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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Introducing Cockscomb Flowers

Going by the name of woolflowers, cockscomb flower and "Flaming Feather" the Celosia plant is an annual flower that can bloom for up to ten weeks. This unusual looking flower comes in colors of red, purple and pink. The word 'Celosia' means 'burning' in Greek and was most likely offered to this plant due to their appearance when a large number of these plants are together.

Celosia are unique because they are made up of a number of tiny flowers. The flowers each will produce small seeds. The celosia flowers are lovely when dried

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Do You Play Scrabble

Are you an individual with lots of knowledge of trivia and spelling?? Then the game of Scrabble may be for you. Created by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938 the game of scrabble is a word game that uses letter tiles to create words in an attempt to reach the highest score. However, the original name of this game was Criss-Crosswords and was renamed by James Brunot who purchased the rights to manufacture the game of scrabble.

To keep up with the times the rules of Scrabble have been changed in 1953, 1976, 1989 and 1999. The game also has been produced using braille so even those with little or no sight could play. Around the world Scrabble can be found in 31 different languages. Perhaps, the game of Scrabble keeps the entire world thinking, spelling and playing

It has been estimated that every hour in a day is the start of an average of 30,000 games of Scrabble. The lineup of tiles that have been created since the beginning of the game lined up in a row would reach over 50,000 miles. Among all the Scrabble players around the world there are celebrities that love the game. These celebrities include Keanu Reeves, Madonna and Sharon Stone. How about you. do you play scrabble??

Happy Birthday Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born this day 176 years ago. A native son of Virginia who played an important role in the country's quest for independence Thomas Jefferson played many roles including the Minister to France, Secretary of State and also the third President of the United States. In addition, Jefferson was a great writer and a leader in writing, economics, religion, philosophy, horticulture and mathematics.

One of the best things about Jefferson is that he could communicate with many. He spoke English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Thomas Jefferson also enjoyed reading and writing. He has been noted of writing 19,000 letters in his life. Jefferson graduated from the University of William and Mary at the age of 18 and used his education to become an inventor, lawyer and educator. Perhaps you all ready knew about Jefferson education but was you aware that he also was a man of God??

In protest of the British closing the Boston Harbor Jefferson called for a day of prayer and fasting. The result of his stand resulted in members of the community coming together to provide opposition against the Intolerable Acts Another remarkable act Thomas Jefferson completed was to pen the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. There he met such characters as John Adams. Through his many relations with other strong characters he found himself part of the committee that would draft the Declaration of Independence. Many say that he was more than just a member of the committee but that he was the author. While his public life was very outstanding he also had a home life where he could retreat to

Thomas Jefferson had a wife named Martha and six children. Only 2 children, daughters would live to see adulthood. Grandchildren were plentiful numbering 12 some of which lived with him at his home of Monticello. However, home life also had a secret side.

Thomas Jefferson is said to have a relationship with Sally Hemings. As slave that belonged to Jefferson is believed to have filled the space of his past wife. Sally Hemings would be allowed to have freedom after the death of her master. Later DNA test would prove that there were genes in common between the children and grandchildren of both Hemings and Jeffersons.

Jefferson is forever, memorialized in the $2 bill, the nickel and on the Mount Rushmore.

Peach Cobbler #Recipe

5 peaches , peeled, cored and sliced (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the batter:
6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
ground cinnamon

If you are using fresh peaches
Add the sliced peaches, sugar and salt to a saucepan and stir to combine. 

Cook on medium heat for just a few minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and helps to bring out juices from the peaches. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice butter into pieces and add to a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place the pan in the oven while it preheats, to allow the butter to melt. Once melted, remove the pan from the oven.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk, just until combined. Pour the mixture into the pan, over the melted butter and smooth it into an even layer.
Spoon the peaches and juice (or canned peaches, if using) over the batter. Sprinkle cinnamon generously over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 38-40 minutes. Serve warm, with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

recipe resource here

Strawberry Fruit Rollups

4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved (or any other fruit)
2 tablespoons honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 150 – 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pour berries and honey into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Pour berry mixture onto parchment lined 9×13-inch pan(21cm x 31cm). If you wish to remove the berry seeds, pour it through a sieve or ring it through a cloth (much faster).
Spread the berry mixture with a spatula to a thin even layer.
Bake for 6 hours, until leather peels away easily from the parchment. Set on the counter to fully cool down for 4 hours or overnight.
Using scissors cut the parchment paper from the edges and then into strips. Roll them up, parchment and all.

