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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Famous Female Pilot ---- Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson was born in England and vanished on the 5th of January 1941. She was an airplane pilot that was breaking her way into history with an opportunity to set a record for a solo flight from London to Darwin, Australia. She would do the flight with either her husband or by herself. Amy Johnson had allready set other long distance records in the 1930s and flew in WWII as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary. However, during a ferry flight while flying for the military she would die.

Lets take a step back in time to see what Amy's life was like in her early years The oldest of four sisters and the daughter of a merchant. She would attend high school in Kingston as well as the University of Sheffield where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. Flying was simply a hobby of hers to start with. On January 28th 1929 Amy Johnson would receive here pilot's "A" License in 1929. In addition she would be the first British woman to obtain a ground engineer's "C" license.

Amy Johnson would have her first aircraft purchased by her largest supporter, her father. In 1930 she would become the first woman pilot to fly solo from England to Australia The aircraft she flew now can be seen in the Science Museum in London. Following the flight she would purchase a second aircraft.

Amy Johnson and Jack Humphrey became the first to fly from London to Moscow completing the 1760 mile flight in one day. The pair continued to set new records flying in many parts of the world. She would take a short period of time and marry another pilot. The married couple would continue on her work setting flight records.

While flying in bad weather and reportedly out of fuel Amy Johnson traveled off course. She would bail out of the aircraft which would crash. She would be spotted in her parachute as it landed in the water and called for help. There was a strong tide, snow was falling and air was freezing. An individual trying to rescue her died trying to save her. Amy's body would never be found.

January 14, 1941 the date of a memorial service held for Amy Johnson in the church of St. Martin in the Fields. She has no known grave.

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Asian Noodle Salad

 1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
 1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
 1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
 1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
 1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
 1 small bag bean sprouts (I left these out)
 3 sliced scallions
 3 peeled, sliced cucumbers
 LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
 1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet (I also left these out b/c I forgot them at the store but they would be wonderful in the salad)
 Juice of 1 lime
 8 tablespoons olive oil
 2 tablespoons sesame oil
 6 tablespoons soy sauce
 1/3 cup brown sugar
 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
 2 cloves chopped garlic
 2 hot peppers or jalapenos, chopped
 More chopped cilantro - lots

Mix together salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a disorder that is best demonstrated by extreme fatigue or tiredness. The feeling of being tired does not go away with rest and can not be explained by other medical conditions. The reasons behind this syndrome are not well known either. Perhaps it is caused by a viral infection, psychological stress or other factors put together and because there is no defined cause it is also hard to diagnose.

There are no tests for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Doctors will be starting a game of chance and diagnosis as they rule out other causes. In the past this syndrome was very controversial but now it is a widely accepted medical condition. While it can affect anyone women in their 40s and 50s are the highest class diagnosed. In addition, there is no cure or treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However, there have been several common symptoms noted.

The most common symptom is fatigue. It is not just a bit tired but the noted fatigue is severe enough to interfere with daily activities, must be present for at least 6 months and not curable with bed rest. In addition to this symptom there must be at least 4 other symptoms as following present

  • severe fatigue that’s not improved by rest
  • post-exertional malaise (PEM), where your symptoms get worse after any physical or mental activity
  • loss of memory or concentration
  • feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
  • chronic insomnia (and other sleep disorders) 
  • muscle pain
  • frequent headaches
  • multi-joint pain without redness or swelling
  • frequent sore throat
  • tender and swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
  • You may also experience extreme fatigue after physical or mental activities. This can last for more than 24 hours after the activity

Research efforts continue to define Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but the road has been challenging for all researchers, doctors and those who are suffering. Many that suffer will experience depression, anxiety, or social isolation.

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Protect Your Eyes from The Sun

 sunglasses protect your eyes from UV light. Sunglasses have been around for a long time. Just take a look at this time line from Direct Sight

Follow the direction of others and protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses

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Protect Your Vision

Routine eye exams are important and should be completed at least one time a year in order to protect your eyes. Most of us are aware of that but did you know that there are things that we can do daily to protect our eyes as well.

