Sunday, May 30, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Fresh Broccoli Salad
• 2 heads fresh broccoli
• 1 red onion
• 1/2 pound bacon
• 3/4 cup raisins
• 3/4 cup sliced almonds
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1. Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, your favorite nuts and mix well.
3. To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let chill and serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 374 | Total Fat: 27.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg
Strawberry and Feta Salad
• 1 cup slivered almonds
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1 head romaine lettuce, torn
• 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
• 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
2. In a bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the toasted almonds, romaine lettuce, strawberries, and feta cheese. Cover with the dressing mixture, and toss to serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 378 | Total Fat: 34.3g | Cholesterol: 22mg
Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad
• 1/2 cup walnut halves
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 3 cups mixed greens
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
• 1 tablespoon raspberry vinaigrette
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Place walnuts and sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves into a light brown liquid and coats the walnuts. Remove walnuts from skillet, and spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool.
2. Place in a large salad bowl the mixed greens, cranberries, cheese, vinaigrette, vinegar, and olive oil. Toss gently; add candied walnuts, and toss again.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 308 | Total Fat: 19.2g | Cholesterol: 22mg
Healthy Garden Salad
• 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 limes, juiced
• 1 teaspoon white sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 (1 pound) package frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
• 3 cups frozen corn kernels
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 4 green onions, thinly sliced
• 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, salt and garlic. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the soybeans and boil for 3 minutes. Add corn to the boiling water and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Drain very well, and pour into the bowl with the dressing. Gently mix in the cherry tomatoes, green onions and black beans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to chill and blend the flavors.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 204 | Total Fat: 9.6g | Cholesterol: 0mg
Here are 4 great drinks to quench your thirst this summer.
Frozen Mango Margarita
• 1 1/2 ounces Cuervo Especial Gold
• 3 ounces lime margarita mix
• 1 cup diced and peeled mangos
• 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
• 3/8 cup crushed ice
• 1 wedge lime
1. Rub rim of a margarita glass with half a lime and dip into sugar.
2. Add Cuervo Especial Gold, lime margarita mix, diced and peeled mangos, and crushed ice.
3. Mix in blender until smooth. Pour into the glass.
4. Garnish with lime wedge.
Lemon Drop Martini
• white sugar
• 1 long strip of lemon zest
• 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger citron vodka
• 1/2 ounce lime juice
• 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
• 1 cup crushed ice
1. Moisten the edges of a martini glass with a little lime juice, and then dip moistened edges into sugar. Place lemon zest strip in glass.
2. Combine vodka, lime juice, sweet and sour mix, and ice in a shaker. Shake vigorously, and strain into a martini glass.
Smooth Sweet Tea
• 1 pinch baking soda
• 2 cups boiling water
• 6 tea bags
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 6 cups cool water
1. Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a 64-ounce, heat-proof, glass pitcher. Pour in boiling water, and add tea bags. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
2. Remove tea bags, and discard; stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour in cool water, then refrigerate until cold.
Best Lemonade Ever
• 1 3/4 cups white sugar
• 8 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
2. Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.
4 yummy desserts, taking advantage of fruits in their prime seasons.
• 1 1/4 cups fresh raspberries, divided
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 cup vanilla ice cream
• 1/4 cup sour cream
1. Mash 1 cup raspberries and press through a strainer. Reserve enough juice to measure 1/4 cup. Discard seeds and pulp. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in reserved juice until smooth. Add strawberries and cook over low heat until mixture comes to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in remaining raspberries; cool.
2. In 2 parfait glasses, layer half the ice cream, a fourth of the berry sauce, half the sour cream and a fourth of the berry sauce. Repeat layers.
Heavenly 'Apple of My Thigh' Dessert
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
• 3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered English toffee, chopped
• 5 green apples, cored and sliced
Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce in a medium bowl. Spread onto a serving tray or a plate. Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the top and sprinkle with pieces of chocolate covered toffee. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then serve with apple slices.
