Fresh Peach Smoothie Like a Milkshake

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Peach Smoothie 2Have a Peach Smoothie and Fool Your Taste Buds into thinking you are having a Peach Milkshake.

Peach season is here and I love homemade peach ice cream or¬†a good ol’ peach milkshake. What I don’t like is 800 calories or 80 carbs¬†for a milkshake.

A good way to satisfy my craving for a peach milkshake is to have a peach smoothie with less than half the calories and carbohydrates.

It’s easy enough to make the switch, fool my taste buds, and enjoy a peach “milkshake”.

peach smoothie like a shakeFor this smoothie
I used:

2 fresh peaches (peeled and sliced)
4 oz. vanilla yogurt
1/4 c. milk
1 ice cube

One ice cube just gives it a little more thickness.
Put all of that in the Nutri-Bullet and turn it for about 1 minute.

Less calories, less carbs, full flavor.


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Lemonade like Chick-fil-A

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lemonade like cfa

Full disclosure here before I go rattling off the lemonade recipe. ¬†I have spent¬†9 years working in marketing¬†for Chick-fil-A. ¬†I know the¬†exact recipe, made in large amounts. ¬†However the division to make just one gallon at home doesn’t work out so easily.¬†I have played around with the recipe for years to get it as close as I can to the measurement that is used on a larger scale at CFA.

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Glittered Treasure Chest – Crafting With the Lil’ Ones

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Glittered Treasure Chest
Anytime Craft
Crafting With the Lil’ Ones

glittered treasure box with instructions for My Place 1glittered treasure box with instructions for My Place 2


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Spring / Summer Flower 2

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Spring / Summer
Flower 2
Crafting With the Lil’ Ones

spring flower 2 completed with instructions for my placeThis same package of flowers was used last year for Mother’s Day and we used a pen instead of the plastic straw that comes in the kit.¬† The kiddos made a little bouquet with 3 pen flowers to give to their Mother.¬† A nice little gift.

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The Real Deal Homemade Pico de Gallo

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finished salsa Pico de Gallo, or what some might call Fresh Salsa or Salsa Fresh is one of my absolute favorite lite snacks. I have some Hispanic friends who taught me how to make this quick and easy snack.

Pico de Gallo¬†is different¬†from the jarred salsa that you buy because it isn’t cooked, and it contains no vinegar.¬† It is¬†made with fresh raw ingredients and it is served in a less liquid state than jarred salsa.

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Easy as Pie, Ice Cream Cake

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Ice Cream Cake 11 Easy As Pie
Ice Cream Cake

This simple solution to a homemade ice cream cake is not only delicious, but also easy to make.  It can be a little time consuming, but it's well worth the time it takes to make it.

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Liebster Award Nomination

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Exciting news to share right here,
NC Born has liebster 6been nominated for a Liebster Award!
Now, how cool is that?

The Liebster award is found only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.  It is a great way to highlight some of the newer or lesser-known blogs, like NCBorn, and help develop their readership.
The only way to ‚Äúreceive‚ÄĚ this award is to be nominated by a fellow blogger.
jebbicasworld-food-fitness-friday-300  linkup partySo, I must give a HUGE shout out and thanks to Jessica from for nominating my blog!
I follow Jessica and she  has a lot of really great information and inspiration about Food and Fitness, and a few other topics on her blog.  So if you need motivation and great tips from a girl who is really on the right track for losing weight and keeping it off, go to, show her some blogging and commenting luv.


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How to Cook Ground Turkey or Ground Beef into a Fine Texture

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Ground Turkey Cooked to fine texture

Ground Turkey
Cooked to fine texture

Cooking Ground Turkey or Ground Beef into a Fine Texture

When making tacos, chili, lasagna or spaghetti, I like the texture of the meat to be small, itzy bitzy, fine pieces.¬† I truly dislike¬†having large chunks of meat in a sauce.¬† If you like small pieces as well but, don’t know how to accomplish it, here’s how.

For years I cooked the meat then, while it was draining in the colander I used forks to cut or mash it into smaller pieces to get the texture I wanted. Continue reading

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How to make REAL Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

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french vanilla creamer 5Do you want to make REAL Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer?

Hubby enjoys French Vanilla Creamer in his coffee. Being the frugal one that I am, of course, I want to see if I can make a good French Vanilla Creamer that he likes and one that¬†the cost is less than the one¬†he gets at the grocery store.¬† Also, being the ‚Äúlittle cleaner/ healthier options‚ÄĚ where we can, that I am, of course, I want to see if I can make it better for consumption. My first thought of course was Pinterest, let me see what everyone else is doing.¬† I found dozens of recipes for French Vanilla Coffee Creamer.¬† When I looked at them and read the recipes they were all about the same, and they all used Vanilla Extract or flavoring. My next thought was..‚Ķ‚Ķ. Hmmmm, what makes¬†that "French?"¬† It‚Äôs just vanilla extract, and the coffee creamer he likes¬†has a definite flavor to it that is different from¬†just vanilla. Continue reading

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How to Make Your Own ‚ÄĒ French Salad Dressing

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French Dressing 3  edited Make your own¬† —
Homemade French Salad Dressing

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How to Make your Own — Homemade Thousand Island Salad Dressing

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Thousand Island 6Make your own
Homemade Thousand Island Salad Dressing:

Go ahead and mark Thousand Island Salad Dressing off of your grocery list, because it’s so easy to make your own. Continue reading

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Healthy Choices can equal Unhealthy Stress and Confusion

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 Are You Stressed and Confused over Healthy Choices?

fresh produceAre you just starting out on a healthy food and healthy home journey, or have you struggled around with it for years trying to figure out what works for you and your family?

