Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Years Day Lucky Meal

When I was growing up we did not have a special meal for New Years Day. If my mother prepared a lucky dish, I never got the message. She may have, I was pretty lucky to marry into a family that did have a lucky dish.


I didn't feel lucky at the time because I did not like sauerkraut and my mother in law insisted on at least a bite every New Years Day. If we were not together, she would call and check to see if we we making it. I loved my mother in law and she was a good cook, but her sauerkraut was always just heated from a can.

I thought sauerkraut was too tangy, crunchy and horrible to eat and only fixed it for New Years Day. For ten years I suffered and cursed the tradition. I was never happy about New Years dinner.

Then we moved to Saginaw Michigan and I met a friend, Sonja, who had been born and raised in Germany. Click here for the rest of the story

Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas

Picture me jumping up and clicking me heels! Yes!!! I have a whole year before the pressure is upon me once again! Well at least 11 months. I love Christmas day and all the family gathering and seeing my family opening gifts I chose for them, but the stress of getting to that point is unbelievable. Starting with no extra money to buy gifts, a medium talent for making them and receiving much more expensive gifts than I'm giving, I struggle with my self image!

I have a wonderful family who make a credible fuss over my homemade items and it gives me warm fuzzies (can I use that 80's term still?) all over. That is what keeps me going. Life is short, it's amazing how quickly Christmas comes around again. I am just going to bask in the warm toasty house and enjoy my life until cabin fever or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) sets in. I know it's coming, but not until February. Today I can just sip expensive, dark roast coffee that I found in my stocking and listen to Brian Wilson; who Reimagines Gershwin (also found in my stocking) and anticipate going out to a NetFlix party later. I do enjoy my life and the week between Christmas and New Years is the best. Lots of treats eaten without guilt because I know the diet starts on January 2.

Ending my entry today, watching a female cardinal sit on a bouncy branch, dripping with icicles; and tapping on my window trying to get in. Really.

Check out my Top 5 lists!
[info]jeanniemaries
http://www.listmyfive.com/4a8a616c/The-Top-Five-Things-That-Happen-Every-Morning

My five Newest Thanksgiving Table Themes
[info]jeanniemaries
Nothing is sadder than having the same table decorations year after year. Yes, old favorites make an appearance but to really pump up your celebration you can easily make the table theme special year after year. Here is a link to this years suggestions for decorating for Thanksgiving:


http://www.listmyfive.com/0937e087/The-Top-Five-Thanksgiving-Table-Themes

A Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing!
[info]jeanniemaries
A Thanksgiving meal should be a healthy meal. One of the best ways to succeed in this is in the planning. So with the holidays around the corner my first recipe to change is the traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing.

To make turkey stuffing, I've always used stale white bread, dried and crumbled, onion, celery, salt, pepper and sage moistened with canned chicken broth. I stuffed it into the cavity and baked it inside the turkey allowing the fat from the turkey to absorb into the dried bread.

My new healthier stuffing recipe eliminates the white bread and canned broth. I added walnuts, paprika and my own turkey broth made from the giblets that I've usually tossed away. I'll bake it during the time the turkey is cooling instead of inside the turkey thus eliminating not only the fat but possible bacteria as well.

Whole grains are heart healthy and better for the digestion. The addition of a whole food such as walnuts adds even more goodness. The grains and walnuts will not only add a nutty flavor but adds bulk which means you will want less. Click on the link for the rest of the article and the recipe for my very healthy whole foods stuffing: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2261505/a_healthier_thanksgiving_stuffing_.html?singlepage=true&cat=22

A bad weekend? Too good of a weekend?
[info]jeanniemaries
Alka-Seltzer's medicinal uses are well known. Dissolve two tablets in four ounces of water. It relives heartburn, headache, and upset stomach.

W.C. Fields used to joke about the tablets fizzing in a glass of water: "Can't anyone do something about that racket?" No, W.C., but that fizzing action can have other uses besides fixing a bellyache. Here are a couple of strange but true tips for other ways to use Alka-Seltzer tablets:

Click here please, for the full article!
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5811164/a_few_facts_about_alkaseltzer_.html?cat=71

A Wool Gathering! Sept 18 & 19th
[info]jeanniemaries
The event A Wool Gathering was really an enjoyable day!! Five of us from The South Dayton Knitting/Crocheting Saturday Meetup had a planned meet-up at 10:00 AM and browsed the tents for bargains. I didn't see many "bargains" but I did see so much yarn I wanted. Much of it was home spun and home dyed and worth every penny.

