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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Asparagus Egg and Cheese Casserole

10 large eggs
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed, sliced 1/8-inch thin
2 cups grated or shredded cheese (I use Sargento reduced-fat shredded Cheddar, from the supermarket, or any leftover shredded cheese from my freezer.)
2 Tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
2 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Cooking spray (canola or olive oil)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a casserole dish by spraying with cooking spray. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In a small frying pan, heat the oil, and add the onions and asparagus. Sauté until onions are translucent, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool for 2 minutes. Then, mix the onions and asparagus into the eggs along with all of the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes, until the casserole is lightly browned and a bit puffy. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before eating. 
(Can be made up to one day ahead. Cool, cover and refrigerate. To reheat, uncover and place in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.)

Old Maid

As a child of the '70s and early 80s I can recall a time before home video games, VCR's or any real home electronics that so many kids play now days. What we did in these early years was to sit and play board and card games together. I played a lot of games with my sister who was 4 years older than me. Another great player I recall back in the day was my cousin who when he grew up went to work in the large gaming Casino's of Las Vegas. Monopoly was his favorite board game and we spent lots of time playing. 

It was the games in these early years that helped build a never give up win or lose attitude in me. The competitive ability was real because every one wanted to win and the only one you give a chance to win is your younger siblings. With everyone else you are out to win and show every one what you have. You simply suck it up and play with all you have. One of the easiest games we played was that of old maid. No one and I mean no one wanted to be the old maid.

A victorian card game where between 2 and 8 players contested to gamble to see who would be the old maid in the end. History shows this game was once a gambling game where the loser would have to pay for a round of drinks for all players.

A deck of cards specifically for playing the game of old maid is commonly used but a deck of 52 cards may be substituted and played. When using a regular deck of cards remove a card so that there will not be a match or throw in a joker to stand in for the old maid.

Celibacy a decision to go forward or not

There are many terms used that can define the Celibrated life. Whether you consider your self a chaste, virgin, abstinent or asexual you are living the Celibrated life. There are many reasons that people wait and I believe should wait. Those who say they are waiting for marriage, living a life of celibacy or simple choose to say celibrate life. It is a style of life without sex and enjoying life regardless. Sex is not a needed event that must take place in life to be happy.

Young people wanting to abstain from sex will often take a vow of virginity. With the risk of sexually transmitted diseases increasing and birth control not being reliable more and more teens are deciding to go with out sex. Nothing about premarital sex, frequent casual sex, or sexting should be considered "healthy" or "normal".
Today's society and the culture we live in has little to no trust in our young people. Offering a view at honesty, empowerment and great dignity offers a chance for them to be responsible and feel incredible. In the end it is a decision that should be left up to those that regardless of religion, beliefs, parent involvement or anything else to make the decision

Cleaning Your Fish's Home

Just like our homes need cleaning the home our fish lives in does as well. Cleaning the aquarium will also keep your fish happy and healthy. A good cleaning and fresh water once a week will do the job. The skill needed to complete this project are minimal and can be done easily if algae and residue is not allowed to build up 

If you do not remember to clean the fish aquarium it has a way to tell on you. A green tinted murky water in the tank will indicate that an overdue cleaning is needed. The first thing you will want to do is to know about your fish and what they need. Instructions should have been given to you when you purchased your fish. This information will help you know how to clean the aquarium. 

Items you will need to perform the cleaning include:

  Algae scraper or scrubbing pad
•  Plastic razor blade (use plastic on acrylic tanks)
•  Water siphon
•  Bucket
•  Bleach
•  Aquarium glass cleaner
•  Filter media
•  Filter brush
•  Paper towels
•  Old bath towels
You'll find cleaning easiest if you do it in the following order:
1. Inside of glass
2. Decorations
3. Gravel
4. Outside of glass and hood
5. Filter
To start cleaning the tank you first must remove a bit of water. Between 15 to 25 % water depending on how well your fish is and how often you clean your tank must be removed. 

Use the algae pad to clean the sides of the aquarium. Run it along the glass, scrubbing a little as necessary to remove algae that is sticking to the aquarium. A razor blade may be needed to scrape it off the glass. 
note: if you us rubber gloves to complete this job make sure that they have not been treated with chemicals. While it may be tempting to use the sponge or scrubber from the kitchen sink do not so this they may have detergent or cleaning chemical on it. 
A siphon will need to be used to clean the gravel inside the tank. The siphon will help to remove any old food particles or bacteria that can make your fish sick. Soak decorations in a solution of 9 part bleach and 1 part water. Before returning to the tank make sure to rinse the decorations with hot water. 

To finish the job clean the outside of the aquarium with a damp cloth and dry. This will allow you to enjoy watching your fish. 

Clubfoot Awareness

Today here on annies home we are helping to bring awareness to Clubfoot. Clubfoot occurs when an abnormality happens normally at birth. The baby's foot may be twisted out of shape or position when born. The tissues connecting the muscles to the bone or tendon are shorter than usual creating a birth defect known as clubfoot.

