Monday, March 31, 2008

Recipe--Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Good morning!  I feel wonderful this is raining, which should be depressing but I just keep thinking spring is not far off and at least it's not snowing!  It just feels like one of those "life is good" days.

I am "this" close to getting my Photo Montage company us and running.  I'm mainly just waiting on my web site to get set up.  A friend of Ray's is suppose to do it, but if it takes much longer I may just ask David to set it up.  He said he knows how to do it.  I really want to get started here but I need to have that web site up. 

My kids are all healthy and happy.  My relationship is, as usual, wonderful...most of the time.  LOL  There is food in the house and we are doing okay.  What more could one ask for.  Especially these days and with this economy.  Well, okay...more work...which means more money.  At least full time hours for the ol' man.  Not this B.S. of working 2-3 days a week. 

Okay, time to get on with the usual stuff, here is a tasty little recipe I found at the Kraft web site.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Prep Time:
10 min    Total Time: 40 min   Makes: 6 servings, 1 cup each

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg.  (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves  garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp.  dried basil leaves
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water and garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.

chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with the basil and cheese. Top with stuffing mixture.

30 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Serving Suggestion-Serve with cooked green beans and a bagged salad tossed with your favorite KRAFT Light Reduced Fat Dressing.
Substitute-Prepare as directed, omitting the garlic and using STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix Italian Style with Roasted Garlic.

This is a copy of my Daily OM for today.  I thought it was interesting article and wanted to share it with ya'll.

March 31, 2008
Unblocking The Ally

Habitual Anger

Sometimes when we feel anger, it is coming from a deep place that demands acknowledgment and expression. At these times, it is important that we find healthy ways to honor our anger, remembering how dangerous it is to repress it. However, anger can also become a habit, our go-to emotion whenever things go wrong. Often this is because, for whatever reason, we feel more comfortable expressing anger than we do other emotions, like sadness. It can also be that getting angry gives us the impression that we’ve done something about our problem. In these cases, our habitual anger is inhibiting both our ability to express our other emotions and to take action in our lives.

If it’s true that anger is functioning this way in your life, the first thing you might want to try is to notice when you get angry. Youmight begin to see a pattern of some kind. For example, you could notice that it is always your first response or that it comes up a lot in one particular situation. If the pattern doesn’t become clear right away, you could try keeping a journal about when you get angry and see if you can find any underlying meaning. The good thing about keeping a journal is that you can explore your anger more deeply in it—from examining who in your family of origin expressed a lot of anger to how you feel when you encounter anger in others. This kind of awareness can be a formidable agent of transformation.

Anger can be a powerful ally, since it is filled with energy that we can harness and use to create change in the world. It is one of the most cathartic emotions, and it can also be a very effective cleanser of the emotional system. However, when it becomes a habit, it actually loses its power to transform and becomes an obstacle to growth. Identifying the role anger plays in your life and restoring it to its proper function can bring new energy and expansiveness to your emotional life.

I found it to be a very interesting and informative article.  I like the idea of keeping an anger journal, what a good idea to find out what it is that triggers your anger.  I like the idea of examining more than just what makes you angry.  For example, looking at anger in your family (as a child) and how other peoples anger makes you feel.

Oh my, I could almost fill up a journal just on anger in others and how that makes me feel.  LOL  Anger in others doesn't just illicit an emotional response.  I develop real feelings of nausea and my pulse races.  It's a total feeling of fear or dread.  It's like I'm waiting for the shoe to drop...on me...and it's not a shoe, but a huge brick. 

It's as if I'm waiting for the big storm to hit and the anticipation or fear of it nearly makes me sick.  I may even "poke" the big bad bear to get it over with quicker.  Or I may become angry myself and fuel the fire that way.  Or I may just take cover and run, as in actually leave to get away from the angry situation.  Or I'll just sit and stare at the person and think about how stupid I think they are and have a totally different conversation in my own mind. 

Hm, anger journal might be a good thing for me to do.  LOL

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thanks Dornbrau!

What a long and tiring day.  Today was Rylie's birthday party.  I woke up about 7:30 this morning and got started with my cleaning, decorating and getting everything ready for the 1 PM party.

Mom, my sister-in-law Cindy and her 3 boys were the first to show up.  Then Samantha arrived with yet another birthday present for her little sister.  Sammi had come up on Wednesday, the 26th Rylie's actual birthday, and brought her pink sandals, a dress and I don't even remember what all.  (I've seen so much birthday paper and tissue fly today) 

Samantha and her boyfriend, Matt, are taking Rylie to the Shriners Circus tomorrow at 2 PM.  That was another part of her birthday present that she got today.  Along with a shirt, skirt, High School Musical hair things and gold sandals.  I told Sammi not to spoil Rylie...sigh...

