herbs

International Day of Friendship

The International Day of Friendship is a United Nations (UN) day that promotes the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in many cultures. It is observed on July 30 each year.

In 2011, the UN proclaimed the International Day of Friendship with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, and cultures can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. The UN wanted for the day to involve young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

July 30 is also National Cheesecake Day, so treat yourself with a slice (or two) of this decadent dessert made of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and a graham cracker crust.

For a tasty treat you can also try Cheesecake Fruit Salad recipe here.

Cheesecake Fruit Salad
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Moms pizza

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.

Warmth on a Cold Night

We had this at a popular restaurant  several years ago.  It was new and different and we loved it!  As it turns out it was rotated off the menu so I came home and started my own copy cat recipe.  On a quick trip to a store for something I found a McCormick seasoning for it.  I followed their recipe and after many experiments came up with my own simple, restaurant tasting version.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  This is fabulous any time of year.  Especially Fall/Winter.

white-chicken-chili

McCormick makes a spice blend for it.

Jens’ White Chicken Chili

1 pkg boneless, skinless, Chicken Breast or Thighs about 2 – 3 lbs.

2 Cans Great Northern or Navy Beans do not drain

1 can Diced Green Chili’s

2 pkg McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella Cheese + extra for garnish

4 Tablespoons chopped Green Onion (if desired).

In large dutch oven style pan, cook chicken until golden on both sides over medium heat.  Remove from pan.  Cut or shred chicken to bite size pieces approx 1/2 in.  Return Chicken to pan.  Add diced Green Chili’s and beans with liquid.  Mix 2 season pkg with 2 cups heavy cream.  Add to pan.  Simmer on medium low 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.  Once cheese melts serve piping hot, garnish with chopped green onions and extra cheese if desired.  Keeps well in freezer I recommend a double batch.  (One to eat today, one for an easy frozen meal later.)

 

 

I made it !!  I just had my 36th Birthday!   Anyone who is close to me knows that not too long ago the goal was to reach this age.   I’m not going to say its been easy…  I would like to think i’ve weathered the last few years withpoise and grace.   Overall I believe i’ve done rather well,  even when thoroughly aggravated or hit a low spot along the way .  What started as a stroke via a burst vessel in my brain,  is now a long recovery where we didn’t know how much damage there would be to regaining normal vision and balance.   I had to have specialized therapy to drink normal beverages and to walk again.   All the therapy and another brain surgery to remove some of the things that initially saved my life.  Turns out the tube had been giving me aweful dizziness and vertigo symptoms sometime just sitting up in bed.  That is how i spent my birthday one year later.  Last year my Christmas was spent clearing more complications this time in the form of a cyst from the original bleed that as it grew unoticed pressed on my spinal cord cutting off the messages my brain sent to my legs. I was so excited when post surgery and enough drugs to stand sitting up i could wiggle my toes.  I had read of people s o happy they cried but this was my first experience with that kind of joy.   Why am i telling you all this?   I implore people to stop living with regrets and procrastinación about your feelings.   Embrace how you feel and live the gift of life you’ve been given .  Smile,  laugh,  cry,  express your feelings , don’t wait to say i love you,  do not hesitate to clear the air with those closest to you.  Start with the general stuff as we focus on giving thanks,  endevore to make it a habit to look at all we have to be thankful for the whole year long.   Moms and dad’s,  granparents,  aunts and uncles,  friends and coworkers,  and most of all everyday you wake up to the prescious gift of children.  I have a new niece and nephew to spoil and my brothers oldest daughter who will start school soon.  I am so blessed that i get to meet them and watch them grow.   So as the hustle of the holidays begins,  remember to take time to appreciate all the blessings you already have .  Siblings,  parents, friends,  aunts,  and uncles,  never miss the chance to tell them how special they are to you. 

Mary, Mary, how does your garden grow?

That was the nursery rhyme from childhood.  While my mother’s name is Mary, we’re open to new ideas. Do you plant a garden to enjoy all summer long?   While flowers are an obvious choice as a beautiful display around your home. When temperatures rise we often find more reasons to spend time outside,  so flowers are admired by many.
One of the other choices here is a kitchen garden.  Many professional chefs grow  lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, potatoes, and don’t forget the herbs.  If you want to save some cash this summer, grow your own organic veggies and herbs.  We love vegetables so spending  $60-$80 a month at the farmers market is not unusual.  Imagine you could save $60 a month for let’s say 5 months. That really starts to add up. Save for a fun day for the kids.  Or back to school supplies. How about a really long term goal like Christmas savings.

This year we’re going to try a new concept shared on Pinterest.  The herbs are moving to the railing on the front porch.  Containers will be joining these, we started a pineapple in one.  We think a couple small fruit trees.  I saw a blueberry bush, raspberry bush, and limes, strawberries, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, blackberries. They are available in what they call dwarf trees, perfect for containers. On the front porch gives easy access when the fruit comes in, and manage in off season.  The  concept we’re looking to try is called hay bale gardening.  

Not only does it raise plants up off the ground according to a little research this is better and faster than fertilizers.  Planting directly in the bale only requires water any a little potting soil.  Best news hay bales will decompose to enrich the soil in 1-2  years.

We also plan to move delicate vegetables or fruits into a green house to combat critters like birds, squirrels, and  possibly an armadillo that keeps digging holes in the yard.  Pergelas are beyond my ability.  Maybe I can talk my brother into building a simple one.  We have some grape vines that I want tobe encourage to the top of the trellis.  I understand most can be made from reclaimed wooden pallets.
Along with getting rid of wooden gazebo, we hope to create both a seating area with wood burning fire pit, and dining area partly covered with a sunshade.  A permanent fire pit is on the list as well.
Lavender, mint, and lemongrass are must haves by the porches front and back to keep mosquitoes away. I also want to try the shiny penny in water.  Hopefully this will keep them away from me. I enjoy the outdoors, as long as it’s not making a meal out of me!  I would love to get both a dry rivetbed, and fountain with pool to help with drainage form our yard.  All of these ideas are great fun for children and make great projects to do together.  What are you planting in your?  Any suggestions to turn my thumb green again? I hope along with hurricane preparations we can have it done in time for summer with family and friends.

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