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Sunday, November 19, 2017

National Adopt a Senior Pet Month



Are you in the search of a new pet?? Consider not overlooking the perfect pet just because of age. Many will visit a shelter in search of a puppy or kitten and over look the others. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Senior Pets are the most difficult group of homeless pets to find a home for. Senior pets often spend quite a bit of time at a shelter before they find their furever home and some may live their life out in the shelters.



An adult dog or cat normally has their own personality and demonstrates it well. While a puppy or kitten are still developing their own personalities. You should be able to know whether you will work well with their personality. When a new family member comes home we always want it to work out smoothly Perhaps the satisfaction of taking home a senior pet with the knowledge of both their personality and that you may have saved their life will help.



Looking to teach a new pet tricks?? You may want to choose a senior pet that is less energetic and therefore may be easier and ready to learn. On the downside an adult pet may have medical issues that may be needing care. If you are looking to adopt a pet I simply ask that you consider all pets young and adult.





World's Toilet Day



For many the days of the outhouse that past generations has gone by the way but did you know that there are still 4.5 billion individuals in this world that live without a household toilet. This means for all those without proper toilet there is no way to safely dispose of waste. This sanitation crisis has caught the attention of many world wide in the past and goals were set.

In 2015 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted. The goal of ensuring that everyone have access to safely managed household toilet by 2030 is an important one. The goal would make decent sanitation central to eradicating extreme poverty. In 2013 the United Nations General assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day.



When all these toilets are around they will need to be cleaned as well. Here are some tough issues with toilet cleaning

Toilet Ring::
Create a paste of lemon juice and borax Pour a cup or two of white vinegar into the toilet bowl. Let sit in toilet overnight then brush and flush.
Sprinkle 1 cup baking soda all around the inside of the bowl and pour 1 cup white vinegar in bowl let sit 30 mnutes.


Clean inside toilet bowl::
Pour 1/4 cup of Borax into toilet bowl. Swish it around with a toilet brush. Add 1 cup vinegar and sit in bowl 20 minutes. Finish by scrubbing the bowl with a toilet brush to remove hard water stains.


Play a Game of Monopoly



Monopoly has been played since 1935. While many have changed with times and not all play board games there once was a time that they were played for hours at a time. Now do not get me wrong I know that Monopoly has changed with the times and is available in many electronic versions as well. I do recall the days that I would sit with my cousins and play for hours around the Monopoly board game. You may be surprised or maybe not if you spent hours around this game as well to find out that November 19th is dedicated to the World's most popular board game Monopoly. The game has been played more than one billion people in 114 countries around the world.



What will you go after first?? The railroads, utilities or real estate?? It was always my pleasure to capture the railroads as my sister wanted to own the utilities. Perhaps you may wonder why the game was invented with so many treasures to be shared.




There are many great playing pieces as well with two of my favorites the little dog and wheelbarrow being added in the 1950s. In 2013 cat lovers got their piece as well when the iron playing piece was replaced with a cat playing piece. The playing pieces may have changed but the game is still loved by many



Elizabeth Phillips created the original thought behind the Monopoly game in 1903. It was her desire for it to be used as an educational tool. The original name of the game was "The Landlord's game" and the theme was to show that owning large land monopolies was not good and had negative impacts. There has been several varieties of the game created. Buying, selling , and developing was always the goals of the games.

Monopoly the game was developed in 1933. The first year to be sold was in 1935 marketed by Parker Brothers. In 2017 the game can be played as a board game, electronically, as a slot machine and many more ways.



Eat More Veggies --- Veggie Loaf Recipe


In the UK there are many that will take the veg pledge this month. During the month of November individuals will pledge to go vegetarian. The money raised will go to Cancer Research. There are great recipes that will be shared. It is also a great time to learn about what life saving research that shows that cancer will be defeated in the future. Since I have shared in the past about cancer and health issues I thought it would be a great time to share a great veggie recipe that you can use during the month of November, during the holidays or anytime.

