Saturday, August 30, 2014


 Mooch has come to stay with Genie's family
He is a great, energetic, little guy who is friends with everyone.
But if you are eating something good, he mooches around and pretends he hasn't eaten in days and looks up at you with big starving eyes and sighs like his heart is breaking.
 And that's how he got his name

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Food for Tought : National Banana Lover's Month

If you’re a fan of bananas, then your day is about to get better. August is National Banana Lovers Month , meaning it’s time to celebrate all the health benefits of your favorite yellow fruit.
You may already know that bananas are stocked with potassiuma medium one has 422 milligrams of the mineral or 12% of the recommended daily value, according to the USDA. It also has a solid 3 grams of filling fiber and nearly 20% of your daily value for both vitamins C and B6. Plus, they’re great to add to healthy smoothies. If that’s not enough, here are five other ways bananas can make your life better:

                 They can sub in for sports drinks:

Bananas could give sports drinks a run for their money. A study published in PLoS ONE analyzed the blood samples of 14 trained cyclists, who were given either a cup of carbohydrate drink or half a banana to consume every 15 minutes during a simulated 2.5- to 3-hour road race. Researchers found that performance was the same for both, but bananas come with added benefits. "They pack more nutrients than sports drinks and have a healthier blend of natural sugars with bonus antioxidants," says Health‘s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. And if you’re low on key electrolytes like potassium that help regulate nerve and muscle function, you might suffer from muscle cramps. So grabbing a banana to replace what you sweat out during an intense workout isn’t a bad idea.

                 They may boost your metabolism:

Bananas are a good source of resistant starch, a starch found in carbohydrate-rich foods that may help you slim down. Your body digests Resistant Starch slowly (it literally "resists" the process), making it a natural appetite suppressant because you feel fuller longer. RS also encourages your liver to switch to fat burning mode. The Health‘s GarbLovers Diet recommends eating 10 to 15 grams daily. A medium, slightly green banana has 12.5 grams of RS, but even ripe bananas have almost 5 grams.

              They can help keep blood pressure in check:
Another upside to the high potassium content in bananas: it may help regulate blood pressure. The more potassium you consume, the more sodium that can exit your body, according to the American Heart Association. That’s because the mineral acts like a natural diuretic. "It triggers the kidneys to release excess sodium and fluid the body is holding onto," Sass says. Lower blood pressure is great news for your heart: It means the muscle won’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout your body. It doesn’t hurt either that a diet with potassium-rich foods was found to cut the risk of a stroke by 21% and may also lower your risk for heart disease.

              They’re good for your gut bacteria:

You’ve probably heard of probiotics, the "good" bacteria that aid digestion and are found in certain foods like yogurt. Well, there’s also such a thing as prebiotics, and bananas happen to be a great source of them. Prebiotics are actually carbohydrates that can't be digested by the human body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Still, they play a vital role in maintaining a healthy gut. "Prebiotics supply food for probiotics," Sass says. "So they help the ‘good’ probiotic bacteria grow." Bananas aren’t the only food that will help you get your fill of prebiotics: You’ll also find them in raisins, asparagus, onions, and garlic.

                     They can ease stomach troubles:

Bananas can help with several tummy issues. The 3.1 grams of fiber you’ll find in a medium banana is split into two different types: soluble and insoluble, which can help ease digestion and relieve constipation, respectively. Bananas could even aid recovery after a bout of diarrhea, when fluid loss depletes levels of key electrolytes like potassium, Sass says. That’s not all. "Bananas neutralize the acidity in the stomach and coat the lining to reduce irritation," Sass says. So they are thought to help fight heartburn and stomach ulcers, too.
There were two kinds of people in the
 world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.

Words of  Wisdom :
Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.

I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

A proud grandpoppa G.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hi Cubs !


 I hope you have a wonderful school year
Aunt Jeannie


Practice your Karate


Monday, August 25, 2014

Orange Creamsicle Bundt Cake

Keep those summer flavors light! This Bundt cake is perfect for summer and packed full of citrus flavor.  The vanilla bean glaze takes it over the top and gives it the perfect creamsicle flavor.
Yields:   1 Bundt cake or 12 mini-Bundt cakes


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 drops orange food coloring
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a large or mini-Bundt pan with nonstick spray, set aside.
  2. Add yellow cake mix, water, orange juice, orange zest, eggs and food coloring to the bowl of an electric mixer.
  3. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds and then on medium speed for 2 minutes. The mixture should be well mixed and smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes for a large cake and 25 minutes for the mini-Bundt cakes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven, let rest for 10 minutes and then flip over cakes onto a plate.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. If your glaze is too thick, simply add more heavy cream until desired consistency is met. Pour glaze over cake.

