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Saturday, May 20, 2017

To Cut Or Not To Cut

According to the Farmers Almanac if you are wanting to cut your hair to slow the growth the next date you will want to get your hair cut will be June 15 and 16. However if you are looking to get a hir cut that will help promote growth then you will want to get your hair cut you will want to get a cut on the 3rd and 4th of June.

Thank You For Your Service

            Thank you to all who have served 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Deviled Food Cake History and Delicious Recipe

I am sure many of you have heard of a deviled food cake. The term deviled is used to describe food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily or stimulating. This term dates back to the 18th century when deviled dishes were popular. This popularity continued through the next couple of centuries. 

Devil's food cake is also known as Red Velvet Cake, Red Devils Cake, Waldorf Astoria Cake and $100 Dollar Cake. The flavor is often mild chocolate. The color is a startling red. A thick white frosting often accompanies the cake. 

Historical Dates of the Devil's Food Cake:
1902 This cake was a favorite dessert. It was at this time that the recipe started appearing in cook books across America

The 1950's was an important historical time for this cake as well. Some believe that the Waldorf Astoria Hotel invented the cake. In fact their is no evidence or records of this, but the restaurant does still like to take credit. 

The 1970's saw a decline in this cake when cancer was linked to red dye used in the cake.

The original recipe was from the Cakeman Raven of Cakeman Raven Confectionery, NYC.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt (use regular salt, not coarse)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
2 large eggs, room temperature 
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) red food coloring (optional)*
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)
Crushed pecans, for garnish
* You can choose to leave the red food coloring out.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly oil and flour 3 (9- x 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
In another large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.  Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans.  Place the full cake pans in the oven, evenly spaced apart.
Bake approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.  
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans.  One at a time, invert each cake onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up.  Let cool completely before frosting.
Once cakes are cooled, frost the cake:
Place one (1) layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a cake stand or platter:
Using a palette knife or spatula, spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake (spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer or frosting).
Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat.
Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
Sprinkle the top with the pecans.
Makes a cake large enough to serve 6 to 8 people (depending on the size of the slices).

Red Velvet CakeCream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted powdered (confectioners') sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated.  Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.  NOTE: Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low.  Add the vanilla extract; raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally).
Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using.  NOTE: May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Makes enough to frost a 3 layer (9-inch) cake.

Patriotic Deviled Eggs

Planning a Memorial Day Party?? Have the menu planned yet?? Here is a great idea..... Red, White and Blue deviled eggs. 

1 dozen hard boiled eggs + 2 eggs (to be chopped and added to yolk mixture)
¼ cup non fat plain yogurt (or desired amount)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I prefer Miracle Whip)
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely minced onion (optional)
salt & pepper
Red and Blue Food Coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar per color

Slice 12 eggs in half lengthwise
Remove yolks to a medium sized bowl with the 2 whole hard boiled eggs.
Use a fork to break up yolk until it's super fine. (you can also use a pastry blender)
Add yogurt, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper to taste
Mix until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Place mixture into piping bag fitted with a 2D tip or put in a small baggie and cut off the corner
To dye the egg white ....Mix 1 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon Americolor food coloring and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
Place egg whites into the colored water and let sit until desired color is achieved (I left mine in for about 2 minutes)
After desired color is reached, remove egg whites and place on paper towel to drain
Pipe the egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves

The white vinegar helps the color stay bright much like when you are dyeing Easter eggs.

Picnic Safety

Memorial Day often sees many picnic goers. I love a good picnic they are so fun. The one thing I do not like is getting sick because the food was not properly taken care of. Picnic food is no different than any other food it must be taken care of safely. Some good ways to ensure you do this is:

A few more things you may want to bring along with you are wet wipes, disposable wash clothes or moist towelettes, paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.  Keep hands clean before and after handling food, not using the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Having 2 sets of utensils for cooking and a separate set for serving is a good idea.

Keeping hot food hot and cold food cold is harder to do when on a picnic. It should be done so that no one gets sick and the good times roll on. Unsafe temperatures of food is leading reason for food borne illness. Coolers should be placed in the shade whenever possible. Food should never be out of cooler or off grill more than 2 hours and if the temperature is above 90 degrees the time cuts to 1 hour.

Hamburger patties, hotdogs,  lunch meat or chicken should be packed in a insulated cooler that is packed with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Raw meat and poultry should be wrapped securely to prevent cross contamination of the prepared foods. The cooler should not be packed until ready to leave the house.

Take out food like fried chicken, barbecue or other meals will offer their own issues. Meals such as these will need to be ate within 2 hours of purchase.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sloppy Joe Loaf

Sloppy Joe Loaf

sloppy joe loaf 1
Easy and tasty.  I like to drain the mixture before topping the loaf.  Nobody likes a soggy sandwich. 

3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 T brown sugar
2 T white vinegar
1 pound loaf Italian bread
1 1/2 cups shredded nacho-and-taco cheese blend
Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until beef crumbles; drain and return to skillet.  Add tomatoes, brown sugar, and vinegar; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes.
Slice bread in half lengthwise; place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 425 for 5 minutes or until toasted.  Spread bread halves with meat mixture, and top with cheese.  Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and loaf is thoroughly heated.  Cut each half into 3 pieces.

