Thursday, April 29, 2010

Old Fashioned Bake Sales

 I remember summer bake sales at the pool, and flea markets. Now there are bake sales all over the place and most are for good causes too.  I see the Alex's Lemonade stands everywhere when warm weather hits.  I can't come out of  the warehouse club without getting offered a cookie or hot dog on weekends.

If you are asked to bake something for a bake sale last minute, do you have everything on hand?  You should!  I bake often, so I always have my baking supplies stocked up.  If you don't bake often, you can keep flour in the freezer.  I keep my stock pile of it there.  Keeps it pest free.

Here is a great link to a post I read on stocking your pantry for baking.

One more thing you may want to stock up on is containers to take the baked goods in.

  I like to pick up inexpensive plates and pie plates at yard sales.  Then, when I go to a potluck or picnic, I don't have to worry about getting back my container.  I always buy glass or ceramic because you can really sterilize them well.

  My mom was recently getting rid of junk and there was a glass pie plate in the boxes.  I had to jump on it. I even offered her the idea to use it for a potluck, but she declined wanting it, so I have it.  You can also buy those tin foil ones, but the glass looks nicer, and can be recycled, by the next person who ends up with it, taking it to a bake sale or pot luck and not worrying about getting it back.

Also buy up some old baskets.  They can be washed  and used for putting your cellophane wrapped cupcakes, rice crispy treats etc in them. Cake stands are great too for putting baked goods at different heights. A pretty table cloth and some baskets and attractive serving pieces will welcome people to your table. String some pretty ribbon around, or add some flowers.  Dress it up!

Keep your eyes open.  You never know, you may see clear cookie jars at giveaway prices.  You can put cookies in them or even lemonade with some fruit floating in it to sell.
I have a great recipe for lemonade that makes me such a cheater, but I get rave reviews on it. 

Its' called Hazel's Lemonade, a friend named Norma gave me the recipe, but she had it named after Hazel so I left that in tact.  This below is just the basics.  She added orange and lemon slices  to it. I put in a bit more for color. 

Hazels' Lemonade

1 c sugar
½ c powdered lemonade
½ can frozen concentrate

3 oranges -sliced
1 lemon –sliced
2 qt water and ice

In a gallon mix dry and frozen conc. In enough water to dissolve.  Add ice and water and garnish with orange and lemon slices.
 This is where I put in more...strawberry slices, and blueberries..any fruit will go nice in this, as will lavender flowers!  I love lavender lemonade!  
Offer several kinds!   My friends and family love when I have this at picnics. And if you put it in a jar, you can ladel is out with some fruit to eat.  (also at home, a shot of vodka  makes it fun for adults)..but back to the bake sale lol.
You can also offer fresh mint in case anyone wants to throw a mint leaf in theirs.  Not everyone likes mint or lavender, so you could offer it on the side in a bowl with a spoon to spoon it into their lemonade too.
Eye candy attracts people and don't forget to post prices.  I know if I pass by a stand and there are no prices, 9½ times out of 10, I walk right on by and don't bother to ask, "How much?"

Sweets sell, but don't forget diabetics and vegans.  Offer some healthy choices for those who can't eat sugar and animal products.  

For those too busy to cook, get over to a bakery or warehouse club and buy some cookies, wrap 'em up in cellophane, serve on a nice plate or basket and no one will know you didn't make them!   LOL   I am always worried they won't be as good as my homemade, so I have not resorted to that before, but in a pinch, if I had to, I would. 


Flirting with Vegetarianism....FAIL, as my kids would say to me

Yesterday I hit chick fil a.  I'm sorry, I just had to have one. Its been ages.  As sad as it is for the animals...I am going back to eating more meat. I feel good inside from the veg diet, but I feel sort of run down, as far as my energy goes, and I have fallen into anemia in the past so I won't be eating Mc D's or any fast food like I did in my 20s, but I am going to incorporate more meats into my meals again.

I am bored and want to cook, and I love to cook all foods. I just have to be careful where I get my meats and try to get it from companies that allow them to at least have lives while they are alive.  I will be eating vegetarian a few days a week still, but I need to change my diet up a bit to keep the anemia away.  I know that is probably why I am tired lately. 
I still love pigs and worry about I may on occasion eat bacon, but I won't be buying it often.  I will only get it on rare occasions.  I know, that sounds horrible...but again, I miss cooking with it!

Homemade Pasta in the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer SIMPLE

Some of you may remember me making pasta in my manual pasta machine.  

I made it in my food processor and it was simple, but I did have to get it out and knead it.
I found this cool link online for making it in my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer that looks even easier, and it even shows those of you who have the kitchen aid pasta roller and attachments how to use it.  

Watch this short video and learn to make homemade pasta, that is out of this world! 
Its' cheap, easy, delicious, and fun !


Identify Pennsylvania Critters

I wanted to post this for my Pennsylvania friends.  This free site allows you to identify Frogs, Turtles, Snakes, Salamanders, Lizards etc.
We saw a huge red salamander at my moms house and I searched online and found this great site.

