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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tips for Stopping Drinking and Driving



Drunk drivers have impacted life for my family for many generations. When my uncle, my moms brother, was 16 he decided to travel to a near by town with his parents and grandmother. At that time there was no laws against drinking and driving. The car my uncle was driving was hit by a drunk driver in a second car. My uncle was killed and the rest of those passengers were injured badly but lived. Two generations later, my cousin returning from Iraq was driving to work. On his early morning route someone returning from the bar had to much to drink and hit the car my cousin was in. My cousin like my uncle passed and the drivers survived.

So I could simply ask you to not drink or drive. The temptation is one that may be hard to avoid. Some tips that we can share with those that head out and may drink to much and by to much is if they had one drink they should not drive.




  • Drink responsibly and find a designated driver Before heading out for the night be sure to have a ride home. Appointing a designated driver is important. It should be someone that can be trusted not to drink. 
  • have the number of a taxi on hand. When the bar closes there may all ready be taxis waiting for those that may need a ride. If you need a cab do not think about the price it is cheaper than the alternative. 
  • To assure you do not drink or drive give your keys to someone you trust that is sober. 




So you know you will not be drinking and driving. You also know that you do not want to end up a statistic like my cousin and uncle we loved so much . Here are a few tips to protect yourself.


  • buckle up. Make sure your seatbelt is bucked correctly. This will help to ensure even if you are in a wreck that it may not be fatal
  • Staying aware will help you to notice any erratic driving before they are in your route. A car swerving, slowing and speeding up repeatedly, or driver acting strangely are all warning signals. 
  • Often wrecks that occur because of a drunk driver is because of not stopping. So when you come to intersections be extra cautions
  • be careful when driving late 



Risk and Symptoms of Colon Cancer



The exact cause of colorectal cancer is not known there are a few things that w do know. First of all it is not contagious. Other factors to pay attention to as they may increase your risk include:


  • Age- more than 90 % of individuals with colon cancer are diagnosed after 50 years of age. The average age is around 72.
  • Family History -- family history of polyps should signal family to be screened more frequently. Family history puts other family members at higher risk for colorectal cancer. Likewise, if parents, siblings, or children have history of colorectal cancer other family members are more likely to develop this disease. 
  • Personal history of previous diagnosis of colorectal cancer offers increased risk for developing the cancer again. Women with ovarian , breast, uterine cancers are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer 
  • Diets high in red meat and fat and low in calcium, folate, and fiber may increase risk of colorectal cancer. Individuals who eat diets low in fruits and veggies may also have higher risk of colon cancer. Daily physical activity has been shown to decrease cancer risk 50%.
  • Smoking may increase risk of developing polyps and colorectal cancer. 


It is important to stay in touch with your physician. If any of these risks should occur you should contact your dr. at once. Colon Cancer shows up with few if any symptoms. The symptoms that may occur can often also be associated with many other health conditions. Symptoms that may show up include:


  • change in bowel habit: diarrhea, constipation, change in consistency of your stool or stools that are more narrower than usual 
  • abdominal discomfort such as cramps, gas , pain , feeling full, bloated or that your bowel does not completely empty 
  • finding rectal bleeding that is bright red or very dark in your stool. 
  • Losing weight for no reason, nausea or vomiting as well as feeling week and some fatigue 
If any of these signs do occur you should contact a medical professional. Early signs of cancer should be a red flag and you should see your doctor at once. Early detection can save your life. Colon cancer often appears with no symptoms. This is how it has earned the name of "silent killer"





Do You Know Colon Cancer



My mother in law, may God bless her soul, suffered from colon cancer. She spent many days in the hospitals and also had surgeries. However, the cancer was strong and she struggled with it. In the end my mother in law would live some 19 years after being diagnosed. Ten + years later we still all recall her and the battle she fought with tears in our eye but pride in our hears. When given the chance to share about colon cancer I do so in honor of "mom"

Colorectal cancer or colon cancer occurs in the colon and / or rectum. The colon as you can see in the picture is part of the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum as we all should know is the passage way that connects the colon to the anus



Colon cancer is highly treatable if discovered early. Colon cancer after spreading to the lymph nodes can be treated with surgery followed by chemotherapy with a good goal as well. It is when the cancer spreads to the liver, lungs, or other sites that treatment can help add years to ones life Research is still being done to provide hope for individuals with colon cancer in every stage.