The American Institute for Cancer Research also believes that a plant based diet that includes fruits, veggies, whole grains , beans and legumes is the right diet plan to help prevent cancer. Meat lovers may find it hard to switch from their diet to a more plant based diet. It is suggested to change ones diet slowly Here are a few tips to do just that:

  • The main course should be planned around plants. In other words instead of meat being the entree switch it to salad. One example would be a salad entree with steak strips to top it. 
  • Meatless Monday could be the key to get you started. One day a week on Monday eat only plant based foods. This could get you started in the right direction having you change more meals to a meatless variety. 
  • Take the meat out of one of your favorite recipes and replace the meat with beans. 



  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15- ounce can cannellini beans or other white beans drained and rinsed
  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu or an additional can of white beans
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown or whole-grain prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaf
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flakes or quick oatmeal


  1. Wash a medium sweet potato (about 7 ounces), pierce it several times with a fork, wrap it in a paper towel, and microwave until done, 4-5 minutes. (Alternately, bake or steam the sweet potato.) Allow to cool enough to handle and then peel and set aside.
  2. Mince the onion, celery, and carrot. You can do this quickly by cutting each vegetable in quarters and then pulsing in a food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick skillet. Add the minced vegetables, including garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, until they become tender, about 6-10 minutes. Add water by the teaspoon if necessary to keep the vegetables from sticking or becoming dry. Once they’re softened, add the drained beans and mash them lightly with a slotted spoon or spatula.
  4. Place the peeled sweet potato into the food processor along with the tofu, soy sauce, and all seasonings, including nutritional yeast. Process until fairly smooth. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times. Scrape the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the quinoa flakes and the cooked vegetables. Stir well.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F. If you have a silicone baking mat (recommended) place it on a baking sheet. Otherwise line the baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. Spoon the tofu mixture onto the prepared baking surface, using dampened hands to shape it into an oblong or oval loaf about 2 1/2 inches high. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is evenly browned. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20 more minutes. Check to make sure that the center is firm; if not, give it a little extra time. (You can also remove the foil and cook for 5 more minutes for a crunchier crust.) Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  6. Serving Suggestion: Serve alone or with gravy on the side.








Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness



Facts about Pancreatic Cancer


Help spread awareness about Pancreatic Cancer by sharing a cupcake with the information



For the cupcakes:
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
12 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
For the buttercream:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces fresh blackberries, pureed and strained
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar
food coloring, if desired

To make the cupcakes:
  1. Adjust oven racks to the two lowest positions. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the vanilla and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft-medium peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate the batter.
  2. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners and bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the buttercream:
  4. Cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add blackberry puree and lemon juice and mix until combined. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add food coloring if you wish and mix until everything is a solid color. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse



Mickey Mouse made his first appearance November 18, 1928.  In the form of Steamboat Willie a short animation synchronized to music and sound effects would help popularize the little mouse to fame. Short time later a Mickey Mouse club began in Salem Oregon. To join the club a donation of either a potato or a small toy and a penny were needed. The club raised $12 and three truckloads of potatoes and toys. 

Trivia::
Did you know that before there was Mickey Mouse Walt Disney created a rabbit known as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit?? Disney would loose the rights to Oswald to Universal and inspire Disney to create a mouse character one that wore red shorts, had big ears, and wide eyes.



Did you know that Micky is married to Minnie Mouse. Yes I did say married It seems that they were married when Disney created the characters. Mickey and Minnie both appeared in Steamboat Willie 


Did you know that Mickey's first word was "hotdog" Yes that is right after 8 films and only a squeal and a bit of laughter it would take the 9th film to see Mickey do the hotdog dance and speak. 







Adoption Day


The Saturday before Thanksgiving is always a day full of love. It is National Adoption day and it helps to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster carer in search of permanent loving families. 
This day was established in 2015 when many courts and communities came together to finalize nearly 4,000 adoptions of children from foster care. Events like these are held all over America nationally. 


Princess Pie that will please your Princess

November 18th is National Princess Day. Today every girl deserves a chance to be noted as a princess. From the youngest to the oldest princess come in all sizes and ages. Each princess is just a bit different. Styles range from the energetic little dancers who love to twirl their way into adventure to the princess that puts energy into debates and roars with laughter. Whoever the little lady is that you call princess and whatever their style is please tell them today that you love them.