Easy Peasy Chicken Pot Pie

Simply Sinful Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie

Frankly, my family was getting a little tired of grilled food so I baked up a little comfort food with this simple chicken recipe


1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
½ cup (125 mL) chopped onion
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped celery
125 g (1/2 block) cream cheese, cubed
2 cans (284 mL each) condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups (500 mL) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( You can go lighter on the Parmesan...sometimes I leave it out....your preference)                                            
4 cups (1 L) cubed, cooked chicken or turkey
2 cups (500 mL) chopped cauliflower
1 cup (250 mL) chopped broccoli
1 cup (250 mL) Green Giant* Frozen Mixed Vegetables
2 cans (10 biscuits per can) Pillsbury* Country Biscuits


  • 1Heat oven to 350°F.
  • 2In a large non-stick skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion and celery until soft and clear.
  • 3Reduce heat and add cream cheese; stir until melted. Add soup, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese and continue to cook and stir until well combined and melted.
  • 4Add cooked chicken, cauliflower, broccoli and frozen vegetables. Combine well.
  • 5Split the mixture into two 8 or 9-inch (22 or 23 cm) baking pans or one 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) rectangular baking pan.
  • 6Arrange biscuits over the chicken mixture.
  • 7Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly and biscuits are golden brown.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Food for Thought: Kids Eat Right Month

August is Kids Eat Right Month. Getting kids to eat the way they should and be active can be a very difficult part of parenting. Here are a few tips to help your child get started on the path to eating right:

Get active. Kids need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous active play every day. They do not usually get this at school, so making time for exercise and play after school is important. Get active as a family.

Enjoy meals together. Kids learn how to eat healthy by being involved in all the steps of the cooking process. Get kids involved in planning, preparing and cooking healthy meals together.

Make sure kids are eating breakfast. Making sure children have routine mealtimes helps set them up for a lifetime of good habits. Skipping breakfast has been correlated with obesity.

Teach children all foods can fit within a healthy diet. Exercise moderation in portions and the availability of high-fat, high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.

Words of Wisdom
Work hard for what you want because it won't come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.
A proud  grandpoppa   G.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pecan-Peach Cobbler

                            Makes 10 to 12 servings

12 to 15            fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 16 cups) 
1/3                   cup all-purpose flour
1/2                   teaspoon ground nutmeg
3                      cups sugar 
2/3                   cup butter
1-1/2               teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (15-oz.)        packages refrigerated piecrusts
1/2                  cup chopped pecans, toasted
5                     tablespoons sugar, divided
Sweetened whipped cream

1.       Preheat oven to 475°. Stir together peaches, flour, nutmeg, and 3 cups sugar in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
2.       Unroll 2 piecrusts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup pecans and 2 Tbsp. sugar over 1 piecrust; top with other piecrust. Roll to a 14- x 10-inch rectangle. Trim sides to fit baking dish. Place pastry over peach mixture in dish.
3.      Bake at 475° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Unroll remaining 2 piecrusts. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar and remaining 1/4 cup pecans over 1 piecrust; top with remaining piecrust. Roll into a 12-inch circle. Cut into 1-inch strips, using a fluted pastry wheel. Spoon remaining peach mixture over baked pastry. Arrange pastry strips over peach mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.
Heart healthy

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bacon-and-Bourbon Collards

Prep /Total time : 1 Hour 50 minutes ... Makes  10 servings

We can't get enough of the super popular bacon-and-bourbon combo! Here, a recipe for Southern collard greens gets buzzed with the addition of two types of booze: beer and bourbon. Don't worry, though; the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process, leaving behind nothing but good flavor.

