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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Morning Glories

As I was at the local farmer store I started to take note and day dream of what plants I needed in the yard this year. This led me to thinking about morning glories. Morning glories were first found in China and used for medicine. The seeds of this plant have laxative properties. The Japanese cultivated the plant as an ornamental flower. Many varieties have come to be. Morning glories symbolize summer in Japanese horticulture and art. 

Morning Glory Muffins

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 (15.2 oz) pkg cinnamon streusel muffin mix
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice
3/4 cup grated peeled Granny Smith apple
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup raisins
Vegetable cooking spray
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspon grated lemon rind
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Whisk together first 3 ingredients until blended.
Stir together contents of muffin mix packet and cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Add egg mixture, pineapple, and next 4 ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
Place baking cups in muffin pan. Spray with cooking spray. Spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle evenly with reserved streusel packet.
Bake at 425 degrees for 18 to 23 minutes or until golden. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Stir together powdered sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice until smooth, and drizzle over tops of muffins.

Food Coloring Saves the Day

This is a great kitchen tip for everyone that will be working with eggs this spring or summer. The hard part about boiled eggs and making deviled eggs is peeling the egg shell off. Many like myself will add a bit of salt to the water this will work nicely but another tip that I recently found is to use food color. Food coloring?? Yes that is right if you add a drop of food coloring after quickly rinsing eggs under cold water after they are boiled. The food coloring will help tell the cooked eggs apart from the raw ones in your fridge.

  • 10 hard boiled eggs
  • 4 bottles food coloring
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar
  • water
  • 1/2 cup salad dressing
Peel the shell from the hard boiled eggs. Slice each egg in half. Remove the yolks from the egg halves and place in a bowl. Set the yolks aside. Fill 4 cups 2/3 full with cold water. Add 3 drops of desired food coloring along with 1 teaspoon vinegar to each cup. Place egg whites in the cups and allow to sit in the food coloring until desired color is reached. You can fit 3 egg whites in each of the cups at a time. Remove whites from dye and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Mash the egg yolks with a fork until fine. Mix in the salad dressing. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture into the colored egg whites.

Peanut Butter Cake


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (do not use salted butter)
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Carb Countdown 2% milk *
1 cup Carbquik
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ounce MiniCarb chocolate chips, scant 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Grease and flour a 6-cup bundt pan or 8x8" pan with Carbquik. Cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Mix in the peanut butter and combine until fully incorporated. Mix the Sweetzfree, vanilla and milk; set aside. Mix the baking powder into the Carbquik.

Add the dry ingredients and milk mixture to the butter a little at a time beating after each addition. When the batter is mixed well, spread in the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Cool on a rack before putting on the glaze.

Glaze: In a small bowl combine the chocolate chips, butter, heavy cream and Sweetzfree. Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Stir to completely melt the chocolate. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and stir every once in a while until it's thick enough to pour over the cake without running off too quickly.

Makes 6-9 servings
Can be frozen

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body. This usually occurs in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms at all. Certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots can promote deep vein thrombosis. It can also happen if you don't move for a long time, such as after surgery, following an accident or when you are confined to a hospital or nursing home bed. Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition as blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your longs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism)

German pathologist Rudolf Virchow shared an interplay of three processes resulting in venous thrombosis in 1856. These included decreased blood flow rate, increased tendency to clot and changes to the blood vessel wall. 

Medical conditions that increase risk of DVT include cancer, trauma, and antiphospholipid syndrome. Other risk factors include older age, surgery, bed rest, orthopedic casts and sitting on long flights, come oral contraceptives, pregnancy, postnatal period and genetic factors. 

Diagnosis of Deep vein thrombosis is normally done via ultrasound of the suspected veins. 
There are things you can do to help prevent DVT as well. Walking early and frequently after any period of non movement, calf exercises, anticoagulants, aspirin, graduated compression stockings and intermittent pneumatic compression. Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis usually includes anticoagulation such as heparin or vitamin K. Wearing graduated compression stockings helps reduce the risk of post thrombotic syndrome. The rate of DVTs increase with age. An average of 1 in 1000 adults is affected per year. 

