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Friday, February 2, 2018

Black History Month ---- Feb 2

February is Black History Month. We will be striving to bring you as we always do information that you find interesting, often tasty and always backed by truth.

On February 2:
Feb. 2, 1862 - District of Columbia abolishes slavery.

Feb. 2, 1914 - Ernest Just, genetic biologist, wins the Spingarn Medal. He received this same medal on this day in 1915 for his pioneering in cell division and fertilization.

Feb. 2, 1948 - President Truman sent Congress a special message urging the adoption of a Civil Rights program, including the creation of a fair employment practices commission.
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Bubble Gum Flavored Donuts

Many years ago while volunteering in a elementary class for children with learning issues the teacher I worked with read an article about how chewing gum can help thinking skills. It sees that it has now been proven that it does. Keeping the jaw closed and chewing makes that brain focus in and concentration to take place. Not for sure why that is but it does.

Bubble Gum day is the result of the findings of the thinking clearly debate. Many places will use the day as a way to earn money for charity and others will give kids a fun day by allowing them to chew gum in school.

It was in 2006 that bubblegum day was created by Ruth Spiro. The focus she hoped would be on education, philanthropy and bubble gum.

Bubble gum was created in 1928 by Walter Diemer. The gum was pink in color as pink was the only color of dye that he could get. Strawberry is the top flavor choice. Bubble gum has been to be a great stress reducer as well as good for oral health.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Makes about 9 doughnuts.

1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 C sugar
1/4 C milk
1/4 C sour cream
1 egg
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine wet ingredients and mix. Stir in dry ingredients and mix till well combined. Pipe the batter into a doughnut pan. To do this I pour the batter into a large ziploc bag and then snip off a corner and pipe it. Bake for about 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and move to wire cooling rack.


1/4 C milk
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp bubble gum flavoring (in the baking section at the craft store)
pink food coloring

Mix all ingredients. It will be runny. Dip doughnuts into glaze and allow excess frosting to run off.

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Kiwi Fruit Tart

The tiny fruit with a brown furry shell is known as the Kiwi. It is a delicious snack, goes well in many recipes and is very popular in the United States. That's not all, the kiwi offers great news for heart health. 

Kiwi can help lower triglyceride levels and reduce platelet hyperactivity. This all means good news in developing and stabilizing the atherosclerotic vascular plaques. Kiwi also has the power to help limit the tendency of blood clots to form. Kiwi offers both vitamin B, C and E, polyphenois , magnesium, potassium, and copper. All the nutrients help to protect the cardiovascular system. Recent studies show that those who ate a couple of kiwi a day for 28 days helped to reduce the potential for clot formation and saw their triglyceride level drop. 

In addition properties found in kiwi can help decrease risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and atherosclerotic plaques. Kiwis can also help those who struggle with constipation. 

Here is a great recipe you can try kiwi in. Enjoy
Kiwi Tart

1 (9-inch) round of refrigerated pie dough (from a 15-oz package), thawed and unrolled or unfolded
6 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 firm-ripe kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced

This is how you make it:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Fit dough into tart pan, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom and side of shell with a fork.
Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until edge is pale golden, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until golden all over, about 5 minutes more. Cool shell in pan on a rack, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese, sugar, milk, zest, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Spread cream cheese filling in cooled shell and top with kiwifruit slices.

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6 more weeks of winter

Folklore tells a story of a groundhog and what happens if he does see his shadow or not. The groundhog will come out of his burrow on a certain day and help decide whether or not spring will come early. Cloudy weather may help the groundhog decide on a early spring as he may not see his shadow. However, if it is sunny he may very well see his shadow and go back into his den and help the groundhog decide that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. 

Groundhog History is thought to start as a German settlers during the 1700s. A traditional holiday that was celebrated was Candlemas day. Candlemas Day was a pagan celebration that occurred as a mid-point between winter solstice and spring equinox. 

