Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

This is a silly little story about the animals on the ark getting ready for bed. It starts with the sun going down, then going down below in the ark and the whole process of getting ready for bed. You know, bathing, hanging up the towels, getting into the pajamas, brushing teeth, etc.
It is also another board book, so the children can't tear the pages no matter how young. She has a lot of books so take the time to look at more than just the two I have reviewed here. They are really cute books and your children will love them. Not a lot of reading on each page but it is a good way to teach the children to read and to get ready for bed.
Till next time.....

Doggies by Sandra Boynton.....

I don't often review Children's books; but once in a while I see a series of different books that are just too, too cute. Sandra Boynton authors a lot of different Childlren's books and Doggies is just one of them. This book shows a different number on each page with a doggie /doggies to match the number and each doggie has a sound of a doggie. It is so cute, every child will fall in love with it and want you to read it to them over and over. The bonus is, they will also learn to count. These are board pages so the child can look at them as often as they like without the worry of tearing the page.

Till next time......

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Last Boyfriend......

This is the second book of the Boonsboro Trilogy. It centers around the restoration and opening of the Inn Boonsboro and all the new events that will take place in the Inn. It also includes a budding romance between Avery's childhood crush, Owen Montgomery, and her. But in all this good news and happiness; something happens in Avery’s life that may effect this budding romance and the rest of her life. The ghost that haunts the Inn also makes more of her presence. Is she a good ghost or a ghost that means harm? The story also includes a wedding of one of the brothers and his life as it unfolds. It makes for an interesting.
Till next time…..

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Black Cherry Cheese Crepe Filling......

If you want to indulge in luxury but don't want the calories. Check out this recipe. How long has it been since you have had a really good crepe? They are easy to make and this recipe for filling is easy on the waistline. So indulge yourself!

Black Cherry Cheese Crepe Filling
1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/2 tsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Put in a food processor or blender, puree until smooth. 
1 cup of pitted dark sweet cherries 
Process until the cherries are chopped but not pureed, and stuff the crepes with the filling. You can replace the cherries with peaches, strawberries, or blueberries.
You can fold the ends and sides over to completely enclose the filling or simply roll the filling inside. I like to dust them with powdered sugar to finish them.
Till next time.......

Friday, April 26, 2013

Homemade Shake and Bake.....

Remember the old Kraft Shake and Bake from 1965? Back in the 60's, that was all the rage. It was quick and easy and the homemakers fell in love with this baked chicken that tasted like fried chicken. No more standing at the stove frying chicken and getting grease spatters all over. This is a homemade version of   Shake and Bake. As you can see, it is simple and uses herbs and spices you would already have in your kitchen. This is one of those recipes that you can swap out ingredients for some others you might prefer. For instance, I like granulated garlic, cayenne and grated Parmesan cheese when I make it. So take this recipe and make it your own and enjoy some really nice oven baked chicken. 

Shake and Bake
1 cup dry bread crumbs or Panko
1 cup of corn flakes, crushed
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 pinch dried basil leaves
1/2 pinch dried parsley
1/2 pinch dried oregano
In a large resealable plastic bag combine the crumbs, oil, salt, paprika, celery salt, pepper, garlic salt, minced garlic, minced onion, basil, parsley and oregano. Seal bag and shake all ingredients together, Add chicken pieces to bag and thoroughly coat the pieces. Put on sheet pan with sides. Preheat oven to 400F and bake uncovered for 25 min. skin side down. Turn skin side up, reduce heat to 350F and bake chicken till it is tender, 30−35 minutes.
Till next time.......

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Next Always......

This is the first of a Nora Roberts Trilogy. It is a story about the widow of a soldier with 3 very young sons, one that the father never got to see. It also includes the Montgomery Family Contractors, one of  the  brothers in that family, has had a “thing” for the widow since high school. The contractors and their family are restoring this house into a fabulous Bed and Breakfast, sparing no expense. There is, of course, a villain that comes out of the darkness to due harm. Does he get by with his sinister acts or is he caught? There is a ghost that haunts the Bed and Breakfast. Will she stop the work on the old house or does she approve of it? You may or may not want to stay there  by the time the story ends.
Till next time……

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Look Again.....