It has been a long, long journey for me, complete with confusion, stress, and plenty of contradicting information.  Continue reading

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How to Make your Own — Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Homemade Vanilla ExtractHow to Make your Own — Homemade Vanilla Extract

Never Buy Vanilla Extract Again  and make it Gluten Free if you choose

Everything you need to make your own Vanilla Extract is in the picture.
Except a little bit of patience, of course.

Two¬†ingredients, a knife and time.¬† That’s it.¬† You can make vanilla extract for using in your kitchen or giving for gifts.¬† Everybody loves pure vanilla extract.

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NC Senate Bill 346 = Eliminating your Choice

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sb 346      2NC Senate Bill 346 — Your rights as a parent to¬† make a choice for your children is being challenged, yet again.


First off, to be clear, this post is not in support of vaccines or against vaccines.  This post is not meant to sway your opinion concerning vaccines one way or the other.  This post is about your right to give informed consent being taken away from you.
Some NC Senators want to make that their business, instead of yours.

Just yesterday, March 20, 2015, Bill 346 was filed.
What is Senate Bill  346? This is a Bill, that if passed will eliminate religious exemption for all school aged children. 
Let me repeat that…… all school aged children,¬†if you are a homeschool parent, or a private school parent, don’t just shake your head and think this doesn’t apply to you because, IT DOES!¬†¬† Continue reading

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Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

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 ooey gooey 5 editedOoey Gooey Butter Cake

Lately I have been reminiscing of recipes that my Granny often made.  Of course, I remember the desserts most often (oh, that sweet tooth).  Granny often made a dessert that she called Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  I had actually totally forgotten about that cake until a recent visit to The Lady and Sons restaurant brought it to memory.  As I recall, this dessert was very popular and could be found on the table at every covered-dish shindig. Continue reading

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Coconut Oil and Butter Mixed together –
Good and good for you.       coconut oil and butter 2

How often is it that something that taste really good is also really good for you?
I know controversy abounds around coconut oil and butter, but I am a firm believer that saturated fats are not the enemy that they have been made out to be all these years.  I stand by that because they are natural.  Given to us by nature, not formed in a lab as a synthetic replacement of the good stuff.  Continue reading

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Hey Daddy, You Are Not A Glass Maker

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Yes I did say “Kids on Shoulders, How Rude!”
What happens if you are nice and leave a little room between you and the people in front of you.  This is what happens.

kids on shoulders

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Fifty Shades…. I Wasn’t Interested, Until Now.

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fifty shades



Fifty Shades………..
How do you go from, not even interested, to what’s all the hype about?

It only takes a few dozen well-meaning posts from social media friends to get the wheels turning, and maybe in the wrong direction.  Continue reading

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Rainbow Grove Sticker Craft

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Rainbow Grove Sticker Craft
Crafting With the Lil’ Ones

rainbow grove for my place

All kids love stickers.  These stickers were purchased at our local craft store from a clearance basket for $1 per package.  The brand is Rainbow Grove and they have several very cute packages.
This cute little craft is quick and easy.  Nothing but quarter sized foam sheets and foam  stickers.  Good for a variety of ages and the little ones are so proud of their little craft.  It can be framed with one of the foam frames or you can put magnets on the back of it so they can put it on the refrigerator.
Crafting With the Lil Ones is so much fun and it doesn’t take a lot of time or expense to keep them happy.
Share your kid friendly crafts with us, we are always looking for new crafts.


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Glittered Star – Crafting With the Lil Ones

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             Glittered Star
Crafting With the Lil’ Ones
                   Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

glittered star 1 - crafting w the lil ones Are you looking for a quick and easy craft to go along with a story such as  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars, or How to Catch a Star, or Good Night Moon? Even if you just need a quick and easy craft without the story you can’t go wrong with wooden shapes and glitter glue.

Wooden shapes can be purchased at your local craft store for about 25 cents each, and the glitter glue in small bottles are about 79 cents each.

Of course, you will want a few small foam brushes, they usually cost about 10 cents each, and don’t forget the plastic table cover for the little bit of mess this craft will make.

While I enjoy nice little crafts for the kids that are really inexpensive, I find that the little or no mess projects are the best because, it makes me want to keep doing crafts with them.  This one fits into that category.

glittered star 2 - crafting w the lil onesThis craft is Fun, Easy and Inexpensive glittered star 1 - crafting w the lil ones
a little bit of a mess with the glue,
but a plastic table cover catches all the mess,
so it’s easy clean up.