Colon cancer often develops as polyps in the colon first. Abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum may later become cancerous if not removed.



Men and women of all races and ethnic groups can be affected by colon cancer. Individuals 50 years or older is a strong factor as well but those younger than 50 is on the rise as well. More than 50,000 individuals die each year because of the third most common cancer in the US and the second leading cause of death.








Happy Birthday Bingo



Bingo is a simple game of chance that can be and often is lots of fun Players have their own game cards or boards. Each bingo card has 25 spaces. That's right there are five columns and five rows. While twenty four spaces have numbers in them the center space is free. Numbers are spaced out to have 15 numbers in each row. For instance :

B==== 1 - 15
I ==== 16 - 30
N ==== 31 - 45
G ==== 46 - 60
O ===== 61 - 75

The caller of the game , the individual who calls the number of the space to be filled. A number will be drawn by choosing a labeled ball or paper out of a container. Players will cover the space of the number picked. When there are enough covered spaces in the correct pattern the player wins. Correct patterns include 4 corners, 5 in a row either down, across or diagonal. When the correct spaces are covered the player must holler out "BINGO"



The first game of BINGO was manufactured in December 1929 by Edwin S. Lowe. A similar game some call Beano can be traced back to 1530. It was a game of lottery played in Italy. In 1770 wealthy frenchmen played a game of "Le Lotto" Germans played a similar game to teach children in the 1800s. The game of chance reached the US and was called "beano" The name of the game came from beans that the players would cover numbers. Lowe would work on this version created number combination Today many groups play to raise funds for their organization. Many also play bingo online.

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Individuals With Disabilities Education Act



The 2nd of December honors the date of the nations first federal special education law. The law was signed by President Gerald Ford on December 2, 1975. The law was and is known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. Under IDEA all American children no matter their ability can have an education.



The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is part of Americanlegislation that ensures students with disabilities are provided with free appropriate public education. The IDEA was established in 1990. Before the IDEA there was the Education for All Handicapped Children act (EHA). The goal of the IDEA is to provide children with disabilities the same opportunity for education as those students who do not have a disability.



The IDEA covers the law, assistance for education for all children with disabilities, education for infants and toddlers with disabilities which include children from birth to age three,  and federal programs under the IDEA act. The IDEA also breaks down to components:

  • individualized education program (IEP) 
  • free and appropriate public education (FAPE)
  • Least restrictive environment (LRE)
  • evaluation, parent and teacher participation and safeguards

History shows that without the government being involved with education not all children would receive the education they deserved. Inf act many states excluded children with disabilities such as blindness, deafness, and those "emotionally disturbed" or "mentally retarded" from getting an education at all. Prior to 1975 more than 1 million children in the U.S. had not access to public school. Children often lived in state institutions with limited education or rehab services. Warehousing of children in segregated facilities received little or no effective instruction. In contrast ten years ago more than 6 million children in the U.S. were allowed education through IDEA. 

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Apple Fritter Loaf






An apple fritter is on of the unhealthiest doughnuts but also one of our favorites. It goes to show that just because a doughnut has fruit it does not make it a healthy good choice. Apple fritters are deep fried in fat which in turn makes a medium sized apple fritter contain 17 grams of fat with half the fat from saturated fat and about 450 calories.

