Category Archives: recipes

Sweaters and Thanksgiving Thoughts

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When I opened my drawer full of sweaters to search for the ones with

Autumn colors, I ended up having to empty the whole drawer onto my

bed. I could not seem to find the one with its patchwork appearance.

Although, as a preschool teacher I had several turkey pins, along with

some orange, brown and tan sweaters, there was always this special one

I wore and called it my Thanksgiving sweater.

 

While I looked at my wide collection of fall and cold weather offerings,

I was smiling since some of them were getting pretty ‘raggedy,’ while

others were less in style. I started thinking about sweaters and their

characteristics.

This

is

when

I had

an epiphany:

Sweaters are like our family members.

While you are thinking about the upcoming celebratory feast, you may

have some positive thoughts and you  may have some misgivings,  too.

I hope you will see some of the anthropomorphic references in this poem,

of sorts and I also hope it amuses you.

Wishing you a wonderful gathering of family and friends. I hope it is an

extra special time, with pleasant memories of past holidays spoken of

and cherished, too. Those who have gone on and had their unique places

in your family festivities, hope you will have some of the elderly guests

share some more of their own personal memories of the loved ones.

I also admire the idea of going around the table and all sharing their

reasons for being thankful. This family tradition is often part of our own

ritual. I have been lately asking the little ones, “What was your favorite

part of this year, so far?” I like to try and remember them, to put in their

personal albums, which include their photographs and memorabilia we

have collected along our ways. (Tickets for movies, zoo or museums, as

well as menus and maps. I have a few of their drawings included, too.)

 

“Sweaters and Family”

November 24, 2014

 

Sweaters come in all colors,

They come in all sizes, too.

Sweaters can be quite worn

and scruffy looking,

While some may be in

brand new condition.

 

There are the loud ones,

and there are low key

kinds of sweaters.

 

Each has their place,

both

old

and

new.

 

There are those scratchy ones,

who seem to always irritate you.

There are those sweet, dear ones,

who can ‘do no wrong.’

They never grow old

nor out of style.

 

Some are so big and stretched

while others are such pint-sized.

There are the lumpy ones which have

lots of pills,

there are the smooth, soft ones, too.

 

There are the old, familiar ones

and the surprising ones who

unexpectedly turn up.

Those especially nice ones

appear out of nowhere

to discover and include

around the holidays.

 

When rummaging around in your

sweater drawers or storage tubs,

keep in mind how much you love

them all. . .

 

You certainly would not wish to

ignore them

or discard.

Even those

who are

unraveling

a bit.

They are an integral

part of colder

seasons

and

you

may

as well save them

for next year, too.

 

by Robin O. Cochran

 

Do you have a favorite story about sweaters?

If you wish, I would enjoy reading about some of your family

traditions. . .

 

 

Healthy and Simple “Switches” to Lower Carbs

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The Institute of Medicine recommends 130 grams of carbohydrates a day!

One big sundae, with my girlfriend, used up my daily ‘allowance’ and then

some of the next day’s, too! Smiles for this, but seriously, I have several

close friends who have to consider their carbohydrates, due to diabetes

and/or high cholesterol.

The sugary, starchy ‘yummy’ stuff, can be replaced or “switched” into

equally delicious, but more healthier foods. I love it when I find a few in

a row, so hope you will enjoy this compilation list:

1. This is the place I have trouble in:  restaurants!

Give yourself one carb allowance for that meal. Choose to splurge on a

glass of wine or a beer. Or would you rather have a piece of bread or a

dinner roll?

Do you have someone who really wants to try a dessert after the meal,

who would be willing to ‘split it’ with you?

Make your plate fill up with vegetables, fish, meat, or a protein of some

kind.