Have fun Crafting With the Lil Ones 



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Trash on Racks

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trash on racks 3 Trash on Racks

While shopping recently with my girls, we came across these items.
These were ON…THE…RACK, TO…BE…SOLD, and they carried a hefty price tag too.


trash on racks 2Are you kidding me, we are out shopping to get some new clothes because some of the clothes we have look similar to these and we consider them to be worn out.

Could this be an episode of Candid Camera?  I looked around, but nope, these things really were for sale at a retail store.


trash on racks 1I have to ask myself, and you should too. Who would buy something like this? And Why?
Everybody I know works to darn hard for their money to spend it on something they could have gotten from a dumpster.

I am totally flabbergasted that the designers somewhere actually thought they could take this trash and put it on hangers and hang it on racks in a nice hob nobbin’ store and people would lay down $30.00 or more for them.
I am¬†equally as¬†dumbfounded¬†that the purchasing agent for some hob nobbin’ store ordered this trash to hang on their racks and really believed that people would make that purchase.

Oh my goodness, I have no words to describe how utterly speechless I am that there are some people, somewhere, actually buying this stuff.   
trash on racks 3I did actually see some girls look at them with interest and take them to the dressing room.

I just can’t get my brain wrapped around why people would spend their hard-earned dollars on something that truly looks like trash.


Now believe me, we¬†have some jeans and shorts¬†with rips and tears in them, and they are probably the most comfortable jeans¬†any of us have.¬† But,¬†we bought those jeans with no holes and rips. ¬†We have worn them to¬†the point of rips and tears, that’s why we were out shopping for new jeans and shorts.¬† Why would we pay good, hard-earned¬†money for something that looks worse than what we are already trying to replace.

I really do not believe that this is a teen-age hipster thing. I am concerned that it is the lack of knowing the value of a dollar.

Please, don’t waste your money, don’t buy things from a store that you could get from a dumpster.¬† Not that I am promoting dumpster diving.¬† I’m just saying don’t let these¬†designers in a show room somewhere dictate to you what you will wear and then pull this kind of junk.

Think………… that’s what I’m saying.
my 2cents,


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Book Review – Peace in the Pressure Cooker

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Patti Davis
Patti Davis

Peace in the Pressure Cooker
by Patti Davis

Oh, what a great book.¬† This is an easy read.¬† With a cup of coffee and a quiet house you can read this lil’ keeper in just a few hours.

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2013 Christmas Puzzle

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This year’s puzzle, a nice little Thomas Kincaid picture.¬†¬†This is one that we will have to frame. ¬† 2013 puzzle







Several years ago we bought a puzzle to work on during Christmas, little did we know that we were starting a new family tradition.

It has been our tradition now for several years to work on a puzzle from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas or the end of the year.
We always call it our Christmas puzzle, but we are not always finished with it by Christmas.  So far we have finished each one by the end of the year though.
This year we finished on December 29th.

As the kids have gotten older they don’t have as much interest in the puzzles, however it is a relaxing way to spend time together even while watching a Christmas movie and when guest come over they always like to find a few pieces.¬† Not to mention that working on a puzzle can¬†also be very relaxing.

We have framed of few of the puzzles through the years, but most of them live under our sofa catching dust while stacked on their own sheet of poster board.

While moving furniture around last summer I was tempted to throw away the puzzles that have been stashed under the sofa but, oh no, the kiddos wouldn’t hear of it.¬† They have a lot of memories tied up in those puzzles.¬† Awww, now that conjures up some warm fuzzies here, so back under the sofa they went.

The sad thing is we didn’t put a date¬†on a lot of those puzzles so we don’t really know which year to match with several of the puzzles.¬† Oh well, it’s okay.¬† We still had fun doing the puzzles and we continue to do them at least once a year.

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The Broken Candy Cane

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broken candy cane 2

The Broken Candy Cane
While in a local restaurant recently, I observed children visiting with Santa.  The kiddos with their faces all aglow having breakfast and telling Santa the desires of the heart.  Awww, how sweet it was just to watch from a short distance.

The scene was quite pleasant, happy kids, happy parents, Christmas music playing in the background, Santa taking pictures and giving out candy canes.
Then, suddenly without any warning one lil’ princess in a red velvet dress started screaming as if someone had jerked out her two front teeth.

Silence, from everyone except the screamer……… everyone stopped…… what was going on?¬†¬†The lil’ screamer composed herself just enough to¬†whimper “my candy cane is broken.”¬† Really, she is that upset over a broken candy cane, which will be broken the second she takes a bite of it anyway.¬† OK, she’s four and it’s a big deal to her.

But, what happened next had¬†me shaking my head in¬†absolute bewilderment. ¬†Her Grandma took the candy cane from her and said don’t worry, I’ll get you another one.¬† OK, G’ma to the rescue, all is well.¬† Or is it?¬† Continue reading

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2013 Triangle Walk to Cure Diabetes

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On November 2, Krista and Adam Vick will be participating in the JDRF 2013 Triangle’s Walk to Cure Diabetes.  This walk is to raise awareness and funds for research and development for the millions of people who live with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).DSC_0062

The funds raised for this walk will help fund critical research to progressively work toward finding a cure.