Clubfoot can vary in degree from mild to severe. Nearly half children born with clubfoot have it in both feet. Club foot makes walking harder to do if not corrected. Doctors nearly always start treating it directly after birth. Surgery is normally not needed but sometimes follow up surgery may be needed later.

Clubfoot can be I.D'd in a few different ways

  • The top of the foot is usually twisted downward and inward, increasing the arch and turning the heel inward.
  • The foot may be turned so severely that it actually looks as if it's upside down.
  • The calf muscles in the affected leg are usually underdeveloped.
  • The affected foot may be up to 1/2 inch (about 1 centimeter) shorter than the other foot.

.Like many other diseases and health issues their are risk factors for developing. Risk factors for clubfoot include family history, congenital conditions, environment, little or not enough amniotic fluid. Children born with spina bifida or other skeleton issue may also have club foot. Smoking during pregnancy adds risk to developing club foot. 
Children with clubfoot may find issues with walking whether corrected or not. Arthritis may develop later in life as well. 

National egg Day

June 3rd is National egg day. Eggs are a terrific source of protein and vitamin D. Many times eggs are served at breakfast and is one of the top healthiest breakfast foods. Eggs are not just for breakfast though considering that there are more than 100 ways to cook an egg. Some of the most popular include scrambled, fried, poached, hard boiled, sunny side up and over easy.

When Americans think of eggs we often think of the chicken egg. These are not the only type of egg since there are also ducks, geese, and quail to name a few birds that lay eggs that we can dine on. There are also a great variety of ways that eggs can be used

A fellow blogger gathered many egg recipes together you can find that page here

We are sharing a great recipe that requires the use of eggs as a binding and is perfect for grilling season.

Meatloaf burgers

3 lb hamburger
1 1/2 c oats
4 eggs
2 t garlic
1 c salsa

Mix all Pat into patties grill or fry.

Chocolate Macaroons

Makes about 24 macaroons
Ingredients (using cocoa butter)

2 cups of shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup/60 grams of cocoa butter (cocoa butter chips work well)
1/4 cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
4 tablespoons of maple syrup
1/3 cup of blanched almonds, finely ground
about 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt for sprinkling a few grains for each cluster (optional)

Ingredients (using coconut oil)

2 cups of shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup (about 8 ounces) of coconut oil
1/4 cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
4 tablespoons of maple syrup
1/3 cup of blanched almonds, finely ground
about 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt for sprinkling a few grains for each cluster (optional

Ingredients (using semi-sweet chocolate)

2 cups of shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup (about 8 ounces) of semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup of blanched almonds, finely ground
about 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt for sprinkling a few grains for each cluster  (optional)

Spread the shredded coconut across a baking sheet. Bake at 300 °F/10° C for about 8 minutes, or until the coconut is lightly browned.
Cool the shredded coconut and set it aside.
Over simmering water in a saucepan, set a bowl and add the cocoa butter, oil, or chocolate to slowly and completely melt. If you’re using semi-sweet chocolate, skip to step 6.
Turn the heat off and whisk in the cocoa powder.
Next add the maple syrup and whisk until well blended.
Add the shredded coconut and finely ground blanched almonds to the chocolate mixture and blend with a fork or spoon.
Drop a tablespoon or so of the mixture onto a non-stick surface, using a fork or spoon to tidy them up a bit. If you’re using your fingers, lick them at the end.
Optionally, sprinkle a tiny bit of course salt over the macaroons. About 3 or 4 grains of salt for each macaroon is enough.
Place them in the refrigerator to solidify faster. Store in the fridge, or at room temperature.

recipe resource here

They Fought for State Rights Should They be Memorialized

Confederate Memorial Day is a public holiday that has been observed in southern states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas since the end of the American Civil War. This holiday is to honor the 258,000 Confederate States Army, Navy, Marines and militia who died in combat fighting in the battle. 

The Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia in the spring of 1866 decided that a day should be set aside to memorialize the Confederate war dead. Ladies in former Confederate states were invited to join them in the observation. While the civil war today has stigmatic attached to it. I believe that the American men who fought for their belief of state rights should be memorialized. With the removal of so many statues and other items of memory the future may never recall the battle of the U.S. When history is not recalled it is doomed to repeat in one form or another. 

It is heritage that I fear losing. The battle of state rights was more important than the battle over slavery to many that fought in the great war. There are many that will disagree with this post and I am sorry for that. Please leave a comment and leave your thoughts with me

Friday, June 2, 2017

Protect Your Self and Others from The Sun

June brings a time to enjoy the warmer days outside. It is also a time to be aware that the sun can help cause cancer. When you go outside are you sure to protect yourself and your family from the sun?? I ask this question as my 27 year old daughter moans and tends to the sunburn she received from being in the sun today. She asks me why I did not burn she should all ready know the answer. The truth is that when she was younger I applied sunscreen on her small body as I did my own. Now that she is older it seems as if I must remind her of the dangers of the sun. 