  • Don't smoke.
  • Take regular breaks while doing computer work and other tasks that mostly involve your eyes. 
  • Wear your glasses. ... 
  • Wear sunglasses when out of doors.
  • eat 5 fruit and veggies a day
Tomatoes are great to dine on when trying to save you sight. Tomatoes have carotene that helps eyes. Try this recipe for a great tasting way to protect your eyes

2 cups halved multicolored cherry tomatoes 
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 cup chopped English cucumber 
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives 
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Combine tomatoes and salt in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add cucumber, onion, olives, oregano leaves, olive oil, vinegar, and crushed red pepper; toss.
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Beef and Sausage Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

1 pound ground beef, 15% fat or less
3 links hot Turkey Italian Sausage, about 12 oz. (squeeze out of casings)
1/3 cup 100% whole wheat bread crumbs
2 T flax seed meal (optional, but good)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. minced garlic,
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese,
salt-pepper to taste
Additional Parmesan for sprinkling over meatballs

Sauce Ingredients:
2 cans diced tomatoes. pureed with food processor or immersion blender
(I used Muir Glen fire roasted organic tomatoes)
1 T minced garlic (or less, I used garlic puree in a jar)
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
(can substitute 1 T Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle for the oregano and basil)
salt to taste (I used McCormick’s Mediterranean Sea Salt which I received as a sample, and it was great in this.)


Remove ground beef and sausage from refrigerator, squeeze sausage out of casing and let meats come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425 F.
Put breadcrumbs (and flax seed meal if using) in large bowl and add 1/3 cup very hot water. Let sit a few minutes until water is absorbed, then add eggs, teaspoon of garlic, grated Parmesan, and salt and pepper. Add ground beef and sausage to mixture, then use your hands to combine breadcrumb mixture with meat.

Spray glass casserole dish or roasting pan with nonstick spray, then use a tablespoon to measure out meatballs, rolling them in your hands to make them round. Arrange meatballs so there is a small space between each meatball.

Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree canned tomatoes. Put tomatoes in bowl and add minced garlic, herbs, and salt. Pour sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle rest of Parmesan cheese over. Bake 35 minutes, or until firm and bubbling. Serve hot, with additional Parmesan sprinkled on top.
recipe resource here

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Crab Dip From Canned Crab Meat

2  6 oz cans of crab meat such as Bubble Bee’s, drained
8 oz of 1/3 less fat neufch√Ętel cheese, softened
1 cup of Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning + plus more for garnish

Let your cream cheese sit out until it comes to room temperature or until it is soft enough to mix well. If you are in a hurry to make this follow my tips above in the post to soften cream cheese in a hurry.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl stir together crab meat, Neufchatel cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, and the spices. Add the ingredients to an 8X8 in a baking dish and top with more Monterrey Jack cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crab dip is bubbly and hot.
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Friday, March 8, 2019

Corned Beef Grilled Cheese on Rye

Corned Beef Grilled Cheese on Rye
Estimated Cost: $10.00 for 4 large sandwiches

1/2 lb. deli corned beef or pastrami, thinly sliced
8 slices rye bread
8 ounces thinly sliced cheddar cheese
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
dill pickle slices

Heat medium non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add corned beef and cook until browned in places, stirring often, about five minutes. Meanwhile, heat another skillet over medium high heat. Spread dijon mustard thinly on insides of bread slices. Layer with cheese and pastrami and form sandwiches. Combine butter and garlic and spread on outsides of bread. Place sandwiches in preheated skillet and cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted, lowering heat to medium low if needed. Remove sandwiches from skillet, open and add pickle slices if desired.

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Shortbread Cookie Bars inspired with Toasted Coconut and Lime #Recipe

Toasted Coconut and Lime Shortbread Cookies
Estimated Cost: $1.75 for a bitty batch

1/2 cup softened salted butter
1/3 cup sugar
zest of one lime
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
dash of salt
juice of one lime
1/2 cup powdered sugar, more or less
1/2 cup toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a loaf pan with buttered tin foil. In a small bowl, cream butter, sugar and lime zest until nice and fluffy. Add flour and just a dash of salt. Pat into prepared pan and bake for about 20-30 minutes (or longer; watch for the entire surface to be bubbly-not just the edges.) Cool on counter. Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth. Pour over cooled cookies and sprinkle with coconut. Yum!