Don’t pour too thin of a layer or you’ll have fruit crisps instead of fruit leather-pour it too thick and it will take longer to leather.
Oven temperatures will vary. Start checking it after 3.5-4 hours. If you leave it in too long again…fruit crisps.

recipe resource here

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Cheesy Bacon Potato Rounds

Cheesy Bacon Potato Rounds

4+ potatoes (depending upon size of pan)
4-6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Wash and slice potatoes evenly, into about 1/3 inch slices (or as thick as 1/2 inch).  Brush the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish or cookie sheet with butter.  Place sliced potatoes in pan in a single layer.  Brush each potato with butter.  Flip each potato, so the buttered side is down.
Add salt and garlic powder to the remainder of the melted butter.  Stir, and then brush the top of the sliced potatoes.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.  Turn potato rounds over, and try to place them close together.  (Butter again before flipping if desired.)  Bake an additional 10-20 minutes, until the potato rounds are browning.  Top with bacon and cheese and continue baking for a few minutes. 

Margherita Pizza Popcorn

Margherita Pizza Popcorn

For Popcorn
6 tablespoons organic yellow popcorn
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (milled finely, if possible)
1 tablespoons + 1 1/2 tsp organic sunflower oil (preferably labeled “high oleic”)
For Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of kosher sea salt (milled finely, if possible)
1 1/2 tablespoons of drained & finely chopped oil-packed sundried tomatoes
⅛ cup  (2 tbsp) butter, melted
2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Make the popcorn: Pour the oil into a deep heavy pot or hand-cranked popcorn maker. Add salt. Place over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. The ideal popping temperature is 479°F. When the oil starts to sizzle, drop 2 to 3 kernels into the pot – if they pop right away, add the remaining kernels. Cover, shake, and agitate the pot constantly. Continue cooking until the popping slows to about 3 to 4 seconds between pops. Pour popcorn into a large bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 300F. Line baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and sundried tomatoes.  Mix well with a spoon.  Then, whisk melted butter into the bowl.  Slowly and evenly drizzle the butter mixture onto the prepared popcorn.  Close the top of the bowl with aluminum foil and shake and toss the closed bowl to coat the popcorn evenly.
Spread the coated popcorn evenly over the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until popcorn is dry (about 10 mins).  Transfer popcorn to a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle evenly with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.  Seal with aluminum foil again and toss to coat popcorn evenly.   Voila…a pizza party!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Banana Pop Treat for our Four Legged Friend

1 cup plain yogurt
1 banana (chopped into pieces)
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Put all ingredients into food processor or blender and mix until well-combined and smooth.
Divide the mixture into four paper cups.
Position a rawhide stick into the middle of the cup.
Place the cups in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
Peel the paper cup away from the pop and let your pup enjoy!

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Quick Meal ::: Ravioli Casserole

1 package frozen ravioli (cheese or meat)
1 jar (or equivalent) 25 ounces spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Prepare 9x13 pan with cooking spray or oil.
Place just enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to lightly cover it, about 1/2-3/4 cup. Spread frozen ravioli in pan. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese upon serving.

Do you have any quick meals in your cooking arsenal?? Would love to hear what you cook in a hurry

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Pepperoni Pizza Dip

12 ounces light cream cheese (about 1½ boxes)
¾ tsp. dried oregano
¾ tsp. dried parsley
¼ tsp. dried basil
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup powdered parmesan cheese
¼ cup pepperoni
any other toppings you like!
Ritz crackers (bread slices work great, too!)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Spray the bottom of a 1½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.
Mix together cream cheese, oregano, parsley and basil in a small bowl. Spread herbed cream cheese on the bottom of prepared dish. Layer with ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.
In another medium sized bowl, mix together tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar and garlic powder. Pour over cheese layer in dish. Cover with the remaining cheeses. Top with pepperoni and any other toppings desired.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bake Up Some Biscuits


2 1/4+ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup butter, chilled and cubed
1 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons butter, melted optional

Preheat oven to 425°.  Stir or sift together dry ingredients.  Using a pastry blender or fork, mix in butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Slowly add milk.  Dough should be a bit sticky, but able to be handled.  Add another tablespoon or two of flour if too sticky, maybe even more.   Knead dough a handful of times on a very floured surface.  Pat or roll dough to a one inch thickness.  Cut with a floured cutter or drinking glass.

