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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

100 Ways To Say I Love You

What better way to tell your spouse,
"I love you", than to say it 100 times?

Forget the flowers and boxed candy and make a Jar of Love!


1 Canning Jelly Jar
100 Love Sheets, measuring 1/2" by 3"
Ribbon, for decoration

Hand print or type 100 "Love" notes with all the things you love about your spouse.

Decorate the lid with ribbon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet Rolls for Your Sweetheart

Sweet Rolls


1 1/2 Cups Warm Water (105 F to 115 F)
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Envelopes Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Combine the warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over and let it stand until it becomes foamy (about 6 minutes).

Mix in the vegetable oil and salt.

Add enough flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic, adding more flour if it's too sticky (about 10 minutes).

Lightly oil another large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl; turn to coat with oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm draft-free area until it has doubled in volume (about an hour).


3 Ounces of Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 - 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
(optional inside and topping)

Cream the Butter then add the remaining ingredients. This can be made while to the dough is rising and then placed in a container inside the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Roll Center:

1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Butter, softened

In a small bowl cream the butter and add the remaining ingredients and set aside.

Assembling the rolls:

Roll the dough into a 16 x 21 inch rectangle. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch backing pan. Cover the rolls and let them rise until they have doubled in size (10-30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the rolls for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take the rolls out of the oven and let them cool slightly until frosting the rolls.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lentil Soup with Beef

One of the best meals to have during the winter months is something with spice, warmth and feeds the soul. Soup has always been a main stay for the cooler months and it is sturdy and light enough to satisfy. I have never cooked lentil soup and I have always wanted to try. I found that this recipe had a great deal of taste and the beef made it hearty. It turned out to be a good recipe to share. Enjoy!

Lentil Soup with Beef

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 (14-ounce) cans beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups (about 11 ounces) lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

♥ Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Add half of the beef and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, and oregano to the pot. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juices from the bowl to the pot.

Add the broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meat is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Add the lentils. Cover and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.

Stir in the parsley. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

FIVE in the New Year

Five HEALTHY things to teach your child in the NEW YEAR!

With the new year right at our finger tips there is no better time to wipe the slate clean and make some changes in our lives, as well as our own childs life. Here are some healthy tips for the entire family to start the new year out right.

Everything In Moderation
We all know the golden rule of everything in moderation, so why mention it? Because, it's true! We over indulge in our daily lives all the time. Our plates are fuller, our closets are fuller, our garages are fuller, our waists are fuller. To show moderation in these areas would be a wonderful example of pulling back on the reins when times call for it while it shows our child what it means to use reason.

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees
Our economy has even caught even the wealthiest of family's off guard. This is a great opportunity to teach your child to really work for the money that you give them. Assign chores or tasks for them to complete before they receive any money from you. Have them place 1/3 of the money they earn into some type of savings plan. Teach them while they are young how to build a nest egg and they will carry that worthy lesson into adulthood.

Get Moving & Exercise
Since we just passed through two months of what we could only call, "The Feasting of the Holidays", I am sure we all can say we gained a few unwanted pounds. Here is our opportunity to get serious and get moving and get as a family. Take this chance to spend some quality family time walking and talking with one another. Is the weather to cold outside to attempt this? Plenty of family's own a Wii now, which carry's quit a few exercise games, so grab a game and get fit!

Be Responsible
Raising a child to be responsible for themselves, for the things they do, and for the things they say is so important to their character and the type of person they will become in life. Teach them responsibility and respect for themselves and the respect they will earn from others will come hand in hand with this lesson as they move forward into adulthood.

Volunteering should always be apart of your life. It is a proven fact that volunteering and giving of yourself to others actually creates a well-balanced life as well as improving ones own self value. There once was a study conducted of people who volunteered versus people who hadn't found that volunteering extended their lives, because of the connection to others and the feelings it created inside ones own life was beneficial.

Make the beginning of this New Year to make a difference in your own life, in your child's life and in someone else's life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Memory Keeper

Over two years ago I decided to sit down and research my family history. I was bound and determined to follow up every lead and get all of the unanswered questions I had about my family history. "Where did they come from?" "Who were they?" "What did they do for a living,?" "Did they fight in any of our nations wars?" My journey took me three solid months, seven days a week, eight hours each day. I gave my search everything I that I had.

My search paid off and I was able to search my family back to the 1500's, through twelve generations, which yielded me information that two of my great grandfathers being recorded in the history for their traceable journey into uncharted territory and the settling a new town. One of my great aunts had a questionable past. Four of my great uncles fought in two major wars and an uncle, who guarded three of our sitting presidents, and even a First Lady. My history reads like a juicy romance novel.

Though it took me a great deal of time to research my family history I am glad I did it for myself, for my siblings, for my mother and her sisters and for the generations who will come after me. It was worth all the hours sitting on a chair in front of the computer researching, emailing my uncle and my mother for fact checking things I was unsure of and I would do it all over again, in a heart beat. I wish I had an attic full of boxes and boxes of books my ancestors had kept journals of their lives, but I didn't. So, I say to you become the memory keeper of your history. Write down the stories that make your family who they are today. Take note of the important dates of your family history, because if you don't you may not be as lucky as I was in the search. I now have a time line with pictures and documents that chart my family from generation to generation and I am glad for it.