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Healthy Homemade Granola

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweeteend
3 tablespoons flax seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup toasted mixed nuts, chopped (I used pistachios and almonds here)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used raisins and dried cherries and cranberries here)

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the dried fruit. Stir well to incorporate. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the depth of browning you’re looking for), stirring every 10 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and and cool completely, in its pan, on a wire wrack. Once the granola is cool, mix in the dried fruit. 

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Tartar Sauce ===== #Recipe and Info

March 8th, 2019 is the first Friday of Lent. So there is not better time to share National Tartar Sauce Day. While many consider tartar sauce accompanying fish a have to the truth is that tartar truly goes well with many dishes From a dip for fries, fritters and other battered appetizers the tartar sauce adds a zesty tang to fried foods. In addition tartar sauce can be used as a sauce for fish, chicken and beef recipes, a marinade for grilling or simply mix it into a pasta or potato salad.

Believe it or not tartar sauce goes well on tacos and spring rolls as well. Tartar sauce can be made into a great tasting concoction by simply adding a little bit of this and that.

Basic Tartar Sauce Recipe 
1 cup real Mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped dill pickles
1 Tbsp dill fresh or frozen, OR 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion is good too optional

Combine everything and give it a good stir.

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The State of Oregon Celebrates

The 33rd state of the United States joined on March 8th. The state of Oregon was also known as The Beaver State. Oregon is a state with a variety of temperatures and land environments. From the warm Pacific air to the western Cascade Mountains and the lush Willamette Valley and the high desert.

Many Indian tribes and others settled along the Columbia River Gorge, Klamath Basin and eastern points. The Northwest Passage also attracted many of the first European explorers Later the Oregon Trail would become a well known passage for pioneers.

Windsurfers, kayakers, bikers, hikers, skiers, and many other outdoor adventurers all visit Oregon for a fun sporting time. A few other things you may or may not know about Oregon are:

  • Oregon has more ghost town than any other state
  • Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. The lake is formed on the remains of an ancient volcano more than 6,500 years ago. The water there is crystal blue and loved world wide
  • Oregon is one of the only 2 states without self serve gas stations New Jersey is the other one
  • The tallest tree in the state in Oregon stands 329 feet and is a Coast Douglas Fir.
  • Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut. The state nut is the hazelnut a.k.a the filbert. The Dorris Ranch in Springfield is the first commercial filbert orchard in the state. 
  • In 1880 a sea cave was discovered Oregon
  • The coastline of Oregon has 9 lighthouses. Five of these lighthouses are in use and the others are designated historic monuments
  • The city of Portland host the International Rose Test Garden where more than 500 varieties of roses cultivated continuously since 1917.
  • Find out more unique facts about Oregon here
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Chocolate Peanut Clusters

A few inventions are responsible for bringing to life my husbands favorite chocolate candy. Peanut clusters were created of course following the food invention of chocolate which took place via processing of the cocoa bean. This became a popular process around the 1890s.

At the same time that chocolate was becoming popular another food way was being located. The agriculture world had found a way to grow peanuts and process them so that they were easily available to the public.

Confectioners would take the two seemingly random introductions and create a new treat.   Peanuts were easily available ingredient and why not add them to a bit of chocolate. The results was that sweetened chocolate temptation known as peanut clusters. As I stated my hubby love chocolate peanut clusters as well as I can imagine many others do as well.

3 (16-ounce) jars lightly salted roasted peanuts (lightly salted is important!)
2 (4-ounce) boxes German Baker's Chocolate
1 (8-ounce) box Unsweetened Baker's Chocolate (there are 2 in the picture. that was wrong.)
1 (24-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla (not pictured because I didn't know I wanted/needed it until after the photo)

Stick to the ceramic-style crockpots. We think the metal pots get hot too quickly which causes the chocolate to "bloom" or turn white. It still tastes good, but isn't bright and shiny. 
This makes about 150 peanut clusters. Spray the inside of your crock with cooking spray, and place the unwrapped baking chocolate, and bars of German chocolate in the bottom. 
Add all the peanuts. Pour in the chocolate chips, and add vanilla. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, or high for about 1.5. 
While the chocolate is melting, lay out a bunch of parchment paper on your counter top or kitchen table. When time has elapsed, stir well, and remove from heat. 
Use a small ice-cream scoop to plop out bite-sized piles onto the parchment paper.
Let cool before eating---this takes a long time---hours. It'd be best to leave them overnight so you don't pick at them. 
Unless you have much more will power than I do, then I suppose it would be okay. But I sort of hate you.
Package up and give away as soon as possible.