If you are looking for a lighter version with same great taste try this: 





¼ cup + 3 Tbsp brown sugar (packed)
2 tsp cinnamon
2 apples, peeled and diced (any apples are fine, I used granny smith)
⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1⅓ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
⅓ cup milk (I used 1%)
FOR ICING GLAZE
2 Tbsp icing sugar (confectionery sugar)

½ Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 375F and spray a regular size loaf pan with some non stick spray.
In a small bowl mix your 3 Tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon together and set aside.
Peel and dice your apples into small pieces, mix in a bowl with your remaining 1 tsp of cinnamon.
In a medium bowl whisk your eggs and mix in your ¼ cup brown sugar. Stir in apple sauce, vanilla and milk. Mix well.
Fold in your flour, baking soda and powder.
Pour half of your batter into your loaf pan, top with ½ of your diced apple mixture and lightly press into batter, sprinkle half of your brown sugar mixture on. Top with remaining batter, apples and sugar mixture..
Bake in oven for 50 minutes and make sure loaf is baked through.
Let cool for at least 45 minutes before removing from pan.
For glaze mix your icing sugar and ½ Tbsp of milk together and drizzle with a spoon over top of loaf (optional to add the glaze but adds a nice sweetness) I don't think points will change if you don't use the glaze.. Cut into 10 slices.

Store in sealed container,move to fridge after day 1. Makes 10 slices at 5 smart points per slice (3 points plus)


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Friday, December 1, 2017

My Daddys Favorite Pie === Mincemeat Pie



A British born pie and also one of my dads favorites is the mince pie. The "mincemeat" pie is filled with a mix of dried fruits and spices. This pie is a Christmas tradition in the English speaking world. The pie can be traced back to the 13th century when European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes that contained meats, fruits and spices.

Mincemeat pie has also been called "mutton pie", "shrid pie" and "Christmas pie" Inside these pies ingredients such as minced meat, suet, range of fruits, and spices including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The savory Christmas pie had Catholic "idolatry" tied in as well as English civil war which was frowned on Puritan authorities. The tradition of Christmas pie broadened to include the entire winter during the Victorian era.



2 pounds venison, elk, or beef chunks
Water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
1 large bay leaf
1/2 pound beef suet, finely chopped*
3 quarts apple cider
2 cups beef broth
3 pounds apples, chopped
3 pounds raisins (dark and golden)
2 pounds currants
1/2 pound citron
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 firmly-packed cup brown sugar
2 cups rum or Applejack brandy

Trim fat from meat of your choice. 
In a large heavy pan over medium heat, place meat; cover with water.  Add cider vinegar, whole cloves, allspice, and bay leaf.  Simmer approximately 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falls apart.  Remove from heat and refrigerate meat in cooking liquid overnight.
Remove from refrigerator and remove meat from liquid.  Remove all fat from top of liquid; discarding the liquid.  Separate meat from bones, discard bones.  Chop cooked meat into small cubes.
In a large pot, combine meat cubes, suet, apple cider, beef broth, apples, raisins, currants, citron, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar.  Over medium heat, let mixture come just to a low boil; reduce heat to low and let simmer until the apples are cooked.  Remove from heat and add rum or Applejack brandy and mix together.

Variation:  For a wonderful flavor boost, zest and juice 2 to 3 lemons and 2 orange.  Add to mince before bringing to a boil.


It’s best to let mincemeat stand at least a couple of weeks before using.  I store mine in the refrigerator.  Freeze in air-tight containers for longer storage.




Making Pie

2 large tart apples, sliced
All-purpose flour
Ground cinnamon
Butter
1 quart prepared mincemeat (see recipe above)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Prepare pie pastry.
In a large bowl, lightly toss the sliced apples with a little flour and cinnamon.  Spread the apple mixture over the bottom of the pastry-lined plate.  Dot with butter.  Spoon prepared mincemeat over the top.  Add additional rum or brandy to your taste.  Cover with remaining pastry and flute.  Cut slits in pastry so steam can escape.  Cover edge with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.

NOTE:  I think my great grandma added the apples to stretch the mincemeat supply.  Non-mince lovers absolutely love this pie.  The only downfall of making this pie so delectable that the pie doesn't last as long!

Bake pie approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.  Remove aluminum foil during last 15 minutes of baking.  Remove from oven and cool on awire rack before cutting and serving.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings


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World AIDS Day



Today, December 1st as every December 1st since 1988 has been declared World AIDS day. The day was established to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic. AIDS was spread by the HIV infection and mourning those who passed from the terrible disease. Many in both government and non-governmental organizations have been in the battle for many years. The day is observed around the world with education concerning AIDS as well as prevention and control techniques have been of most importance.



