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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Celebrate America's Pie Month

Think geek did a survey to see what the top pie was Americas favorite. It turned out that Apple Pie took the top billing. The map below demonstrates what states loved what pie the most. So whether you are on line with your states favorite or love a pie all together different it is o.k. You are safe because February is pie month. Here at annies home you will be seeing lots of great pie recipes in the next several days. I hope you enjoy.

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Two Ingredient Chocolate Fudge Recipe

One word that seems to get everyone's attention and is very sweet is none other than 

This easy to make fudge recipe will need to chill for 2 to 4 hours in the fridge. This time will allow it to set up. The recipe is easy and if you choose you can add what ever other ingredients you would like. Walnuts, almonds, flavorings or anything else that goes well in fudge will be super yummy.

  • 8 oz chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • optional chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, etc.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper, and set aside. If nut butter is not stir-able, gently warm it until soft. Melt the chocolate chips (Google how to melt chocolate if unsure, as it’s easy to burn). Stir together all ingredients until smooth. Pour into the pan and spread out evenly. Freeze 10 minutes or until firm enough to slice. The bars can stay out at room temperature if you’re serving them, especially if it’s not too warm outside or in your home. I like to store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

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Bean Mix Chilli

2 cups bean soup mix
1 medium onion, diced (cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes)
1 (14 oz./398 mL) can tomato sauce
1 (14 oz./398 mL) can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth (water could also be used)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 large garlic clove, chopped (optional)

• salt and pepper, to taste

Place the beans in a bowl, rinse with cold water, drain and then examine them, removing any damaged ones or unwanted materials you come across. Place the beans in a tall pot and add eight cups cold water.

Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring beans to a boil. Now remove from the heat and let beans soak and soften in the hot water one hour.

Drain beans well, and then fill the pot with eight cups of fresh cold water. Set pot over medium-high heat again and bring beans to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat to maintain that gentle simmer (small bubbles should just break on the surface of the water).

Simmer the beans until just tender, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Drain the beans well, and set them back in the pot. Mix in the onion, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, stock (or broth), chili powder and garlic, if using. Return the beans to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until chili has thickened and is nicely flavoured by the chili powder. Taste the chili and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

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Watermelon Salsa

3 cups seeded, chopped watermelon
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon seeded, chopped jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients, and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one hour to allow flavors to blend.

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Easy Blueberry Jelly

wide saucepan or skillet (I like to use a skillet)
potato masher
spatula or spoon
hand blender

2 lbs blueberries (about 6 heaping cups)
1 1/2 cups sugar

Prepare your jars by boiling the lids, rings and jars in boiling water for 5 minutes.
In a wide saucepan or skillet on low-medium heat, add the blueberries and sugar.
Stir to combine.
Then use your potato masher to smash up the blueberries and release their juices.
Turn up the heat to medium, then cook the blueberry mixture until it is gently boiling.

Keep cooking, and stirring until the mixture thickens. You must, must stir constantly or your jam will burn. As well the constant stirring will help to prevent the jam from splattering out of the pan. You will likely need to cook the jam for 30 or more minutes.
You will know that the jam is ready when the mixture is thick enough to leave an open trail behind the spoon.
Remove from heat, and let cool completely before serving.
If this jam is too chunky for you, you can use your hand blender to puree it.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska is a dessert made up of ice cream, sponge cake and meringue. The dessert is baked only long enough for the meringue to brown. This dessert has also been called the Norwegian omelet. This dessert is normally served after dinner in a pie plate and at times will be flambeed when served.

A bit about the history of the Baked Alaska:
1867 with a debate over the potential purchase of Alaska from Russia. The purchase price offered $7 million. In 1868 Alaska would become part of the United States as a territory at first. Many thought the purchase of Alaska was a bad joke ,,, a giant mistake. The purchase became known as "Seward's Folly" named after the Secretary of State William Seward who agreed with the purchase price.