The Verdict.
These are addictive. The chocolate flavor is quite rich, and tastes dark. If you aren't a fan of dark chocolate, use milk chocolate chips. The salt flavor from the nuts is subtle, but is there, and it makes your tongue itch for more.

pretzels can be substituted for the peanuts if you prefer

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What Do You Know :::: Pigs

Pigs are one of the smartest animals on the planet. How smart are you?? See what you know about pigs

  • In their natural state, pigs are very clean animals. They keep their toilets far from their living or feeding area.
Pigs are the only farm animals that make a separate sleeping den (which they keep spotless) and use a latrine area. They just don’t look clean.

If you’ve ever suggested a friend was “sweating like a pig”, you were wrong. In fact, pigs barely sweat at all. Pigs only have a few sweat glands, and to control their temperature they huddle in the cold, and pant or wallow when it gets hot.
  • They are much more tolerant of colder temperatures than heat. Pigs have no sweat glands, so they can't sweat hence enjoy being in mud to keep themselves cool.

Adult hogs are most comfortable and grow best when the daily temperature ranges between 55 to 70 degrees/ Baby pigs, however, need to be warmer between 85 to 90 degrees. It does not take long before a pig is more comfortable at 70 degrees 

Pig society is based around the harem: a dominant male surrounded by groups called “sounders”, each consisting of a sow and her litter, who stay together until the young come of age. Sounders continually communicate through grunts, squeaks and sniffs.
  • Pigs are very social animals. They form close bonds with each other and other species and some like to cuddle up close, especially at low temperatures.
The grunts made by pigs vary depending on the pig's personality and can convey important information about the welfare of this highly social species, new research has found.
  • When they are trained, piglets can learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called and can learn tricks faster than dogs. 
Pigs are highly intelligent. Like dogs, they can be easily housebroken, taught to fetch and come to heel. Pigs can learn to dance, race, pull carts and sniff out landmines.
  • Pigs use their grunts to communicate with each other. The grunts made by pigs vary depending on the pig's personality and can convey important information about the welfare of this highly social species.
  • Pigs have very long memories and can remember things even years later.

  • Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices, and mother pigs can communicate with them through her grunts while they suckle. From scientific research it is found that piglets have a certain teat order, and every piglet has its own teat.
  • The highest density of tactile receptors is found in the pig's snout. Pigs use it mainly to dig in the dirt and smell for food. A pig´s sense of smell is about 2000 times more sensitive than humans. 
  • They like to get massages, (in natural conditions) use trees for rubbing, relax while listening to music, are very curious animals and like enrichment.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Have It Your Way Breakfast Casserole

This is a have it your way breakfast casserole. The more eggs that you use the firmer and less likely the casserole the will be to deflate. Prior to adding the sausage to the casserole it should be first browned. You may use whatever spice or spice combination you want

6-10 eggs
2-3 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 slices bread, cut into cubes
2 cups milk
1 cup corn (cooked or frozen)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli (cooked or raw, raw will turn out crunchier)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 cup cubed ham and/or cooked Italian sausage
A few slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon herbes de provence, or other dried herbs, or a Tbsp of fresh chopped herbs such as basil, rosemary, or thyme
13 x 9 inch casserole dish

Beat eggs, add milk and cheese: Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the milk and cheese.
Add the bread and carefully stir until all pieces of bread are moistened (don't over mix or the bread may disintegrate).
Add the additions: Add salt and pepper to taste (if using Italian sausage, you won't need either.) If you have a lot of additions, you might need a couple more eggs to make sure that everything is at least touching some egg mixture. Just whisk in 2 Tbsp of milk for every beaten egg you add.
Bake: Butter a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Bake in a 350°F oven for 50 minutes to an hour, until the top is browned and the center springs back when touched.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
recipe resource here

