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Jen’s Easy Shepherd’s Pie

This is a savory meal that will make you forget you’re dieting. I make mine low-carb for our diabetic friendly family. I make it with more meat and veggies. We skip the regular mashed potatoes. For a low carb or keto version, you can do parmesan and cheddar cheeses with mashed cauliflower now available in most stores.

Another trick is to use red or yellow potatoes instead. The texture is slightly different, but the carb count is lower and they are low on the glycemic index. What’s that? It’s a chart of how easily your body can convert things to sugar.

by Meri Reffetto (Author)

$10.99

This is a great way to stay on target. It gives regular shoppers alternatives to high sugar and simple carb foods. We’ve been using this method for over 10 years. Best of all lots of items can be substituted into Keto and Paleo diets.

We started using this in conjunction with low carb dieting to keep type 2 diabetes in check. We happily report it has taken us back to pre-diabetic status. We have both lost weight and feel better even when we don’t stay as strictly to diet as we should. Hey, sometimes I just need chocolate ok.

by HOMWE

$14.97

Jen’s Easy Shepard’s Pie

1 1/2 lb ground chuck or round

1 package Steam and mash Ore-Ida potatoes Frozen (or low carb substitutions. Parmesan cauliflower is really good).

1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables (California mix is better for carb counts)

4 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Italian Seasoning (dried)

1 cup chopped onion

2 pkg Brown gravy mix

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt (I skip this there is enough in gravy mix.)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/3c water (if it’s too wet it’s a big mess)

Price:$49.99

My mom just got one and she loves it!

Directions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp Olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add Beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brown beef, about 5 min.
  3. If not using cast iron or oven safe pan, turn into cassarole dish.
  4. Mix 2 pkg brown gravy mix with 1/3 cup water. Mix well and pour over beef and vegetable mix. Stir well.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F
  6. Make topping with mashed potatoes or cauliflower.
  7. For topping add 4 Tbsp butter, 1/2 c milk, and dash of salt and pepper to potatoes. (If using cauliflower add parmesan and cheddar cheeses, salt and pepper.)
  8. Spread potatoes or cauliflower over filling. Cover completely.
  9. Bake uncovered at 350°F about 20 minutes.
  10. Top with sharp cheddar cheese.
  11. Put under broiler in oven for 5 minutes. Watch to make sure top is not over done. Serve hot.

$19.99

These are great to freeze to. We put them in those aluminum pie pans or sealing dish. Freeze until needed. Simply defrost and warm. Those pans go easily from freezer to oven and table. If it seems flimsy simply place on on a baking sheet for ease of carrying

by Pyrex

Price:$20.64

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Cucumber, Tomato Salad

2 medium cucumbers, chopped into1/4 in pieces

2 c grape tomatoes (I like the sweeter taste of grape over slight tart flavor of cherry tomatoes).

1/2 c minced radishes

5 oz fresh Basil leaves

2 Tbsp minced red onion

3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp minced garlic

  1. Mince radishes and onion.
  2. Wash cucumbers and dice into about 1/4 inch bite size pieces. I find it easiest to slice into 1/8″ slices and cut into quarters or eighths.
  3. Slice grape tomatoes in half.
  4. Combine cucumbers,tomatoes, radishes, and chopped basil in large salad bowl.
  5. Mix Olive oil and vinegar, and garlic.
  6. Drizzle liquid over salad and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix well to coat and enjoy.

Serves 9-10 easily.

Artland 82001A Simplicity Cylinder Salad Bowl, Clear

by ARTLAND
$29.95

Ofargo Stainless Steel Salad Tongs Kitchen Tongs with Silicone Tips for Cooking, Non-Stick, 9″+12″, 2-Pack, Black

by Ofargo
$13.99

We paired this with hamburgers and fries. Kids and adults loved it. It was a great low-carb side dish for my husbands birthday party.

Mojito Sherbert Punch

This was so good! I got the original recipe from a Pintrest pin. We made it for our Anniversary celebration. As there are currently 8 people here after Hurricane Michael, I needed something for the adults that wouldn’t break the bank at the adult beverage store. (We gave the kids the virgin version and they loved it too.)

