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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Brussels Sprouts

Take a quick look at it you may suggest that it is "cute mini cabbage" It is part of the cabbage family but brussel sprouts grow the same way starting from bottom up but they grow when the weather is cold outside when most do not think of gardening

Loaded with good nutritional value it only takes 1/2 cup to receive 81% of daily vitamin C in 28 calories. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A and K, folate, potassium, iron, manganese and more.

The cool season crop can be started from transplants in early spring. Growing season last about 90 days. The heat will leave the sprouts bitter and loose leaved. Good place to find Brussels sprouts are in the frozen food section or farmer markets

Stay tuned as we will feature more about this garden delight and recipes as well

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Eat Your Broccoli

How many times in your childhood did you hear the words:

"Eat Your Broccoli"

Those soggy, limp stalks that laid on your plate before you most likely seemed less than desirable. But the nutritional value of broccoli was something that adult in your life understood. There are many ways to prepare that less than desirable dish from your childhood. From cooking it up in soups and casseroles it can also be cooked up in a stir fry. You can cook up broccoli in some of your favorite dishes of pizza, mac n cheese , salads and pasta as well. 

Broccoli comes from the brassica family. Other members of this family include cabbage and cauliflower. Broccoli is a native plant to the Eastern Mediterranean region possibly originated in Cyprus or Crete and sent to Asia Minor through travel routes. It would become part of the cuisine in France about 200 years before reaching England or colonial America. 

Broccoli's popularity in the United States took place around 1920. It seems that it was immigrants from Sicily that would grow the first commercial broccoli crops in California. Not everyone has enjoyed broccoli. One recent president did not care for it and shared his comments on the subject stating " I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” on the other hand Barack Obama , claims broccoli is his favorite vegetable!

California remains the leading broccoli producing state and supplies 90% and Arizona. Frozen broccoli comes in mainly from Mexico makes up about 1/3 of frozen vegetable imports. It seems Americans enjoy broccoli eating around 8 lbs each year. 

How about you?? Do you enjoy broccoli or do you torture your children by having them eat it but refuse yourself?? 

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Autism Awareness Month

The Autism society is trying to bring awareness to autism, inclusion, and self determination for all. Each person with Autism should be allowed the same opportunity as everyone else. The opportunity to achieve what they can and live a life with as much purpose as it can is all that they are asking for  If you are like me and are willing to accept this then this post is for you. 

There are those in the community that are helping all those with Autism to do their best. For the past 50 years services and programming have been there to help support all individuals living with autism. The next goal is to have the rest of the community to ensure acceptance and include those with Autism in schools and community events. That is the only way to reach true appreciation. Everyone, each one of us, has something to offer with our gifts our communities and can grow and succeed. 

April is Autism Month and there is no better time than now to help promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and bring awareness to more autism diagnosis. This year, just a few months ago, my own grandson was diagnosed with autism. He is still my grandson, he is still my little man and yes, he has autism. Now, we know why he always seemed a bit different and we have chose to live with it helping and supporting him all the way 

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Dandelion, Apple, Hazelnut Sald

This is another dandelion salad I hope you enjoy

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup apple cider
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground Aleppo pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

2 apples of different varieties, such as Granny Smith and Gala
1/4 pound cleaned dandelion greens
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dandelion petals (optional)

Make Vinaigrette: Whisk together apple cider vinegar, apple cider, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Aleppo pepper.  Drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until dressing thickens and emulsifies. Taste and add salt, freshly ground black pepper, or vinegar, as needed.

Prepare Nuts: Preheat oven to 325°F. Toss nuts with 1 Tbsp. olive oil; season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread nuts in single layer in baking pan, and bake until nuts are lightly toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Cool nuts. Break nuts into large pieces by smacking with meat pounder or the bottom of a sturdy coffee mug. (For ease of clean-up, and to avoid chasing nuts around the room, put nuts in baggie before you start smacking them.)

