Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Great Hot Chocolate Recipe!

I'm not one to post recipes all that much!  I figure that if you want a recipe, you'll go find it on a cooking blog, website, or your favorite cookbook.  That's what I do!  (Except when I find one while casually browsing on the net, which I did with this one) This one is easy, yummy and simple.  You can enjoy it for yourself or package it up cleverly for Christmas cheers!  Thanks to Enjoy Country Living for the idea!

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 - 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
pinch of salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients thoroughly with a whisk, package it up and seal it, making sure it is airtight!  Mix several spoonfuls with hot milk or water to taste!  Enjoy!  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Great Giveaways!



    • Win a $50 Visa Gift Card at Yellow Tennessee and courtesy of  Swansons!  Ends 12/8/10!


    To Play Disc Golf!

    A few years ago, our family walked around a vacant field with random bushes and trees here and there and also with a little bridge that crossed over a dry stream into a lower field.  This field branched out into a beautiful park called Bicentennial Park.  These three areas had something in common.  They had steel and chain baskets placed strategically around to equal 16 in all.  The whole area made up one of the 5 disc golf parks in the Utah Valley area.  At the time, we had frisbees and we did our best to find the tee pads where you start and throw to the basket.  I think my frisbee finally made it into the basket in about 12 throws!  That was four years ago and humiliating to think about since I now make it in 4 throws and sometimes even 3!  Since then, my husband took it up as his pastime and I also took it up as a fun sport to do maybe 4 times a month.  Greg wound up winning this last year as one of the division champions of the newly formed Wasatch Disc Golf Club.  I have since played in one tournament with not as dramatic results, but happy I did it!  We each have Revolution disc golf bags, an assortment of discs, which are definitely not of the frisbee variety! This is a great sport to take up for a "hecka" family fun or a way to meet up with other disc golf enthusiasts and get some great exercise. 
    To get started, the best way to do this right now is go out and have fun. You're sure to meet up with someone who will be willing to give you a pointer or two!  Don't let more experienced players intimidate you with their distance and accuracy.  Some experienced players with proper technique can easily throw 400+ feet!  Throw an easy to control disc, such as the Discraft Elite Z-Glide and focus on accuracy.  Distance will come with time and experience, so focus on putting your disc down in the middle of the fairway.  Keep it simple and don't try advanced techniques until you have learned some basic form and control.  Throw with 1-step rather than trying to attempt a run up. Try to keep the disc close to your chest and keep it flat as possible.  Wait until you feel you are consistent and accurate before trying to add to your throw!
    There are quite a few terms specific to disc golf. For instance, hyzer is the common term for releasing the disc with the outer edge at a lower angle than parallel to the ground, which usually causes the disc to curve left!  Anhyzer means to release the disc with the outer edge at a higher angle than parallel to the ground, which usually causes the disc to curve right!  And don't worry, I still have problems getting the two terms straight in my mind.  The most important thing is to just get out there and start throwing!
    Don't know where to find a disc golf course near you?  Try this disc golf course locater!  If you know about one in your area, you can review it and get points for free stuff at Disc Golf Station!

    Monday, November 29, 2010

    Great Giveaways!


    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Great Giveaways!

    • Win a Quart size jar of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil at Following 31!  Ends 11/29/10!


    Friday, November 26, 2010

    To Read More Books....As If!

    This is intended as a Facebook tag thing, but I think I'd like to pass it along to you here as well!  This is a great list for books to read!  I'd love to read more of these when I get the chance.  Most of my reading was done pre-kids! This is how well I've done!  

