Perhaps “closing” isn’t exactly right – we’re leaving the content that is here up, and will continue to keep it updated to the best of our ability; however, we will no longer be making new posts on the blog.
Did you ask why?? (lol) It’s been a tough choice to make, but having been online since 2001, we have such an abundance of content on the main site that we feel the blog is becoming a bit redundant. We had considered updating and moving some of the main site content, but that didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense in the grand scheme of things. Updating it – always, but moving it, why?
Also, we do a lot of recipes – and have a ton of diet specific recipes on the main site, but as we surf around and visit others, it is quite clear there is no shortage of recipes and food blogs and posts. We have reached a point where we feel we are merely adding to the clutter. We also feel our diet specific sections on the main site are more geared to the original goals of the site way back in its inception, as well as more helpful to our valued readers.
So please, do surf around, and we always hope you find something you enjoy. There is a lot here – free downloads, recipes, health information, exercise and fitness information, etc.
Most of all, may everyone have a very happy and prosperous New Year!
Here’s some famous Christmas treats from Ceresota Christmas Cookie Recipes that will help you delight your entire family with their home made goodness.
These recipes are from an old vintage recipes book that was published by Ceresota Company in 1925. Every recipe is as good today as they were back then. These are time-honored, time-tested recipes that will live on – and on and on and on!
The images you see below are reduced in size for web viewing. If you would like a copy of the full size images, you can download a PDF file with the two original i. These have been digitally enhanced for easier viewing, but not one word of the content was altered. These were graciously shared with us via our friends over at Cybernation on Etsy.
Christmas Treats: Page One
Christmas Treats: Christmas Cut Out Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
Have shortening at room temperature. Cream shortening and add sugar gradually. Add egg and vanilla. Sift flour with baking owder and add to creamed mixture. The dough should be easy to handle. If not, chill for an hour or so.
Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters in any variety of shpaes desired. brush with white of egg and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in 375-degree oven.
Christmas Treats: Christmas Nut Thins
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend sugar and butter together. Add well beaten eggs. Sift in flour and salt. Add nuts. Add flavoring and mix until smooth and light. Drop onto greased baking sheet, spaced well apart. Place half nut-meat in center of each cookie. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) about 10 minutes.
Below each image are the recipes typed out for you. The PDF is at the end of this post. Hope you enjoy one – or all – of these Christmas treats!
Cream shortening and butter together. Add sugar and cream until light. Add vanilla and milk. Blend well. Add non-sifted flour and nuts to creamed mixture and blend well. Roll lightly into small balls. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until light brown. When cool, roll in powdered sugar.
Cream butter and add sugar, vanilla and water. Sift flour and salt together and stir into mixture. Add pecans and mix thoroughly. Using portions about the size of small walnuts, roll into crescent shaped cookies. Bake in slow oven – 325 degrees – about 20 minutes. While warm, roll in powdered sugar.
Christmas Treats: Christmas Date and Nut Cookies
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup dates cut in small pieces
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix and sift dry ingredients. Cream butter, add sugar and beaten eggs. Add dates and nuts mixed with dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. No liquid used. Batter should be very stiff. Drop from spoon onto greased pan and bake in slow oven (325 degrees) 18 minutes.
Christmas Treats in PDF
Download a 2-page PDF file of the original images in full size.
Yoga poses are intended to engage the mind as well as the body. Yoga practitioners even believe certain poses can retrain your muscles to relax in situations where they might have become tense.
Quick Fix Yoga Stretches
The Child’s Pose
Sit with your legs under you, buttocks resting on your heels, knees and feet together. Fold your self over your lower body and place your forehead against the floor. Rest your hands on the floor by your feet with your palms up. Breathing gently through your nose, relax into this position feeling the release in your hips. Hold for 15 seconds.
The child’s post is one of the quick fix yoga stretches that can really ease some tension. Be aware of your breath, breath slowly in through the nose, exhale through the mouth. (Hum if you like). This stretches out the shoulder blades, back, buttock area and allows the neck to relax.
The Resting Pose
Lie face up with your legs at least hip-width apart, and place your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle from your body. Feel your abdomen rise and fall with each breath as your focus on releasing tension each time you exhale. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat several times – as long as you want.
Result. The next time you have a stressful day, release the pressure with a quick fix yoga stretches that are guaranteed to calm you in both mind and body when performed properly (don’t rush through them).