"Look Again" is a book by Lisa Scottoline, a best selling mystery author. Her mystery books will keep you spellbound and guessing. Look Again is about a boy that appears on a missing child postcard. He bears a striking resemblance to Ellen Gleeson's son. The photo on the postcard is an age enhanced photo, as the child went missing at three years old. He would now be seven, the same age as Ellen Gleeson's son. She discards the postcard momentarily and then starts to wonder, does her adopted son have a twin out there somewhere? Ellen Gleeson is an investigative reporter and she starts to delve into this and finds out more about her son's background. In so doing, she finds things  out, she should never  have uncovered. The story begins a mystery you just cannot put down till the end.  Is that her son's twin brother? Just when you think you know the outcome; the story takes another twist. You will be surprised at the twist the story takes at the end.
You've got to read this one!
Till next time.....

Monday, April 22, 2013

Joy of Cooking........

This was my first of many cookbooks to come.The New Joy of Cooking, a revised edition published in 1953. Originally published in 1931, with 4,000 recipes and 1,013 pages. This book was my prized possession as a new bride. I tried new recipes from it all the time and never had a bad recipe. I so enjoyed the author’s comments about some of the recipes. I knew how to cook when I got married, but I didn’t have a large repertoire of recipes. Although I had helped in the kitchen since I was about ten years old; most of my recipes were handed down from my Mom, Gram and a few from my Aunt that I held precious in a recipe box, that was a bridal shower gift from my Gram. I didn’t branch out into the whole culinary experience till I got this book. From then on, it was "game on" to a culinary adventure for me. After finding out that the recipes in this book were pretty great, I gained even more confidence. This was always my “go to cookbook” for any questions I might have. Do you have a favorite cookbook, one that answers all your questions. If not, you might want to buy the newest edition of Joy of Cooking. There is also a Joy of Baking cookbook.
Till next time......

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Robert's Dairy.......

An Era has disappeared. Robert’s Dairy is no longer going to be called Robert’s. The milk will be the same, but the name will be Hiland. You see, Hiland owns Robert’s now and to save on marketing costs, they are consolidating the marketing. This probably won’t matter to most of you, but you see, I’m a Robert’s brat. I was raised on Robert's products. Not only that, my folks worked for Robert’s Dairy. My Pop was a home delivery route man and retired from the dairy. My Mom was an executive secretary for many years, until she retired. I used to do my homework in their lobby, sitting on a lovely old oak bench; waiting for my Mom to get off work. So my life was very involved with this dairy and now to see the name disappear, it’s a bit nostalgic. So long Robert's Dairy and thanks for the memories, the many tours with ice cream bars and most of all the great dairy products. I won't forget you.
Till next time.……

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cheers All Over the World......

Sometimes we make a toast when we share a drink with a friend. Did you ever wonder what it sounds like in a different language. Here are a few toasts from other countries and what they mean.

International Toasts
Finland – Kippis – Cheers
Gaelic - Slainte – To your health
German – Ein Prosit – One Cheer
Italian – Salute – Health
Latin - Sanitas bona - To your health
Scotland – Slainte Mhath – Good Health
Serbian – Ziveli – Let’s live long
Slovak - Na zdravie - To your health
UK – Cheerio - Let’s toast or Goodbye
USA – Bottoms Up
Yung sei – Drink and win

Here's to you and here's to me, 
let us never disagree!

Till next time......

Friday, April 19, 2013

Shrimp Scampi.......

One of my favorite shrimp dishes is shrimp scampi. I was shocked to find out how easy it is to make. It's another of those "who knew" things. It tastes so good I just figured it had to be hard to make. But it's not!

Shrimp Scampi
1 cup White Wine
1/2 cup unsalted Butter
3 tablespoon minced Garlic
1 pound Shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine the butter, wine, garlic and shrimp in a pan.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 7 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Be careful not to overcook the Shrimp. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. This can be made in individual ramekins for a nice presentation. Serves 2-4.
Till next time.......

Monday, April 15, 2013

Herbed Benedictine Spread/Dip......