2. Instead of having regular order of pizza, ask if they have a carb-free

choice, whole grain crust or possibly gluten free. Any of these beats the

‘white dough crust’ that usually you enjoy. Now, vegans and vegetarians

use a lot of vegetables to fill their plate and suit their palate, too. Can

you skip the pepperoni? If at the store, you could buy turkey pepperoni…

Otherwise, go for all the vegetables, add a little extra red pepper flakes

and you will find yourself satisfied and feeling kind of ‘righteous!’

3. If you are interested in totally carb-free pizzas, try a Portobello

mushroom or eggplant slices for the base, add sauce, (try to check for

less sugar in your pasta sauces…) and go to ‘town’ on the veggies!

4. While ordering burgers or veggie burgers, try asking for a lettuce

‘wrap’ instead of a bun! You can also do what my friend does, she

puts her meat on her salad! Steak, chicken strips and even- burgers!

5. When you go out with family or on a Sunday brunch ‘date,’ you

may want to think about scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, cheese

and mushrooms, or an omelet! Try to get only one whole grain pancake,

ask for real butter and a small amount of real maple syrup. (I order, for

example, at Cracker Barrel, the breakfast for ‘Any Ages’ which has one

egg, one bread and one piece of meat. I love their thick bacon. Sorry, I

know I have Vegans who are my blogging friends!

Then, I put my cornbread muffin in a box (saving it for another day)

and ask for one Pecan Pancake with real butter and real maple syrup!

It adds up to (I think) about $5.99, with my beverage of choice, coffee

included.

As a matter of fact, any of their daily specials, you can get “Kids of Any

Ages” with a bread and beverage included. It is a smaller portion, of

the Friday Fish Fry, for example, but it satisfies! Most places have Senior

Menu, but are only eligible for over a certain age. I recommend ‘ala carte’

when you cannot find what you want on a menu. There used to be a

“Hoggy’s Restaurant” in Delaware, Ohio, where you could order two

vegetable meals or three vegetable meals. Also, you could do salad and

soup. Sometimes, you have to let the calories go in soups, but asking

about carbs, while diabetic, is important!

6. Thai and Indian curries, don’t necessarily have to go over rice! This

was a new concept to me, thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s holiday

suggestions for making a bland serving of cauliflower or broccoli, taste

so much more interesting. I also find cheese sauces and ask for it on the

side, then can decide how much to put on my vegetables.

The article gave this summary: “The rage in the Paleo community is

“Cauliflower rice” as a nutrient- and fiber-rich way to stick to your diet

and still enjoy Thai panang or chicken tikka masala.” (December, 2013).

7. I am sure you have already tried Spaghetti squash, but just in case

you have been holding back on this, it is easy to prepare, shreds and

looks like spaghetti. I like having it with marinara sauce, lots of fresh

Parmesan or Romano cheese sprinkled over it. You can also make your

meatballs, (my son does this) without any bread crumbs but using some

mushrooms and eggs to hold it together. Do you have any favorite ways

to make meatballs without bread or cracker crumbs?

Just FYI: According to the United States government’s food guidelines,

a serving portion of spaghetti is one half a cup. (That is 1/2 cup, folks!)

At least, practice with whole wheat pasta and find it delicious by not

overcooking it! It makes it a little healthier and yet, not as much as

you could eat of spaghetti squash! Or eggplant parmesan…

8. A way to get the flavor of Italian restaurants is to always ask for

the red, marinara sauce, pour it over a piece of grilled chicken or a

pork chop, or a veggie burger, then add an unlimited number of

salads, if you are at Olive Garden! (Yes, their Italian has carbs!)

9. Another favorite food of many is mashed potatoes or macaroni and

cheese. Both of these can have substitutions of cauliflower, one with it

being mashed, with a little milk and butter and the other with cheese

over cauliflower florets.