1 can frozen limeade mix

1can frozen Margarita mix

4 cups club soda

1 pt lime Sherbert (we only found it at our local Publix.)

750 ml white rum (we like Bacardi)

Handmade Beverage Bottle with Yellow LED lights. Great for a desk lamp, a mood light, a man cave, and party. All of our lights are battery operated with replaceable AA batteries. This prevents the lamp from overheating or being a safety risk

Price:$35.00 + $8.99 shipping

In Stock.

Usually takes between 1 and 2 days to create

Ships from and sold by Mood Lights by Carol.

Mint leaves both for punch and garnish

4 limes thinly sliced (we use 2 in punch, 2 for garnish.)

  • Muddle 1 handful of mint leaves with 1 cup club soda to release thier flavors.
  • In gallon pitcher or punch bowl, combine lime sherbert, frozen Margarita mix, and frozen Limeade mix.
  • Add mint leaves, and lime slices.
  • Add remaining 3 cups club soda
  • Mix well. (This virgin version was loved by kids attending).

We had a great time making it. It paired really well with the Irish Skillet we made. Now I have a great idea to use for St Patrick’s Day. Happy cooking and make so.e memories with your family.

Summer Sun

It’s summer, and this time of year we all like to spend time in the great outdoors. With the sun shining high, we vibrate with anticipation to get outdoors. Be it camping, hiking, backyard bbq, the pool or the beach, please remember, with the warmer temperatures, to drink plenty of water, use protection from the harmful effects of the sun, and avoid the possibly deadly consequences of heat and/or sun stroke.

  • The daily recommended amount of water is 8 – 16 oz glasses a day. That increases dramatically the longer you play in the sun. As you sweat, that fluid must be replaced. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and energy drinks won’t do the job. In fact, some can do more harm than good. They provide sugary, empty calories without the electrolytes that fuel your boby. Cocktails and beer deplete your fluids, making you even more dehydrated. Pure waters, sparkling waters, and sports drinks, help to replace the electrolytes your bodies needs. Make sure you drink at least half again as much as you normally would while having your fun in the sun. Get a great recipe here.

  • Wear protective clothing. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? With the heat of the summer most of are thinking about how little we can wear to stay cool. Things like sunglasses that block uv rays protect your eyes. A large brim hat protects the top of your head from sunburn. It also provides shade to your face, neck and sometimes shoulders.
  • Adequate sunscreen will help block the damaging effects of the sun. Children especially need to wear sunblock. I’m a redhead, so I learned about the damaging effects of the sun at a young age. I don’t tan. I go from extremely pale to lobster red in a very short amount of time. Like babies, I have to use a sunscreen with spf 40 or higher. I blister easily and you can easily see where I did damage in my younger days trying to keep up with my friends who tan. Take it from me, the worst places to sunburn are under your hair, and the backs of your knees.
  • Avoid the most dangerous times of the day. The suns rays are the most dangerous for anyone between the hours of 10am and 3pm. If you’re heading for some fun in the sun, you’re get less direct sun before 10am or after 3pm. It’s best to avoid doing yard work or gardening during these peak sun times. If you must perform these activities during these times take care to protect yourself and know the warning signs of things like heatstroke.
  • Don’t be deceived by shade. I would give my mother the excuse of our pool being in the shade, to get out of wearing sunscreen. Trust me when I tell you, shade from a tree or other porous material will not protect you from the sun. You still need sunscreen!

  • Water reflects the suns rays. We’ve all seen people in movies who use those reflective panels to direct the rays. Like most, I thought, hey, I’m under the water, it will help protect me from the suns rays. While water does help diffuse the suns rays, it also reflects it back. So, if you wear the hat in the water, it’s directing those rays right back onto your shaded face and shoulders. Same rules here, make sure you wear the sunscreen. That tan is great when you’re young, but, as you age, that damaged skin begins to look like leather. The potential of developing skin cancer from those areas is also very high. The bandages and/or scars after having cancers removed from a place like your face are not attractive later. Indeed, if not caught, it can become something much worse than skin cancer.

