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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Winter Spinach ---- Spinach Dip #recipe

Fall is a great time for cool weather crops. One of these crops is spinach. Spinach is a superfood that is loaded with tons of nutrients. The dark, leafy greens like spinach are low in calories and important to hair, skin and bone health. Nutrients such as protein, iron, vitamins and minerals are offered through spinach. Therefore spinach has the ability to possibly improve blood glucose control in individuals with diabetes, lowers the risk of cancer and improves bone health.

Spinach has been a natural part of many diets throughout history. Those in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern nations and South Easter Asian countries all considered spinach to be part of their cuisine. Spinach is perfect frugal easy food that can be made in many different dishes. It can be added as an ingredient to many dishes, cooked or served raw.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1, 1.8 ounce package leek soup
1 package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. Chill in refrigerator. Serve with crackers, bread or vegetables.

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Vegetarian Chili

12 Oz Soyrizo Meatless Soy Chorizo 
1 Tbsp vegetable oil 
1 medium white onion, chopped 
1 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped 
1 1/4 Oz  Chili Seasoning Mix 
14 1/2 Oz diced tomatoes 
15 Oz no salt black beans 
15 1/4 Oz Del Monte Fiesta Corn

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.
Saute onion and pepper for 3 minutes. Then squeeze chorizo and add the remaining above ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

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Farmers Daughter and Plaidurday

As a farmer's grand-daughter I can recall my grandmother sending us out to the fields only after we put on a flannel shirt. In fact, one year she made each of us kids a flannel shirt of our own. Flannel was very important as we often went into the corn fields for one thing or another and to stay away from getting corn poison we wore the shirts as protection. They also helped keep off bugs, tics and whatever else may come our way. If you have ever noticed many of the flannel shirts and fabric used to make flannel shirts are plaid. I am sure that we celebrated Plaidurday way before it was even popular.

Plaid has had a long run in history. The Celtic area during the early 8th BC era was most possibly where flannel was discovered. Mummies from that time period have been found by archaeologist also found plaid. Plaid has been popular throughout time and is often used in stylish fashion trends as well. During the 1800s plaid was a fashion fad for the Scottish royalty. It only makes sense that there should be a holiday that simply celebrates plaid.

Plaidurday was started by a Michigander Bugsy Sailor. The first Saturday in October every year is the day to celebrate. In our area it is too hot for plaid flannel but don't worry there are many other looks that can be donned:

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Pastor Appreciation Month

“The elders who lead the church well should receive great honor. Those who work hard by speaking and teaching especially should receive great honor.” 1 Timothy 5:17 (ICB)

October is a beautiful time of year. It is truly a time to give thanks. October offers us a chance to also show the pastor or clergy member some appreciation. October is Pastor Appreciation Month. The elders of our churches especially the leaders work hard and truly deserve to be shown respect and love. 

While the pastor may know that October is clergy appreciation month they will normally not ask for anything. But, if you took it upon yourself or formed a group to brainstorm ideas the pastor most likely would appreciate the expressive thought. While their approval comes from God they are also human and like a pat on the back like the rest of us. 

When the Lord calls that special individual to lead a church money is not at the center of thought. Many will go to much sacrifice for not only them but their family as well to do the job in which they were called for. Getting to know your pastor is a good idea and can be done any time of the year. Find out what they like and what they do in their free time. Do they like to get outside or shop any where special?? What is their favorite food or place to eat?? A gift of thanks to any of the things that he likes to do would not most likely be appreciated but deserved. 

Give the pastors family a bit of thought. It is the family that shares the man in their life with the church. They know that it is God that has the plan and is in charge but there are also times that they would just love to have their husband, father, son to their selves. 

A special card expressing the thankfulness and gratitude for the pastor is a great idea as well. This special note lets your pastor know that you think he is doing a good job. The gift of volunteering for projects that need help makes a great gift as well. At times the best gift a pastor could wish for is that individual that will show up and offer to help. 

What will you do for your pastor this month

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History of Noodles ++++ Ramen Noodle Stir Fry ++++ Easy

Throughout history one of my favorite food products have been made with only flour and a bit of water. It is estimated that noodles date back to 1000 B.C. In 2002 archaeologists along the Yellow River in China found an earthenware bowl that contained some well preserved 4000 year old noodles.

