degrees

BLONDIE BAR
1 c. butter of 2 sticks butter softened
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
16 crushed "fun size" butterfinger bars

BUTTERFINGER TOPPING
1/2 c. butter of 1 stick softened
1/2 c. vegetable shortening (aka. Crisco)
2 1/2 c. powerdered sugar
4 crushed "fun size" butterfingers


Combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients-- all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt (which I like to combine all together and sift first to avoid lumps). Add crushed butter fingers (i used a clean small hammer to crush them).  Spread in 9x13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and cool completely. After they cooled, I pushed them down using a papertowl to place my hands on and then gently pushed down, to compress the crust a bit.

Cream butter and shortening until smooth. Add powdered sugar, slowly. Add butterfingers. Spread across blondies. Top with 4 crushed fun size butter fingers as "garnish."

Grapefruits

Yesterday while in the grocery store I saw a display of grapefruits from Texas. This brought back great memories of my uncle Bill and his trips to Texas. Each year for a few weeks in the winter he would travel from his home in Illinois to Texas where his sisters lived. The trip was one that always meant he would bring back goodies. Two of the things we could count on him bringing back were grapefruits and oranges from Texas.



Grapefruits come in a variety of flavors from a tart like a lemon to a sweetness of an orange. My memory recalls the pink grapefruits from Texas being so super sweet. The perfect snap or zing to every bite as well. Grapefruits are great in sweet and savory dishes. I do not recall my mother making  many meals with grapefruits but my grandmother loved to cook with them

Grapefruits grow October through May. This is why uncle Bill could easily find them on his winter trip. We would keep them on the front porch of our Illinois home where winter was cold. Grapefruits will stay a few weeks at room temperature. If kept chilled like on our front porch or in the fridge you can keep grapefruits good up to 2 months.



Like flavor grapefruits will come in three primary shades as well white, pink and red. The lycopene that is found in tomatoes is also found in grapefruits. The lycopene is an antioxidant that is good for our health as well. Select the perfect grapefruit by selecting one heavy for size and a smooth rather bumpy skin. The bumpy skin and heaviness indicates the fruit will be juicy.

Many believe that the grapefruit is a cross between the Jamaican sweet orange and a pomelo fruit. The grapefruit was known as "the forbidden fruit" in and around the late 1700s to early 1800s in Barbados. Reverend Griffith Hughes from Barbados named the grapefruit as such. Today some refer to the grapefruit as one of "Seven Wonders of Barbados"

                         FORBIDDEN-FRUIT-TREE
The Trunk, Leaves, and Flowers of this Tree, very much resemble
those of the Orange-tree.
The Fruit, when ripe, is something longer and larger than the largest
Orange; and exceeds, in the Delicacy of its Taste, the Fruit of every
Tree in this or any of our neighbouring Islands.
It hath somewhat of the Taste of a Shaddock; but far exceeds that, as
well as the best Orange, in its delicious Taste and Flavour.
—Description from Hughes' 1750 Natural History of Barbados.









Florida was gifted with the grapefruit plant when Odet Phillippe brought it to Safety Harbor in 1823. The tangelo fruit was produced in the same manner around 1905. 

Until the 19th century the grapefruit was known as the shaddock. The name grapefruit generates from the look of the fruit resembling grapes on a vine. The American citrus industry pioneer Kimball Chase Atwood founded the Atwood Grapefruit Co in late 19th century. It grew to where 80,000 boxes of grapefruit were shared each year.




Valentine Popcorn Treat



1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
1 bag Colorburst Pastels Candy Melts
1 bag Valentine M&Ms
Sea Salt to taste

Start by popping the popcorn. 


Melt the candy pieces. 


