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Monday, October 16, 2017

Walking bag of Bones

When we think of Halloween we often think about the things that scare us. One member of the Halloween frightening crew is the skeleton. In daily life we do not see human bones walking about. In Halloween time they want us to envision just that. Skeletons and skulls are everywhere to be seen. In costumes, decorations, greeting cards and in books and on t.v. Skeletons and ghost help to keep the memory of Halloween being a past solemn day--- the day of the dead. 

Celebrating the dead to many cultures is not sad or morbid. It is a celebration of life. Of the loved ones life, who they were and the hop that one day they will be seen again. All Soul's Day will see people in Brittany heading to the cemetery to pray for their ancestor's souls. Doing this helps them feel closer to the ancestors that have passed on.Day of the Dead in Mexico is as grand as Christmas with street peddlers selling holiday toys. The toys may be skeletons with moving legs and painted in bright colors and many times dressed up like Barbie. In America skeletons take a less liberal view but are still great fun on Halloween.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Guess Who They Met

You may not be able to recognize him without makeup but this is the man behind the character Jason in the movie Friday the 13th VI  He was in town for a meet and greet and my nephew and niece were able to meet him.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Down Syndrome Awareness

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. It is a chance to spread awareness of the abilities and accomplishments those with Down Syndrome have achieved. It is not to celebrate the disability but it celebrating the abilities. It is also about learning exactly what Down Syndrome is many do not truly know.

John Langdon Down a physician in 1866 determined Down Syndrome as a disorder. He was not truly aware how Down Syndrome arises. It was not until 1959 that Down Syndrome cause was discovered to be a genetic disorder and the most common cause of cognitive impairment.

Those living with down syndrome have improved life spans of 60 years in 1983 the average lifespan of a person with Down Syndrome was 25 years. Most children with DS function in the mild to moderate range of cognitive impairment. Those living with Downs often have physical and intellectual delays from birth. Many living with down syndrome can now live independently on their own as adults. A few have decided to get married and live as a couple.

Individuals with Down Syndrome were once institutionalized this no longer happens. Americans with Down Syndrome have the same human and civil rights as all other Americans. Many individuals with downs will graduate from high school and go onto to college and some have received graduate degrees. Work, Volunteering, and voting are all things that we (ALL) can look forward to as adults.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins & Whipped Honey Maple Cinnamon Butter

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins & Whipped Honey-Maple Cinnamon Butter
These muffins bear the familiar grainy texture of traditional cornbread, with a light pumpkin flavor and color. Paired with the sweet, seasonal whipped butter and your meal will hearld the flavors of fall!

_For the Muffins:_
1 cup Cornmeal
1 cup All Purpose Flour (gluten free or regular)
1/3 cup granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons masa harina (or corn flour)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter , melted
1 cup Buttermilk
1 8- ounce container of Sour Cream or Crème Fraiche
1 Egg , lightly beaten
¾ cups Pumpki_n Puree
_For the Whipped Butter:
¼ cup unsalted Butter , room temperature
6 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Instructions for the Muffins:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with muffin baking cups.
In the bowl of a freestanding mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if using a hand held mixer) combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix on low to fully combine.
In a separate large, mixing bowl combine butter, buttermilk, sour cream/crème fraiche, egg and pumpkin puree. Whisk to fully combine.
Add the wet ingredients slowly to the dry ingredients, mixing on low to fully combine. Do not over mix.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes and then on a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm.
Instructions for the Whipped Butter:
Place butter in the bowl of a freestanding mixer (or large bowl if using a handheld mixer). Using the whisk attachment, mix at high speed until the butter is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
Add the honey, maple syrup and cinnamon. Mix to fully combine.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until using.
Recipe Notes
Cornbread Muffins adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

shared at
sundays at home 

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

2 packages frozen veggie crumbles, I like Morningstar
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 14 ounce can condensed tomato soup
1 14-ounce can thick and zesty tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried mustard powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon paprika

Hamburger Buns

Add all ingredients to Slow Cooker, except buns 🙂
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3.
Serve on buns, with pickles or additional fixins.