National Princess day was created by The Swan Princess. They want us all to recognize there is a princess in all girls no matter the age.



PRINCESS PIE (COCONUT CREAM PIE)
1       cup flour
1/2   cup butter, melted
2      tablespoons sugar
1/2   cup chopped pecans
1       8 - ounce pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1       cup powdered sugar
1       8 - ounce container whipped topping, divided
1        pkg (4 serving size) instant coconut cream pudding
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1        cup coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour, butter, sugar, and chopped nuts and pat in an 8 x 8 - inch square dish. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden. Do not overbake. Cool. Beat together the powdered sugar and cream cheese til smooth. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread on cooled crust.
Mix the pudding and milk until thickened. Spread over the cream cheese mixture. Top with the rest of the whipped topping . Toast coconut. (5 minutes at 325 degrees F. on cookie sheet. Stir as it starts to light brown so that it will brown evenly.) Sprinkle evenly on dessert. 
Refrigerate overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Return leftovers to refrigerator

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Deer Season Open This Weekend


If you are not from a hunting family or community you may not know that this weekend is Deer Season. Our Southern Illinois has our  share of woodlands and deer. We welcome hunters and many members of our own families hunt as well. With all this in mind many may think that it may not be fair for the deer. Yes,, Sadly that may be true but it is needed to thin the ever thriving community of deers. This weekend we will enjoy a parade and festival directed towards the deer weekend If you are hunter happy weekend and be safe out there.


Did You Know....... Worlds Largest Pumpkin Pie



Have you ever wondered how big was the largest pumpkin pie ever created?? Well wonder no more as the largest pie so far was baked on September 25, 2010. The pie was 3,699 lbs in size and 20 feet in diameter. It defeated the previous record of largest pie at 2,020 lbs. New Bremen Ohio was the location that this pie was prepared.




Make a Pumpkin Pie in a bag

Early American settlers would use pumpkin shells to make up pumpkin pies. Slicing off the top of the pumpkin the seeds were removed The pumpkin was then filled with milk, spices and honey The pie was baked in hot ashes of a fire place It may have been the pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table but it was yummy and was a pumpkin pie of sorts. You can make a pumpkin Pie as well in a different manner. Why not try this pumpkin pie in a bag

Pumpkin Pie in a Bag
Pour 1 1/3 c of cold milk and 2-4 oz boxes of vanilla pudding into a ziplock bag.  Remove air.  Have the children squeeze and knead the bag for one minute or until everyone has a turn.  Add 1-15 oz can of pumpkin, 1 t cinnamon, and ½ t ginger. Remove air, shut the bag and knead again until blended or 
everyone has a turn.  Set aside.

Put Graham crackers into another ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.  Give each child a small Dixie cup.  Have them put 1-2 T of crushed graham crackers into their cup.  The adult them 
needs to cut a hole in the corner of the pumpkin/pudding mix and squeeze some into the cup, on top of the crackers.  Put a dollop of whipped cream on top.  ENJOY!!  I recommend using top 
quality ziplock bags for this activity.

Pumpkins Valuable Resource



Pumpkins are technically a type of squash. Native Americans have grown pumpkins along side corn and beans. The three crops of corn, beans and pumpkin were considered sisters of agriculture. Pumpkins were one of the earliest food crops in America. Native Americans would dine on both pumpkin flesh and seeds. Some Mexican tribes thought pumpkin seeds offered exceptional energy and endurance to those who ate them. They would grind pumpkin seeds into flour and mix it with corn meal to make breads. 

Pumpkin strips would be roasted over camp fires and dined on. Native Americans would use pumpkins to make it through the long cold winters. The flesh of the pumpkin would be used in many ways including roasted, baked, parched and dried. Pumpkin seeds were used as medicine as well. Pumpkin blossoms were added to stews and dried pumpkins could be stored and ground into flour. 
The pumpkin was dried and the shell would be used as bowls and containers. Grains, beans and seeds were stored within the pumpkin canister. The pumpkin flesh could have been pounded into strips that were wove into mats and used for trading purposes. 
Native Americans shared pumpkin with the pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving. The pilgrims learned the importance of the pumpkin as a sustainable crop. Pilgrims learned many uses for pumpkins that stretched from uses that the Native Americans taught them to pumpkin beer and a mold for cutting hair. 