Noodles can and have been rolled into a variety of shapes. Noodles are found all over the world each just a bit different with their own specialties. Asian noodles are served with root veggies like yams, potatoes and beans. The noodles may be made up of rice, wheat, or buckwheat are often in a wide noodle form. In Europe noodles are created from semolina flour but potato noodles are a favorite as well.

Few important dates in noodle history:

  • Noodles invented in China 2000 B.C
  • around 1200 AD Europeans fall in love with noodles. Marco Polo credited with bringing noodles to Europe from China Some believe that it was arab traders that first introduced noodles as a new dish to the Europeans
  • 1789 Thomas Jefferson returns to the United States after spending a few years in France On his return he brought with him 2 cartons of fresh pasta
  • 1958 instant ramen noodles are invented in Japan First considered to be just for the top crust to be served a luxury food, later as we all know discounted so everyone can enjoy
  • October 6, 2018 had a bowl of ramen noodles in my kitchen fixed on my stovetop

Believe it or not one of the top consumers of noodles are those that live in Australia. Over 18 million kgms are consumed by Australians each year. There is no surprise that so many love noodles. They are filling and homy and one of my favorite comfort foods. Noodles are enjoyed around the world. In Japan, slurping noodles is expected if you are enjoying your meal. While slurping may be considered bad manners elsewhere in Japan when it comes to noodles if you don't slurp it might be considered offensive to the chef. In China noodles are a standard for longevity, it is often thought of as a promise for long life. Who knows after you check out the noodle recipe I share you may become a top consumer expecting a long life as well

This stir fry creates its own sauce from the packet in the ramen noodles.
This meal truly only takes a few minutes to prepare (well if you hand chop veggies takes a few more minutes)

Noodles: Cook in boiling water;
Sauce: Mix cornstarch with water, then add sachet from instant ramen packet;
Stir Fry: Saute garlic and onion, add other vegetables and protein of choice, add noodles and sauce.
Dinner. Done. In 12 minutes. OK, so it’s 9 minutes longer than the Instant Ramen Soup …. but it’s a lot more interesting!!!

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Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

1 package Refrigerated Pie Crust 2 crusts
5 oz Caramel Topping
10 oz Apple Pie Filling
1 Egg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 cup Sugar

Spray cookie sheet with non stick spray and set aside.
Allow crusts to warm slightly to make them easier to work with.
Dust work area with flour and slightly roll out crusts.
Spread a thin layer of caramel on one of the crusts.
Use a knife to chop pie filling into smaller pieces and spread over top of caramel.
Cut other crust into 1/2" strips.
use strips to create a lattice top over pie covered crust.
Cut out circles and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Beat egg in bowl until well blended.
Mix together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Brush lattice tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

recipe source here

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Have A Frappe

Frappe is a Greek foam covered iced coffee drink. The drink is made with a cocktail shaker or a mixer. In the shaker mix instant Nescafe coffee, water and sugar then add cold water or ice cubes and milk if you wish. Top the drink off when done with espresso and whipped cream.

Frappe's are quite popular and trendy with a variety of recipes on how to fix them. The ice blended drinks is an international drink that according to the English dictionary means "to chill" It was made popular during the mid 1980s and '90s. Large stores would serve the frozen coffee beverages to the up and coming and others that were interested as well.

Like many other things the Frappe was an invention base purely on accident. It came about during an International Fair in 1957 hosted in Thessaloniki. Nestle in Greece has been directly behind the marketing.

2 cups ice
1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup caramel sauce
3 tablespoons white sugar

Blend ice, coffee, milk, caramel sauce, and sugar together in a blender on high until smooth. Pour drink into two 16-ounce glasses.

