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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Cowboy Beans with Hotdogs




1 pkg Hot Dogs, sliced (12 to 16 oz) I use all beef
1 lb Hamburger
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup
55 ounce baked beans, Bush's Original
3 cans pinto beans (15 ounce)
3 cans white beans (great northern)

In skillet  Saute onion & ground beef  When Hamburger about half way done add in sliced hot dogs. If using skillet transfer to crock pot after meat is done cooking.
To crock pot add beans. Then add brown sugar, ketchup, mustard & molasses. Stir. Put on Lid and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 


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Watermelon Month

When I was growing up nothing seemed to make the day better than a cold slice of watermelon on a hot day. My dad would often call us to the back yard where he had a large melon waiting on us. There was no silverware or plate needed no we all ate the large slice that we wold receive leaving only the rind behind. Perhaps you have such stories like mine. 



Now that you know a bit of my history concerning watermelon let me share a bit of history about the melon itself. Watermelon is thought to have begun around the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. In fact a relative melon still grows there but it is has a bad bitter taste and possesses a lot of seeds. Perhaps it was a surprise to those that first raised watermelon that it tasted so grand because the melon is thought to have been cultivated for the water it possess. 



Travelers in ancient days would carry watermelons with them rather than water. It may have been easier to know that there was water in the melon rather than having the water where all could see. Egypt nearly 5,000 years ago was the first recorded use of the watermelon. In fact seeds from a watermelon were found in the tomb of King Tut. Thus for thousands of years the watermelon has been working on its taste getting sweeter as time went on. 



The watermelon may have first been cultivated in Africa but thank goodness it did not stay there. China and other parts of Asia by the late 9th and early 10th century had started to grow watermelons as well. There is also thought to be a trade route that went from Egypt to other Mediterranean countries where trading ships helped spread the good taste of the melon. African slaves and British colonist would help originate the watermelon seeds in the United States. 

Today:
  • more than 1,200 varieties of watermelons are grown all over the world in 96 countries
  • watermelons come in shapes of oval, round as well as flesh colors ranging from yellow to red. 
  • watermelon is the most consumed melon in the U.S.
  • July in National Watermelon month
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Monday, July 6, 2020

The Charlie Daniels Band - The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Perhaps you have heard of the name Charlie Daniels before. I know to me I have been a fan of his since childhood. This was not easy as my parents did not like him because as Christians they thought he led a bad example. However, Daniels was a great musician and it turns out a great man as well.

                                      

Earlier today it was reported that Charlie Daniels left this Earth after suffering a stroke.

                                           

Born Charles Edward Daniels on October 28th, 1936 he grew up in Wilmington North Carolina. His family was very musical and he had chances to practice music at the Pentecostal church as well as local bluegrass bands. Charlie enjoyed the rhythm & blues of country music that he would listen to on the radio. Perhaps you would be interested in finding out more about his early life and you can do this by reading the forward of the book Tobacco State League.

After graduation from high school Charlie Daniels would form a band

                                        

He would thru his band gain the opportunity to play with other stars like Elvis Presley. Thus helping to seal his fate as a famous musician not just a singer but a fiddle player as well. Charlie Daniels was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002,[7] the Grand Ole Opry in 2008,[8] the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009,[9] and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.[10]






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What is a Grahamite??? Enjoy a Piece of Ice Box Cake as you are about to find out

Have you ever wondered where some of the most common foods in your cabinet came from originally??? Someone had to have started the first. One of the most common items in our cabinet are graham crackers. You may be like us and enjoy graham crackers as a snack of sorts. Perhaps though you may be surprised to find out that graham crackers gained their name as they are made with graham flour.

What is graham flour?? Graham flour is named after Sylvester Graham who was an advocate for dietary reform. Graham hated seeing the nutrients such as germ and bran being discarded. Germ and bran are discarded in the making of white bread. Graham believed that the American diet had been changed due to the Industrial revolution and that included the making and milling that took short cuts and took out many of the nutrients from the grain. Rather than continue on the current milling path he wanted to make changes that would keep more of the grain in pact. Thus creating graham flour ---- yes it was what made up graham crackers. 

The followers that believed in what Dr. Graham was doing were known as Grahamites. The grahamites began the first vegetarian diet in America. Graham flour, graham crackers and graham bread was created during this movement. Graham Crackers also became a major ingredient in the ice box cake. An icebox cake is an easy summer dessert that requires no baking 





  • 19 oz graham crackers
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 3½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 banana, sliced thin
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt

  1. Cream powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt with the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until the cream mixture holds stiff peaks.
  2. Spread a thin layer of heavy cream mix in a 9x13 pan just to coat the bottom.





