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Friday, December 2, 2016

Snack Mix Recipe

1 c. Creamy Peanut butter
1/2 c. Butter
1 (12 oz.) pkg. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 (12.3 oz.) box Rice or Corn CHEX-cereal
3 c. sifted Powdered Sugar

Melt together butter, choc. chips, and peanut butter over a medium-low heat. Put cereal in large pan or roasting pan and pour chocolate mixture over it, stirring until well coated. Put powdered sugar in large brown grocery bag or large container with lid. Pour in coated cereal and shake well. Cool in fridge.

Snack Mix

1 1/2 cup Kix cereal
1 cup Cheerios
2 cups small cheese crackers
2 cups thin pretzels
1/2 lb. mixed nuts
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereals, pretzels, crackers, and nuts in a 9x13 pan. Blend melted butter and seasonings. Pour over mixture and stir thoroughly. Bake 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes

Try one of the delicious snack recipes or try them both it is entirely up to you. They come with a warning that they are both very addicting. 

Now, please have a Wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. Always remember the tiny baby whose birth we celebrate... the baby Jesus, the Savior of us All.

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Corn Fritters

December is a perfect time to make up a batch of fritters. In the U.S. fritters are small cakes made with a primary ingredient that is mixed with an egg and milk batter and either pan fried or deep fried. Flour, cornmeal or a mixture of the two are used to bind the batter. Corn fritters are often made with canned corn and are generally deep fried.

I know that for some of you, the corn season has probably been over for a month or two. But for those of you who are lucky and still can find sweet corn in your grocery stores… make these now! Seriously. Growing up in Southeast Asia, I have had a secret adoration toward fritters for as long as I can remember. It seemed to me that everything could be turned into fritters, from fruit to veggies. This recipe is very similar to the type of corn fritters that I grew up eating, except the addition of cheese (which I don’t mind in this recipe). I didn’t have any cilantro on hand (original recipe called for it), so I chopped up the basil leaves and mixed them into the batter (instead of just sprinkling them on top, again like the original recipe called for). They browned up nice and golden, crispy, sweet and delicious. Make sure that you sprinkle some salt at the end, the saltiness added a great flavor contrast with the sweetness from the corn. They were so addictive that we gobbled up two batches in one day. The final caution that I must mention was the popping of the corn kernels during frying, make sure that you wear closed-toed shoes and have a lid or a spatter guard ready to cover your frying pan. I actually wore my safety glasses when frying these :) Nerd right? But oh, they were so good. So worth it.

4 ears of corns, slice the kernels
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp corn starch
1 organic egg, beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp sea salt, and more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/4 cup of canola oil for frying
~10 large basil leaves, torn up

Mix all ingredients together until well combined in a bowl. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan set on a medium to high heat. Using 1/4-cup of measuring cup, spoon the mixture into the frying pan in batches. Fry each fritter on each side for around 2 minutes or until they turn a nice dark brown, do not flip before the patty is browned or it will fall apart.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Drain the fritters on paper towel and keep warm in the oven (on an oven safe plate) while you fry the remainder of the mixture.
Yield: 8 fritters

Cheerios Christmas Tree

6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Green food color
Red cinnamon candies or sliced gumdrops

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Pour the cereal into a 4-quart bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Place the butter and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Stir in the food color until the mixture is evenly colored. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray. For each tree, shape about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into a Christmas tree shape on the cookie sheet. Press the candies into the trees to decorate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store the trees in a loosely covered container.
Source: Betty Crocker

Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I didn't use nuts)
1-1/2 pounds semisweet candy coating, chopped

Directions: In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour, alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Shape into 1-in. balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip balls in coating, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, remelt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 5-1/2 dozen.

recipe source Taste of Home

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

World Aids Day //// Day with(out) Art

Day without Art is a movement that was started on December 1 1989. It is a day to take a stand and morn those lost to AIDS. We have learned a lot about AIDS since that time as we have learned that it can touch everyone, inspire positive actions and watched as individuals came together.