All funds raised will go directly to JDRF which is the largest nongovernmental funder of Type 1  Diabetes research.  Such research is complex and costly, and every dollar that JDRF is able to direct toward  research comes from donors like you.  Continue reading

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Marine Praying with His Bride Before Their Wedding

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marine and bride praying before weddingMarine and His Bride
Praying Before Their Wedding

I don’t personally know these people, I am simply reblogging the post titled Power of Prayer on tumblr.¬†¬†I stumbled across this post while¬†looking at some¬†other sites.¬†¬†I have to say it doesn’t get any sweeter than this and I just couldn’t help but to share this beautiful picture and¬†her story behind it.
Get out the tissues and read this precious blog post from a bride about her before the wedding picture that was posted and has gone viral.

It sure does a momma’s heart good¬†to¬†know there are still these type of young men in the world willing to do whatever it takes to protect the purity of the one they love.

His momma must be so very proud of him, what a lovely picture of a Godly man and that sweet precious bride of his.  I know her parents are just gushing with joy that their little girl has such a strong Godly man to protect their daughter and raise up their grandbabies.

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A Cry From Egypt – Book Review

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I just finished the book
A Cry From Egypt
by the very talented author, Hope Auer.

  The book is a cry from egypt 10written for young teens, maybe even older teens, but can certainly be enjoyed by all ages.  I know many moms who have read the book and enjoyed it as well.

OK, I just happen to be a homeschooling mom, living in the same area as the author and her family.  Since Hope Auer is a homeschooled graduate it gave me an extra incentive to purchase her book.  I was not disappointed in her story. I love that this book is a Christian historical fiction book. I love historical fiction. In the preface Hope explains that the plagues and some other events really did happened, however Jarah, (the main character) along with her family and friends are fictional. Hope brings the characters to life and makes you feel like you really know them.

I love the way the author vividly set the stage and gave us believable “real -life” characters to pull together the story.¬†¬†This is one of those stories from the bible that we¬†have¬†read so many times before,¬†yet,¬†when we read the bible stories or watch the movie of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt we don’t “feel” their pain because we are historically removed from the situation, so we glaze over it.¬† This book paints a beautiful picture of a young girl and her family and how they could have actually lived during that time.

Even though there are painful aspects such as slavery, whippings, and mistreatment it’s not so much that it is over-bearing.¬† You will also find family life, love, friendship, and hope in this story.

Thanks to Hope Auer for bringing alive this story of pain and turmoil under the Pharaoh, tragedy and triumph of the people, faith and hope in God.  I am looking forward to more vivid storytelling in the next book of  The Promised Land Series.

Without me spoiling the book for you, just know that it is a good book that brings fictional characters to life in a story you already know so well, but maybe never thought of it in quite so much detail.

Now with the glowing review it breaks my heart to finish if off by stating that there are several grammatical errors in the book.¬† I wish with all of the proofreading and editing someone would have pointed out the errors before the final print.¬† I’m sure they did find many spelling and grammatical errors that were corrected, but there are several left behind.¬† It is disappointing when I purchase a book and run across errors like this.¬† The author, editors, and proofreaders¬†put in too much time writing, and rewriting, reading and re-reading, proofing and re-proofing trying to correct everything, so it is disappointing when reader¬† find errors in the printed copy.

Hope is young, she has a beautiful talent, and she is counting on others to help her along the way with this endeavor.  Someone let her down on this one part of the journey.
While reading this book I was set back many times by the misuse of the word “bring”.¬† Please, if you are proofreading, help the author by pointing out these type of errors.
The author is in the story, the point of reference may be different in her mind.
Rule of thumb¬† — bring is coming to the place where you are¬† —- taking is going away from the place where you are.¬† So when you are getting linen to the queen you are taking it to her, not bringing it to her.¬† That example along with several other bring/take errors should have been corrected before going to copy with this book.

It does not take away from the beautiful story, the story is the same.  It does however leave the buyer feeling a little cheated for purchasing a less than perfect product.
Proofreaders, editors and publishers need to be about perfection because they are selling a product.

Enjoy a good book today ūüôā

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Our Second Homeschooled Graduate

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Cropped at NCHE picOur Second Homeschooled Graduate

Pomp and Circumstance is playing for Homeschoolers in every state across our nation.

We are proud to once again have a graduate of our homeschool walk across the stage to get that piece of paper that essentially says “Yes, I Did It!”

After 15 years of homeschooling we still get the two most asked questions.
#1, aren’t you concerned about socialization and #2, do you plan to continue homeschooling.¬† Really????????¬† Do I still need to answer those questions.

The third question, but not as often is what do they plan on doing when they finish school.  The answer to that question could change monthly, or sometimes weekly, but the honest answer in our hearts as parents remains the same.  It is our greatest desire to know that our kids love The Lord, and know how to treat others.  We want to know that they take seriously their commitments and follow through with their obligations.  We want to watch them grow into adults that strive to be whatever God has called them to.  We want them to seek God, and not seek approval from the world.