Pumpkin Whoopie Cookies

For the Whoopie Cookies:
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 tbl cinnamon
1 tbl ginger
1 tbl cloves
2 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 c vegetable oil
3 c chilled pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
3 c confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbl maple syrup
1 t pure vanilla extract

Make the Pumpkin Whoopie Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray your Whoopie Pie Pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves together and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the brown sugar and oil together until well combines.  Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly.  Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Use a small ice cream scoop, I used a 1/4 c measuring cup, to drop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling.

Make the Cream Cheese Filling
Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth, with no visible lumps.  Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.
Add the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Be care not to overbeat the filling, or it will lose structure.  (The filling can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover the bowl tightly and put it in the refrigerator.  Let the filling soften at room temperature before using.)

Assemble the Pies
Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up).
Use an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie.  Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling.  Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie.  Repeat until all the cookies are used.  Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days, on a parchment-lined baking sheet covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator – like they’ll last that long!

African Penguins

The African penguin is a species of penguin that can only be found in southern African waters. It has been called the "jackass" penguin because of its donkey like bray. This penguin can be its distinctive pink patches of skin above the eyes and black facial mask. The upper parts of the African penguin is black and its underparts are white. The African penguin is a pursuit diver and feeds primarily on fish and squid. At one time there were a great amount of this species of penguins but today it is on the endangered list.

There are a few reasons the African Penguin is declining in number. The mid-20th century saw penguin eggs being considered a delicacy food and were collected by poachers to sell. The egg would be smashed so that only fresh ones would be sold. Oil spills also endangered the penguins. Shipwrecks and cleaning of tankers while at sea made African penguins susceptible to pollution of their habitat. Competition among commercial fisheries of sardines and anchovy have forced the penguins to search for other prey off shore. Recent studies of closing known areas of African penguins to fisheries for periods of time showed great benefits to penguins No matter the reason of declining numbers I pray that the African Penguin never goes extinct. Their beauty can never be replaced.

Do You Want To Know Your Future

Recently at a community party we met a lady pretending and dressed up like a psychic. She was a good friend of mine as well as a co-worker. For this night though she was Madame Zola. I talked my grand-daughter into getting her fortune read. Only this did not work real well. The first attempt she walked in and then right back out. The second time I went with her and she sat down and listened for maybe 3 minutes. During this time Madam Zola told her she was a smart little girl who could make good grades in school and she would make a new friend soon. Nothing that should bother her. She abruptly got up out of the chair and walked  no I would say ran out. I later asked her why and she told me "Maybe I don't want to know everything that is going to happen to me". Would you like to have your fortune told to you?? 

Fortune telling is basically the practice of predicting events and happenings about a person's life. Fortune telling is very much like divination (the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.) It is however hosted in a less serious or formal setting.

Civilizations of different cultures have become interested in matters of fortune telling throughout history. Psychics have been sought to tell fortune through astrology, numerology, and tarot. Fortune telling emerged originally from Renaissance magic interrupted via gypsies. Fortune tellers can use many hundred different techniques. Many of these techniques date back to before recorded history. These forms are the same that were practiced in ancient China, Egypt, Chaldea, and Babylonia dating back to 4000 BC The bible in fact tells stories of prophetic dreams and oracular utterances. During the 19th and 20th century methods of divination from non-Western cultures were adopted as methods of fortune telling in western popular cultures.

Every culture seems to have its own form of fortune telling. Astrologers and wizards were consulted for everything from battles, to political matters as well as marriage choices. Astrologist were said to be able to study the movements of heavenly bodies as they influenced matters on earth. Those who professed in numerology would use playing cards, tarot card, tea leaves, crystal balls, dice, fire, water and scattered salt. Fortune tellers would use character analysis , study of handwriting, physiognomy or studied facial characteristic as well as palmistry. Palmistry is study the hand of the one searching for their fortune to be told.

Many Europeans and Americans consider fortune telling as a sin within Judaism and Christianity and civil laws that have forbidden the practice of such magic. Thousands of years ago psychics were prized advisers but they have since lost respect and reverence.