The first Day Without Art shut down museums and the staff that would have worked gave the time as volunteers at AIDS services or sponsoring special exhibitions of work about AIDS. Since the first day the movement has grown and now includes museums, galleries, art centers, AID service organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part. 

This day later changed to Day With(out) Art and highlights the proactive programming of art projects created by artist living with HIV/AIDS 

Reindeer Hot Chocolate Mix

  • 3/4 cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
  • 1/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 clear plastic cone-shaped bag
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • 1 elastic wrap
  • 2 sticky eyes
  • 1 red pompom
Stir together the milk powder, cocoa powder and powdered sugar until you've got an even color.
Pour the mix into a cone-shaped bag and sprinkle on top the chocolate chips then the marshmallows.
Tie the top of the bag with an elastic wrap and tie the pipe cleaner around to make antlers.
Stick the eyes and pompom on to make a reindeer face.

craft resource here

Red Apple Day

Red apple trees will bear fruit after the fourth or fifth year. The trees normally live around 200 years so you can expect to get at least 150 years of good red apples from the same tree.

The old tale of an apple a day keeps the doctor away was found out to have a bit of truth. With health benefits that include helping to reduce the absorption of cholesterol. The pectin in the red apple is great to help fight heart disease. Apples are also high in nutrition. The apple peel contains antioxidants that help reduce damaged cells and fight some diseases. Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free.

There are 7,500 varieties of apples grown world wide. The flavors, shapes, and colors all vary Apples can be eaten cooked, raw, baked, or juiced. Apples can be found fresh somewhere all year long.

Go ahead and enjoy a red apple today

Drink of The Season :::: Eggnog

Homemade Eggnog

this recipe makes enough to have a drink and share a few as well. Choose between making 2 Large drinks or 4 smaller ones. Wondering about the taste?? Think about a drink that has the sweet taste of  a Christmas spiced white hot chocolate mixed with festive ice cream custard. 

2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg yolks and white sugar together until thick and light in colour.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, nutmeg and cinnamon and stir.
Bring to a boil over a high heat and when the mixture begins to bubble, pour the liquid into the bowl with the yolk-sugar mixture, stirring the contents of the bowl all the time to the yolks don't turn into scrambled eggs.
Pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan and leave to simmer over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, to give the flavours time to infuse.
Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and serve.

original source here

Pie for the Day Cranberry Cream Pie Recipe

This picture helped me recall the days as a teen working the community socials. I would work with my older sister but would talk double the amount of time. I really loved helping out. One of my all time favorite things to do was to work the pie tables. Sitting pies out on the table was one of the duties of the job. The other was smiling, greeting and helping the individuals that came by.

This holiday season why not try a cranberry cream pie. It would be a welcome guest to any holiday table.

9-inch unbaked pie crust
About 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 tablespoon flour
Dash of salt
3 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coarsely chop cranberries, in a food processor or by hand. Spread cranberries evenly in unbaked pie crust.
Mix sugar, flour, and salt in a small bowl. Beat eggs and add to flour mixture. Mix well and pour over the cranberries in the pie crust.
Bake at 350 about 45-50 minutes until set. Cool before serving.

—3 cups of cranberries is about one 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries.
—To chop cranberries in a food processor, just pulse it a few times.

Tomato Soup Cake

Tomato soup cake

1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
2 eggs
1 cup chopped candied fruit, or raisins, or prepared mincemeat
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan. In large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Add shortening and 1/2 can soup. Beat until smooth. Add remaining soup and eggs. Beat again until smooth. Fold in fruit and nuts. Pour into pan. Bake about 1-1/4 hours. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove.
Soften 3-ounce pkg cream cheese with 1 tablespoon milk; gradually blend in 2-1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

recipe source campbells

Christmas Fudge

An extra half block (100g/4 oz) or so of chocolate to melt on top
A spoonful of liqueur (if you like) Creme De Fromboise (or any raspberry flavoured liqueur), kirsch, even a little of something orange flavoured would be nice too – like Cointreau.
Icing Sugar to decorate.
200g (7 oz) Dark Chocolate, Broken (I like the Nestle Plaistowe 70% Cooking Chocolate)
110g (4 1/2 oz) Unsalted Butter, Cubed
A good handful or so of fresh or frozen raspberries (best is thawed first)