Yoga: 5,000 Years Old
Yoga is a 5,000-year-old discipline that originated in India. In yoga, you hold postures (asanas), or move from one to another either while standing or on the floor. You usually end the workout with a relaxation or meditation exercise. Quick fix yoga stretches can be great when you only have five or ten minutes to attempt to relax yourself. Just find a quiet, private spot and do your best. You’ll get better with practice!
Yoga works the entire body and is great for strengthening and stretching. It improves posture, balance and range of motion while reducing carpal tunnel pain and can reduce risk of heart disease.
There are many types of yoga, ranging from almost entirely meditative to the very physically challenging; look for a beginning class or tape if you are new at yoga.
What Are the Types of Yoga?
Bikram. Practice yoga in 105 degree heat and 40 percent humidity. Bikram yoga has 26 poses total and a lot of alignment work. Good fit for beginners – if you can stand the heat!
Hatha. Slow and gentle movements – also great for beginner’s or when winding down at night.
Vinyasa. This one will definitely have you moving. You flow from pose to pose. Vinyasa is the most popular style of yoga in America.
Kundalini. Works the “core” area, the area that surrounds the lower spine the most – classes are known to be very intense.
Ashtanga Yoga. Also known as Power Yoga, this form is very physically challenging. Best suited for ex-athletes or someone looking to really push themselves.
Iyengar. This form of yoga uses lots of props such as blocks, harnesses, straps and cushions. Great for physical therapy.
Anusara Yoga. Anusara is epitomized by “the celebration of the heart. Expect many “heart-opening” poses like back bends and more talking by the instructor in class.
Restorative. Restorative yoga is focused on relaxation.
If you are new to yoga, we recommend Yoga for Beginners and Beyond. Even if you’re not new to yoga, this set has routines that are so relaxing and feel so good you may wish to use them for some “down” time! Each of the 40 routines focuses on different physical and mental aspects of yoga, such as building strength, improving flexibility, reducing stress and more.
Yes, really! Dating back to 1925 the fact that cookies contain vitamins has been a well-known fact, but now seems to be a buried fact…
The following information is from a 1925 cookbook called simply, “Home Made Cookies“. Below the citation is an image from the book.
In any event, with Christmas cookie season right around the corner, here’s some food for thought to appease any guilt you may feel when going all out with your special cookies!
And do remember, it’s homemade cookies (note the words, “Natural state”) this cookbook and we are referring to – store bought won’t cut it, sorry. If you would like to know what store bought cookies may be better for you and your loved ones, check out “Buying Healthier Brand Name Cookies” on our sister site.
“Cookies are not only a source of special joy to the children and the grown-ups – these delicious morsels of cake are also good for the health.”
“There are so many different kinds of cookies – crisp, soft, thick, thin, rolled, drop, plain, nut and many others – that the possibility for variety is almost unlimited.”
“Today more than ever, we are conscious of the importance of keeping fit. Housewives are giving more attention to selection and serving foods that are pleasing to the taste and at the same time build healthy bodies. Baked foods contribute vitamins. In serving a variety of cookies, you can supply your family with many food products, which in their natural state are rich in needed vitamins. Among these are whole wheat, butter, eggs, milk, peanut butter, fruits, nuts, raisins and many others.”
“A good supply of cookies…will delight your family and friends and make you famous for your cookie jar.”
Cookie Starter Recipes
Following are two long-time favorites: Peanut Butter Cookies and Honey Wafers. Peanut butter with its protein and honey with its natural sweetening ability truly isn’t all that bad for us. Use the raw honey suggested for the most natural effect; however, you are free to use your favorite honey if you prefer. These will be delicious either way.
These recipes have been adapted from the 1925 “Home Made Cookies” cookbook put out by a company called K C Baking Powder.
Peanut Butter Cookies
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream butter, add peanut butter and cream again; gradually beat in sugar. Add egg, milk and flour sifted twice with baking powder and salt. Mix to a soft dough, roll into a thin sheet and cut into rounds. Place on buttered pans, dredge with granulated sugar and bake in hot oven (400 to 450 degrees) for 7 to 10 minutes. Makes 5 to 6 dozen two-inch Peanut Butter Cookies.