I browse a lot of foodie magazines and I try new recipes and then change them just a bit to make them to my own taste. You know, add an herb or some cayenne or other seasoning. We all do it. I was looking at Food Network Magazine the other day and came across this Herbed Benedictine recipe. It is fresh and definitely a bit different from most spreads or dip. I would call it refreshingly different.

Herbed Benedictine 
4 scallions
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley
8 oz cream cheese
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
Chop 4 scallions, put the white parts in a bowl with 1/2 peeled, seeded and diced cucumber. Pulse the green parts in a food processor with 1/4 c. fresh parsley, 8 oz. cream cheese, a pinch of cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste; stir into the cucumber mixture. Serve with toasted bread , Melba Toast or one of the new Flip Crackers (pretzel on one side, cracker on the other side). http://www.foodnetwork.com 
Till next time........

Friday, April 12, 2013

Priceless Special Memories......

How many times do you think of special childhood times. Something that was special to you and maybe one other person. I was blessed with a wonderful childhood and many good memories. But one special memory was having supper with my Mom at Gold's basement lunch counter on Thursday nights. You see, back then, the stores were only open late on Thursdays. So I would meet my Mom at work and we would go for something to eat and then shop. It was always the same, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and chocolate cokes. You might ask, what's so special about that. Well, it wasn't the food that was special, it was eating supper out with my Mom. It was the simple pleasures in life that were memorable. 
Like rolling out pie crust with my Gram; with my own little rolling pin. It got a a bit grimy before I was done with it. it was great pie dough; as it didn't get tough with all that handling. Gram would put cinnamon and sugar on it and bake it along with her pies. After baking, I would eat it. These are memories that would not excite today's children, but for me, there are priceless.
Till next time.......

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lobsterfest 2013........

Some days are just special and stay special all day; no matter what else you do that day. Today was one of those days. We went to Red Lobster for their Lobster Lover's Dream entree and Blackened Walleye filet. It was so enjoyable. We took our time and didn't rush at all. We started out with a nice glass of wine and those delightful biscuits they serve. Wouldn't you just love to borrow the Chef long enough to put 2-3 dozen of those biscuits in your freezer! Sometimes they even give you a bag of four complimentary biscuits. Then our meals came. They were delicious sights to behold. The great thing about it, I brought home half of it. I also had a Caesar salad. So with the salad, biscuits and 1 1/2 lobsters, I was full. So I have spaghetti with a shrimp/lobster sauce, half of a large lobster, mashed potatoes and a biscuit to bring home. That will keep me in food for at least 2, if not 3 meals. The Lobsterfest is over this Friday; then they will run another special. But Lobsterfest is only once a year and we definitely took advantage of it this year. If you want coupons for Red Lobster, join their email club "The Fresh Catch Club". Every so often they will send out a coupon via email.
So-ooo good!!! So till next time, treat yourself. After all, you can't take it with you. So you might as well enjoy it while you are on this earth.
Till next time......

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Great Depression and Ration Books.....

There's been a lot of talk about us being in a depression over the past few years. How many of you remember the Great Depression from 1929 to 1939? Then before we recovered from that, WW2 was going on from 1939 to 1945. Those were some rough times for many folks. Food started being rationed and later in 1941 clothing was rationed.  Mothers and Grandmothers had to get creative with their cooking to make sure the family was fed and still had proper nourishment. Dishes were simple to be sure. Although vegetables were not rationed, they were in short supply. People started what they called Victory Gardens and grew their own veggies. Poster for the U.S. Department of Agriculture promoting victory gardens, ca. 1942. NARA. 
They also made clothes out of feed or flour sacks. An adult coat was cut down to make a coat for a smaller child. If your shoe sole got a hole in it, you cut a piece of heavy cardboard and slid it in the shoe.
Some of the dishes that were made were; pea soup with dumplings, potato  soup, bean soup and creamed eggs on toast.  "Over sized" portions and obesity were not an issue. during that time. In the 1930's the Ritz Cracker people came up with a Ritz Mock Apple Pie recipe. I share this recipe with you in the hopes you will give it a try. Enjoy!

