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Saturday, February 24, 2018

How To Make Homemade Tortilla Chips the Easy Way

Making your own tortillas are not as hard as you may think. In fact, they are easier than most. You can bake or fry tortilla chips as well

About 3/4 to 1 cup canola, grapeseed, or corn oil (a high smoke point oil), more or less depending on how many chips you are making
Corn tortillas (get the standard kind, not the super fancy kind), each tortilla will make 6 chips, 12 tortillas will yield 72 chips, a good snack for 2 to 3 people
Kosher salt

Tortilla chips that are dried out a bit first will fry better. You can leave the tortilla out overnight, exposed to air so that they stale just a bit and by the next day they are ready to go. They can also be dried out in the oven or microwave. Place the tortillas in the oven flat out on baking sheets in 350 degree oven 5 minutes or 200 degree oven 10 minutes Microwaving the tortillas in a single layer on paper towel for 20 to 60 seconds will offer same effect. Be careful not to crisp just dry

Cut tortillas in 6 pieces. In skillet pour oil 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Heat oil on medium heat (350 degree) The oil should not smoke. 
Prepare a large plate with paper towel and have extra paper towels ready. In single layer place tortilla triangles into oil. Use tongs or slotted spoon to move tortillas around in oil. They should not touch and all sides should get coated with oil. Fry about 2 minutes or til chips start to change color and are firm

Remove chips using tongs or slotted spoon Place on paper towel lined plate. Season with salt Cover with a second paper towel. 
Placing tortilla triangles in hot oil lowers the oil temp. You may want to increase heat just a bit. As chips color lower heat. Reduce heat to low, oil doesn't overheat between batches of chips. 

This recipe and many other are found at 

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st patrick day puppy chow

St Patrick's day is closely associated with a  pot of gold, the color green and leprechauns Shamrocks were worn as a badge on the lapel, the number 3 was a magical number so the three petals of the shamrock are thought to bring good luck. The shamrock and the three leaves also was used to represent the Trinity of the father, son and holy ghost in Christian faith. 

This fun recipe is a great one to share on St. Patrick's day as many of the customary signs of the holiday are shared. Enjoy!!!

4 1/2 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup green candy-coated chocolate candies
1/4 cup Lucky Charms Marshmallows

Place cereal in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High for one minute and then stir until melted and smooth.
Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal and stir until evenly coated.
Place half of the cereal mixture in a seal-able food storage bag  and add the powdered sugar.
Shake the bag until well coated then spread the cereal out on a baking sheet and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Stir in green food colouring into the other half until you achieve an even bright green colour.  Spread the cereal out onto another baking sheet and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
In serving bowl, mix both cereal mixtures along with the chocolate and marshmallows.
Store the muddy buddies in an airtight container.

 This great recipe and many other awesome post for kids, families and lots of fun can be found here

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Dog Biscuit Recipe

The dog biscuits are super easy to make and you can add lots of goodies to make it any flavor you want. Try a tsp of peanut butter, ground chicken, bacon bits, a hand full of cheese, or a 1/2 tsp of all natural mint extract for fresh breath biscuits.

½ cup warm broth
2 cups whole wheat flour (or substitute) plus a little more for rolling
1 egg
1 tsp bacon fat or peanut butter (optional)
1-2 tbs crumbled bacon or cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper.
Mix all the ingredients together and form a firm dough. Roll out on a floured surface ½ inch thick. Cut into strips or use a bone cookie cutter to form biscuit shapes.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden. Store at room temperature for up to 7 days or in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

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Meat Eating Plants

Have you ever heard of a meat eating plant?? A bit scary?? No, not really. Most plants that eat meat dine on a diet primarily of insects. Others have a diet built of frogs and small mammals. As far as it is known no plants have been I.D'd as being able to dine on humans. Now, that is a relief.

Some plants will simply capture but not digest. The Catchfly flower will catch flies and other small insects with its sticky calyces and let them go but they will not eat or absorb the insect. Most likely the most popular carnivorous plant is the Venus Flytrap. Others may relate to the pitcher plant and bladderworts but not realize that there are hundreds of carnivorous plants in the world. These plants grow in both warm and cold climates and are native in their environments.