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup strained raw honey
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together three times. Cream the butter, add the sugar gradually and mix well. Add the honey and flavoring, and then the flour mixture in several portions, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Roll in a thin sheet on a floured board, cut with small cookie cutter and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake cookies in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 7 dozen small cookies.
Would you like to grab these two recipes? Okay! We’ve made a special PDF File (F*R*E*E!!) for your convenience. Just click the PDF button below.
Pure cane sugar syrup is a clear, pure syrup made only from cane sugar. Delicious flavor, smooth richness and consistency make it ideal syrup for baking with pure cane sugar syrup or using on waffles and pancakes. It is also formulated to dissolve instantly in hot or cold beverages, for fast convenient use with a pure flavor profile and balanced sweetness level.
Pure cane sugar syrup delivers clean tasting and balanced sweetness in a liquid form that quickly dissolves into batter, teas, hot or cold coffee beverages, specialty cocktails and more. It is convenient for general cooking purposes and perfect for home made candies.
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pure cane sugar syrup
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 cup flour
Soften the butter and add it to the cane sugar syrup, together with the water in which the soda has been dissolved. Beat and add the egg, then sift together the flour, ginger and salt and fold these lightly into the other ingredients.
Pour into an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan (square or round – your preference).
Bake at once in a moderate (350 degrees) oven, having the cake pan lined with greased paper, or greased and floured. Better yet, you can use a fluted cake pan liner (similar to muffin cup liners).
Frost as desired, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Cream cheese frosting goes very well as a topping on this cake, as does whipped cream.
If you like your gingerbread cake spicier, add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.
Steamed Fruit Bread
1 cup corn meal
1 cup white flour
2/3 cup cane sugar syrup
1/2 cup figs or dates
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup prunes
Sift well together the cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder. Place these in a bowl and add the fruit, figs or dates (chopped), the prunes stoned and cut-up and the raisins whole if Sultanas are used, or seeded and cut if large ones are preferred.
Beat the egg lightly and add this to the dry ingredients, together with the cane sugar syrup and the milk. Mix thoroughly and turn into molds or tins having closely fitting covers. Be sure that both molds and covers are well greased, and do not fill too full, but allow room for the bread to rise.
Steam three hours, and after removing from the tins place in the oven for a few minutes to dry the surface a little.
1 cup cane sugar syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Boil the cane sugar syrup and sugar together until a little dropped in cold water forms a firm ball.
Add the butter and the soda and boil one minute more. Turn onto an oiled platter to cool, and as soon as it can be handled pull until light and creamy. Cut into small kisses with scissors.
Source: Recipes adapted from a 1920 flyer put out by The American Sugar Refining Company, New York City, NY, who at that time made Domino sugar products.
Carotenoids and the antioxidant vitamins C and E in spinach are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts. And the healthy dose of potassium and calcium found in spinach can help regulate your blood pressure.
Eating and preparing spinach is simple and easy, since it tastes good raw or cooked. Spinach can be found fresh, frozen, or canned; it can be easily incorporated into many dishes. Its versatility makes it easy to serve raw in salads or sandwiches or as a complement to soups, meat, fish, or other vegetable dishes.
Fresh spinach for the healthy no crust spinach pie should be dried and packed loosely in a cellophane or plastic bag and stored in the
No Crust Spinach Pie Recipe
2 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
2 minced garlic cloves or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces mozzarella
2 cups chopped, fresh spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter or margarine in an 8 inch baking pie pan. (A square pan works just as well.)
Beat eggs well. Add flour, milk, garlic and baking powder. Pour into baking pan. Stir in cheese and spinach. Sprinkle more shredded cheese on top, if desired.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until firm and the cheese is slightly golden brown. Recipe yields 2 servings of pie.
Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
You can drop a lot of fat and calories by using reduced fat mozzarella cheese and ½ cup egg substitute in place of the whole eggs, if desired. Adjust nutrition information accordingly.
The Food Guide Pyramid suggests eating six to eleven servings from the Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta group on a daily basis. It does sound like a lot, but it truly isn’t.
Visit “A Byte of Whole Grains” on our sister site, Bellybytes.com, for suggestions and tips. Try a slice with your No Crust Spinach Pie!
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees) water
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rye flour
2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cup all purpose flour
Mix cornmeal, brown sugar, salt and oil with boiling water, cool to lukewarm (105 – 115 degrees).
