Month: December 2015

Vegan Pantry Essentials

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From May Nothing Stop You!


I am having a surreal experience this holiday season.  It seems like every party I have been to this year has had a group of vegetarians.  In the past, I have tended to be the only vegetarian.  No vegans at all.  Now I am running into my people left and right so to speak.  Now part of this could be that I hadn’t been out for holiday celebrations in the past several years.  What a delightful discovery!


I went to one party were four of us.  It was potluck.  So we all felt like we were not the red headed stepchild!  The one thing that we all expressed concern over is the fact that we want to eat healthy, but we don’t know what to do.  So I am looking out for helpful posts that I can share.  Here is one as to what you need to have in your cupboard for a vegan diet!

Source: Vegan Pantry Essentials




Now in Print: How to Be a Healthy Vegetarian by Nancy Addison

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From Creative Administration!


I don’t know what kind of New Year’s resolutions(I am not a believer in them) you might make, but I know that I always make a resolution for healthy eating.  And I do this throughout the year.


I think that vegetarian can be pretty healthy.  Though I have vegetarian friends that are anything but healthy.  One of them can’t give up fried food.  She loves fried mozzarella.  Fried hush puppys.  You get the idea.  The sad thing is that she’s a nurse.


Check out this book, but also check out the blog Creative Administration.  They say that everyone has a book in them.  This person looks like they could help you!


Source: Now in Print: How to Be a Healthy Vegetarian by Nancy Addison




7 Ways To Use Up Eggnog!

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Eggnog is one of those tasty treats that many of us love to indulge in during the Christmas holidays but it’s easy to end up with a lot of it left when the party is over! The good news is that eggnog makes a tasty addition to a lot of other recipes!

What would Christmas be without eggnog?  Rich and creamy.  Spicy.  Spiked or not, it’s a wonderful addition to our holiday celebrations.  The best eggnog that I ever had was what my husband use to make when we first got married. Though, he came up with the recipe when he was a frat boy.  Should have known better.
Every year, he would put together the perfect blend of eggs, cream, spices, and brandy.  It was so smooth that you would drink it like a cream soda.  The brandy would eventually catch up with people.  I learned to keep an eye on home much people were drinking.  Needless to say, our parties were pretty popular!

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7 Prosperous Good Luck Foods for the New Year

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From Once Upon A Spice!


What a perfect post for this week!  The New Year is almost upon us.  We want to start it out right.  And what better way that to have an especially lucky meal in celebration on the day!


We here on the Gulf Coast take our black-eyed peas and greens quite seriously for New Years Day.  So seriously, that many grocery stores sell out of the black-eyed peas.  LOL!


Here are some great recipes from Lana!


Source: 7 Prosperous Good Luck Foods for the New Year




15 Money-Saving Ways to Outsmart Your Supermarket From Time Magazine!

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I always go crazy the week after Christmas, trying to figure out what I spent.  You can always set a budget, but things come up that you don’t expect.  I get a lot of phones for donations this time of year.  It’s really hard to say no.  However, I never seem to spend quite as much money as I think I do. 


Never the less, I go on a search on how to save money.  The easiest way is to cut your food costs.  I found an older article from Time magazine.  It has some great ideas that you can use anytime of the year!


Did you know listening to upbeat music while you grocery shop may help you spend less? Or that “10 for $10” promotions can sometimes cost you more? Reader’s Digest talked to supermarket employees, industry experts and grocery shopping gurus to put together an exhaustive list of the strategies supermarkets use to get shoppers to buy more, as well as some insider advice for shopping smarter. We went through the list and pulled out the 15 best tips for saving money at the grocery store.

Check them out!


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6 Fast & Easy Recipes From Canned Tomatoes!

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I hope you all had a great Christmas yesterday!  And even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, I hope it was a good day for ya!   When I was a little kid, I just loved Christmas.  All the excitement.  Presents.  Spending time with my family.  Going sledding.  All kinds of things.  

However, I am happy enough to have the week after Christmas and before New Years Eve to take a break.  I spend more time just being quiet.  Exercising.  My husband and I have this annual ritual of eating from our refrigerator and pantry.  Partly, to save a little money.  Christmas is expensive.  And partly just for the sheer enjoyment of knowing we can do this and we do it together.

I was web surfing and come across some recipes from The Cheat Sheet.  Here are two I am definitely going to try this week.  Check out the others while you are at it! 


