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Friday, February 16, 2024

salted caramel popcorn with almonds


1/2 cup popcorn kernels popped (about 8 cups)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup corn syrup

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

6 oz Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Almonds 1 container

  • Preheat oven to 250F.
  • Line a large roasting pan or deep 9 x13 baking dish with parchment paper (easy clean-up!) and fill with popcorn. Top with almonds. Keep popcorn warm in the oven while preparing the caramel.
  • Melt the butter in a 3 qt heavy, saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly
  • .Once the mixture is at a boil, stop stirring and boil for 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda.
  • Pour the mixture in a thin steam over the popcorn. Use tongs to mix the popcorn, almonds and caramel making sure to thoroughly coat.
  • Put the baking dishes into the oven and let bake for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, pull the dishes out and break up the caramel corn using tongs to turn the popcorn over and mixing it up. After 45 minutes, let the caramel corn cool completely before breaking into small pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container or the popcorn will turn sticky.

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Happy Birthday Levar Burton


Levar Burton was born on February 16, 1957 on a army base in Germany. His father was a photographer for the US army. Throughout the years Levar has played the roles of actor, director and producer. As a child he spent a lot of time reading comic books and when a bit older was a blogger for President Obama. Perhaps it was his family that played roles in life such as teachers and in back history had a grandfather that served in the Arkansas legislature 1887. However, he credited his mother teaching him about helping others. His mother was Erma an english teacher, social worker and administrator and after splitting with her husband kept the kids and did the best she could. 

Lemars first role played was that in the movie Roots as Kunta Kenta in 1977. After that his acting turned to the sci fi direction as he played in the Star Trek series of movies in years 1994 - 1998. Later he would appear in other shows throughout the years. But perhaps what he is known most for is Reading Rainbows show on PBS. For 23 years between 1983 to 2006 he hosted the show sharing books with children. Now, what will he do next?? Rumor has it he may be the next host on a TV game show trivial pursuit. Burton has played many roles and I find myself a fan of his as well. 

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Valentines Day

 First I would like to say to all my readers happy valentines day. This day may have been named after one of 3 Catholics who should be remembered. One of which was St. Valentine. This day may have started by honoring someone in history but has moved on to mean so much more. In the 14th and 15th century Valentines day took on a day that was full of romance. Thus by the 18th century lovers were giving each other flowers, candy and cards and that list has grown. 

Three of the most common shapes that are related to valentines day are hearts, cupid and doves. 

The heart may have originally been chosen by members of the religious sects because it is where God's commands are wrote 

The Words of Scripture are divinely inspired, able to transform our hearts, our minds, and our actions. Sharper than a two-edged sword, it can withstand any opposition. Moses knew the value and strength of God’s Word. “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts” Deuteronomy 6:6 (NIV).

Red hearts stand for love, romance and desire. In Chinese red hearts also stand for love, romance and desire. Red is also the color of hearts, love, passion and romance. 

Pink hearts are used for affection, tenderness, sweetness. 

Conversation hearts were copied off of a lozenge that a pharmacist had created. The heart was not directly following the creation but it came along a bit after. Napco was the first seller of these gems but since they went out of business the Spangler candy company has been making sure they are there for all that want them. 

Cupid another symbol popular with valentines day. Roman mythology created cupid as a chubby, winged cherub that carried a bow and arrow. He was said to be the son of Mercury and Venus. His job was to pass out love and passion. Cupids were painted on murals and art and eventually when Hallmark made the first valentine cards none other than Cupid would find himself on them. 

Doves are the third symbol of valentine that I want to share. Doves have many phases of what they mean to love and how lovers feel about them. First lets look at their physical appearance, they are gentle and have that soothing coo this often symbolizes calmness and serenity. In Roman mythology doves were devoted to the goddess Aphrodite. This symbolizes the doves devotion and faithfulness. In addition, the dove in the bible is full of purity and innocence. Thus the reason that doves are symbol of Valentines are demonstrated. 

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Lent and Ash Wednesday


Today, February 14th is a great day for love. This year it is also the first day of the season known as Lent. Lent is a day to renew our love for Jesus and what he did for us. Some have described the season of Lent as a time to make our hearts ready for Jesus, put him back to the top of our minds as well as remembering Jesus and the resurrection. The word lent comes from the lentclen which means spring. Lent will begin in the winter and go for 46 days including 6 Sundays ending on Easter Sunday. During this period of time a seasons of prayer, fasting, and alms giving will go on. In addition, many will fast and give up something including their ego if that is what they have put above Jesus. 