Prepare Salad: Slice apples into paper-thin slices using a mandoline or other vegetable slicer. Put in bowl large enough to hold all ingredients and toss apples with a small amount of dressing (this prevents apples from discoloring). Add dandelion greens and green onions. Toss well with enough dressing to lightly coat greens (there will be leftover dressing). Sprinkle toasted hazelnuts and dandelion petals (if using) over top of salad. Taste and add salt or freshly ground black pepper, as needed. Serve immediately.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Deep Dish Pizza Casserole

1 lb 95% lean ground beef
15 oz can tomato sauce
Oregano to taste
Onion Powder to taste
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Cooking Spray
8 oz mushrooms, sliced or chopped
10 oz can refrigerated pizza crust dough
6 oz shredded reduced fat mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 425
Cook meat (seasoned with oregano, onion powder & crushed red pepper flakes to taste) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are browned a bit as well. Add tomato sauce and cook until heated.
While meat cooks, coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough and press into bottom and halfway up the sides of baking dish. Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the crust. Top with meat mixture.
Bake uncovered in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes. Remove and top with remaining cheese. Put casserole back in the oven for 5 additional minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

9 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

9 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

317 calories, 29 g carbs, 6 g sugars, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 28 g protein, 2 g fiber (from

recipe source : adapted light

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Dandelion Salad

2 cups (2 large handfuls) dandelion leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 red onion, slice
250g kumato baby tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 avocado, sliced

Balsamic Dressing:
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fig balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Wash all produce and prepare ingredients.
Add all the salad ingredients into a bowl.
Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl then add over salad. Dress as you like (you may want more or less dressing) and toss well to coat salad evenly.

Dandelion leaves – kale, spinach, lettuce
Kumato cherry tomatoes – any other tomato variety
Red onion – any onion, leek or chives
Cucumber – Green pepper, celery
Olive oil – avocado oil, flaxseed or hemp seed oil
Fig balsamic – pear, apple, blueberry or carmalised balsamic vinegar or just a plain balsamic or apple cider vinegar

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Thursday Favorite Things

Banana Spring Rolls with Caramel Sauce

Banana Spring Rolls with Caramel Sauce

Package of square won-ton wrappers
Bananas – each banana makes 2 spring rolls
Vegetable oil

Wrap 1/2 of a banana in the spring roll securing with water.  You can see photo directions of how to roll them HERE.  Fill a heavy bottom pot with about 1/2 inch of oil and warm over medium-high heat.  I test the oil by cutting a little piece of won ton wrapper and sticking it in the oil and see if it bubbles and cooks it correctly.  When its warm enough go ahead and put your rolls in, turn them over with tongs after a minute or two until they are cooked on all sides.  Drain on paper towels and then cut in half and serve warm.

Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter

1. Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
3. Do not stir from this point on, but instead swirl the liquid around the pan so that the caramel doesn’t burn.
4. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
5. Be careful here, Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. The mixture will bubble up significantly and is very hot.
6. Stir the mixture with a spatula scraping the sides of the pot and combining all the ingredients, again be careful. Add the butter and stir until combined. As you stir you will see the caramel come to the consistency that you want and look like caramel! Let cool for a few minutes and then drizzle over your dessert

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Dogwood Tree

Legend of the Dogwood
~ Unknown

In Jesus time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
'Twas strong & firm it's branches interwoven
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
"Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so
Slender & twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown
The blossom's center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected this tree shall be
A reminder to all of my agony."

Legend shares that the cross that Jesus was crucified on was made from a dogwood tree. God decreed from that day on that the dogwood tree would from that day forth never grow large enough to be used to make a cross. What a glorious thing that Christ did on that cross. I must say that I am proud to be a christian

The dogwood tree is a popular tree that is small in stature. The flower of the dogwood tree has four petals. The petals make the shape of a cross with the center of the flower resembling the crown of thorns with bright red cluster in the center representing the blood of Christ. 