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

Another thought involved the Delaware Indians settling Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The groundhog was considered honorable ancestors to the Delaware's. They believed that their ancestors began life as animals in "Mother Earth" and later lived as men.

Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks and belong the same family as squirrels. In the wild groundhogs dine on green plants, dandelions, clover and other grasses. The groundhog Phil enjoys a diet of dog food and ice cream and lives in a climate controlled burrow. 

The Prediction::: 
Phil emerged from his burrow at 7:20 a.m. Upon departure of his burrow he saw his shadow Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Robinson Crusoe Day

Robinson Crusoe is a novel that was authored by Daniel Defoe published on April 25th, 1719. The book represent a sort of autobiography telling the story of Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe was a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical desert island. On the Island located near Trinidad he will meet up with cannibals, captives and mutineers. In the end Robinson Crusoe will be rescued. The book may have been the story of another castaway from Scotland. Alexander Selkirk spent 4 years on Pacific Island. The Island was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966.

The novel is one of the most widely published books in history. The book has inspired many other books and films as well. Television and radio have also used the inspiration on projects.

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History of the First Supreme Court and the case of the Judge Winning Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

The United States Constitution established a supreme court. Congress was allowed to decide how it would be organized. The congress established the first Supreme court in what was called the Judiciary Act of 1789. The act established both the supreme court and a lower federal court system.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 stipulated that one Chief Justice and five Associate Justices would make up a supreme court. John Jay was the first Chief Justice and the other 5 men were Justices James Wilson, William Cushing, John Blair, John Rutledge and James Iredell.

The United States Supreme Court is the final court of appeal as well as the final expositor of the constitution of the United States. Justices are appointed by the president of the United States, those appointed are confirmed by the Senate.

February 1st , 1790 would see the first Supreme Court of the United States meet for the first time. The meeting was held at the Royal Exchange Building on New York City's Broad Street. John Jay of New York presided over the meeting.

I am sure if the first Supreme Court had to decide they would all agree that the following recipe deserves a blue ribbon. Enjoy

For Pie Filling
6 c. peeled, sliced Granny Smith apples
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. freshly ground nutmeg
2 T. butter
For Pie Crust Pastry
2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
2/3 c. plus 2 T. shortening (I use those sticks from Crisco - no mess measuring!)
4 to 5 T. cold water (I use ICE water - and sometimes I only need 3 T. water, especially if it's humid.)
To add a sheen to the top of the pie crust
1T. half and half
1 T. sugar

To make the Pie Crust Pastry
Combine flour and salt; cut in shortening with pastry blender (use two forks if you don't have a pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, you can pulse this in a food processor, but don't overwork it!) Sprinkle cold water (1 T. at a time) evenly over surface; stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape into two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out one of the discs into an 11" circle, between two sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Place in a 9" pie plate; set aside.
To make the Pie Filling
Place the apples in a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the sugars, flour and the spices, mixing well. Spoon over apple mixture, tossing gently. Spoon filling evenly into pastry shell, and dot with butter.
To Finish the Pie
Roll remaining pastry into another 11" circle, and transfer to top of pie. Trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under and flute. Brush top of pastry with a bit of cream or half and half, and then sprinkle lightly with 1 T. sugar. Cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Bake at 450º for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º, and bake an additional 35 minutes.

I've tried many varieties of apples , and combinations of apples together, but for my money, the Granny Smith produces the most delicious pie.

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National Freedom Day

The first day of February is always national Freedom Day. The day celebrates freedom from slavery. February 1st was the day that Abraham Lincoln signed a resolution that later was added to the constitution of the U.S. as the 13th amendment. The date was February 1st, 1865 as the president signed the amendment outlawing slavery in front of a joint house and senate. It would not be ratified by the states until December 18, 1865.