Today, Wednesday February 14th as I said earlier is the first day of lent. Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent,  is a day that all are asked to turn their hearts to the feelings of brokenness of Jesus and the need for salvation. During the season of lent there will be much prayer, meditation. Some may feel the best way they can help share is through social media. However, many will attend a mass where they will have a black cross placed on their forehead to stand for the ash. In addition, today as well as every Friday of Lent season followers are not allowed to eat meat. 

Today or any day try this great devils egg salad sandwich 

6 hard boiled eggs 

2-3 tablespoons Miracle Whip Light start with 2 and add more at the end if needed

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons sweet relish

fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Sprinkle of paprika optional

lettuce for serving (optional)

4 Ciabatta Rolls or any kind you desire

Peel and finely chop your boiled eggs. Add the eggs to a mixing bowl with the Miracle Whip, Dijon mustard, sweet relish, black pepper, and paprika, if using. Fold the ingredients together to create a smooth, well-blended mixture. Toast your buns or your bread. Taste the deviled egg salad for seasoning, build your sandwich, and serve!

Flavor Tips - The amount of mayo and mustard required will depend on how large the yolks are in the eggs and also your personal taste. Be sure to taste as you go to ensure the egg salad is the flavor and texture you are looking for.

Storage – Store leftover egg salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Be sure to store the bread separately, or it will become soggy.

Recipe resource

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Monday, February 12, 2024

Jello day of creation and a delicious recipe to try

 The name Jell-O was introduced by Pearle Bixby and his wife. He had created the new treat by adding strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon flavoring to sugar and granulated gelatin. 

Graham Cracker Crust:

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
⅓ cup butter, melted

Strawberry Pie Filing:

1 (3 oz.) package strawberry jello
⅔ cup boiling water
½ cup cold water
½ cup ice cubes
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip topping
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Using a food processor, pulse graham crackers until crumbly. Mix in sugar, ground cinnamon and melted butter until crust forms.
Press graham cracker crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Place pie crust in refrigerator.
In a large bowl, add boiling water and gelatin powder. Stir gelatin powder until completely dissolved .Then, add ½ cup cold water and ½ cup ice cubes, stir until gelatin is slightly thickened. 

TIP: Let the gelatin mixture sit for a few minutes to thicken slightly before you add the cool whip otherwise it won’t set up.
Add cool whip topping to gelatin mixture and whisk together until light and fluffy. Stir in sliced strawberries. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
Add strawberry pie filling to pie crust. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours or until firm. Top with cool whip and a slice strawberry.

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Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln and a Blackberry Crumb Cake

 Today, February 12th, is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. Old Abe was born in Hodgenville Ky in 1809. He was not born into wealth rather his family was poor and this may have been what helped Lincoln through life. School was one thing he did not see a lot of only attending public school 1 year after that it was more independent study. Throughout his early life Abraham held jobs such as post master, surveyor, and shop keeper. 

Abraham Lincoln would enter politics in Illinois. Serving in the legislation from 1839 to 1842 he would be seen as a strong opponent and one that would stand up for what he thought was right. What he thought was right was to protect the union of the states . He did not agree with slavery but did not lead a revolt to free them either. He would change his life a bit in 1842 when he would get married and enter the United States Congress from 1847 to 1849. 

History tells the story of Abe Lincoln being a strong man but a caring man. Becoming president preserving the Union and have slavery abolished during his presidency. What they may not tell is that MR. Abraham suffered from deep depression. He often hid his depression behind funny impressions, jokes etc... He would live to be 56 years old before being shot by John Wilkes Boothe. For all you did Mr. Lincoln we want to say thank you. 

One thing that Lincoln liked to eat was blackberries. Here is a blackberry cake recipe he may have liked. 

crumb topping:
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound fresh blackberries (about 3 1/2 cups)

Heat oven to 350ยบ F. Make the crumb topping: In a food processor, pulse the pecans, brown sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly; transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.  Make the cake: Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. In the food processor, pulse the butter, flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until crumbly. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the blackberries and crumb topping. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before serving.

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