          Ritz Mock Apple Pie
Pastry for two-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs)
1 3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Grated peel of one lemon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in prepared crust; set aside. Heat water, sugar and cream of tartar to a boil in saucepan over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and peel; cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with margarine or butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake at 425°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.

Till next time......

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Depression Candy.........

How many of you can remember the Great Depression, food ration stamps or Depression Candy? As you can imagine, Depression Candy takes very few ingredients and strange as it may seem, it  is "almost" healthy; although very sweet. It has three original ingredients, mashed potatoes, confectioner's sugar and peanut butter. Later on, some folks added butter, vanilla, cocoa and coconut to it before rolling it out flat. Then some added jelly or jam on top of the peanut butter before rolling it up like a jellyroll.  But the original recipe was just these three ingredients. So as you can see, it is sweet; the peanut butter helps to cut the sweetness a little. I like to add a pinch of salt to help cut the sweetness.
                                                          Depression Candy
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
powdered (confectioners') sugar
peanut butter
Combine 1/2 cup mashed potatoes and power sugar till is firm enough to roll. The mixture will become very wet; just keep adding powdered sugar. roll out on powdered sugar as you would pie crust on flour to maybe 1/4 inch thick. Spread with creamy peanut butter. Roll into jelly roll cut into small slices about 1/4 of an inch thick pieces. 
Till next time.....

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Fever........

I called the Dr.! I have a bad case of spring fever. He told me to plant some seeds indoors and that would help. So-ooo, I did. I feel like maybe spring is closer now. Thanks, Doc! Planting those seeds really helped.
Till next time......

Friday, April 5, 2013

Blueberry Coconut Pie........

I was going through some old and I mean "very old" recipes; when I came upon this one. It was put out by Lucky Leaf pie filling. So easy and simple I know why I cut it out of whatever magazine or paper I was looking at. It not only has blueberry pie filling in it, but it has coconut as well. What a delicious combination. There are more recipes at the Lucky Leaf website below. Check out all the other delicious dishes.


Blueberry Coconut Pie
1 9 inch graham cracker crust, bought or homemade
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp milk
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 21oz can Lucky Leaf Premium Blueberry pie filling
1/2 cup toasted coconut
Beat together cream cheese, sugar and milk until creamy in a large bowl, about 1-2 minutes. Add whipped topping, the pie filling and toasted coconut, carefully fold together until no streaks remain.
Spoon filling mixture into graham cracker crust. Sprinkle top with2 Tbsp of toasted coconut flakes if desired. Cover and chill for 2 hours or until firm.
Till next time......

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gallon Jug Planters............

I wasn't sure what I wanted to post today till I saw a photo this evening. I was looking at the link below and I found this GREAT idea for decks, balconies or porches. Even I could grow a garden like this. All you have to do is cut out a square on the side of it and leave the lid on it. Fill it with your potting soil and plant your seeds. These folks at Homesteading are so clever. They have such great ideas. Check them out on Facebook.
Till next time......

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Robin Having Breakfast........

I was lucky enough to catch this robin grabbing breakfast or a snack. I had to take the photo through the door blinds, screen door and dirty glass door. Amazingly, it worked.
I can't believe I didn't scare him away. Guess he was more hungry than scared of my camera lens.
Till next time......

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Time Out For Fun.....

As you can see, I am taking time out for fun. Everyone needs to do that. The slopes are perfect for snowboarding. Yup, that's me on a snowboard alright, can you believe it!! I have my Nebraska jacket on, a warm brown ski cap and my hood is handy as well. The last ski trip of the season. Actually, the fun part is photography and a really fun website. But it does look like I am having a real hoot, doesn't it?
Till next time.....

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Mail Box or Utility Box?..........

Is this a mail box...a utility box? I am thinking utility box. I don't rightly know for sure; but it does make for a fun photo. Whatever it is, it has taken a beating, that's for sure. Is it even used anymore? Who knows! It will keep me thinking for a little while anyway.
Till next time.....

P.S. I've started blogging again on my Wanderings blog. So check it out. I hope to visit some really interesting places soon.