Meanwhile,, in New York City was a chef Charles Ranhofer at the famous Delmonico's Restaurant. He made a game of naming new and renaming old dishes after famous people and events. He took in stride the controversy over the purchase of the frozen north and a Baked Alaska seemed to fit the bill. While this was a great hit it was not the only time that the baked Alaska was used to share a point of view.

The famous Ben & Jerry's would use the Baked Alaska dessert to protest against the drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The "Lick Global Warming" campaign was led off with a 1,140 lb baked Alaska that was 4 feet tall and 4 feet round. It was made up of 3,600 four oz. scoops of Ben & Jerry fossil fuel ice cream.

Individual Chocolate Strawberry Baked Alaskas

4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 whole large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Strawberry Ice Cream, slightly softened
8 large egg whites
Special equipment: 6 (8-oz) shallow ceramic or glass gratin dishes

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, then line bottom with wax paper and butter paper.
Melt chocolate and butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring, until smooth. Remove bowl from pan and whisk 3/4 cup sugar into chocolate mixture. Whisk in whole eggs and salt, then sift cocoa over and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into baking pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.
Cut cake into 6 equal pieces, then arrange 1 piece in each gratin dish, trimming to fit. Top each piece of cake with a large scoop of ice cream (about 1/2 cup), then freeze, covered, just until ice cream is hard, about 25 minutes (do not let ice cream become rock hard).

Make meringue just before serving:
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar a little at a time, beating at high speed, and continue beating until whites just hold stiff, glossy peaks, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 12 minutes with a handheld.
Remove gratin dishes from freezer and mound meringue over ice cream and cake, spreading to edge of gratin dish. Bake on a baking sheet in middle of oven until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
I cut the entire recipe in thirds since this doesn’t seem like a dessert that can be completely made ahead.  Plus, you’re going to laugh, I completely forgot to melt the butter with the chocolate and I had everything put together in the pan before I realized what I had done.  So, the melted butter got mixed in at the end.  Surprisingly, it turned out just fine.

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Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate and Rosemary

Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate and Rosemary
From Good To The Grain, by Kim Boyce

Olive oil for the pan
3/4 cup (98g) spelt flour
1 1/2 cups (213g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (149g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (1g) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces (142g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub a 10-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil.
In a large bow, whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil, milk, and rosemary and whisk again until combined. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top.
Bake for 32-40 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days.

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Did You Know ::: Tom Selleck

During the 1980s Tom Selleck was known for his role in "Magnum P.I." Later he starred as Dr. Richard Burke on "Friends" Monica's boyfriend on the t.v. show "Friends". In 1987 he starred as Peter Mitchell in the movie "Three Men and a Baby" Tom Selleck has spent a lot of time in front of the camera during his long career. Yet, there are things you may still not know

  • Tom Selleck was born in Detroit but grew up in Southern California. He later attended the University of Southern California and belonged to the Sigma Chi fraternity. As a student he also worked as a model to help pay the bills prior to dropping out and turning to acting. 

  • Tom served in the California Army National Guard from 1967 to 1973. Selleck was sergeant of California's 160th infantry regiment. After his time in service his face remained connected to the California National Guard as he helped with recruiting. 

  • While an actor since college he did not get his break until he was 35. "Magnum P.I." a show about a private investigator living in Hawaii shined the light on Tom Selleck. Prior to the t.v. show he had starred in 6 other T.V pilots that did not take off

  • The role of Indiana Jones in the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was originally offered to Selleck. The actor could not accept the role as it would conflict with the contract he had with CBS for "Magnum P.I." 

  • Tom lives on a 65 acre avocado ranch. He does not like avocados but insist he still sells his share

  • An avid animal lover who once had a family cow cremated

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Among those who have celebrated a birthday this week is Franklin Delano Roosevelt . Commonly known as FDR he was born January 30, 1882. A leader among American political leaders he would serve as the 32nd of the United States of America. The only president to serve 12 years between 1933 to 1945. Thus, placing this democratic president at the center of world events during the eventful first half of the 20th century.

As the director of the federal government Franklin Roosevelt would help guide the U.S. through the Great Depression and World War II. FDR would introduce the New Deal domestic agenda to the states in a response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. The actions of this president would help create a rich history that help rank Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the greatest U.S presidents.

Information about President Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Born in Hyde Park, New York
  • family was Dutch American in heritage
  • married his fifth cousin Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905. Together they had 6 children
  • Elected to New York State Senate in 1910
  • Served as Assistant Secretary of Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during WWI
  • FDR suffered from a paralytic illness , possibly polio His legs became permanently paralyzed. 
  • presided over the end of prohibition
  • Used the radio to speak directly to the American people in what was known as "fireside chats" 
  • helped form the Conservative Coalition in 1937 as well helped establish Social Security
  • Declared war following the invasion of Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941
  • FDR died from his bad health issues on April 1945 just 11 weeks into his fourth term. 

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Tomato Soup and Heart Shaped Grilled Cheese

1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp. paprika
3 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus additional leaves, chiffonade, for garnish
3 oz. softened Neufchatel cheese
3/4 cup skim milk
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can (15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & garlic & saute about 2 minutes, until tender.
Reduce heat to low & add paprika, basil, & cream cheese. Gradually stir in milk & soup & stir until smooth.
Turn heat back up to medium & add tomatoes, stirring constantly & breaking up tomatoes further by squashing them with the back of a wooden spoon, until hot.
Serve with heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches!

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Jackie Robinson an Amazing Baseball Player

Jackie Robinson was born 100 years ago today. 

born 100 years ago Jackie Robinson was the first of many things in his life and the game of baseball. Sixty + years after Robinsons retirement from the great game of baseball the Hall of Famers feats still resonates in the game. Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Playing only 10 seasons his fellow players, the fans and all those involved learned a lot. Robinsons courage stood up and about demonstrating his talent as he performed in front of the white players, managers and fans earned him respect and paved the way for other blacks and hispanics to follow in his footsteps. 

Jack Roosevelt Robinson grandparents had been born into slavery. Robinson himself had been born in Cairo Georgia January 31, 1919. He would be awarded with his middle name as a way to honor former President Theodore Roosevelt who had Died at the end of December 2018. His mother would move the family to Pasadena California.

Jackie Robinson played not only one but four sports at UCLA. Baseball, basketball, football and track were his major sports but he also played tennis. In tennis he won the junior boys singles title in the Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament.

During World War II Jack Robinson served in the Army. He would never see action overseas. Robinson would be court martialed after refusing to sit in the back of an unsegregated bus. He would be acquitted and honorably discharged in 1944.

In 1949 Jackie Robinson was named the National League's most valuable player. He played in the world series 5 different times and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. On April 15, 1997 Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired in a ceremony at New York's Shea Stadium. It was the 50th anniversary as the day Robinson crossed into professional baseball and changed the world.

On October 24, 1972 at the age of 53 Jackie Robinson passed.

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Life and Death of Carol Channing

Earlier this month on January 15th 2019 The world lost a lady who has stood thru time and was proven to be an American actress, singer, dancer and comedienne. Not only did she star on screen but on Broadway as well. With a voice that was distinguished and recognizable for both her on stage acting and musical abilities Carol Channing could not be denied.

Carol Elaine Channing was born January 31, 1921.

In 1949 Channing starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In 1964 she starred and won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Hello, Dolly! Thru the years she would revive the rolls with the most recent starring as Dolly in 1995.

Carol Channing was also a star actress on screen. Winning the Golden Globe award for her role in Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 1967 She also starred in other roles on screen including The First Traveling Saleslady in 1956 and Skidoo in 1968.