10. When you are making salads at home, you can certainly prevent

the croutons, fried tortilla strips, sugary salad dressings, and the

bread bowls or tortilla shell bowls. I found out, surprisingly, that

Ranch and Blue Cheese Dressings are the main ones with low levels

of sugar. If you make your own dressing, you may use vinegar, oil,

a small amount of Blue Agave Nectar or honey, but you are in

control of adding delicious spices! It will be easier and less calories,

than the store bought dressings. If you love blue cheese, look up on

the internet, some healthy recipes or buy yogurt based or ones in the

low calorie or even the sugar free aisle! In the summer time, if you

are not diabetic, adding raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, orange

slices, and even watermelon, can really brighten up your salad.

If you are diabetic, you know how many berries or other fruits you

may have in your daily diet. I enjoy adding pecans, walnuts or

almonds to my salads, for protein instead of meat. Spare use of

cheese, will limit your calories, of course!

Enjoy your food preparation and your meals out, too. You deserve to

be pampered and have someone else prepare it, wash the dishes and

help you to slow down while you eat. Isn’t it true? Don’t you eat much

slower at a restaurant? Allowing yourself to savor your foods, will always

help make you mindful. This is good on so many levels, to add “Being

Mindful,” into our lives!

My last suggestion on this trip down “Carbohydrates Free Street” is:

I hope you find these helpful and easy ways to make your diet a lot

more healthier and nutritious. Any changes will help you feel much

better!

 

is

 

The creme de la creme award nomination!

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Karen nominated me for an excellent award which is always special to

me that my friends here in our blogging community still find something

good to say about my writing! I was honored to be among her short list of

fellow bloggers she chose to consider for this nomination.

The Most Influential Blogger Award nomination was given to me by a

really, truly author, Karen. I respect her writing very much, along with

anticipating eagerly, when she comments on my post.

Karen’s recent post about her son, Preston, is titled, “Green Balloons.”

That, along with some lovely posts can be found at:

http://nestpirations.com

 

I am going to not follow the rules and feature someone who graduated from

Ohio Wesleyan University, here in Delaware, Ohio. Morgan got her B. S.

Liberal Arts degree, while specializing in the area of “Non-Fiction.”

I have written about Morgan Treni, a young 23 year old, who came from

New Jersey, has musical roots that come from her father’s being a jazz

composer. She has the deep, throaty voice of an older woman, can really

belt out tunes, too. I have mentioned that she was on Kickstarter, where

she had people contribute money to her getting her first CD produced.

She has been featured in my posts, including one that mentions she

became friends with my youngest daughter, due to her literally running

on the sidewalks of Delaware, Ohio at the same time my daughter was.

I would have loved to have been her friend, she reminds me of my hippie

days, she seems like an “old soul.”

Anyway, on the front page of the Delaware Gazette, Morgan Treni was

given a space, with her lovely face smiling out at the readers, an interview

that included her background and her future entertainment dates. I missed

her Solar Stage appearance during the Columbus Com Fest, but last year,

did get to see her on the Jazz Stage.

By being a writer, one who has written short essays and observations, she

naturally was able to write all of her own songs. She does not reveal her

father’s name, just in passing, music was in her home at all times while

she was raised. She includes on her CD, songs about home, her mother

and a song titled, “Delaware,” too.

In Morgan’s own words, she describes her musical style as,

“More of a folksy-pop with a jazz influence.”

Her album is naturally called, The Dreamer and Other Essays.” There

are all kinds of orchestral contributions, on the album, with cellists

and piano playing.  I like to call her Cole Porter meets feminism!

If you have followed her on wordpress, she had posts about her

travels and adventures of singing in what she calls, ‘beer halls!’

It was one I featured on my blog last Summer called,

http://adventuresofabeergoddess.wordpress.com

But the main reason I wished to tell you about Morgan is, that

I am impressed with her fortitude, her attack on life, her ambition

along with her sensitive and calm nature. She has achieved much,

in such a young life! Her CD and her musical blog can be found at:

http://morgantreni.com

Next two local performances for Morgan are set for July 27th at the

Brothers Drake Meadery, in Columbus at 7 p.m. and this will be an

amazing PARTY with song and celebrations for her CD’s release! I

posted a winter story about her Pre-Release party, attended by the

press and two very fine musicians.