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Protecting you and your family from Approaching Virusis

One of the best things that we can do to protect from upcoming viruses is to make sure our hands are washed. Wash them thoroughly and wash them often. Sanitizing gel or spray will help to reduce risk of catching viral and bacterial infections. Important steps to follow:
  • wash 20 seconds or more, a good tip is to sing "Happy  Birthday" twice while scrubbing
  • Don't turn off water with bare hand, rather grab a paper towel to turn nob on faucet. Germs like to gather on bathroom fixtures. 
  • dry hands from all that washing can also harbor germs so be sure to moisturize to keep skin smooth as well
While washing hands you will want to play close attention to your nails. This are a is a great place for serious bacteria and viruses to hide. E. Coli, strep, coronavirus and more can linger under your nails. There are special cleaners for nails that should be considered to use when washing hands.

Surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected against virus and bacteria. Viruses love to hide on public surfaces, phones, doorknobs, pens and other items. Cleaning often or keeping hand sanitizers close by and ready to use after touching public places is something that is truly needed. Cleaning will help to remove germs but when you also disinfect the germs are destroyed.

To help protect your health take in lots of vitamins C and D. These vitamins help fight threats like the flu virus.  Vitamin C is an essential nutrient needed. Dark leafy vegetables, kiwifruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes. One of the best foods with high amount of vitamin C are bell peppers. Vitamin D also offers anti inflammatory and immune boosting properties that offers quite a punch for the virus leading to knock out, be sure that you take in plenty of vitamin D. Foods such as tuna, salmon, eggs, ricotta cheese and beef liver all offer vitamin D. Another great way to get vitamin D in your body is to head outside to get some sun.

Sleep is an important part to staying healthy as well. During sleep our bodies rebuild and produce virus attacking cells that help strengthen the immune system. With today stresses and busy schedules pushing our selves too much can make our bodies vulnerable to viruses. Thus, 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night are required when striving to stay healthy. 

Having an active lifestyle is very important as well as getting exercise. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help scare off illness. By strengthening your heart you are also building your immune system. A good immune system will be better off fighting away infections. 

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Apple Brown Betty

Have you been to the orchard yet?? Tried any new apple recipes?? Want to?? Here is one known as Apple Brown Betty. It is yet another version of that iconic apple pie. Not a lot of skills needed to create this delicious recipe and it takes less than an hour of baking. Those you share this crunchy mouthwatering dessert with will love it. 

3 cups dried bread crumbs
3 cups sliced tart apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
First of all you should peel, core and slice your tart apples. Leave all slices in a bowl of cold water with some lemon juice in it. This trick will prevent apple slices from getting brown. Mix brown and white sugar with some ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

Grease your baking tin and cover the bottom of it with one cup of breadcrumbs. Lay apple slices over. Next Sprinkle the apple layer with the sugar mixture and dot with butter. Repeat layers, pour water over top of apples, spread last cup of breadcrumbs on top. 

Cover Brown Betty with foil to prevent top from getting overly browned. Bake in 350 degree oven 50 minutes. The last 20 minutes should be without foil. Take out of oven and allow to cool. 

recipe source here

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Breast Cancer Awareness

October 1985 was the first time National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was celebrated. The goal during the month of October is to promote mammography Many believe that mammograms are the most effective weapon in the battle against breast cancer. Many walks, runs, fundraiser and awareness events are planned and scheduled throughout the month in many different areas.

The pink ribbon has become an icon symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness. Many places all over the United States will share the pink ribbon in a number of different ways

Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. It is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. In a single year over 250,000 breast cancer diagnoses will be made. In the same year more than 40,500 death due to breast cancer will occur as well. However, the good news is that the death rates from breast cancer have been declining in the past 30 years.

Breast cancer has been seeing a decline in number because of the education, better screening, early detection, increased awareness and improved treatment options. Some lifestyle choices that can be made to help decrease personal risk of breast cancer include:

  • eat a balanced diet that consist of variety of veggies, fruits and lean proteins
  • not smoking or drinking
  • daily exercise that includes both cardio and strength training

Most importantly Keep fighting for yourself and others

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Don't Let Pumpkins Go To Waste with these Recipes

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere.... or at least it seems that way. It most likely will seem that way even into November so sometime along the way you may want to try this cooking experiment to make roasted seeds and pumpkin puree. As long as the pumpkin is not squishy it can most likely be used. Thus, a good reason that no pumpkin should go to waste. Pumpkin puree can be frozen for later use in pumpkin pancakes, muffins or pie.