    The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. …
    1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
    2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
    3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
    4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
    5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    6 The Bible
    7 Wuthering Heights
    8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
    9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
    10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
    11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
    12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
    13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
    14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
    15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
    16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
    17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
    18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
    19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
    20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
    21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
    22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
    23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
    24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
    25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
    26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
    27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
    29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
    30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame 
    31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
    32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
    33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
    34 Emma – Jane Austen
    35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
    36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
    37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
    38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
    39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
    40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
    41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
    42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
    43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
    45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
    46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
    47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
    48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
    51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel (own it)
    52 Dune – Frank Herbert
    53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
    54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
    55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
    56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
    58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
    59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
    60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
    62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
    63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
    64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
    65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
    66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
    67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
    68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (own it)
    69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
    70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
    71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
    72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
    73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
    74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
    75 Ulysses – James Joyce
    76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
    77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
    78 Germinal – Emile Zola
    79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
    80 Possession – AS Byatt
    81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
    82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell 8
    83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
    84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
    85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
    86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
    87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
    88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (own it)
    89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
    91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
    92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
    93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
    94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
    95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
    96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
    97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (own it)
    98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
    99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
    100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo 

    Thanks to Ramblings of An Empty Mind for this list!

    Foods That Heal!

    After eating all that great Thanksgiving food yesterday, I am now thinking about food.  It's on my mind a lot, that's for sure! In addition to being one of the greatest sources of enjoyment ever, food really can help what ails you and prevent little things from creeping up.  Nutrition is the most effective beauty treatment and ailment preventative that you can give yourself!  I am actually a believer in additional supplementation with a good vitamin as well, to fill in some of the inevitable nutritional voids left during the day.  Nutrition is a valuable component that can help both athletes and regular exercisers protect themselves and improve performance.  Have you noticed that kids are getting bigger, stronger, faster, more into the weightlifting, more into nutrition, more into size? It is becoming ever more apparent that nutrition is the key to well-being and longevity and performance.

     With that said, let's look at some foods that can help banish the occasional headache or upset stomach, etc.!

    Stress - Eat a banana!   It has vitamin B6, which helps the body produce calming serotonin, which can get you through a crisis peacefully!

    High Blood Pressure - Raisins are extremely high in potassium, which is proven to bring down blood pressure.  Also anything having to do with grapes will aid your heart because of the high polyphenols!

    Constipation or gas - Yogurt is great for this because it has cultures that feed the intestines.  The beneficial bacterias found in it will improve your gut's ability to digest food like beans and dairy, which produce pain and gas.

    Kidney Stones - Eat dried apricots.  It has a great combination of nutrients that will help prevent  minerals from accumulating in the urine and forming calcium oxalate stones, the most common form of kidney stones.  

    Winter Blues - Tuna fish has 800 mg of omega-3's, which treats the kind of blues that make someone feel low or anxious. But the top source of omega-3 fatty acids would be flaxseed and walnuts.  Eat a good supply of this and you're bound to be less depressed this winter!

    Nausea - Pregnancy or motion sickness can be treated with ginger, one of the oldest remedies for nausea. Keep ginger ale, fresh ginger or ginger cookies on hand. Purchase ginger root capsules and take according to directions.

    Other Stomach issues - Cramps or diarrhea can be caused by bacterias such as Salmonella or Listeria.  Basil, which contains eugenol, can ward off and kill these before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your system.  Use fresh, minced basil in sauces and salads for great flavor and preventative maintenance.

    Coughing - Even more effective than OTC cough remedies was thick, dark brown honey!  It limits severity and frequency of a cough in children. 

    Fatigue - Orange juice has natural fructose, a perfect pick-me-up when you're feeling sapped of energy.  Also the Vitamin C helps combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals and helps metabolize iron, which helps move energizing oxygen through the body!

    Insomnia - Studies show that people with insomnia are deficient in tryptophan.  Eating 3 oz. of turkey will give you all the tryptophan you need in a day.  So eat a turkey sandwich before bedtime if you know you'll have trouble sleeping! 

    Yeast Infection - Garlic has an ingredient known to kill Candida. Have plenty of garlic in sauces, marinades and dressings!