Chicken Salad Makes a Delicious Sandwich

I love Chicken Salad and to tell you the truth it is not that hard to make. Try this recipe you may be like me and love it

2 cups leftover chicken
1 celery stalk
8-10 grapes
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

Cut chicken into chunks. Dice celery. Slice grapes in half. Combine all ingedients in medium bowl

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on croissants or toasted sourdough bread.

Calico Beans

bean calico 01-001
This was a picnic special when I was growing up. If we were meeting for a potluck you could bet there would be at least one dish of calico beans. My mother loved to make this dish but did not always include all the ingredients.
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 can pork and beans
15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
15 oz. can lima beans, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T vinegar

Brown bacon, beef, and onion; drain.  Combine all ingredients. Simmer on stove or bake in 350F oven for 40 minutes.

talking about what Works for me Easy fudge recipes

Today I want to talk about Fudge. Here are 2 favorite fudge recipes that we make nearly every year They are easy so whatever is going on they can still be done.

Peanut Butter Fudge
2 c sugar Boil first the first 2 ingredients for one minute. Remove from
1/2 c milk heat. Mix Pour in greased pan Cool Cut
1 t vanilla
3/4 c Peanut butter

Chocolate Fudge
3 c sugar Mix sugar, milnot, butter in pan. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minute
7 oz. mallowcream Remove heat. Add rest Pour in 9x13 pan
1 c milnot
chocolate chips
stick butter

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hodge Podge Wednesday

1. May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm... 
Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

A few years ago we were in business for a bit with my brother. The business we were in is terrible for pack-rats. I can not say when we went into the resale business we were packrats but when we stopped we definitely were. I would have to say family items and my rag doll collection is a couple of things I will not let go of.

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

I should know how to sew since both my daughters do, my mother does and my grandmothers both did. I somehow got left out of that. I should also know how to drive since all my children and many others around me know how to. At least I can say I know how to ask for a ride.

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

I don't crave sugar but I do like my drinks sweet unless it is a diet soda. The sweetner is one that I can do but the others seem bitter to me. Yes, I would say it depend on where we are at a nice sit down fancy place yep getting me a dessert.

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

There is really not a lot that I can think of right now. Recently we remodeled the kitchen and yes, it took a while to get used to it all but I love it now.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.

Boys of fall help me recall sons highschool years, Jack and Diane helps me recall my high school years.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Praising God for a new little baby niece. The other smiling face is that of my 9 year old niece

Croutons:: 3 Whole Grain Varieties

1-3 tablespoons olive oil
half of a 1-lb loaf whole grain bread, cut in 1" cubes; may also use stale, leftover bread (approx. 5 cups of bread cubes total)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons dry taco seasoning, store-bought or homemade (recipe at
1/3 cup basil pesto, store-bought or homemade (recipe at
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To large bowl, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, parsley, and black pepper; stir to combine. Microwave at full power for 20 seconds. Add bread cubes and toss until evenly coated with seasoned oil. Add cheese and toss again.

To large bowl, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and taco seasoning; stir to combine. Microwave at full power for 20 seconds. Add bread cubes and toss until evenly coated with seasoned oil. Add cheese and toss again.

To large bowl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and pesto; stir to combine. Microwave at full power for 20 seconds. Add bread cubes and toss until evenly coated with seasoned oil. Add cheese and toss again.

TO BAKE CROUTONS (All 3 varieties):
Pour seasoned bread cubes onto large baking sheet and spread in single layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until toasted and golden; stir half way through; will get crispier as they cool.

Serve over salad or soup. Store in airtight container for 1-2 days. Freeze after that.
If croutons lose crispness after storing or freezing, return to 325 degree oven for 10 minutes to restore crunchy texture.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION for 1 serving Croutons (approx. nine 1-inch croutons): calories 99; fat 2.4g; carbs 16.5g; fiber 2g; protein 4g; Weight Watchers SmartPoints = 3 points\\

recipe source here

Inside Out Chocolate Strawberries

Inside-out Chocolate Strawberries

Heaping 1/2c cocoa/cacao powder
1/4c coconut oil (warmed up)
Stevia to taste (or sweetener of your choice)
Strawberries, hulled

Mix cocoa, coconut oil and sweetener together, spoon into hollowed-out strawberries. Refrigerate before eating.

The chocolate started to harden up pretty quickly, but I popped them in the fridge for a little while just to make sure. After about 20 minutes, it was time to try my creation. 

Success! Yummy yummy yummy success.

