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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Born September 12th

Linda Ann Gray born in 1940 has wore many hats in Hollywood including actress, director, producer and model. She began her career in t.v. commercials during the 1960s. Her career would take off in the 1970s. On T.V. she played victim and villain as Sue Ellen Ewing married to J.R. on Dallas. Linda has also been seen in many movies and stage.

George Glenn Jones was born in 1931 and would become what many consider one of the greatest country singers. Texas born Jones would fall in love with country music when he was gifted with a guitar at the age of nine. His first marriage would be short lived for only a year. Jones would enter the military and be discharged in 1953. 1954 he would marry a second woman and be divorced in 1968. His famous marriage to Tammy Wynette would take place in 1968. It was Jones Alcohol that would be his down fall through his marriage and music. His music career would see more luck than the marriage with Jones having a total of 150 hits. In 2013 Jones would pass away leaving the music world with great memories.

Bit of Encouragment

Sometimes, life can be so tough. It almost seems as if there is no way to continue. The truth is that we will always face trials and troubles it is part of life. The thing is finding that encouragement that is so needed to get through it all.

Some of my favorite verses to keep in mind are


September 12th 1978 saw the first episode of the t.v. show Taxi. The show had many stars that would gain popularity and go on to star in even more great t.v. shows and movies. I can remember my grandmother watching this show while my parents did not. Did you watch? Have you seen the re-runs

Spicy Chocolate Pumpkin MIlkshake

September 12th is the day given to salute chocolate milkshakes. Today, here is a bit , no a lot cooler than it was last week. With temps tonight in the 40s and 50s it makes me recall fall and one of my favorite fall foods is pumpkin. So take the two and put them together and I believe this spicy chocolate pumpkin milkshake gives a salute quite well. enjoy!!
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups chocolate ice cream (about 6 medium scoops)
Garnish: whipped cream and chocolate to grate on top
Add milk, pumpkin, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to the jar of a blender. Add ice cream and pulse until smooth. Divide between serving glasses and garnish with whipped cream and grated chocolate if desired

1953 Year of a Political Wedding and a Delicious New Product perfect for eating sandwich

Married on this date September 12th in 1953 you would have witnessed the president ( one of the best) JFK marry his bride Jacque. I thought in consideration of their wedding day I would share a recipe that may have been served in that year. Possibly by a new bride serving her husband.

Cheez Whiz was introduced in 1953 and the all popular philly cheesesteak sandwich was all ready popular being introduced in the 1930s. So the invention just made it all that much easier to be fixed in the home.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, sliced as thin as possible and rings separated*
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
12 ounces chipped steak (very thin-sliced eye of round, rib eye, or sirloin tip roast cut into 1-inch slices)
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper
Cheese Whiz or provolone cheese slices
1 (8-inch long) Italian loaf, hoagie roll, or French baguette
Dill pickle spears

In a large frying pan over high heat, add olive oil and heat so that a drop of water will sizzle when you drop it in the oil; lower heat to medium. Add onions and mushrooms, stir and cook until mushrooms darken and onions start to look transparent. Add steak slices and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until meat is lightly browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heap cooked meat mixture in a long length-wise pile across the frying pan, Lay cheese slices over meat until melted. If using Cheese Whiz, melt in a double boiler or in the microwave.
Slice bread lengthwise. Using a spatula, scoop 1/2 the meat mixture and cheese and lay on bread with cheese on top. If using melted Cheese Whiz, ladle it on top. If you're using Cheez Whiz, don't use too much or it can overpower the sandwich's taste.
Slice sandwich into 2 or 4 pieces, and serve with a dill pickle.
Each sandwich makes 2 servings.