Like always take this information as just that it is researched but your doctor will know much better and like I am always told do not self diagnose yourself. If you feel you need to see your doctor then that is most important and should be done. Be safe, take care of yourself and enjoy life

Longfellow One of the Greatest Writers

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a commanding figure in the cultural life of nineteenth century America. Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine in 1807. During the 1850s he would become a national literary figure. By his death March 24th 1882 he would be world famous Henry was a traveler, a linguist and a romantic. He identified with great traditions of European literature and thought but was also rooted in American life and history. His imagination was charged with untried themes which helped make him a success. 

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Happy Birthday Houdini

Erich Weiss was better known by his stage name of Harry Houdini. Houdini often claimed April 6 as his birthday but in reality his birth was on March 24th in 1874.

Houdini was thought by some to be part of the scientific world as well. A spiritualists could fool scientists by using their senses.

Harry Houdini was born on March 24th 1874 and passed on October 31st 1926. The world recalls Houdini as an American magician and performer. He was famous for his amazing escape stunts. Houdini was born in Budapest as Erik Weisz. His parents brought him to America where he grew up in Wisconsin and New York City. Houdini came up with his name as a tribute to two performers Harry Kellar and Jean Eugene Robert Houdin At the age of nine Houdini performed on a trapeze in New York. He would perform many tricks sucessfully and soon the tricks would begin to include escape acts

The handcuff challenge in London, the milk can escape, the Chinese Water Torture Cell, the overboard box and buried alive stunt were all in the Houdinis line up. Houdini created and starred in several movies and was also awarded a Hollywood star. President Houdini presided over Martinka & company as well as the Society of American Magicians. He was highly respected in the world of illusion. 
Houdini would meet his death in 1926 from appendicitis. His brother who was also a magician continued to work in the world of magic. In memory of the great Houdini a Houdini Magic Hall of Fame in Niagara Falls, Ontario still showcases many pieces that he used. David Copperfield has a private museum in Las Vegas where a few pieces of Houdini and his work can be found as well. 

Chocolate Covered Raisin Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3.4-ounce package vanilla instant pudding mic
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups flour
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips (mini, regular or chunks)
1 cup Raisinets

1. On the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add vanilla pudding mix and beat until combined.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated.
3. Add in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add oatmeal, chocolate chips, and Raisinets, mixing with a wooden spoon.
4. Portion into golf-ball-size dough balls, cover and chill or freeze for several hours or overnight.
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Evenly space frozen dough balls on baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden and middles are no longer shiny or raw-looking. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Help Draw Awareness to Developmental Disabilities

As many of my readers may know I have job in the medical field. I work in a behavioral ward where many that live there have developmental disabilities. What is a developmental disability?? Individuals with a  developmental disability have chronic condition due to a mental or physical impairment. This type of disability often causes individuals living with them problems with daily life. Problem areas may be language, mobility, learning, self-help or independent living skills 

Among the most common developmental disabilities are: 

  • fragile x syndrome that is believed to be the cause behind autism and intellectual disabilities
  • down syndrome that is caused by an individual being born with extra copy of chromosome 21 The extra set of chromosomes affects the development of the body and brain, causing physical and mental challenges
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders or PDD are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASD conditions occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. FASD is 100% preventable.
  • Cerebral palsy affects a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. This is the most common motor disability in childhood
  • Intellectual disability or mental retardation is defined as an IQ below 70 along with limitations in adaptive functioning and onset before the age of 18. 

I adopted and raised a young lady who has MI. MI was formally known as MR. MI is an easier way using the term mental impairment rather than mentally retarded. My daughter has been behind in every step of her development. Since a young child I would see the other children grow and develop and yet my little girl struggled. Now in her mid 20's she still finds it hard to do things on her own. She will never live alone and her sisters and brothers are always there to help their dad and me with her care. She to me is a beautiful young lady who can take on the world and knock out the stars and often does. She is active in church, in groups that her aunt belongs to and works hard to belong and do the things she wants to.