Mom also brought a cute little outfit and some gardening supplies.  Cindy brought Rylie the cutest little dress that her cousin Jacob picked out for her and some head bands.  Aunt Div brought 2 beautiful little dresses.  Aimee & Bobby brought her a sticker book and some fun (and mess making) projects.  (I'll get ya back for that one day Aim!  LOL)  Uncle John and Aunt Cathy brought a cute little (stuffed) puppy in a purse carrier.  Grandma Blossom brought a kit to make a stepping stone.  Aunt Cindy and Uncle Bob brought the cutest little fairy costume.  I know I am forgetting some one and some other presents...ugh!  My mind is a bog of tissue paper, boxes, dresses and's all just running together.  I'm sorry if I forgot anyone! 

Daddy and I got Rylie a bunch of Princess things.  It seemed appropriate since lil' miss wants to be a princess when she grows up.  I even got her a little porcelain Princess tea set.  I told her that since she is a  big girl of 4 she can have one now, she just has to be very, very careful. 

After everyone left we went over to Uncle Bob & Aunt Cindys house for a while.  I felt terrible about it, but I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.  I couldn't believe I felt so tired.  I was just going to get on here and read my mail quick, but thought I better make a bit of an entry after reading some of my alerts.  It seems that Dornbrau-Dust Bunny Club of North America is this weeks guest editor and has chosen me as one of her Journal picks.  How cool is that?

Even better than just that is the wonderful things she had to say about me and my wee lil' journal.  Oh!  Dust Bunny Club Mother of the Year!  Thank you for the wonderful compliments.  What an honor to have someone choose your journal to mention when there are some many wonderful writers out there.  I'll definately have to go and check out the other journals when my eye lids don't feel like they weigh 5 lbs each. 

Happy Saturday and thank you for visiting! 

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Home Remedy--Warts

I wish I had a simple home remedy for Kidney stones.  Grrrr, I've had these stupid things so many times...I want to trade my kidneys in for new ones.  Anyway, between the back pain, the migraines and life in general, I just forgot to do my usual Thursday entry for a home remedy.  So here it is.   

  • Try taping a slice of garlic to the wart. Be sure to first protect the surrounding skin with petroleum jelly.

  • Use baking soda. Take some baking soda and mix with caster or olive oil and apply to the offending wart. You should leave this overnight, and cover with a band-aid. Repeat this until the wart drops off.

  • Use Vitamin E capsule. Simply open a standard Vitamin E capsule and rub the contents onto the wart and cover with a band-aid. You will need to repeat this treatment several times a day for it to be effective. You should also consider taking a Vitamin E capsule every day as a part of your diet.

  • Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the wart. Make sure you bandage it up with gauze and tape. Do this before you go to bed. Leave it on over night.  When you wake up you will notice a difference.The only thing to watch out for, is that it can be irritating to the skin and cause redness.  The wartmay seem to get biggerbefore it falls off.

  • Place a strip of duct tape over the wart(s), replacing old tape with new tape every couple of days.  Continue for 1 - 2 weeks.  Peel tape off and the warts should slowly soften and disappear

  • Rub castor oil on your warts a twice a day.   Warts should disappear in 2-4 weeks.

I found a bunch of different methods to try.  While reading I found that a lot of people had great success with the Apple Cider remedy.  However, it sounds as though the acid in the vinegar may be very painful for some people.  Most reported that their warts fell off within a few days.  However, if that method is too painful try one of the others, like just taping over the wart to cut off the air supply.  It may take longer, but it is probably not very painful.

I have a Princess Party to prepare for.  We're having a bunch of people over tomorrow to celebrate Rylie's 4th birthday.  Today I'll be making BBQ beef and a big ol' pink cake.  LOL  When I asked Rylie what kind of cake she wanted, she just said "Pink!"  So we're having strawberry cake and her favorite ice cream...chocolate.  Ewww, maybe it's just the nausea from the kidney stones, but that just doesn't sound good to me at all.

Have a great weekend and thanks for coming by. 

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby girl!

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Yep, Rylie turned 4 at 12:01 AM this morning.  So she gets to have me make whatever she wants for dinner tonight.  So it appears the menu for this evening is "fwesh fry and boorgers".  I think she is going to be a bit disappointed though...I think she thinks her party is today because it is her birthday today.  I guess she is going to learn the harsh reality of scheduling as her party isn't until Saturday.  LOL

At first I thought my little vent about vaccinations the other night may have stirred up a bit of controversy, but I hope it has helped some parents to do some more investigation into the subject.  Although many may believe that the best thing to do is to just go get your child vaccinated, the fact of the matter is that a lot of parents believe that to protect their child they need to NOT have them vaccinated. 

After reading just a few comments it just leaves my head whirling even more.  For example, Barbara said that her daughter had a mild case of the measles after her shot.  Which some children so have.  I know that after her chicken pox vaccination Rylie had a very, very mild case of chicken pox.

Then I read a comment from Ka71tt, who not longer takes her 21 month old child to Church because she recently learned that one of the children there does not receive vaccinations.  What a shame.  However, I must confess that after reading Barbara's comment and thinking about it...I would think that the child who does not receive his vaccinations would be a the greater risk by being exposed to children who have recently been vaccinated.  What would be a slight case for a child recently vaccinated for measles, chicken pox or whatever, could be a full blown (possibly deadly) case for a child exposed to it who has not been vaccinated.