Carol Channing also guest starred on many variety shows including the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1950s as well as  Hollywood Squares. She also starred on several TV specials starting in 1966 An Evening with Carol Channing

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Justin Timberlake Celebrates a Birthday

Celebrating a birthday today, January 31st is an American singer- songwriter, actor, dancer and record producer Justin Randall Timberlake. A Tennessee native being born and raised there Timberlake has been a regular on T.V. shows Star Search and The All New Mickey Mouse Club. In addition it was being the youngest member of the music group NSYNC during the 1990s that brought the most fame.

Later years would see Timberlake star on albums in the R&B focused music. Timberlake was granted two Grammy Awards for the songs "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body" Timberlake has also been on the top of the U.S. billboard 200 and hot 100 singles as well. Selling over 32 million albums and 56 million singles world wide Timberlake has made into the best selling music artists club. The pop icon, has also received 10 grammy awards, four emmy awards, three brit awards and nine Billboard Music Awards.

The magazine Time named Justin Timberlake one of the most influential people in the world in 2007 and 2013. Timberlake concentrated on acting in the years between 2008 thru 2012. Starring in films The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits and In Time. In 2016 Justin Timberlake voiced the lead character in the Animation Trolls.

Justin Timberlake has left his mark on the world in many areas of fashion and entertainment.

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Go Red for Heart Health

The leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is heart disease. To help raise awareness about heart disease the "Wear Red" campaign will take place every Friday in the month of February.

Risk factors for a heart attack are

  • smoking
  • high stress lifestyle
  • obesity

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and the No. 1 killer of women. Heart disease is deadlier than all forms of cancer combined. You can help raise awareness by wearing red February 1st.

WHile this campaign may be about wearing red.... its much more.
This campaign is also about sharing heart health .... its much more
Wear red day for heart awareness is about making a commitment to stand together with other women who have chose to take charge of their own heart health and share with those that are in their lives.

Go ahead grab a friend and make that commitment to be more heart aware and go red.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.
  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort. 
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
There are some small steps that can make sustainable differences that can help improve your heart health These 7 simple steps are
  • Manage Blood Pressure
  • Control Cholesterol 
  • Reduce Blood Sugar 
  • Get Active
  • Eat Better
  • Lose Weight
  • Stop Smoking
Another great thing you can do to help others learn of the importance of heart his is to wear red on Friday. This Friday is National Wear Red Day! Will you wear red with me? It’s fun and easy:
  • Wear something red.

  • Take a picture of yourself looking smashing in red.
  • post on social media  Use #GoRedSelfie if you want to be a part of America Goes Red online.
  • Tell everyone why you are wearing red — that heart disease is the #1 health threat for women, but only 50% know it.
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Corn Chip "Frito" Pie

1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1 (8 ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
1 (14 ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) Can Pinto Beans
1 (15 ounce) Can Chili Beans
1 Package Taco Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 (10 ounce) Bag Fritos Corn Chips

Brown the ground beef with the chopped onion in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Drain grease from meat if necessary.
Pour ground beef mixture into the slow cooker.  Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, and seasonings to the crockpot.  Stir.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
Right before serving, stir one cup of the cheese into the chili.  Top with remaining cheese and Fritos.
Serve with more chips, sour cream, letttuce, tomato as desired.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Backward Day Perfect For Upside Down Cake

Have you ever wanted to have a day where you did not have to comply with how things regularly work?? How about doing everything backwards, what all could you do backwards?? Can you read backwards?? Write backwards?? Wear your clothes backward?? How about starting with dessert and ending with an appetizer sort of day?? Most of us can walk backwards but only a few can talk backwards. What is it you would do backwards if there was a backwards day??

In every culture there has come a time of year when all social rules are thrown out. Rome celebrated a day known as Saturnalia where all social norms were flipped all around. Gambling was allowed for this day, masters could do the work of their slaves, free speech was allowed and insults were allowed.