Same as with our first graduate, (several posts ago, look under Our first Homeschool Graduate) we have to say;
Yes, we are proud parents (aren’t we supposed to be)
No, it wasn’t easy (was it supposed to be)
Yes, it was stressful (isn’t¬†every school)
No, she didn’t learn everything without any gaps (has anybody, ever)
Yes, she is a social being (and they were all so worried)
No, we don’t homeschool college
Yes, she had plenty of outside activities
Yes, she went to Prom
Yes, she has a job
Yes, she is attending college
No, we wouldn’t trade it
Yes, we are proud parents of 2 more kids in our homeschool and yes we plan to continue.

Our Second Homeschool Graduate with the 1st one

Our Second Homeschooled Graduate with the 1st one


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Fair Trade Coffee

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Fair Trade Coffee, or not; is it important? Why should we even care?¬† Is it important? There’s a lot of hype going around about Fair Trade coffee, what’s good, what’s not, and why.¬†If you really enjoy a good cup o’ joe, and you want to be fair to those¬†that sweat bullets to get the beans to the roaster then you may want to read an article¬†on¬†this page is more than a cup runneth over with details about Fair Trade coffee and other Fair Trade commodities. Not only¬†does Global Exchange helps us understand a bit more about the labor issues and the environmental issues swirling from planting to harvesting¬†coffee, but it shines a light on history as we consider the days of tenant farmers trying to make a living while being held back by the landowners.

I am a frugal person by nature, but I am also a believer that a workman is worthy of his wages; and do not want to see people taken advantage of for the prosperity of others and especially so we can have a decent cup of coffee.

You can get your Fair Trade coffee from most anywhere these days, not just your local yuppie coffee shop, but you can get it at your local grocery stores too.  Investigate the company that produces your coffee of choice and make sure that the company is reputable.

One such company is Tropical Traditions; you can order your coffee along with Coconut Oil and many other items.
If you order from Tropical Traditions, please use this link:

Thank you kindly, now go and enjoy a good cup o’ joe.


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Oh So Good – Homemade Spaghetti / Lasagna Sauce

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Swift Creek-20130414-00289Oh So Good – Homemade Spaghetti / Lasagna Sauce

Do you often wish you had your own Spaghetti or Lasagna Sauce in the cabinet or freezer?  I know you don’t want to buy sauce for 2 reasons, the price and the hidden ingredients. You can easily make the sauce and freeze it or pressure can it.

It doesn’t take any longer to make a large batch than it does to make a small batch. Go ahead, jump in.  Make about 10 jars at approx. 30 ounces each for about $15.00 (and that includes ground turkey)  probably about $10.00 if you want to make it meatless.

The recipe is easy and makes your house smell better than an Italian Restaurant.

Once you have this sauce made you can use it for Spaghetti, Lasagna, sauce for Pizza, Bread Sticks or Cheese Sticks and in any other dish that you would normally use a jarred store bought sauce.

Oh so good sauce with no MSG, NO HFCS and none of those added ‚Äúextras‚ÄĚ that you don‚Äôt¬†want in your sauce.

The ingredients:
2 or 3 lbs ground turkey (optional)
1 large onion (diced)
1 whole head of fresh garlic (minced)
4  6 oz cans of tomato paste
5  28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
2  Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Basil (for a little extra, I know it’s in the Italian Seasoning)

The recipe:
Start with a very large heavy pot or two regular large pots 6 quarts or so and 2 or 3 lbs ground turkey (optional) I like to mush the ground turkey up in the pot with a¬†couple of cups of water before¬†turning on the heat.¬† The water/meat/mush gives you those tiny meat pieces instead of those large clumps.¬†This lil‚Äô trick works for ground beef too.¬† I just can‚Äôt stand those big clumps of meat in my sauce or chili and the water breaks it down and does the trick for making the tiny pieces. Once you have browned your meat,¬†drain it and set it aside. Now in the pot pour some olive oil (or any other oil you¬†like) and put in the onions and garlic, cook until translucent, add¬†a couple¬†cups of water and continue cook a little longer. Pour the meat back in the pot and continue cooking and add the Italian Seasoning and basil.¬† If you have a very large pot you can now add the tomato paste and tomato sauce and¬†¬†8 ‚Äď 9 ¬†cups of water. Your total should be right about 300 ounces, so you will have 9 or 10 jars with about 30 ounces each when you are finished. I don‚Äôt have a pot large enough to put all of this in one pot.¬†What I do is cook all of the meat, onion, garlic and seasonings in the pot then separate that into 2 pots (a large pot and a large crockpot) and then I pour in¬†the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water evenly between the two pots. Let it come to a soft boil then turn it down to simmer¬†and let it simmer for a couple of hours. Sometimes I like to add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to each pot if there seems to be too much acidity in the tomatoes.¬† The sugar is optional. I prefer freezing this sauce in jars.¬†I don‚Äôt like the idea of canning with meat, but I know people that do it.¬† You can freeze it in any container of course, even in¬†freezer bags.

Swift Creek-20130414-00284

This picture was taken after I had taken about 30 ounces  out for a pan of lasagna.