As her mother I work hard to advocate for disability rights. We can all help others understand. By sharing resources and sharing stories from the developmental disability community. As bloggers we can take part in advocating others and spreading the word about developmental disabilities. In 1987 President Reagan requested that the month of March be Developmental Disability Awareness month and that "according to fellow citizens with disabilities both encouragements and opportunities that are needed to lead productive lives to achieve their full potential."

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a time set aside each year to raise community awareness about individuals with developmental disabilities. People with developmental disabilities are an important part of our community and have many gifts and talents to contribute. They are often in more danger in our communities than any danger that they offer us. People with disabilities are four to ten times more likely to be assaulted, robbed or sexually attacked than people who are not disabled. Women with developmental disabilities are 70% more likely to be sexually assaulted.

It is simple to take part in this awareness. Simply take some time and learn what a developmental disability is and how they affect individuals differently. If you are blogger take time and share a post on your blog. Support the efforts of individuals with disabilities who are striving to lead full lives, work at rewarding jobs and participate in all aspects of life.

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Inspiration Monday

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Stir Fry

12 to 15 servings; 2 hours, 30 minutes

3 lbs Chicken thighs, boneless and cut in pieces
3 lbs Stir fry vegetables, frozen
1 jar Stir fry sauce (12 oz)
2 C Rice
4 C Water

Brown chicken
In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown chicken thigh pieces in a little olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook in batches if necessary. Once browned move to crock-pot.

Cook vegetables
Mix vegetables and stir fry sauce with the chicken in crock pot. Cover and cook on high until vegetables are heated through and chicken is fully cooked, 2 hours. Serve over rice, see below.

In a large pot over medium-high heat toast rice in a little olive oil for 2 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit at least 25 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice fork.

Umami Sauce

Make this highly concentrated, savory paste to use with pasta, in sauces, as a condiment, dip, marinade ingredient, basting sauce or as a "secret sauce" ingredient in soups, stews, chilis and gravies.

1 Tablespoon Anchovy Paste
1 Tablespoon Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Asian Fish Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 or four Shitake Mushrooms, chopped finely
1/2 Teaspoon Red Miso Paste (skip this if you don’t have any on hand)
1/2 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
A pinch of crushed red pepper or a little squirt of Sriracha Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor.
Process until well blended and smooth.
Taste and adjust ingredients if desired.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

History 1972:: ERA

On this day forty five years ago in 1972 the Equal Rights Amendment is passed by the U.S. Senate and sent to the states for ratification. The amendment was first brought up by the National Woman's political party in 1923. The group wanted to have legal equality between men and women. It would also prohibit discrimination based only on sex. During the 1960's women would have a revival of their own and the amendment would be introduced into congress. Three great women: Bella Abzug representative from New York , Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. March 1972 would see the approval of the amendment by the U.S. senate and it would then be sent to the states.

The first state to ratify the 27th amendment would be Hawaii. A year later 30 more states would approve the amendment. The mid 1970s would see a halt of the states approval.

The late 20th century would finally see the amendment passed. March 22, 1972 would see it the amendment come to be. The amendment reads :

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

Prevent Your Pet From Being Poisoned

Beetles Released their First Album This Date 1963

The first Beetles Album was released on March 22 1963 It was recorded in a day and stayed for 30 weeks at the top of the charts.

A bit of trivia about the Groups first LP:

George Martin’s initial intent was to record The Beatles live at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for their first album, but technical difficulties prevented this.

The record was initially going to be called Off the Beatle Track, but the success of the Please Please Me single caused the change to be made.

For the album cover shot, it was suggested that The Beatles be pictured in front of the insect house at London Zoo, but permission was not granted. Instead, photographer Angus McBean posed them for the iconic shot at EMI’s offices in Manchester Square, London.

The original vinyl release of Please Please Me is the only Beatles album where the original songs are credited to “McCartney-Lennon”. Afterwards, including on CD releases of the same album, the songs are attributed to “Lennon-McCartney”.