Worlds AIDS Day is marked by the World Health Organization (WHO) In 2017 AIDS has killed between 28.9 million and 41.5 million people worldwide. There is an estimated 36.7 million individuals living with HIV. AIDS is a global public health issue and has been for many years. The one good thing is that those involved in studying AIDS and developing new treatments have helped decrease the number of deaths from AIDS in half.

World Aids Day was developed in August of 1987 by two public information workers for the Global programme on AIDS at WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. The men, Bunn and Netter found help by another Dr. Mann. The date of December 1st was decided upon because it would always be after the election but before the rush of the Christmas Holiday.



World AIDS day in the beginning was focused on children and young people. The focus on children living and dying with AIDS helped remove stigma that was early thought about the disease and boost the thought that it could be a family disease. World AIDS day has celebrated focus on prevention, communication, and education. The US, White House marked World AIDS day with large display of AIDS ribbons

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

November 29th Date of Birth C.S. Lewis the man behind Narnia



Clive Staples Lewis better known as C.S. Lewis was born on this date November 29th in 1898. He was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century. In 1954 at the age of 56 Lewis was elected to the chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University. One must think that his knowledge most likely helped him write on of my favorite books The Chronicles of Narnia 





C.S. Lewis wrote more than thirty books. A great and vast audience followed this author. Even after death Lewis following of fans continues to grow. The Chronicles of Narnia has sold over 100 million copies and has been turned into three major motion pictures.



C.S. Lewis never intended to have so much fame this many years later. In fact he would be quite surprised to find out he has such a huge popularity. He held a gloomy prospect about his future expecting to be forgotten shortly after his death. C.S. Lewis held a love for stories as a child but not so much of an interest in Christianity. He wanted to embrace faith but struggled to do so. Lewis always thought that if there was a story that he may have more understood his own faith.

Lewis authored a book he would liked to have read as a boy. It was in effect an "imaginative welcome" to the Christian faith. Religious symbolism played a major role in Chronicles of Narnia
Aslan the noble lion of Narnia is also a literary Christ figure who plays a pivotal role in story of Narnia just like Christ is central to the Christian faith. Lewis intended the story of Aslan to retell the "incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection"

"Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia, and that the Son of God, as he became a Man in our world, became a Lion there, and then imagine what would happen," he told a fifth grade class in Maryland in a letter in 1954.

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Anniversary of Godzilla's Walk of Fame



Godzilla, a monster that comes out of a series of films from Japan. He first appeared in 1954 and since then has became  a worldwide pop culture icon. Media has featured Godzilla in 29 films produced by Toho, three Hollywood films, video games, novels, comic books, t.v. shows. Godzilla has been called the "King of Monsters"

Godzilla as the story goes is an enormous, destructive, prehistoric sea monster. The monster has been woke up and has been affected by nuclear radiation. Godzilla was first brought to life to make aware of the nuclear weapons The film series later portrays Godzilla as an anti hero defending humanity. By the end of the Cold War Godzilla films were more about natural disasters and human conditions.


Godzilla has been featured in movies along side other mega creatures as well. Mothra, and Rodan are allies of Godzilla. Godzilla and King Kong have battled before as well. Godzilla turned 50 on November 29th 2004 and was awarded a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood California. The star is located in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater. This was not the only award as he was also recognized by MTV Movie Awards for lifetime achievement in 1996.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chance To Give Back

Was you able to give back today?? Many did as today the Tuesday directly after Thanksgiving is known as Giving Tuesday, The purpose of Giving Tuesday is to remind us that the holidays is more than consumerism and commercialization.

In 2012 the United Nation Foundation and the 92nd street Y came together to celebrate the generosity of giving. Leaders in social media, philanthropy and America's grassroots joined the cause. The first Giving Tuesday was allowed lots of exposure on T.v. as well as in print. The aim of Giving Tuesday is to encourage individuals, families, schools, businesses and others to give to the less fortunate.