You will also need: A small baking pan (or a tupperwear container) – I used a 15cm x 15 cm (6″x6″) one here, grease proof (baking) paper, a small saucepan, a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl,
Measure out ingredients. Line baking pan with grease-proof (baking) paper.
Bring about 1 1/2 cups of water (1″ depth of water or so) to boil in the saucepan and let it simmer at a low temperature.
Place the broken chocolate in a bowl over the saucepan. I like to prop the bowl up on a spoon (like pictured) so steam can escape easily from the side. (You could melt this is the microwave too of course).
Stir chocolate with a wooden spoon until it has melted.
Add the butter and keep stirring until that has melted too.
Take the bowl off the heat (use oven mits as bowl can get hot!) and stir in raspberries. It’s nice if some remain whole while some break apart so you get a mix of both. Add some liqueur at this stage too it you like.
Pour mixture into baking pan. Cover, and let it set for a few hours or overnight.
Once it’s set it’s ready! If you like though you can melt some extra chocolate to pour on top. Let it set again and cut with a sharp knife. 
Serve with a dust of icing sugar and good Christmas cheer. This fudge does melt in warmer temperatures so make sure to store in fridge.

Butternut Squash Pudding

Butternut Squash also sometimes referred to as butternut pumpkin or butterscotch squash depending on location. This type of winter squash grows on a vine and has a sweet nutty taste that is similar to that of a pumpkin. The tan yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. As the fruit ripens the flesh will become more and more orange and the taste sweeter and richer. This type of squash is great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, vitamin A and E.

Butternut squash is a fruit but can be cooked as you would a vegetable. Via process of roasting, toasting, puree for soups or mashed and used in casseroles, breads and muffins.

The recipe that we will make today is for butternut squash pudding. My grandmothers loved the delicious recipe and made it around the many reunions and holidays. In the days of my childhood I can remember no large delis like they have today and instead the family bakers and cooks took pride in showing off their latest dish.

3 T butter
3 T flour
1 shallot, very finely chopped
2 clove of garlic, roasted and smushed (see below)
pinch of thyme
pinch of sage
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, well chopped
1/2 cup goat’s cheese, crumbled.
3 eggs – separated
pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup roasted butternut squash purée. (Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Place it face down on a tray, with a few garlic cloves set in the spaces where the seeds were. Roast at 450 for 40 minutes or more, until the outside is starting to brown and it collapses when you press on it with a knife. Let it cool, and then peel the skins off. Put it into a processor with the garlic and whirl it up. This recipe uses a cup, but you can use the rest in soup, or in Butternut-beer-pies, which I’ll tell you about in a little while…)
salt and plenty of pepper.
Warm the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it’s bubbling and just starting to brown, add the flour, and whisk well. Cook it through for a few minutes.
Add the shallot and herbs, and continue cooking till everything looks dry and like it’s starting to brown.
Pour in the milk. Whisk well, and stir for a few minutes till it’s thick and smooth. Take it off the heat and very carefully whisk in the egg yolks. You don’t want them to cook and curdle. I’m a coward about cooking egg yolks in this type of dish, so I returned it to the hot burner, but left the burner off, and cooked it a few minutes more. When it’s nice and thick and cooked through, take it off the heat and scrape it into a large bowl. Stir in the squash, the goat cheese and the tarragon. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth. Add salt and pepper.
Whisk the egg whites till they’re quite stiff but not dry. If you have cream of tartar, whisk in a pinch of that, it will speed the process.
Very very carefully, fold the egg whites into the squash mixture.
Pour into a casserole dish or wide flat bowl that’s been greased and floured.
Bake at 400 degrees (preheated) for about 1/2 an hour, till it’s puffed and brown and crispy on top.