Nutrient poor soil is most likely the reason these plants turned carnivorous. An inability to get nutrition from soil like most plants do they adapted with the ability to capture prey such as insects. The prey helped to supplement the lack of nutrients in the soil. Planters and gardeners desiring to plant carnivorous plants will delight in the fact that they can be grown inside or out. Popular as houseplants the fun of these plants will delight the entire family.

Some of the most common Carnivorous plants are:
Catchfly flowers thrive in poor soils and are easy to grow. Native to both Europe and Africa and are perennial plants but most planters will grow them as annuals. Vivid colors of pink, magenta, red and white can be seen on this plant. Blooms will have no floral scent and the stems and leaves of this plant are covered with white hairs

The pitfall flower will trap prey using nectar bribes secreted by peristome and bright flower like patterning. Pitcher plants are covered in a loose coating of waxy flakes which are slippery for insects.

Steel Trap plants is a carnivorous plant that capture prey inside. These plants are active in capturing prey with positive movements. They rely on stickiness, hooks, pitfalls to capture the prey. The prey will insight the plant by making contact with sensory bristles.

Carnivorous plants that use a suction trap mechanism are often aquatic plants. The plant often has a large number of tiny microscopic, balloon like sacs. Plants often grow in water or in water logged soil. As prey approaches one of the sacs it is sucked into the trap and imprisoned. There are hundres of these plants often known as bladderworts. 

Flypaper trap or adhesive trap carnivorous plants capture prey using their leaves. Leaves are covered with tiny hairs tipped with crystal clear drops of glue like substance known as mucilage. As insects land on the plants leave it is glued down. Plants such as sundews and butterworths capture their prey in this manner. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hodge Podge Wednesday

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?

I turn to friends, older family members, and the bible. Depending on what the issue is depends on what source I turn to.

2. What's under your bed?

I would say a few dust bunnies

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

Chili is something that would always be welcome at 1012 w. b. (our home) ,  margaritas are something more aimed toward adults and a great drink to get together with friends. There are many ways to cook a sweet potato 

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?

I often find myself "snowed under" at work, home and with family. I believe I must stay a bit behind all the time but I do catch up

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?

My husband helps keep me on target. My faith keeps me on solid ground and the work I do with those who can not keeps me going. All of this together helps keep me balanced

6. Insert your own random thought here.

No time to debate or argue it simply keeps you behind where you will never reach the goal

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Ultimate Sweet Roll

On February 21st one of the sweetest and definitely stickiest foods is celebrated. Sticky buns were first known as "schnecken" rolls. The shape of the roll resembling a snail as it is rolled into a sweet spiral. Sticky buns arrived in the U.S. during the 19th century. Most likely they arrived about the same time that German settlers brought their baking traditions to the new world in the neighborhood of Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Sticky buns are commonly served for breakfast or dessert Made of a rolled piece of dough that often contains cinnamon The baking pan is first lined with a source of sweetness such as syrup, honey, sugar, nuts and butter. The dough is placed on top and when done the roll is served with the sweetness that was on bottom on top

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed,divided into 2/3 cup and 1/3 cup
1⁄4 cup water
4 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
1 lb frozen white bread dough, thawed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄2 cup chopped pecans
flour, for dusting

In a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup brown sugar with the water and 2 tbsp of butter.
Cook and stir until sugar has melted and the mixture is well blended.
Spread all but about 3 tbsp of this mixture in the bottom of a shallow 9 inch baking dish.
On a lightly floured surface, shape the thawed bread dough into a rectangle.
Roll with a rolling pin until you get a 10x16 rectangle, letting the dough rest a few minutes if it is resistant to rolling.
Spread remaining 2 tbsp of butter over the dough.
Sprinkle on remaining brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, and drizzle with remaining caramel.
Roll dough up jelly-roll style, starting at the long end.
Pinch the seam together tightly.
Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 equal pieces.
Place in pan, cut side up, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 30 minutes, until buns are golden brown.
Let sit for 5 minutes, then invert onto serving platter.
Serve warm.