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Hey Hey Its The Monkees

Not old enough to say I really remember them but I do know that my older sister and all her friends were fans. Today, September 12th in history 45 years ago saw the last episode of the t.v. show The Monkees

Febreze odor eliminator and printable coupon

About Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator7532.jpg

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Use Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator in any of your laundry loads with odors that can be hard to remove with detergent alone. These loads often include items such as work uniforms or clothes, sports or fitness clothing, cooking towels, or restaurant uniforms.
A $2 off coupon is always live on our site here:
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post was shared to you as part of a social media group I participate in. I was not reimbursed in any matter for sharing this information.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

biscuits, sausage and gravy casserole

Biscuits, Sausage & Gravy Casserole, serves 4 (2 biscuits per person)
Inspired by Pillsbury

1 lb breakfast sausage, casing removed
7 oz can of green chilies, mild
1 tbsp vegetable oil
24 oz bag frozen potatoes (diced/cubed/hashbrowns — whatever you like!)
10 oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies (I used Rotel)
Salt & Pepper
1 package of dry gravy mix
1 can of jumbo biscuits, 8 biscuits (Pillsbury Grands are great!)
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a hot skillet, add sausage and chilies. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink.
In a separate skillet, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, potatoes and canned tomatoes. Cook about 8 – 10 minutes. The potatoes don’t need to be browned, just done enough to hold their shape. Season with salt & pepper.

Prepare the gravy — follow the directions on the packet.
Grease a casserole dish and add 1/2 of the potato mixture. Place biscuits on top and add the rest of the potatoes, sausage and gravy. Top with a little cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the casserole sit a few minutes before digging in.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Country Fried Steak

country fried steak other wise known as pan fried steak, weiner schnitzel, milanesa  or CFS is a classic dish that must be served with a side of mashed potatoes or that's what many believe. I have also seen it served with biscuit and gravy. Now unlike what its name suggest there is no chicken involved in this recipe. Rather it is a cheap cut of steak that has been tenderized or better known as round steak. The gravy is made from pan drippings which have been left behind after frying the steak in a large cast iron skillet. This is a down home affordable meal that is served to satisfy no matter what side of the mason Dixon you reside on.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 beef cube steaks (approximately 1 pound) or 2 pounds bottom or top round steak (cut into four individual portions), pounded well to tenderize
2 eggs
2 teaspoons milk
4 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
Milk Gravy see recipe below)

In a pie plate or shallow dish, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper.

In another pie plate or shallow dish, beat eggs and milk. Coat steaks in flour mixture and then dip into egg mixture. Dredge in flour mixture again, and let stand 2 minutes.
In a large heavy frying pan (I use my cast iron frying pan) over medium-high heat, cook two prepared steaks in 2 tablespoons oil for approximately 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cooked as desired. Remove cooked steaks and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and steaks.
Milk Gravy Recipe:
milk gravy2 tablespoons pan drippings
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, heavy cream, or evaporated milk, room temperature
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

In the same frying pan (that you cooked the steak in) with 2 tablespoons pan drippings, over medium heat, sprinkle flour over the oil and blend with a wooden spoon or whisk until smooth.

Whisking or stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk, cream, or evaporated milk; continue stirring, scraping loose browned bits from the bottom and sides of skillet, until the gravy begins to boil and thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes or until gravy is thickened to the desired consistency and the flour has lost its raw, pasty taste.
Remove from pan and serve hot with the prepared Chicken-Fried Steak.
recipe source here
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Group Breakfast Idea: Waffle Bar

Serving a group for breakfast? No matter the occasion if you are serving a group for breakfast here is a great idea for you. Why not host a waffle bar? With enough toppings to please everyone either there will be lots of waffles made supreme style with lots of everything on it or everyone will just make their favorite. Either way it is super fun.

Birthday Post

Three Word Wednesday:
Todays My B-Day

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Here in Southern Illinois you will find festivals and events that celebrate a little bit of every thing from fruit and vegetables to birds. Makanda, Illinois celebrates the vulture during the vulture fest.