Pumpkin Puree
rinse the inside of a pumpkin Cut off top of the pumpkin , scoop insides out removing seeds. Trash any seeds that have all ready started to sprout.

Cut pumpkin into large chunks

The chunks of pumpkin should be roasted at 350 degrees for an hour and half on baking sheets. The skin of the pumpkin should be fork tender. At midpoint of roasting, flip the pieces to the other side and continue baking.

Remove baking sheets from oven and let pumpkin cool After pumpkin has cooled scrape pumpkin flesh from rind.  Puree pumpkin. The puree is ready to be used or the pumpkin puree can then be portioned out into gallon baggies, labeled and froze When ready to use allow the puree to thaw in fridge or bowl of warm water.

Seeds can be used but first must be washed and dried. The seeds should be baked in 350 degree oven 20 minutes. Season however you desire.

With these delicious ways to use a pumpkin they should never go to waste. 

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Cinnamon Roll MOnkey Bread

1 package 8 oz cream cheese
2 cans 17.5 oz each Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Supreme refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
1/4 cup butter cut into pieces

Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or cooking spray.
Cut block of cream cheese into 24 equal-sized cubes. (Start by first halving block so that you have 2 thin pieces, and then cut each thin half into 12 equal squares.)
Set aside icing from cinnamon rolls. Separate each can of dough into 5 rolls; unroll each roll, and cut each in half.
Take a section of dough and fold it over so you have a rectangle shape that is 1 layer of dough thick. Place a square of cream cheese in the dough; fold over the dough, and gently crimp it around the cream cheese. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
Place cream cheese-filled dough balls in pan. Place butter pieces on top.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown across top. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around edge of pan to loosen. Place heatproof serving plate over pan and turn over; remove pan. Cool 10 minutes longer.
Drizzle reserved icing over top of bread, allowing some to drizzle down side. Pull apart to serve; serve warm.

recipe source :

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Halloween Treat : Spider Cookie

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar for rolling
48 miniature Reese's cups unwrapped and frozen
96 candy eyes
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large bowl, beat together shortening, peanut butter, egg, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually add dry mixture to wet mixture and beat until blended.
Form into 1" balls.
Roll in sugar and place a couple of inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Immediately, gently press an upside down frozen peanut butter cup on top of each cookie and move to wire rack to cool.
After placing and moving all of the cookies on the wire rack, put in place the candy eyes while chocolate is still slightly soft.
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow cookies to firm.
Put chocolate chips in the corner of zippered sandwich bag.
Microwave for 20 seconds, knead and repeat until chocolate has melted.
Clip tiny piece off of the corner of bag to allow for piping and draw eight legs on each spider cookie.
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow legs to set.

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Cabbage Rolls the Perfect Peasant food

Cabbage is one of the foods that was used in a grand variety of ways by peasants back in the day. I can only imagine that it has been used very creatively through out time. One way cabbage has commonly been used is by wrapping it around ground meat. This is a very budget minded way of cooking as you can mix the meat with other ingredients, wrap with cabbage and then cook in sauce.

Large cabbage leaves appear perfect for stuffing. Ground beef and rice is a great mix to stuff cabbage leaves with.

1 large savoy cabbage
7-ounce (200-gram) hunk of bread (see above), crusts cut away, torn into small scraps (you’ll have about 3 loose cups of scraps)
2/3 cup (approximately 150 ml) whole milk
14 ounces (400 grams) or approximately 4 plain pork sausages (I used sweet — i.e. non-spicy — Italian), casings removed
1 small sprig of sage, finely chopped
1 small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Prepare cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Discard any messy or broken outer cabbage leaves and carefully peel 12 nice, large leaves. (I think the cabbage can tell if you’re in a rush, and will tear more easily. Work carefully. That said, a torn leaf will hardly ruin the dish.) Blanch leaves for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (you can do a few at at time), until wilted, and spread out on towels so that they dry and cool.

Make filling: Place bread scraps in bottom of large bowl and pour milk over. Let sit for a few minutes, then mash it gently with a spoon until something close to a paste forms. Mix with sausage meat, herbs, parmesan and a pinch or two of salt and black pepper; I find this easiest with a fork or bare hands.

