Wednesday, July 29, 2009


German Meatballs

For variety, these meatballs can be cooked with a sweet cream gravy, steamed with tomatoes or with sauerkraut.This is enough for 6 servings...

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 can (27 ounces) sauerkraut, undrained
1/3 to 1/2 cup water, optional
Additional snipped parsley

In a bowl, combine first 10 ingredients; shape into 18 meatballs, 2 in. each. Heat the oil in a skillet; brown the meatballs. Remove meatballs and drain fat. Spoon sauerkraut into skillet; top with meatballs. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are done. Add water if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley!

Swedish Meatballs

I have made this dish several times for my family. They love it! These meatballs are amazing. They have wonderful texture and flavor...
This is enough for 4-6 servings!

2 slices fresh white bread
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 pound ground chuck
3/4 pound ground pork
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.

In a 12-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.

Heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat, or in an electric skillet set to 250 degrees F. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.

Once all of the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. Whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve!

Mexican Meatballs

Depending on the crowd you are going to feed, you can make these mild or spicy. Easy to make and they freeze well for pre-planning...Makes 40 meatballs!

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 lbs ground pork
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs, plain
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1-3 chipotle chiles in adobo
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 small onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together the ground beef and pork, eggs, bread crumbs, 1 t. salt, pepper, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and water. Form into 1 inch meatballs and set aside on a piece of waxed paper.

Pour the diced tomatoes into the container of a blender along with the chipotle chilies. Blend until smooth, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the remaining garlic and cumin, and cook for a few minutes to release the aromas. Pour in the tomato mixture and chicken broth. Season with the remaining teaspoon salt, and mix well. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat while you brown the meatballs.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs, but do not crowd them. Fry them in 2 batches if necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned on the outside. Remove from the skillet, and place into the pot of simmering sauce. Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce for about 30 minutes. Longer will not hurt them.

For special occasions, serve the meatballs and sauce in a chafing dish. Garnish with chopped cilantro...

Italian Meatballs

If you’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for Italian Meatballs, search no more....With their amazing flavor they are sure to impress anyone...Makes around 25 meatballs!

1 ½ pounds of lean beef or pork (or use a mixture of both)
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 large slightly beaten egg
½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of salt (can use less)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
½ cup of milk
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons of dried parsley

Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl.

Shape the mixture into small-medium sized meatballs. At this point if you don’t want to cook these right now you could put them in the freezer for later.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and place the meatballs on a baking sheet.

Put your meatballs in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Another cooking method is to simmer the meatballs in pasta sauce for about 40 minutes. This will give them great flavor and texture...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Italian Spaghetti Salad Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chip & Sangria Punch

Italian Spaghetti Salad

Cold Italian spaghetti salad. Great after it's been in the refrigerator overnight.

1 pound spaghetti, broken into pieces
10 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup salad seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble.
In a large bowl combine spaghetti, bacon, celery, onion, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, salad seasoning, salad dressing and Parmesan. Toss to coat. Chill until serving.

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Easy to make, tasty fruit salsa and cinnamon tortilla chips. Great as an appetizer or a snack. Great for anytime!

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Sangria Punch

This is a fun party punch, whether you're serving it alcoholic or not – either way it's fruity and fabulous!

3/4 C. Lemonade or Pink Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1 qt. cold reduced calorie cranberry juice cocktail
1 C. cold orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 C. cold club soda
2 medium oranges, sliced
2 medium limes, sliced

Empty drink mix into large pitcher. Add cranberry juice cocktail, orange juice and lime juice; stir until drink mix is completely dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir in club soda and fruit. Serve over ice cubes in tall glasses.

Tip: Add 1 C. mixed berries with the sliced fruit. For a change of pace, substitute orange juice for the cranberry juice cocktail.

Variation: For an Adult Sangria add 1 bottle red wine and 3/4 C. raspberry flavored vodka. Substitute reduced calorie Cran-Raspberry juice for Cranberry juice. Garnish with frozen raspberries

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pizza Casserole, Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake, S'more Cupcakes & S'mores Whoopie Pie Cookies!!

Pizza Casserole

You will love this recipe for this satisfying casserole for the slow cooker. It's always one of the first dishes emptied at potlucks, and it can easily be adapted to personal tastes I love this recipe and always use it for family get togethers. Never a bit leftover. I sneak in as many veggies as possible and the kids eat it unknowingly. I also substitute jarred pizza sauce instead of spaghetti sauce to make it taste more like pizza.

3 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash pepper
1 package (16 ounces) wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) sliced pepperoni
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
In a Dutch oven, brown beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, salt, garlic powder, oregano and pepper; heat through.
Spoon 4 cups into a 6-qt. slow cooker. Top with half of the noodles, pepperoni and cheeses. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour or until cheese is melted.