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Peanut Butter Go GO Bars

cooking oil spray
1 cup regular rolled oats
1/3 cup oat bran
3 Tbsp flax seed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp each, baking powder & salt
1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
12 dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped dried mission figs
3/4 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 large egg
finely shredded zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on the 9″ sides, and coat with cooking oil spray.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, oat bran, flax seeds, flour, baking powder, salt , peanuts, cranberries, and figs until well blended.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter, milk, egg, honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well blended.
3. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and beat until completely blended.  Scrape dough into pan and with wet fingers or a rubber spatula, pat to fill pan completely and evely (dough is sticky, so you may need to wash your hands a few times).  Chill dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Invert pan onto a work surface, lift off pan, and peel off plastic.  Using a bench scraper or knife, cut straight down lengthwise through middle, then crosswise to make 16  bars, each 1 1/2″ wide.  Place bars about 1″ apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
5. Bake bars until lightly browned and somewhat firm to touch, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.
original recipe appeared in a sunset magazine 2008

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Enjoy Pork Crown Roast ::: Recipe May Surprise You

You will often find a crown roast of pork at a formal event or a special occasion The crown is made up of two loin rib racks from a pig. The ends of the rib are often French trimmed allowing the end bones to be revealed Every two to three bones a partial cut is made that allows the meat to have flexibility to bend in forming the circle. The ends of the ribs are tied together to allow the ribs to stand up like a crown. The middle of the crowns is may be stuffed. After the rib roast is cooked the meat can be carved into singular serving pieces

A Bit of History
The pig has been raised as livestock since around 5000 BC. Prior to being domesticated in the east their was the wild boar. Pigs are the most eaten meat in the world. It only makes sense that individuals have tried many ways to cook pork.

The following recipe may surprise you but I can admit it is much easier than the traditional crown roast of pork

beef or pork frankfurter 1 pound
apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp
poppy seeds 1 tsp
uncooked savoy cabbage 2 cup(s), shredded, or other green cabbage, shredded
water ½ cup boiling
canned pimento ¼ cup chopped or sliced

Slice frankfurters lengthwise, but do not cut all the way through. (Do not separate halves). Open. Broil, cut side up on rack, about 3 inches from source of heat, for about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and poppy seeds to cabbage; toss thoroughly. Heap cabbage in a mound on the center of the baking dish. Lean cut side of frankfurters against cabbage to form a crown. Secure frankfurters with toothpicks. Pour water over cabbage. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until cabbage is tender, but crisp. Garnish with pimento. Divide evenly. Makes 4 dinner servings.
recipe resource weight watchers 1969

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Truck Stop Pancakes

5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
5 cups buttermilk
5 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt (optional)
5 tablespoons sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar; stir into the wet ingredients just until blended. Adjust the thickness of the batter to your liking by adding more flour or buttermilk if necessary.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side. Continue with remaining batter.

Scaled down version:
Feeds 4ish (makes approximately 16 - 18 pancakes)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1-2/3 cups buttermilk
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch salt (optional)
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

Follow same directions from above
recipe resource all recipe

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A Greek Style Salad #Recipe

Half a red onion
1 small  lemon
4 good-sized tomatoes
Half a long cucumber or a whole knobbly, crunchy one
100g good quality feta cheese
small handful Kalamata olives
4tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil (Greek, if possible!)
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

1. Half an hour before you want to eat the salad, slice the onion very finely and place in a bowl with the juice from the lemon. This will soften the onion and take away some of the harsh flavour of raw onion.
2. In a small bowl, measure out the olive oil and sprinkle in the oregano with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Set to one side.
3. Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and remove the seeds and mushy middle bit (unless you love seeds and mush, in which case feel free to leave them in!). Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds/fleshy core. Chop the crunchy flesh into small pieces. Cut feta into small cubes and olives into rough quarters.
4. Assemble the salad just before serving. Throw tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and olives into a bowl and mix gently to combine, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle softened onions over the top and pour over most of the lemony juices over the salad. Use your judgement here - I found I used just under the juice of a whole lemon! Finally pour over the oregano oil which will mingle nicely with the lemony juices.
5. Devour and mop up the gorgeous juices with crusty bread!

This salad would be great with so many things - a side dish at a barbecue, alongside some simply-grilled fish or chicken, a summery lunch time dish, with grilled and marinated lamb chops....

