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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Healthy, Easy Lunchbox or Picnic Recipes

Some easy, healthy, nutritional lunch ideas for your the lunchbox or a picnic..

Apple Wedges With Peanut Butter
Slice apples and place in plasti zip baggy with some water and lemon juice (the lemon juice will naturally preserve that apple and keep it from turning brown). Put a small container of peanut butter in with them. You can put some grapes, raisins or banana slices on the apple and peanut butter too.

Homemade Apple Sauce
Use a sweet apple like Gala, Fuji (cored, peeled and sliced)
Sugar (or brown sugar or honey)
Water (or apple juice)
Remember there is moisture in the apples so don't overdo the water. Apples are sweet so watch the amount of sugar you use. Cook the apples until it's mushy and Voila! you have simple homemade applesauce.

You can use the applesauce in other recipes:

Mini Apple Pie
Crushed graham cracker
A slice of butter
Heat in microwave to melt butter.

Apple Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Spoon applesauce into a fine sieve over a bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Discard liquid. Scrape drained applesauce into a large bowl. Add sugar and butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in vanilla and egg. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended. Fold in chips.
Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.
cource: MyRecipes.com, Cooking Light, JANUARY 2001

Oatmeal and Applesauce Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-low heat.
In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix applesauce, sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Stir applesauce mixture and milk into the flour mixture until evenly moist and thick.
Scoop about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the prepared griddle, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle with crushed black walnuts and serve with butter and syrup or peanut butter.
Source: Yummly.com

Homemade Vegetable Juice
Ripe tomatoes, Celery, Kale (or spinach), Tomato, Carrot, Orange Pepper, Cilantro, Lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt/pepper
Place in Vitamix mixer (or similar) and juice.

Monte Cristo Sandwich
Dijon mustard
2 pieces bread, toasted (or soak the bread in egg and grill to make French toast)
thinly sliced ham
thinly sliced turkey
Swiss cheese
butter, at room temperature
Spread toast thinly with butter, then thinly with mayonnaise and dijon mustard. Layer ham, turkey and cheese. When ready to serve, heat enough to melt the butter and eat. If you don't have access to microwave, don't make french toast and leave off the butter and eat sandwich cold.
Source: RealSimple.com

Pear and Avocado On Sour Dough Bread
1 fresh avocado
Lemon juice
Bosc pear
Cut and scoop out ripe avocado, sprinkle lemon juice and salt to keep it preserved and from turning it brown. Put the avocado in a container. Add thin slices of pear in plastic zip baggy with some lemon juice and water to keep it preserved. When ready to eat, spread avocado on bread and layer pear slices.
source: Parenting.com

Chicken Salad Sandwich
Boil a boneless, skinless chicken breast until cooked. Let cool and dice. Add chopped fresh cilantro, salt, sweet pickle relish, Duke's mayonnaise, diced black walnuts. Place in small container. Use a good bread or toasted sliced bread. Place some avocado slices in plastic zip baggy with a little lemon juice, water and salt to preserve. When ready to eat, add chicken salad and avocado slices to bread.

Vichyssoise (Cold Potato Soup)
1 lb potato, peeled and diced
5 leeks, cut into small pieces (white part only)
1 onion, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup butter
2 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives
salt and pepper
Saute leeks and onions in butter. When translucent, add broth and potatoes. Boil 30-45 mins until potatoes are cooked. Let it cool, then run through food processor, blender or Vitamix mixer. Blend until smooth. Chill 20 mins. Add heavy cream, fresh chopped chives, salt/pepper. If it's too stiff, add some milk. This soup is served cold so it's perfect for picnics and lunchboxes.

Russian Potato Salad
Egg/potato/mayo salad (no mustard), with a little chopped celery in it. Then add chopped pickled beets and peeled, chopped fresh apple. Mix in a little of the pickled beet juice, about 1/4 cup to every 3 cups of potato salad. Let it sit overnight. Serve over clean fresh baby spinach.