Click this link to go to the site:  Identify PA Reptiles etc.  
Or go to  and no, its not herpes lol.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bacardi Rum Cakes

It spring and I am in the mood for patio parties with friends and am always in search of something new to serve.  I am not a cake fan, but I do love a rum I found this recipe..combining two of my favorite things, chocolate and rum cake! lol. It's not the traditional recipe I have made in the past, where you pour rum onto the cake.  (that recipe is below)

I am thinking I might take this to winefest (you can pack a picnic, you just can't bring alcoholic beverages).  I have never made this chocolate one if you do, please let me know.  The bottom recipe I have made and its delish!  I always like to alert you if a recipe is tried and true and this chocolate one is not. The bottom recipe for traditional rum tried and true. 

It IS the weekend, that's a good enough excuse to make a rum cake.  Invite a friend over to help ya eat it. 

 Bacardi Rum Chocolate Cake

1 Package chocolate cake mix (
-2 layer size)
1 Jell-o chocolate instant pudding mix (4 serving)
4 Eggs
1/2 c Bacardi dark rum
1/4 c Cold water
1/2 c Wesson oil
1/2 c Slivered almonds, optional
1 1/2 c Cold milk
1/4 c Bacardi dark rum
1 Jell-o chocolate instant pudding mix (4 serving)
1 Dream whip topping mix

Approx. Cook Time: 30mn
Preheat oven 350F. 

Grease and flour 2 - 9 inch layer cake pans.

Combine all cake ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend well,
then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Turn into prepared pans/
Bake for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Do not underbake. Cool
in pans for 10 minutes.

Remove from pans, finish cooling on racks.
Split layers horzontally. Spread one cup filling between each layer
and over top of cake. Stack. Keep cake well chilled. Serve cold.

Filling: Combine milk, rum, pudding mix and topping mix in deep,
narrow bowl. Blend well at high speed for 4 minutes, until light anf
fluffy. Makes 4 cups.

Of course, I should include the more traditional Bacardi Rum Cake recipe here too.  Hubby thinks I should stick with this one and not do the chocolate for winefest. I think the chocolate would go great with the port wine, but I usually let hubby decide on the food choices..after all, I love to cook to please my man (haha! yeah right)


Bacardi Rum Cake

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, reserve 1/4 cup
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup gold rum, Bacardi
1 (18.25-ounce) box classic yellow cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 (1-ounce) small box  instant vanilla pudding mix (recommended: Jell-O)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 stick butter
1/2 cup gold rum (recommended: Bacardi)


For Cake

Grease a Bundt pan and spread pecans on the bottom of the pan. Beat eggs, oil, water and rum in mixer just until incorporated. Add pudding mix and cake mix and beat on med. about 3 to 5 minutes just until you get a smooth texture. Pour into pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake should have a light golden brown color, but will darken with the glaze.

NOTE**The glaze needs to be prepared approximately 10 minutes before cake is ready.

For Glaze

Melt butter in saucepan and add the sugar and water, bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, take off the heat and add the rum. Pour into a large measuring cup that will hold that amount or more. Set Aside

Once cake is ready, take out of oven and leave in pan. Gently prick holes into the cake with a skewer. Slowly pour half of the glaze over the cake making sure to fill in all the holes. Once the cake has soaked up the glaze, turn cake over, removing pan, onto the base that the cake will stay on. Gently prick more holes on other side and slowly pour other half of glaze over cake. Fill the center of the cake with reserved pecans. Let cool and enjoy. The cake is best if left at room temperature.

NOTE** Make sure you have plenty of paper towels underneath the base as the glaze will run down the sides of the cake.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Herbal Cocktails, basil, rosemary etc...and a bit of my bootleg family history

My Basil is growing and I can't wait to make some of these. This year I am growing TONS of plants in my herb garden because I ran out of Pesto in March from my freezer and I don't want to run out again. It's absolutely my favorite herb. (do I say that a lot, about other herbs too lol)
My herb garden is my focus this year.  I will surely help hubby with the vegetable garden, but this year, my herb garden is my baby.

6-10 opal basil leaves
½ tsp turbinado sugar
2 oz Ketel One Vodka (or generic of course)
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
Basil for garnish
Muddle basil with sugar in the bottom of a pint glass.  In a shaker, add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup and shake over ice. Strain into basil mixture and add ice. Slap a few basil leaves in the palm of your hand to release fragrant oils and use to garnish.

Women Don't Perspire, They Glisten

8 basil leaves
1 sugar cube
2 thin slices jalapeño
2 oz silver tequila
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz lime juice
½ oz orange liquor
¾ oz agave nectar
basil for garnish
Muddle basil, sugar and jalapeno into a "pesto".  combine with remaining ingredients.  Shake, double strain into glass and top off with a chiffonade of basil. This link takes you to you tube to watch a gal chiffonade some basil for those who don't know what that means.  You can also garnish it with a jalapeño or drop one in to add heat.