The album cost just £400 to record - £10,000 in today’s money. The Beatles were paid the standard Musicians’ Union rate, £7 10s, for each of the three three-hour sessions in the day.

Please Please Me was not released in America until The Beatles' catalogue was standardised for CD, in 1987. Most of its tracks were released in the US by Vee-Jay on an album called Introducing …The Beatles in January 1964.

In his poem Annus Mirabilis, Philip Larkin would later suggest that “Sexual intercourse began/In nineteen sixty-three/(which was rather late for me) -/Between the end of the Chatterley ban/And the Beatles' first LP.”

Rolling Stone ranked Please Please Me at No.39 in their “500 Greatest Albums” list in 2012, while two of its songs – I Saw Her Standing There and the title track – were included in the same magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” chart.

for your entertainment:

Protect Your Plumbing

I have had to deal with a few different leaks in my life time. If you are a home owner then you most likely know what to do when you find one. The cost of allowing a leak to continue is not something you want to see. So what do you do when you find a Leak??
Firs you will want to know where your home's main water shut off valve is located. This is where you will want to go if you find a leak. Quickly turn off the water to the entire house. 

If not present you may want to install shut off valves at individual appliances and fixtures. This will allow you to cut off water in that area but allow water to continue to keep flowing in other areas. With a little knowledge this is something you may be able to do yourself rather than hiring a plumber. 
A flow sensor is something else you may want. The detect plumbing leaks and automatically shuts off water to the entire house or a specific appliance. This is a rather expensive sensor though. 

Spring is coming and I am sure that many of us will be using outdoor spigots When the weather turns cold again do not forget to remove the hose. This will help prevent frozen water from cracking the pipes and causing plumbing leaks that may lead to a flood. Frost free hose bibs or pumps are available as well. 
In cold parts of your house install pipe insulation to prevent plumbing in garages, basements, and crawl spaces from freezing and hurting pipes. This also allows a shorter wait time for hot water. This is fairly inexpensive to do and can be done without a plumber. 
Keep exposed pipes free from hanging items. Hanging rods or storing clothes on these can loosen joints and fasteners and lead to plumbing leaks. In the same manner do not overload vanities and sink cabinets as doing so can jostle water pipes and drains, loosen connections and cause plumbing leaks. Leaks in these areas if overcrowded may be unable to spot before too late. 
If problems do occur in plumbing in your home it should be fixed quickly and correctly Small leaks can make pipes corrode more quickly and cause significant water damage and/or mold. Keep your eyes on spouts and pipes routinely. 

Easy Coq au vin

  • I recently noticed that there was a great sale on chicken at the grocery store. I know that the meat at this store is always good and so I planned on what to do. How would I take chicken like this and make it delicious for the family??? 

    It was easy to do and coq au vin was a tasty treat for supper that night. Great thing was the slow cooker would be used to make it all come true. Just follow the recipe I shared here

    You will need
      6 Chicken Legs
      6 Boneless chicken Thighs
      8 slices Bacon
      10 Cloves Garlic, chopped (does not have to be really fine)
      1 1/2 to 2 Cups Red Wine
      8 ounces Baby Portabella Mushrooms
      4 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
      6 Shallots, halved
      4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
      1 Teaspoon dried thyme
      1 or 2 Bay Leaves
      Salt and Pepper to taste

      Sprinkle Chicken with salt and pepper
      Cook Bacon in a large Dutch Oven over medium high heat.
      Add chicken to bacon drippings and cook until lightly browned on both sides.

      Crumble Bacon.
      Spray Slow Cooker with Non-Stick Spray
      Add Chicken, Mushrooms, Carrots, Shallots, Bacon Crumbles, Dried Thyme, Salt and Pepper
      Add Wine
      Top with Fresh Thyme Sprigs and Bay Leaves

      Cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken reaches 165 degrees
      Serve with Noodles or Potatoes

2 ingredient Sausage and Peppers Dinner

While my life is always busy the spring and summer seasons are always a bit busier. We are into many sports, love getting in nature, and being outside in good weather is great for the whole family. This recipe is one that I try to keep at the ready. Sausage and pepper dinner only takes 2 ingredients. 