Pour melted candy over popcorn Sprinkle with sea salt Add M&Ms and gently toss


Peanut Butter Cup Cookies



4.5 oz AP flour (~1 cup minus 2 tbsp?)
1.5 oz oats (haldful and a half)
1/4 tsp baking soda
120 g butter**
1/4 sugar
1/4 packed brown sugar (plus a bit)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
5 peanut butter cups, chopped (since cups come in packages of three, this is the obvious required number)


**About half of my butter was browned, half was not. I creamed the butter and the sugar, but you could probably brown all of the butter and just mix in the sugar. You can't properly cream browned butter anyway, since by heating it you've already broken the emulsion (this, by the way, is also why you shouldn't soften butter in the microwave).  Using melted butter rather than creamed butter in cookies generally gives you a chewier cookie. It can also give you a flatter cookie, so I usually increase the ratio of dry ingredients to combat that a bit.

What to do:

Whisk together flour, oats, salt and baking soda and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy if you feel like bothering or, if you're lazy, just until soft. Beat in the sugars. I'm not always so lackadaisical about the importance of good creaming method, but in this case I wouldn't worry about it much (see above comment). If you've browned your butter instead, just mix in the sugars really well while the butter is still hot. Mix in the vanilla and then the egg until well combined. (If your butter is still hot, let it cool before mixing in your egg, lest you cook it. Although I HAVE wanted to try out these hard boiled egg cookies. Mind you, I never need to find a way to "use up" hard boiled eggs. Hard boiled eggs are delicious and so easy to eat on their own.) 

Mix in your dry ingredients on a low speed, or by hand, until they are just incorporated. Fold in your chunks of peanut butter cup.

Chill while you pre-heat the oven to 375 F and prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into ~2 tbsp balls. Bake for ten minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. 

As ever, recall that leaving cookie dough in your fridge for a day or two makes for prettier, more delicious cookies. These photos are all of the ones I baked the next morning, rather than the couple I baked immediately.

Black Forest Pudding Parfait

With Valentine's Day in the air, I was in search of a wonderful easy dessert to serve the family. This recipe starts with chocolate cupcakes I believe you could even use cake brownies if you would like. 


This recipe was originally found on the back of a Jell-O box. It is good enough to serve to company and great to serve to the family after a week night dinner. Slice the top off the chocolate cupcakes, place them into the bottom of small drinking glass, parfait or dessert dish.
.

On top of the chocolate cake layer chocolate pudding. 

follow up with a layer of cherry pie filling

Top it all off with a deliciously creamy layer of whipped cream. Oh my so yummy

Then, top them off with a final dollop of pudding, and cherries.

Now its time to serve, be ready for great praise


Sweet and Tangy Meatball Subs

Sweet and Tangy Meatball Subs



1 can (15.5 oz each) Manwich® Original Sloppy Joe Sauce
1/2 cup salsa
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1 pkg (16 oz each) frozen cooked meatballs
4 hoagie rolls (about 8 inches each)
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 red onion, cut into thin rings
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup = 1 oz)

Directions
1.Heat sauce, salsa and brown sugar in large skillet over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until hot, stirring often. Add meatballs and heat 10 minutes more or until hot.
2.Cut rolls in half lengthwise, leaving bottom hinged. To make sandwiches, fill each roll with equal portions of meatball mixture; top with equal amounts of lettuce, onion rings and cheese. Serve immediately.

Winter Snack Mix



I love chex mix snack mixes because they make alot and are also economical many offer the sweet and salty in a snackmix together. This recipe I found on Eat At Home Cooks is a great one that you may like to try as well

cinnamon graham crackers, broken into bite-size pieces (I used two of the 3 packs that came in the box)

1 large box of rice chex cereal
a generous cup of pretzels
1 cup pecans
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 bag butterscotch chips

Combine the crackers, pretzels, nuts and cereal in a large bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and honey together. Drizzle this over the mix and stir to combine. Put it out onto two large cookie sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Stir several times during the cooking. (Warning – cereal dropped on the oven burner stinks)
Cool the mix completely before stirring in the butterscotch chips. Store in an air tight container.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Chocolate Valentino Cake

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time:  20 minutes





16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated



Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.


While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}
Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Layered Taco Dip

So I wanted to share one of my favorite football foods, just in case you were looking for something to make for Super Bowl this weekend. This dish will keep people coming back for more and more and more… and it’s so easy!