Place on a cookie sheet, ideally lined with parchment paper, about one inch apart.  Bake for 13-15 minutes.  Brush with melted butter, if desired.

~ If you use soft butter, the dough will be very gooey and need more flour.
~ The original recipe calls for Crisco.  We really like the additional flavor with the butter though we have tried it with Crisco.

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Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread #Recipe


  • 1 
    pizza dough
    (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  •  ¼ 
    olive oil
  •  8 
    pepperoni slices
  •  4 
    mozzarella cheese
    (shredded (about 1 cup))
  •  4 
    provolone cheese
    (shredded (about 1 cup))
  •  ¾ 
    grated Parmesan cheese
  •  ½ 
    dried oregano


  •  2 
    unsalted butter
  •  ¼ 
    grated onion
  •  ¼ 
    dried oregano
  •  ½ 
  •  2 
    garlic cloves
  •  28 
    can crushed tomatoes
  •  ¼ 
  •  2 
    coarsely chopped fresh basil
  •  1 
    olive oil
    Freshly ground black pepper

Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, toss together the pepperoni, cheeses and oregano. Place the olive oil in a small bowl.

Take the prepared (or thawed) pizza dough and pat into an 8-inch square. Cut into 64 one-inch pieces and roll each into a ball.

Briefly dip each ball of dough into the olive oil and add to the bowl with the cheeses and pepperoni. Once all of the dough balls have been added, toss well to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared Bundt pan in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Once the dough has risen, place the pan in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Make the Sauce: While the bread bakes, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to about 2½ cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then, turn the bread out onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature with dipping sauce.

recipe source here

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pizza Fries

Want to put a fun spin on Pizza?? Then try these pizza fries 

For the most part ingredients in the pizza you will put in these fries

1 container of Pillsbury Pie Crusts (2 per box)
1/2 cup of Marinara for the filling…and some reserved for dipping
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella
Pepperoni slices, enough to cover the crust..and/or any other Pizza fillings you’d like
Grated Parmesan for dusting the top
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Oregano and/or any other spices you’d like

Roll out the Pie Crusts. Spread the bottom crust with the Marinara… Add the Pepperoni, and/or fillings of your choice…

Top pepperonis with cheese and then top crust. Brush oil on top crust along with parmesan cheese and choice of spice.  Then cut into strips

Serve with marinara and Enjoy
recipe source here

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Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Even the youngest among us most likely knows the tune "Old MacDonald Farm" Do you recall the animals that live on that farm??

In case you have forgotten the words they are:

“Old MacDonald had a farm.
And on that farm he had a ______.
With a ___ ___ here,
And a ___ ___ there,
Here a ___, there a ___, everywhere a ___ ___.
Old MacDonald had a farm,

Have fun as you play a game of Old McDonald with the youngster in your life 

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April is Stress Awareness Month

 Professionals in the health care field will come together in the month of April to help bring awareness to a topic that affects all of us, stress. is the result of interactions between environmental factors and life events plus the mental, emotional, and physical burden that they put upon an individual.

Stress awareness and what causes it as well as what help to resolve it are all grand topics. Stress can be brought on by work, family, anxiety, finances or any other matter that may occur in life. However, no matter the stresser that may occur knowing how to deal with it is the tip of the day

Stress affects everyone but also effects everyone differently. Stress can not only affect the mind but an individuals overall health. Chronic stress may lead to heart disease or stroke. For the sake of one's health it makes it worthy to know what triggers our stress and how to take note of it. Many when under stress will notice an increased heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels.

Other areas that stress affects are:
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, diarrhea, constipation, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
  • Respiratory disorders (Asthma, have fever or pollen allergies, etc.) 
  • Skin disorders (Eczema, urticaria/hives, psoriasis, etc.) 
  • Mental Health disorders (Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.) 
  • Autoimmune disorders (Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Raynaud’s, etc.) 
  • Migraines, headaches
  • Metabolic disorders (Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes, obesity, etc.)
  • Cardiovascular disease (Hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, etc.)
  • Menstrual irregularities, early puberty 
  • Cancer 
  • Clumsiness and tendency for accidents

 Here are some tips when you are facing stressful time that has no real way out

  • Recognizing when you no longer have control of the situation and ask for help
  • know that when situation can not be changed that there is no need to stress over it
  • When stressed try to refocus on something that makes you feel calm and in control 
  • healthy living and wellness can help when you come against stressful situations

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Encourage Young Writers

Every afternoon when my grand-children arrive home from school one of the first things we do is to take out important papers. One of the important papers the other day was a "young author" paper. In the "young author" the kids use their own talents to write books. Adults are not to offer help with planning or writing as it is a time for the kids to shine. Perhaps one of them will grow up to be a great writer.