Basil Berry
3 de-stemmed strawberries
2 lemon slices
3 leaves of flat basil
½ oz simple syrup
2 oz Ketel One Vodka (or generic)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
champagneor sparkling wine, to taste
Strawberry for garnish
Muddle strawberries, lemon and basil.  Put into a tall collins glass over ice, add  vodka, simple syrup, and lemond juice and stir. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish glass with a fresh strawberry.
Watermelon Verbena Sangria
1 bottle of light, non-oaky wine such as torrontes
1 seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed
¼ c rum
¼ c Cointreau
¼ c brandy
Simple syrup, to taste
1 can Sprite
1 lemon, juiced
1 bunch of lemon verbena, for garnish
In a pitcher, add wine, watermelon, rum, cointreau, and brandy. Let steep for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.  When ready to serve, add simple syrup to taste. Pour over ice. Slap lemon verbena to release the fragrance and oils and garnish each glass.

The Herban Elixar
½ oz rosemary simple syrup (see below)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz gin
1 oz green charteuse
 Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
makes about 2 cups
1 c water
½ c sugar
3 sprigs rosemary
zest of 2 lemons
Bring water to a boil, add all ingredients and turn off heat.
Let sit for 20 minutes and strain into airtight container and refrigerate.

The Zephyr
3 slices cucumber
3 sage leaves
Simple syrup, to taste
gin, to taste
Muddle cucumber, sage and simple syrup. Put mixture in a rocks glass with ice, top with gin.

Strawberry Rhubarb Punch
serves 6-8
4 foot long stalks, rhubarb, rough chopped
½ c sugar
1 c water
8 large strawberries, halved
6 oz fresh grapefruit juice
6 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz fresh lime juice
6 oz dark rum
splash bitters (optional)
fresh strawberries for ganish
Place rhubarb, sugar, water and strawberries in a small pan. Simmer until rhubarb dissolves. Put in blender and puree.  Cool.  Add rest of ingredients and 2 cups ice to blender. Blend, pour into a pitcher and serve. Garnish each glass with a fresh strawberry.

Oh here is a simple syrup recipe if you don't know how to make it.

I found these in the Pennsylvania Official WINE and SPIRITS Quarterly.  Its a publication that Pennsylvania;s Liquor Control Board puts out with recipes and info on restaurants in our state. PA is the largest purchaser of wine and liquor in the US and second largest in the world, after Ontario.

Per Wikipedia...The PLCB holds monopolist rights to the distribution of all wines and hard liquor in the commonwealth. To this end, the agency owns and operates Wine & Spirits retail locations, commonly referred to as "state stores," in all 67 counties. Some counties have only one or two stores. This government corporation is the largest purchaser of wine and liquor in the United States and second in the world after the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which operates in a slightly more populous Canadian province. Wine & Spirits stores were allowed to conduct business on Sundays starting in February 2003 through the enactment of Act 212 of 2002, approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in December 2002.

Enough boring you! lol.  We in PA can't just get a bottle of booze anywhere, we have to go to the "state store".

My great grandfather was a bootlegger. I found this out and thought it was so neat (I know, it was not legal but hey, its neat to find out stuff like this about family history.)  I was told, he owned a speakeasy and there are three sinks in a bar.  One to wash, and two to rinse...the third rinse in his speakeasy was filled with moonshine.  He would wash the glasses, and in his third "rinse" would dip into the moonshine and then fill the glass with the really low alcohol beer that was legally sold..making his beer strong.  Here is the newspaper article from when he was arrested. If you click the link, it takes you to the full article that is larger for viewing.  He was a wealthy guy...and now I know why lol. 
Dec. 20, 1929 Reading Eagle article

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Ritual of Spring Cleaning

 Life was so much sweeter when I was a kid and mom and grandma did the spring cleaning.  I loved helping them and we really got down and dirty. It was fun.  All of the neighbors were doing it, the windows open and cleaning out.  Now adays, it seems like I am doing this all of the time..ugh.  Its just not as fun anymore.  It doesn't seem as ritualistic. Gardening and getting the yard in order seems so much more fun because I cleaned the house all winter and darn it, ya can't tell lol.

Off topic here, I am having a problem with honey bees this spring.  Yes, they are in danger...but the darn things are going into the drain holes in my screen doors and windows and coming inside my house.  I had them trapped in windows and between the doors and they are even getting thru the screen door and into my key holes  on my front door!  ugh.  The doors and windows they are coming in are all under porch so I might as well caulk those holes shut..adding that to my spring cleaning. There is no sign of them becoming extinct here at my house lol.

AND NOW  IM MAKING A SANDWICH FOR BRIAN (okay, where did that come from...geez, my son will beg for food anywhere lol. Hey Brian, help yourself!)  He came in and typed that right on my blog post..nice!  Teenagers!
  I like to read anything and everything about anything and everything and I have a book by Martha Stewart on Cleaning that I love.  She taught me a lot.  I use the bluing agent on my whites and blacks now and they are so much brighter. My whites are brighter white with bluing agent than they ever were with bleach and who know, this is an old time laundry remedy. Ladies used to use it on their hair to make their hair whiter and its safe even for pets, so if you have a white dog..I can brighten his coat with it.  You can read about it on the link above. Reading motivates me to get things done. I know it sounds insane but whenever I get off track from running or exercising or eating right, I pick up a book on any of those topics and I read for a short time and am right back on track.