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Calming Pain from Endometriosis

The pain from endometriosis can be hard to live with. The pain can often be overwhelming as well. Learning to live and cope with the pain as well as stresses in your life can be very hard. However there are many techniques that can help you through your journey.

  • Exercise
  • Sleep 8–9 hours each night
  • Take naps when you need them
  • Meditate daily
  • Eat 3 healthy meals a day with nutritious snacks in between
  • Do things you enjoy when you feel well
  • Stay in touch with your friends in person, by phone, or online
  • Keep up with your schoolwork (so you don’t feel overwhelmed or get behind)
  • Practice yoga
  • Learn when to push yourself and when not to
  • Keep to routines as much as possible
  • Plan ahead with your parents/caregivers for unexpected “flair–ups” of pain
  • Talk to a counselor
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Colorectal Cancer Facts

Some Facts about Colorectal

-Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women. It affects all races and is most commonly found in people age 50 or older.

-The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer, that’s why it is so important to get screened.

-People age 50 and older have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. Also, those at high risk include people with a family history of colorectal cancer, those who smoke and African Americans.

-There are several screening options including take home kits. Most insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening, and there are affordable options for patients who are uninsured.

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spaghetti with red sauce #recipe

2 tsp olive oil
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp of dried oregano (divided)
1 tsp of dried basil (divided)
3 cloves of garlic
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and coat it with olive oil cooking spray. Place the onion and whole tomatoes on the center of sheet, reserving the juice. Slide the garlic cloves inside the tomatoes – this protects the garlic from burning and infuses the tomato with the roasted garlic flavor (YUM). Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil all over the tomatoes along with the sea salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the tomatoes, onions and garlic are tender, sweet and juicy. Be careful not to over cook them because the tomatoes will dry up.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday

March 6, 2019 , today, opens the door to lent. It is known as Ash Wednesday and occurs directly before the season of lent that comes before Easter. Individuals from a variety of Christian sectors will observe this holiday. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists are all denominations that will observe Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday is a day full of prayer, fasting and repentance. Participants will have a repentance ashes placed on their forehead. The day has been created in accordance with the phrase "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return" In addition it is the first day of lent in which many will give up items and make more time for the Lord

Fasting is a large part of this day as well. While the day before was full of dining on Fat Tuesday this day is full of abstinence. The Lent season is meant for a period of fasting for forty days. Historically many will fast from sunup to sundown. Ash Wednesday and every friday during the season of Lent are meat free days.

Ashes are a large part of the activities of Ash Wednesday. Ashes will either be sprinkled over the heads or they will be used to mark a cross on the forehead. Many participants will take blessed ashes home with them to place on the heads of other members of the family

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Grace Wilbur Trout

The fight for the right of all women took place all over the United States. One woman from the great state of Illinois was Grace Belden Wilbur Trout. Born March 18, 1864 Grace was the president of the Chicago Political Equality League and was instrumental in getting the Illinois legislature to pass a law allowing women to vote in both local and national elections.

Grace Trout was the president of the Chicago Political Equality League. The league formed in 1894 and published pamphlets and petitions to lobby the legislature for the right for women to vote Trout joined others on speaking tours of Illinois arguing for suffrage.

On June 11th the right for women to vote for many on the ballet. Offices of state rep, congressional rep or governor were still off limits.

Later in life Trout would move to Jacksonville Florida where she continued to lead. She was the president of th Planning and Advisory Board as well as president of the Jacksonville Gardens club.

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Dessert Using Delicious Cookies

This recipe is based on a box mix and those delicious oreo cookies. Today, March 6th is national Oreo Day. The Oreo cookie for me goes right back to my grandmothers cookie jar. 

Oreo's are sandwich cookies that are made up of two chocolate disks with sweet cream filling in between the two cookies when sandwiched. National Biscuit Company or Nabisco first developed this loved cookie in 1912 The Oreo cookie is one of the best selling cookies in the United States. Since the beginning there have been many changes
In 1912 the cookies name was Oreo Biscuit. That was the year of the name change to "Oreo Sandwich" as well. The cookies were packaged in a clear glass topped novelty cans and sold for 25 cents. In 1948 the Oreo sandwich cookie was renamed "Oreo Game Sandwich" 

Now that you have a bit of information on the Oreo how about trying a remarkable recipe using these oreo cookies. 