Make the cabbage rolls: Lay your first cabbage leaf on the counter. If it doesn’t want to lay flat, pare away some of the thickest stalk (with a paring knife or vegetable peeler) to make it easier. Form some of the filling mixture into a golf ball-sized round. Wrap cabbage leaf around it (see Note about shape up top) and pin at the top with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.

Make the sauce: To prepare your tomatoes, either break them up with your hands (for bigger chunks), run them through a food mill or roughly chop them right in their can with scissors (what I did here). In a heavy saute pan with a lid or a medium (5 to 6-quart) Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds (just until golden, not a moment longer) then add the tomatoes, bringing the sauce to a gently boil. Season with salt if needed. Add cabbage packages, arranging them carefully in the pan so they all fit, cover the pot and gently simmer them for 25 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and carefully turn the rolls over, cooking them for another 25. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook off some of the wetness. They’re all cooked now, but if you can rest them for another 15 minutes before eating them, the flavors settle and they become even better.

Introduction to Kale

Kale, a member of the same family as cabbage and brussel sprouts. The mustard family contains many cold weather veggies. Kale is great for kale chips with its hearty and crisp texture and a taste of earthiness. There are several types of Kale each with a slightly different flavor. The younger leaves tend to be less bitter and fibrous than older ones.

Kale is a green, leafy, winter vegetable  high in fiber and potassium. Kale is also a very tasty nutritious side dish or goes nicely in smoothies and salads. Those taking blood thinning medications or with a kidney issue may possibly not be able to consume kale.

Kale can help boost wellbeing and prevent a range of health issues. Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K that provide many health benefits. Kale also provides chlorophyll, vitamin C and iron. The large amount of fiber found in Kale may help lower blood glucose levels in those with diabetes. One antioxidant that Kale possess is alpha lipoic acid. This acid may help lower blood glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress induced changes. It may also help curb neuropathy.

Kale is a great food to eat if you are striving to improve heart health. With fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6 kale can help decrease sodium intake as recommended by diets for cardiovascular disease as well. The high amount of potassium also helps reduce risk of stroke, protects against the loss of muscle, preserves bone mineral density and reduces reduces chance of kidney stone.

Like other green veggies kale contains chlorophyll that can help prevent the body from absorbing chemicals that are produced when grilling and have been associated with cancer Kale binds to the carcinogens and prevents the body from absorbing them thus cutting the risk of cancer. Likewise, kale helps keep the inside of your body working well by helping to prevent constipation and promote regularity and healthy digestive tract. The vitamins B and C found in kale helps promote iron absorption that helps the body release energy.

Looking to help your appearance and feel better as well then kale is one thing you will want to add to your diet. The beta carotene in kale helps make sure all body tissues grow. Skin and hair is kept moist by the sebum that is created by the body. Eyesight as well as the immune system and reproductive system are helped via the vitamin A found in kale.  The immune system is allowed a boost by kale and the vitamin C it has. The vitamin C is needed to absorb iron that helps the bodies immune system and prevent anemia.

While Kale has many features that help boost the body there are a few risk factors to kale as well. Those with heart disease that take a beta blocker may want to check with doctor before consuming as kale can add potassium to the blood. Those taking beta blockers need to limit potassium foods. Likewise, those with kidney issues that can not consume potassium should not eat Kale.

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Jewish Apple Cake

For the apples
6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples, I use a mix of whatever looks good
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons (65 grams) granulated sugar

For the cake
2 3/4 cups (360 grams) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil (safflower, sunflower, olive and coconut oil also work, as does melted butter)
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
2 1/2 (13 ml) teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts, chopped (optional and to be honest, we never use them)

Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a tube pan. (I use this one or an equivalent one-piece tube.) Peel, core and chop apples into 1-inch chunks.Toss with cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix wet ingredients into dry ones; scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples (and their juices) over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.*

Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.

Do ahead: This cake is awesome on the first day but absolutely glorious and pudding-like on the days that follow, so feel free to get an early start on it. I keep it at room temperature covered with foil.