The other one will be on August 1oth, in Delaware, Ohio. This will

be held on the lawn behind the Firehouse, at the Bicentennial Park

Gazebo. If you are in the area, please let me know so we can put our

blankets or lawn chairs beside each other!

If Morgan doesn’t deserve to receive a nomination for writing and

being one of my most major influential persons, I cannot imagine

who else could be on the top of my list!

Thank you, Karen for your gift of selecting me on your list!

Thank you, Morgan, for making sure we all don’t just give up.

Best of luck to you, Morgan on the sales of your CD. Thanks for

showing us how to go for our dreams!

 

The choices of new people, that I have not given award nominations

to, is due to when I got some of my first times this happened to me,

also, due to the variety of ages that I read, places they are from, I

know that it helps expand all of our horizons, to ‘discover’ other

fellow bloggers. Here are some other people who are in my Reader,

who have talent and show beauty in their writing ability:

1.  A college student in England brings up some universal concerns

and can be found at:

http://aworriedstudent.wordpress.com

2.  Lois, who may be familiar to you, but I have not featured before.

She is from the western part of England:

http://loiselsden.com

3.  Someone else who is contemplating life as a happily

single person:

http://partyofones.com

4. Hannah, is a college student. She is special already, due to the

fact I loved that she used her creative and artistic side, to sew a

vintage style funky flower apron! “Right on!”

http://thehandmadehippie.wordpress.com

5. He has plenty of recipes, but it is the fact he includes

history and stories with his posts that makes this man, an

interesting read!

http://rantingchef.com

6. Inspirational, with roots from Texas and living in Idaho…

“Nemaste, Marie!”

http://writingwingsforyou.com

7.  You’re going to know this woman is a ‘straight shooter!’

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

8.  You may have already discovered the diverse posts of the

man who writes this blog. I enjoy the international connections!

http://advocatemmmohanaksharaalu.wordpress.com

9. Beth is a free thinker, admires art, creativity and encompasses

many of the same directions my posts tend to go:

http://byrnesbeth.wordpress.com

10. I have enjoyed reading and trying these unusual recipes-

the author is the Mouse, his female taster is the Cat:

http://l2ee2l.wordpress.com

You may think that I would be adding a photo or clip art of the

nice award, but I have done this in the past, with other posts

and now, have lately just sent you off to research the giver of

the award nomination and stating that Karen, she followed

the rules and these can be found on her blog! Please forgive

my applying the rules, in my own way. I feel presenting new

writings for you to explore may be the balance and positive

result found in this post!

 

Sisterhood and Its Deeper Meaning

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I would like to remind everyone about a powerful and beautiful song,

which seemed to be repeated endlessly when it came out. It’s now even

more a special one that makes me remember my dreams. The song, that

came out in 1971 is,

“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony…)”

Even though it was an advertising jingle written for the Coca Cola

commercial, it has wonderful lyrics written by Billy Davis. It was

sung first by the Hillside Singers, later by the New Seekers.

I feel I have become so much closer and connected to the world. This

is through finding my blogging friends, like all of you out there.

This community has become built up into a “new world” for me. It means

so much to me!

It is so hard when I win award nominations to decide who to pass the

award nominations on to. Since I started this year, 2014, I have been

heartily trying to give new writers, blogs I have just begun following

or they have just begun following me, the ‘torch.’

Winning or receiving award nominations is also, such a thrill!

I remember my last ‘picnic’ celebration when I won an award where I let

you in on my favorite people, my friends.

These are the ones who have commented with such feeling, empathy and

given me encouragement. They are part of the reason to continue forging

onward in my writing.

I cannot help myself, though, by getting the recent Sisterhood of the

World Bloggers Award, I wanted to ‘chuck’ my new year’s resolution and

just let my friends, who have become like sisters, receive a “Shout out!”

I wish to let you know that I realize Sisters can have Brothers. I do

have two brothers, who have been there throughout my life, but…

This post, today, is for the girls!

My friend, Julie, who has been recently getting me to laugh quite

a lot and also, enjoying reading her journals from ages 15 and 16,

gave me a special Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

I told her she is my younger sister and I am her older sister, with a

connecting bonds of music and movies, some similar interests and just

plain enjoying reading each other! For following rules on this award,

along with the clip art of the special award, may be found here, too!

Check Julie’s blog out at:

http://musingsfromaworkaholic.wordpress.com

The following people have been my friends, commenting and hanging out

here with me. I have probably left out a few, for which I apologize,

ahead of time. May their world be brighter, filled with peace and

harmony. You make my world a better place, dear ones!

1. Jill, who has recently told us that she was seeing lighthouses

everywhere and got inspired to write about the lighthouse keeper.

http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com

2. Her photography of nature will draw you in, plus her writing makes

this ‘Curious Gal’ a treat and a great blog:

http://acuriousgal.com

3. Morgan, who just got her book published! Congrats, sister!

http://booknvolume.com

4. Celeste, who helps us to become more aware of vegan choices

and helped me to also, think twice when I purchase different

products! A healthier lifestyle and better world choices here:

http://honkifyourevegan.com

5. Beth, who shares quotes and meaningful photographs, along

with her little ‘munchkins’ in her kindergarten class:

http://ididnthavemyglasseson.com

6. When I opened her post to see the “Foragers Feast,” I was in

awe with this lovely blog, all over again! Food with natural

and edible beauty featured here:

http://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com

7. Karen, who inspires me to try my hand with poetry. She bares

her soul, along with beauty in her photos paired with her words:

http://nestpirations.com

8. Tracy, who I adore her photography of New England, it brings me

the raw energy of the sea, the beauty in bridges and all sorts of her

own journey and philosophy included:

http://tllcsci.wordpress.com

9. Brenda, who is and always will be, one of my friends! You will

her delightful fairy tale stories, her pairings of poetry with art,

music and photographs:

http://friendlyfairytales.com

10. Luanne, who was raised in a similar family, remembers times on

Lakes Michigan and Erie, along with writing about her research into

memoirs, gives you interesting paths to take with her at:

http://writersite.org

11. Jules, who writes all kinds of different styles, including Flashy

Fiction, continuing sagas and poetry. She and I have some different

kinds of conversations, deeper than others around:

http://julesgemstonepages.wordpress.com

12. Elizabeth, who is a great one to inspire you. She has different

lists and chooses her own way to change and motivate herself, while

moving you to new actions, too:

http://almostspring.com

13. Timi, who has been giving me smiles and thought provoking posts

for quite awhile. One that caught my eye, was about why do people

think they should touch someone’s hair, just because it is different?

http://livelytwist.wordpress.com

14. Glorialana, whose beauty is shown through her artistic poems

and heartfelt words. She has come a long way since she started in 2010!

http://glorialana.wordpress.com

The rules for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award can be found at

Julie’s blog and I am so sorry, that I just am giving you a list of

people to meet and hope that you also, will become friends with them!

Healthy Food Choices for Kids

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I have sometimes wandered away from my theme of witless dating,

but I stay strong in the area of relationships. With helpful

information on how to make healthy food choices, I hope to

inspire you to make some changes in your lives. This includes

any children that you are in communication with, neighbor’s

kids or your grandchildren. Every time you choose to change

something in your family’s diet, it can impact the guests

and friends of your children, too.

The facts that are here may startle you. I was shocked!

I had known our country, in particular, was having trouble

living longer, healthier lives but I did not know, to the

large extent, the numbers involved. Obesity has doubled in

children, ages 6-11 and tripled in teens, age 12-19.

These numbers, collected by the National Center for Health

Statistics are just unbelievable! The time period is from

1980 until 2010. By 2013, there have been a few reversals

in these numbers but not of significant amounts; yet.

Understanding food labels and the amount of news and media

coverage have helped this trend to start heading in the

right direction. I am pleased that Michelle Obama’s part

is playing a big impact, along with magazines that usually

feature articles with juicy and delicious foods that have

saturated fat and hydrogenated fat have also joined forces,

by including good and tasty alternatives.

Here are five ways to educate children to become more

‘savvy’ in the area of food choices.

1. Help your children (and yourself) visualize serving sizes.

Assemble products that you regularly include in your or their

diet. Examples of applesauce, oatmeal and cereals can be an

easy way to measure what is considered ‘regular’ portions.

When labels with nutrition information are looked at, it

helps to realize these are written for an adult’s size or a

2000 calorie adult diet.

Kids from four to eight, are about 2/3rds the size of an

adult. Teens should consume between 80-90% size of the adult

amounts.

Measure out single servings. This will take your cell phone’s

calculator and/or paper to figure out! Serving sizes of bars

of candy and little pints of ice cream can sometimes be based

on only a portion of the actual whole content!

2. Help your child to check out the details. These are in the

little fine print on the label. When there is a long list of

names of ingredients that you don’t even recognize, this food

item may not be healthy! Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners,

high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated anything

should signal this food product is of lower nutritional value.

Making this process a game rather than a ‘lecture’ will help

to interact and make this meaningful. Ingredients which you

cannot pronounce often mean, ‘lab-created, fake, food-like

items.’ This was a suggestion from a registered dietitian,

Tara Dellolacono-Thies.

Of course, going to natural food places, including farmer’s

markets, can be a wonderful fun activity for families. Point

out, there are usually no labels on foods that are actual

fruits, vegetables and homemade products, usually include

more natural ingredients.

Comparisons can be made while watching television, with

advertisements that may mislead people into thinking they

are ‘good for you.’ Any opportunity, including driving

down the road, on billboards, can open up discussions on

food choices. Asking, rather than telling, really helps in

these ‘off the cuff’ situations.

I remember, as a child, my parents really wanting us to stay

away from sugary cereals. We still considered it a ‘treat’ to

get ones like, “Sugar Crisp” or “Frosted Flakes.”

When I went away to college, I gorged on dumb things like,

“Captain Crunch” and “Count Chocula,” which came out in 1971.

Buying things, like Hostess products out of the dorm vending

machines, ostensibly to ‘help me study and stay awake,’ such

as “Twinkies,” “Ho Ho’s,” and those pink-colored, coconut

marshmallow iced chocolate balls, called, “Sno-balls” were

my downfalls.

When they talk about “Freshman 5 pound weight gains,” I had

probably ten pounds! I read recently of a famous person,

Maria Menounos, who gained 40 lbs. There is a photo of her,

in April’s “Ladies Home Journal,” that is unrecognizable!

3. Evaluate the numbers and figure out how that computes in your

child’s daily intake. Immediately, I think of salt and sugar

levels in foods, in this message! Discuss the listed numbers

noted for calories, fat, sugar, fiber and cholesterol.

I have been shocked how sugary items, including cereals, have

salt in them. Then, salty items like snacks, have tons of sugar

in them. When evaluating a packaged food for an elementary

school’s lunch box, aim for 175 calories or less per serving,

one gram or less of saturated fat, no trans fats, no more than

13 grams of sugars and no more than 210 milligrams of sodium

content. Try for at least 2 grams of fiber. These were also

suggested by the woman dietitian named, Tara D.-T. I usually

look for 5 grams’ fiber in my whole wheat or whole mixed grains

bread. I have found better cereals these days, particularly, in

the natural foods’ aisles.

4. Compare and contrast whenever you have a chance to do this.

No matter when you see food products, on television, in ads

and even on billboards, you have an opportunity to bring up the

subject of good food choices.

My grandchildren and I play that fun game of, “My father/

grandfather/mother or whomever, owns a grocery store and in it,

he/she sells something that starts with a __ (insert first letter)”

This has often been a way to find out where they find the item,

which is one of the many questions that you ask: “Can you find

it in the Meats’ department?” Once we discover from questions,

the product they were thinking of, I get an idea of their favorite

foods. Also, it gives me a moment to prosthelytize.

Under this category, Tara D-T. suggests looking for a high-percent

daily value of important growth vitamins, such as calcium, iron,

zinc and Vitamin D. These important nutrients, by the way, are

also important for all of us, during our aging process, to keep

our brains and bodies strong and healthy!

5. A plan of action should be to translate this knowledge into

good, healthy choices. Once you, your child and family have

become more adept and practiced in this area, you can be less

worried about the times you do ‘slip up,’ with a fast food meal

or a fun time at the movies, eating the popcorn with partially-

hydrogenated fat poured over it. Our Delaware Strand buys a

better product, made from Promise margarine. It isn’t nearly

as high in fat content.

Sorry, this is one of my big downfalls, along with donuts,

candy and ice cream! I have been unable to give up these and

simply, try to limit them.

The trend for teens to drink those high calorie pops, energy

drinks, with loads of caffeine, and flavored coffees, needs to

be addressed. I hope that if this seems to be common among

your teens’ friends or group, that you may wish to suggest some

limits to this. I would say, after my own experience of being

‘denied’ certain foods, that it is best not to boycott these

altogether. As parents you could instead suggest moderation.

Limiting to an extreme, I will remind all of you who were teen

‘rebels’ out there, causes the reverse action to be produced!

With time and practice, children will begin to include the power

of reading food labels before choosing foods. Teens may think

twice, as they stand in front of the vending machines at their

school, work or play centers. By understanding food labels,

the more kids know about what they are eating, the more often

they will choose healthier food choices.

I hope that this will be another way to start Spring, with a

renewal of your New Year’s resolutions to become healthier and

lead longer lives. This include all members of your family,

beginning with the little ones! They are much more open and

less resistant to changes and as mentioned, this can be an

interactive experience.

What’s for Dinner?

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Although I eat meat and try to include a wide variety

of proteins in my diet, I enjoy eating vegetarian

meals. This recipe was used for our annual church

Congregational Meeting. Although it includes eggs

and cheeses, this could be a delicious meal to

serve on a cold, winter’s evening.

It is considered, “gluten-free and meat-free.”

I would serve Italian bread and a salad with this.

If you had an Italian red wine, wonderful to serve

room temperature, to allow some ‘breathing.’

I think this would be a good alternative to Fish on

Fridays, during Lent.

Vegetable, No Noodles, Lasagna

(from the kitchen of a fellow Presbyterian named Jill)

3 yellow squash

spinach

16 oz. ricotta cheese

Parmesan cheese

1/2 c. fresh parsley

3 green zucchini

1 eggplant

1 1/2 lbs. shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

A jar of your favorite sauce or the same amount of your

own homemade sauce.

1. Slice and peel eggplant into 1/2 inch circles.

2. Roast in oven, 15 mins. at 350 degrees.

3. Mix ricotta, mozzarella cheeses and eggs together.

4. Thinly slice zucchini lengthwise.

5. Lightly sprinkle Parmesan cheese on all layers, as

you assemble lasagna.

6. Spread some sauce on bottom of pan.

7. Layer 1/3 squash and zucchini slices.

8. Layer 1/2 cheese mixture.

9. Layer zucchini layer with spinach leaves on top.

10. Layer sauce.

11. Continue to layer eggplant, cheese mixture,

zucchini, and end with a layer of sauce.

12. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes or until hot and

bubbly, removing foil last ten mins.

(I would ‘tamper’ with this recipe and have one layer

of straight mozzarella cheese, with a sprinkle of

Parmesan cheese to make a crusty cheese topping. But

I am not sure if this would have to be later, or if

covered by the foil would prevent from burning?)