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Raspberry Coffee Cake

vanilla cake
1 1/3 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
1/3 cup cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons sunflower seed or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
cinnamon crumb topping
3/4 cup Sarah's gluten free flour blend
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons organic non-hydrogenated shortening, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In mixing bowl, stir together coconut milk, vinegar, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish. Top with even coat of fresh raspberries.
To make crumb topping, whisk together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add melted shortening and stir with fork until all ingredients combined. With fingers, crumble topping over raspberries.
Bake coffee cake for 32-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15-20 minutes before serving. Slice and serve.

recipe source here

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Protect Your Children From Falling From Windows

More than 3.5 million children each year are treated in emergency departments across the country for injuries in their homes. This statistic is from Safe Kids Worldwide. Many of those incidents could have been prevented if steps to protect would have been taken. More than 3,000 of those injuries are result of unsafe windows and doors. Falls from windows that were not locked or protected in another manner cause many injuries.

Open or unlocked windows are potential fall risk to children. An average of 8 children age five and under die from falling out of windows not properly protected each year. A few steps you can take to prevent injuries from falling from windows include:

  • move furniture away from windows and balconies. Furniture such as beds, couches and other furniture makes it easier to get higher and closer to a window

  •  Double hung windows should be open from the top. It only takes a few inches for a child to fall from an open window. Window screens will not stop a child from falling out of a window as every year many children fall from open windows with screens. 
  • Window guards with horizontal bars that are no more than 4 inches apart and screw into the sides of a window frame are great help to prevent a child from reaching or climbing through an open window. 

  • If the worst was to happen planting grass and / or shrubbery around your home can help to protect the impact if a child was to fall

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Spring Salad with Berries and Pecans #Recipe

3 cup Romaine Spring Mix
3 cup Spinach
1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries
1/2 cup Fresh Raspberries
1/4 cup Pecan Halves
1/2 cup Chickpeas
1/2 Avocado
4 slice Deli turkey
2 oz Goat Cheese
to taste Blueberry Pecan Balsamic Vinaigrette

Layer Romaine Spring Mix, Spinach, Fresh Raspberries, Pecan Halves, Chickpeas, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Deli turkey in a large bowl or separate plates.
Drizzle the salad with Blueberry Pecan Balsamic Vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy!

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

 pound spinach, stems removed
1 pound strawberries, sliced thickly
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the dressing ingredients and refrigerate. Sugar-coat the pecans by cooking and stirring them in a saucepan with two tablespoons of sugar until the sugar dissolves. Immediately transfer the pecans to a piece of waxed paper and separate them so that they don’t stick together. Toss all of the ingredients together just before serving.

recipe source here

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carrot and raisin salad

2 10oz bags of pre-shredded carrots or 12 medium fresh carrots, finely shredded
1 20oz can crushed pineapple, with juice separated
3/4 C pineapple juice, drained from canned pineapple
1 C raisins or dried currants, plumped in hot water
1 C plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Soak raisins in hot water to plump
Drain juice off of crushed pineapple into a cup. Combine 3/4 C of the drained pineapple juice with the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and sugar in a small bowl.
Drain water off the raisins.
In a large bowl, gently combine drained raisins, crushed pineapple, and shredded carrots.
Pour the yogurt mixture over the top and stir to coat.
Chill for at least an hour.
Stir before serving.

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Pickled Carrots Recipe

1 pound carrots (peeled and cut into 3- to 4-inch spears)
2 to 3 small fresh chile peppers (or dried chile peppers)
1 clove garlic (peeled)
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine (or cider vinegar)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or other non-iodized salt)

Tightly pack the carrots into a clean 1-pint canning jar (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe unless you will be processing in a boiling water bath).
It is easier to lay the carrots in lengthwise if you put the jar on its side and slide the carrot spears in horizontally. Tuck in the chile peppers. garlic, coriander, cumin, and bay leaf as you go.
Bring the vinegar, water, honey, and salt to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the carrots and seasonings in the jar. The carrots should be completely covered by the liquid, but there should be 1/2-inch space between the top of the liquid and the rim of the jar.
Screw on a 2-piece canning jar lid and put the jar of spicy pickled carrots into the refrigerator and start enjoying them after they've had two weeks for the flavors to develop.
To be able to store at room temperature, pack sterilized jars with the ingredients and process the jar(s) in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. You must use a canning jar and canning lid to process in a boiling water bath.