Lemon Pudding Cheesecake
• 1 1/2 cups crushed VANILLA Wafers
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
• 4 (8 ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 cup Sour Cream
• 4 eggs
• 2 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
• 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Strawberry Whipped Topping
• 2 (1 ounce) squares BAKER'S Premium White Baking Chocolate (for making Chocolate Curl garnish)
• Preheat oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300 degrees F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix wafer crumbs, 1 Tbsp. of the sugar and the butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.
• Beat cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, flour and milk in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in dry pudding mixes until well blended.
• Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare chocolate curls from white chocolate. (See Tip). Remove rim of pan when ready to serve. Top cheesecake with whipped topping and chocolate curls just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
• 1 (7 ounce) package BAKER'S Real Milk Dipping Chocolate
• 36 medium strawberries
• Melt chocolate as directed on package.
• Dip strawberries into chocolate; let excess chocolate drip off.
• Place on wax paper-covered baking sheet or tray. Let stand at room temperature or store in refrigerator for 30 min. or until chocolate is firm.
- Substitute Prepare as directed, using BAKER'S Real Dark Semi-Sweet Dipping Chocolate.
- Substitute Prepare as directed, substituting 7 oz. melted BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate for the dipping chocolate.
Watermelon Basket of Fruit
Last but not least, this is my favourite dish to take to a bbq, and it’s always a big hit.
The possibilities are endless in your basket design.
1 large watermelon
1 honeydew melon
1 cantaloupe melon
I pint blueberries
2 pints strawberries
1 lb seedless green and red grapes
½ cup orange juice
2 lemon and limes – juiced
• Wash blueberries under cold running water. Add to the bowl.
• Wash strawberries under cold running water. Remove stem and slice strawberries in half. Add to the bowl.
• Remove grapes from the vine, wash under cold running water and place in the bowl. Slicing the grapes is optional.
• In a separate bowl, combine orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and sugar.
• Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
• Add to the large bowl of mixed fruit and stir to combine.
• Allow fruit to chill for a miniumum of 30 minutes.
• Transfer the fruit to a watermelon basket right before serving or serve in a large serving bowl.
Of course you can add or substitute any fruit you like.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
In 2012, the world came to a grinding halt as radiation hit from a massive solar storm. Crops died, animals perished, cities fell and humans became little more than beasts themselves. Under the threat of starvation, civility was reduced to mere memory. Only the strongest men survived, and physically weaker women and children wasted to nothingness.
More than a century later, humanity struggles in the desert Wasteland that was left. The solar radiation rendered most women infertile, and the population dwindles more with each year that passes. Scattered up and down coasts, isolated cities eke out an existence from fishing, foraging and hunting for what little game remains. Outside the city walls, men face the threat of pirates and raiders.
Few women remain, divided into four classes—Wanderers, Whores, Breeders and Priestesses. They are as reviled as they are worshiped, a commodity any man must pay to touch.
There is only one rule in the Wasteland—survive.
Book One: THE WANDERER — Crystal Jordan, May 4, 2010
Book Two: THE WHORE — Lilli Feisty, May 11, 2010
Book Three: THE BREEDER — Eden Bradley, May 18, 2010
Book Four: THE PRIESTESS — R.G. Alexander, May 25, 2010
THE BREEDER, Book Three in the Wasteland Series
Destined to serve the desires of an entire city, all she wants is one man. Or maybe two…
Wasteland, Book 3
Born to the Temple, Nitara knows the Great Goddess’s plan for her: to bring life into what is left of an arid and wasted Earth. Since puberty she has been trained to arouse and titillate, to ensure the continuation of the human race. As is the custom, the man captured for her is strong of blood, though considered little more than a wild animal. Yet when she looks into his eyes, she sees no primitive creature, but the man whose face and hands haunt her sensual dreams. For Akaash, a hunter and warrior, it’s his shame that he will be sacrificed to a goddess he doesn’t believe in, for a people who are not his own, leaving behind his Wanderer clan—and his bonded lover, Dhatri. Locked in the bowels of the Temple, he has a month to ponder his fate, all while falling helplessly under the spell of the virgin temptress who will soon take his life.