  • Back to the fun. You celebrate family and holidays with a backyard bbq. Again, heavy hydration, will keep you healthier and cooler. Take frequent breaks from the heat and sun, on a patio, a porch, a pavillion, or in the house. Not only does taking such a break provide a temporary resbite, from the sun and heat, but keeps you from the overheating, that leads to sun stroke or heat stroke.

Stay safe and enjoy the summer fun and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. I would love to hear how you spend your summer time. Drop us a comment letting us know. Don’t forget to like and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest.

Outlander

If you’ve seen anything in this blog before you know I’m a book lover. Well I’m playing catch up. I passed over the Outlander series several years back upon encountering the books. I’m so sorry I did. The only reasons I can site are no one told me about them, and the cover art and titles didn’t catch my intrest. My sincerest apologies to the goddess author Diana Gabaldon. I saw some of the Outlander fever online, and went to look. I saw Season 1, episode 1 of the series from Starz and I’m hooked.

Time travel, Scottish Highlands,romance….what’s not to love. I saw the term knee porn used the other day and while I would normally never take this seriously, I have to agree that the character of Jamie Frasier in a kilt is a true sight to behold. I started falling in love with the depth of the characters, story line, and while Jamie is my favorite, Claire is very compelling as well.Where else can you find a WWII nurse transported back in time to 1743 in the Highlands of Scotland. There she meets a handsome, noble Scottish warrior. With no idea how or opportunity to return to her own time she weds him for protection in a world where women have little choice. Adventures ensue bringing encounters with the British soldiers of the time of great unrest in the country. I fell in love with the young highland warrior for his principles, strength of character, and okay I’ll admit it he does look good in a kilt. His character is tempered with vulnerabilities that he only shows to Claire and the reader/viewer.

I must admit I enjoyed a good binge watch to catch up to season 4. Now I have to read the books as well. The longest part of my week is waiting for the next episode. Sunday evenings will never be the same in my house. I am currently buying all of the books in print and awaiting the release of the next one too. I’ve read snipets shared online pertaining to various scenes and know from just the pieces I’ve read these will quickly make my favorite author list. Have you read these yet? Are you a fan of the show? I’ve seen the comments about the differences between the books and the show, it makes me want both experiences all the more. I’m now Outlander obsessed. I caught the fever and couldn’t be happier about it. I can happily recommend both the show and from what I’ve read so far the books as well.

Get them from Amazon here
https://www.facebook.com/groups/222279768543395/permalink/408381076599929/?app=fbl

See this link for more great Outlander items.

Don’t forget to see our other book recommendations here, and here

Flag Day

In America we fly our stars and stripes with pride. Indeed over many years, and many styles have come to be the “Stars and Bars” we see today. This symbol of our country is a lot more than a mere piece of cloth. This flag has consistently stood for freedom both here at home and around the world.

-Affiliate links are on this page. I do not recommend any thing I don’t use and love. If you use my link I get the credit which allows me to bring you more great content. I’m not going to get rich but every little bit helps.-

This flag has seen us from the times of the American Revelution, and Civil War, through the times of today in places like Syria, Libya, Afganastan, Iraq, Suadia Arabia, Korea, France, Germany, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and many others. It has been welcomed around the globe by people liberated from oppression, persecution, tyranny and any other entity that holds peoples inaliable rights hostage. I am saddened by the events I see in the news today. As June 6th was the 75th Anniversary of D-Day its difficult to understand how we have come to this state of affairs. From D-Day our troops joined forces with many nations and were welcomed with great celebration in cities and villages across France, Poland, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg and so many others. After liberating North Africa from the invasion force of the Axis powers.

Throughout our long history the men and women of our armed forces have sacrificed and died for the ideals in America and the freedoms we enjoy. Indeed those freedoms are so precious that we have people coming to our shores for the last 527 years. If you were lucky enough to be born here we should remember how hard won some of our freedoms are. Even in todays modern world people are still yearning for some of the basics we take for granted.

Since some of the etiquette has been forgotten over time here is the etiquette for the American Flag.

The standards below are from USflag.org I am simply publishing to my readership to remind them why our flag is both important and the proper way to care for and handle one. Anyone who has been given a folded flag fully understands the price of it and knows the value of which they hold.