I hate to think of parents not taking their children to Sunday school because of the fear of their children being exposed to a child not vaccinated.  I am wondering if anyone can think of any helpful suggestions that could be offered to this concerned parent.  I'd like to keep this constructive and helpful, not angry, divisive or destructive.  If anyone has any suggestions for her please leave a comment and thank you for any advice you can offer to this concerned parent.

As I said, after thinking about this, I realize that some parents have serious concerns regarding the vaccinations.  I respect them for researching the issue and making a tough choice regarding their childs health and welfare.  However, I am curious as to how they handle their child being exposed to children recently vaccinated.  Especially since most children don't walk around with a sticker announcing that they were just vaccinated within the past 2 weeks.  When their child is exposed to children recently vaccinated that puts them at even greater risk of catching measles or whatever.  What do they do about it?  How do they protect their child from this type of exposure?

Please remember, I am not a doctor or nurse.  I'm not a scientist.  I'm just a parent doing the best I can, with what I know, to raise a happy and healthy child.  I'm not trying to start an argument with anyone, I just want to learn a little bit more about this subject. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cleaning Tip-Mothballs, Vaccines and Autism

First, here is the cleaning tip for today.  Mothballs...weeeee

Mothball Alternative: A better idea than using mothballs is to take your leftover soap slivers and put them in a vented plastic bag. You place the bag with seasonal clothes before packing them away. Not only will the scent prevent them from moth harm but also they'll smell great when you pull them out. I especially like this for sweaters, which can be difficult to remove the odor of mothballs from. Using soap you simply have a clean smell rather than the smell of an attic.

Mothball Odors: This odor is a hard one to get rid of. Your first step is ventilation - air out larger items outside for a day or two; for clothes, fluff in the dryer with fabric softener sheets for a couple of hours. Odor removers such as Febreeze® may help. If an entire room or closet is affected, place trays of activated charcoal (available in pet supply stores) in the corners of the rooms to absorb the smell.

Second, Amanda left some information and challenged me to do more research on the link between autism and vaccines.  I am in the process of doing that.  I typed "autism vaccines" in the search bar and found this article, Do vaccines cause autism, which offers information and links from both sides of the argument.

Whether you have small children or grandchildren, I really suggest reading about this.  It is quite interesting.  Did you know that there is "mercury" in the MMR vaccine?  Which seems so strange since I was always under the impression that mercury was very dangerous to humans.  So that of course leads me to wonder whether anyone is trying to adjust the vaccine and see if it can be made without the mercury.  *Ahhh, I simply needed to read on.  It appears they did adjust the vaccine.

Read more of the article though, there are many differing opinions and a wide variety of links to check out.  This is something that pulls me in one direction one minute and then in another direction the next minute. 

There seems to be a lot of focus on the MMR shot, which is the vaccine to prevent Measles, Mumps & Rubella.  This is one of the stats I found on MMR "before the vaccine was given to children, there were about 400,000 measles cases reported each year in the United States but in 1999 there were only 100 cases reported." and "before measles vaccines were introduced, 1-2 children died out of every 1000 children who got measles."

However, on the other side of the argument I found the following information: "A small study in London in 1998 first raised the possibility that autism is linked to the MMR vaccine. While the study did not prove that MMR causes autism, it did increase the level of concern of many parents."

"The question whether MMR vaccine causes autism has also been raised because the number of cases of autism in the general population seems to be growing, and some parents have noticed the developmental problems occurring soon after their child receives the MMR vaccine. "

I think one thing we can all agree on is the fact that there needs to be more done to find out if there is a link between the vaccinations and autism.  Could it be because of the preservatives used?  Is it just because of genetics?  Or is it possible that the genetics of some children is more susceptible to the thimerasol or mercury that is used in vaccinations? 

However, I guess I can understand why some parents may fear having their child vaccinated.  I am wondering though if it is possible to ask for and receive seperate Measles, Mumps & Rubella vaccines, not combined in an MMR shot, and to get them fresh without the preservatives in them?  I am sure it would be a greater expense, but I am also sure that parents who are afraid to have their child vaccinated with the MMR would not mind paying more to receive the shots seperately and without the thimerasol in them.

It certainly is a rather large issue and one that I will quietly remove myself from.  I am just thankful that all of our children were able to receive their vaccines with no terrible life changing side effects.  And I'm sorry for those children and parents who have had their lives changed by the effects of Autism, whether it was because of genetics or medicine.  God bless you all.

And no Amanda, I'm not so "infuriated" anymore.  Thank you for suggesting that I read more about it.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. 

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Childhood Vaccinations

I just watched a story on NBC news about parents who do NOT have their children vaccinated.  How infuriating!  I vaccinate my child to do everything within my power to protect my child.  Then I'm going to send her to public school where she may sit next to a child whose parent chose not to have their child vaccinated.  Yes, Ohio is one of the 21 states where parents can choose not to have their child vaccinated because of their "beliefs".