National freedom day was created by Major Richard Robert Wright Sr. Wright had been a former slave and looked upon the day with pride. His neighborhood looked up to Richard Wright as a leader of the community. On June 30, 1948 President Harry Truman would sign the bill proclaiming February 1st as the National Freedom Day in the United States. The president agreed with Major Wright that there should be a day celebrating freedom for all.

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February is Heart Health Month

February is Heart Month and one that I am very aware of. My grandmother, mother and I have all been treated for cardiovascular issues. Heart month wants to draw all those aware as well as unaware to the attention of cardiovascular disease. There are millions of adults affected by heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.

Reducing the risk of heart disease is as easy as making healthy lifestyle choices.

  • if you smoke quit
  • plan and eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • get enough sleep
  • exercise on a regular basis
  • monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Heart disease, the leading cause of death for American men and women, claims a life every 33 seconds. Around 80 million individuals have heart disease in America. The American Heart association is trying to get the word out with the "GO Red" campaign as they celebrate Heart Month. 

In 1963 the president designated February as heart month. It is a time for heart health education and fundraising. 

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Make Fruit Rockets Celebrate explorer 1

US launches their 1st artificial satellite, Explorer 1. The mission followed the first two satellites the previous year; the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1 and 2, beginning the Cold War Space Race between the two nations. The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Fresh fruit
Sharp knife

Before you get started you can get your kids to design their rocket ships. You'll be doing most of the cutting, so this is a great way to get them involved. They'll need to have a point at one end, and a base at the other end. Get them to use colored pencils that match the fruits you have available.

Start by cutting and peeling the fruit. You'll need one piece of fruit in a triangular shape for the tip, and another in a trapezoid with the bottom wider than the top. The other bits of fruit can be rectangular or square.

Try not to make your fruit too thick or too thin. You don't want it too heavy for the skewer, but you don't want it to break off either.

Starting with the base, push the skewer through the different bits of fruit. Kids will be able to do this part, but an adult will be needed for any harder fruits like pineapple so that you don't have any accidents.

Finish up with the tip, and then the rocket ship is ready for flying and eating.

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Brussel Sprouts

Low in calories, high in complex carbs, no cholesterol and nearly no fat. What are we describing?? Well, brussel sprouts of course. They are also great source of vitamins c and k, as well as good source of vitamin A and folate. Brussel sprouts are great source of fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium and thiamin.

Brussel sprouts may also offer some protection from cancer as they contain high amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals The dark green color of brussel sprouts also help add beta carotene and lutein to the eaters diet.

Brussels sprouts grow slow and are a long bearing crop that requires cool weather. The plants should be in ground by early spring or mid to late summer for fall harvest. Those harvested in hot dry weather will be flimsy and bitter.

Sprouts will form first at the bottom of the plant. They will continue to form as they go toward the top. When tiny heads are firm, green and 1-2 inches in diameter the sprouts are ready to harvest .

Sprouts are eaten best fresh. Store unwashed sprouts in plastic bags in the fridge for only a day or two. If you choose not to eat raw they can be prepared a number of different ways. The recipe we share tonight is one for pan frying.

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Maple Garlic Butter

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 pound (450g) brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook brussels sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer until deep golden brown, 4–5 minutes. Season brussels sprouts with coarse salt and pepper and toss. Cook until tender, 3–4 minutes more. Set aside in a large bowl.

Remove the skillet from heat; add maple syrup, minced garlic and butter to pan. Once butter has melted, and the mixture is bubbly and fragrant, add brussels sprouts to skillet and toss to coat. Sprinkle with additional coarse salt and transfer the glazed brussels sprouts to a serving platter. Enjoy!

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Do IT Backwards

There was lots of fun to be had today. January 31st is known as backwards day. On this day you do it all backwards. What is it that you can do backward and have a bit of fun. It is easy to wear your shirt backwards as it is at times done when we don't realize it. Start your supper with dessert or say "goodnight" in the morning. When I was a kid I loved to walk backwards and knew a lady that could run backwards not only easily but faster than she could run the correct way. As many days are , you choose what you will do backwards the list seems limitless.