1 box Brownie Mix
eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
1/4 Cup hot fudge topping (chilled or room temp)
16 Oreos

Preheat oven according to the directions on the back of the box. Spray an 8×8 baking dish generously with nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the back of the box. Add 1/4 cup hot fudge to the brownie batter and stir to combine.
Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking dish, add a layer of Oreos, then top with remaining batter.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or as directed on the back of the box.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Fat Tuesday

The party has begun!!! It is Fat Tuesday at Mardi Gras!!! There are surely to be lots of beads, fried foods, lots of drinking which leads to massive hangovers and lots of celebrating. The cities of New Orleans, Venice and Rio de Janerio will all see a wild party like atmosphere. However, it was not initially meant to be this way.

Fat Tuesday was always filled with food and parties but it was meant to be so much more. Roman Catholic religion sets up a day of partying and eating to precede Ash Wednesday. It is a time to welcome in the season of lent where for 40 days prior to Easter Sunday. During the 40 days Catholics and a few protestant groups celebrate the season of Lent and prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with prayer, fasting and even abstinence

The large party like atmosphere that is often seen now on Fat Tuesday started back in Medieval times Europe. The French explorers brought Mardi Gras to the new world in Louisiana area during 1600s. The Mardi Gras Celebration continued to grow with the first parade taking place in 1837. Since that time Mardi Gras has continued to grow.

While Fat Tuesday is meant to be a Christian related holiday it truly has developed a flair of its own. The roots of another ancient Roman holiday that pagans celebrated may have its ties to Fat Tuesday as well. Lupercalia was a day held in honor of  fertility and springs bounty. The day was celebrated by drinking, dancing, sacrificing animals and enjoying the occasional orgy. However, while the similarities are close are the two holidays truly related??

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Enjoy a Bite of King Cake

King Cake is an important part of the Mardi Gras celebration. While not all of us can be in the midst of the festivities in Louisiana we can still join in the great fun of it all. This king cake is filled with layer of cream cheese and a mixed berry jam made from a mixture of 4 different berries. The cake is decorated in traditional king cake, it was iced then coated in colors of purple, gold and green sugars. Enjoy!!!

For Dough:
2 tbsp butter
8 oz sour cream
5 tbsp sugar, separated into 4 & 1 tbsp
salt - two finger pinch
1 package (7g) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees)
1 egg
3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
oil - doesn't matter what kind, just for your hands and the bowl

For Filling:
8 oz frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt (a pinch)
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 oz sour cream,
1/3 of a beaten egg
1 tbsp lemon zest

For Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp butter, melted
4 tbsp milk
pinch o' salt

For Colored Sugars:
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (not powdered), separated into 1/2 cups
food coloring - blue, red, green, & yellow
* if you can't find superfine sugar you can use regular sugar. it will just be much more course)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start the dough. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the butter, 4 tbsp sugar, and salt. Stir. Once the butter has melted, add the sour cream and heat to luke warm, about 105 degrees. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup warm water, yeast, and 1 tbsp sugar, then stir. Allow the yeast to sit for about five minutes, until it has been activated. If the yeast does not become active, toss out the mixture and start with a new packet of yeast. Once the yeast is active, whisk in the warm butter and sour cream mixture, the egg, and 1 cup of flour. Whisk until smooth. Using an oiled wooden spoon, begin mixing in small amounts of flour until you form a soft dough. This will generally take about another 2 cups of flour, just go by touch. You don't really want a sticky dough, but a slightly sticky dough is okay because you can knead in more flour as you go, whereas it's much harder to add liquid. Turn the dough out on to a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. With oiled hands, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Place the ball of dough into a large well-oiled bowl, then flip the dough so all of the surface area of the dough is oiled. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and a hand towel, then set the bowl in a warm (about 80-85 degrees is best) draft-free area and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I find an area around the preheating oven is usually the best warm and snuggly environment for the yeast.)