I understand that some people are under the impression that one or more of the vaccines, or vaccine preservatives, may be the cause of autism.  But polio, measles, mumps, etc may possibly kill your child.  If folks are really that concerned about their childs life, I'd think they'd have them vaccinated.  Or perhaps they're more concerned about having a "perfect" child than having their child die of an illness that could have been prevented.

Of course, I believe that parents should have the right to decide their own childs medical care.  But I also think that if they are not going to have their child vaccinated then that child should not be attending public school.  Let their parents home school them or put them in a private school with other children that have NOT been vaccinated.

I know what some of you are thinking..."why worry if your daughter has been vaccinated?"  Just because Rylie has had her shots does not mean that she absolutely won't catch a virus if exposed to it.  However, I believe if she is exposed to children who have NOT been vaccinated she is more likely to be exposed to a potentially deadly virus.

Just my humble political opinion for today.  LOL 

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. 

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Recipe - Chicken au Gratin Broccoli Bake

G'morning ya'll.  Here is an easy recipe from Kraft.

Chicken au Gratin Broccoli Bake  
Prep Time: 5 min  Total Time: 35 min    Makes: 5 servings

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup  milk
1 pkg. (10.23 oz.) VELVEETA Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
2 cups  fresh broccoli florets
5 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lb.)

oven to 375°F. Combine boiling water, milk, Seasoned Potatoes and broccoli in 13x9-inch baking dish; top with chicken. Reserve Cheese Sauce for later use.

30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from baking dish; cover to keep warm.

Cheese Sauce into potato mixture; top with chicken.

*Substitute - 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained, for the fresh broccoli.

I have lots of ham leftover.  I think I may try that using the ham too.  Mmmmm!

I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend and a wonderful Easter with your families and loved ones.  It was a fun day here.  Rylie was too funny.

It was like she knew something was going on.  She woke up about an hour earlier than usual and came out to the living room.  Her Easter Basket was sitting on the dining room table because I hadn't hidden it yet.  She was so excited as she went through and checked out what the Easter bunny had left for her.

Then I realized that I hadn't had time to hide the eggs yet.  So I whipered to Daddy to hide the eggs while I took Rylie to brush our teeth.  Luckily we have one of those little sand timers, so she has to brush her teeth for a full minuter.  I didn't have to encourage her too much, she was real excited to use the new battery operated Barbie tooth brush the Easter bunny had left for her.

Then we washed our faces and brushed our hair.  By that time Daddy had hidden the eggs.  So we walked out and I said "Rylie we forgot something.  I think the Easter bunny hid the eggs.  Yep, here's the empty cartons."  Ohmahgosh!  You should have seen the look on her face.  She just kept saying "Those are all the peoples eggs...why'd he do that?"  LOL  I think if she could have found that bunny she might have had him charged with stealing, or trickery at the very least.

We kept telling her that the Easter bunny was playing a game with her.  She just kept saying "Those eggs are for all the people."  She had fun looking for the eggs and we got such a kick out of her reaction to the whole thing.  I'm feeling all nostalgic now...this is really the very best age to celebrate holidays with children.  Everything is so exciting and fun for them.  It is so much fun to watch her enjoy these times.

All in all it was a good day, except for one thing.  One of our guests didn't make it.  Ray was supposed to go and pick her up at about 4 PM.  However, she had invited some non-working folks over so they could have an Easter meal and they wouldn't leave.  That's a shame, because she didn't get to spend any time with her grandson who leaves for Korea shortly, or David who leaves for training for a few months, or her 2 great-grandchildren, or any of her other grandkids who were here.  I hope she can find a few minutes to come over for Rylies birthday next weekend.

I am thrilled that all the kids were able to make it and my Mom was able to come all the way up to Toledo.  She went to lunch with my older brother earlier and came up around 3 or so.  She got here before everyone else so she was able to spend some time with Rylie.  Good thing, because once Christopher, my youngest son, got here Rylie didn't have much time for anyone else.  Christopher is her closest sibling in age...he's 16...and she gets such a kick out of him.  She even dance and sang "High School Musical" for him.  Or as she calls it "High Mewhecool".  LOL 

The only thing that really stinks is that I was busy doing this or that, and didn't get to spend a lot of time visiting with everyone and all the babies.  Of course, the other thing is that now April 29th (David leave for National Guard training) seems a lot closer. 

Well, I've got to go check my ham bone.  LOL  I'm making a big ol' batch of bean soup this morning.   

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. 

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

It's been a busy few days.  I've got the ham and tomorrow I'm making cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole.  I boiled some eggs today to make deviled eggs tomorrow.  I made bunny, ducky and cross sugar cookies.  They look really cute. 

Today I made cupcakes, frosted them green and colored some shredded coconut green to put on top to look like grass.  Then I put jelly beans on top of the coconut grass to look like little eggs.  It looks kind of cute.

We're having Easter dinner between 4 and 5.  That gives the kids time to go and visit the rest of their other parents and grandparents.  I am patiently waiting for Rylie to get tired.  It's like she knows I want her to go to sleep and she is fighting it.  I want to get her basket put together so I can go to sleep.  She'll probably sleep in tomorrow so I could probably wait to do it in the morning.