April 10th is a date that is set aside to Encourage Young Writers. Do you have a young person in your own life that enjoys telling stories, reads a lot of books or has a big imagination. These are all signs of greatness when it comes to writing. Perhaps you should take this opportunity to talk to them about their dreams and aspirations.

Support your young writer by:

  • giving them a journal where they can practice their daily writing. This is a place where they can write what they want to 
  • offer them daily writing prompts
  • encourage young minds to read, the more they read the better they will be able to write
Encouraging the young minds of our children is to me what parenting is all about

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Happy Siblings Day --- Time to Cherish our Siblings

Do you have brothers and sisters?? I was blessed to be born the second child with 2 brothers and sister to come along through out the years of my childhood. Yes, my mama had 5 children. No, really she did but she had a few that did not make it into this beautiful world they passed while my mother was still protecting them inside of her belly or shortly after. Perhaps you have brothers and sisters or perhaps you were like me and a few siblings that you would have had you never met.

I am not sure where this post has went as I was writing about the opportunity we have as brothers and sisters to cherish our siblings. We were offered special blessings when we were given brothers and sisters. I know this blessing is one that we all too often take for granted. While I was blessed with five siblings I have a few special ones that we do lots with and a few others that we talk when we see each other but our lives have driven us a bit away from each other. However, not everyone was blessed with siblings and we truly should cherish them

Our brothers and sisters were our first friends. I had an older sister that would not spend a lot of time with me as she was always with her friends it seemed. But there were those times that we would be together doing things like going to grandmas or going to camp together. Memories like those are ones that I will always love forever. I was closer to the younger kids acting as their big sister I protected them and took on a role that was different than the one my older sister played with me. Thus creating memories that will last a life time

National Sibling Day is a day to share and talk about these memories. If it's been a while since you saw your siblings pick up the phone and give them a call or go out to lunch together. Perhaps you would even like to send them a card , letter or gift 

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Almost Reeses Peanut Butter Cup PIe

Almost Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Pie
adapted from Fine Cooking

For the filling:
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp table salt
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup very firmly packed light brown sugar
4 heaped tsp all-purpose flour
4-1/2 oz (1/2 cup) creamy peanut butter (preferably natural, made with only peanuts and salt)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Oreo Cookie Crust:
137 g Chocolate-filled Oreo Cookies (about 12 cookies), finely crushed
1 oz butter, melted

For the glaze: 
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz butter, slightly melted

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, brown sugar, and flour and whisk till well blended.
To the egg yolk mixture, slowly spoon in about half the hot milk, whisking constantly to ensure that the mixture doesn’t curdle. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the other half of the milk. Continue to whisk until the egg yolk mixture is well incorporated into the milk.
Turn the heat back on and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and comes to a full boil, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and continue to whisk for another minute.
Remove the pan from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla. Whisk until well blended.
The next day, make your crust by mixing the blended Oreo cookies with the butter and pressing it into two small rounded dishes.
Prepare the glaze by melting the chocolate in the microwave. Put the chocolate pieces into a microwave-safe bowl and heat up in 30 second intervals. Stir with a spoon to get a nice smooth chocolate paste (my chocolate was nicely melted after about 1 minute 30 seconds). Add the melted butter to the chocolate and stir until a smooth glaze is formed.
Unmould the filling on top of the Oreo crust, and then drizzle (or if you’re like me, pour generously) the chocolate glaze over the filling. You may end up with a little bit more chocolate glaze (perfect for dipping some fruit or cookie in).
Set the chocolate-glazed peanut butter pie back in the fridge to harden the chocolate just a little (if it gets too hard, you may have to wait for it to soften a little before digging in so that the peanut butter doesn’t squish out).