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Homemade Spaghetti / Lasagna Sauce

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Swift Creek-20130414-00289Homemade Spaghetti / Lasagna Sauce

Do you often wish you had your own Spaghetti or Lasagna Sauce in the cabinet or freezer?¬† I know you don’t want to buy sauce for 2 reasons, the price¬†and the hidden ingredients.
You can easily make the sauce and freeze it or pressure can it.

It doesn’t take any longer to make a large batch than it does to make a small batch.
Go ahead, jump in.  Make about 10 jars at approx. 30 ounces each for about $15.00 (and that includes ground turkey)  probably about $10.00 if you want to make it meatless.

Oh so good sauce with no MSG, NO HFCS and none of those added “extras” that you don’t¬†want in your sauce.

The recipe is easy and makes your house smell better than an Italian Restaurant.

Continue reading

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Dump Starbucks or Not? UPDATED

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dump or not UPDATEDump Starbucks or Not?
UPDATED, read to the end

We got the word that Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, said that if you support traditional marriage that they don’t want your business.

Oh my word!!!! I already knew they were ¬†preaching tolerance while actually practicing intolerance liberals, but I actually liked a cup of coffee from them.¬† This is where Howard Schultz needs to keep his mouth shut and just make sure his company is making coffee.¬† See, to actually come out and say “We don’t want your business” is totally different than personally believing whatever he wants to believe.¬† I’m not against whatever he wants to believe, that’s his right.¬† However saying “we don’t want your business” means exactly what it says, and it also means they no longer get my business.

After posting the above statement on my facebook page I got several comments about how Christians shouldn’t boycott and several directed me to this page:

Yes, I understand all of that, thanks for all of those who tried to educate me.

It’s not about a Starbucks boycott

I’m not in favor at all of boycotting a business simply because they don’t believe what I believe (I think I stated something to that effect in my post).¬† Heck, if I did that I would walk around naked and starved.¬† So would everybody else, no matter what side of the issue you stand.

I have friends who believe differently than I do, that doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.

This is about Starbucks CEO saying: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business.

It’s the We Don’t Want Your Business part that has me saying, well okay then, if you don’t want it you don’t get it.

That is honoring their request, not boycotting.

UPDATE:¬† Because Howard Schultz didn’t say exactly what was stated in the above articles.
If was after Tom Strobhar, a Starbucks shareholder asked a question about the past year’s decreases in revenue, that Howard Schultz answered,
‚ÄúIf you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it‚Äôs a free country,‚ÄĚ. ‚ÄúYou can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.‚ÄĚ

You caught that condescending, it’s a free country and thank you very much, didn’t you?

After listening to the sound byte of the exchange, I would agree that Schultz seemed a bit intolerant of any Starbucks shareholders who opposed him.  Strobhar by the way wasn’t asking simply about return on investment he was bringing up the question and a concern over what was and still is a boycott by traditional marriage supporters that revenue has dropped.
Sound bytes can be found all over the internet for the exchange between Strobhar and Schultz, but the most informed one I found was at focalpoint where you can hear the question raised by Strobhar instead of only hearing the Schultz comeback.¬† At focal point Strobhar also explains in profit/ loss terms which shines a different light on the 38% mentioned by Schultz, but that’s a different story.
See/hear it at

Schultz said every decision is not an economic one and that Starbucks wants to “embrace diversity of all kinds,” The crowd went absolutely wild when he made that statement.¬† Really?

I previously stated, I already knew they (the company) were big talkers¬†of tolerance talk while practicing intolerance to those who oppose them. That‚Äôs not to say that I think every employee in their company stands for what the head haunchos stand for. I know a few Starbuck‚Äôs employees that are strongly opposed to the value system up top, and have been told by their manager, that‚Äôs okay, just keep it to yourself, they don’t really know us anyway.

As I stated before, I am not in favor of boycotting based only on a difference of opinion, values, or belief.  The main reason I am not in favor of boycotting is that I believe companies are made up of people but do not represent all of the people in the company. Just because a CEO, or a spokesperson for a company lives a certain lifestyle, or believes a certain thing does not represent all of its employees and /or customers.
Companies need to just be about their product or service, not about building political platforms.

After first reading articles that I admit falsely quoted what Shultz said, and now listening to the sound byte, I have to admit that he didn’t say to customers that he doesn’t want our business.
However, as a customer listening to his exchange, and his demeaning manner and weighing his ‚Äúevery decision is not an economic one‚ÄĚ statement, I have to wonder, if that was an implied statement to customers with opposing views. Is that why the media went crazy with the story that he said we don‚Äôt want your business? ¬†Maybe, maybe not. The truth is that they don‚Äôt need our business.¬† CEO‚Äôs of multimillion dollar corporations don‚Äôt need to worry about losing business from several thousand customers. That‚Äôs no big deal. They don‚Äôt have to buckle under pressure from any group of customers stating they no longer plan to do business with them.¬† People will love a company or not, they will do business with a company or not.¬† Companies will lose a few thousand customers here and pick up a few thousand there. That‚Äôs why I say boycotts don‚Äôt work. That again is why they just need to focus on their business and not politics.

