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Monday, November 18, 2019

Get Out There And Take A HIke

Living here at the foot of the Shawnee National Forest there are many times to get out there and enjoy ourselves. One way to do that is to take a hike. National Take a Hike Day occurred yesterday November 17th. Perhaps you did not find time to get out there but would like to sometime soon, here are a few tips to keep in mind on your next hike

  • It is best to hike in a group or at least partner up with one or more individuals. Keep in mind that trails that see low traffic has their own hinderance in no one being readily available if needed. Meeting and hiking with others offers you a chance to learn from each other, share gear if needed, offers a chance to meet new individuals and in the case injuries would occur there is more help available
  •  While hiking it is important to stay hydrated. While your pack may seem heavier in the early part of the hike it will provide you with what you need and as the hike goes will eventually get lighter.
  • keep snacks on hand that will help easily boost your energy level. 
  • Bring along a bit of extra food in case you need it but also keep the "Leave No Trace" ethic in mind. These trails have been around for years and if you also take care of them like those before they will be able to be enjoyed for years to come. 
  • Make sure someone knows what your plans are as to where you will be hiking If you happen to get off trail be sure to call them as they may the individual that is needed in case of emergency
  •  Sunscreen, bug spray, hats and other safety items should be used Also be sure that you have a first aid kit no matter how big or small your hike

Old Fashioned Dressing Made In Crockpot #Recipe

  • 1 (1 pound) loaf sweet French bread
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf sliced buttermilk or potato sandwich bread
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3 cups diced onion (about 2 onions)
  • 3 cups diced celery (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 or 5 cremini mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth divided
  • 2 eggs beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice the loaf of french bread and then tear the slices of both the french and the sandwich bread into bite size pieces. Discard end pieces or save for another use. You should have about 20 cups, give or take,of torn bread. Spread the pieces of bread between two rimmed baking sheets and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  2. While bread is toasting, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Turn heat up to medium high and cook, stirring frequently for about 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, parsley and mushrooms (if using) and cook and stir for another minute or two. Add the poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. When bread is nicely toasted, transfer to a large roasting pan or very large mixing bowl. Spoon cooked vegetables over and mix well. Add beaten eggs and stir to combine. Add enough chicken broth just to moisten the mixture, about 1 to 1-1/2 cups, reserving the rest for later. Mix well and transfer stuffing to a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Cover and set to LOW.
  4. Cook for 4 to 6 hours. Check on it now and then and add chicken broth throughout cooking time to achieve desired consistency. Taste and add additional seasoning if desired.
  5. If you prefer a crunchy topping, transfer your removable Crock-Pot dish to your oven and broil for a couple of minutes until nicely toasted and brown
Make-Ahead Instructions:
Once you've added the cooked veggies, eggs, and 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth, cover the stuffing and refrigerate it overnight. Cover the remaining chicken broth and refrigerate it as well.
When ready to cook the stuffing proceed with remaining instructions as written.
If you prefer to bake the stuffing in the oven, transfer it to a large baking dish that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray before covering and chilling and follow instructions below when ready to bake. If you don't have a baking dish large enough, divide between two smaller dishes.
Conventional Oven Instructions:
If stuffing was refrigerated overnight, remove the dish from refrigerator and allow it to sit out for about 30 minutes to take the chill off. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove foil and drizzle stuffing with remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, or more, as desired. Replace foil and bake stuffing, covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until warmed through.
For a crispy topping, remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking time, or place under broiler for a couple of minutes before serving.
recipe resource here

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs disguised as Turkeys

Like many things that have become a custom during the holidays for our family ,,, deviled eggs must make an appearance at the table. I can recall one time that I overdid it on eating deviled eggs and got in a bit of trouble, never ill but trouble all the same as grandma did not appreciate me only eating eggs and not much else. However, deviled eggs are still one of my favorites just not the only thing I eat anymore.

There are a great variation of making deviled eggs. Some use miracle whip some salad dressing. Others choose to make them a bit sweet and add in a bit of sugar but others choose not to. Mustard is also one ingredient that can be added or left out depending on your taste

6 eggs hard boiled
¼ cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
1 Tbsp . Barbecue sauce a good sweet/ smoky kind is best
2 tsp . Yellow Mustard Sauce
Turkey topping:
red  bell peppers small julienne strips and cut up like beaks/ feathers

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Win an Ugly Sweater

For some reason we have all fallen in love with those ugly Christmas sweaters. Do you have yours ready to wear this year?? If not you may want to try to win one the blog Heck of a Bunch where one lucky individual will win an ugly sweater from

7 layer Dip #recipe

16 ounce can black beans, drained
1 packet taco seasoning 
16 ounce container sour cream
4 cups cheddar cheese, divided
3 cups guacamole 
1 to 2 cups chunky salsa with excess liquid drained 
3 scallions, chopped
Sliced black olives for garnish, if you wish

With your food processor, pulse together 1 – 16 ounce can of black beans with 1 packet taco seasoning. When the mixture looks like a chunky paste, it’s done. Spread this on the bottom of a glass pie plate or any other large glass container that you have.
Wipe out the bowl of the food processor, then pulse together sour cream with 1 cup cheddar cheese. Spread this layer over the beans.
Sprinkle and additional cup of cheddar cheese over the sour cream layer.
Spread guacamole over the cheese.
Before you spread the salsa, be sure any extra liquid is drained from it. I placed the salsa in a fine mesh strainer to let it drain a bit. Then spread it evenly over the guacamole.
Top with remaining cheese, then sprinkle scallions on top and sliced black olives if you wish.
Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy! 
recipe resource here

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