Grilling Time: Philly Chicken Sandwiches

chicken philly 3
What does colorful bell peppers, onions and marinated chicken have in common?? They are all ingredients in Chicken Philly Sandwiches 
chicken philly 1

It all goes nicely on the grill, and smells wonderfully cooking as well. 

chicken philly 4
When all is grilled its time to slice it all up. This is up to you how thin or thick you prefer. 
chicken philly 5
Mix the peppers, onions, and grilled chicken together.
chicken philly 6
Stuff into buns with whatever toppings you desire and you have some yummy chicken philly steak sandwiches
chicken philly 8
Here’s the finished Chicken Philly topped with Mozzerella Cheese…
chicken philly 7
If you choose you can marinate the chicken with your choice of steak sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper and any other spice you prefer. Peppers and onions will take their own sweet time as they do so just relax and wait for a bit. Good idea is to cut them a bit bigger to ensure that they do not burn or fall into the coals. This should be done before the chicken is grilled. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ground Beef Potato Skillet

About as basic as they come.  I almost hate to admit I had to find a recipe for this.  Be sure to cook the beef in the same skillet with the potatoes as it does improve the overall flavor of the dish.

2 T butter
2-3 medium russet potatoes, diced
1/4 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1/2 tsp or more salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Add diced potatoes and cook for twenty minutes or more, stirring once or twice, until potatoes are cooked through and golden brown.
Add ground beef, onion, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until juices run clear; drain off excess fat.  Serve hot.

Grilled Meatloaf

2 lbs. hamburger
3/4 cup oatmeal
2 T minced onion
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing‚ (separated 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
1 T Dijon mustard

In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, onion, parsley, Worcestershire, eggs and 3/4 cup Dorothy Lynch.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well with hands.  Shape into two loaves on a sheet of heavy-duty foil (do not seal foil).  Combine reserved dressing and mustard and spread over loaves.
Prepare grill for indirect heat; grill meat, covered, over indirect medium heat for 50 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160°. Brush tops with additional sauce/dressing if desired. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

As For Me and My Family We Will Praise The Lord

There are many ladies in the bible that I have had the privalage to study about. Mary's and Sarah and don't forget Ruth and so many more but today I want to share about a different lady in the bible. A lady that was not a lady that many found easy to love. Her name was Herodias and while she may not be a lady that many will find their selves wanting to be like she has a story to tell. God wants her to share her story as there is many different sides of life and God wants us to realize that. First, lets look at the scripture:

Mark 6:14-29 
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him." 
Others said, "He is Elijah." And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago." 
But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!" 
For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. 
For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 
So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. 
Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 
When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." 
And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom." 
She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" "The head of John the Baptist," she answered. 
At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 
The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 
So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 
and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 
On hearing of this, John's disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. 

Herodias was a lady who had a heritage of privalage. She was the grand-daughter of Herod the Great. Yes, it is the same Herod that wanted to kill the baby Jesus. So it was not surprising that she was not well liked. Herodias did have a family and wanted to leave a legacy for all to remember. 

Matthew 2:13 
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 

As mothers we leave an impact on our families and children as well. I often tell my children that what they do and say reflects on their parents. This may be true but it is also true that what we do will reflect on our children, grand-children and future generations. The choices that we make today may and often do reflect on our future leaving a lasting effect. The good points and the bad are ones that will help future generations recall who we are and were.

Numbers 14:18
The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation. 

Hate will eat us up inside til we can do nothing else. This is what happened to Herodias with her hatred for John the Baptist. Her decisions were ruled by her hate Murderous thoughts had existed in her family line even registering with her grandfather King Herod. Often times we do not think about what decisions we make, what words come out of our mouths or how we act. This is how Herodias acted she believed she was doing right when she had the request made for John the Baptist head.

Just because Herodias had a murderous grandfather did not mean that she had to follow that path. She could have made her own choices , different choices than the ones provided. I pray that my children will learn from my mistakes. Starting with me owning up to my own mistakes and apologizing to my children when I am wrong. In this manner they learn that they should take responsibility. 

We will all make mistakes, but it is how we handle those mistakes that will make the difference. Herodias acted like an irresponsible parent and a spoiled rotten grand-daughter. She not only was in it for herself but she wanted her daughter to be involved as well. In this way she was ensuring that the next generation has an evil beginning as well. Her daughter Salome was innocent but did her mothers bidding. She did not seem to let her bother her what it was she was requesting for her mother. It was what her mother wanted so the request to her was not any different than asking for anything else.

It is my prayer that I never set an example or encourage my children to follow my mistakes. The actions of Herodias is not something that I would ever follow or ever want to. But to some when we see our children going to school with other children with parents that may have done wrong to you then you may be tempted to warn your child to stay away from them or tell others to. In this day and age with bullying going on I do wonder what the parents generation was like. 

Herodias showed pride in her family and wanted to leave a legacy:

family: two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place

legacy: something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past

When you look at the definitions of these two words you will see that yes there was a strong family following with the same goals and values that were handed down from generation to the next.

Our children often follow our need. It is up to us to showcase our values and goals. My mother always said without goals we have no idea what direction in which we are headed. We need goals that we are currently working on and future goals as well. What is your goal for you and your family what is the legacy that you want to leave behind??

I pray that our family legacy will remain as it is. Knowingly Praising God and helping all that need it. If the message of Jesus needs told may we step up and share. May our children, grand-children and future generations know that our family was full of love for each other as Jesus loved us.

Joshua 24:15
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."