Another great book series I have on cleaning is Speed Cleaning,. Spring Cleaning, and Clutter Control . In Clutter control, Jeff talks about the cost of the storing it and how much it costs you to store that stuff you might use at a later time.  Great books.  I have their schmop and some of their other products and love them.  I have had them since the mid 90s and they are still going strong! And who can live without the Shaklee Basic H2.  One bottle of that will clean the whole house!  And its all organic and safe around kids and pets. I've boasted about that before on my blog. All of these favorite things of mine are avail by clicking the link.  If you don't try anything else, try the bluing agent!  I discovered it in Martha's book a few years back and have not been without it since.
My book shelf is cluttered with clutter books, but they are all keepers, as I learn something from each one of them.  Don Aslett has a book, Clutter's Last Stand...great book. I have his lambswool duster that has a telescoping pole to reach those cobwebs way up high.  I haven't seen any since, mine is about 10 years old an still going strong.  It is like this one but mine isn't pink (I wish it was)   I just gather the cobwebs on it, and take it outside and shake them off. 

Tomorrow, after work, I am going to get started indoors with my spring cleaning (I say that now and when I get home, I will want to go outside and work but I really need to get things done in here so when I come in from my outside chores, I can relax in my spiffy house lol.

I did some research on spring cleaning articles and here is one I thought I would share.  This is a neat site with lots of info on it.

 Most people change the sheets, flip the mattress and vacuum the baseboards, but spring cleaning can be taken a step further to a deep clean,” said Pat Slaven, program leader for Consumer Reports. “Take advantage of this time of year to not only organize your home but also save money by tackling the tasks that you may have hired out in the past.”

For best results that will preserve the quality of household items over time, Consumer Reports recommends these spring cleaning Dos and Don’ts:
Ceiling Fans
Fan blades and housing should be cleaned with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaner or mix of water and mild liquid dish detergent, unless the care information says otherwise.
  • DO make annual cleaning easier by dusting blades once a season with a U-shaped brush. The blade fits inside the U, so both sides are cleaned simultaneously.
  • DON’T forget to dry the blades thoroughly.
For clean, streak-free glass, apply cleaner to windows with a slightly dampened sponge. Wipe across the window with dampened squeegee blade, then wipe blade.
  • DO clean from the top down on a cloudy day or when the windows are in shade.
  • DON’T clean windows in the sun. Direct sunlight can cause the cleaner to evaporate before it is wiped off.
Curtains and Drapes
Freshen curtains and drapes by vacuuming with the soft brush or dusting attachment and set on reduced suction to prevent fabric from being drawn into the nozzle.
  • DO dust with a soft, long-handled brush with synthetic fibers.
  • DON’T be afraid of cleaning velvet drapes. Dip a chamois cloth in hot water, wring out thoroughly, and then brush.
Window Blinds

Vacuum fabric blinds with the soft brush attachment. Spot-clean with upholstery cleaner, but test it first in an inconspicuous spot to be sure the colors don’t fade or bleed. Greasy aluminum or PVC blinds should be placed in a bathtub filled with warm soapy water and rinse.
  • DO protect the tub bottom with a towel.
  • DON’T dunk the roller mechanism in the water. Be sure it stays dry in the process.
Refresh upholstery with a vacuum with good tool airflow. Vacuum the corners and all sides of cushions. If pets nap on the couch or chair, deodorize by sprinkling with baking soda and letting it sit for 15 minutes, or longer for tough odors, then vacuum.
  • DO apply a cleaning product or rent a machine that cleans upholstery and carpet. A do-it-yourself job is likely to yield better results if done before the upholstery becomes badly soiled.
  • DON’T use any cleaner, or let a professional "steam clean" with water and detergent without testing the cleaner on an inconspicuous spot first.
Launder Pillows
Unless the care instructions say otherwise, most foam-filled and synthetic pillows can be machine-washed. Use the gentle cycle, warm water, and a mild powdered detergent.
  • DO line dry pillows or place in dryer on moderate heat with clean towels to speed up drying. Add a clean tennis ball to help fluff the pillow.
  • DON’T machine-wash down and feather pillows. Place them in a sink filled with warm water and powdered detergent. Hold the pillow under water until completely soaked and knead gently. Drain the water out and press down to extract as much water as possible. Roll it in a towel to prevent dripping and then unwrap it and spin in a washing machine for three cycles before drying.


Roof Tile Message Board....too cute!!!

Roof Tile Message Board
Another adorable idea from Martha Stewart.