With each tortuously erotic encounter, however, Akaash realizes that Nitara is as much a prisoner as he. If he can just get a message out to Dhatri, there may be a slim chance both of them can escape…
* * *
Monday, May 17, 2010
Tomorrow is my oldest sons 26th birthday. When the hell did that happen? I’ve never related to people’s stories of how their kids were growing older, and in turn making them older, until lately. I think it started two years ago with the birth of my grandbaby, Alexxis. From there it snowballed when my oldest daughter—now 16—started dating, and just lately my youngest, my ‘baby’, is now goo goo over boys as well. As the weeks pass me by, I am left with more and more time on my own. My girls are gone here, there, and everywhere; leaving me at home with my dog, woe is me. Reality check. It is the inevitable sequence of events that will lead me to living on my own. I hate it. I mean, I don’t like it, not even a little.
I’m going to be 50 years old next year. Yikes! I am so not ready for it. Those golden years when your boobs have a mind of their own and you’ve added plucking chin hairs to your morning regimen. Sigh.
I’ve quit smoking, which they tell me will add years to my life. But what about the fifty pounds I’ve put on? Since I quit, I’ve added high cholesterol to my growing list of ailments. Some days, you can’t win for losing. Every time I surf the ‘net, I find at least one article about turning fifty, how it is supposed to be the best years of our lives. I have to wonder, why? What’s so magical about being half a century old? I often tell myself to ‘suck it up’ and ‘count my blessings’.
Yes, I have much to be grateful for. My four children are my heart, and we all share a special bond. My grandbaby is the most precious child imaginable. I did quit smoking after 35 years of the nasty habit. It was no easy feat, so kudos to me for that one. I have many published works, including my beloved Iron Horse Rider series, which is now in print. I’ve got a kick-ass story in the works...
So why am I so blue? Then it hit me; it’s not about turning fifty, or my endless list of ailments. It’s not about my children growing older and venturing out on their own. It’s all about me and not wanting to be alone.
I look back on my life and I can’t remember any significant amount of time where I was truly all alone. I’ve always had a man in my life. I’ve always had tons of friends around me. It’s me. I’m the one who created this self-imposed solitary lifestyle. I’m the one who shied away from everyone and anyone after having my heart shattered into a million pieces. Nobody but me shoved chocolate bars and ice cream in my mouth and forced me to have another...and another.
So, what’s so great about turning 50 next year? I will re-invent myself, make me a better me. I will open new doors rather than dwell on those I’ve closed behind me. I will live a healthier lifestyle, which in turn will give me more mobility to get out and about. I will practice self-love with my image in the mirror, rather than loathing my appearance and avoiding my reflection at all costs.
Next year I will be 50 years old, and I will celebrate my accomplishments. I will be the best that I can be and create a network of opportunities to fill those days when I’m all alone. I will be comfortable in my own skin and love the image looking back at me in the mirror.
Today I will celebrate...the rest of my life.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
1- General Purpose Cleaner
• 1 tsp borax
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
• ¼ tsp liquid dish soap
• 2 cups of hot water
Be sure to wear rubber gloves working with this mixture. Mix and store in a squirt or spray bottle.
2- Carpet Freshener
• 1 cup crushed, dried herbs (rosemary, southernwood, lavender, etc.)
• 1 tsp ground cloves
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp baking soda.
Combine ingredients, and sprinkle over carpet. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then vacuum.
3- Carpet Freshener Variation
• I cup baking soda
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 15 drops essential oil fragrance
Leave on carpet 10 to 20 min. Vacuum. Store mixture in a glass jar or airtight container.
