Hot Fruit Tea

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Oct 282011
3 cups boiling water 1/4 cup sugar
3 single tea bags 1/4 cup lemon juice
4 whole cloves 1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks 3 orange slices
  1. Pour boiling water over tea bags.  Add cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.  Add sugar and juice.
  3. Heat to just below boiling point.  Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  4. Serve hot with orange slice in each cup.

Serves 3

 Posted by at 7:31 pm
Oct 252011

NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November. This can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task and when you have a house to run as well it can seem almost impossible. With some preparation, you can make November run more smoothly.

I’ve looked at a few prep lists for NaNo and noticed that mine was a little different. I decided to share it in hopes it might help someone else. I know this is a little late. I’ll try to repost the revised version of this list a little earlier next year.

  1. Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep #2 and #3 in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. I’ll try to post a few of my favorites during NaNo.
  2. Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My Food Saver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up meals for November.
  3. Dust off that crockpot. Your crockpot can be a time saver and is for more than just making roast. I’ll try to post a few more of my favorite recipes during NaNo on the Community Cookbook.  I’ll post some fast and one skillet recipes, too.
  4. Detail clean the house. I have spring-cleaning and then NaNo cleaning. If the house is freshly detailed, those quick room cleanups go even faster. Besides, a super clean house can make you feel more comfortable with putting things off for a day or two longer so you have more time to write.
  5. Schedule blog posts. If you have a blog, write a few blog posts in October and schedule them to post in November to squeeze out a little more writing time.
  6. Jot down notes or make an outline. While there are many people who can sit down to a blank screen and just start typing, I’m not always one of them. Faced with a deadline, I feel more comfortable with some kind of direction in mind.
  7. Do any research needed ahead of time. Frantically researching while trying to finish NaNo can be a word count killer.
  8. Fill out your calendar with appointments and obligations. Make note of these. What days are you not going to be able to write? If there are five days in November that you cannot see a way to fit writing in for whatever reason, adjust your daily word count accordingly and aim for that.
  9. Let your friends and family know what you’re doing. They might scoff, but knowing ahead of time can ward off an explanation later. Listening to the scoffing while you’re doing NaNo not only takes time away from writing but could also damage your flow with negativity and drama you don’t need.
  10. Make a playlist. A playlist of music that fits your genre or in some way fosters your creativity can help drown distraction and get you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results.

For those of you participating this year, write like the wind! I’d love to hear/read how you’re doing so feel free to comment on a post or drop me an email.  Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!

 Posted by at 7:00 pm

Spicy Salsa Dip

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Oct 212011
1 cup chopped green pepper 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup chopped onion 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley 1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 2 (16 ounce) cans peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
chopped parsley for garnish chips for dipping

Over medium heat in large skillet, cook green pepper, onion, parsley and garlic in oil for 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes, thyme and pepper cooking for 10 minutes more. Cover and chill. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Serve as a dip with tortilla or other desired chips.

 Posted by at 7:33 pm
Oct 202011

Serves 12


16 oz. Package Spiral Pasta 1 C Mayonnaise
1 1/2 C Kielbasa, Polish Sausage & Smoked Sausage 3 T Cider Vinegar
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) Ripe Olives, Sliced & Drained 1 Envelope Italian Salad Dressing Mix
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, Shredded 1 C Salad Croutons


1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Place pasta in a large bowl; add the sausage, olives and parmesan cheese.

3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar and salad dressing mix.

4. Stir into the pasta mixture.

5. Add croutons stir to coat.

6. Serve immediately.

Garlic & Herb Salad Dressing Mix is good also.

 Posted by at 10:09 pm


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Oct 182011

Don’t waste leftover bread and save money. Use heels, french bread, leftover hot dog or hamburger buns. Cut bread into cubes in a bowl, spray them with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil and season with garlic powder, parsley and basil or oregano. Then bake on a cookie sheet @ 250 degrees until they are crisp and brown.

 Posted by at 12:00 pm

Tomato Salad

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Oct 172011

Serves 6


1/2 C Olive Oil 1/2 t Black Pepper
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar 4 Lge Beefsteak Tomatoes, Chunked
1 T Sugar 1 Lge Green Bell Pepper, Chunked
1 t Salt 2 to 3 Green Onions, Sliced
1 t Garlic Powder 1/4 C Chopped Fresh Basil


1. Combine first six ingredients in large bowl. Mix well with a whisk.

2. Add remaining ingredients and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately. Can also be covered and refrigerated.

  • You can use some tasty french bread for sopping up the dressing left in your bowl.
  • Cucumbers are great in this also.
  • Can use dried Basil instead of fresh. About 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons.
  • I have also added a little dry Parsley



 Posted by at 9:54 pm
Oct 142011
3 cups apples, peeled and sliced 1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk 1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon water 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine 2 eggs
  1. Mix apples, 1 Tablespoon flour, sugar, and cinnamon in bowl.
  2. Sift 2 1/2 cups flour and salt together in second bowl.  Cut in butter until crumbly.
  3. Beat egg yolks with enough milk to measure 2/3 cup.  Stir into flour mixture.
  4. Knead until soft dough forms.  Divide dough into halves.  Roll into rectangles on lightly floured surface.
  5. Place one piece on nonstick 9×15 baking pan.  Spread with apple mixture.  Top with remaining dough.
  6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  7. Mix powdered sugar and almond extract in bowl.  Add enough water to make glaze consistency.  Spread or brush over dessert.  Do not cover.
 Posted by at 12:34 pm
Oct 142011

Happy National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day!

For the brave lovers of chocolate-covered insects, this day is for you!  I think I’ll sit this one out.  Most people think chocolate-covered ants taste like chocolate-covered popcorn and I would probably be willing to give them a try, but chocolate-covered grasshoppers or beetles… I don’t think so.

If you’re one of the brave, let us know what you tried and what it tasted like. I’m curious!

Want to celebrate?  Try throwing a fear factor party and invite your friends to try chocolate-covered insects with you.

 Posted by at 6:20 am
Oct 132011

Yorkshire Pudding is a dish that originated in Yorkshire and is made from batter. Yorkshire Pudding is most often served with roast meat. Gravy served with the pudding is often considered essential. Yorkshire pudding was served as a filler to help expensive meats last longer by filling the belly with the cheaper ingredients used to make the pudding.

Yorkshire Pudding is cooked in a large tin under roasting meat in order to catch the dripping fat, can be made in muffin tins with preheated oil, or can be made in the same pan as the meat, taking advantage of the tasty fat and oil left in the pan. Yorkshire Puddings freeze and reconstitute very well.

 Posted by at 6:13 am
Oct 122011

Happy National Gumbo Day!

Gumbo originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century and combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures.  Elements of the recipe can be linked to French, Spanish, German, West African, and Choctaw cuisine.  The first historical reference to gumbo appears in an 1803 document, which describes the menu at a gubernatorial reception in New Orleans.

The origins of the name Gumbo are attributed to several different sources; an African word for okra, the Bantu word for okra
(ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).

Enjoy the official dish of Louisiana over rice and celebrate National Gumbo Day!

 Posted by at 6:06 am
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