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Enjoy your Guest this Holiday



Do you have those friends that want us to be comfortable in their homes and work and worry about every detail?? They prance around us waiting to see if we are enjoying ourselves making sure every little detail is done?? My mother is a lot like this, I so wish she was a bit more like her mother. My grandmother of course wanted her guest to be comfortable but she also took the time to visit. Sharing our time, energies, home, food, love is the most important. We struggle and work so hard to make our homes perfect that we forget to enjoy and visit with those we do it for. Hospitality is not about our homes being perfect with a perfect meal and planning the perfect event. The truth is that hospitality is about taking the time to share ourselves with our company.

We often feel that we must entertain our guest. I can remember all the numerous times my mother would say we need to entertain our company. This is not always the case as entertainment is what we have seen in magazines and movies. We do not have to put on a show, impress people, or show off our style. We simply have to be ourselves, our guest are there to be loved and that is what we need to do.

When we start thinking about what we will serve our guest keep in mind those dishes we can put together quickly, cheaply and with what we may have on hand. Know your top meals to serve to your guest and have these ready to go. Clean the house the day before you decide to spend time with family. We want to host our guest in a clean home but we also want to relax with them and enjoy being together. Keep in mind that you do not have to do it all. If someone is willing to help then you should welcome the help. Combining the work of cooking a meal can also be fun and a great chance to catch up as well.

We often invite guest over for a meal but food does not always have to be the main point. Have a morning get together over breakfast or mid-day lunch. Meeting at places other than your home is a great change as well. Get out and enjoy the day together.




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Pumpkin Stuffed French Toast

The date of November 28th is also the day of National French Toast day. I have been able to enjoy french toast since I was a little girl and my mother made it for me. Now as a mother I make it for my family as well. I also love to eat french toast at any restaurant that serves it. If you have never had french toast it is as the kids would say "the bomb". Made up of bread that has been soaked in an "eggy" mix (normally egg and milk). The bread is then fried in butter or oil. 

It may seem odd but french toast did not originate in France. In fact it is not even a french dish. French toast has been around centuries dating back to the 4th century in Rome. If you enjoy a fun breakfast that does not take long to cook then French Toast is for you. 

For the Stuffing
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ tablespoon nutmeg (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
For the French Toast
4 slices bread (I used a light potato bread)
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Olilve oil as needed
For the stuffing, mix pumpkin, cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, honey and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well until everything is combined. You can do this by hand or use a mixer. Set aside until ready to use. 
For the French Toast, heat a large pan to medium heat. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil and swirl to coat and warm the oil. In a separate wide bowl, add eggs and beat. Add milk and tablespoon of syrup. Mix well. Dip bread into the egg mixture and coat each side. Set into the pan and cook about 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook about 1-2 minutes more, or until the toast is cooked through but still slightly moist. Do this for each piece of bread.
With 2 serving plates, set one piece of French Toast onto each plate. Spoon the pumpkin mixture over the top of each, dividing it. Top each with the remaining French Toast.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Lets Have Some Pie

Traditional Banana Cream Pie


1 premade pie crust, baked
three small to medium-sized bananas
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk or light cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Place the dry ingredients in a saucepan. Add the milk or light cream and whisk together. Add the egg yolks and whisk those in.
Heat over low heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture is thick and just begins to bubble. Add the butter and vanilla and stir.
Let the mixture cool for fifteen minutes. Spread the banana slices evenly across the bottom of the pie shell. Pour the filling over the banana slices. Chill for several hours. Garnish with whipped cream.







To make a Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie, make as above except add a layer of chocolate ganache across the bottom of the pie crust, a chocolate layer under the banana filling. Ganache is wonderful, all-purpose, chocolate filling that is used in pastries, cake coatings, and as filling between cake layers.  Here’s how to make it:
Chocolate Ganache
1 cup dark chocolate wafers or dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
Put all three ingredients in a medium, microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave it in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted, stirring between intervals.  The ganache will thicken as it cools.  You may thin it further with additional cream.