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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Prepare for that picnic


Many this week will be planning their 4th of July activities. Many will plan a cook out where the grill will be in use. Others will plan to pack a picnic. Whatever it is that your family plans to do here are some tips to help you from getting food poisoning:




  1. Cold food should be packed in a cooler with ice. Be sure to keep the cold dishes below 40 degrees to ensure that bacteria does not have a chance to grow. Dishes such as meat, poultry, and seafood need to be packed frozen this way they will stay colder longer. 
  2. The cold food cooler should be kept closed. You may want to use one cooler for perishable cold foods and another for drinks. This way when the cooler is open to get a drink the perishable food is not exposed to warm outdoor air temps. 
  3. Keep meats, poultry, and seafood wrapped and away from foods that will be eaten raw like fruits and veggies 


Now that we have went over how to keep your food safe thus keeping you well and able to enjoy the day. Food however is not the only thing that may threaten the fun you have on your outing. We all know summer is hot and the sun can do damage if we are not careful. The best way to stay safe is using sunscreen with an SPF 15+. You may also be more careful by wearing a shirt,  hat and sunglasses. In addition when the sun is at its peak hours seek shade to relax in. 

If you have ever been outside at any outdoor events you may realize that pests can deter a good time as well. Repellants or pesticides will help keep your area free of unwanted insects. When purchasing these products look for those items labeled child and animal safe. Removing any standing water will help rid the lot of mosquitoes. However, if you see a swarm of bees or wasps call the pros

Have A Safe and Fun Summer


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Mr. Postman Thank You

July 1st is a holiday that celebrates that individual that goes thru the heat, snow, ice, sleet and other terrible weather to deliver our letters and packages. Its high time that we celebrate those individuals and offer them a Thank You!!!! My father was a rural route carrier and enjoyed his job, meeting people and driving his route. Perhaps the best time that he was thanked by those that he delivered to was during the Holidays where they would gift him with all sorts of goodies. 



There have been many famous individuals that have worked as postal employees during their life time. Three presidents were at one time or another an employee of the postal system. These presidents included Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley and Harry S. Truman. Benjamin Franklin himself was the first Postmaster General in the America's. Other famous individuals included Bing Crosby. Walt Disney and Rock Hudson. Perhaps it would surprise you as it did me that Charles Lindbergh was an airmail pilot. 



The mail person is an individual that is seen in our neighborhood and has always been a fixture that we expect to be there. Did you ever stop to think how hard these men and women work to deliver you the packages and letters that you receive?? Postal workers walk an average of 4 - 8 miles a day carrying a bag full of letters and packages. Thousands of postal workers around the USA deliver mail six days a week. Today, don't forget to thank your postal worker. 


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Monday, June 29, 2020

What Does That Old Flag Mean To You


So many historical moments have been forgotten by many but just what does that flag mean to you????



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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Be Aware of Lightning

Today I saw a bit of rain and wind but no real storm but it is getting more into summer and I am sure the lightning will roar. Lightning is a bright flash of electricity that normally accompanies a thunderstorm. If you hear the roar of thunder then you should realize that a storm is around and there is always danger of lightning. With lightning killing and injuring more individuals each year than a hurricane or tornado then you should keep in mind some safety tips



There is no place safe during a thunderstorm



When you hear lightning you should know that you are close enough to lightning that you are in danger. At the first sound of thunder you should move inside to a safe place that will shelter you from the storm. A safe shelter place includes a building that is enclosed with walls or a metal topped car with the windows up. In addition, you should stay in your place of safe shelter for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder. 



        Being Inside During a Thunderstorm has its own Dangers

You may think that you are safe inside a place of shelter during a thunder storm but there is still dangers of lightning While inside you should 
  • stay off of corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment. These items can put you in direct contact with the electricity directed from lightning
  • avoid plumbing including sinks. baths and faucets. When I was a teen they often said "do not do the dishes during a storm with lightning"
  • While the lightning may look pretty you want to avoid windows, doors and for sure stay off the porches
  • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. The material that helps make the concrete work also is a conductor for electricity
If Caught Outside During a Thunder and Lightning Storm What To Do


  • Do not stay on hills, mountain ridges or peaks these are all areas that offers more chance of lightning strikes
  • Never lay flat on the ground --- again electricity from lightning can travel a bit
  • Never find shelter under a tree standing alone the tree itself may become a lightning rod and put you in more danger
  • get away from any body of water near you no matter it be a pond, lake, or whatever water can conduct the electricity caused by lightning
  • Stay away from metal from barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills or anything that may be able to conduct electricity     
Be Safe Out There and Enjoy Life                      

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No Bake Chocolate Cookies



  • 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (32g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160g) creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups (275g) quick oats (don't use old fashioned oats)


Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or set out approximately 29 cupcake liners.