4- Silver Tarnish Remover
• Boil water and ½ tsp salt with 1 to 2 tsps of baking soda
• Place tarnished silverware in pan with boiled mixture and a piece of aluminum foil.
• Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes
• Rinse silverware well, then use a soft cloth to buff dry
5- Showerhead Treatment
• ½ cup baking soda
• 1 cup vinegar
Mix in a sturdy plastic bah, then secure bag around the showerhead with a rubber band so that the showerhead is submerged in solution. Keep on, and soak for one hour. Remove, run very hot water through the showerhead for several minutes.
6- Washing and Cleanup your Pet
• Give your dog a dry bath by sprinkling it with baking soda. Run in, then brush out.
• For a wet wash, combine 3 T baking soda with 1 tsp dishwashing liquid and 1 tsp baby oil in a spray bottle. Spritz your pet, then wipe dry.
7- Play Clay
• 2 cups baking soda
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 1 ¼ cups cold water
• Food color (optional)
Mix baking soda and cornstarch in a sauce pan. Add water, stir to mix, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes. Add food coloring to the water to make colored clay. Don’t overcook. Clay should have the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove to a plate. Cover with a damp cloth to cool.
Make ahead of time, and store it for up to one week. Keep it refrigerated in a plastic container, but bring it to room temperature before using.
Three Ways to dry Play Clay Art
• Air: Set on a wire rack overnight.
• Oven: Preheat oven to 350 degF, turn off, then placed finished objects on a cookie sheet. Leave in until oven is cold.
• Microwave: Place objects on a paper towel, back at medium power for 30 seconds, turn over, bake for another 30 seconds. Repeat until dry.
8- Cooking and Baking Soda
• In a recipe for sour-cream cake, combining the baking soda with the sour cream before mixing with other ingredients will activate the soda more quickly.
• Omelets get fluffier if you add ½ tsp baking soda for every 3 eggs.
• Eliminate the gaseous side effects of baked beans by adding a dash of baking soda while cooking.
9- Homemade Cough Syrup
• ¼ cup honey
• ½ cup apple cider vinegar
Pour into a jar or bottle that can be tightly sealed. Shake well before each use. Take 1 T every 4 hours. If cough persists for more than a week, see a physician.
• Bee stings and Bug bites: Use vinegar mixed with cornstarch to make a paste. Apply paste to bee sting or bug bite, and let dry.
• Poison Ivy and Poison Oak: Soothe the rash by using a vinegar compress, Mix ½ cup vinegar in a 1 pint container, then add enough water to fill. Chill container in the refrigerator. When cool, dampen a cloth or gauze with solution, and apply to rash.
• Sunburn: Vinegar has a cooling effect on sunburn. Splash it over sunburned area, then lightly rub into skin. Or simply cool sunburn with diluted vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on affected area.
11- Hair Conditioning Treatment
Give your hair a conditioning treatment that will leave it feeling like you’ve been to an expensive salon.
• 3 eggs
• 2 T olive oil or sunflower oil
• 1 tsp vinegar
Apply to hair. Cover with a plastic cap, and leave on for a half hour. Shampoo as usual.
12- Cleaning Your Microwave
If your microwave is splattered with old sauces and greasy build up, place a glass measuring cup with 1 cup water and ¼ cup vinegar inside microwave. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove measuring cup and wipe inside of oven with a damp cloth.
13- What Ails You
• Back aches: Soak in a bathtub of hot water and 2 cups vinegar for 30 minutes will help relieve a minor backache and soothe sore muscles.
• Headache: To ease a headache, lie down and apply a compress dipped in a mixture of half warm water and half vinegar to the temples. Also try an herbal vinegar such as lavender to provide aromatic relief.
• Cough: Sprinkle your pillow case with apple cider vinegar to control night time coughing.
*** taken from Over 100 Helpful Household Hints – Christine Halvorson