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water; stir into cornmeal mixture. Add whole wheat and rye flours and mix well. Stir in enough all purpose flour to make dough stiff enough to knead.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, turning oil top. Cover with clean towel; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; turn onto clean surface. Cover with clean towel; let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough and place in greased 9 x 5 inch pan. Cover with clean towel; let rise until almost double, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cover with aluminum foil during baking if bread is browning too quickly. Remove bread from pan and cool on wire rack.
Eating outdoors is half the fun of camping, but it takes some planning. Consider not only the weight and bulk of the food you carry but also its caloric content (hauling a pack may burn 3,200 to 3,800 calories per day, more than twice what’s needed to swing in a hammock).
Also consider store-ability. Among the foods that won’t spoil if left UN-refrigerated for a few days are hard cheese, hard salami, jerky, sliced carrots and celery, margarine, frozen bagels, and pita bread.
Try new camping foods at home; a campsite is a poor place to discover than an anticipated delight tastes more like sawdust.
Plan major meals in advance and pack all the ingredients in double plastic bags for extra protection. Use color codes to distinguish breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Place colored paper between the inner and outer bags or mark the bags with indelible pens.
If you are tenting, anticipate rainy days when you won’t want to cook outside. Take along a few one pot add-hot-water dinners to heat at the tent door. For cold, rainy mornings, fix a breakfast that doesn’t need cooking. Dried fruit, rich breads, cheese and smoked fish.
Camper meal planning needs to include sweets, right? Indeed! An inexpensive 1-1/2 quart ring mold (for gelatin) and a camp stove can be used to bake quick breads and biscuits. Mix the dry ingredients in a plastic bag at home. Add water in camp; hold the bag shut and mix the contents by squeezing and kneading. Slit the bag slightly and squeeze the batter into the greased mold.
Set the mold on the stove, centering its hole over the burner to avoid burning the dough’s edges adjust the stove to the smallest possible blue flame. Cover with an upside down frying pan or aluminum plate.
If your stove produces only a wide spreading flame, nestle the ring mold inside another of the same size to distribute the heat more evenly. If wind keeps blowing the flame to the side, rotate the stove often.
Baking time depends on elevation but averages 80 percent of the baking time for a package mix. Longer if you remove the cover often to check progress.
For the camper meal planning, know that a lightweight camp stove is faster, cleaner and easier to cook with than a fire. It also causes less wear and tear on the landscape. If you do use a fire, spread the coals out for low, easily controlled heat.
You can devise cooking pots from 1, 2 and 3 pound coffee cans that nest inside each other. Pack pliers to lift the hot cans.
Supermarkets sell many freeze dried foods at about half the prices charged by camping stores. Combine instant macaroni, noodles, or rice with instant soup mix for a satisfying camp meal. Other standbys, such as powdered fruit drinks, instant potatoes, individual oatmeal packets, spaghetti dinners, and puddings work well too.
Remember that freeze dried meat needs more cooking than other ingredients. Place the meat in cold water (20 percent more than the instructions call for) and bring to a boil; then add spices, if called for. Continue boiling for five minutes before adding other ingredients.
Because water boils at lower temperatures in high elevations (about 1 degree per 500 feet), you must boil foods longer. Experiment with cooking times.
Cooking with a stove inside a tent can cause headache, nausea, dizziness or even death from carbon monoxide. In bad weather set the stove just outside the tent door under the rain-fly overhang while cooking from inside the tent. Some tents are designed with vestibules for this purpose.
Caution: Always refuel a stove outside the tent and away from all open flames. And don’t ever throw used fuel containers in the fire.
Tuna stuffed tomatoes – party fare! Serve with hot consomme and tiny sandwiches, such as turkey and Swiss cheese on marbled rye. Lean ham and Swiss on rye is another tasty option. You could also go meatless with miniature versions of our Vegetarian Sandwich recipe. Vegetarian sandwich is a delicious and hearty sandwich with zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, tomato and seasonings.
An alternative to party fare, you could also make Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes for a luncheon main dish.
Tuna Salad for Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes
For tuna salad, break one 6-1/2 or 7-ounce can of tuna in chunks; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add 2 hard cooked eggs, chopped, 1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet pickle, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons diced pimiento, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper. Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise; mix gently and chill.
Turn 4 tomatoes stem end down. Cut each, not quite through, in 6 equal sections. Salt inside and fill with tuna salad. Serve on beds of lettuce.