4        thick bacon slices
3        tablespoons butter
1        large sweet onion, diced
1        (12-oz.) bottle ale beer
1/2     cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2     cup bourbon 
1        teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4        pounds fresh collard greens, trimmed and chopped
1/2    cup apple cider vinegar
1       teaspoon salt
1/2    teaspoon pepper

1.        Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add bacon, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Sauté onion in hot drippings 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in bacon, ale, and next 3 ingredients; cook 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced by one-fourth.
2.       Add collards, in batches, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until wilted. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 1 hour or to desired degree of doneness. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Heart Healthy

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ribs with Guava Barbecue Sauce


2        tablespoons sugar
1       tablespoon kosher salt
1       tablespoon dry mustard
1       teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2    teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2    teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4    teaspoon ground cloves
5       pounds baby back ribs
1/2   cup medium-dry sherry
Guava Barbecue Suace for glazing and serving (recipe below )

1 .     Light a charcoal grill. When the coals are covered with a light gray ash, push them to opposite sides of the grill and set a disposable drip pan in the center. Alternatively, if you’re using a gas grill, turn off the center burners.
2 .    In a bowl, combine the sugar, salt, dry mustard, Chinese five-spice powder, pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Sprinkle the mixture over the ribs. Pour the sherry into a spray bottle.
3 .    Place the ribs on the hot grate above the drip pan and away from the coals, bony side down. Cover and grill for 30 minutes. Spray the ribs with sherry. Cover and grill for another 30 minutes. Shift the ribs around (but keep them bony side down) and spray once more with sherry. Cover and grill for 30 minutes longer, until the meat is tender. Replenish the coals as necessary.
4 .    Take the ribs off the grill and spread the coals out evenly. Brush the Guava Barbecue Sauce on both sides of the ribs and grill directly over the fire (high heat on a gas grill) for about 1 minute per side, until glazed. Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut down between the bones and arrange the ribs on a platter. Pass the remaining sauce at the table.

8          ounces canned guava paste (see Note), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1/3      cup cider vinegar
1/4      cup dark rum
3         tablespoons tomato paste
3         tablespoons fresh lime juice
1         tablespoon soy sauce
1         tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2         teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1         scallion, white part only, minced
1         garlic clove, minced
1/4     cup water
Freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the guava paste with the vinegar, rum, tomato paste, lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, scallion, garlic and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Make ahead
The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Guava paste is usually sold in flat metal cans. It is available at many supermarkets as well as at Latin markets.

Heart  healthy

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Food for Thought : Food in Moderation

Ten years ago, we lost Julia Child, one of the most memorable chefs, authors and television personalities in the world who is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public. Although many criticized her use of certain high-fat, high-calorie ingredients, Child stood firm in her belief we should all enjoy our food and believed you should take a sensible approach and enjoy things in moderation. Here are a few tips to help you celebrate the joy of eating:

1 .   Make every meal mindful. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to cook, take time to enjoy the meal. Be mentally present and appreciate the different flavors and textures. Avoid eating in front of the television or computer.
2.   Schedule one or two leisurely meals during the week. Make the meal your and your family’s priority. This can be a great time to get the kids involved; children are more likely to try new foods when they are involved.
3 .   Think moderation. If you overindulge at every meal, you will end up feeling sluggish. Think about the foods you really enjoy and work them into your overall healthy eating plan.

Words of Wisdom :

Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions."

No need for revenge - Just sit back and wait...those that hurt you will eventually screw up all by themselves ...and if you are lucky, you will be able to watch.

"No one can go back and make a brand new start, however anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge; That myth is more potent than history; That dreams are more powerful than facts; That hope always triumphs over experience; That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death."

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.

Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

A proud grandpoppa       G.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie Squares

Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie Squares on These no-bake Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie Squares with Golden Oreo crust are cool, light and refreshing for those hot summer days. Read more at

Also seen on Tastes of Lizzy T 

These no-bake Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie Squares with Golden Oreo crust are cool, light and refreshing on hot summer days. We tried these and got a thumbs up from family.


22    golden oreos ( crushed )
1/2    stick    butter ( softened )
8    ounces    cream cheese ( softened )
1    Can (14 oz)    sweetened condensed milk
6    ounces    lemonade concentrate ( thawed, pink )
8    ounces    cool whip                             
 Just enough red food coloring to make a rich pink color. Pink desserts appeal to people                                                                                                                                                                


Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Mix together the crushed Oreos and butter. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese for 1-2 minutes until it is fluffy and smooth. Add in the sweetened condensed milk, pink lemonade concentrate and red food coloring. Mix well. Fold in the Cool Whip. Pour this mixture over the crust and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set.
Cut into squares and serve. Refrigerate the leftovers.  No sweating over a hot stove because no baking is required. Give yourself  a pat on the back. Thanx Lizzie T

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Honey-Bourbon Glazed Ham

                                     Makes 15 servings

1 .......................(9-1/4-lb.) fully cooked, bone-in ham
40 .....................whole cloves
1/2 ....................cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 ....................cup honey
1/2 ....................cup bourbon
1/3 ....................cup Creole mustard
1/3 ....................cup molasses

1.             Preheat oven to 350°. Remove skin from ham, and trim fat to 1/4-inch thickness. Make shallow cuts in fat 1 inch apart in a diamond pattern; insert cloves in centers of diamonds. Place ham in an aluminum foil-lined 13- x 9-inch pan.
2.            Stir together brown sugar and next 4 ingredients; spoon over ham.
3.          Bake at 350° on lowest oven rack 2 hours and 30 minutes, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes. Shield ham with foil after 1 hour to prevent excessive browning. Remove ham from oven, and let stand 30 minutes.

Honey-Bourbon Boneless Glazed Ham: Substitute 1 (4-lb.) smoked, fully cooked boneless ham for bone-in. Reduce cloves to 3 (do not insert into ham). Stir together brown sugar mixture as directed in Step 2; stir in cloves. Place ham in a foil-lined 13- x 9-inch pan. Pour sauce over ham. Bake as directed, reducing bake time to 1 hour and basting every 30 minutes. Makes 10 servings. Hands-on time: 10 min.; Total time: 1 hr., 10 minutes .
Heart healthy

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Food for Thought : Food Waste

Do you feel like you are always cleaning out the refrigerator? You’re not alone: Approximately 40 percent of the food in the U.S. goes uneaten. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your food waste:

1 . Check the freezer and refrigerator to make sure they are at the proper temperatures.

2 . Keep dairy products on the shelf. Even if your refrigerator has built-in space for these, frequent opening and closing of the refrigerator door can cause these foods to spoil more quickly. Store meats in the coolest part of the fridge, which is usually the meat drawer on the bottom shelf.

3 . Keep certain fruits and vegetables separate. Apples, peaches and bananas release ethylene gas as they ripen. Carrots, berries and leafy greens absorb this gas, causing them to ripen quickly and spoil.

Words of Wisdom
"When you consistently maintain a positive frame of mind, you'll become known as a problem-solver rather than a complainer. People avoid complainers. They seek out problem-solvers."

"May laughter fill your home, relieve your stress, and strengthen your friendships. Do not let a day go buy without laughing; it is good for your health."

"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."

"Laugh often friends tho' passing years bring, sometimes, smiles and, sometimes, tears, for mirth forever warms and cheers. Laugh often!

"To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity."

"The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh."

"If it were possible to bottle laughter and sell it as medicine, it would be too expensive for any of us to afford. Thank goodness it's free."

"True humor is fun - it does not put down, kid, or mock. It makes people feel wonderful, not separate, different, and cut off. True humor has beneath it the understanding that we are all in this together."

"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you."

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."

A proud Grandpoppa G.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Citrus Gazpacho

                                         Makes 4 cups
Add a fruity twist to fresh, chilled vegetable gazpacho. Grapefruit and orange slices along with a hint of lime complement savory tomato flavors in this soup. There’s no cooking required for the recipe; just chop, pour, and stir.

1 .......................large grapefruit
2 .......................large oranges
1...................... cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 ...................cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 ...................cup chopped English cucumber*
1/4 ...................cup chopped tomatillos
2 ......................tablespoons chopped purple onion
2...................... tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 ......................cloves garlic, minced
1/2 ...................cup reduced-sodium vegetable juice
1/2 ...................cup reduced-sodium tomato juice
1/4 ...................cup ready-to-serve, reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
2 ......................tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ......................teaspoon hot sauce
                        **Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs*8

Peel, section, and seed grapefruit and oranges. Coarsely chop sections, and place in a bowl. Add tomatoes and next 11 ingredients; cover and chill 4 hours. Garnish, if desired.
Heart healthy

Monday, August 4, 2014

Edamame Succotash

                                     Makes 8 servings
Edamame is just a fancy word for heart-healthy soybeans--used here in place of traditional lima beans. Look for them in the frozen vegetable case.

1 ......................medium onion, chopped 
2.......................tablespoons canola oil
1 ......................medium-size orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 ......................medium-size red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 ......................medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
2-1/2 ...............cups frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 ..................cup chicken broth
1 .....................(16-oz.) package frozen edamame, thawed
1..................... tablespoon butter
1 .....................tablespoon chopped fresh mint
                       **Salt and pepper to taste**

1.            Sauté onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until tender. Add bell peppers and corn, and cook 5 more minutes or until tender.
2.           Stir in chicken broth, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Stir in edamame; cook 3 minutes. Stir in butter until melted. Remove from heat, and stir in mint and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Heart healthy