That being said, I have to ask myself, should I spend my money with a company that clearly sends a message of intolerance, who doesn’t value shareholders and thereby customers that have a difference of opinion or lifestyle?  Not a boycott, just wondering if I need to make more informed decisions.  We do all have to make decisions, where to spend our hard earned dollars.
So that leaves me right back to the first question:  To Dump or Not to Dump Starbucks?

A bit of good news about Starbucks; they pay their employees well, and they serve up fair-trade coffee.  I have read the books on how the company got started. It is an amazing story.
I personally don’t think it is the best coffee on the block, but the story of how the company got started is truly amazing.  It was about people, not profit, and certainly not politics, is an amazing story.  It makes me think about the fact that things grow and change and they should, but all growth isn’t for the best.
If you enjoy a good read get these two books.  Get Howard Behar’s book first though, because by reading his book first you really get a sense of the beginning of it all.

It’s Not About the Coffee:
Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks
by Howard Behar

Pour Your Heart Into It:
How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz

I would like to end this by stating that this is not about my stance for or against  gay marriage.  The older I get the more libertarian I find myself.  I know people in all walks of life, most are different than my own. None of us are perfect or blameless.

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Stomp on Jesus

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“Stomp on Jesus” is what the students were told to do, says one student from Florida Atlantic University.
You have got to be kidding me.
One student, Ryan Rotela, says it happened like this; the students were told to¬†write ‚ÄúJesus‚ÄĚ on a piece of paper, put it on the floor and stomp on it.¬†¬† Rotela, a junior in the class¬†refused to participate and says he was suspended from the class for his refusal. Continue reading

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NutriBullet vs Juicer

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nutribullet vs juicer 5NutriBullet vs Juicer

Yesterday I made my Orange Blush Juice using my Jack Lalanne Juicer, which I love. Today, I made the Orange Blush using my new   NutriBullet, which I am getting used to.

update: I have come to really enjoy the Nutribullet and use it for more things than I ever thought possible when I first got it.  Actually, I am on my second one using the first one to its complete demise. Continue reading

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Orange Blush Juice

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Swift Creek-20130316-00242

IMG-20130316-00246Orange Blush


This is a quick and easy juice.  It takes just a couple of minutes to peel 1 grapefruit and 1 large or 2 small oranges.  Use one or 2 carrots.  Run those through the juicer, and there you have it.   A large glass of good and healthy juice.
2 minutes later¬† — 1 empty glass

Nutrition Breakdown:
Potassium = about 650 mg
Dietary Fiber = 10 grams (60%)
Protein = 4 grams
Vitamin A = 487 % (mostly from carrots)
Vitamin C = over 250% (mostly from citrus)
Calcium = 14%

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Kick Start Green Fruity – Detox Smoothie

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Swift Creek-20130302-00224

Kick Start your Day with a Nutrient Packed Good Morning Blended¬†Green Fruity/Smoothie.¬†¬†I like to call this one a “Fruity” instead of a smoothie.¬† Smoothie makes me think yogurt, creamy, hot summer day, or snack.¬† This one is more chunky with some “meat on it’s bones”, I can make a meal out of this one,¬†so I call it a green fruity

Swift Creek-20130302-00220Ingredients:
1 small apple
1 small banana
1 cup of baby spinach
2 kiwis (which are always small)
1 cup of water   Continue reading

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Very Extra Large Egg

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big egg with border

Extra –¬†Extra Large
WOW!!!! Egg

Picking up eggs this morning was just like any other day.  Getting the eggs while the girls are all around my feet wanting a treat is the usual thing.  Not until I noticed the size of one of the eggs did things get really exciting.          Continue reading

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Just a little thought for today.

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Before God gave Adam a wife

Yes, Girls, before planning to marry a guy know that he has a job.
Look for signs of stewardship, frugalness, and wisdom.
Know that he is filled with Godliness, self-control, moral character, and gentleness.

Just a thought for today.

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Ultimate made from scratch Chocolate Meringue Pie

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from scratch Chocolate Meringue PieUltimate from Scratch Chocolate Meringue Pie

You can make a homemade pie ‚Äď quick and easy ‚Äď from scratch. Continue reading

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Homemade Laundry Soap that Really Works

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laundry with border

Frugal Homemade Laundry Soap
that really works.

Make 5 gallons of Laundry Detergent/Soap.¬†It’s so easy and FRUGAL to make your own laundry soap with just a few ingredients and a little bit of time.

I have tried dozens of homemade laundry detergent recipes and this one is by far my favorite.

Wash your clothes for about 5 cents per load

Ok, what you need:
1- 5 gallon bucket¬† — get one free at almost any restaurant
1 –¬†heaping cupful of shredded soap
(use a natural product without the harmful chemicals)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule TeamBorax
a pot and some water

Optional ingredients:  Mela-Brite or other stain remover (laundry booster, or brightener), and glycerin

Directions: Continue reading

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Panko Crusted Oven “Fried” Chicken

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panko chicken4

Panko Crusted Oven “Fried” Chicken

¬†Panko Crusted Oven “Fried” Chicken

Who doesn’t love good ol’ Fried Chicken?¬† Believe me, I know there is no true substitute, but for the Fried Chicken lover who wants to cut out most of the “fried” part of fried chicken, this one is for you.
Continue reading

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The Daily Juice

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juice - juicing juice - juicing 2

Juice for lunch¬† —

Make your own juice — fresh and ready for a quick and easy lunch.