Date Dried Cherry and Chocolate Torte



Date, Dried Cherry & Chocolate Torte



1 c. Medjool dates (6 oz), pitted and each cut into 6 pieces
1/2 c. Dried figs, stemmed and cut into uniform dried cherry-sized pieces or use another variety of dates, pitted and each cut into 6 pieces (3 oz)
1 c. dried tart cherries (5 oz)
1 t. baking soda
1 c. boiling water
1/4 c. brandy
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process), sifted to remove lumps
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 t. vanilla
zest of one orange
6 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
3/4 c. pecans (3 oz), lightly toasted and finely chopped

Combine dates, cherries, and baking soda in a heatproof bowl, then stir in boiling water and brandy. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and zest. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined. Add half of flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Add date mixture with liquid and beat at low speed until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate and pecans.

Pour batter into a buttered and floured 9-inch springform pan, smoothing top. Bake in middle of a 375 degree oven until center is slightly rounded and top of torte is cracked (edges will be dark brown),


about 55 minutes. Let torte stand 10 minutes in pan on a rack. Run a small knife around side of pan to loosen, then remove side. Cool torte on rack. Cake tastes best if allowed to sit, well-wrapped, for 24 hours. Serves 12 to 16.


Coconut Bavarian Cream Tart

November 27th always has the capability of being a sweet day. It is not every day that the Bavarian Cream Pie is the treat of the day. As you can imagine the cream pie is also the best type of pie to throw in someones face. Guess what November 27th is also the day that celebrates throwing pie in someones face.

Cream pies are filled with custard or pudding. The filling is made with milk, cream, flour and eggs. The pie is then topped with whip cream. The crust of a cream pie is normally the standard pie crust made up of flour or lard or it could be a graham cracker crust or one made up of  crumbled cookies. A Bavarian cream pie uses just that Bavarian cream. Bavarian cream is made up of thickened milk that has had eggs and gelatin folded in. The cream will fill the crust and the entire pie will chill til set. This type of pie was created in the 19th century and shortly after appeared in cookbooks in the United States.




Coconut Bavarian Cream Tart


1 1/2 c. shredded, sweetened coconut (4 1/2 oz.)
5 oz. graham crackers (1 1/4 c. crumbs/10 full cracker sheets)
2 T. sugar
5 T. butter, melted
1/4 c. cold milk
1 1/2 t. powdered gelatin (2/3 of a quarter ounce packet)
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. sugar, divided
3 T. cornstarch (27 grams/1 oz.)
4 egg yolks
1 small can (5.46 oz./2/3 c.) unsweetened coconut milk—not low-fat!
1 1/3 c. whole milk
1 t. vanilla extract

Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in a 350° oven, stirring frequently, until light golden brown—7 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place the graham crackers and sugar in the food processor and process until finely ground. Add 1/2 cup of the cooled toasted coconut (reserving the remaining cup for the top of the pie) and pulse in. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter until thoroughly combined.

Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a lightly oiled (or sprayed) 9-inch removable bottom tart pan (or a 9-inch pie plate). Chill until ready to use. (If you prefer, you may bake the crust in a 350° oven for 8 to 10 minutes. This will produce a harder/crunchier crust. Cool and chill.)

Place 1/4 c. milk in a large bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over. Set aside until the gelatin has softened—no discernible dry granules should remain. It will take about 5 minutes for the gelatin to bloom, or soften.

Whip the cream until it is thickened and mounding softly. It will probably look too soft. Chill until ready to use.

Combine half of the sugar with the cornstarch. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk briefly. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and whisk until thick and smooth.

Place the coconut milk and the remaining 1 1/3 c. of whole milk in a medium saucepan along with the remaining sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. When the milk comes to a boil, whisk some of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper and thin. Return the milk to the heat and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tempered egg yolks to the boiling milk, whisking constantly. The pastry cream will thicken almost immediately. Continue to cook and whisk until large bubbles regularly break the surface in the center of the pan—this will take about a minute. Remove from the heat and scrape into the bowl with the bloomed gelatin. Stir until well combined and the gelatin is completely melted (which should occur upon contact with the hot pastry cream). Whisk in the vanilla.