To create an outdoor message center, convert a slate roofing tile (from a home-supply store) into a chalkboard. Thread heavy-duty braided twine through the 2 preexisting holes, tie a knot, and hang on a sturdy hook. A flat drawer pull, turned upside down and glued to the bottom edge, can serve as a chalk tray.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (fast and easy and delish)

I made these using real chocolate chips, real sugar and real butter but used Almond Milk and chopped almonds.  WOW  They are sooo yummy!  And very fast and easy to make.  
I might make them with the ingredients she lists next time. I just have to get them, didn't have them on hand.

Her recipes all look amazing and this is the first one I had to try. 
I copied her type from her blog for this recipe and below is the link to her blog.  

Her book is awesome and surely a keeper (don't ask to borrow mine...I won't part with it! Get your own! lol)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This is the first recipe you have to try!  If you think that vegan recipes can't be amazing, this will prove you wrong.  They are insane!  Before I went veggie, I was a major Reese's Peanut Butter Cup addict.  I was so sad when I thought I would have to give them up forever.  Regular Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are obviously not great for you, but these veg ones aren't nearly as bad.  If you are looking to lose weight, or you are a superhero, don't have these every day....but having them every once in awhile will make you soooo happy.  Not concerned about weight?!  Enjoy these a few days a week.  If you are a flirt or a full-on vegan, go nuts!  Let them replace your naughty desserts.   Bottom line is, make them....try them.  I dare you not to love them!


1⁄2 cup Earth Balance butter
3⁄4 cup crunchy peanut butter
(preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
3⁄4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
1⁄4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips
1⁄4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. (If You Care makes unbleached liners made from recycled paper.)
Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well. Remove the mixture from the heat.
Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan.
Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
Top with chopped nuts.
Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving. 

They are great soft, but even better a little firmer! 
You can get her book from my Amazon store. I tried to get a copy from the library, but it would have been 108 week or until I got it, I was so far down the line on the waiting list. I am glad to own it, its a keeper!

Recipe is in her book and also on her blog..

Homemade String Dispenser


I got this email from Martha Stewart the other day and thought how creative this is, and could be even more so. Paint a pic on the flower pot or use a decorator one.  This is great for keeping your kitchen string, or even your garden string. 

Some more cute garden stuff

Grilled Zucchini Roll ups with Herbs and Cheese

Pin It

I am looking forward to the Zucchini season for my mock crab cakes and I just happened across this great looking recipe.  It's only 80 Calories for those watching their weight. They look beautiful and you can make them a day in advance, a great side dish or appetizer for a picnic that takes no effort the day of!  That's always a plus!

Grilled Zucchini  Roll ups with  Herbs and Cheese


  • 3 small zucchini (about 1/2 pound each), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/16 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces bagged baby spinach (2 cups lightly packed)
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves


1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium.
2. Discard the outermost slices of zucchini; brush the rest with oil on both sides. Sprinkle the zucchini slices with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, about 4 minutes per side. You can prepare the zucchini a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
3. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, parsley, and lemon juice, mashing together with a fork.
4. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about 1/2 inch from the end of a zucchini slice. Top with a few spinach leaves and a small (or half of a large) basil leaf. Roll up and place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. You can make these up to a day in advance; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Health, MARCH 2008

Nutritional Info

  • FAT 6g (sat 2g, mono 3g, poly 0.0g)
  • PROTEIN 3g
  • FIBER 2g
  • IRON 1mg
  • SODIUM 106mg
  • CALCIUM 45mg
For this recipe and more great recipes visit the source..

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Essential Oils for Scars & a recap of the Free Cellulite Relief Remedy that you can do in the shower

 Yesterday I reposted on my facebook fan page the link for a cellulite relief...this was on my blog last year if you missed it.  It works great and is free...and no messy creams!

I got this from a friend who sells essential oils.  They can be pricey so shop around.  I like the NOW brand oils for the price, and the link will take you to some that are inexpensive  ones in my Amazon shop, you can also find more types in my Amazon shop if you are interested.  Health food stores carry it also as does some grocery stores in the organic section.

Here's a Home Remedy for Scars

"I discovered that by using Elemi on old facial acne scars, within a few days, the skin was much more even with the rest of the facial skin. After one week of using it, some of the smaller scars completely disappeared and the deeper ones continued to become less noticeable."  - Sherry Szmigie

But Elemi is also a wonderful remedy for sunburn:

"I have fair skin and can burn rather easily if I don't pay attention when I'm out in the sun. When my skin begins to look a little pink or over exposed, I use a solution of Lavender, Frankincense, and Elemi oil with water and spray it over my skin to help support rapid recovery. Works every-time!" - Fletcher Watson

Elemi (Canarium luzonicum) has a spicy, incense-like scent that is soft and somewhat balsamic. A member of the same botanical family as frankincense and myrrh, it has been used traditionally in Europe for the skin and is included in celebrated healing ointments such as baume paralytique. Seventeenth-century physician J. J. Wecker used it on the battle wounds of soldiers.

Elemi is highly regarded for smoothing wrinkles, skin protection, and for soothing muscles after exercise.