* Tip: The apples love to hide uncooked pockets of batter, especially near the top. Make sure your testing skewer or toothpick goes not just all the way down to the bottom, but does a shallow dip below the top layer of apples to make sure it comes out batter-free. Should your cake be browning too fast, before the center is baked through, cover it with foil for all but the last few minutes in the oven.

recipe source here 

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Easy Fall Recipe ==== Red Hot Apple Cider

1 quart Apple Cider, homemade or store bought
1/4 cup Red Hots

In a large sauce pan or a large tea kettle, heat cider and red hots over medium high heat, constantly stirring. Once red hots have completely dissolved, remove from heat, and serve in mugs! Garnish with a cinnamon stick if you want to get fancy.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Vegetarian Enchiladas

1 medium onion , chopped fine
2 cloves garlic cloves , minced
1/4 cup green or red bell pepper , chopped
12 ounces patty pan, zucchini, or yellow summer squash , diced (about 2 medium squash)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or mild chili powder)
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans , well rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (or 10 ounces homemade sauce)
8 corn tortillas
chopped green onions , for serving

Saute the onion in a medium-sized saucepan until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the bell pepper and squash and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until squash is just beginning to become tender. Add the cumin, chile powders, black beans, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray one large rectangular baking dish or 4 individual baking dishes with olive oil. Place a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of each dish, reserving most of it to go on top. Microwave the tortillas for about 20 seconds to soften them. Place a tortilla in front of you and arrange about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture across the center. Roll up and place seam-side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beans. Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with sliced green onions to serve.

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Prepare the Car for Season Change Weather

The seasons have changed and the weather will follow suit soon as well. Don't let yourself get caught behind take care of your car now. Some important things to do now before the weather totally changes are:'

  • Make sure your brakes and tires are in good condition. Bad weather could leave roads hazardous, having good tires and brakes is very important. Check tires for wore areas if you find any you may need to replace the tires Many times tire shops will inspect the car to see if new brakes and tires are needed if you are unsure. 

  • As my daughter in law says the season means shorter days and longer nights. This is why it is important to check the lights. All lights including headlights, taillights, parking lights, brake lights, and emergency flashers should be checked. Any in non working condition should be repaired and / or changed. 

  • Wiper blades should be checked to see if they are cracked or worn. Wiper blades rubber should be flexible and able to do the job they are meant to do. IF blades are not in good working condition they should be replaced

  • One item needed during the cold months but left alone much of the rest of the year is the heater / defroster. Fogged up windows is an accident waiting to happen. Both the heater and defroster should be examined before use. 
  • Cold weather can have an effect on the car battery. A fully charged battery is needed to start the car Signs of corrosion on battery terminals or cable ends or any loose connections the battery will need to be checked
  • In addition take a look under the hood are there any leaks, cracks or loose clamps?? Are there any fraying belts that need to be replaced. The oil and air filters should be changed and cleaned. 
  • Fill the cooling system with AAA coolant 
Start now , prepare your car for the fall weather will help you get a headstart preparing for the cold weather

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Soft Taco with Mango and Jackfruit

2 14 oz. cans Young Jackfruit (in brine, NOT syrup)
1 Medium Mango (make sure it is sweet and ripe)
1 Large Red Onion, divided
1 Red Bell Pepper
3 Cloves of Garlic
3/4 cup Light Canned Coconut Milk
1 tbsp Curry Powder
Corn Tortillas (about 3 per person)
1/2 cup Cilantro, for garnish on top

Mince the Garlic Cloves, Slice the Bell Pepper into 1/2″ strips, and use a Mandolin to finely slice the Red Onion lengthwise. Set 1/2 cup of the Raw Onion aside to use as a garnish for the tacos.
Open the Canned Young Jackfruit and drain, but do not rinse. Use your fingers to pull apart or “shred” the meat substitute.
Add a splash of water, the remaining Red Onion, and Red Pepper to a large pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened.
While the Onion and Pepper are cooking, Puree half of the flesh from the Mango in a blender or food processor. You want about 1/4 cup of puree for this recipe. Chop the remaining Mango flesh into small cubes, and reserve as a garnish for the tacos.
Uncover the Peppers and Onions and add in the minced Garlic and Curry Powder. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, adding a splash of water if things start to stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the shredded Jackfruit, Coconut Milk, and Mango Puree to the pot. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken more. Heat up your corn tortillas at this point, if desired.
Remove the Jackfruit Curry from the heat, then assemble the tacos. Add a generous scoop of Jackfruit to each Corn Tortilla, then top with the reserved Red Onion, Mango Pieces, and Cilantro.
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.+