"Pasta Pointers"
When cooking pasta, should you add oil to the water? Also, should you rinse pasta before serving.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to adding oil to the water when cooking pasta. One group believes that adding olive or vegetable oil to the cooking water prevents the pasta from sticking together while cooking. It suggests adding 1 tablespoon of oil to 3 quarts of water for every 8 ounces of pasta cooked. The second school believes that the oily residue left on the pasta can cause the sauce to slide off the pasta, making it difficult to eat. I agree and prefer to cook pasta without adding oil to the water.
As far as rinsing pasta, I suggest draining it thoroughly in a colander without rinsing when it is to be served with a sauce or combined in a baked dish. Rinsing can wash away starch that may help to slightly thicken the pasta sauce. On the other hand, pasta can be rinsed in a colander when it is to be served cold, such as in a salad.

Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake

This hearty casserole is great for a family reunion or church supper. It also will get the kids to eat their veggies.

5-1/4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2-1/2 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
3 large carrots, shredded
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 cans (28 ounces each) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large kettle, cook the beef, onions, carrots and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, salt, garlic powder, pepper and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Drain macaroni; add macaroni and spinach to beef mixture. pour into two greased 3-qt. baking dishes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

S'more Cupcakes

Easy cupcakes with graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate.My greatgrandkids really love these.

1 (18.25 ounce) package French vanilla cake mix
2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups water
3 egg whites
24 milk chocolate candy kisses
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs, water and egg whites. Beat for 2 minutes at high speed of an electric mixer.
Divide batter evenly among paper lined cups, filling about 2/3 full. Place a chocolate kiss in each cupcake, pressing in lightly. Spoon 1 teaspoon graham cracker crumbs onto each cupcake.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each cupcake with 1 teaspoon marshmallow creme. Dip spoon into hot water to prevent sticking. Return to oven for about 1 minute to melt slightly. Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

S'mores Whoopie Pie Cookies

This cookie is something not quite cake, not quite cookie. The pie has a dense texture with a bit of chew, and the filling is sweet and gooey. These are not the dry Moon Pies!!

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
S’mores Whoopie Pie Filling
1 stick unsalted butter brought to room temperature
7oz. jar toasted marshmallow crème
½ cup powdered sugar
1 pack graham crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Blend butter and marshmallow crème together until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, blend until creamy.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a minute or so, until well combined. It will have the consistency of wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into 1/2 cup very hot water until dissolved.
With the mixer on low or stirring by hand, add about a third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk and half the baking soda mixture, mixing each time just until blended. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk and baking soda mixture, and then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing each time just until combined.
I make these pies smaller than the classic…but feel free to increase the size to suit your needs. Using a small scoop (small Ice cream style scoop) drop batter onto greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the tops no longer appear wet and just spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When completely cool, spread the bottom of one cookie with frosting and dip into graham cracker crumbs. Spread a very small amount of frosting on other half of cookie just to make them stick. Viola - S’mores Whoopie Pies Cookies!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jalapeno-Blue Cheese Burgers-Butter Bean Burgers & Spicy Sweet Potato Chips!!

Jalapeno-Blue Cheese Burgers:

“Blue cheese, jalapeno and Swiss cheese round out these huge grilled burgers. These delicious burgers will make you think twice about eating chicken!”

2 pounds ground beef
6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 hamburger buns, split

Preheat a grill for high heat.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, jalapeno peppers, blue cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, tamari and salt. Mix well using your hands. Pat lightly into 4 large fat patties.
Place patties on the grill, and cook for about 8 minutes per side, or until well done. Place a slice of cheese on top of each patty, and cover the grill until the cheese melts. Serve on buns with your favorite toppings.

Butter Bean Burgers:

“Butter beans mashed and combined with onion, jalapeno pepper, cracker crumbs, egg, and cheese, then shaped and fried into vegetarian burgers. You can substitute bell pepper for the jalapenos for a milder taste. This is served in place of meat for a main meal, or great as a sandwich with your favorite toppings.”

1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
6 saltine crackers, crushed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, mash butter beans. Mix in onion, jalapeno pepper, crushed crackers, egg, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide into 4 equal parts, and shape into patties.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; use more or less oil to reach 1/4 inch in depth. Fry patties until golden, about 5 minutes on each side

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips:

"These sweet and spicy baked sweet potato fries go great with burgers. Use this as a substitute for French fries."

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Stir together olive oil, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Brush the sweet potato slices with the maple mixture and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, then turn the potato slices over, brush with any remaining maple mixture, and continue baking until tender in the middle, and crispy on the edges, about 7 minutes more.


In case you are interested!!!

Since January 4th, this year I have lost 73.4 pounds and still working at it...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas, Taco Rice & Spicy Strawberry Salad!!

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas:

"Enchiladas filled with ground chicken and assorted additions. Bake topped with sauce and cheese."