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7 Ways To Make the Holiday Special For Your Kids

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I love this article.  So often the focus on Christmas revolves our what gifts we are getting.  What about giving to others?  And the most important gift we can give?  Our time to others.  That time will make lasting memories for us.  Much more so than the newest play station.  So here are the three ideas I love.

Bake something

I loved baking with my son when he was little!  We would really get down and dirty here.  I didn’t care about the mess.  Laughing and having fun was much more important.  Besides, we got to taste test as we went along!

This is one of the easiest ways to show your kids what a special time the holidays are.  You can teach them how to bake cookies. Maybe you can pass on an old family recipe, as you show them step-by-step how to do it. Of course, with younger children, you will need to take precautions, and show them how to be safe when using sharp instruments and doing things near hot ovens.




Help someone in need

I try to live by the idea that if I lift someone up, I also lift myself up.  This has helped me in some of my hardest times.  You don’t have to do something big or expensive.

One of the most important and valuable lessons any parent can teach a child is for them to learn how to do something to help others. Whether it is helping a friend do their homework, or helping an elderly person with yard work, doesn’t matter. What really matters is that they learn to give some of their time and energy in a way that will help someone else. They learn to give, rather than take. And, in the process, they will learn to value how it makes them feel good inside to do it.


We have been helping deliver gifts through Blue Santa.  We’re almost done.  And parents have been really appreciative.  Who wants to see their kids sad on Christmas day?


It’s not too late to do something with your children.  One thing you could do is find a nursing home in your neighborhood and bring some cookies to your neighbors there.  You would not believe how many people who live there have no family.  Just stopping by for a short time will make their day so much brighter!





Take them to a holiday movie

Going to a holiday movie with your child is another fun thing to do this time of year. There are usually a few animated Disney movies that come out in the winter time, especially for young people. Going to a movie will show your children that they can enjoy doing things with you that will benefit them. This can be one way that they learn to enjoy doing things that are fun and important to them, and not just having to always do what grownups do.

Watching a movie can spark their imaginations and creativity and show them what a fun time they can have with the family.





Go here to find out what movies are opening!


Some more ideas!

Enjoy Your Day!


3 Fast & Easy Christmas Side Dishes and More!

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I just wanted to post the recipes of the sides and dessert that I am serving for Christmas dinner.  I hope you will make one or two of them.  And enjoy them as much as we do!


Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Growing up, I had never been a fan of mashed potatoes.  They always seemed bland and stringy.  Except for the times that they bland and lumpy.  And by the time we sat down to eat, they would be cold.  Yuck!

My mom and I constantly had fights over whether I would eat them or not.  The last time we had this fight, she told me that I would have to sit at the table until I ate them.  Well, around midnight she came and told me to go to bed.  Yes, I was a pretty stubborn kid.  LOL!

For years, I would always pass up the mashed potatoes.  Then Jim and I went to Joe’s Crab Shack.  Jim got these mashed potatoes as a side.  They looked a lot different from what I was used to.  For one thing, they were cooked and mashed with their skins on.  And they had garlic and cheese in them.  Sooo good!  So when I got home, I replicated the recipe and here is how I make my mashed potatoes!



2 pounds unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter, softened
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp of salt or to taste
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried.


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and garlic, and cook until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes; drain. Stir in butter, cheese, salt, and oregano. Mash with a immersible blender or with an electric mixer.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes


4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13×9-inch baking dish. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.  Please don’t leave out the red pepper flakes.  The sweetness of the potato with the heat of the pepper is incredible!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I have always been able to get Jim to eat anything.  One of the few exceptions were Brussel Sprouts.  He hated the sulphur taste of them.  I don’t know how I found out that by roasting Brussel Sprouts, you can get rid of that taste.  Now Jim will actually include Brussel Sprouts when he is doing the menu planning.


1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.

And here are the links to the other recipes that I have posted in the past.

Mushroom Gravy

Biscuits & Gravy

Buttermilk Pie


Buttermilk Pie




Christmas Sticky Buns

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From Denise Balog…Grace filled devotionals!


I am always amazed by the fact that I have found such a good friend as Denise while blogging.  She is truly what Anne Shirley of “Green Gables” called a kindred spirit.  I love reading her thoughts in her posts.  If I don’t have time, I save them until I can be alone.  She feeds my soul.


Today, she posted a recipe for sticky buns, that I am going to make to feed my family on Christmas morning.  They look scrumptious!


Thank you so much Denise!



Source: Christmas Sticky Buns