How to use: For dietary, aromatic or topical use. When using as a supplement, dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of rice or goat's milk or put one drop into a capsule. Then take one capsule before each meal or as desired. Or use as topical application on scars, incl. acne scars, neat or diluted with V-6 Mixing Oil.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Triflicious Trifles

If you are in the market for a nice trifle bowl, this one stores very nicely between uses and has a lid.

Strawberry Sugar Biscuit Trifle


  • Sugar Biscuits
  • 6  tablespoons  orange liqueur or orange juice, divided
  • 2 1/2  pounds  strawberries, halved
  • Trifle Custard
  • 1 1/2  cups  whipping cream
  • 1/4  cup  plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Garnishes: strawberries, mint leaves


Cut Sugar Biscuits in half; brush cut sides evenly with 5 tablespoons orange liqueur.
Line bottom of a 4-quart bowl or trifle bowl with eight Sugar Biscuit halves. Arrange strawberry halves around lower edge of bowl. Spoon one-third of Trifle Custard evenly over Sugar Biscuit halves; top with one-third of remaining strawberry halves. Repeat layers twice, ending with strawberry layer. Drizzle remaining orange liqueur evenly over top. Cover and chill 3 to 4 hours.
Beat whipping cream until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over trifle; serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.

or a change, assemble this trifle in a 3-quart bowl. Measure the size of your bowl with water; it should hold at least 12 cups. Assemble the brownie pieces, marshmallow mixture, pudding, and caramel topping in several layers when using a deep bowl.
Yield: Makes 15 servings

Brownie Trifle


  • 2  (21-ounce) packages chewy fudge brownie mix
  • 1  (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1  (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 2  (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 3  cups  fat-free milk
  • 2  (3.3-ounce) packages instant white chocolate pudding
  • 1  (12 1/4-ounce) jar caramel topping


Prepare each brownie mix according to package directions for chewy brownies in a 13- x 9-inch pan. Cool; break into large pieces.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; beat in marshmallow cream. Stir in 1 container of whipped topping; set mixture aside.
Stir together milk and white chocolate pudding mix, stirring until thickened. Stir in remaining container of whipped topping.
Crumble half of brownie pieces in an even layer in bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over brownies; drizzle evenly with caramel topping. Pour pudding evenly over caramel topping; crumble remaining brownie pieces over top. Cover and chill 2 hours.
NOTE: For testing purposes only, we used Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix and Smuckers Caramel Topping.

Chocolate Brownie Trifle
  • 1 pkg. brownie mix
  • 1 (3.9 oz) pkge instant chocolate pudding
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping (thawed)
  • 1 (12 oz.) container frozen whipped topping (thawed)
  • 2 Skor candy bars
  1. Prepare brownie mix according to package and cool completely.  Cut into 1 inch squares.
  2. In a large bowl combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth and then gently fold in 8 oz container of thawed frozen whipped topping until there are no streaks remaining.
  3. In a trifle bowl, arrange layers accordingly; place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 oz. container frozen whipped topping.  Repeat layers.
  4. Coursely chop 2 Skor candy bars and sprinkle on top of the finished trifle.

Strawberry Cream Trifle
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 pkg (10.75oz) frozen pound cake, thawed
1 qt. fresh strawberries
1 container (16oz) frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
1 lemon
3 containers (8oz) blended strawberry yogurt
1 pkg (3.4oz) cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
1 container (8oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
powdered sugar
  1. Coarsely chop almonds using Food Chopper. Cut pound cake into 1-in. cubes using Color Coated Bread Knife; set aside. Set aside one strawberry for garnish. Hull remaining strawberries and cut into quarters. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine fresh and frozen strawberries; mix well.
  2. Juice lemon using Juicer to measure 2 tbsp juice. In Stainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl, whisk lemon juice, yogurt and pudding mix until smooth using Stainless Whisk; immediately fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping.
  3. To assemble trifle, place one-third of the pound cake cubes into bottom of Trifle Bowl. Top pound cake with one-third of the strawberry mixture. Top with half of the yogurt mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with one-third of the almonds. Repeat layers one time. Top with remaining pound cake cubes and remaining strawberry mixture.
  4. To garnish, spread remaining whipped topping over top of trifle, forming a flat surface using Small Spreader. Sprinkle remaining almonds over whipped topping. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using Flour/Sugar Shaker. Create strawberry fan with reserved strawberry; place into center of trifle.
Yield: 12 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 290, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 40 mg, Carbohydrate 44 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 240 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tip: To toast almonds, place almonds into Small Micro-Cooker®; microwave on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after each 30-second interval. Cool completely.
Vanilla or white chocolate pudding and pie filling can be substituted for the cheesecake pudding, if desired. If using vanilla pudding, add 6-8 drops of red food coloring for a pinker color, if desired.
To make a strawberry fan, open the Egg Slicer Plus® and place the strawberry stem end down; slice most of the way through it with wires. Remove the strawberry from the wires and gently fan out the slices.

Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle
1 package brownie mix
1 3/4 cups cold milk
2 packages white chocolate instant pudding
1/4 cup warm water
4 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
3 toffee bars

Lightly spray 9" X 13" Baker with vegetable oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Prep are and bake brownie mix according to cake-like package directions. Cool completely.
In Classic 2-Qt Batter Bowl, whisk pudding mix into milk using 10" Whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Dissolve coffee granules in warm water; add to pudding mixture, mixing well. Fold in whipped topping using Super Scraper.
Cut brownies into 1-inch cubes using serrated Bread Knife. chop toffee bars using Food Chopper. Layer 1/3 of brownie cubes onto bottom of Chillzanne bowl.
Top with 13 of pudding mixture, pressing lightly, and 1/3 of shopped toffee. Repeat layers two more times. Chill 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: 12 servings. Approximately 470 calories & 23 grams of fat per serving.
Source: Pampered Chef

Tropical Dream Trifle

1 frozen prepared pound cake (10.75 ounces)
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 lime
1 large banana, chopped
1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Cut pound cake into 3/4-inch cubes; place in large bowl of 4-Piece Colander & Bowl Set. Add pineapple; toss gently and set aside.

Zest lime using Lemon Zester/Scorer to measure 1 teaspoon zest. Juice lime using Juicer to measure 1 tablespoon juice. Chop banana using Food Chopper. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine banana, lime juice and lime zest; mix well.

Attach open star tip to Easy Accent(R) Decorator. Fill decorator with whipped topping; set aside. Add remaining whipped topping, sour cream and powdered sugar to banana mixture; mix well using Classic Scraper.

To assemble trifle, place one-third of the cake cubes into bottom of Chillzanne(R) Bowl. Top with one-third of filling mixture, spreading evenly. Repeat layers two more times. Sprinkle coconut over top of trifle. Pipe rosettes of reserved whipped topping around edge of bowl. Slice kiwi using Egg Slicer Plus(R). Cut slices in half and place
between rosettes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Yield: 10 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 320, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 13 g, Cholesterol 80 mg, Carbohydrates 38 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 140 mg, Fibre less than 1 g

Cook's Tip: Reduced-fat pound cake, light whipped topping and reduced-fat sour cream and can be substituted for the pound cake, whipped topping and sour cream, if desired.

To toast coconut in microwave oven, place coconut in Small Micro-Cooker(R); microwave on HIGH 11/2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after each 10-second interval. Cool completely.

Triple Berry Trifle

1 prepared angel food cake (13 ounces)
1 lemon
1 quart strawberries, (about 1 pound), hulled and chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 pint blueberries, divided
1 container (8 ounces) frozen light whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 containers (6 ounces each) blended fruit raspberry low-fat yogurt
Fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)

Cut angel food cake into 1-inch cubes with Serrated Bread Knife; place in large Colander Bowl and set aside.

Zest lemon using Lemon Zester/Scorer to measure 1 teaspoon zest. Juice lemon using Juicer to measure 2 tablespoons juice. Reserve one strawberry for garnish. Hull remaining strawberries using Cook's Corer(R). Coarsely chop strawberries using Food Chopper. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine lemon zest, juice, strawberries and powdered sugar; mix well using Classic Scraper. Reserve 1/4 cup of the blueberries for garnish. Add remaining blueberries to strawberries; mix gently.

In Small Batter Bowl, combine 2 cups of the whipped topping and yogurt using Small Mix 'N Scraper(R). Attach open star tip to Easy Accent(R) Decorator; fill with remaining whipped topping.

To assemble trifle, place one-third of the cake cubes into bottom of Chillzanne(R) Bowl. Top with one-third of the berry mixture and one-third of the yogurt mixture, spreading evenly. Repeat layers two more times. Pipe rosettes of reserved whipped topping around edge of bowl. Create a strawberry fan with reserved strawberry. Garnish trifle with strawberry fan, remaining blueberries and raspberries, if desired. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Yield: 10 servings or 20 sample servings

Lemon Blueberry Trifle

1 frozen prepared pound cake (16 ounces)
2 lemons
1 1/2 cups milk
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) lemon instant pudding and pie filling
1 pint fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 square (1 ounce) white chocolate for baking

1. Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes; place in large colander bowl. Using a lemon Zester, make several lengthwise scores in one lemon, top to bottom; slice into 6 slices. Cut each slice in half and set aside for garnish. Zest remaining lemon using short strokes; set aside. Juice lemon. Sprinkle lemon juice over pound cake; toss .

2. In a bowl, combine milk, sour cream, half of the whipped topping and reserved lemon zest; whisk until smooth. Add pudding mix; whisk until mixture begins to thicken.

3. Set aside 12 blueberries for garnish. To assemble trifle, place 1/3 of the cake cubes into bottom of chilled bowl. Top with 1/3 of the blueberries. Grate 1/4 of the chocolate over blueberries. Top with of the pudding mixture, pressing lightly. Repeat layers 2 more times, reserving the remaining grated chocolate for garnish. Spread remaining pudding over entire top of trifle, creating a smooth surface.