Flag Etiquette

STANDARDS of RESPECTThe Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyardThe flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag OutdoorsWhen the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

US Flag 5×8 ft: 100% Made in USA. Premium Large American Flag 5×8 ft. Embroidered Stars and Stitched Stripes US Banner – Display with Pride by Rushmore Rose USA

Raising and Lowering the FlagThe flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag IndoorsWhen on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.

Parading and Saluting the FlagWhen carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The SaluteTo salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National AnthemThe pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

Watch “Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance” on YouTube

The Flag in MourningTo place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave. 

This page is maintained by Duane Streufert, Contact Us.
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This Site Established on 20 November 1994.
Last Updated 10 February 2005.
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Don’t forget Father’s Day is this Sunday. Find great gifts here.

Books to read

Great books come in many shapes, sizes, and genres. Whether you are just looking for a good read, or the perfect beach bag companion. I personally recommend these as some of my favorites. Coffee, tea and your favorite place to read are all the additions besides maybe chocolate…

I loved this entire series. I read them out of order while I was acquiring the books. They combine adventure, history, romance and time travel. I will not accept the blame if you can’t put it down to go to sleep.

Suzanne Brockmann’s wildly popular Troubleshooters series showcases this master storyteller’s rare gift for blending intense adventure with sensuous romance. And it all begins with The Unsung Hero, a heart-pounding tale of love that reveals hidden truths and brings two solitary people together against all odds.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Suzanne Brockmann’s Born to Darkness.

After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the sighting as injury-induced imaginings. In a last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorism team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton. As the town’s infamous bad boy, Tom was always in love with Kelly, a sweet “girl next door” who has grown into a remarkable woman. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day.

“Thanks to Suzanne Brockmann’s glorious pen, we all get to revel in heartstopping adventure and blistering romance.”—RT Book Reviews

A Dance Through Time (MacLeod series Book 1)

Scotland, 1311. James MacLeod was the most respected—and feared—laird in all of Scotland. He loved his men like brothers and his land with a passion. And he allowed no women to cross the threshold of his keep…

New York City, 1996. With an indifferent fiance and a stalled writing career, Elizabeth Smith found passion and adventure only in the unpublished romance novels that she wrote. Until a Scottish hero began calling to her…


Elizabeth longed for the man of her dreams. But she knew she was overworked when she began hearing his voice—when she was awake. To clear her mind, she took a walk in Gramercy Park. She dozed off on a bench—and woke up in a lush forest in forteenth-century Scotland. A forest surrounding the castle of James MacLeod, an arrogant and handsome lord with a very familiar voice. Elizabeth would turn his ordered world upside down and go where no woman had ever gone before: straight into his heart..
Another Chance to Dream (De Piaget series Book 1)
With neither title nor land, Rhys could not win the hand of Gwennelyn of Segrave. But he would always have her heart. The two are kindred souls…Rhys, a knight with far too many notions of chivalry for his own good. And Gwen, a lover of minstral tales, waiting to be swept away. But Gwen is betrothed to another man, and Rhys fears he will lose her forever. Until a suprise offer comes his way—bringing Rhys and Gwen a second chance at love…
I love everything this author. Patrick MacLeod is haunted by his past, by events he had no control over and wishes desperately he could change. He hasn’t the heart for love, nor the time for rescuing maidens in distress of their own making. Until he sees a woman who touches his heart and stirs his soul…and makes him believe love might be possible again after all.
 
For Madelyn Phillips, Scotland is the land of dreams, filled with magic, romance, and handsome Highland lords. Unfortunately, the reality of her dream vacation is no car, no luggage, and a pesky ex-fiancé determined to shadow her every move. She thinks her dreaming is in vain.
 
Until she sees a man standing on a windswept moor, a Highlander full of secrets and longing, and knows she has seen her destiny.
 
But the past isn’t through with either of them, and it will take all the love both of them possess to make their dreams come true…
The Viscount Who Loved Me With 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons) Kindle Edition

1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better…

–Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers,April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry–he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield–the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes to notmake the best husbands–and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister–but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…

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