Custom Search

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wear Purple For Epilepsy Awareness

Today March 26th is "Purple Day". Purple day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. Today, wear purple and help spread the word about epilepsy Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects its people of all ages. Epilepsy is often routinely referred to as "seizure disorders"
The idea of Purple Day came from a young nine year old girl from Nova Scotia canada. Cassidy Megan was the young girl and she was motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. and wanted to help people talk about the disorder so the myths of the disorder would be proven false and understanding would take place. 
Facts such as 
  • TPurple_Educatehere are approximately 65 million people around the world living with epilepsy
  • Approximately 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime
  • There are approximately 2.2 million Americans living with epilepsy
  • Epilepsy is NOT contagious.
  • Epilepsy is NOT a psychological disorder
  • There is currently no “cure” for epilepsy
  • However, for 10-15 percent of people with epilepsy, the surgical removal of the seizure focus – the part of brain where the person’s seizures start – can eliminate all seizure activity
  • For more than half of people with epilepsy, medication will control seizures
  • Some children will outgrow their epilepsy and some adults may have a spontaneous remission
  • Not everyone can identify specific events or circumstances that affect seizures, but some are able to recognize definite seizure “triggers”
Epilepsy is confusing because the symptoms are not the same from person to person. Some may only have a few seizures in their life and can be controlled by medicine and others have daily seizures and find no relief with medication or treatment. 

Do you part wear purple and help bring awareness to this disorder

Baby Spinach with Fresh Berries, Pecans & Goat Cheese in Raspberry Vinaigrette

This spinach salad is one that our family loves. The first time I ate a salad like this was directly after the tornado in 2012 when a friend brought us dinner as we could not fix supper as power was out and nothing was right Perhaps you all would like to make this elegant salad for your family or group this holiday season. 

Servings: 4

For the Dressing

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots, from one shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1 (6-7 ounce) bag or carton baby spinach (about 6-7 cups)
  • 2 cups (1 pint) stemmed and sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  1. Combine raspberry vinegar, vegetable oil, honey, Dijon mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a small sealable container and shake vigorously to blend (be sure honey doesn't stick to bottom). Alternatively, combine vinegar, honey, mustard, shallots, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified.
  2. In a large bowl, combine baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries and pecans. Add the dressing little by little and toss until greens are well-coated (you may have a bit left over but you'll use most of it). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over top and serve.

Easter Inspired Nougats

National Nougat Day is a day to take a look at that soft and chewy or hard and crunchy candies. The date is March 26th and it happens each and every year. Candy bars often are packed inside with a chewy nougat center. There are three basic kinds of nougat. The first is the most common and it is a white nougat made from beaten egg whites and honey. Italy was the first to create such a goodie with Spain and France quickly following. The second is brown nougat made without egg whites creates a firmer crunchy texture. The third is a German nougat that is quite like praline. 
Nougat is made by whipping egg whites together and adding honey or sugar, roasted nuts and at times candied fruit. Nougat can be enjoyed as a candy on its own or paired with chocolate or other flavors. This sweet treat of nougat is considered delicious. Traditional recipes mix nougat with almonds and honey or citrus. Italians call the sweet treat torrone. Spain has given the treat the name of turron. In the U.S. one of the most popular nougat is called divinity
History has shown that nougat has been enjoyed since ancient Rome. Today with Easter tommorow I thought it might be fun to share an Easter inspired nougat recipe

  • 8 ounces, or about 1-1/3 cup, chopped chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb white candy coating
  • Sliced almonds
  • Pink and brown chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or other small candies
  • 1/4 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips

1. The first step is to prepare the ganache for the truffles that will form the Easter bunny heads. Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, and put the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. When the cream comes to a simmer (small bubbles appear around the sides of the pan) pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit a moment to soften and melt the chocolate, then begin to gently whisk the cream and chocolate together.
This is your "ganache." Mix until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to roll, but not so hard that it cannot be formed into a ball. This should take about 90 minutes.
3. When the ganache is firm enough to scoop and roll, use a teaspoon or candy scoop to form it into balls. Roll the balls between your palms until they are ovular, then place them on a foil- or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. These are your bunny heads. If the ganache starts to stick to your palms, dust them periodically with cocoa powder. If the bunny heads are soft, refrigerate them again briefly until they are firm enough to dip.
4. While the truffles are firming up, cut the miniature marshmallows in half widthwise and set them aside for now.
5. When you are ready to dip your truffles, melt the white candy coating in the microwave until it is smooth and free of lumps. Make sure your decorating accessories (the almonds, marshmallows, and miniature candies) are nearby.
6. Use forks or dipping tools to dip a truffle completely in the white candy coating. Remove it from the coating and tap the fork gently against the side of the bowl so excess coating drips back into the bowl.
7. Set the truffle back on the baking sheet and quickly, while the coating is still wet, add the decorations. Place two marshmallow halves side by side at the bottom of the truffle to represent the bunny cheeks. Add a pink candy right above them to be the nose, and place two brown candies above that for the eyes. Finally, gently press two sliced almonds in the top of the truffle to represent the bunny's ears. If you have questions, you can always refer to the Easter Bunny Truffles photo tutorial page. Repeat until all of the truffles have been dipped and decorated.
8. As a finishing touch, melt the chocolate chips and dip a toothpick in the melted chocolate. Draw thin lines on the miniature marshmallows to represent the bunny's whiskers. Let the truffles sit at room temperature until the candy coating is completely set.
9. Your Easter Bunny Truffles are now finished and ready to enjoy! Their almond ears make them somewhat delicate, so be careful when you package them or store them. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and for best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving. If you make these truffles with another material, like fondant or marzipan, they can be stored at room temperature instead.

recipe source here

shared on several facebook sites as well as
pretty pintastic

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ham and Cheese Stromboli

With the kids out of school for break and the weather rather nice we are always on the look out for easy to eat meals. This stromboli can be sliced and while it does make a great appetizer it is perfect for lunch with the kids as well. Yummy!!!! 

Ham and Cheese Stromboli Slices
Delicious, distinctive Jarlsberg cheese melts beautifully; here it's paired with savory Black Forest ham and a flavorful Dijon dipping sauce. This easy-to-make appetizer will be a hit.

Yield: 8 to 10 slices
  • 10 ounces pizza dough (homemade or storebought)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Thinly sliced Black Forest ham, about 4 ounces
  • Jarlsberg sandwich slices, about 6 ounces
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water
  • Sesame seeds to garnish
  • Cornmeal for sprinkling
Dijon Dipping Sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped capers
    Jarlsberg cheese
  1. On a floured surface, roll pizza dough out to a 10 x 14-inch rectangle.
  2. Stir together mayonnaise and Dijon mustard and brush over dough, leaving a half-inch margin around the edges. 
  3. Layer Black Forest ham slices over dough; follow with Jarlsberg cheese slices. 
  4. Roll up dough, jelly-roll-style, starting at a short end. Brush edge with egg wash and pinch to seal seam but do not seal the ends.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place stromboli in center of baking sheet on top of the cornmeal. Brush top of stromboli with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    stromboli recipe
  6. Let stromboli stand at room temp while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. When oven is hot, bake stromboli at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board. Slice into 1-inch pieces with a serrated knife. Serve with Dijon Dipping Sauce, if desired.
  7. To make dipping sauce: Stir mayonnaise, mustard, and chopped capers together in a small bowl. Chill until ready to serve

Surprise Easter Brownies

Surprise Easter Brownies

  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter (10 tbsps) cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 9 assorted chocolate-covered Easter egg-shaped candies
  • M&Ms for garnish (if you so desire)