Today she and I dyed 2 dozen eggs.  I thought it would take longer, but it's amazing how fast a 3 year old can color eggs.  I only got to do a few because she was just having too much fun dropping the eggs in the dye bath.  We colored them first with crayons.  I forgot how much fun dying Easter eggs is.  LOL  I made some really cute ones. 

Well, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Easter day.  God bless and  thanks for stopping by. 

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Home Remedy--Nausea & Vomiting

Good Morning!  Time for a quick home remedy.

Vomiting and Nausea

  • Sucking a piece of ice controls vomiting.
  • Eat 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seeds.
  • Cinnamon and sliced ginger work by interrupting nausea signals sent from the stomach to the brain. If you are an herbal tea drinker, simply sprinkle cinnamon on the tea and drink. To make ginger tea, simmer a few slices of ginger in hot tea water.
  • To prevent vomiting, drink ginger tea.
  • In 1 glass water, add some honey and drink sip by sip.
  • Lime juice is supposed to be an effective remedy for vomiting. Take a glass of chilled lime juice and sip slowly.

Thank you for stopping by. 

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cleaning/Laundry Tip--Mildew stains on clothing

This is such a busy week.  I thought we were going somewhere else on Easter, but we're now I'm planning Easter dinner here.  I just mixed up some dough to make some sugar cookies.  I'll use some of them for Easter and the rest for Rylies birthday party the following Saturday. 

Anyway here is a tip to help remove mildew stains from clothing.  I don't think I've ever had that problem so I'm not really sure if this works.  If you have something that worked for you please feel free to leave a comment.

Mildew Stains: Shake or brush the item to remove loose growth. Presoak in cold water. Wash in hot water with heavy duty detergent. For whites, add 1/2 cup bleach. If colored, use color-safe bleach. If staining remains on white items, repeat washing before drying. Heat and sun tend to kill mildew, and laying an item to dry in the sun with some lemon juice is a great way to bleach many stains. 

Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by. 

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Recipe--Golden Layers® Fresh Apple Cobbler

I'm going to just pop on and post this and then get going.  This recipe comes from Pillsbury.

Golden Layers® Fresh Apple Cobbler
Serve this super-easy cobbler warm with a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
6 cups sliced peeled tart apples (4 to 6 medium)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (12 oz) Pillsbury® Golden Layers® refrigerated flaky original biscuits
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. In 4-quart saucepan, heat apples, granulated sugar, dried cherries, water, cornstarch, lemon juice and cinnamon to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cover pan and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are starting to soften. Pour into ungreased 13x9-inch glass baking dish.
3. Meanwhile, separate dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters. In large bowl, toss biscuits with melted butter.
4. In small bowl, mix oats, pecans, brown sugar, flour and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; add to biscuit pieces. Toss gently, breaking apart any biscuit pieces.
5. Arrange biscuit pieces over hot apple mixture. Sprinkle any remaining oat mixture over biscuits.
6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown and fruit mixture is bubbly.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Well thats about it for today.  I will try to get back and update on what is going on around here.  Busy, busy, busy as I try to get everything together to begin my business.  At this moment I am dealing with the idiots at Gateway and Circuit City.  I swear someone is bound to lose their head. 

I already have a web site address, now it's just a matter of getting the page done.  Which we should be working on today, I think.  I've designed my business cards and brochures.  I need to get the paperwork to file as a sole proprietor.  File to trademark my business name...and I'm not exactly sure what else.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cleaning/Laundry tip--removing lipstick from clothes

I just realized it was week is all messed up.  LOL  Here's a quick tip for removing lipstick from your clothing.

Lipstick: Use petroleum jelly for removing lipstick stains. Another possibility is to rub in a little vegetable shortening and then launder as normal.

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Recipes--St. Patricks day Meal

Top o' the morning to you!  I know St. Patricks is a week away, but this is a good time to post a few Irish recipes.  That way you can look them over, decide what you want to make, and write down your grocery list. 

Corned Beef Brisket with Cabbage

3 lb. corned beef brisket
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 medium head of cabbage, cored, cut into wedges
1 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1/2 cup KRAFT Pure Prepared Mustard
1 Tbsp. KRAFT Prepared Horseradish

meat in large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves and enough water just to cover all ingredients. Cover with lid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 1 hour. Drain, reserving meat in pan. Remove and discard bay leaves.

meat with fresh water; cover with lid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer an additional 2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat from pan, reserving liquid in pan; place meat in shallow baking pan. Add cabbage to reserved liquid in pan; cook until tender. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Mix syrup, mustard and horseradish; spoon half of the syrup mixture over meat. Reserve remaining syrup mixture for brushing onto cooked meat.

20 minutes or until meat is well glazed, brushing frequently with the remaining syrup mixture. Place meat on serving platter. Spoon pan drippings over meat. Serve with cabbage.

Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

The slow cooker is the perfect way to go for this traditional dish, since it must bubble away untended for hours, in any event. Be sure to serve with crusty bread, and Dijon mustard and horseradish on the side.

