Friday, July 29, 2011

Weight Watcher's Smart Ones

Like so many people, I too, would like to lose a few pounds. So at the store they had "Smart Ones" on sale and I got motivated and bought some. I am hoping in the next few months to drop at least a couple of pounds. I have eaten these entrees for a quick supper and they actually taste pretty good. I have been known to add a veggie to them from time to time. But they really are tasty and serve a purpose.
Unfortunately, (for my diet) I was invited out to dinner this evening. I'll have to look over the menu carefully and see what I can select that is "somewhere near" watching what I eat. I mean, a person can't just stay home! One does have a social life to maintain. Ha-ha!
Till next time......

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grocery Shopping Tips

Grocery shopping is probably one of the things women hate the most. It's not the actual shopping we hate; it's carrying in the 5 heavy bags. So here are a few tips to help save you some money. 
Grocery Shopping Tips
1. Make a list of things you run out of or are low on.
2. Plan your week of meals ahead of time.
3. Stick to the things on your list.
4. Review the ads and clip out coupons to use.
5. Shop when the ads first come out for a better selection and well stocked shelves.
6. Ask for a price match, most grocery stores will do that.
7. Coupons can be used on "trial sizes" if the coupon says, "good for any size".
8. Eat before shopping, you will be less tempted to pick up an extra "goodie".
9. Put your child in a shopping cart vs running around the store.
It will save you time and and your fellow shoppers will appreciate it.
10. Strap the child into the cart seat and NEVER leave them unattended. 

Hope these few tips will save you money and make your shopping experience a little better.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chocolate Hard Shell Topping

A friend gave me this recipe a while back and it seems to be the perfect time to share it. We've been having a heat wave for weeks now. (It seems like months!) The topping is easy to make and the  children will love it.
Chocolate Hard Shell Topping
1 6oz package chocolate semi-sweet morsels
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler. Add oil and mix in well. When dipped into, or spooned over ice cream, it will create a hard chocolate shell. Great for dipping ice cream or cheesecake pops. Make sure the ice cream or cheesecake pops are frozen hard before dipping. Store topping in a glass jar and microwave topping a few seconds before using. Chocolate  topping must be able to be poured or dipped into.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cherry Chocolate Cobbler

If you have ever enjoyed the cherry chocolate cobbler at the Cracker Barrel, this recipe is for you. It is very similar to their very special dessert.
Cherry Chocolate Cobbler
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1 (6 oz.) pkg Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1/2 cup nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter. Cut with pastry cutter until crumbs are the size of large peas. Melt over hot (not boiling) water, Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Remove from heat and cool slightly at room temperature (about 5 minutes). Add milk and egg to melted chocolate and mix well. Blend chocolate mixture into flour mixture. Spread cherry pie filling in bottom of 2 quart casserole. Drop chocolate batter randomly over cherries. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy. As you can see, I like it with ice cream!
Till next time.........

Monday, July 25, 2011

Flavored Butters......Again

Nothing is better on fresh corn on the cob than a nice flavored butter. You can go to a gourmet shop and pay big bucks for a jar of the goodness, but why not save your money and make it fresh. It is so easy to do. This butter is perfect for your freshly grilled corn, shrimp, fish, steak or chicken.

Chili Lime Butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Zest of one lime
1 tsp.chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Mix all ingredients together and make a roll of it on plastic wrap. Roll it up, twist the ends so that it makes a log shape. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to let the flavors blend. Serve with wedges of lime. This butter will give a real Southwestern flair to any meal. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on the ear of corn will give another element of flavor. To control the amount of salt, I recommend using unsalted butter. If using salted butter, you might want to omit the salt in the recipe until you taste it. Hope you enjoy it!
Till next time......

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Fun Food Fact

This is a fun fact that makes you wonder if you ever want to drink Kopi Luwak coffee again!