Tomato: It’s a Fruit
Currently, tomatoes are one of the most popular fruits eaten by Americans. Tomatoes are members of the fruit family, but they are served and prepared as a vegetable. This is why most people consider them a vegetable and not a fruit. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A. Lycopene, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, is found almost exclusively in tomatoes.
Want to know more about this popular and tasty fruit? Check out Tomato Food Facts on our sister site, Belly Bytes.
The food label facts are that the use of terms such as low fat and low calorie are now heavily regulated by the government for consistency in meaning. This means manufacturers cannot sell under false pretenses; however, it also means higher costs to consumers. Once upon a time, a manufacturer was honest or went out of business – it truly was that simple. No longer… Now we find ourselves wallowing in a sea of terms and regulations that are next to impossible to keep up on.
Studies show that most people don’t even read food labels. For example, Time Magazine came out with an article back in 2011 about this very topic. See Study: Why People Don’t Read Nutrition Labels.
No surprise; people are busy and just want to eat what they like. Yet, we’re stuck with all the labeling and ever-changing terminology, so following we’ll lay out what the more common labels actually mean. This way, when you see a boast on a package such as “Low fat”, you’ll know just what that means without having to dig out reading glasses to read the fine print.
What the Different Food Label Facts Mean
Calorie free: Fewer than 5 calories per serving.
Sugar free: Less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving.
Fat free: Less than 0.5 grams of total fat per serving.
Low fat: 3 grams or fewer of total fat grams per serving.
Low saturated fat: 1 gram or less per serving.
Low sodium: Fewer than 140 milligrams per serving.
Very low sodium: Fewer than 140 milligrams per serving.
Low cholesterol: Fewer than 20 milligrams per serving.
Low calorie:40 calories or fewer per serving.
Lean: Fewer than 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and per 100 grams of meat, poultry, or seafood.
Extra lean: Fewer than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving and per 100 grams of meat, poultry, or seafood.
High: One serving contains 20 percent of more of the Daily Value for that nutrient.
Good source: One serving contains 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value for that nutrient.
Reduced: A nutritionally altered product that contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or calories than the regular product.
Less: A food (that may or may not be altered) that contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or calories than the regular product or food.
Light: A nutritionally altered product that contains one-third fewer calories or half of the fat of the regular food or product. It can also mean that the sodium content of a low-calorie, low-fat food has been reduced by half.
More: One serving contains at least 10 percent more of the Daily Value of a nutrient than the regular food or product.
A few other common terms that might need some explanation are as follows.
From concentrate: juices from concentrate should have the same nutritional value as the original juice product. Concentrate means that at some point, much of the water was removed for easier shipping, and water was added back in to reconstitute the original consistency of the juice. (Think frozen orange juice.)
Sugar alcohol (or polyols): These naturally occurring sweeteners are often used as sugar substitutes because they provide anywhere from half to one-third the calories of regular sugar. Also, unlike regular sugar, they don’t cause an immediate jump in blood sugar. Some common sugar alcohols are mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol, and hydrogenated starch hydroslysates (HSH). Consuming sugar alcohols in high volumes can cuase abnormal gas, discomfort and diahrrea.
Multigrain, whole grain: These terms are not interchangeable. Whole grain means that all parts of the grain kernel – the bran, germ and endosperm – are used in the making of the product. Multigrain, however, means that a food contains more than one type of grain. Whole gran foods – listed as “whole grain,” “whole wheat,” and “whole oats” are the healthier choice.
Most fat-free products contain high amounts of sugar in order to make up for the loss of taste from the fat. On the flip side, low sugar products usually have a higher fat content. Read the food label facts on labels, then choose wisely.
“Eat Any Sugar Alcohol Lately?”, Yale-New Haven Hospital
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., Nutrition and Healthy Eating Q & A, Mayo Clinic
Treat yourself to some sweet peach pleasures via sweet peach recipes! Peaches are sodium, fat and cholesterol free, high in vitamin A and have vitamin C.
Following are three delicious, yummy recipes for peach treats!
Peach Pleasures 1: Peach Apple Crisp
Canned peaches are available, sliced or in halves, packed either in sugar syrup or water. Apples are a good source of soluble fiber, especially pectin, which helps control insulin levels by slowing the release of sugar into your bloodstream.