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Carrots love spring weather

Carrots are a crop that is needed steadily through out the year. Carrots can grow all growing season with the cooler ends both spring and fall being the favorite. Most carrots are grown from seed and take between two and four months to mature. Carrots are also resistant to pests and diseases. Frost is tolerated by the carrot plant as well. Perhaps the only challenge to growing carrots is having the correct soil type.

Carrot seeds should be planted 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost. After that you can plant additional sees every 3 weeks or so. The seeds should be planted 3 to 4 inches apart in rows that are at least a foot apart. It takes a while before any sign of growth is occurring, normally 3 or more weeks. Soil should be kept moist, not wet or dry. Full sunlight is desired but a small amount of shade should be tolerated. It takes about 2 months to reach full harvest

Carrots can be stored by twisting off the tops, scrub off the dirt using cold running water, let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags in fridge. Simply putting fresh carrots in fridge will have them limp within hours.

Did you know:
Did you know that you can leave carrots in the ground where they will flower and produce seeds for second year.
Did you know that carrots have many health benefits??
Did you know carrots are as good for our dogs as they are for us.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Spinach is one vegetable available all year round. Spring is most likely the best time to get a fresh and tender supply of spinach. Have you ever tasted spinach, it is one of those things you either love it or you don't. Spinach has a slight bitter to metallic flavor.

Southwest Asia may have been the first place that spinach was cultivated and used. Middle East trade routes would took things through North Africa as well as Europe. An English cookbook from the fourteenth century was found to have a spinach recipe. Proof that it may have been spread via the route.

Spinach is a flowering plant and belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae. Spinach should be bought in large amounts as it has a high water content and will reduce to a small size when cooked. Spinach can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Spinach leaves should be washed in a sink full of lukewarm water. This will help to remove any trace of grit or chemicals. Water should be changed a couple of times, drain or dry in a salad spinner Any thick stems should be cut out.

One way to prepare spinach is to steam the leaves in water. In a large saucepan on medium eat cook leaves 5 to 10 minutes. Spinach can also be sauteed or microwaved. Spinach can be eaten raw in salads as well.

How do you like spinach prepared??

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

3 small chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup milk ( I used 2%)
1 large egg
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups panko bread crumbs
8 ounces deli ham, diced
4 ounces Swiss cheese, cubed
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup (or use my homemade version)
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk and egg. Add cut chicken pieces to milk/egg mixture to coat.
Place panko bread crumbs on a large plate or shallow bowl. Season bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken using a slotted spoon over to bread crumbs. Fully coat chicken pieces in bread crumbs.
Place breaded chicken pieces in bottom of prepared baking dish. Top chicken evenly with ham and Swiss cheese. Whisk together chicken soup and milk. Pour mixture evenly over meat and cheese.
Cover pan with foil. Bake 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice.

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The World IS Coming Up Rainbows

I love rainbows they remind me of God's love and a promise that is shared in the Old Testament of the bible.

Rainbows have been gifted with their own day of the year. Rather, finding a rainbow has been. The special day occurs each year on April 3rd. This rainy day may have been a fine time to find a rainbow, yet with all the storms out there I was not able to. The arrival of spring increases the occurrence of rain and offers a bigger chance to see a rainbow.