    These are just a few things I found on the internet and in Prevention Magazine.  I always believe that natural is better because it provides the body what it needs to heal itself.  Before you reach into the medicine cabinet for that drug of choice, go and Google some natural ways to help yourself and as always, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, so eat up on those great foods that you love and find out what good they are doing you while you enjoy them!  
     One of the foods that I really enjoy, not only during Thanksgiving, but all year long, is yams or sweet potatoes.  These are full of  beta carotene and resin glycosides, a relatively new nutritional group that scientists are very optimistic about.  I also found a really great blog post about the debate concerning sweet potatoes vs. yams with some great references about the different varieties of sweet potatoes!  Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and are well on your way to another happy holiday coming up in a few short weeks!  


    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Great Giveaways


    Friday, November 19, 2010

    $10 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

    Congratulations to #6, Jan!  I will send this card out with delivery confirmation!  Thanks so much to all who entered.  More great giveaways to come!

    I've got one more Target Gift Card out of the 3 that I purchased this last summer with you in mind!  You have been so wonderful and I appreciate all the visits and support with the giveaways that I do.  I've started working full-time at a remedial high school with at-risk boys.  I'm the support teacher and I work with a really great man who has been doing this for a long time!  It has been a treat to see him at work and see the progress these boys make.  Some of them come from very trying circumstances.  My blogging time has been cut a bit, but I still absolutely love it!  I would love to get this card out to one of you for Christmas shopping!  So here is what you can do to get it! Just give me some comment love!
    Read one or all of the four blog posts below and make a comment there.  Or enter this giveaway!  Come back and let me know which one(s) you did!  You can do as many as you'd like. Two of the posts are regular entries about my life and two are reviews that I have done recently.  There is a possibility of 5 entries.  That's it!  I will choose a winner on Dec 1, 2010 with a random number generator!  I'll e-mail the winner and mail the card out with delivery confirmation to make sure you got it! Thanks again!

    Blog Posts:
    1) NGlassworks
    2) Cooking Class Adventure
    3) Bronzed Envy
    4) Halloween Ride

    Great Giveaways

    • Win a 32 oz.jar of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil at Menopausal New Mom!  Ends 11/24/10!


    Just a Couple of Ideas from GOOP!

    I subscribed some time ago to GOOP, the e-letter that is put out by Gwyneth Paltrow.  She is really quite the savvy gal and I just wonder how many subscribers she has to her newsletter!  I really liked her ideas for personalized gifts.  If you don't get her letters, they are great.  She has a taste for the fine and expensive, but she also comes up with some great ideas for everyday people too!

    Cocodot is an online invitation and greeting card service that is getting rave reviews.  Gwyneth has used this for her cards this holiday!  There are several collections from different artists and one of them is Kristi Hume from Scotland.  She has greeting cards with a Scottish Flavor.  I like that since I am a little bit Scottish!  For instance, one section has a ton of old Scottish Sayings such as "May yer lum reek!"  Check it out and save paper this year!

    Another shopping site she recommends for gift giving is called Chloe in Style!  It has many unique gifts for everyone.  For little ones- a wonderful collection of adorable ponchos for little girls and some adorable baby moccasins!  For Moms - Some great all handmade slippers from Babush!!

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Great Giveaways!

    • Win a $25 Gift Card to Chili's at Cake Mom!  Ends 11/22/10! 


    Monday, November 15, 2010

    A Quick Education In Wood and Steel

    I've always appreciated great products and great furniture.  To fully appreciate something, you need to know a little bit about it.  Maybe I haven't appreciated some things as much as I should have because my education has been a bit lacking.  

    I now am finally educated in the finer points of butcher block!  Whew, I can check that one off!  A butcher block is a thick, unvarnished, unpolished and untreated surface that gives more useful area to kitchen counter tops, islands, or tables.  You can basically use the whole surface as a cutting board!  Yet the surface is beautiful because it is natural.  Butcher block can also be used for other types of tables and decorative furniture.  Ideal materials for a kitchen butcher block surface would be oak, cherry, bamboo and maple because they won't harm knife blades.  I can definitely see the advantages for having a butcher block counter top~you don't have to worry as much about accidentally nicking and damaging the surface with your knives, or for that matter, nicking or dulling your knives.  Of course a butcher block doesn't necessarily have to be made of wood.  They can be blocks of marble, stone, glass or ceramic.  But wood would definitely be my choice!  Most fine homes with gourmet kitchens have at least 1 butcher block table, counter top, or island to make cooking more convenient!