In a 2.5 to 3 quart medium saucepan combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and milk. 

Set over medium heat, and cook stirring frequently until it reaches a full boil. 
Allow mixture to boil 60 seconds without stirring. 
Remove from heat, immediately add in vanilla, peanut butter and quick oats. 

Stir mixture until well combined then, using a medium (2 Tbsp) cookie scoop or two spoons drop mixture onto lined baking sheets or into cupcake liners. 

Allow to rest at room temperature until set, about 20 - 30 minutes (to speed up setting refrigerate)

photo and recipe credit belongs to Cooking Classy (https://www.cookingclassy.com/no-bake-cookies/

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Be Safe with Fireworks

Its that time of year full of summer fun and so much going on. While this year has been quite different than other years with many events cancelled and others simply not even being mentioned many have started to entertain their selves. This may all be well however, when it comes to fireworks there should always be one thing we keep in mind. 


Remember you are not a professional so leave the fireworks including those packed in brown paper to those that are pros at fireworks. An adult should be present at all times when children even teens are using anytime of firework including sparklers. Young children should never be allowed to play or light fireworks. In addition, never point or throw fireworks at anyone and stand back after lighting the fireworks. 



Being safe also means being prepared. Being prepared for the what ifs can be as easy as keeping a bucket of water or a garden hose ready and handy. Fireworks should be lit and shot according to directions never using metal or glass containers to shoot the fireworks off. While cleaning up pick up fireworks that did not ignite and toss do not relight. Before tossing any firework leftover in the trash be sure to douse it first in water. 

Many states and areas do not allow fireworks so be sure that in your area fireworks are legal. 

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Fresh Fruit Salsa #Recipe

June is national fresh fruit and vegetable month. The reason is because in many states it is the time of year perfect for growing crops. An abundance of fresh produce is available locally and most likely in your area. Have you checked out the local farmers market. Thus the perfect time to increase your daily consumption of fresh produce. 

Fruit and vegetables are important components for the human body. Offering nutrients including calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, vitamins A and C. 


June welcomes summer in with an abundance of produce. The types of fresh fruits and veggies often available in June include apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, corn, kiwi, lettuce, mangoes, strawberries, swiss chard, watermelon and zucchini

                                   Fruit Salsa Recipe 


  • 3 kiwi, peeled, diced
  • 1 pint strawberries, diced
  • 1 pint bluberrries
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  1. Combine kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and apple in large bowl.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, lime juice and brown sugar in small bowl. Drizzle over fruit and stir to coat














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Sunday, June 14, 2020

It's Grand Old Day Its the American Flag Day


The first American flag was created in 1775. Known as the continental colors the flag was the first for the early country known as the United States. The problem was that it looked very much like the British flag that they once belonged to. In 1777 the Continental Congress agreed that the flag should have 13 stripes alternating red and white stripes. In the corner of the flag there should be 13 white stars and the background be blue. Thus the new flag would represent the new country. 

Later in 1916 the then President Woodrow Wilson issued a decree to celebrate each June 14th as Flag Day. Some say that flag day occurred earlier when a school teacher Bernard J. Cigrand in Wisconsin began a celebration for the flag in 1885 by instructing students to write essays about the flag. Perhaps many of us need to know about the purpose and meaning of the flag

Did you Know:

  • The flag is normally raised in the morning and taken down in sunset
  • the flag should not be flown at night if a light is not shining on it. 
  • do not fly the flag in stormy weather
  • the flag is flown at half staff for 30 days following a death or tragedy
  • The American flag is always above any other flag on the pole
  • The flag should never touch the ground
  • Never let your flag touch the ground, never...period.
  • The flag should be folded when not displayed
  • Old flags should be burned or buried and never thrown in trash
photo credit surfnet.com 


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Enjoy the Summer at Home

The year 2020 has been a bit different to say the least. Running out of T.P, having to stay home, not being able to attend school or church or even play on the playground are just a few things that have taken place. So how have you been able to deal with it all?? 



This summer has all ready shown to be a bit different as well. With fairs and events being cancelled it may seem like there is no summer fun at all. But wait there are many things that you can still do. Staying at home can be fun and add a spark to your life Right in your own backyard may lay lots of fun to entertain the entire family. 

Why not head outside on a clear night to do a bit of sky gazing. Looking at the night sky and those twinkling stars offers you a chance to relax and maybe even learn something. Perhaps you will participate in this activity during a meteor shower. Spread a blanket out or find a lawn chair take  a rest and simply look at the stars and watch the show so to speak.