recipe source here

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Cherry Coke Cake

An introduction on February 19, 1985 made this cake doable. Thank you Cherry Coke

2¼ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
½ tsp pure almond extract
2 large eggs
1 cup Cherry Coca Cola
½ cup buttermilk
1½ cup miniature marshmallows

Chocolate Cherry Coco Cola Frosting:
½ cup butter
¾ cup Cherry Coca Cola
½ cup cocoa
4 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp pure almond extract
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Whipped cream and maraschino cherries for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with baking spray.
Sift together the all purpose flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium size mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pure vanilla and pure almond extract. Cream until light beige in color.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Whisk together the Cherry Coca Cola and buttermilk. Set aside and allow the foam to die down.
Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the dry ingredients. Stop and crape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat just until blended.
After all of the ingredients have been added mix-in the marshmallows by hand.
Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bounce on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center shows moist crumbs.
To make the frosting, place the butter, cherry coke and cocoa in a small saucepan. Place onto the stove and bring to a boil. Cook until the butter has completely melted.
Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, almond extract and toasted pecans. Mix well.
Pour over the warm cake immediately. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting or chill.
Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry, if desired.

To toast the pecans, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely.

Chocolate Mint Day ----- Copy Cat Chocolate Mint Cookies Recipe

Chocolate mint lovers should rejoice as February 19th the date for National Chocolate Mint day is observed today. It started many many centuries ago with the Aztecs and Mayans and their invention of chocolate. The Europeans would capture this resource and take it back to Europe where the dark, bitter flavor would be used in medicine. The dark hot chocolate would be used in hot drinks that would have mint , cinnamon and other spices mixed in to enhance the taste. Time would go by and sugar would be added to the now fashionable chocolate mint duo.

Mass production of candy during the 1800s would help make chocolate mints a favorite of many. The small candies would be served at small candy shops where all had access to them. It was not until the early 1900s that chocolate mints would be advertised until then the news of such a delicious treat was spread by word alone. 

Mint chocolates can now be found in ice cream, brownies , cookies, candies, and whatever you desire that chocolate mint taste to be in. Did you know that chocolate mint cookies were first sold in 1953 and make up 25% of all girl scout sales. 

3/4 cup (172g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 large Eggland's Best egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract1
1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
3/4 cup (63g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 ounces (395g) quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract1
Sifter (here's the one I own and love)
2-inch-- or similar small size-- circle cookie cutter (I own this set, another option here and 2.5-inch option here)
Make the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and salt until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper between) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper. You can chill up to 2 days.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut in circles. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
Bake for 8 minutes-- the cookies will still appear soft. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
Once the cookies are cool, begin the topping: Melt the chopped chocolate and oil together in a double boiler or (carefully!) use the microwave. For the microwave, place the chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Once melted, stir in the peppermint extract. Dip each cooled cookie completely into the chocolate and use a fork to lift out. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place cookie onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set. Once set, enjoy! The cookies are best cold. I love eaten straight from the freezer!
Make ahead tip: Cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator if desired. You can chill the cookie dough for up to 2 days (step 3). You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then allow to come to room temperature for about 1 hour. Then roll and continue with the recipe as directed.

Recipe Notes:
Avoid using mint extract; I find it more resembles the taste of spearmint toothpaste than anything else. Peppermint extract has that wonderful cool mint flavor which pairs wonderfully with chocolate.
I've been getting questions about using this recipe as a slice 'n' bake cookie to avoid rolling out the dough. This is doable, just keep in mind the dough is a little sticky. Roll into two 2-3 inch diameter logs, then chill for at least 1 hour as directed above. Then slice and bake.
recipe source here

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Thursday Favorite Things

Celebrating the Birth of a Singer / SongWriter

Henry Olusegun Adeloa Samuel was born February 19, 1963. He would become professionally known as Seal, a singer and songwriter. Through the many years of entertainment Seal has sold more than 20 million records worldwide. Seal has also appeared as a coach on one of my all time favorite shows The Voice Seal has been honored with awards including the Grammy Award as well as MTV video Music Award.