    Here's another one--an Adirondack chair is traditionally favored in outdoor settings such as beach and wilderness areas.  There is a rustic charm to these chairs.  It is reported and accepted that the original Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee in 1903 when he was on vacation in the Adirondack Mountains and needed to have some comfortable chairs for his cabin.  He tried them out on his family until they all approved.  His design was made with 11 pieces of wood and he generously offered the design to an out-of-work carpenter friend of his, who patented it without his permission and sold them with great success.  The wide armrests are great to put food on and the rounded back and contoured seats make them surprisingly comfortable.  Adirondack chairs are also quite affordable and last a long time so they are a great furniture investment!  I think that my next outdoor chair purchase will be one of these!
     Finally, a great alternative to wood for the outdoors is stainless steel.  If not treated properly, wood does tend to decay when exposed to the elements.  Not so with stainless steel! Stainless steel tables may be an option to consider if you don't want to be bothered by regular wood treatment processes or are in a harsher environment.  Stainless steel is easy to clean, lightweight for easy moving and quite attractive!  And for the laundry room or garage there is nothing like shiny stainless steel utility sinks!

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Great Giveaways!


      Monday, November 8, 2010

      Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening Giveaway!

      Congratulations to #62, Eileen, who said - tweeted this!  thankyou!


      I think Tropical Traditions is the best place to get Healthy Oils of any kind!  I've now got the chance to give away another Tropical Tradition Cooking Product.  It's Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening.  It is derived from Palm Oil, which is the most widely used oil in the world except the US.  Palm Shortening has had some of its unsaturated fats removed, which gives it a very firm texture and high melting point.  It has no trans fats and can be used for baking just like shortening!  It is colorless and odorless as well. 
      I received the gallon container of the palm shortening and I absolutely love it for cooking and baking.  It is everything a shortening should be--doesn't take away from the flavors I'm using and I feel good about cooking with it because it has no trans fats!  A whole gallon will last me forever!  I've cooked eggs, meat and vegetables with it and add it to cookie mixes.  It's great!  Everything tastes so much better using it!  I'm not kidding, it takes my cooking to another level.  Right now through Sunday, November 21st  you can get it on sale for $19.85, that's 44%off!     And if you missed it this time, there will always be another opportunity.  Just sign up for their newsletter for notifications on all their great sales and promotions.  

      One person is going to win a gallon container of Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening!  I'm excited to let you in on the details here!  To enter, first do this mandatory entry and any other extra entries that you'd like:

      • Visit Tropical Traditions and let me know something that really floats your boat there!
      Extra entries:
      • Grab my button on the right side bar and put it on your blog or site!  Let me know where! (+2) Leave two comments for two entries!
      • Tell me about your most tropical experience!  Would you want to make it a tradition? (+3) Leave three comments for three entries!
      • Subscribe to the Tropical Tradition Newsletter! (+2)
      • Make an order from Tropical Tradition and e-mail me the receipt at daisydoo200 at yahoo dot com  Must be done within the time of this giveaway.  $15 minimum.  First time orders use this code - 5954910. You will get a cool recipe book with 85 recipes and more! (+5)
      • Subscribe to my RSS Feed (+1)
      • Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter! (+1)
      • Tweet about this and get 1 entry every day you do!  Leave your tweet status! You can do that by clicking on the date you tweeted! (+1)  
      A GAL NEEDS...Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening! #Giveaway 11/29/10 #Win

      This Giveaway is open to both US and Canada and will end on 11/29/10!  Winner will be selected by random number generator and will be notified by e-mail! Thank you so much to Tropical Traditions for keeping us healthy with your great products!  I was provided product for an honest review and winner will also be provided product by Tropical Traditions!