Ten Tips for Heat and Serve Cooking

Ten Tips for Heat and Serve Cooking

Heat and Serve Cooking
Heat and Serve Cooking

Here is a short list of some of the things that you can keep in your pantry to help you short-cut dinner preparation. Use it as a start-up list and add your personal favorites.

  1. A variety of frozen vegetables.
  2. Canned chicken, beef and vegetable broths, preferably low-sodium.
  3. Canned tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, and pasta sauces.
  4. Couscous, bulgur and precooked dried pastas.
  5. Frozen rice mixtures.
  6. Seasoned bread crumbs, stuffing mixes, and croutons.
  7. Salad dressings to use for marinades, sauces, and dips as well as salad toppers.
  8. Basic herbs and spices such as dried basil, cilantro, dill, oregano,parsley, rosemary, thyme, ground cumin, paprika, pepper, chili powder, curry powder, onion flakes, garlic flakes and your favorite herb and spice mixtures for savory cooking. Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg are essential for desserts.
  9. Frozen precooked meats; frozen shelled and de-veined shrimp and breaded seafood.
  10. Ready-to-use refrigerated Italian, French, and Asian sauces.

A Few Tips for Speedy Heat and Serve Cooking

A few simple measures can cut down on your kitchen preparation time.

  • Focus on simple recipes rather than elaborate techniques. These elaborate techniques just cause more dirty dishes and more clean-up time.
  • Consider what else you can do to speed up your meal after you start noodles to boil, rice cooking or meat browning.
  • Use quick flavor enhancers, such as low-sodium broths and sauces, herb vinegars, hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and nuts.

Fast Food Fix

Try apples with fat-free caramel dip, brocco-flowers with low-fat ranch dressing, carrots with peanut butter, or tomato slices topped with a little olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.

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Bizarre October Holidays

Bizarre October Holidays
Bizarre October Holidays

Bizarre October Holidays

Along with one of our favorite holidays, Halloween, come a lot of truly bizarre October Holidays!

Bizarre October Holidays – The 1st through the 31st.

October 1 is Magic Circles Day.
October 2 is Name Your Car Day.
October 3 is Virus Appreciation Day.
October 4 is National Golf Day.
October 5 is National Storytelling Festival.
October 6 is German-American Day and Come and Take It Day.
October 7 is National Frappe Day.
October 8 is American Tag Day.
October 9 is Moldy Cheese Day.
October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day. Use that link and enjoy a chocolate angel food cake today.
October 11 is It’s My Party Day.
October 12 is International Moment Of Frustration Scream Day.
October 13 is National Peanut Festival. (Enjoy a handful of peanuts. There is only 165 calories in 18 peanuts.)
October 14 is Be Bald and Free Day and National Dessert Day.
October 15 is White Cane Safety Day.
October 16 is Dictionary Day.
October 17 is Gaudy Day.
October 18 is No Beard Day.
October 19 is Evaluate Your Life Day.
October 20 is National Brandied Fruit Day.
October 21 is Babbling Day.
October 22 is National Nut Day.
October 23 is National Mole Day.
October 24 is National Bologna Day.
October 25 is Punk For A Day Day.
October 26 is Mule Day.
October 27 is Sylvia Plath Day.
October 28 is Plush Animal Lover’s Day and National Chocolate Day.
October 29 is Hermit Day.
October 30 is National Candy Corn Day.
October 31 is National Magic Day and Increase Your Psychic Powers Day.

Let’s face it.  Some of those are indeed bizarre October holidays.  You could have some fun with a lot of these. 🙂

P.S. Don’t miss our Halloween Recipes for ghostly good Halloween!

Halloween Prose

Hey how for Halloween! All the witches to be seen.

Some in black and some in green.

Hey how for Halloween!

– Traditional song

An 1800s Servant Girls Prayer

An 1800s Servant Girls Prayer

The following servant girls prayer was written by a 19-year-old girl who was working as a servant girl in London during the 1800s. That means she was working six days a week, 12 to 15 hours a day.