1 (1oz) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16oz) can refried beans
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened, I usually microwave it a few seconds, or leave it out to get soft)
1 (16oz) container of sour cream
1 (16oz) jar salsa
A few stalks of green onion diced
1large tomato chopped (Or I use cherry tomatoes halved, about a handful)
1 bag of “shreds” lettuce (this makes it easier) Or just shred a small head of lettuce
1 (6oz) can of sliced olives (optional, but looks great for coloring on the top)
1 (8oz) bag of shredded cheese (I like the 4 cheese mix)

1. In a bowl mix together the refried beans and the package of taco seasoning. Then spread in the bottom of a 9×13 dish
2. Mix the “softened” cream cheese and sour cream together. (Make sure you stir the sour cream by itself before you add it to the cream cheese. My girlfriend didn’t do this once, and I swear it changed the consistency.) Spread over the beans. I sometimes don’t use all of it, but if you wanna go BIG!!! Do it!
3. I refrigerate (to let the beans and seasoning set in). Then right before the party, I take it out and finish my layering.
4. Layer:
-a jar of salsa
-then tomatoes
-next green onions
-top with a bag of “shreds” lettuce
-cheese
-then hand place some sliced olives. (If you just throw them on it looks messy). I pick the pretty ones, and place them on top.
5. Now, add chips in a bowl and watch as EVERYONE asks you about this amazing dip! Its definitely a hit… and super EASY!


Note: I put it out with a serving spoon in the dip and small plates, because people like to scoop a bunch, grab some chips, and then go back to the game.

Montmorency cherries



Do you know the name of the most popular tart cherry? It makes up about 95% of the tart cherries in the world, with the Morello coming in a very distant second. It’s the Montmorency cherry!  If you intend to do some baking, these tart cherries are the ones to use, because they have such a wonderful flavor! 

The Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry grown in Canada, France and the United States. Michigan and Wisconsin are great places to find Montmorency cherries. These cherries trace back to ancient Rome. Romans would cultivate these tiny red fruits along the Black Sea. Those that visited would take them back where they were from and help spread the cherries. The name comes from an area in France near Paris. 

These large , light to dark red cherries have been cultivated in the U.S. since the 20th century. The Montmorency is the most popular sour cherry in the U.S. and Canada. They are used in cherry pies, jams and preserves. The cherry also finds it way into the dried fruit market as well as juice. 

The Monmorency cherries help to better the systolic blood pressure as well as circulate phenolic acid




Apple Crumble Pie

Apple Crumble pie



To add nuts reduce the oatmeal to 1/2 c. and
add a 1/2 cup nuts of your choice.

1/2 c.unsalted butter
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Large batch
6 sticks unsalted butter
6 c. brown sugar
4 1/2 c. flour
4 1/2 c. oatmeal
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. salt


Mix everything together really well.
Sprinkle the mixture flat on a cookies
tray and freeze until solid.
When solid put into a freezer safe bag and freeze until ready to use.


To use
1 pre-baked pie crust (optional)
2 can pie filling
1 recipe of frozen crumble

Pour the pie fillings in the baked crust and top with the frozen crumble.
Bake at 350 for 35 - 45 minutes or until the crumb topping is browned and crisp.
If you wish to make this without the pie crust to make cobbler,
pour the pie fillings into the bottom of a glass baking dish and
top with oat mix. Bake the same as with the crust

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

When you have a crowd to feed every night there are times that you simply want to take it easy and change things up a bit. This chicken spaghetti will do just that



6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 lb thin spaghetti
1 stick butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
6 oz. jar diced pimento
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk
2 tsp mustard
1 tbls Worcestershire sauce
4 drops Tabasco sauce
1/2 lb shredded Velveeta
1 cup sour cream



Optional Topping: Bread, cracker, or corn flake crumbs mixed with some melted butter.



Boil seasoned chicken until tender, reserving broth. Shred cooled chicken.