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Cover a 9×9 pan in tin foil, leaving edges hanging over in order to easily lift the brownies out of the pan.
  3. Brown the butter in a saucepan.
  4. Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, and 2 teaspoons water.
  5. Let cool for 4-5 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  6. Once mixture is smooth, mix in flour and beat for a few minutes.
  7. Pour half of the brownie mix into the pan and spread it to the edges.
  8. Randomly arrange your Easter egg candies on the first layer of brownie.
  9. Pour the rest of the brownie mix on top of the candies, and spread to the edges to hide the eggs.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or more (mine took 45) until the center is firm (toothpick-poking trick may not work if the eggs inside the brownie are gooey).
  11. Cover in airtight container or with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night (suggested for easier cutting).
  12. Cut into 16 pieces and enjoy!

Kool Aid Dyed Eggs

 Kool-Aid Dyed Eggs:

White eggs, boiled and cooled
Kool-aid packets
1/2 cup of water for each packet of Kool-Aide
Narrow glasses 
First you want to boil your eggs. You've probably boiled eggs before, but I'm going to tell you right now how to boil the perfect egg.
Gently place eggs in a pot and cover with water until there is 2 inches of water above the top of the pile of eggs. Add in two tablespoons of sea salt, cover the pot and bring eggs to a boil. As soon as the pot begins a rapid boil turn off the heat and let the pot sit for ten minutes covered.
At the end of 10 minutes gently drain the pot and cover the eggs with cool/cold water. Let eggs sit for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove eggs from the cool water and let them cool completely to room temperature. At least an hour. (Note: This is only for coloring eggs. If you're using the eggs to cook with once they've had the cool water bath they're ready to go, or you can store them in the fridge for up to a week.)
When you're ready to dye your Easter eggs here's what you do...
Add Kool-Aid Powders to separate glasses (see note above about glasses) and then pour 1/2 cup of water in each glass. Stir to mix.
Using a spoon gently lower eggs down in the glass. Make sure to let the spoon rest under the egg so it won't get stuck in the glass. Let the eggs sit for a few minutes, or as long as you like, until the egg reaches the desired color.
Place eggs in a carton to dry. The eggs with darken in color as they dry.
Repeat the process until all the eggs are dyed.
Store in the fridge after dying. The eggs can still be used for deviledeggs or egg salad if you don't use them to hunt.
Notes: The Kool-Aid has citric acid in it so that is why you don't need to add that or vinegar in to the glasses.

Billie Jean

Michael Jackson a famed American singer who had many popular songs. One of these songs took center stage March 23rd , 1982. The name of the song "Billie Jean" which was part of the album Thriller. The album was composed by Jackson himself and produced with the hep of Quincy Jones. 

The lyrics of the song have been disputed. Whether it was a real life experience or as Jackson stated it was based on groupies and their stories. The bassline played by Louis Johnson and Jackson's vocal hiccups are two features that helps this song stand out. One of the best selling singles of 1983 became a worldwide commercial and critica success. Topping both the US and UK charts while topping charts in Switzerland, top 10 in Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. In 1989 Billie Jean went platinum. Not to be forgotten Rolling Stone magazine placed the song in the 58th spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.

The song has recieved many awards including 2 grammy awards, one American music award, and an induction into the Music Video Producers Hall of Fame. 
.I hope you enjoy the song as much as I have over the years. 

Consider Pet Adoption

Today March 23rd is devoted to cuddly kittens and puppies. The origin of these days are not known but looking at a cuddly little puppy or kitten the only thing to do is to cuddle. Will they fight over the holiday like cats and dogs do?? We hope not. 

Take the time today to pamper your cat or dog. A bit of cuddling and snuggling will do you both good. Maybe today will be a great day for an extra treat or new toy. 