We just don’t see this kind of humility, much less such a positive spirit these days. Now that had to be beneficial to this gal’s fitness! If only we knew how her story ended. I guess we’ll have to make up our own endings. Meanwhile, this prayer is a beautiful testament to a woman of great faith.

An 1800s Servant Girl's Prayer
An 1800s Servant Girl’s Prayer

 

“Lord of all pots and pans and things, since I’ve no time to be a saint by doing lovely deeds or watching late with Thee, or dreaming in the dawn’s light or storming heaven’s gates, make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates! Although I may have Martha hands, I have a Mary mind; so when I black the boots and shoes, Thy sandals, Lord, I find! I think of how they trod the earth each time I scrub the floor. Accept this meditation, Lord; I haven’t time for more. Warm all the kitchen with Thy love, and light it with Thy peace. Forgive me all my worrying and make all grumbling cease. Thou who didst love to give men food in room or by the sea, accept this service that I do — I do it unto Thee.”

A domestic servant in the 1800s had only two choices. They had to became a live-in servant or they could live outside of the home they service. In most cases, servants had no choice but to live within the confines of the home chosen for them. These men and women were more than likely very poor and in some cases lonely. Some were young children and teenagers.

A child could become a servant as young as seven years of age. More common was the teenager, though. They became servants around the age of fourteen.

Christian? We have a nice section for you. Our Faithweb.

See also: Belly Blessings

Polio Found in China

Polio Found in China

A week or so ago the World Health Organization reported that polio found in China for the first time since 1999. Even more, they believe there is a high risk of the debilitating virus spreading because of the yearly Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage which will take place in early November.

Polio, short for poliomyelitis, is a disease that can damage the nervous system and cause paralysis.

Polio Found in China
Polio Found in China

 

The World Health Organization said polio was showing up in remote locations where financial cutbacks had reduced the administration of the vaccine. Since polio immunization has become widespread in the United States, cases of polio are rare.

Polio is a horrible disease.

How You Catch Polio

The polio virus lives in the throat and intestinal tract of infected persons. The virus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the stool of an infected person. Objects, such as eating utensils, can also spread the virus. Food and water are not thought to play a major role in the spread of polio.

What Happens With Polio

The polio virus attacks the nerve cells that control muscle movements. Many people who contract the virus have few or no symptoms. Others have short-term symptoms, such as headache, tiredness, fever, stiff neck and back, and muscle pain.

More serious problems happen when the virus invades nerves in the brain and causes paralysis of the muscles used in swallowing and breathing. Invasion of the nerves in the spinal cord can cause paralysis of the arms, legs, or trunk. Paralysis of the muscles that control breathing and swallowing can be fatal.

Symptoms usually start 7 to 14 days after exposure. Infected persons are most contagious from a few days before to a few days after the start of symptoms. However, persons with polio can spread the infection for as long as the virus is in their throat or stool. The virus can be found in the throat for about 1 week after infection and in the stool for 6 weeks or longer.

There is no treatment for polio. For more information about polio, visit the Global Polio Eradication Initiative web site.

Are You Tired?

Are You Tired?
Are You Tired?

Are You Tired?

Do you feel tired today? I do.

From what I’ve been told, we have a right to be tired. Consider the following.

According to what scientists say, in the last 24 hours the average heart has beaten 103,689 times and our blood has traveled our bodies 168 million miles.

In the last 24 hours, we have breathed 23,040 times, inhaled 438 cubic feet of air, eaten three and a half pounds of food, spoken 4,800 words, moved 750 muscles, and exercised 7 million brain cells – at least.

No wonder we get tired. Are you tired, too just reading that?

Still, even though we’ve done all those things, we can’t say that any of these things have accomplished all that much — other than keep us alive.

What I’ve said above was designed to make you smile. Still, I wonder how it would be to finish not just a day, but an entire life, without anything to show for the passing days, weeks, months, years, and decades.

I think it would have to be mighty depressing. Depression makes you feel tired, too. Often you may ask someone, “are you tired or are you depressed?” But depression-tired is a lot different from just plain tired. And it’s way outside the scope of this post.