While the chicken is cooking, saute onions, celery, pimento, and garlic in butter until soft. Cook spaghetti in chicken broth (add water if you need to.) Drain, reserving broth (yes, again.) Mix all of the above, except sour cream and Velveeta. Add some broth if it seems too dry. Place in a large baking dish or pan.


Mix Velveeta and sour cream, and then spread it over the spaghetti mixture. (Top with optional crumb mixture, if desired.)Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly hot. (Freezes well, prior to cooking, if you want to split it in half for a rainy day :) Feeds a crowd!

recipe source here

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spam Fried Rice


Ingredients

3 bowls of cooked rice (preferably rice that has been refrigerated overnight )
1/2 to 1 tin of spam (diced)
1/2 bowl of frozen mixed vegetables
1 onion (chopped)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Seasoning
Salt or to taste
A dash of pepper
1 teaspoon light soya sauce

Method

Heat up wok and add cooking oil. Brown the diced spam. Remove and keep aside.
Saute onion till fragrant, add mixed-vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper. Mix well.
Turn up heat. Add rice and fried spam meat and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add eggs and soya-sauce. Stir mixture around the wok to coat evenly.
You know it's ready when you see the rice grains 'jumping up and down' the wok. Grandma always used to say "fry until the rice starts to dance".

Rustic Style Grilled Cheese



Loaf of Sourdough Bread from the bakery
Mild Gruyère, shredded
Wisconsin Swiss, shredded
Parmesan, shredded
Butter, room temp
Bacon (crispy fried)
Green Tomatoes
Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Eggs
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice green tomatoes.  One slice per sandwich.  Grease cooking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. In a bowl crack two eggs and whisk.  In another bowl, mix handful of panko, handful of Parmesan cheese, dash of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.  Drench tomato in egg and then cover completely in panko mixture.  Place tomatoes on cooking sheet and cook until golden brown (about 30 minutes).  I baked the green tomatoes instead of frying to keep the sandwich less greasy.  Trust me…you won’t be disappointed with the baked green tomatoes.

While your tomatoes are baking, fry your bacon.  You’ll want it to be crispy friend because it is just better that way.  Slice your sourdough bread (avoid slicing it too thick because it will take too long for your cheese to melt).  Butter both sides of your bread and heat up a skillet or griddle (spray with butter flavored Pam cooking spray or add butter).

Build you sandwich like this:  first add Gruyère, then baked (but fried tasting) green tomato, a bit of Miracle Whip, bacon and then Swiss.  Place in skillet or on griddle and grill until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.

Individual Breakfast Casseroles



3 cups shredded uncooked potatoes
3/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained

In a large skillet, saute the potatoes, onion, celery and green pepper in 2 tablespoons oil until vegetables are crisp- tender. If necessary, add additional oil to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper. Add cheese, bacon and mushrooms; mix well. Stir in potato mixture. Pour into four greased individual baking dishes.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving

Great Money Saving Tips

Want to keep milk tasting fresh longer add a few pinches of salt

Add borax & baking soda to your automatic dish washing detergent will help stretch your detergent Mix equal parts Borax and Baking Soda, and add 2 Tablespoons per load. Increase proportion of soda for hard water. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle

make your own pizza stone-pick up an unglazed terra cotta stone at the hardware store. Here is a great link about creating your own pizza stone as well

You should freeze-marshmallows, potato chips, pretzels crackers & popcorn in their sealed packages so the last. If your chips have all ready gone stale then liven them back up by
•Place your stale potato chips on the microwaveable plate.
Cover the potato chips with a sheet of paper towel.
Microwave for thirty seconds.
Let chips cool down.
When chips are room temperature

Roasted Root Veggies



Vegetable cooking spray
3 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
1 pound celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 rutabaga (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 medium red onions, cut into 8 wedges each
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Swanson® Vegetable Broth (Regular or Certified Organic)


Heat the oven to 425°F. Spray a 17 x 11-inch roasting pan or shallow baking sheet with the cooking spray.
Stir the potatoes, carrots, celery root, rutabaga, onions, parsnips, garlic, rosemary and oil in the prepared pan. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes. Pour the broth over the vegetables and stir.
Roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.