The rainbow was a gift from God after the great flood. It was offered as a promise that He would never allow a flood to cover the entire Earth again. Rainbows continue to be one of the most beautiful objects in nature and have symbolized hope, beauty and luck as well as fear for some. It was not to long ago that we celebrated St. Patrick day and we all know what is at the end of the rainbow where Leprechauns are involved. It is their pot of gold.

Another legend has it that if a child is born on a day a rainbow is spotted the child is said to have good luck. Yet, another legend expresses that a rainbow is a bridge between heaven and earth.

Iranian muslims believe that the prominent color of the rainbow has a persona of its own:
Green---- abundance
Red ----- war
Yellow ----- Death.

The science behind a rainbow is very simple. It is a matter of how it is seen and how the light bends through it. When light changes from one object to another it "bends" or changes directions. A beam of light goes from the air into a glass prism and changes direction The light bends and seperates into colors.

The ingredients for a rainbow are (1) sunlight, (2) air, (3) water. The sun must be behind you while it is raining in front of you. The sun rays will travel through the air and the sun will enter the raindrop to act like a prism. The light changes direction and seperates into colors.
A primary rainbow is made up of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet

Every April 3rd each year is find a rainbow day.

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apple carrot treat

8 ounces crushed pineapple
2 tart apples
3 cups carrots
3 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp flaked coconut
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice

Drain the pineapple juice and coat the apples in it.
Now take a bowl and combine the pineapple, carrots, raisins, coconut, and apples.
In a smaller bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and with the carrot mixture. Give it good toss.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate until chilled.

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Friday @ Fire Station

Pony Express

Can you imagine traveling 1,800 miles in 10 days on horseback?? The pony express did just that, traveled from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento California to deliver mail to happy receivers. The pony express only lasted 18 months but made a lasting expression on history. April 1860 to October 1861 would place the Pony Express in the history books and somehow inner twine with the stories of the Old West.

The pony express system worked to deliver mail via a horse and a rider relay teams. The mail would travel some 2,000 miles between St Joseph Missouri and Sacramento California. Through time the pony express system would be portrayed in novels, western films and frontier lore.

There were only two main ways before the pony express that mail was delivered. The first took 25 days and went via stagecoach. The other was to travel in a ship a long a sea voyage that could take up to several months. The pony express advertised a 10 day system. There was an average of 200 relief stations that stretched across Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California. Horses would be changed about every 10 to 15 miles and riders would hand off the cargo they were carrying about every 75 to 100 miles. While legend of the pony express riders have placed them in history the system never turned a profit during its time in history. A war between the United States and Paiute Indians would temporary shutdown service and the pony express company would become a money pit that could never recover.

The Pony Express demanded small wiry men who weighed between 100 to 125 pounds. The pony express riders could be compared to the jockeys of today. The average age of a rider was around 20 but there were much younger riders that were hired as well. 

Pony Express riders made around $100 to $150 monthly salaries. In exchange for the higher rate of pay they were expected to take a loyalty oath.

 “I do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while an employee of Russell, Majors and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God.” 

It seems that while the oath was a must it was not always followed. Liquor could be found at relief stations, 

A special mailbag known as a "mochilla" was used via the Pony Express. The Spanish style knapsack was lighter and allowed the horses to run faster and helped with the switch between riders. The mailbag consisted of leather cover draped over saddle held in place by rider's own weight. Three pockets for mail and one for riders time card was part of the bag that could hold up to 20 lbs of cargo. 

Pony express riders had to deal with extreme weather conditions, harsh terrain and the threat of attacks by bandits and Indians. The stock keepers at the relief station were in just as much danger as the riders. Indians have been known to attack and / or burn several relay stations during the Pyramid Lake War during the summer of 1860. As many as 16 Stock hands compared to about 6 riders were killed in the line of duty during the time of the Pony Express. 

The pony express had bridged the gap between Eastern and Western telegraph lines. On October 24th 1861 the Western Union completed the transcontinental telegraph line at Salt Lake City. The pony express had provided a service that was no longer needed. There was a total of 35,000 pieces of mail that had traveled half a million miles across the Wild American frontier. 