Kopi Luwak - Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that come from the "poop" of the  Asian Palm Civet, which is a mammal the size of a cat. They eat the soft outer part of the coffee cherries and the beans inside are not digested. These beans then pass through the digestive tract and are excreted. The excretions are then collected and the beans are cleaned, roasted and sold. I don't think I will be asking for a Kopi Luwak Latte anytime soon. Incidentally, this is the world's most expensive coffee.
It's just a fun food fact to tuck away for a trivia party.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hell's Corner by David Baldacci

This book is about a skilled assassin that has tried to leave his past behind him. Then the President asks him to accept a special assignment. But before that assignment can begin, a bomb goes off in an attack on the President and the British Prime Minister. So he is reassigned to find those who did it. This book is full of intrigue and "who done it". He doesn't know who he can trust and things are never what they seem to be. The people responsible for the attack are cunning and lethal to say the least. A fun read for those who like mystery. This book is available in paperback, hard cover and Kindle. Did I mention this book was on the best seller list?
Till next time.....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Bread Dipping Oil

I don't know about you, but once in a while I enjoy a nice dipping oil with my Italian supper. It is simple to make and is a small amount. So if it is just you or you and your friend, this recipe is perfect. This recipe will serve 2-3 people.

Bread Dipping Oil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients, except oil, on a shallow bowl or plate. Pour olive oil over. Serve with fresh-baked bread for dipping.
Till next time......

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Toffee Apple Dip

Hope everyone is staying cool. Here's a snack that is reasonably healthy for the children or for you. It is a Toffee Apple Dip. It is hard to photograph, as the color isn't true and it looks more like oatmeal color in the photograph, most unappealing. So I don't have a photo of this to show you.
Toffee Apple Dip

Toffee Apple Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pkg Skor toffee bits
Mix first 4 ingredients together and beat well. Mix in Skor bits and serve with apple wedges.
Till next time.........

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ice Cream For One........

It's mid summer and the children are starting to get bored, right? It's hot and pretty apt to stay that way for a few more weeks anyway. Here is something the children can make and it will be a fun project.
Ice Cream For One
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of salt (the larger grains work best (Rock salt or Kosher salt) but table salt will work. 

Ice cubes enough to fill each gallon size bag half full.
1 pint size Ziplock bag
1 gallon size Ziplock bag
Combine the sugar, half and half and vanilla extract in the pint size bag and seal it tightly. Place the salt and ice in the gallon size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done. Take the smaller bag out of the larger bag, add any mix-ins (mini chocolate chips, crushed toffee bar, chopped marachino cherries, etc), and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup, too! Serves 1
Till next time.......

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cooling Off.........For Just A Moment

Forgive me for just a moment. Today's heat index is supposed to get to 115°F and I just had to cool off. This photo was taken last winter at one of the local parks. Just looking at the snow makes me a little cooler. Since we are in such a heat wave, I know you will overlook me posting a snow photo. But a person has to do what they must; to cool off!
Till next time.......

Leaf Lettuce

We are having a major heat wave and there are few things that make it worth while. But Leaf Lettuce is one of those things. I picked a handful of it yesterday and after I washed it and put it in a bag to refrigerate; I had to acknowledge the fact that it was one of the good things about summer. For me, there is little good about summer, except it makes you appreciate the other three seasons. I love the fresh veggies from the farm so guess when all is said and done; I have to put up with the summer heat. Unwillingly, of course!
Tonight, I will enjoy some wilted lettuce with my supper and then I will forget momentarily, how hot it was picking it.
Till next time........

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Karen Stiehl Osborn - "Glimpes"

Karen Stiehl Osborn is an abstract, mixed media artist. She works primarily with cloth, paint, photography and stitching. The art pieces shown here are Glimpses III and Glimpses I. To me, it shows glimpses of the farming community which is such a large part of Nebraska. Karen's work can be seen at the NE2 (Nebraska Squared) exhibition at the Jewish Community Center, Omaha, NE. through August 4th, 2011.
Karen has pieces of her art in galleries/exhibitions through out the United States and many countries abroad. Do stop in and see all the beautiful fiber art these artists have made. Hurry, you only have till August 4th; and you don't want to miss this show. If you can't make the show, visit her website at:
You can visit her gallery and her blog from this website. Enjoy!
Till next time.......