4. Attach open star tip to a decorator; fill with remaining whipped topping. Decorate by piping 12 rosettes around edge of bowl. Place one lemon slice between rosettes and one reserved blueberry on each rosette. Grate remaining chocolate in center.

Yield: 10 servings or 20 sample servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 410, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 12 g, Cholesterol 85 mg, Carbohydrate 56 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 460 mg, Fiber 1 g

Double Chocolate Espresso Trifle

1 pkg (18.25 oz) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
4 t instant coffee
1/4 C warm water
1 3/4 C cold milk
2 pkgs (3.4 oz each) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling OR Vanilla instant pudding and pie filling can be substituted for the white chocolate pudding, if desired
2 C thawed, frozen whipped topping
3 toffee bars (1.5 oz each), coarsely chopped
Additional whipped topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray rectangular baker with vegetable oil. Prepare brownies according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Bake as directed. Cool completely.

2. Dissolve coffee granules in water in a bowl. Add milk and pudding mix; whisk until mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. Gently fold in whipped topping.

3. Cut brownies into 1-inch cubes. Chop toffee bars. Layer 1/3 of the brownie cubes onto bottom of chilled bowl. Top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture; press lightly. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the chopped toffee. Repeat layers two more times. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping.
Yield: 12 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 450, Total fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 60 mg, Carbohydrate 58 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 400 mg, Fiber

Chocolate Mocha Trifle
1 pkg. (450g) brownie mix
1 3/4 C. milk
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1/4 C. warm water
4 tsp. instant coffee granules
2 C. thawed, frozen whipped topping
3 bars (39g each) buttery toffee crunch

Lightly spray a rectangle baker with vegetable oil. Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions. Cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk pudding mix into milk until mixture begins to thicken. Dissolve coffee granules in warm water; add to pudding mixture, mixing well. Fold in whipped topping.

Cut brownies into 1 inch cubes. Chop crunch bars. Layer 1/3 of brownie cubes onto bottom of bowl. Top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture and 1/3 of the chopped bars. Repeat layers two more times. Chill 30 minutes before serving. Yields 12 servings.

Per serving: 343 calories; 4 g protein; 16g fat; 48g carbohydrate; 280 mg sodium

Cappuccino Mousse Trifle

1 (16 ounces) frozen prepared pound cake
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1/3 cup instant coffee granules
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
2 containers (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 square (1 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate for baking

1. Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes; set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk milk and instant coffee granules. Let stand 5 minutes or until dissolved.

3. Pour 1 cup of the milk mixture a measuring cup; set aside. Add pudding mix to remaining milk mixture in bowl; whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Gently fold in one container of whipped topping.

4. To assemble trifle, place 1/3 of the cake cubes into bottom of a bowl. Pour 1/3 of the reserved milk mixture evenly over cake cubes. Top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture, pressing lightly. Grate 1/4 of the chocolate over pudding mixture. Repeat layers 2 more times, reserving the remaining grated chocolate for garnish.

5. Fill a decorator with 1 cup of the remaining whipped topping; set aside. Spread remaining whipped topping over entire top of trifle, creating a smooth surface. Decorate by piping rosettes around edge of bowl. Grate remaining chocolate in center; sprinkle with cinnamon.

Yield: 10 servings or 20 sample servings

 Citrus Berry Trifle
Source: The Pampered Chef

1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant lemon pudding and pie filling
1 (16 ounce) commercial pound cake
1 orange or 2 tablespoons orange juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, divided
1 pint fresh blueberries, divided
1 banana, sliced and divided
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Combine milk and sour cream in bowl. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in pudding, stirring until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes with serrated knife (about 8 cups).

Hull strawberries with tomato corer and slice. Slice banana using egg slicer. Place half of pound cake cubes in glass bowl; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon orange juice. Spoon half of pudding over cake. Layer half of fruit over pudding. Repeat layers, using remaining pound cake, 1 tablespoon orange juice, remaining pudding and fruit. Cover bowl. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle almonds.

This recipe can be made on almost any of the flat bottom stones.  You can omit the barbq sauce and use hot sauce if you prefer!

Western Potato Rounds

2 large unpeeled baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.)
Vegetable oil
1 C. (4 oz.) shredded Co-Jack cheese
6 bacon slices, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled
1/3 C. green onion slices
1/4 C. barbecue sauce*

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. Generously spray both sides of the potato slices with oil; place on 15-inch round baking stone. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven.
In batter bowl, combine cheese, bacon, and green onion. Generously brush potato slices with barbecue sauce; sprinkle with cheese mixture. Return potato slices to oven. Bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Yields 24 rounds.

Tips: Leaving the peel on the potatoes will help keep the shape of the baked potato slices. The potato slices will cook more evenly when sliced to the same thickness.

Approximately 120 calories and 7 g of fat per serving (2 potato rounds)
Source: Pampered Chef