Place the bowl of custard in an ice bath (a larger bowl filled with ice and water) and stir with a rubber spatula until completely chilled and beginning to thicken. Remove the bowl from the ice. Scrape the already softly whipped cream onto the pastry cream base and whisk in (using a folding, rather than a circular motion). Finish folding with one or two strokes of a rubber spatula. Scrape the mixture into the chilled crust. Scatter the remaining cup of toasted coconut over all. Chill until set (at least 4 hours, preferably longer). This dessert is best eaten within 24 hours.

original recipe found here

Pom-Cranberry Relish Recipe and great information about the pomegranate



You may be surprised if I told you that the pomegranate fruit is grown on a fruit bearing deciduous shrub or tree that stands between 16 and 26 feet tall. In the northern hemisphere the pomegranate fruit is in season from September to February. In the southern hemisphere the pomegranate is in season March to May. Pomegranates are used in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies, and alcoholic cocktails and wines.



The pomegranate reigns from a region that stretches from modern day Iran through Afghanistan and Pakistan to northern India. The fruits have been grown and eaten since ancient times in the Mediterranean region. During the late 16th century Spanish American force brought them into California by settlers in 1769. The middle east and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, southeast Asia and parts of the Mediterranean as well as parts of Arizona and California cultivate the fruit. The commercial atmosphere picked up the pomegranate marketing it to Europe and the West.



The Pomegranate fruit is reddish purple in color. The fruit has a two part husk, the outer is hard and the inner husk is spongy and white. It is the inside that contains juice and an average of 200 to 1400 seeds. The pomegranate is actually a berry with seeds and pulp produced from a single flower. The fruit is a size between lemon and grapefruit. The entire pomegranate can be used. The juice fruit and  peel high in nutrients is often found in nutritional supplements. Other health benefits of the pomegranate includes






Pom-Cranberry Relish

2 teaspoons olive oil
½ small shallot, minced
½ cup sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
⅔ cup pomegranate seeds
salt & pepper to taste
½ cup finely chopped mint

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add minced shallots.
Cook for 2-4 minutes until soft.
Add sugar, pomegranate juice, and cranberries.
Bring the mixture to a boil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then reduce heat to low.
Occasionally stir and let simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in pomegranate seeds.
Let cool before adding chopped mint, and serve.

recipe source here

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Old Railroads Remembered



The little town that I once lived in Roodhouse Illinois was a place that any railway lover would have felt right at home. The trains going by morning, noon and evening was to our family rather enjoyable. The railroad has always played a big role in the town that John Roodhouse founded in the 1850s. It was during the 1860s that the Chicago and Alton Railway was convinced to open a station in the town. Local funds were gathered to build a depot and warehouse.


The railway built the Louisiana branch from Roodhouse in 1871. The town was a major junction point and helped boost population and economy. In 1880 Roodhouse became a town. Passenger railroad service to roodhouse ended in the 1950s.

Call it history call it hobby but I have loved visiting old depots and looking at old railroad cars. Here are a few for you to enjoy




COPD Awareness Month



November is National COPD Awareness Month. This day means a lot to me as many of the residents and one special man that I know and love have COPD. As you recall I am a nurse aide and through the years have see n many suffer the fate of COPD. I see my husband suffer and fight thru COPD whenever it flares up.



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD is known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis Coughing producing large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other symptoms are all part of COPD. The major cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. This is one disease that is preventable and treatable so if you smoke stop so you can live a longer and healthier life.

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. More than 120,000 individuals will die from COPD each year, that is 1 death every 4 minutes. COPD is also known for serious long term disabilities. Those with COPD increases each year currently more than 12 million individuals have been diagnosed with COPD another 12 million may have the disease and are not aware of it. If you find yourself in the statistics there are a few things you can do:



  • take time and be aware of the risk factors. Risk factors include shortness of breath, chronic cough, or having trouble performing simple daily tasks like climbing stairs, grocery shopping or laundry. Being over the age of 40 and smokes or was a past smoker. Worked or lived around chemicals or fumes. Have a certain genetic condition.
  • recognize symptoms
  • talk to a doctor or health care provider 
  • follow treatment which may include prescribed medication, enroll in pulmonary rehabilitation program, avoid pollutants or fumes that irritate lungs, and / or get flu and pneumonia shots