Celebrate Human Rights

December 1st of each year shows respects to human rights every where. First you must understand what human rights we are talking about. They are simply basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language or other status. Human rights include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all people.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes:

1. We are all free and equal. We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.
2. Don’t discriminate. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.
3. The right to life. We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.
4. No slavery – past and present. Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone our slave.
5. No Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
6. We all have the same right to use the law. I am a person just like you!
7. We are all protected by the law. The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
8. Fair treatment by fair courts. We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.
9. No unfair detainment. Nobody has the right to put us in prison without a good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from our country.
10. The right to trial. If we are put on trial this should be in public. The people who try us should not let anyone tell them what to do.
11. Innocent until proven guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.
12. The right to privacy. Nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters or bother us or our family without a good reason.
13. Freedom to move. We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.
14. The right to asylum. If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.
15. The right to a nationality. We all have the right to belong to a country.
16. Marriage and family. Every grown-up has the right to marry and have a family if they want to. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated.
17. Your own things. Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.
18. Freedom of thought. We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.
19. Free to say what you want. We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.
20. Meet where you like. We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.
21. The right to democracy. We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.
22. The right to social security. We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and child care, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.
23. Workers’ rights. Every grown-up has the right to do a job, to a fair wage for their work, and to join a trade union.
24. The right to play. We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.
25. A bed and some food. We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children, people who are old, unemployed or disabled, and all people have the right to be cared for.
26. The right to education. Education is a right. Primary school should be free. We should learn about the United Nations and how to get on with others. Our parents can choose what we learn.
27. Culture and copyright. Copyright is a special law that protects one’s own artistic creations and writings; others cannot make copies without permission. We all have the right to our own way of life and to enjoy the good things that “art,” science and learning bring.
28. A free and fair world. There must be proper order so we can all enjoy rights and freedoms in our own country and all over the world.
29. Our responsibilities. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.
30. Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us.

doughnut snowmen

Doughnut Snowmen
powdered sugar doughnuts
powdered sugar doughnut holes
decorator gel both white and black
orange gum drops
thin mints
reeses peanut butter cup

Set a doughtnut hole atop a mini powdered doughnut. Use black decorator gel to add eyes, mouth, and buttons Use toothpick to poke a hole for the nose Roll small piece of gum drop to make nose and insert into hole. Use white gel to glue mint and peanut butter cup in place. Use toothpick to secure

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Do you Know METH

November 30th has been declared National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. As a part of the nationwide effort to further educate the American public about the effects of meth abuse on families and communities. Increasing awareness and decrease demand of the highly addictive drug. Our family was hit by the effects of Meth in the past couple of years. I learned much about meth that I had no idea of. Perhaps educating individuals of what to look for the effect and the number of families affected would not happen. 

Science has shown that even using crystal meth just once will make a person feel hooked. A survey conducted showed that one out of every 6 young adults has used illicit drugs in the last month. During meth awareness  prevention messages to potential meth users as well as to educate current users about programs that are available to them. 

There are many street names that Meth goes by: 
meth and crystal meth

There are no certain types of Meth user. It affects all races, economic status and genders. 

Meth is either white or yellow chrystalline powder. Sometimes it can be found in the form of a large hard rock. Meth has no odor and has a bitter taste or no taste at all. 

Methamphetamine is taken in a variety of ways. It can be eaten, smoked, snorted, or taken through an injection. The effect the user gets depends on how it is used. Smoking or injecting will offer strong sensations resembling a "rush". It does not last more than a few minutes. Snorthing or swallowing meth will offer a feeling of temporary euphoria. Users after will be more talkative and confident, at times though the user may become paranoid, aggresive and agitated. 