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Monday, April 2, 2018

fruity watercress and chicken salad

8-10 Iceberg lettuce leaves
2 handfuls watercress
1 cup crunchy bean sprouts
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 smoked chicken breast, sliced thinly
¼ cup lemon or lime juice
¼ cup lite olive oil
2 Tbsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups sliced strawberries, or chunks of melon, pawpaw or persimmon, kiwifruit
½ cup crunchy noodles

Arrange lettuce leaves on serving plates.
Place watercress, sprouts, spring onion and chicken on the leaves.
Place lemon juice, oil and sugar in a screw top jar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Pour over salad.
Sprinkle with pepper and serve garnished with strawberries and noodles.

recipe source here

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Watercress Rainbow Salad

When shopping with watercress look for the better type. The better will stay fresh longer. A few tips to keep watercress fresh is:
  • no sign of wilting
  • avoid bruised, torn leaves or crushed stems
  • the color should be bright green with firm stems 
  • older watercress will have leaves that are dark and stems that are limp
  • avoid any slimy watercress

Store the fridge in a food bag, leave the bag open slightly to allow moisture to escape. Watercress should last around 3 days before use. Storing watercress in water will lengthen staying time to 5 days, the stems not the leaves should be submerged. 

  • Slice 2 cooked beetroots and 1 medium yellow pepper into fine matchsticks and combine with 2 grated carrots in a large salad bowl, along with drained green lentils from a 400g tin.
  • Next, whisk together 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp honey. Pour into the vegetable and lentil mixture so that all the ingredients are coated in the dressing.
  • Gently toss 100g watercress through the salad, crumble over 75g feta cheese, followed by 2 tbsp fresh parsley. Arrange the slices of 1 medium avocado on top of the salad.
  • Finally, sprinkle the seeds of 1 pomegranate on top to finish the salad. Serve
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

No Knead Sour Dough Bread

1 cup active starter 250g
1 1/2 cups filtered water 350g
4 cups bread flour 500g
2 teaspoons sea salt dissolved in 1 teaspoon warm water 10g

Combine the starter, water, and flour in a large bowl.
Mixture will be thick -- you'll need to stir with your hands until all of the flour is mixed in.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest one hour.
Lightly grease a heavy dutch oven and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
Add the salt and water mixture to the dough and squish in with your fingers.
Place the dough back in the bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled - about 6 to 12 hours.
Baking the Sourdough.
Gently east the dough out of the bowl - you don't want to break up the air pockets.
Shape it into a round and place it carefully in to the dutch oven.
Put the cover on.
Let it rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.
Make 3 shallow slashed in the dough with a very sharp knife.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the cover and bake until golden brown - about 30 to 40 more minutes. You can double check the temperature by inserting and insta-read thermometer in the center. When it's done the temperature will be about 205F.
Remove the loaf immediately from the dutch oven and let cool completely before slicing.

recipe resource here 

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Bloggers Golden Rules

Many life and church lessons will teach you the golden rule. The top educational sites in fact both family and the school system have many lessons that share the golden rule.

"Do onto others as you would have them do to you"

Other great sayings with this idea in mind include
"you reap what you sow"  or  "what goes around comes around"

Any energy that is released comes back to the owner. As bloggers there are certain things that we should be ready to do for our readers as well. These "golden rules" include

  • offer more, sneak previews will help create hype and boost demand
  • tweeting followers and sharing updates on facebook are awesome but more can be done. YouTube is a great way to keep your post interesting and drawing awareness. 
  • Respond to post on facebook, answering email, and tweeting back will allow your followers to see you are interested in them as well. 
  • keep up to date with what others share and how they are relevant to your business. What is the buzz out there?? 

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April Fools Day

On April 1st 1700 in England, pranksters began to popularize the tradition of playing practical jokes on each other. Several centuries have gone by and many cultures have their own story of how the big day of April fools day originated. 