Backwards day was created in 1961 by a couple of friends Sarah Miller and Megan Scott. While trying to use their imagination to think up new crafts the duo came up with the idea. They created a set of rules for the day and on January 31st 1962 the first Backwards Day took place.

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The Moon Was A Bit Blue

When there is an extra full moon in a subdivision of a year that full moon is known as Blue Moon. That normally means that two or three full moons had all ready occurred.  The moon itself will not be a blue color, but the moon may have a tinge of "blue" coloring. The color change appears because of atmospheric conditions.

A blue moon will appear every few years. The phase "once in a blue moon" comes from the event as it happens but is rare. In a normal year there is one full moon each month. There are a few occasions that the blue moon has appeared and caused quite a fuss:

  • If the blue moon came around Lent, the Catholic clergy would title the moon that seemed to come to early a "betrayer" moon. Thus, the Lenten moon would appear at the proper time. 
  • Each of the 12 full moons during a year had been titled according to season and folklore. The 13th moon that would come unexpected and too early was titled the "blue moon". This was done so the names of the customary seasonal named moons were not changed.

This blue moon is even more special with it being the first full moon of 2018 as well as a lunar eclipse moon. This makes the moon a super blue blood moon. A supermoon such as this has not happened in many years. The supermoon appeared brighter and bigger than usual. The moon is literally closer to the earth than usual.

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Sunday, January 28, 2018


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup milk
1 cup whole milk plain Greek style yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
butter for pan

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat together honey, milk, yogurt and eggs; add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in blueberries
Heat skillet over medium heat. Add just enough butter to coat skillet.
Ladle batter in 1/3 cups onto hot skillet, swirl batter to create circle about 6-inches round. Cook until bubbles begin to appear in the batter. Carefully flip then cook until done, about another 1-2 minutes. Adjust cook time if necessary. Repeat for remainder of batter adding butter to skillet when needed.
Makes about 12 (6-inch) pancakes.

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A Great Reason To Donate Blood

Our society relies and demands help from each other daily. One demand that never runs out is the demand for blood. There is not a day that goes by that more than 41,000 blood donations are needed. Out of all those that are try to donate only 10 % will be able to. The Red Cross encourages donors to resolve to give blood regularly. All blood types are needed with the greatest need being for AB, O, B negative and A negative.

National blood donor month has been in existence since 1970. Every year in January Blood Donor month is observed. Seasonal illnesses, bad weather and other miscellaneous reasons can make it hard to collect enough blood for patient needs. Have you ever donated blood?? Do you know if you can.

To Donate Blood You Must :

  • Be at least 18 years of age. Individuals 16 and 17 years old may donate with a Minor Donor Permission Form signed by a parent or guardian. 
  • Must be of general good health and at least 110 lbs. 
  • Possess valid I.D. card such as a driver's license

If you are unable to donate blood then perhaps you are able to make a financial donation. The Red Cross has needs that need financial backing as well. The financial gift that you can give will help to ensure ongoing blood supply, provide humanitarian support to families in need and help prepare communities by teaching life saving skills.

My reason for sharing this post includes a thank - you for those who donated blood to my daughter. The day, my grand-daughters birth, September 2, 2008. My princess was a gift from God but my baby girl, my daughter had went through a terrible time to get her here.Through 24 hours of labor and then an emergency C-section. took nearly all my daughter had to give. By the end of the day my daughter would have not only her beautiful baby girl but a blood transfusion. My daughter had given blood since her high school years and had never questioned what ever happened to the blood she donated. After delivering a 10 lb baby, it would be blood donations helping her out now. These days you will find 4 out of 6 of my children donating blood whenever possible.

January is National Blood Donor Month. The American Red Cross encourages people to roll up their sleeves to give blood. This will help ensure there is a sufficient blood supply for all that need it.