Get involved and have some fun with backward day:

  • wear your clothes backward
  • talk backward
  •  walk backward 
  • write backwards 
  • go to be in the morning
  • start working at night
  • dinner in the morning 
  • breakfast for supper
  • eat dessert first 

What will you do to celebrate this day

1 package yellow cake mix
1 box dark brown sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
1 can pineapple rings
8 ounce jar of maraschino cherries

How to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake:
Grease a large glass baking dish.
Press brown sugar onto the bottom of the baking dish.
Drain pineapple rings and cherries.
Layer the pineapple on top of the brown sugar.
Add the cherries on top of the pineapple, in the center of the rings, and around the outsides.
Prepare the cake mix, as directed on the cake mix box.
Pour the batter into the baking dish.
Bake according to the cake mix directions.
Test for doneness with a toothpick.
Let cool slightly and turn upside down onto a large platter. The brown sugar will then be on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Easy Chocolate Pecan Croissant

1/2 roll pastry dough
1 small milk chocolate bar
1 egg white
1 handful chopped pecans
1 tsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out the pastry into an oblong shape. Put chocolate bar in middle of pastry and cut along edges. (See photo) wrap the pastry around the chocolate bar.
Glaze with egg white, sprinkle the pecans over the pastry and drizzle the maple syrup over the entire pastry.
Put in a well oiled oven safe pan with at least 1/2 inch sides to catch any drippage. Take out of the oven after 20 minutes or when it has browned.

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Plan Your Dream Vacation

I know it is cold outside right now so let's talk about something maybe warmer and a whole lot more fun. Lets talk about that dream vacation you plan to take. First thing to do is to plan where it is you will be going on vacation. After that is done then decide among the details including :

  • Flight
  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Transportation

So will you be planning your own trip or using a travel agent?? Planning early will allow you find some great deals and save a bit of money. Check online for discounts and specials, follow social media accounts, and sign up for newsletters and emails from the places that are on your vacations to do list. Doing a bit of homework before your vacation will help you know what is available and how to save a bit of money as well. 

There is no better time to start saving a bit of money for your vacation than now. Since most of us look forward to that yearly vacation we want to make it the best vacation we have ever had. This can end up being a major expense. The sooner we start saving money the better. Saving early will help cut down on the stress to save and save us from having to borrow from our saving sources. Thus go ahead and set a budget take into mind the cost it will be to take that vacation to determine the goal to be saved. 

Plane tickets
Airport parking
Baggage fees
Hotel (including fees if possible)
Food (travel days, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks)
Car rental / transportation
Rental car insurance
Souvenirs & misc.
Extra spur moment adventures
Refundable deposits for hotels and car rental

It may be cold outside today but soon you will be able to relax and enjoy your dream vacation.

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Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

This is more of a method than a recipe, and can be doubled or tripled as necessary. You can also get creative with the seasonings--add pepper, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, or anything you'd like to really spice things up.

round corn tortillas (yellow or white corn will both work)
canola or vegetable oi
Sea salt

Pour canola or vegetable oil into a heavy bottomed skillet or pot until it is about 1" deep. Heat over medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees.

While the oil heats, use a knife to quarter the tortilas (for smaller chips, cut the tortilla into sixths).  Once the oil is hot, drop the tortilla quarters into the hot oil in batches, being sure not to crowd the pan. Let the chips fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom; flip for another 30 seconds. Use a slotted metal spoon to remove from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Salt immediately to taste. Serve hot or let cool and store in zipped plastic bags for up to 5 days.

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Do a Puzzle

May it go down in weather history that January 30, 2019 was a very frigid day in many areas including where I live in Southern Illinois. Many will try their best to stay inside and be entertained. Some may spend time on the social sites , others may play games and yet there are some that may put together puzzles. In the old days,,, they truly were not that long ago, puzzle making was something that was commonly done in the winter time. Perhaps that is why January includes a national puzzle day.

Crossword puzzles, puzzles of jigsaw, trivia, word searches, brain teasers and the list of type of puzzles goes on and on are very popular. Studies have demonstrated that working on jigsaw style puzzles uses both sides of the brain, helps build the memory and cognitive function as well as problem solving skills. In addition, word searches and crossword puzzles have shown to help build vocabulary and language skills. Thus making one of the best reasons for participate in completing puzzles is to stimulate the brain which helps keep it active and practicing its skills.