Born in London England Henry Samuel or Seal celebrated life with a Nigerian mother and a Brazilian father. Seal would be raised by a foster family in Westminster London and attend school going on to earn a diploma in architecture. Seal would sing in local clubs and bars in the 1980s. In 1987 he would join a British funk band by the name of Push. The band toured in Japan. Seal would later tour in Thailand with a blues band before heading off on his own. The first song Seal would make it big with would be Killer in 1990.

Happy Presidents Day

The third Monday of February in the United States of America is known as Washington's Birthday. It is a federal holiday that honors all presidents of the United States including but not limited to George Washington. 

Washington's birthday honors the life and work of George Washington and occurs on February 22. Washington was the first president of the United States. President day honors all past presidents of the USA. 

Another presidents birthday that was in February was President Lincolns. It too is often celebrated. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the start of freedom for America's slaves as well as allowed black soldiers to fight for the union. President Lincoln strongly supported the thirteenth amendment and ended slavery keeping the country together. 

Bit of Background on George Washington would show that he was the first president of the United States of America from 1789 to 1793 and then again 1793 to 1797. Prior to becoming president Washington had been important in the military world. He had been instrumental in leading the American Continental Army to victory over British. 

Washington and Lincoln have been honored in many ways including portraits on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, Washington's and Lincoln's faces have been placed on American cash and coins.  

The District of Columbia was first to honor Washington's birthday in 1880 and by 1885 it was a federal holiday. In 1971 Presidents date was established on the third Monday in February not on February 22, Washington's birthday. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Stealing

Tea and Q & A 

1 What is your middle name and what is a middle name you'd rather have instead? Why?
2. How would you spend $1MM (you have to spend every penny!)
3. Yellow light - speed up or slow down??
4. What was the last movie you saw and what did you like/dislike about it?
5. If a movie was made about you, who would portray you in that movie?
6. What is the strangest thing you've eaten and what did it taste like?
7. What color is your bathroom?
8. If you could vacation anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW, where would it be and why?
9. What is your least favorite thing to cook?
10. What is the dish you make that your family rolls their eyes at?
11. What are three things on your bucket list?
12. How many skeins of yarn do you think you are currently hoarding?
13. Today is my birthday.  What virtual gift are you going to give me?
14. What is your favorite candy?
15. What is your favorite time of the day and why?
16. If you could call in sick for a day, what would you do with the time?
17. How much did your last crafting run cost you?
18. Can you play a musical instrument and if so, which one?
19. What is your least favorite craft that you still do? Why?
20. If you could have any job for just one day, what would it be and what would you do?

My middle name is Kay and proud to have it, the name is my mothers middle name as well so unless they would give me the middle name of "Queen" then I think I have a great one 

Goodness gracious I think I would get my family and friends in on this. The first 10% going to the church after that lots of fun, homes for my entire family and stock up on all

Ask my children they would say depends on where the other cars are. I say slow down or stop they say speed up before the red light shows up

Last movie , old western ones at work and I loved who I watched it with

A strong individual who can do me justice. Not a beautiful star but one that looks like she has endured through a life

Wow hard one must have been a chinese casserole at daughters house and it tasted o.k. in fact it surprised me

my bathroom is blue and white

I want to take my husband to both the mountains and Florida. Simply because we want to go and after being together 30+ years I want to travel with him

I can not dont ask me why but I can not grill

It all depends as we have a large family some love hamburger rice and cheese casserole and others do not, some love spaghetti and others do not you know the list goes on and on like this

My bucket list includes lot of travel and seeing things that are in the world but I want to see them

yarn is something my grand-daughter may have or I use in ways most do not such as tying things together we do not have much if any around the house

A virtual box of chocolate and a teddy bear would be the gift I would give you

I love gumdrops and chocolates 

my favorite time of day on work days is getting off time. While I love my job and those I take care of it is a bit challenge and at the end of the day I am ready to see those I love and go home

So many things that I am behind on that I would simply use the day to catch up

It was for my grand-daughter so I would say a hot $20 

I played the clarinet in band for 8 years 

I do not do as much crafting as I once did I do help my children with many crafts and love that all but the slime making that I can do without

I want to show those in charge how a frugal wife and mother would do things given the chance 

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