recipe resource here 

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World Non Violence Day

One of my favorite songs shares the idea that we believe everything we hear on the news that we would lose any faith we had in this world. The sad truth is that the world that we share with each other has seen it's share of tragedy, wars and more. I can not think of anywhere that violence has not rang out one time or another. Someone always wants more or want to change the way things are done.

There are many different ways to make change, some are done without any violence and yet others are a battle of brute force. For those that strive to do things the non violent way there is a special day in October. The International Day of Non Violence strives to celebrate and bring awareness to the fact that change can happen and does at peace times as well.

The International day of Non-Violence is always observed in October. October 2nd is the birthday of Mahatma Ghandi one of the most influential political activists of all time. Ghandi would use a display of nonviolent civil disobedience to overthrow the British who were in control of India. Through the actions of Ghandi India would eventually gain their independence. Ghandi is known as the "father of the nation" in India. With the example of Ghandi in mind a day of Non-Violence was created.

The United Nations General Assembly decided the best date to celebrate the Non-Violent day would be Ghandi's birthday October 2nd. The day is used to bring awareness to ways of non-violence resistance. Non-violence resistance can help bring change to social as well as political issues. Through protesting in marches and vigils as well as non cooperating when told what to do or offering non violent intervention through blockades and occupations change can occur.

The first Day of Non Violence awareness took place October 2, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Congenital Cerebral Palsy Awareness

As a child I would see many things that would make me wonder. My parents were the type that would remind me it was nice to stare. One gentleman that was a friend of my parents looked a bit funny, walked a bit funny and spoke even funnier. Years later I found out that he suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Perhaps if my parents had shared that information with me I would have had even more questions but I would have known, that may of helped me but then I may of been a bit scared as well. Is it not funny that we are often afraid of what we do not know. That is why I enjoy learning and sharing here on my blog Annies Home. Today, we will take a closer look at Cerebral Palsy or CP.

Cerebral Palsy is caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to the developing brain that affects the ability to control the muscles of the body. Brain damage that causes CP can happen before birth, during birth, shortly after birth, or during the child's first year of life. The damage occurs when the body and mind are still developing.

Risk factors of Cerebral Palsy include:

  • Low birth weight, less than 5 1/2 lbs at birth Those less than 3 1/2 lbs are higher risk 
  • premature birth, babies born prior to 37th week of pregnancy are at risk. Those born prior to 32nd week of pregnancy are at highest risk of developing CP 
  • Multiple births such as twins, triplets, and other multiple births are at high risk for Cerebral Palsy as well. 
  • Babies of mothers who undergo Assisted reproductive technology (infertility treatment) may have a greater chance of having cerebral palsy. 
  • Babies born to mothers who may have had an infection during pregnancy has increase risk. If the mother runs a fever during pregnancy or during delivery there is an added risk as well. Infections known to cause added risk to baby include viruses, chickenpox, rubella, CMV and bacterial infections such as infection of the placenta or fetal membrane or maternal pelvic infections. 
  • Babies  born to mothers with thyroid problems, intellectual disability or seizures have a higher risk of CP. 
  • Birth complications including detachment of placenta, uterine rapture or problems with the umbilical cord during birth can disrupt oxygen supply to baby and result in Cerebral Palsy. 

Apple Caramels

 ½ cup (1 stick)Danish Creamery Butter
1¾ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ⅓ cup (14 oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup (6 fl. oz.)frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

Prepare a 9-inch square pan by lining it with parchment paper.
In heavy 2 to 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, salt, sweetened condensed milk and apple juice concentrate. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to prevent scorching until the temperature of the mixture reaches 248°F (firm ball stage). Remove from heat.
Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Allow to completely cool.
Turn candy out of pan and cut into ¾-inch pieces. Wrap each piece in 2¾-3” squares of nonstick aluminum foil or waxed paper. Store in airtight container.

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