While the dough is rising make the filling. Place the frozen berries, lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the berries for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until the berries have broken down and the liquid will thickly coat the back of the spoon. It may be necessary to assist some of the larger strawberries in the breakdown process by smooshing them with a spoon. While the berries are simmering away, add the softened cream cheese and 1/8 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl. Cream the mixture together until smooth. Add in the sour cream, egg, and lemon zest and mix until thoroughly blended. Set the cream cheese mixture aside. Once the berries are finished, transfer them into a bowl to cool for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, refrigerate the berries until the dough has finished rising, so they have more of a chance to firmly set.

Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it out onto a lightly floured long piece of parchment paper. Lightly flour the top of the dough and a rolling pin (a smooth-edged glass will work in place of a rolling pin in a pinch). Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches long and 7 or so inches wide. Gently lift all the sides of the rectangle to make sure the dough is not sticking to the parchment paper, this will be important when you go to roll up the cake. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the outside of the dough. Next, evenly spread a thin layer of the berry mixture over the cream cheese layer. You may not need to use the entirety of the berries. Roll the cake up, in a jellyroll-esque fashion, starting by rolling the unfilled border of the dough closest to you over the filling, and carefully begin to roll the dough up into a log. When you have only a few inches left, take the unrolled part and complete the log by gently lifting and pressing the remaining part of the dough up on to the log, so it's seam side-up. Carefully press on the seam to ensure a solid bond. Very carefully work the two ends of the log together to form an oval, then press the doughy edges together to completely seal the cake into an oval. Slide the parchment paper that the king cake is on, onto a large movable surface, such as a large cutting board or a sheet pan. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper then place the sheet pan, parchment side down, on top of the king cake to form a king cake sandwich. Trying not to smash the cake, quickly flip the sandwich over and lift off the top cutting board or sheet pan. Gently peel back the parchment paper, and voila!, the king cake is transferred to a parchment-lined sheet pan, seam side down, and ready for its second rise and the oven. Recover the cake with greased plastic wrap and a hand towel and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes. Bake the cake at 375 degrees in the upper 1/3 of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown. Immediately transfer the cake to a cooling rack after removing it from the oven. This is most easily done by sliding the parchment paper onto the rack directly from the sheet pan. Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes before icing the cake.

During the second rise, make the colored sugars. Place 1/2 cup of superfine sugar into three separate bowls (standard soup bowls work well). Using the food coloring make one bowl of green sugar, one bowl of yellow sugar, and one bowl of purple sugar (more of a red purple than an indigo). Use the back of a spoon or a pestle, work the food coloring into the sugar by grinding it against the side of the bowl and working the coloring throughout all of the sugar. Continue this until the sugar is uniform in color and there are no clumps. Mardi Gras colors are super vivid so use as much food coloring as is necessary to achieve them!

Once the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, make the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, melted butter, and milk until smooth. You want the icing to be able to drizzle easily but not just run right off the cake, so if the icing is too thin, just whisk in more sifted powdered sugar and if the icing is too thick whisk in a touch more milk.

After the cake has had a chance to cool, remove the parchment and move the cake to whatever platter you wish to serve it on. Cut several strips of parchment paper a few inches wide and tuck it underneath the edges of the cake for easy clean up after decorating. At this point, stick a dried bean or little plastic baby into the cake through the bottom. It's tradition in Louisiana that who ever gets the baby has to spring for the next cake! Else where, it's a sign of good luck :-) . Drizzle the icing evenly over the cake and allow it to ooze down the sides. Before the icing has a chance to set, sift on rotating strips of colored sugar. Carefully remove the pieces of parchment paper. King cake is fantastic eaten warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!...but only after christmas and before ash wednesday, otherwise it's just gauche! ;-)

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Why Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

March is the month is often a month where there is little freshly harvested. This means that the best fruits and veggies can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Many of the frozen selections are all ready prepared and ready to use or cook as is. This means that using fruits and vegetables from the freezer are time savers as well. With no prep, no cleaning and no cutting needed. In addition you can find the flavor you are looking for whether it is salt free or with an added flavor.

Top reasons that frozen fruit and veggies should be on the grocery list:

  • freezing pauses just picked, just baked and just crafted foods keeping them at the peak of freshness and locking in their flavor and nutrients
  • freezing is a natural way to keep food safe by preventing microorganisms from growing and slows down the enzyme activity that causes spoilage. 
  •  Boiling or steaming some veggies may actually boost levels of nutrients

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