Sausage and Peppers Dinner:
serves a family of 5
2 packages of sausage
1 (14 oz) package of frozen tri-colored peppers and onion blend 

This is so easy!  You ready?
Cut up the sausages into bite-sized rounds. If using the sausage I suggested from Walmart, then you will use up both packages of sausage. If you are using the sausage I suggested from Costco, then you will only buy one pack (since it’s a bulk buy) and you will only use half of the sausage in the package.
Brown the sausage in a large skillet until it is as browned as you like your sausage to be.  Then cut open the package of peppers and onions, and dump it into the skillet.  Cook until the peppers and onions are no longer frozen and just the way you like them and boom!  You are done!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sesame French Bread

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons shortening
3 cups flour, divided
Sesame seeds

Dissolve yeast in water with a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening to resemble coarse crumbs. Make well in center and pour dissolved yeast into it. Draw the dry ingredients into the liquid until all the flour is incorporated. Add up to 1 cup flour to make a stiff dough.

Sprinkle a board with flour, turn out dough onto it, cover and let relax for 10 minutes. Knead well. Place in greased bowl, cover, rise until double. Punch down, and let rise again until double.

Turn out dough onto lightly greased surface. Let rest 10 minutes. Flatten with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Roll up dough tightly, pinching the seam after each turn, to make a long, slender loaf. Pinch final seam firmly to roll to seal.

Sprinkle cookie sheet with cornmeal. Place loaf on sheet and slash 1/2-inch deep with diagonal gashes. Brush with and egg wash (1 egg white, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon salt; beat together). Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let rise, uncovered, until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. Place large pan (metal, not glass) of boiling water in the bottom of the oven; place the bread on a rack above the water. Bake for 10 minutes. Brush again with the egg wash. Reduce the heat to 375-degrees F. and bake until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow then tapped. Remove to a cooling rack.

Notes: The dough can be divided in half for baguettes, or made into crusty rolls, pizza, or English muffins.

Shawnee national Forest

The beauty of the Shawnee national Forest in Southern Illinois spreads out in 280,000 acres. The land is both breathtaking with its beauty and intimidating with its vastness. Each year there are individuals that get lost in the dense natural playground. If you decide to visit this area bring along bottled water, flashlights and other safety items including a plan. 

The Shawnee forest includes the Garden of the Gods and Cave - n - Rock State Park. There are also many secluded areas as well like the rugged Cedar Lake Trail System and its primitive camping sites.. 

I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful area. If you ever want to just get away from it all the Shawnee National Forest is the place to go. 

Ag Day 2017

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) hosted National Agriculture day today March 21st 2017. This year was the 44th anniversary of National Ag Day. Classrooms and communities across the country celebrate Ag Day. This years theme for Ag Day was "Agriculture: Food for Life"

National Ag Day is organized by Agriculture Council of America The ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders n the agricultural, food and fiber community. They are dedicated to the efforts of increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's role in modern society. 

National Ag Day programs encourages every Americans to try to understand how food and fiber products are produced. This is not something that everyone understands but is easy to do for others. I personally grew up with grand-parents that were farmers and my own family had a large garden. I witnessed crops being raised, animals growing to be food, Sheep being grown for their fleece and so many other things. related to ag that I took on as every day others never saw or know about at all.

Without agriculture and all that is done by farmers and others that work our land we would not have all that we have now. The ACA wants everyone to recognize that the world of Agriculture brings with it value. A strong economy has many fronts and the world of Agriculture is part of that. 

There are many faces involved in the world of Agriculture. Not all of them will work to grow crops. There are some that will be involved in the animal world both raising them and caring for them like vets do. There are many more job opportunities as well some related to food and others to the fiber side of it all. 