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Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bars #Recipe

Fudge Cookie Bars

Cookie Dough
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats

Chocolate Fudge Layer
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (14 oz can)
12 ounces chocolate chips (one bag)
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts-optional

~ Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Then add flour, soda, and salt. Next mix in the oats. Set the cookie dough aside.
~ Over low heat in a medium saucepan, melt together sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth. Then stir in the chopped nuts if you really want to.
~  Spread 2/3 of dough in 11x16 pan using your hands to press and spread the dough to the sides. Spread chocolate mixture on top. Crumble remaining dough on top. Or take a handful and flatten it and then place on the chocolate topping.
~ Bake 22-27 minutes at 350° until edges are just browned. If using a nonstick pan, be sure to bake at 325° instead!
~ Cool and cut into bars. (You can make your cookies 1.5x3 or 2x2 or whatever size you like.)
~ These make a large batch. They freeze beautifully after they are cut.

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April Shines With The Diamond Birthstone

A stone that was formed deep in the earth many many years ago is the birthstone of April. The diamond  is one of the hardest substances on earth and appears as far as the book of Exodus in the bible. The diamond is one of the twelve engraved precious stones set in the breastplate of the high priest. Perhaps this is why the owners of diamonds are said to receive benefits.

Owners of diamonds are said to lead a life with better relationships and great inner strength. Diamonds are thought to offer life balance, clarity and abundance and are symbols of eternal love

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April Veggie Garden Tips

If you are a gardener you will find more time in the garden in April Some of the jobs you may do include:

  • Weed the garden area
  • Add compost of well rotted manure or green waste into the garden area
  • Cover the garden area with sheets of black plastic to dry and warm the area to prepare for planting
  • make raised growing veggie bids

Easter Biscotti #recipe

Easter Biscotti

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, divided - at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces Jelly Beans

Preheat the oven to 375°
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.
Add in the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the Jelly Beans. The dough may be a bit sticky.
Scoop dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Take one half and roll lightly back and forth making a log about the length of your baking sheet. Carefully place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the second piece.
Using wet fingers if the dough is sticky, flatten each log a bit.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg and brush evenly over each log.
Bake for about 23-28 minutes or until they are slightly golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10-15 minutes (can go a little more.) Using a serrated knife, carefully slice them on the diagonal into about 1/2" slices. Stand each slice back on the baking sheet - it is ok if they touch.
Bake for another 10-12 minutes until the edges turn a slight golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

recipe resource here

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Three Layer Tea Jelly

Three layer tea jelly

1 teabag of afternoon tea
1 cup hot water
3 packs of Splenda
1.5 tsp konnyaku powder, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp chopped palm sugar

1. Brew the tea in the hot water for 3-5 minutes. Add one pack of Splenda to brewed tea. Remove teabag and add 1/2 tsp konnyaku powder and stir till dissolved. Divide the tea into two molds, saving about 1/4 cup to mix with the milk layer. Place the molds into the fridge to set.

2. Add milk to the leftover tea and microwave for 1 minute to warm up the tea (it has probably set while waiting). Add two packets of Splenda and another 1/2 tsp of konnyaku powder. Stir to dissolve. If the konnyaku powder won’t dissolve, heat the milk in the microwave for another minute and stir mixture. Divide the milk layer equally between the two molds and gently pour the milk layer over the tea layer. Place mold back in the fridge to set.

3. Set the half cup of water in a small pot to boil.  Add the palm sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the other 1/2 tsp konnyaku powder to the sugar and stir to dissolve. Divide the palm sugar layer in two and pour over the milk layer. Return mold to fridge to set.

recipe resource here

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Chinese Almonds Cookies #Recipes

Chinese Almond Cookie Recipe
makes about 5 dozen cookies

1/2 cup Crisco shortening (Crisco really is the best brand for this but if you cannot find it, just any shortening will do, and don’t substitute with butter or you will not get the texture right)
1 cup vegetable oil (I use canola but any vegetable oil will do)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
2. Sift flour, salt and baking soda (sometimes I get lazy and don’t do this step but it does help the cookie bake up better).
3. Combine all the ingredients and mix till it forms a dough.
4. Roll the dough into balls about the size of large marbles
5. Place them on cookie sheets about one and a half inches apart.
6. Indent the center of the cookie using the back of a chopstick that has been dipped into red food coloring. Press down about halfway through the thickness of the cookie. Alternately, you can put a half slice of almond in the center in place of the red food coloring.
7. Bake 10-15 minutes till the cookies are just lightly golden brown around the edges.
8. Transfer to wire rack and cool.

recipe resource here

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Winston Churchill Honorary U.S. Citizen

April 9th , 1963 John F. Kennedy named Winston Churchill an honorary US citizen. The honor was due to Churchill's accomplishments during his life time. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a British politician, army officer and writer. In addition he was Prime Minister in the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War and then from 1951 to 1955 he was a member of the Parliament

Winston Churchill was raised by both English and American parents. His family was wealthy aristocrats that allowed Churchill a life of ease. The British army would send Winston to battles in the British India, Anglo-Sudan War and the Second Boer War. While at battle Winston would take notes that he would later use in books he would write.