One story is that it dates back to 1582 in France when the Julian calendar was switched to the Gregorian calendar. This was ordered in the Council of Trent in 1563. News, however, had not reached some and others had failed to realize that the start of the new year started January 1st. Celebrations continued during the last week of March through April 1st and those folks became the joke and many hoaxes took place as well. Pranks such as having paper fish placed on their backs. These individuals who were tricked would become known as April fish, those that were young, easily caught and gullible type of person. 

Ancient Rome may have been where April Fools day was born as well. Historians have linked April Fools day to festivals such as Hilaria that came at end of March. Individuals would dress up in disguises 

Other thoughts of April Fools day is that it is tied to the first day of spring. Mother nature fooled people to believing that the weather was one way then changing quickly so the weather was very unpredictable. 

During the 18th century April Fools day would reach Britain. Scotland actually had a tradition of having a two day event. One day individuals were sent on what was known as a "hunting the gowk" where they were sent out to do phony errands. Gowk means cuckoo bird which also a symbol for fool. The second day was Tailie day where pranks were played on individuals that included pinning fake tails or "kick me" signs on them. 

Modern time may be the worst. Through history there have been elaborate April Fools' Day hoaxes played. Newspapers, radio and TV have been involved and Web Sites have joined the fun as well. The tradition of  reporting outrageous fictional stories have fooled many audiences. From spaghetti crops grow by farmers and shared on the nightly news even demonstrated how noodles were harvested from trees. 

One of our families best April Fool Jokes is how two of those we have loved from birth would end up married. Through childhood, school years and even teenage days they never quite saw eye to eye. Imagine our surprise when they remet many years later and were married on April fools day, 2015. 

Not saying anything but she was a beautiful bride. Any mama would say that and yes, I am her mom and I did. I pray these two see many more years together.

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Whats in Season : Asparagus

Asparagus is in season from February to June. April is the peak season. When you choose asparagus some signs to look for are: 

  • bright green color with no signs of shriveling
  • tender tips may have a purple cast but they should still be firm and tight, never mushy
  • the cut end will be thick and fibrous this is from the injury of cutting
Storing your asparagus in a produce bag in your veggie bin is acceptable but is more likely to get bruised, broken or left too long. A better way is to trim the cut ends of asparagus and stand them in a glass of water, covered with plastic in the fridge for up to 2 days. 

Facts about Asparagus: 

  • There are 3 varieties of asparagus. American / British is green in color, French asparagus is purple in color and the Spanish / Dutch asparagus is white in color
  • Asparagus means stalk or shoot in Greek and was first raised and cultivated around 2,500 years ago in Greece
  • In Greece asparagus was also used to cure toothaches, prevent bee stings and used in herbal medicine as well. 
  • Romans were great lovers of asparagus. They would grow asparagus in high walled courtyards. It was Romans who would spread asparagus through out the world. 
  • California, Washington, and Michigan are top asparagus producing states in the United States. 
  • Asparagus will grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils. It grows in stalks that can reach as tall as 10 inches in 24 hours These stalks will grow for the next 6 to 7 weeks in spring and early summer.
  • The days temps will determine how often asparagus is picked. Early season picking may take place only once or twice a week. As the days and nights grow warmer the pickings may happen every day. 
  • After the asparagus season is done the spears will grow into ferns. The ferns will produce red berries and the food and nutrients for a healthy and productive crop next season are held in the berries. 
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He Is Risen

Our family will be rejoicing on this special day. Oh what a wonderful season spring is not only because it is getting warmer but the love that often comes within its days. The love that Christ Jesus showed for us that day that he decided to save us from the sin of the world and to be crucified. Amen... Because of that and because he rose again conquering the grave we have the chance to one day go to heaven

While it is not Easter every day the fact that he rose for us so we could have eternal life is something to celebrate daily to share this wonderful message we shared this post
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