The sun is a needed source of heat and yet we must be careful. The sun shares with us several types of UV radiation. One type offers our skin a tan or redness in color but it will not penetrate deeply the other however will not burn the surface of the skin but will penetrate deeper. Both can increase the risk of skin cancer and speed up the aging process. The sun rays can cause melanoma which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. 

To better protect our skins their are products on the market that can help us. What ones do we need to use?? First the SPF or sun protection factor must be determined. The SPF is how long you can stay in the sun without burning with sunscreen versus without. Sun protection fabrics will help protect our skin as well. Zinc oxide is very useful as well. 

Sunscreen should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply at least every 2 to 3 hours. Apply the sunscreen on very generous and make sure to thoroughly cover all skin that is not covered. Be careful between the hours of 10 am to 3 pm as these are the hours the sun is most intense. 

Trail Month

June is a great time to get out and enjoy one of many of our national trails. Any time is a great time to get out there and a great way to exercise as well. While June may be the month that honors our many trails any month that allows you to get out there is a great time to take a hike on a trail of your choice. 
Our family is lucky to enjoy life near the Shawnee national Forest. Look in your area and do a bit of research to see what great trails are located near you. For this post I will be sharing some of the great sites located around our area. 
Tunnel Hill is a great trail that many take the challenge of a bike ride on. The beauty no matter the season located here is breath taking. The trail covers 4 southern Illinois counties and reaches over 50 mils. This trail is concreted and covered with crushed stone covering. This trail previously was a railroad track that was removed many years ago. As I said biking along with hiking are activities that take place here. The trail is wheelchair accessible and also offers cross country skiing when the weather is right. 

The Shawnee trails are quite breath taking. If you find yourself in this neck of the woods be sure to stop for a bit and enjoy a hike through nature We personally love to get out there nearly all year with consideration to a few months. My grand-daughter calls the months of January, February and March long cold winter. This is when the weather is often not right to get out in. 

Where will your trail take you?? 

Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

I have always been a cat lover. I am not a cat collector. There are many cats that need a good home. June is adopt a shelter cat month?? As bloggers and those that share on social media we have the opportunity to help this campaign.

Many shelters may be overloaded with cats. The warm weather often means that kittens will be born as well. Homeless cats and kittens are waiting for a forever home but sometimes the message needs a bit of help.

Facebook and twitter are great places to get started. We can share messages with friends about the need for adopting shelter cats. Be sure to mention that adopting a cat will help save a life. Sharing the message on our blogs, websites and social network sites will help as well.

Other things we can do to help spread the word and fight the good battle to save the lives of shelter cats include:

Local shelters or rescue groups in your area may be in need of volunteers. The care of these animals is only part of it. Other choices for volunteers are sharing pictures and post showing adoptable cats and kitten to help draw attention.

Donations are always needed by shelters and rescue groups. Both large and small donations are accepted in the form of money, cat food, kitty litter, litter boxes, toys, towels, carriers, and other items that may be needed.

"Smores" Style Milk Shake

3 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon whole milk
I large dollop of plain yogurt
5 Jumbo marshmallows
Whipped cream

Toast marshmallows under a broiler, or, if you’re frisky, over a flame until they just start to blacken evenly (the trick is to make sure it’s evenly toasted and dark, but not turned to charcoal).
Put the milk, yogurt, and then ice cream in the blender. Blend carefully, just until you get a “donut”—when you see the shake holding to the sides of the blender with a hollow core.
Add three of the toasted marshmallows to the blender, and whirl it just until they’re all broken up and distributed evenly. Be careful not to over blend it, making it too melty.
Pour shake into a glass, top with a dollop of whipped cream, break the last two marshmallows on top, and serve with an extra-wide straw.
Repeat if necessary. And it will probably be necessary

I recommend getting all of the ingredients ready in the blender and then toasting the marshmallows.  You want your marshmallows gooey and hot when you throw them in the blender so they incorporate nicely.  Marshmallows tend to get sticky and harden upon cooling down.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Strawberry Pie for Dad

Most individuals look forward to a birthday cake my daddy was never in that category. He always preferred a piece of pie rather than cake. With his birthday falling with warm weather but not summer yet it was a great time with both rhubarb and strawberries in season. So many times my mother would make him a rhubarb strawberry pie. So today, have a piece on me.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Barely adapted from Bon Appetit April 1997, via
For crust
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
7 tablespoons (about) ice water (I started with 6 tablespoons, and added a bit more when I rolled out the dough)

For filling 
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Cauliflower Salad

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
 1 medium red pepper, chopped
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1/2 cup mayonnaise
 2 teaspoons honey

In a large salad bowl, combine the cauliflower, bell pepper and onion.
Combine the mayonnaise and sugar.
Spoon over cauliflower mixture and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate before serving.
Eat and enjoy.