I was inspired by many projects and items for sale made of rove. I purchased quite a bit last year and did not spin it as planned. I am going to dye some this week and try out the soap project, an acorn pin and cat ball with the bell inside! Here are two short slide shows I published on the event:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/slideshow/61736/excitement_at_a_wool_gathering_sept.html?cat=7

http://www.associatedcontent.com/slideshow/61738/childrens_activities_at_dayton_ohios.html?cat=16

There is one more article to be published that I will link here.

A Canal Walk in Richmond Virginia!
[info]jeanniemaries
Here is a link to a slide show of the Canal Walk in Richmond Virginia.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/slideshow/61772/the_canal_walk_in_the_heart_of_downtown.html?cat=16

It wasn't a sunny day but the pictures turned out pretty good anyway. We just got back as the rain started!

When you photoshop a picture...fix it all!
[info]jeanniemaries
Shocking photoshopped photo of Obama and Egyptian President Mubarak:

http://tinyurl.com/2cfno99

Surprise Day
[info]jeanniemaries
It's been too long since a personal entry so I'm biting the bullet and not cleaning house, not cooking and not walking the dog. I 'm just going to talk about me and myself and I for a change.

What an extraordinary day I had yesterday. I had planned nothing but I had a friend to lunch and whipped up a great meal while we talked. Healthy and delicious. We visited all afternoon. I'm usually alone all day so that was really fun for me.

When she left I was finishing up the kitchen and my youngest, James, shows up to stay the night. Of course he starts tour today and his flight left from here, not Columbus. But no matter. I would love some notice but I'm always happy to see him.

He had birthday gifts for his dad and a surprise to show me. He also sprung that he was having a party in the evening. And he did. About eight to ten of his closest friends came by to play games and eat and wish him well on his tour to New Zealand and Australia. It was great to have a group of young people laughing and having good clean fun with board games and an interactive FAMILY FEUD game on TV. The front door opened and closed so many times, I thought we should have a revolving door. They all left around 2:00 AM and then I got my time to visit alone with him. Tucked in about 4:30 happy to have caught up on the band news etc.

The Devil Wears Prada are gathering in Chicago as I write to fly together for three weeks. I hope they have a blast!

So our healthy home now has gourmet jelly beans, half empty bags of chips, corn curls and pistachio nuts. We have six bottles of sugared pop, such as A&W Root Beer, Mountain Dew and Coke etc. Licorice sticks and two kinds of salsa.

Come over. We don't want it! If it's here we'll eat it. Thanks James! Oh. And have fun!

The Four Signs of a Stroke ANYONE Can See
[info]jeanniemaries
Everyone knows the first three signs that someone is having or has just had a stroke. But new fourth sign has come into common usage. I have the full story here:

http://tinyurl.com/2wk5hwz

On my Associated Content Web site. Please click on the link to see the full story.

Friday, December 24, 2010

How to make and Preserve Scented Fruit

Scented fruit has been made for centuries, a luxury item that people treasured. Air fresheners are well and good, but the scent is gone in minutes, it must be reapplied over and over. Even solids or plug in's eventually run out of steam and must be replaced.



Fruit that is preserved with whole cloves and drenched in spices can last for years. This spicy scent makes winter more enjoyable while we are closed in and confined to a few rooms. Later when the windows are open and the fresh air wafts through the house, the light scent floats along with it. The fruit can be stored later in boxes, trunks or cupboards that will maximize the lingering scent.

I have published the article and The directions to making your own scented fruit are here:

It's a wonderful winter project for children, something that will brighten an overcast day and teach them the secrets of preservation.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Adventures in Baking

I participate in a list serve which feeds posts from several hundred ladies into my mail box every day. My participation has been minimal these past few months while I've been working so hard on my writing, but I've been reading avidly. Yesterday someone posted about gingerbread. I love gingerbread and stay completely away from it. It only crops up rarely and usually I'm prepared to resist it as it always crops up close to Christmas. However, being only December 1st, it caught me off guard. I thought about the recipe all day and dreamed about it last night. I opened my mail and the post hadn't been deleted and I re-read it. It takes 10 minutes to mix. Good! It was ten minutes to nine and I wanted to watch Regis and Kelly.

I shot off a reply that I would be making some today. I printed the recipe.

Click Here for the rest of the story: