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Thursday, October 19, 2017

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month



One in three American's have experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that this number is more than those affected by breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer. Many Americans feels that discussing this issue is not appropriate and thus lies the problem.



Here are some ways that you can help:

Encourage employer to create a domestic violence policy that offers education and training

Organize a moment of silence in honor of victim and survivors

share on facebook and twitter

Replace light bulbs outside of home with purple light bulbs

wear purple

Research position of candidates running for elected office. How do they stand on domestic violence

Help raise money to help fun local womans shelter

Mini Caramel Apples



3 large Granny Smith apples
18 sucker sticks
1½ cups caramel baking bits or caramel chews of choice
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Optional Toppings: crushed nuts, crushed cookies, sprinkles

Peel apples.
Using a melon baller, scoop out apple balls.
Insert the sucker stick into the apple. Be careful not to puncture the stick through the other end.
In a small pot add caramel baking bits and heavy cream.
Melt over low heat, stirring constantly until completely melted.
Fill a small bowl with icy water. Set aside.
Thoroughly dry the apple with a paper towel to remove excess moisture from the surface.
Dip the apple into the mixture, swirling to coat and being sure to get the caramel on the stick a little. This will help keep out the water on the next step.
Immediately dip the caramel apple into the icy water for a few second to quick set the caramel.
Dry the caramel off gently with a paper towels.
Press the top of the caramel apple into desired topping if using.
Place caramel apple into the fridge or freezer to finish setting.
Remove from fridge of freezer.
Enjoy!
Repeat with all the mini caramel apples.


Notes
Do get the caramel down the stick about ¼ of an inch to create a seal so the water won't seep in.
Be sure the water is super, duper cold and icey.
Only dip the caramel into the water for a few minutes. You want a soft set, not a rock hard one.
Gently dry the caramels off with a paper towel when they come out of the water OR place them right into the fridge or freezer.
Be sure to squeeze the apple balls in a paper towel to remove the excess moisture BEFORE placing into the caramel. If caramel doesn't cling to the apple then you did not dry it off enough.

recipe resource : Divas Can Cook

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo



Serves 4 - 6

1 Onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 red chilli, finely diced
100 g (3.5 oz) Chorizo, sliced
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
420 g (14.8 oz) can condensed tomato soup
2 x 400 g (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (I used Mexican spiced)
4 Cups vegetable stock
400 g white flesh fish, cut into pieces
300 g raw prawn meat

1. Heat a dash of oil in a large saucepan, cook pepper, onion, chilli, and chorizo for about 3 minutes. Add the condensed soup, tomatoes, stock, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Add the seafood and cook for a further 5 minutes.

3. Serve gumbo accompanied with a chunky, crusty bread.

It's O.k. To Be A Dork


There is nothing wrong with having Dorky habits. This post will introduce you to a few that may surprise you. 




Robin Williams was considered by many to be a dork. He loved comic books, dungeons and dragons, and his favorite series was "legend of zelda". His daughter in fact was named Zelda.




You may consider Stephen Colbert a dork as well. His love of Lord of the Rings has earned him the title of Tolkien geek. His profession of debating politics and news should land him a bit of credit towards a dork as well.



Let's do some talking about Tim Duncan a basketball player who has earned five championships, two MVP awards, an astounding 15 All-Star appearances. You may think a sports fanatic like this could not be considered a dork and you would be wrong. Duncan has a bigger fascination with Merlin than Williams did with Zelda. Desiring to be nicknamed the "Merlin" by his team-mates which did not happen Duncan got a tat of the famous "Merlin". Look for the tattoo on his chest, you wont be able to miss it. Merlin may be where it all started by Tim Duncan list of "dork" goes on with being fan of D&D, Renaissance , and video games. 


Supermodels  Lyndsey Duncan may not hav the most intellectually challenging job in the world but that does not mean she does not have the ability to do so. In high school Lyndsey learned to program games onto her graphing calculator. While she started a career at modeling she also has created apps for apple, 



Patrick Dempsey talented juggler has also starred as a heart-throb on Grey's Anatomy, starred in Transformers and in Meatballs III but did you know he could juggle. He not only loves to juggle but takes great pride in his effort to do so. He has been at it for quite some time so if you are looking for a juggler and know Patrick Dempsey you may want to contact him



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pickled Hot Pepper Rings






  • 4 cups chopped hot peppers (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt

  1. 1.
    Prepare a small canning pot and 2 pint jars. Place 2 new lids in a small pot of water and bring to the barest simmer.
  2. 2.
    Combine vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. 3.
    When brine is boiling, add pepper rings and stir to submerge. 
  4. 4.
    As soon as the brine returns to a boil, remove the pot from the heat.
  5. 5.
    Funnel peppers into jars and top off with brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  6. 6.
    Tap jars gently to remove any trapped air bubbles. If necessary, add more brine to return the headspace to 1/2 inch.
  7. 7.
    Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start your timer when the water returns to a boil, not when the jars first go in).
  8. 8.
    When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded kitchen towel.
  9. 9.
    When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals by grasping edges of lids and carefully lifting jars. If lids hold fast, seals are good.
  10. 10.
    Store jars in a cool, dark place. They are ready to eat with in 48 hours, but can be kept up to one year.



Thank Goodness We Have Trees



National Forest Products Week occurs and is celebrated the third week in October yearly. There are many products that come from the forest. Forest products come from a renewabl and sustainable resource. Wood products can be recycled, are durable and energy efficient, and healthy for the planet.
The week that recognizes forest products is also a great time to recognize the people who work in and managed our forest, the businesses that make the products and how this impacts our lives.

Forest offer the product resin. Resin is a goop that forms a protective coating around the plant wound. Microorganisms and insects can not penetrate the hard coating that tree resin creates. Resin is an important product that is gathered from pine trees. Rosin is a hard resin that is used in paint, varnishes and soap making. Rosin also is used to put a better grip on balls and bats of baseball. Oleoresin is a type of resin that turpentine is made from. Turpentine is used in paint, varnish, waterproofing, and shoe polish. The third type of resin is Gum Resin that is used to make chemicals.

Believe it or not many food and beverage products contain chemicals that are tree based. Flavorings and other chemicals may all be chemicals that are tree based. Even bubble gum relies on trees to make their gum chewier. Cellulose an important material that helps make up trees is used as food thickener in snack food, milk shakes, ice cream,  cake frosting and pancake syrup. Cellulose also is used to make eyeglass frames, steering wheels, hairbrush handles, and photographic film.




dye
oxygen
piano keys
rayon - books
fishing floats - inks
telephone books
varnish - atlases and maps
price tags - ping pong balls
tires - umbrella handles -signs
automobile instrument panels
space craft reentry shields - newspaper
photographic film - newspapers - posters
football helmets - toilet seats - guitars
road building materials - insulation
shatterproof glass - artificial vanilla flavoring
cork - vacuum cleaner bags - movies - stadium seats
adhesives - decorations - turpentine - camphor - waxes
fireworks - crayons - tannin - charcoal - pine oil - pitch
musical instruments - perches for birds of prey - toilet paper
milk cartons - flooring - bark for landscaping - cardboard
grocery bags - furniture - chewing gum - paper towels
oil spill control agents - Christmas trees - hockey sticks
wildlife habitat - cosmetics - roofs - baby foods - cider - vitamins
cooking utensils - photographic film - lacquer - pallets - rubber gloves
mulch - clean water - golf tees - egg cartons - nail polish - fence posts - toys
toothpaste - eyeglass frames - syrup - antacids - shampoo - rubber gloves
menthol - electrical outlets - medicines - energy for electricity - plates and bowls
sausage casings - torula yeast - rulers - wooden blocks - houses - notebook paper - oars
plywood - paper plates - computer casings - stain remover - coffee filters - toothpicks
movie tickets - carpet and upholstery backsides - imitation bacon - diapers - horse corrals
postcards - tax forms - sponges - shade - particle board - shoe polish - luggage - bowling alley lanes
postage stamps - colognes - animal bedding - irrigation piping - fruit pie filling - golf balls - game boards
suspending agent for drinking soda - pencils - dry wall - baby cribs - baseball bats - lumber - decoys - kites
magazines -ice cream thickener - step ladders - birthday cards - broom sticks - cider - ceiling tiles
crutches - backyard play sets - axe handle - food labels - 2 x 4's - candy wrappers
scenery - party invitations - disinfectants - cd inserts - gummed tape - fruit
railroad ties - shelter belts - puzzles - swings - baking cups
buttons - cutting boards
benches - bird houses
stereo speakers
garden stakes
stairways - beds
tables - barrels
window frames
bulletin boards
linoleum - seesaws
fishing boats - billboards
disposable medical clothing
church pews - totem poles - desks
How many other tree products can you list?






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hagfish

Today is Hagfish day.....  celebrated since 2009 it always occurs on the third Wednesday of October

Hagfish have no bones, jaws or scales. They are very much eel like and just like a sea hag they are quite ugly. The hagfish is more than ugly as it also oozes out slime at a quick rate. It has been shown that the ooze can fill up two gallon bucket in mere minutes. The hagfish loves to dine on dead animals. Their dining habits starts by crawling through the carcasses mouth, anus or gills and eats from the inside out. 
hagfish slime

The hagfish is not fun to look at in fact many consider it ugly or scary. Today, we celebrate the fact that th hagfish still has a function in the world and should be recognized as well. 

National Chocolate Cupcake Day with a Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcake recipe





Chocolate lovers and cupcake lovers should all be well pleased as today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Make them any way you want the chocolate will shine through. The recipe we shared to day is Halloween themed and yes a chocolate cupcake. Before we get there though here are a few trivia facts about cupcakes.

Did you know, that originally cupcake liners were meant to do more than to make it easy to remove cupcakes from the pan. A cupcake liner helps the cook out as by using them the baker does not need to grease or flour the pan.

The oldest cupcake recipe goes as far back as 1796. Ameleia Simms wrote a recipe in the cook book "American Cookery" The recipe talked of small cakes and did not use the word cup cake. The term cupcake was first used in a late 19th century. The term refereed to cakes made from ingredients that were measured by the cupful. The recipe would have been something like 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs. The recipe was baked in teacups or small clay pots. Eventually a multi-cup pan would be invented.

Now... onto the recipe


Pumpkin Double Chocolate Cupcakes



3 1/8 ounces (3/4 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
1 1/8 ounces (1/3 cup) cocoa powder (I used dutch-processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground all spice
3/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (3/4 cup) canned pumpkin
4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup) brown sugar
3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 ounces (1/2 cup) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, chopped (or use mini chips)

Chocolate Spiderwebs

2 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (chocolate baking chips would probably work too)

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 lb 8 ounces (6 cups) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
heavy pinch of ground nutmeg
heavy pinch of ground all spice
heavy pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt
orange gel icing color
INSTRUCTIONS

Pumpkin Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, espresso powder, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and salt and whisk to evenly combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, greek yogurt, white vinegar, and vanilla extract and stir together until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well-combined. Add the whole egg and egg yolk one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Wipe down the bowl and beater as needed.
With the mixer on its lowest speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in thirds, alternating between each and mixing each addition in just until partially incorporated. Once everything has been added, stop the mixer and add the chocolate chips. Use a flexible spatula to fold all of the ingredients together JUST until evenly combined.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing evenly between each muffin cup; each should be about 3/4 full – don’t overfill!* Smooth out the tops gently if needed. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean or the tops gently spring back to the touch. Cool cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.** If not frosting immediately, store in an airtight container until ready to frost. Meanwhile, make chocolate spiderwebs.
Chocolate Spiderwebs:

Fit a piping bag with a small round tip (I used Wilton #2). Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper, on a tray for easy moving if desired. If you’d like to draw out your spider webs on the parchment first as a guide, do so with a pen or pencil and then flip the parchment over so you can pipe on the clean side. You can also download and print a guide online if you’re not comfortable with drawing your own webs.
Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-second increments, stirring between each increment, until smoothly melted. Alternatively, temper chocolate.
Transfer chocolate to the prepared piping bag and pipe spider webs on the parchment paper.*** Allow to sit at room temperature until fully set, or transfer to the refrigerator to set faster. Once set, carefully peel back parchment to release chocolate webs.
Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light, creamy, and smooth. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger, salt, and about 1/3 of the confectioner’s sugar. Mix in, starting on low speed and increasing speed as the confectioner’s sugar starts incorporating and the frosting begins to look creamy. Continue adding the remaining confectioner’s sugar in the same manner until it has all been added, wiping down the bowl and beater as needed.
Once all sugar has been incorporated, increase mixer speed and beat frosting until smooth. Taste and add more salt or spices if desired. Add icing color and beat in until desired color is achieved. Transfer frosting to a piping bat fitted with your tip of choice (I used Ateco #827) and frost cooled cupcakes.
Top each frosted cupcake with a chocolate spiderweb.
Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will keep well for at least a few days, and up to about a week.

recipe source here

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Silent Solidarity



Students all over the nation gave up their voice today as they participated in a stand against abortion. Each and every day over 3,000 lives are taken away via abortion. These voices will never be heard so the students have decided to give up their own voice for the day.

Imagine one of five individuals will miss our generation because of abortion. Brothers, sisters, friends, peers and / or that special someone will never be born. Since 1973 via Roe v. Wade and legalizing the killing of pre born children many million children have died. They never met the world, enjoyed the holidays or met their families.

Perhaps next year you will wear a red arm band and take part in the National Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.  A day of silence to stand up for those who have been silenced forever.

Fall Vegetable Pasta



8 ounces pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion or scallion
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 fistful fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut to bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 can tomatoes
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 small chili pepper, diced (add more or less to your taste)
Shredded Parmesan to top


Cook pasta according to instructions on the package.
Bring small pot of water to boil and cook green beans in it for 10 minutes or until tender.
Heat olive oil in pan until medium-high heat. Add onion, eggplant and zucchini and saute until onion is translucent and other vegetables have softened.
Add tomatoes and stir together, cooking until tomatoes have released their juice. Add diced chili pepper, salt and pepper.
Add green beans and pasta when finished cooking. Toss all ingredients together and top with Parmesan.

Scary Real Life Story::: Medical Treatment Gone Wrong

Reading history can be a bit scary. But just imagine that while we are at Halloween time those that lived history did it day to day life. Like take for example the psychiatrist that thought ice pick lobotomy could help those with depression or mood problems. Wow!! Can you imagine,,,, it really did happen.



Psychiatrist Walter Freeman introduced what he thought was a life changing medical procedure. the "ice-pick" lobotomy in 1946 was exactly like it sounds like. The doctor would tak an ice pick and jam it through your eye socket into your brain. Yes you were awake when this was going on. The doctor believed that too much emotion caused the depression and decided the emotional connection in the brain needed to be cut. Many after the procedure were changed but sometimes the change was from being paralyzed or being left mentally disabled.

Freeman took his traveling freak show across the country. Because there was few treatment for mentally ill many wanted the treatment. People would soon catch on that a knife in your brain may not be advanced medicine after all and the treatments would be stopped.



Bit of Haunted House History



Haunted house's exist to scare people. Haunted Houses have been around for quite some time. Spooky stories have been told for centuries as a way to entertain. Haunted houses are closely related to Halloween likewise Halloween would not be the same with out haunted houses. While there are those that may be truly haunted the Halloween haunted houses are often commercially done to raise funds.

The first haunted house that was man made dates back to the 19th century. A group of illusions and attractions in London introduced the public to a new form of entertainment. Marie Tussaud showcased was sculptures of decapitated French figures that included King Louis XVI and his wife Marie as well as many others who had met their death via guillotine. The exhibition in London was known as the "Chamber of Horrors"

A not so distance relative to the haunted houses of today can be dated back to Paris and the Grand Guignol theater where depictions of graphic dismemberment under director Max Maurey. It was a good sign that audiences would always be available for dramatic hauntings.



Halloween themed haunted houses in the Untied States started during the Great Depression. It was parents that looked for ways to distract young tricksters who other wise may be involved in other halloween pranks that could get them into trouble. Trick or treating and commercial haunted houses in the United States came into being around the same time in history.



The first houses were primitive in style. Families would decorate basements and hold "house to house" parties. Kids would travel basement to basement having fun scaring each other. It was Walt Disney who would build a haunted house that would become a cultural icon. The Haunted Mansion which was made to resemble famous haunted places included the Winchester Mystery house. Thousands of people have passed through the Haunted Mansion where a Grand Hall ballroom is also present.

Haunted House Fever would spread across the country. The Jaycees would become famous for raising money through haunted houses. Knott's Berry Farm in California would start hosting halloween night attractions as well. In the 1980s and 1990s when Hollywood was embracing slasher movies haunted houses would adopt such characters as Freddy Krueger, Jason, and others.

In our area there are haunted houses and there are other haunted events. The haunted fair ground, haunted trails, haunted forest so many ways to get your scare on. All are there to have a bit of fun.









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