During the 1930s Winston Churchill would take the lead in calling for British to stand up against the Nazi Germans. He would oversee British involvement in the Allied war effort against Germany and the Axis powers and a victory in 1945. Later he would warn of the U.S.S.R "iron curtain"

 Re-elected Prime Minister in 1951, his second term was preoccupied with foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, and a UK-backed Iranian coup. Domestically his government emphasized house-building and developed a nuclear weapon. In declining health, Churchill resigned as prime minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964. Upon his death in 1965, he was given a state funeral. In addition he stood up against human rights abuse.

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The Flowers of April

I am sure that you have seen those daisies that look like weeds popping up in your yard or other places. I often think of the rural setting when I think about these what I consider beauty and others consider weed like flowers.

There are so much more to the flowers known as daisies. From one of my favorites the Gerberas daisy to others that you you will find in the florist. The name 'daisy' derives with a meaning of 'days eye' because of its habit to open at dawn. The Gerbera daisy carries the meaning of cheerfulness.

Sweet peas symbolize pleasure and bliss. They are perfect for thanking someone for a good time.

Sweet peas is a plant native to the Mediterranean region. Sweet peas can appear in a rainbow of colors. The life of sweet is lengthy as well. Sweet peas often appear in flower arrangements or cut to stand alone. There are over 150 species of sweet peas not all of them providing fragrance. In addition, sweet peas are prone to insects.

The next time someone speaks of the flowers representing April you will know they are the daisy and sweet pea and be able to join the conversation

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Open Up The window and Enjoy Spring

The month of April is named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. The Roman calendar named the fourth month April but spelled it Aprilis. The name Aprilis means "to open". This term describes the month of April in the northern hemisphere where nature begins "to open" or come to life. Thus the trees and flowers are blooming and "open".

The month of April often allows individuals to open up the windows and enjoy the lovely spring days. The heaviness of winter winds down at the beginning of the month of April as spring begins to arrive. Warmer temps are beginning to occur so its time to "open" the house up and allow good airflow to go through the house.

With it being cold outside we have closed the windows to help keep the home warm. But while we are enjoying the warmth of the home we have also trapped pollutants inside the house with us. Indoor air is more polluted than outside air according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency Therefore open a window and let the air come in and April is a perfect time to do just that.

So open up the windows and enjoy a bit of spring in April

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Working IN The Flower Garden

It is often said April Showers bring May Flowers. While we are waiting for those may flowers there is a lot to do in the flower garden during the month of April.

  • Perennial plants need to be divided to improve growth and create new plants for your garden
  • Now is the time to divide Hostas while they are not leafing
  • The tips of fuchsia and sweat pea plants need to be pinched. This will encourage bushy plants this summer
  • If you plant to move evergreen shrubs and trees now is the time to do so. The soil is not frozen or waterlogged
  • Fertilize trees, shrubs and hedges with a slow release fertilizer Roses will need to be fed as they come into growth
  • tie up climbing and rambling roses at the same time make sure that any trees or bushes are not cutting into the trunk too much. The trunk will need room to expand so these ties should be loosened
  • Any dead foliage on perennials and ornamental grasses should be cut back to attract new growth
  • Tie up honeysuckle and clematis vines to train them
  • Deadhead daffodils and tulips as they die out but leave the foliage allowing ti to die back naturally

What work are you doing in the flower garden??

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Georgia Caviar

Georgia Caviar

1 can Ro-Tel, do not drain
8 oz. Zesty Italian Dressing
1 can shoepeg corn
1 can beans (black beans or black eyed peas)
3 cloves garlic, Minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, green and white parts
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped jalapeno

Combine ingredients several hours before serving and allow to sit in the refrigerator.
Serve with tortilla chips.

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