Pumpkin Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a narrow loaf pan to cook thoroughly and avoid the sticky middle.
½ cup vegetable oil, safflower or corn
1½ cup sugar (or substitute  equivalent sweetener)
2 eggs
1 cup puréed, cooked
pumpkin or canned
1¼ cup flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
? cup water
½ cup raisins
½ cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, or other)
½ teaspoon each: allspice, cinnamon, ground clove, nutmeg
Mix sugar, oil, pumpkin, eggs and water in a large bowl. In another large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet mix to the dry mixture and stir until well moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for one hour. Be sure the top has a characteristic crack down the middle which means it is cooked through. Move to a rack to cool.
Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: New Native American Cooking, Native New England Cooking and A Dreamcatcher Book. She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Have a Happy Thanksgiving


Having a Happy Thanksgiving can be up to you. It starts early that day and continues through out the day. Remember you matter and keep that smile on your face. 



To start with eat a good breakfast. I know many of us will think that we will not eat until the big meal itself. The problem is that we of ten "overindulge" at meal time. It is much better to eat a good low calorie breakfast to fill up and feel better than to eat lots of high cal food at the special dinner. 


Get involved with the day's going on. Call the host up and see what if anything she needs for you to do. Perhaps she just needs a conversation to brighten her day. If there is anything she does need that you can do volunteer to get it done. 

Is there a part of the meal that you struggle with?? Is it conversation at the table, fighting the sweet tooth, or the drinking?? Whatever it is make it your personal goal to try to do all you can to avoid the issue. Don't stress over the situation as it is a day for all to be happy together. 


Participate in some physical activity. A walk in the morning or after the dinner will be nice. Often families may enjoy a quick game of toss the ball or other activity. 

If the worst does happen and you get off your diet just a bit don't let it get the best of you. Relax, tomorrow is a great day to get it all back under control. 




Allergy Free Potatoes and Gravy ### Recipe

Allergies are very serious and should be thought of when preparing food for any group. Thanksgiving is a time when many get together and the last thing that anyone wants to happen is to have a food allergy. I hope I can help with a potato and gravy recipes from Eating with Food Allergies




This potato recipe does not contain heavy whipping cream or butter. They still taste great and are better on the diet plan as well. If you struggle to find dairy free margarine at your grocery store you may substitute olive oil. Don't care for or can't find rice milk then use dairy free milk such as soy or almond milk.



6 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup gluten free chicken broth
3/4 cup rice milk
2 tablespoons olive oil or dairy free margarine
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and add the broth, rice milk, oil or margarine and salt and pepper. Mash until light and fluffy. For lump free potatoes, put them in a food mill or ricer before adding the other ingredients.

Makes 12 (1/2 cup) servings.



Roasting a turkey, chicken or roast:
remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board to rest before cutting. Remove as much fat from roasting pan as possible. Save back 1/4 cup fat to use lateer.
De-glaze the pan by placing the roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water, stock or white wine to the pan and cook stirring constantly and scraping the bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the liquid into a measuring cup. Add enough chicken or turkey broth to the mixture to equal 4 cups.

((If you are not roasting a turkey, chicken or roast you can start here:))
In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup reserved fat or canola oil (or a combination of both). Add 1/4 cup wheat free all-purpose flour. Whisk together and cook until the mixture is smooth and yellow in color, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the 4 cups of chicken or turkey broth and stir constantly until mixture bubbles and thickens. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.

Fridge Gets Thanksgiving Make-over



My grand-kids have been busy again. With their mom's help my fridge got a make over for Thanksgiving. The turkeys are very pretty love the pilgrim suits of color. The leaves were colored by the kids. I know this picture does not do it justice but our names were placed on each leaf and they asked each member of the family to think of what they were thankful for. What a great way to get the whole family involved.