Jodi Jill created National Puzzle day in 2002. She wanted to share her love and enjoyment for puzzles and developed classroom lesson plans for National Puzzle Day.

Check out these great Online Puzzle Sites:

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Beef and Macaroni Goulash #Recipe

2 cups uncooked macaroni (use rice pasta or gluten-free pasta for gluten-free version)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped (or mixed chopped green onion greens and yellow onion)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Pinch chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 large can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt  and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Start cooking the pasta: Get a large pot of salted hot water (1 tablespoon of salt for 2 quarts of water) heating and begin cooking the macaroni as per the directions on the macaroni package.
Brown the beef and onions: While the water is heating and macaroni cooking, prepare the sauce. In a skillet, brown the ground beef in a tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Stir only infrequently so that the ground beef has an opportunity to brown.
Add seasonings, tomatoes: Add the celery seed, a dash of crushed red pepper and seasoned salt. Pour in canned tomatoes, add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add cooked pasta: Reserve a half cup of the pasta cooking water. Mix in the drained and cooked macaroni and the parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add in some of the pasta water if the dish is too dry.
Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

French Onion Dip #Recipe

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp white wine
several dashes Tobasco sauce, to taste
3/4 cup caramelized onions, chopped small

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Serve with your favorite dippable snack

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Companies Coming Chicken Casserole

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
2 wedges of onion
4 cups Pepperidge Farms Herb seasoned stuffing mix
1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
8 oz frozen broccoli cuts – thawed (optional)

Place chicken breasts, broth, garlic and onion in a skillet and bring just to a boil over medium high heat, turn heat down to medium, cover and simmer until pink is gone – about 15-20 min.
Remove the chicken and shred with a fork and set aside. Reserve the broth (this should equal about 1 cup, but if it doesn’t add enough canned broth to equal a cup).

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Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Crumb Topping:
½ cup butter , melted
1½ cups oatmeal cereal
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal cereal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese filling:
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your a 9" springform pan.
To make the crumb topping, add the 1/2 cup melted butter, oat cereal, 3/4 cup brown sugar and vanilla to a large bowl and combine until crumbly.
To make the cake, in a stand mixer add the 1/4 cup butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Turn on the stand mixer on low, then move to medium speed until fully combined.
Add in the flour, oat cereal, baking powder, baking soda and salt and turn on low until just combined.
To make the cream cheese filling, whisk the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 egg until smooth in a medium bowl.
To assemble the cake, add half the cake batter to the bottom of the pan.
Add the cream cheese filling leaving a 1" border around the edge and top with 1 cup blueberries.
Add the rest of the cake batter, top with remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and finally add the crumble over the top of the cake.
Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until center is set and doesn't move or jiggle when you move the pan.
If there is even a slight jiggle the middle will be raw, so don't worry about it overcooking.

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National Stalking Awareness Month

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. For victims who have experienced being stalked know the fear and trauma that is involved. Many individuals who have been stalked sometime in their life suffer from debilitating fear. Extreme anxiety continues to stay with the individual even after the event.

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states. The issue is that those that strive to pursue criminal action often find it hard to prove what has happened. At times these individuals the process can make the victim feel more powerless in getting the harassment to the end.

Stalkers are often individuals the victim knows. Often it may be someone that the victim has had a former or current intimate partnership with. Whether it is an every day stalking or a common occurance stalking is still stalking. In addition, the internet and technology seem to be favorite tools to incite fear.

Nearly 90% of all homicide victims that were physically assaulted had been stalked in the past 12 months prior to the murder. Over 1/2 of these were women who had reported the stalking to the police. Victims of stalking will struggle with fear of the unknown, not feeling safe and a general uneasiness. Stalkers can cause damage to a victims physical, mental and social well beings.

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