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 9-11 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

1 strawberry flavored cake mix, dry mix only
8 oz container Cool Whip® Lite
3 egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar*
*Only 3 Tbsp powdered sugar are calculated into the nutrition. You will have much of the 1 cup leftover after covering the dough with sugar!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat together Cool Whip® Lite and egg whites.
Add cake mix and stir together. Dough will be thick and really sticky. Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes.
Place powdered sugar in deep mixing bowl.
Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and using a tablespoon, spoon and drop dough into powdered sugar.
Place covered dough balls directly onto cookie sheet and press gently with thumb to flatten into a cookie shape. Make sure to leave 1/2-1 inch between each cookie on baking sheet, as dough will spread while baking in oven.
Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes. Make sure to watch cookies closely in oven and remove before cookies turn brown.

Per Serving (3 cookies):
Calories: 187

Single Parent Day We Salute All Single Parents

In the many years I have been a parent  have always had a partner. Perhaps there were times that he was not present to help but always there to listen to me and offer advice. Single mothers do it every day, taking care of kids, running the house, fixing the meals and everything else that  may be needed done.

It's a hard job to the only person your children can come to for transport, affection, advice , homework help, and money. Doing the shopping, cooking, cleaning and home maintenance by yourself takes a lot of energy Yet you should not allow your self to be nagging or grumpy as your family needs you. I am not sure how single parents do it as I could not. Wtth out my husband I would be lost

The 2010 census showed that percentage of single father headed households with kids increased 27% in the decade from 2000 to 2010. Percentage of single mother headed households rose as well in that time period

There are lots of reasons why someone may raise their children alone. Whatever the reason s rest assured what they all have in common is the hard work that one must put into to care for their children. I for one would like to salute all single parent led families. The long hours you put into and the hard work you put into raising your kids on your own.

Use Up Those Buns

I love it when I can use up leftovers in ways that others may not ever think of. Hot dog buns are great for this as well. Yes of course use for hot dogs but oh so much more. No need to save for when you cook more hot dogs now you will have more ideas in your arsenal as well.

The first recipe I share is one that I learned when volunteering at bible school. Every year we cook lunch for all the kids, workers and parents that attend. One meal you will find on our menu is hotdogs and yet another is spaghetti. What do they have in common?? They both use up hotdog buns. For one meal how they were meant to be served. Hotdog buns are also used to make Garlic Cheese Bread.

Garlic Cheese Bread

4 hot dog buns
4 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded Mozzarella

Mix together butter, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Tear each hot dog bun in half (longways) so you’re left with 8 individual pieces.
Spread the butter mixture over the tops of each half.
Top evenly with Mozzarella and put in the broiler for about 2-4 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

This next one you may just love a sloppy recipe made more manageable.

Not-So Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
6 hot dog buns

Place ground beef, onion, and bell pepper in a pan and saute until ground beef is no longer pink.  Drain fat.
Mix in garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar.
Allow meat and sauce to simmer for 20 minutes.
Dish up your sloppy joes.  About 1/2 cup of sloppy joe meat per bun.

French Toast Sticks
Ever bought the French Toast Sticks in the freezer section of the grocery store?  Well these homemade French Toast Sticks are so much better than those frozen ones!

4 hot dog buns
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon in a shallow dish.  (I like to use pie plates)
Tear each hot dog bun in half (longways) so you’re left with 8 individual pieces.
Dunk each half in the egg mixture.  Coat both sides.
Place on hot a griddle or frying pan with butter.  Flip as needed.  Serve with maple syrup.

Mini Meatball Sub
No idea what to make for lunch?  How about a meatball sub?  What I like about this recipe is that I almost always have all the ingredients in my house, including one of my favorite freezer staples, frozen meatballs.
1 hot dog bun
4-5 frozen meatballs
1/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1 slice deli-style Provolone cheese
1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
Place meatballs in a microwavable bowl and cook for about 1-2 minutes on high.
Pour sauce into bowl, coat meatballs, and heat for another minute.
Align meatballs in the hot dog bun, add extra sauce if desired.
Sprinkle Parmesan and top with Provolone cheese.
Place on a cookie sheet and into the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Give these recipes a try. Let me know if you have any more uses for hot dog buns

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