4 cups hot water
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 3-lb. corned beef round or brisket, packaged with spices
8 small white or yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 head of green cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cored and cut into 10 wedges

1. In a 6-quart electric slow cooker, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, pepper and onions, mixing well. Place the corned beef in the mixture. Scatter the potatoes over the top and along the sides.
2. Cover and cook on the High heat setting 4 hours. Remove the lid and scatter the cabbage wedges over the top. Cover and continue cooking on High 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the beef is tender. To serve, carve the beef into slices and serve with the cabbage and potatoes, with some of the cooking liquid spooned on top of the beef to keep it moist. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Corned Beef & Cabbage in Ale

Irish Ale and Stout Party: Serves 4

2-3 pound cut of corned beef
24 ounces ale (Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale)
2 carrots, cut into chunks
12 small red potatoes
4 onions, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon dry mustard (Coleman's)
1 large sprig thyme (optional)
1 head cabbage, quartered

Place the beef in a large pot with the ale, carrots, potatoes, onions, mustard and thyme (if using). Add just enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer gently 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Halfway through, check the vegetables: when they are tender, remove them and set aside. Add the cabbage quarters and cook until tender, about 15 to 30 minutes. When the meat is tender, return all vegetables to the pot and reheat. Serve the meat in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and broth.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 3-pound corned beef brisket
1/2 cup sliced onion (1 small)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 cups water
1 1-1/2-pound cabbage, cut into 6wedges
1. Trim any visible fat from the meat. Set aside.
2. Place rack in a 4- to 6-quart pressure cooker. Add the meat, onion, bay leaf, black peppercorns, and water.
3. Lock lid in place. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe (if you have a first-generation cooker). Over high heat, bring cooker up to pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain pressure and pressure regulator rocks gently; cook for 50 minutes.
4. Allow pressure to come down naturally. Carefully remove lid. With a slotted spoon remove the meat and onions to a serving platter; set aside.
5. Place the wedges of cabbage in the pressure cooker. Lock lid in place. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe (if you have a first-generation cooker). Over high heat, bring cooker up to pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain pressure and pressure regulator rocks gently; cook for 2 minutes.
6. Quick-release the pressure. Carefully remove lid. With a slotted spoon remove the cabbage wedges. Serve with meat and onions. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Cut in margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins, if desired. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine egg white and buttermilk. Add all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened.
3. On a lightly floured surface knead dough 10 to 12 strokes until nearly smooth. Shape into a 7-inch round loaf.
4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray Place bread dough on baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make 2 slashes in the top to form an X.
5. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 1 loaf (16 servings).

Dublin's Finest Caramel Apple Cake
1/2  cup Firmly packed brown sugar
1/4  cup Butter/margarine
1- 8 oz carton heavy whipped Cream -- divided
1/3  cup  Chopped pecans
1 package Applecinnamon quick breadmix
1  cup Chopped -- peeled apple
3/4  cup Water
3  tablespoons Irish whiskey or water
1/4  cup Oil
Remaining heavy whipping crm
2  tablespoons   Powdered sugar
2  tablespoons   Irish Whiskey -- if desired
Cinnamon -- if desired

Heat oven to 350F. In small sauce pan over low heat, combine brown sugar, butter and 2 TBS whipping cream. Cook and stir just until butter is melted.
Remove from heat; stir in pecans. Pour mixture into bottom of ungreased 9-in round cake pan or 9-in square pan. Set aside. In large bowl, combine all cake ingredients. Stir 50-75 strokes by hand until mix is moistened.
Carefully spoon batter over caramel mixture, making sure caramel is completely covered.  Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute; invert onto serving plate. Cool Just before serving, in small bowl, beat remaining whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Add powdered sugar and whiskey. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream mixture on top of cake. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Store in refrigerator.

Bailey's Chocolate Mousse Pie

6 ounces  Ready Crust (graham/choc)
1  package  Unflavored gelatine (env)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 cup Milk
3/4 cup  Bailey's Irish Cream
6  ounces Semisweet choc chips
2 cups   Frozen whipped topping
Choc-dipped strawberries**As garnish, if desired.

In saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatine over milk.  Let stand about 1 minute.  Stir over low heat until gelatine is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Add chocolate and continue cooking, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted:  stir in vanilla.  Remove from heat and stir occasionally, adding Bailey's about five minutes after removal from heat.  When mixture forms mounds when dropped from spoon, fold in whipped topping.
Turn into crust.  Garnish with more whipped topping (or real whipped cream, later, by preference) and strawberries (if desired).  Chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Chocolate-Orange Guinness Cake

Chocolate-Orange Guinness Cake has a slightly sharp taste due to the Guinness (beer).
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
zest of 1 orange
4 eggs
1/2 cup Guinness Stout (or strong beer)
Icing Recipe
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
zest and juice of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 8-9-inch cake pans. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a bowl. Add the orange rind to the creamed butter and beat in the eggs, one at a time, including a spoonful of the measured flour mixture with each one, and beating well between additions.
Gently mix in the Guinness, a tablespoonful at a time, including another spoonful of flour with each addition. If there's any flour left over, fold it in gently to mix; blend thoroughly without over-beating. Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth down, and put the cakes into the center of the preheated oven. Reduce the heat to moderate (350F) and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to the touch and shrinking slightly in the pans. Turn out and cool on a wire rack. Icing Instructions -

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in orange juice and zest. Ice bottom layer with 1/3 cup icing. Place second layer on top. Ice sides with half remaining icing. Use the rest of the icing on the top. Store cake in an airtight container.