After taking just a small amount of meth may produce short term side effects:
  • nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • increased respiration
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • tremors and convulsions
  • anxiety and paranoia
  • stroke
  • death

The long-term effects of meth are even more serious than the short-term ones and include: 
  • amphetamine psychosis
  • extreme paranoia and hallucinations
  • sensations of insects crawling under the skin and obsessive scratching
  • violent behavior
  • strokes
  • irregular heartbeat and heart attack
  • seizures
  • death
Meth users often find their selves unable to stop the reason is that Meth is highly addictive. The needed amount will grow as well the longer the user uses. Some users will deprive their selves of food and sleep in order to taking the drug. If a user does stop they enter withdrawel with symptoms of stomach cramps, intense hunger, headaches, shortness of breath, exhaustion, and severe depression, 

Now that you are armed with information that I did not know when we faced Meth in our family I pray that you will be able to help someone needing help. 

White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Mousse with Peppermint Snow

Take white chocolate, refreshing peppermint, cream cheese an whipped cream and combine them into a rich, light textured dessert for the holidays. Oh my how pretty this mixture looks piped into two ounce ramekins. Big on taste, easy on the eye and oh my how satisfying. This little bite with big taste is perfect to enjoy and celebrate the holidays with. 
I love to use top quality ingredients with lots of flavor. Whether it be flavored extract or crushed peppermint candies using the best with flavor is delicious. 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces good quality white chocolate, like Valhrona
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, well chilled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoons agave syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces lite cream cheese
  • Peppermint Snow, from Williams-Sonoma (or good quality peppermint candies, crushed fine)
  • Red sugar sprinkles, optional (for more color)

Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water to set up a double boiler. Place butter and white chocolate in a stainless steel or glass bowl that will fit partially inside the pan. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. When the water comes to a strong simmer, place the bowl on top and turn the heat down to low. You want to slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. It will take just a few minutes. When it’s melted together, stir and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.
In a separate bowl or container whip the cream to stiff peaks. Add the peppermint extract, agave syrup and salt.
In the bowl with the cooled white chocolate, add the cream cheese and whip until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream by hand. Cover and chill for a few hours to stiffen up before serving if you are piping. Otherwise it can be served soft. Small 2 ounce ramekins work well. At serving, sprinkle with the peppermint snow. Red sugar crystals are optional for more color.

Introducing The Scrape Around

Illinois winters can be harsh. Working early mornings is rough at times as well. When you have to go out and scrape your windows on a cold working day is not good either. When, I found an alternative to scraping the car windows I though someone had made a superior useful invention.

The Scrape A Round helps your family stay safe by scraping the cars windows cleaner. This great gift idea only takes a portion of the time that it did in the past. Watch this you-tube video to see exactly what The Scrape Around is

Our family argues over whose turn it is to heat up the car and scrape the windows and none of us really like the task. If you are like us and tired of scraping your windows the old fashioned way then you have join the followers of the Scrape A Round. The tool is based on ice scraping engineering that has many positive aspects including:

made of a softer plastic that can bend around the windows curves. Want to see more?? Visit the Scrape A Round website 

The Scrape Around has a 18" surface that will scrape the ice 
The Scrape Around is for everyone even those with arthritic hands or carpal syndrome sufferers. With a comfortable grasp the Scrape Around is easier to use.
The pressure you offer is the pressure that will go straight to the window making it easier to scrape
Instead of a vertical or horizontal direction The Scrape Around travels in a circular rotational motion. 
No need to stop and repeat action as The Scrape Around has a leading edge and trailing edge that can scrape the windows frost and ice in half the time
The Scrape Around doubles as funnel by removing the cap.

Makes a great Holiday gift for anyone that drives. Think about saving your loved ones from the process of scraping windows in the cold winter days. Best yet if you are interested through a special offer shared with just the readers of Annies Home you can get free shipping from the website using the code LU8FBEZREU2 when checking out.