1 (4.5 ounce) package dry rice and chicken sauce mix with broccoli
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground chicken
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 1/4 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas

Prepare the rice and chicken sauce mix with broccoli according to package directions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in the skillet. Mix onion, garlic, and jalapeno into the skillet. Cook and stir until chicken is evenly brown. Mix in the prepared rice mix, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, 2/3 enchilada sauce, and 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Spoon mixture evenly into the tortillas. Wrap tortillas around the mixture to form enchiladas, and arrange in the prepared baking dish. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce, and top with remaining cheese.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese and sauce are melted and bubbly.

Taco Rice:

"This tasty rice great addition to tacos either on the inside or out. My fiance raves over this recipe."

1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream & shredded lettace

In a large pot, bring chicken broth, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning to a boil.
Stir rice into the pot, cover and remove from heat. Let the pot stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in cheese and olives; mix well.

Serve with sour cream & shredded lettace

Spicy Strawberry Salad:

"It is cool, crisp and crunchy - just what a salad should be."

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Whisk together the oil, sugar, poppy seeds, garlic powder, dry mustard and vinegar. Refrigerate until chilled.
In a salad bowl, combine the mushrooms and mixed greens; add dressing and toss. Sprinkle with strawberries and pecans

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How to Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity!!!

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write " For Smuggling Diamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences! With "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8 Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?

14 Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15 Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity.......

Send This To Someone To Make Them Smile.
Its Called ..... Therapy!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Light Summer Recipes!!!

Pasta with Corn, Zucchini and Tomatoes!

This vegetarian dish is both colorful and delicious.
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, or 2 Tbs. oil and 1 Tbs. butter
1 C. corn kernels (from 2 or 3 ears)
1 C. diced zucchini or summer squash (from 2 or 3 small vegetables)
1 medium onion or 3 or 4 shallots, diced
1/4 tsp. minced garlic, optional
1 or 2 sprigs tarragon
4 plum or 2 large tomatoes, diced
1 lb. cut pasta, like penne
Set a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Put 2 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to brown. Add zucchini and some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to brown. Add onion or shallots and garlic if you are using it. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add tarragon and cook for 30 seconds, then tomatoes. Put pasta in boiling water and cook until tender but not mushy, 10-15 minutes.
While pasta cooks continue to cook sauce, reducing heat when tomatoes begin to break down. If sauce dries out (with plum tomatoes, this is likely), add some pasta cooking water, about 1/2 C. at a time. When pasta is done, drain it, toss with sauce and remaining oil or butter, and serve immediately.

Fruity Spinach Salad

A salad with all sorts of ingredients that truly go well together. Mix up some spinach with fresh mushrooms, red onions, cantaloupe and green grapes
1 cantaloupe half, seeded and skin removed
7 C. torn fresh spinach
1 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
1 C. thinly sliced red onion
1/2 C. halved green grapes

3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. orange juice
2 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. chopped onion
Dash pepper
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/3 C. chopped pecans, toasted.
Cut melon half in 1/2 inch rings, then into 1 inch pieces; place in a bowl. Add spinach, mushrooms, onion and grapes. Chill for at least 2 hours. Place sugar, orange juice, vinegar, onion, orange peel and pepper in a blender, cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, gradually add oil until slightly thickened. Stir in poppy seeds. Cover and chill. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss. Top with pecans. You can substitute other fruit such as strawberries or blueberries for the grapes, or other types of melon.

Summer Iced Tea

A subtle black tea with a hint of fruity flavor. A great way to wake up.
5 teabags English Breakfast or other black tea
2 teabags blueberry or peach tea (Celestial Seasons is nice)
1 qt. of water
2 Tbs. honey (optional)
2 qt. pitcher filled 1/2 with ice
Boil water, add tea and steep for 6-7 minutes. Add honey if using. Pour tea over the ice in the 2 qt. pitcher, then fill with water to make 2 qts. Keep well-chilled.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to
pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.
It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of
spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste
of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply
chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them
in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350
for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low
and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on
the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing
it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer
for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes
with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in
a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food
moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers,
put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and for-
get about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not
get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper.
The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel
roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in nar-
row openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt
or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.
Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.
Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such
as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of
your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside,
just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and
leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you
bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar
and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the
cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants They eat it, take it "home," can't
digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works
and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the
house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the
dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the fil-
ter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he
took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a
mesh material ... I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ...
the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us
that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.
You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your
clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel
waxy when you take them out of the box .. well this stuff builds up on your clothes
and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your
house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long
time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with
hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.
He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?!
Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that.
So, I thought I'd share!
Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran
through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it
with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when
I rinsed it ... the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all!
That repairman knew what he was talking about!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Railroad tracks. This is fascinating. Be sure to read the final paragraph; your understanding of it will depend on the earlier part of the content.
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads. Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used. Why did 'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they use d for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Romebuilt the first long distance roads in Europe (andEngland ) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.. Bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification/ procedure/process and wonder 'What horse's ass came up with it?', you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the r ear ends of two war horses. (Two horse's asses.) Now, the twist to the story: When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB's. The SRB's are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The eng ineers who designed the SRB's would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB's had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRB's had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses control almost everything...and CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else.