Cranberry Fluff Salad







1 lb. fresh cranberries, washed and drained 

1 15¼ oz can crushed pineapple, drained
¾ - 1 cup of sugar
1 pint whipping cream, whipped
½ lb mini marshmallows
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Whirl cranberries in a food processor. Depending on size of food processor you may have to do this more than once. After chopping pour into bowl.


Mix crushed cranberries, pineapple and sugar.


Mix it all together. Whip whipping cream til fluffy. (((Save time by purchasing tub whip cream))

Stir in marshmallows.


Chill both mixtures separately for 2 hours. Combine both mixes after chilling time


Add nuts and it is ready to serve


Try a bit of Wendy's History and a copy cat chili recipe



Wendy's is one of my favorite places to dine at. It is an American international fast food restaurant. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's , started the business November 15, 1969 in Columbus Ohio. Fast Track to 2017 and you can find more than 6,500 + locations. Most locations are in North America. The menu at Wendy's consist of burgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries and beverages such as the famous "Frosty".

Wendy's serves up those square burgers, sea salt fries and a frosty to boot. Dave Thomas was the inspiration behind the square burgers. Thomas's home town Kalamazoo Michigan had a burger joint named Kewpee that sold square burgers and thick malt shakes.

While there are many great recipes at Wendy's I can recall my grandparents purchasing the chili there. This copycat recipe will tempt your taste buds when you can not  head to the restaurant and enjoy



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tips for the Thanksgiving Host


Hosting a big holiday meal can become expensive quickly. This does not have to happen and it can still be great even if you use some financial wisdom to cut a few corners. The most important part is to serve a wonderful meal without spending a fortune. The tips I share today are great to use during the holidays or anytime. 

Being organized is very important and can help you save money in most anything you do. Holidays can be very stressful but with a few easy tips they can stay organized. First, create a menu for the meal. You will know what dishes you are planing to serve and be able to create a list of needed ingredients. This will help to easily create a master shopping list. Knowing how many guest will be there will help out as well. Knowing how many will be present will help you know how many you are feeding as well as where you will place everyone around the table. Knowing how many guest and what you will serve will help you define a budget. 

Know time to do some shopping. Check out the sale bills as there are normally some great deals out there. The turkey is most likely the ingredient with the largest price. While there are great deals out there on the market I was lucky enough to find a great deal at a local restaurant. They will prepare my turkey and have it ready for a great price. This will help me in many different ways most of all the turkey is not something I will have to prepare this year. My mother in law would never have gone for this as she loved to bake her own but for me as I am not sure if I will be working or what will be going on this is one area I loved saving time and money. Thanksgiving is still a week away but it is the perfect time to go ahead and purchase needed ingredients. Next year you may even consider purchasing such as canned pumpkin, whipped cream, potatoes and other ingredients even earlier as they go on sale. 

Remember that as the host you do not have to feel as if you must create the entire meal. Allow anyone that asks to help to do just that. Guest who love to cook will love to help out. Our family has our own special dishes that we make each and every year. 

One area that many disagree on is to use or not to use disposable products. Plates, cups, silverware are available in plastic as well but do not allow them to break the budget. They make clean up much easier but depending on the cost it may be wiser to use real products. The choice is yours just make it a smart one. Keeping it simple can be done either way. I can recall my moms and her sisters sitting around the kitchen washing dishes together and gossiping while they  helped each other

Yet another way to save money is to keep the menu easy. There are members of our family that do not like turkey so I will have to have a small ham as well. If your family is like ours what is it that you do?? There is no need to serve turkey, ham, and chicken, three different potato dishes, a few different veggies , several drink choices, and the list may go on and on. Make the menu what you want it to be. It is your choice as it is your party. Making large amounts of classic Thanksgiving dishes is often much more cost effective. Your guest are there to have a great time not judge you for what you serve or do not serve. 

If you like to decorate then go ahead just be smart about it. Decorations can be expensive and not always needed. With all the plates and dishes on the table all ready there may not be any room for decorations there. Fall decorations around the room would be awesome. You can find some in nature such as small pumpkins, gourds or pine cones. Thanksgiving decorations can be found at the dollar store for a great price as well. 
Be smart, have fun and enjoy your time with your special guest. Thanksgiving may pay you back with extra leftovers. Use these wisely as well.