Irish Cinnamon Potato Candy

Irish Cinnamon Potato Candy is made with mashed potatoes and powdered sugar.
1/4 cup (60 ml) mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
3-1/2 cups (825 ml) sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 cup (225 ml) shredded coconut
1 tablespoon (15 ml) butter
PREPARATION:Put potatoes in large bowl (one can use instant potatoes to make 1/4 cup). Add salt, sugar, vanilla, coconut and butter. Mix well. Knead several minutes, adding more sugar, if necessary, to make a stiff dough.
Tear off a teaspoon of dough and form into a small log shape. Roll in cinnamon. Lay on wax paper for 1 hour to dry. Store in air tight container.

oops!  I almost forgot the coffee...

Original Version
1 C hot coffee
1 1/2 oz. Irish Mist liqueur
whipped cream
for garnish


Modern Version

1 C hot coffee
1 oz. Irish Whiskey
3 sugar cubes
whipped cream for garnish

Recipe Makes 1 Drink

In order to make this recipe properly the whiskey has to be heated to a high temperature. Pour the coffee in a cup with the desired number of sugar cubes. Then use a spoon turned upside down and pour the HOT whiskey over it so it flows down gently. Top it all with the whipped cream.
When served, true Irish Coffee always has three distinct layers. When served, you first use a straw and sip (a very small amount as it is HOT) a little of the Whiskey. Then stir all the ingredients together.

No, I'm not Irish, but I love celebrating holidays and making food especially for the day.  Actually, this blue eyed blonde is part Mexican, part American Indian and I believe German.  Quite a mix. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Home Remedy--UTI's

Good Morning.  Here is a little information most of us could use at least once in our lives. 

 Urinary Tract Infections

  • A mixture of 1/2 tsp baking soda in eight ounce glass of water can be very helpful on the first signs of urinary tract infection. The presence of baking soda in your system raises the acid-base balance of the acidic urine.
  • Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly - even though the product was never been advertised for this use.
  • My sister-in-law says to drink a beer or two. 
  • It is very important for your system to have a good flow of urine. This can be done by consuming plenty of water. It cleanses your body by diluting and flushing out the unwanted substance.
  • Cranberry juice disallows bacteria to cling to the cell, which line the urinary tract. It is a great remedy to fight this infection. If you cannot have the cranberry juice directly you can mix it with apple juice to add some taste.
  • Drink 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 tsp of honey and water, twice a day.
Urinary Tract Infection Diet Increase the intake of vitamin C

Vitamin C prevents the bacterial growth due to the acidic environment created in the bladder and the urinary tract. It is very important to have a healthy diet which is rich in minerals and other supplements for your daily quota. You can maintain the alkaline content in urine by a rich diet of milk, fruits, and fresh vegetables.

Fresh berry juice

Women consuming fresh berry juice as part of the daily diet, turns out to bevery useful in the long run.

Avoid irritant foods

A diet which consists of processed food like cheese, chocolate, dairy products should be avoided. You should also avoid spicy food, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes which otherwise is also harmful. Avoid carbonated drinks like beer, soda or any other drink with fizz.

Stay away from artificial sweetener

Aspartame is one of a kind of artificial sweetener. You will find many artificial sweeteners in the market which should be avoided. It is mainly consumed by diabetic patients and is used in many beverages and other foods.

Other suggestions for Urinary Tract Infection Hot compression

You can place a heating pad on the lower abdominal area to provide some relief to your pain.


Working on the bladder or kidney points can provide you some relief from this infection.

Dressing comfortably

Wearing loose-fitting and cotton clothes helps a great deal. Wearing tight undergarments and tight fitting clothes creates more room for infection.

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cleaning/Laundry tip--Ink stains

Good Morning!  I have had to use this tip many times.  However, I am usually dealing with small ink stains on fabric or artwork left on the walls by my little Picasso.  Usually just rubbing alcohol onto the stain works for me.  If you have a huge ink spill I'm not sure how well this will work.  However, I guess it's better to give it a try rather than just throwing the garment away.

Ink Stains:
  • The best way I have found to get out ink stains is to put rubbing alcohol on the stain - it disappears! This must be done before washing.
  • Pour a small amount of milk in a bowl. Rinse area in the milk. The milk will get inky. Pour it out and repeat with a fresh bowl of milk. Repeat till no more ink comes out. Rinse in cold water then wash as usual.
  • Make a paste with oxi-clean, or similar product, and let it sit on the stain for several minutes.  Rinse with cold water.  Apply the oxi paste again if necessary.
  • If all else fails, try using nail polish remover.  Place nail polish remover in an old bowl and soak the item for several hours. Then use a nail cleaning brush and scrub the area with soap and water. Repeat if needed.  However, this does not do well on some fabric types and should NOT be used on  acetate or rayon fabrics.