Thinking about adding a fur baby to the family?? Today is the 'purr-fect' day to adopt. The high unemployment normally leads to rough economic conditions and animal shelters increase . Through no fault of their own the poor kitties and doggies are ending up in shelters through no fault of their own. You can adopt one of these adorable babies and save a life. These cats and dogs deserve a forever home. 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leek and Potato Soup

Tasty Tuesdays – Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and potato soup is a classic dish!  The additions in this version of the recipe enhance the depth and flavour, without impeding on the ease of preparation.  I love soup and sandwich in the spring time when we are all busy outside and can come inside for a comforting meal. 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet white onion
  • 3 leeks
  • 5 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt & pepper
  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot.
  • Roughly chop the white onion and leeks (only use the white portion of the leek).
  • Saute both onions in the soup pot for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Chop the unpeeled potatoes into 1 inch cubes and add to the soup pot.
  • Add the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Cover (with lid slightly ajar) and simmer for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Remove from heat and use a hand blender to puree.
  • Stir in the mascarpone, yogurt and milk until combined.
  • Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, and a little salt.
recipe source here

Layered Cherry Cheese Pie In a Glass

Layered Cherry Cheese Pie in a Glass

YIELD: Serves 6
For the Crust:
9 full size Graham Crackers (or one individually wrapped packet inside a box)
2 tablespoons Butter
For the Cheese Pie:
1 package Cream Cheese (8 ounce package)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 ounce can)
½ cup Reconstituted Lemon Juice (bottled lemon juice)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 can Cherry Pie Filling
For the Crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the graham crackers and the butter to a food processor. Grind until the graham crackers are crumbly. Then add the graham cracker crumbs to a cookie sheet, and press them into a thin flat layer.
Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes or until they turn a golden brown (about the time you start to smell them in the oven they’re close to being done). Remove from the oven and let cool while making the cheese pie.
For the Cheese Pie: In a medium size bowl, add the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat ingredients until light and fluffy.
Break up the brown graham cracker crumbs into small pieces. In small glasses (or dessert dishes), add a layer of the graham cracker crumb pieces, then a layer of the cheese mixture, then a layer of the cherry pie filling. Next, repeat each layer.
If you have time, chill for a couple hours before serving. If not, it tastes delicious as is. These can be made ahead of time and they last nicely in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Eagle Brand Cherry Cream Cheese Pie.

You will want to head over here to the place I found this amazing recipe for great step by step directions. 

Strawberry Banana Pudding Dessert

1 cup (approx. 30 vanilla wafers) crumbled into crumbs
1 pkg (3 ounces) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
medium ripe bananas, divided
1 pkg (3 ounces) strawberry Jello (I used sugar-free)
1 cup whipped topping

Spread 1/2 of the vanilla crumbs on the bottom of a greased 8x8 pan.

Cook vanilla pudding as directed on package and spoon over crumbs while still hot.

Slice up one banana over the pudding, and then spread the remaining crumbs over top. Place in the fridge one hour until set.

Mix up jello as directed on package, and let sit in fridge for 30 minutes until partially set.

Pour jello over the crumb layer, and then slice up the remaining banana over top, of the unset jello. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours until set. Spread on a layer of whipped cream. (I used low sugar/fat Cool Whip)

Makes 9 servings.

recipe source here

shared at
Life is Lovely

Holy Monday and Tuesday

Holy Monday
The Cleansing of the Temple: Matthew 21:12-13
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written My house will be called a house of prayer, buy you are making it in a den of robbers"

Holy Tuesday
The Fig Tree: Matthew 21:19-22

Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. He said to it "May you never bear fruit again" The tree immediately withered
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed " How did the fig tree wither so quickly" they inquired.
Jesus replied " Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain Go, throw yourself into the sea and it will be done. If you believe you will receive whatever you as for in prayer

National Goof Off Day

Today is National Goof Off Day. Finally a day to relax and enjoy. While, it is a week day and most of us will have to be at work there are a few tips that can make your day easier even if you are at work. It may even seem like you are doing what you are not to be doing but you may be surprised how much you may get done. 

National Goof Off Day was started by the grandfather of Monica from Davison Michigan. It seems that William Chase created the Chases' Calendar in 1976. He spoke on a radio station and wanted to see what day the listeners would come up with. Since that time it has become an unofficial day but sounds like a great day to me so I am sharing it here. 