Next spring you may want to bring your family down to southern Illinois to see the beauty of the vulture

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. last thing you did on spur of moment??

a trip with grandkids with just me and papa. Lots of fun was had by all. We need to do this again but it can not be planned. It was nice because it was something my husband did and no one not even me knew we were going

 2. How well informed do you feel about the current Syrian refugee crisis?

I apologize for not knowing more about this. I used to be on the top of all issues and be in discussion mode but this time do not feel all that up to date about it

3. What have you changed your mind about??

there are so many things but since today is my birthday I must say that I have changed my mind about people being over the age of 40 being over the hill. I am proud 45 today and a go getter. I may be a bit slower but the job still gets done and because I am older I know more shortcuts and information that other younger than me may not know. When I was a kid I always thought 40 was so old

4.  A medium sized non-poisonous snake found it's way into the pool trap this weekend. If you'd been sitting poolside would you have fished it out? Gone running? Called for help? Pretended not to know? Continued swimming?

because of where we live here in southern Illinois and near the edge of town snakes are fairly common here. I would call my husband, my brother, or someone that I trusted to come and get it. I do not go near them will not stay in area near them. Snakes are not a friend of mine

5. September 10th is National TV Dinner Day...what's your idea of a great TV dinner? (Or at least a pretty good one!)

I eat T.V. dinners at work on regular basis. My favorites are chicken or pasta related dishes. I have had many of them but those are my favorites

6. Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying, "Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other." Would you agree? Where have you seen that played out recently? What's the second greatest virtue?

Courage, wow so much of it needed in this day and time. Courage to take a stand and I have been doing that quite lately in my personal and job related life. Courage to sit still and have others make mistakes I am learning to do that as my children mature into the parents of tomorrows and the grand adults that will run our future one day.

I often tell those I care for the great virtue is patience. It is not always easy to sit and be patient in any atmosphere of life. We know what we want and we want it now.

7. What are three words you have trouble remembering how to spell?

tomorrow is the one word that comes to mind. It is a great world when we have spell check. Medieval is a word that I do not use all the time but never can remember how to spell. There are other words but that is the top that I can think of right now. My problem is that I have trouble remembering which is another word that I often misspell.


One of Our Favorite Watery Spots

This is a great place to sit and ponder. One of our favorite places on the river banks of Elizabeth Town Illinois. Just across the river you can see the neighboring state of Ky.

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Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos

1 large apple cored and thinly sliced(I like mine fairly thin.  It creates a higher topping to apple ratio, but whatever you like)
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp chocolate sauce
2 large pinches cinnamon
2 tbsp chocolate chips
3 tbsp mixed dried cranberries and raisins
1-2 tbsp chopped pecans

Slice and layer your apples on a plate, drizzle with the peanut butter and chocolate sauce(or caramel would be amazing) and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over top.  If you use dairy free chocolate sauce and chips this is a vegan treat.  Of course all the measurements are approximate and everything is to taste.  Add whatever sounds good to you.  This should be enough for a snack for two, but I wont tell if you don’t share ;)

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I is for Idea

I just love young children, you can almost see the wheels turning as he looks at the feather he found. I wonder what he is thinking about but I do believe he has a good idea.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole serves 4

 3 - 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
        (about 1.5 lbs. or 4 1/2 cups)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, cooled and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced (green parts only for low-FODMAP/low-fructose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" baking pan or casserole dish.
Spread half of the diced potatoes in bottom of pan. Place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half the bacon crumbles, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and half the green onions.
Spread the remaining diced potatoes on top, followed by the remaining bacon, another 1/2 cup cheese, remaining green onions and another 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour heavy cream over top of casserole and then dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bake until melted. Serve

recipe source here

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Little Too Much Fun

Happy Labor Day to all you. Here where we live there is a labor day tradition for the entire community. Put on by local churches. All the food, drink and fun you can handle. Not for sure what the weather has been like where you are but wow has it been hot here. Our little guy had his face painted after bouncing in the bounce houses for a good bit of time. By the time this picture was taken he had about all the fun he could handle.

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Happy Labor Day

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Then and Now

My first blue Monday post, a picture of my son on his birthday with his cubs shirt. Wow, that truly was quite a while back. Now days he has a little man of his own trailing behind him.

Here is the 2015 picture of my son and his little man.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

I'll Fly Away

My son's favorite song of all is I'll Fly Away. Song writer Albert e. Brumley wrote this song in 1932. Brumley was born on a cotton farm near Spiro, Oklahoma in 1905. As he grew up the radio was gaining more and more popularity. One of the top played songs was the song "If I Had The Wings of an Angel" The song sang about the ability to escape if the singer had wings of an angel. Escape from the prison walls and heading to the arms of his poor darling.