I love cheesy toppings!

Smiles,

Robin

Super Bowl XLVIII Menu

Standard

The Next Great Excuse to Party On! February 2, 2014

I have made a fairly comprehensive list of all the

delicious choices to have at a smorgasbord or potluck

event! I hope you will consider hiring a teenager to

supervise the younger children, purchasing juices in

non-staining colors like white grape juice or apple

juice, other finger foods that are not on the following

list to serve, if you allow children to tag along with

their adult parents.

I also encourage to plan ahead and have two areas, if

possible, to have the Super Bowl football game playing.

One, of course, will be for the diehard fans that don’t

like too much commentary, chatting or just aimless

conversation! I am a big fan of the commercials, the

sometimes great but always entertaining Half Time Show.

I am not so much of a follower of the blow by blow football

plays, so I would hang out with the aimless conversers,

and don’t lecture me, but usually the women who are in this

group!

You can make a menu and divide these choices up or you can

contemplate the audience of guests, check your budget and

figure what is best for all out of these scrumptious choices!

1. Guacamole dip and tortilla chips. I love black bean tortilla

chips! I also like hummus… there are many dips that are natural

and have elements of healthy ingredients to include. Veggies to

dip in these could also be set out.

2. Jalapeno poppers. I love the smell of these, for some reason

these spicy little things get my mouth salivating, when I smell

them baking in the oven.

3. A huge submarine sandwich, cut into 3-4″ slices. This can

include all sorts of deli meats, cheeses, vegetables and a

sprinkle of Italian dressing. Mmmmm…!

4. Pizzas! Endless choices here.

5. A crock pot of chili can be served with side toppings,

such as sour cream, grated cheeses, chives or onions, and

tortilla or Frito chips. I also think an inexpensive side

can be a pan of hot dogs and hot dog buns.

6. Baked Potato Skins. Again, some of the side toppings

used in the chili suggestions can be used, along with

bacon bits and peppers.

7. Meatballs in tomato sauce or barbecue sauce

or Small wieners in a chili/grape jelly mix prepared

ahead in a crock pot. Another hamburger possibility,

but is kind of messy, is sloppy joes.

8. Deviled Eggs. This is sometime, in some areas,

a tradition for any and all family/friends’ gatherings.

9. Bacon Wrapped jalapeno poppers or bacon wrapped

water chestnuts with a maple syrup glaze. Yummy!

10. Quesadillas and the different side ingredients.

11. Cheese dips or cheese balls. Crackers or bread

sticks are good, along with those tortilla chips.

12. Chicken Wings! With sauces on or on the side.

I like mild Frank’s Hot Sauce prepared in a pan with

a tablespoon or so of butter, then each piece dipped

and baked. Once out of the oven, a good blue cheese

dressing with celery sticks to “cool” off your mouth

served on the side.

What’s your favorite dish to eat?

What’s your favorite dish to bring?

Here are some All Star Football Players’/Broadcasters’

Favorites that are recommendations from an article I saved

from January, 2012.

1. Steve Young recommends Bean Dip.

2. Terry Bradshaw recommends his family’s Ribs and Beans.

3. Roger Staubach’s choice is Chili.

4. Vince Young recommends a Short Rib Chili.

5. Dan Marino’s Pasta Bolognese.

6. Barry Saunders suggests Chocolate Cookies.
(Hey, in my list above, I forgot desserts!)

7. Brett Favre serves Jambalaya at football

gatherings.

8. Mike Ditka recommends having Pork Chops.

9. Jerry Rice suggests Sticky Honey Wings.

Mainly, enjoy and have fun! Hope you have a little

friendly rivalry. I hope that you will drink and

imbide responsibly. If you have to work the next

day, take care and be prepared to get up for work,

maybe with protein and/or your needed ‘after drinking

remedy.’

Please have a designated driver, if you intend

to get carried away!