Healthy Carrot Salad
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 bag (10 ounces) shredded carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mustard, salt and sugar in small bowl.Combine carrots, cranberries, onion and almonds in large bowl. Add dressing. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Source: FoodNetwork.com

Carrot Oven Fries
Carrots, peeled and cut into 4-inch x 1/4-inch sticks
Hidden Valley® The Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix (1 package to 5-6 large carrots)
Olive oil
Corn starch (1 tsp to 4-5 large carrots)
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the carrots together with the olive oil, corn starch and seasoning mix. Using a sheet tray or quarter sheet pan, spray generously with cooking spray. Arrange the carrots in a single layer on rack and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until crispy.

Crockpot Carrot Pudding
4 large carrots, cooked and grated
1 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
Mix together the cooked carrots, onion, salt, nutmeg, sugar, milk, and beaten eggs. Pour into greased slow cooker; cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Source: Crockpot.blogspot.com

Roast Beef Taco
Fold 1 slice roast beef inside each soft tortillas and sprinkle with shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack or Mexican Blend cheese. In small containers you can include salsa, guacamole, plain yogurt, shredded lettuce and diced tomato.

Chili Beans sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream. Serve with corn bread cooked in muffin tin.

Celery stalks filled with pimento cheese

A loaded baked potato

Baked sweet potato, scrape out of the skin and stir in some butter and cinnamon (sugar if needed).

Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Spread Duke's mayonnaise on it and sprinkle with some salt/pepper. Or use an herbal cream cheese.

Cheese slices and crackers

Wrap a cheese slice and sandwich meat slice around a thick pretzel stick

Always try to include protein, carbohydrate, vegetable and fruit in the menu.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

I just finished reading Robert Kolker's Lost Girls, An Unsolved American Mystery about the Oak Beach murders.

In December 2010, four sets of human remains – neatly shrouded in burlap sacks – were discovered along remote Gilgo Beach in Long Island. Further searches found the remains of 10 people between Manorville and Oak Beach, one a toddler and one an Asian male in women's clothes. The other eight were women. The book had no photos which would have been appreciated. But here are photos of the principal places and people for your help.

The old Oak Beach Inn

The search

Maureen Brainard-Barnes

Melissa Barthelemy

Shannan Gilbert

Megan Waterman

Amber Overstreet Costello

Jessica Taylor

Joseph Joe Brewer

His house

Dr. Charles Peter Hackett

His house

Gus Coletti

Michael Pak, the driver

Kimberly "Kim" Overstreet Costello

Lorraine Ela and her mother, Muriel Benner

Mari Gilbert

This could have been a very confusing story with all the different people and situations involved but Kolker did a good job in bringing some order to it. Using a chapter for each woman we got to know a little about their lives before the murders. Each tale so tragic.

These women got themselves into a terrible lifestyle of prostitution, drugs, lies and theft. But no one deserves to be treated like so much trash to be used, abused, murdered and thrown away. I hope they find whoever did this.

Of course, the mystery has not been solved and so there is no end to the story, no conclusion, no closure. And the police cannot reveal all they may know or the evidence they may have so the story is one sided. They cannot make comments on an open case. I understand that but it made the book more rumor than facts.

I could have done without the conflict in the families that he describes. Such tragedy can bring out the best and the worst. It's their business and didn't need to be made public. That made the book too long. Maybe he didn't have enough material without it to make a book?

I can only pray for these families and for justice.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Organizing School

It's good for children to learn how to be organized at an early age. Instill in them how to organize their books, supplies, lockers, schedules and you will teach them a life skill that will carry them far! Here are some ideas for organized lockers.

Here are a few ideas I found on how to organize your school supplies for all those homework assignments.

Your children have put a lot of work into their studies, their artwork, their special projects. You can keep their work organized to pass down to them when they have homes of their own. Here are some ideas I found on how to organize and store their schoolwork. One word of advice, try to use acid free materials from paper to folders, page protectors to storage containers., from pens to adhesives. Do a Google search to find acid free supplies for storage such as boxes, binders, etc.

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