Brumley was in the hot Oklahoma filed picking cotton one day and started singing this song. His mind slipped to thoughts of being able to flying away one day and escape. At that moment he began to write the ever popular song "I'll Fly Away". The dream of flying away and escaping the cotton fields. The song he would write would still includes words from the original ballad that inspired his song.

The song Brumley would write would be more of a hymn. The song that was wrote in the cotton field was expressed by the personal hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ. It would become just one of a number of gospel songs that he would write living life on that cotton field. However, all of them would be stashed away in drawers and boxes and not be published.

A few later Brumley would marry a lady he met while teaching at a singing school in Powell Missouri. His wife Goldie encouraged him to mail the song "I'll Fly Away" to Hartford Music Company where it would be published in 1932. Brumley would go to work for Hartford shortly after the first publishing. For the next 34 years he would work writing for the Hartford and Stamps/Baxter companies. Later, he would form Albert E. Brumley and Sons Music Company. He would go onto to write a total of 800 songs and become one of the most respected and well known 2oth century southern gospel musicians.
Then Sings My Soul Book 2" by Robert J. Morgan, copyright 2004, p. 291. 

Pumpkin Granola

The state of Illinois where I live has named the pumpkin pie the official pie of Illinois. The reason behind this may be the fact that the state may be the leading seller of pumpkins. Yes, that's right Illinois where the  green grass grows, the place that our current president held office and the Land of Lincoln. So when we are talking about nutritional wise food we can not leave out the pumpkin

Pumpkin is a super food that will be coming into harvest very soon here in Illinois.
Nutritional facts about pumpkins includes:
15 calories per 1/2 cup
pumpkin is full of iron, zinc, fiber as well as vitamin c and beta carotene.
Pumpkins are high in substances lutein and zeaxanthin that help prevent cataracts from forming and helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
while canned pumpkin may have slightly less fiber than fresh it does have more beta carotene because of the heat of process of canning.
Pumpkin seeds are good source of protein and fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese.

3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Nutella
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or nutmeg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grease the slow cooker with a non stick baking spray or canola or vegetable oil. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup, pumpkin puree, vanilla, oil and Nutella.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, rice cereal, seeds, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Pour the wet ingredients over the cereal and toss together to coat. 
Place the granola in the slow cooker. Set on high for 2 and 1/2 hrs. Stir every half an hour.
Place the granola on a aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet until dry.
Store in an air-tight container on the counter or in the fridge. In room temperature the granola will keep for about a week. In the fridge, it will keep longer.

Slow Cooker Snack Mix

Every year during football season we decide at last minute to throw a get together to watch the game with friends. Well, not this time. This time I will be ready with this little snack mix that will be easy enough to make in the crockpot. Yep, go to work put it in before we leave and come home ready to watch football and get together with friends. I know my mother used to make this type of recipe in slow cooking oven as well, so if you would rather bake it at slow than use your crockpot then go for it. As for me I love my crockpot it helps me out so very much and that is why I will cook ours in the slow cooker. Enjoy!!
9 cups Chex cereal (I used equal parts corn, rice, and wheat Chex)
2 cups pretzels
1 cup Cheerios
1 cup peanuts
1/3 cup (6 Tablespoons) butter, melted and hot
1 Tablespoon seasoned salt
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Add cereal, pretzels, cheerios and peanuts to the bowl of a slow cooker.
In a separate bowl, whisk together butter and seasoned salt until the salt is dissolved.  Stir in the Worcestershire sauce until combined.
Drizzle the sauce evenly over the top of the cereal mixture.  Toss for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is evenly combined.
Cover and slow cook on low for 3 hours,  stirring at the 1 hour, 2 hour and 2.5 hour marks so that the mixture does not burn.  Then spread the mixture out onto a few baking sheets or parchment paper in an even layer until it cools to room temperature.  Serve, or store in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks.
*If your slow cooker does not have a tiny hole in it to let air escape, it may collect too much condensation which could make the Chex Mix get too soggy.  If that is the case, I recommend placing a towel underneath the lid of the slow cooker to collect the condensation

recipe source here

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