As a child I recall chasing and catching lightning bugs. What a fun activity to catch these bugs and place in a jar to offer you a light in the night. However, the firefly population is decreasing 



The stars aren’t the only sparkling show that you can see from your backyard. Fireflies come out to play in the summer months, and they can be quite fun to watch. If you are interested in catching these “show-offs,” you will want to do so carefully as the firefly population is decreasing you will want to protect the little bugs as well. Capture the bugs and place in a jar with holes punched in the lid so they have fresh air. A moist paper towel in the jar will help keep the air at a level the bugs can survive. Finally, release the little bugs at the end of the night.


There are many other things you can do to have fun in your backyard what is  it you love to do??


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Baked Moz Sticks



cooking spray
1 12-ounce package reduced-fat Mozzarella string cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
8 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
½ cup prepared marinara sauce warmed
 
Position rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Remove cheese from packaging and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk egg until foamy. In a small non-stick skillet, mix Italian seasoning with bread crumbs and place over medium-heat. Cook bread crumbs until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dip one piece of string cheese in egg until coated and then dip into toasted bread crumbs, coating completely. Dip the string cheese in then egg again, then into the bread crumbs, if desired. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining string cheese and place on baking sheet 1½ inches apart. Spray string cheese lightly with cooking spray.
Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through. Note: cheese may melt slightly and lose shape; simply press back into place. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.



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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Answering Those Doughnut Questions and Offering a Tasty Recipe

Ancient Romans have been credited for creating many food items that we enjoy today. Romans even enjoyed dough fried in oil which may have been the pre thought of the doughnut. Now we all should know what this little treat a doughnut is. The pastry that is small, fried, sweet and has a hole. Whether prepared with baking powder or yeast the doughnut is still considered a favorite of many. 

Types of doughnuts:::
  • bismarks
  • jelly doughnuts
  • raised yeast doughnuts
  • French cream puffs
Doughnuts can be filled or unfilled, plain, glazed or iced. 

It could be a windbag of a good time

The instrument known as the accordion here in the United States has a great variety of other names in different countries. Whether it be called the German Akkordeon or the Hand harmonika, or in Italy the Italian armonicca it is built in the same nature with a treble casing with external piano style keys or buttons and a bass casing that normally is found on the opposite side. 


The accordion instrument is played by compressing or expanding the bellows while pressing buttons or keys. This procedure allows the flow across strips of brass or steel call reeds. The reeds vibrate to make sound and valves on the opposing reeds of each note are used to make the instruments reeds sound louder without air leaking from each reed block. 




I hope you now understand a bit more about how the accordion works. There are many others confused on who exactly was the mind behind this instrument. Was it C. Fredrich L Buschmann who created and patented a handvoline as he called it in 1822 in Berlin or was it Cyril Demian of Vienna who in 1829 patented his accordion. However, the wind instrument soon captivated the world as immigrants from Europe brought the instrument to America and other places around the world.

Places in South America such as Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama popularized the music that was created by the accordion. Other places around the world the instrument did not create such a following. Folk music in America did showcase the accordion and this folk music traveled around the world as well. Thus making the accordion part of other genres of music. 

Cajun, jazz and classical music offers a platform for the accordion. 




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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Use Up the Rotisserie chicken





Most all of us have seen them the rotisseri chicken sold in the deli section of the local grocery store. Many of us have even tried them. They make a meal much easier and we are often able to eat as a family with shortcuts like this. However, what is the best way to use up when you have leftovers of rotisserie chicken. 

Make a Pot Pie

using a refrigerated pie crust place the chicken, some chopped garlic and diced potatoes, baby carrots, a quick gravy and any other veggies you would like to place in the meat pie. Butter the top crust and pop in oven to bake for about 30 minutes

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad 

Mix up the shredded chicken, your favorite pasta, torn spinach leaves, marinated artichokes, onions, tomatoes, feta cheee, olives and greek dressing. 



Other ideas include:
  • shredding to use in tacos or burritos
  • shred and add to soup with noodles and veggie

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Potato and Chorizo Taco #Recipe



Chorizo and Potato Tacos
Serves 2 – 4

  • 6 ounces fresh chorizo, casings removed
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cut into a small dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into a small dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Tortillas
  • Lettuce
  • Other taco toppings – sour cream, cheese, avocado, salsa, etc.

Brown the chorizo in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the chorizo is fully cooked (about 6-8 minutes), transfer it to a small bowl, leaving the rendered fat (and flavor!) in the pan.

Add the potatoes and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until slightly tender. Add the onion and continue to cook until both the potatoes and onion are soft and tender (an additional 4 – 5 minutes). Return the chorizo to the pan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve immediately on tortillas with lettuce and other taco toppings.



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