After speaking with someone else who does Photo-Montage work, it looks as though I may be able to begin my business sooner than I had originally thought.  One of my biggest obstacles was that I thought I had to have a really expensive computer to be able to begin doing this.  However, it now appears as though I could get my business up and running for probably under $500. 

Thank you Mr. Emery!  Everything seemed a little overwhelming and a wee bit impossible as I thought I would need a couple thousand to get started.  Now my dream of a home based business actually seems to be within my reach.  I won't lie and say that I'm not a bit afraid.  I mean $500 is a lot less than several thousand, but it's still a lot of money for us to invest.  

What if no one likes my work?  What if no one wants what I am offering?  What if we invest the money and it's just a total loss?  Grrrr...positive thoughts Jill Marie!  Success means taking a chance.  Not having the courage to try is worse than failure.  Right? 

Okay, I am off to check out the software that was recommended to me by Mr. Emery.  I am so thankful to have someone willing to give me a bit of advice and share some of his knowledge with me.  Otherwise, I'd still be sitting here trying to figure out how to come up with thousands of dollars. 

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Recipe--Crunchy Chicken Strips

How about a quick and easy recipe for dinner tonight?  I found this recipe for crunchy chicken strips at Better Homes and Gardens.  It sounds really yummy and better yet is the fact that it only takes 20 minutes to fix. 

Crunchy Chicken Strips
Start to Finish: 20 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
2-1/2  cups crushed bite-size cheddar fish-shaped crackers or pretzels
2/3  cup bottled buttermilk ranch salad dressing
1  lb. chicken breast tenderloins
Bottled buttermilk ranch salad dressing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil; lightly coat foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a shallow dish place the crushed crackers. In another shallow dish place the ranch dressing. Dip chicken tenderloins into the dressing, allowing excess to drip off; dip into cracker crumbs to coat. Arrange chicken in prepared pan.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F). If desired, serve with additional ranch dressing.
 Makes 4 servings
 Quicker Crunchy Chicken Strips: Prepare as above, except use one 10-ounce package of cooked refrigerated chicken breast strips instead of the chicken breast tenderloins and bake only 5 to 8 minutes or until heated through.

Serve the chicken with some oven baked french fries and a side of steamed broccoli.  Also serve some raw carrots and celery that the kids can also dip in the ranch dressing.  That way they will get some added vitamins, great idea if you have little ones that don't like eating veggies.

How about some homemade cookies to go with the dinner?  Then here is a pretty simple recipe you could make and it sounds pretty good.  This one also comes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Lemon Verbena Cookies
36 cookies- Prep: 20 minutes  Bake: 8 minutes
2-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
2  tablespoons dried lemonverbena leaves, crushed
2  teaspoons baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
1  cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1-1/2  cups sugar
2  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
1. Combine flour, lemon verbena leaves, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Add half of the flour mixture. Beat until combined. Stir in remaining flour mixture with a wooden spoon until combined.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks and cool. Makes 36.

I usually make my chicken strips by crushing some saltines, adding a bit of flour and spices.  Then I dip the chicken strips in an egg wash then the crushed crackers.  I let them sit a minute then re-dip in egg and the crackers again and fry them up. 

I'm going to try this new recipe, 1. because baking them sounds much healthier and 2. I bet that ranch dressing and the gold fish crackers taste really good.  Also,  I don't like having Rylie help me when I have hot oil in the kitchen, and she loves to help me cook.  So if I bake the strips, Rylie could help set up the raw veggie plate or whatever.

Well, I'm off to take the chicken out of the freezer.  Have a wonderful day!

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Family Breakfast

We went down to Bowling Green today and met the rest of my family for breakfast.  I took copies of the Photo-movie I made for my father.  I also took a copy of one for my mother. 

No, my mother has not passed away.  However, she wanted to see what her movie would look like.  It sounds a bit weird, but have ya ever wondered who would show up for your funeral or what kind of tribute would be made?  I can understand her curiosity.  Although it was a bit weird for me to do it.  It was however just a wee bit of a sample of what the actual movie would look like.

I guess everyone liked the movie.  It was probably a bit hard for everyone to see as it was playing on a small DVD player we bought for Rylie to watch on long car rides and the screen is probably only about 10 inches big.  I hoped they liked it.

Here is a the movie I made for my dad.  It's a bit long, 10 minutes, but I really had a difficult time limiting the number of pictures I used.  It's hard to narrow down 69 years of life into a few minutes.

And this is my mothers sample Photo-movie.  It is about 3 minutes long although I hope to have another 20-30 years worth of photographs to add to this.

Oh the first clip on both movies, "Reflections", that is the name that I want to use for the business that I want to start.  Hopefully it will be something that I can get started this year.  I've gotten some information from the Chamber of Commerce and am in the process of looking into the cost of start up and beginning to make a Business Plan.

Thanks for stopping by. 

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