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wendy Maliszewski - "Great Plains Winter"

Wendy is a fiber artist and her piece is called "Great Plains Winter". It is cream color and stitched with cream thread to give it texture. Wendy has captured our winters here in Nebraska, very cold and snowy. The plastic rods give her piece depth and an added dimension. Her work can be seen at the Jewish Community Center through August 4th, 2011 in the NE2 (Nebraska Squared) exhibition. 
Our winters are cold and white from as early as  October some years and as late as April in other years. So it is a cold, snowy and long season. Good job, Wendy! This second photo shows some of the detail stitching in this piece. It definitely gives you the feeling of snow, at least to me. I hope many of you will visit this exhibition.
Till next time.......

Friday, July 15, 2011

Debra Ward - "Hastings"

Debra Ward is one of the fiber artists exhibiting in the NE2 (Nebraska Squared) art show at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha, NE. All the art pieces have to do with Nebraska. So you ask....what does the Kool-Aid pitcher have to do with Nebraska. Actually, it has a lot to do with the state. In 1927, Kool-Aid was created in Hastings, NE. by removing the liquid from a common snack at the time, called Fruit Smack. The powder was then repackaged and promoted under the new name of Kool-Aid.  The pitcher is the logo for Kool-Aid. So making this art portrays a very historical bit of Nebraska history. Don't you just love the fact that Debra put Kool-Aid packages inside the pitcher.
Till next time......

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Debi Kibbee - "Nebraska Fields & Nebraska Art Deco"

Debi Kibbee is a mixed Media artist who has her work on display at the Jewish Community Center, Omaha, NE. until August 4th, 2011. This first piece is called Nebraska Fields. As you can see, Debi likes bright and bold colors. This is a contemporary piece and interpretation is up to the viewer. What do I see....I see the rows and patchwork fields that you see from an airplane flying over Nebraska. The black could be drought that sometimes hits in August or the blight that can effect the crops. Or perhaps they are the famous circles that appear in some fields. What do you see?
This lovely piece is called Nebraska Art Deco. It too, portrays her love of bright colors. Working with bright colors is just a fun thing to do. However, everything is life is not cheerful and sometimes it takes the dark colors to express the darker side of life.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rebecca Segura - "Chief Standing Bear & B. B. King"

Rebecca Segura is a fiber artist and member of the Midwest Fiber Alliance that has a show at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha NE.  This first photo is  Ponca Chief Standing Bear. He fought for the rights of the American Indian to vote. The technique Rebecca used in making this art is mosaic piecing. It is made of 1/4 inch squares of different colored fabric (that's right folks, 1/4 inch pieces) fused on material and then quilted. This second picture shows a little of the diagonal quilting.
This piece is Riley B. King, better known as B. B. King, King of the Blues. It is done with the same technique, using 1/4 inch squares. 

Her website shows some of her signature threadwork in a slide show. She has been long arm quilting since 1999. If you want to see more of Rebecca's work stop by her website listed below. You can also enter Rebecca's blog from this website and keep up with what she is working on.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rhonda Baldwin - "Here It Comes"

This photo is fiber art called "Here It Comes" and was done by artist Rhonda Baldwin. Her work is displayed in  the NE2 (Nebraska Squared) Exhibition held at the Jewish Community Center, Omaha, NE. You can see this Exhibition through August 4, 2011. The Exhibition was created by nine Nebraska fiber artists to show their visions of Nebraska. 
Rhonda has a unique way of dyeing her fabric and I for one, would like to know more about it.  If you would like to see more of Rhonda's work stop by her website.
Rhonda says that next to her marriage and her children, creating in her studio is her truest happiness.
Stop at the Jewish Community Center and see the wonderful visions of these talented artists. It is worth the trip; so much art in one place. Enjoy!
Till next time.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Cleaning Progress

I know I've been off the blog for a few days, but housework called. I am "summer" cleaning my home. I am getting rid of things, packing other things away and hopefully, simplifying my life. I like the result you get from dusting, but it is not my favorite thing to do. With all the sit-arounds I have, dusting seems to take forever. I almost have 2 rooms done and have 4 more to go. So if I skip some days of blogging, know that I am deep cleaning and I will be back. It just may be a few days. If you have already done your spring cleaning, lucky you!
Till next time......

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Enjoy your celebrations this weekend and remember to be safe.
Till next time.......