First things first: “(Jesus said) “But seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

So…take today and do something. Something nice for someone else. Something nice to treat yourself, something you’ve been putting off. Get some rest.

And have a healthy nutritious nibble for your afternoon snack to feed that busy mind and body.

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Kids Cooties

Kids Cooties

The infectious disease known to children as “kids cooties” may not really exist, but the idea of advancing germs jumping from classmate to classmate isn’t very far off.

Kids Cooties
Kids Cooties

Despite all efforts to the contrary, schools tend to be a receptacle for all kinds of bad bacteria and germs. Most harmful bacteria are absorbed through the mouth, which can lead to ear infections, sore throats, colds, even gum disease.

Kids will be kids, and sometimes it’s impossible to stop them from shoving every little object into their mouths. Which is why germ related illness, like kids cooties, can spread quickly. Plus, kids play on the playground, then eat without washing their hands.

And there are the innocent little things like holding hands, giggling in a cluster and playing games such as tag. These all involve physical contact. Where there is physical contact, there are kids cooties.

I know one parent who insisted there were no such thing as germs. He had his first child. A little boy. He is bringing up that little boy with the same belief. He tells him not to worry about washing his hands after using the bathroom or before eating. He tells this innocent little man there are no such thing as germs.

That little boy has had nothing but one sickness after another in his short little 2 years on this earth. Colds, flu, viruses. Literally one illness after another. But the father won’t listen. What to do?

Yuck a germ
Yuck a germ

In 2006, microbiologist Robert Donofrio spent a day following an elementary school student for a day. Using a hand-held germ meter, he tested items the student came into contact with on an average day at school. The top 3 “germiest” items used daily by students were:

  1. The water fountain. Germ count of 2,335.
  2. The school basketball. Germ count of 13,987.
  3. The lunch checkout keypad. Germ count of 13,144.

An instant hand sanitizer is a great choice. Have your kids carry a travel size with them and instruct your child to rub it in a few times a day while at school. Particularly before lunch. This can kill off a lot of kids cooties.

Although going into the restroom and actually washing their hands before eating is even better.

Here’s to less sniffles, sneezes and other germs & kids cooties this coming school season.

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Think Good Feel Good.

Think Good Feel Good.

Did you know that thinking positive, affirming thoughts can truly affect your fitness and overall health? When you think good thoughts your body actually creates feel good hormones! These hormones give you more energy, balance your mood and can even contribute to your body’s healing abilities.

Think good feel good. 🙂

Beware: it works the same if you’re a negative thinker. If you have dark stressful thoughts, that sends negative messages throughout your body causing negative results. Lethargy, depression, etc. If you are frequently stressed out and miserable, your body will secrete hormones that wreak havoc over time.

Think good feel good.

Super Quick Fit Tip

Touching Toes
Touching Toes

Here’s a super quick way to release some of that tension caused by stress: Touch your toes. Doing this opens up your hip joints and stretches your hamstrings, areas where we tend to store a lot of tension.

Think positive!

If you find yourself stressed, it can be difficult to alter your thinking process from worries to happy thoughts. There are any number of things to worry us but we’ve mentioned it before and will keep doing so. In spite of the negative stress you must deal with, try to stop the bad thoughts. Replace them with something positive.

It truly is a “mind over matter” concept. Give it a try; you could start by simply telling yourself repeatedly: “I can survive this“.

Think good feel good.

Obviously it would be difficult to tell yourself you’re “So happy!” when your world feels like it’s falling apart. But you can generate positive thoughts of survival instead of wallowing in negative thoughts of despair.

Feel Good!
Feel Good!

If you find yourself really having a difficult time thinking anything positive, try this exercise for the spirit.

Text, call or email three to five friends or loved ones’ and tell each of them one thing you enjoy about him or her. Something that makes or has made YOU smile. That forces your thoughts to good things. And … You’ll make them feel good, too and that will make you feel better.

What goes around truly does come around!

It’s a about choices we can make granted to us by human free will.

Make positive choices. Think good feel good.

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