If you can get away with it then take the day off and do what you want to do. Head out for a round of golf, game of tennis or anything you want to do. Whatever you choose to do if you can get away with it then head out there and do it. But, if you can not split from work then here are some great ideas to enjoy goof off day while at work or school

It may seem like working hard is the thing to do but the truth may surprise you. Working too hard for too long may make you less productive. Going beyond what is expected may make you look impressive but after a while you may slow down and it may look as if you are accomplishing less. So go a head and work a bit less. It's ok goof off a bit today.

Do you work creatively? If so there is research that says working at home gets more done than working in the office. So simply by staying in the office you may be goofing off and not be aware of it.

For years I have taken a 15 minute power nap at lunch. My lunch period is 30 minutes so 15 minutes to eat and another 15 minutes for a power nap. The nap helps to wake me up and speed me up as well. Taking a nap at work is not something most people think about so it is a form of goofing off. Just watch your time and go ahead and take a nap. After all, some of the most successful people of all time were dedicated nappers.

Plan and go on vacation. Never though of it being able to make you work better?? Well then it may surprise you to learn that a month after a vacation you are more productive to work.

Work with friends you will stop being distracted by what they are doing. The productive you get together may just surprise you.

Act as Young As You Feel

I was blessed with two grandmothers. Both worked hard and were farmers wives. One of my grandmothers worked at life trying to stay young, going to dr's , dieting, active with young people and whatever else she could do to stay young. The other believed that God had it all under control she was as active as the other but in older circles, she did not wear a lot of makeup but always looked nice and do not recall her ever being on a diet. They both were happy and loved me but they just did things differently as one of them was a bit afraid of getting old.

You are as young as you feel. I am sure you have heard this one liner before. It is true in a way and if you do not want to age there are a few ways that you can keep your self from feeling old.

Start with these litte detail:

  • Take care of your skin, do not just say it looks like that because of age. My skin looks tired and dehydrated because of getting old. Old is permanent and the two factors described are temporary that can be cared for by sleep, fluids, and moisture for your skin.
  • Forgetting is something that happens whether you are young or old but if you think to your self that forgetting is a sign of getting old and that is the reason you forget then you may give yourself a complex. So stop thinking old and simply write yourself a list if needed
  • Aches and pains come in all ages. My grand-daughter complains about her knee and feet hurting so if you hurt then don't automatically add it up to being old. Take more care, look after your body and posture and see if that helps any.
  • Accept more ways to get out and be social. I have a friend that says she goes til she comes home "Sleep is overrated" and thus there will always be room for it later. Age does not make us need more sleep there have been studies that show that we may need less. Fun energizes the body and keeping fun and variety in your life will help you keep young
  • Your clothing choices may make you feel old as well. So you may not want to wear the new fashions it does not mean that you have to wear the older fashions either. Wear clothes that flatter your figure rather than your age. Stylish, bright colors and picking up a little on current trends will make you feel better and look better. 
  • You are not an antique little girl or boy you are simply young at heart. Your youthful mild is never old and should be reffered to as such. The retiring age has went up to 67 years and many are making it and working past So don't count yourself short by making old age jokes about your self.
  • Learning and education keeps your mind young. Don't let yourself get set in your ways where you think you can learn no more. That is a good way to make your self feel old. Embrace new things when they come your way, get in there learn how it all works. The brain is an organ that you use or lose  so keep using it

Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day

When I was a kid my mother drove the bus for children who went to special schools I did not care if they had issues they were my friends They cared about me and I thought they were great I did not know then but many of them had down syndrome 

Years later a co-worker of mine gave birth to a beautiful son This young man was born with Down Syndrome, he was a beautiful baby and cried and laughed like any other. He did have more illness but he was wonderful in every way. 

This little baby boy grew into a beautiful young man. Sweet and honest and the apple of his moms eyd