Today’s lunch was a quick juice.
Just 1 mango, 1 kiwi, 1 apple, 1 orange, and 2 small carrots.

Throw it all in the Jack LaLanne Juicer and lunch was ready and healthy in just a few minutes.
Now when in the world would you ever sit down and eat that plate full of fruit or veggies?  Juicing is a wonderful way to add more fruit and veggies to your daily diet.

Go ahead, juice it up!
Share your juice inspirations too.

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FREE Kindle book: How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any

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How to Manage Your Money
When You Don’t have Any
by Erik Wecks
Free kindle download.
I stumbled across this free kindle download today.¬† I’m sure this is a keeper.¬† I have not taken the time to look at it yet.¬† I wanted to share this as soon as possible since I know the freebies ususally don’t last long.¬† Today is January 29, 2013 and I did download it today.¬† Hopefully you will be able to get it while it’s still free.



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Swift Creek-20130117-00085

 Are you craving a little treat?  Try this recipe.
The recipe only makes a few, they are light and easy to make.

Best Ever – Quick and Easy Coconut Macaroons


Swift Creek-20130117-00082   Ingredients:
14 oz. flaked coconut
1 can of Eagle Brand (or any condensed milk)
3 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

If interested here’s how you can
*make your own vanilla extract .

*Stir coconut with the condensed milk and vanilla extract and set aside

*Beat egg whites until stiff peaks and  fold into coconut mixture   Swift Creek-20130117-00084

*Scoop onto a baking stone (or any kind of cookie sheet) and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes (until just brown around the edges)

They will spread a little bit while baking. 

Cool for just a couple of minutes, then move to cooling rack or    Swift Creek-20130117-00085paper towel.

These macaroons are a little crispy and chewy
— The perfect macaroon texture

Store in air tight container


jebbicasworld-food-fitness-friday-300  linkup party


If you are looking for a lot of Food and Fitness down to earth information visit 

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Homemade Vegetable Soup and Homemade Bread

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soup and bread (2)

Homemade Vegetable Soup in your crockpot
and Homemade Bread

It’s a cold rainy day here in NC, so what better to have cooking in the kitchen than a good pot of soup and loaves¬†homemade bread.

I have decided that I am going to use the crockpot more often this year.¬† I love the crockpot, I just don’t use it as much as I should.

Making homemade soup from scratch is easy to do.¬† Making from scratch means you scratch around to see what you have and use it.¬†¬†It’s frugal too, especially when you don’t have time to¬†go running off to the store to get ingredients for supper.
So let’s go see what’s in the freezer.¬†¬†Here we have some corn, and garden peas, the pantry has a can of green beans and a can of crushed tomatoes,¬†a few potatoes and an onion.¬† The refrigerator has a little bit of celery and some carrots.¬†¬† Oh look, there’s a bowl with some leftover beans, that’s going in the soup too.
See just look around and use whatever you have on hand for your soup.¬† You can’t go wrong.
We are well on our way to a beautiful pot of soup.

First sautee the onion and throw in a little fresh garlic if you have some.¬†¬†Then add that along¬†with everything else to your crockpot, fill it with water and let it cook away for the rest of day.¬†¬†You will also want to add salt, pepper, a little red pepper and any other seasoning you like.¬† Let it cook and simmer away in the crockpot making the house smell good while you sit on the couch eating bon bons.¬† ūüôā
No, not really, now is when you need to be making your bread.
If you don’t have a bread recipe that you like just follow mine here.¬†¬†¬†¬†It’s a good and easy basic white bread that goes great with everything.

Have fun and enjoy!


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Detox Smoothies

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I have been “pinteresting” again.¬† It’s amazing how 15 minutes can turn into 2 hours once I pull up pinterest.

Today I ran across a real jewel.  You know I love coffee, I enjoy smoothies, and juicing, so this one really caught my eye. Continue reading

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Elise’s Best Biscotti

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This recipe is from my good friend and talented chef Elise Johnson.  My daughter took a cooking class with Elise a few years ago and she has been baking and perfecting her cooking skills ever since (my daughter, not Elise). The Biscotti and Fudgy Bon-Bons, which are also from Elise are always top of the Christmas baking list.
You can follow Elise on facebook by looking for Cooking with Elise, or go straight to her website
Elise also has an awesome cookbook that I highly recommend.  Elise is down to earth, funny, talented, and an exceptional cook.  The title of her cookbook is
You Never Cook Alone
A Cookbook for The Well Fed Family
by: Elise Johnson

Now onto the promised recipe ūüôā

¬†Elise’s Best Biscotti¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

1/3 c. olive or vegetable oil (I actually like to use coconut oil instead, me not Elise)
1 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
Zest of two oranges
3/4 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
Dust the cranberries and chocolate chips with a little of the dry mixture before folding into the dough to prevent clumping and sticking.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl mix together the oil, sugar, eggs, and both extracts.
In a medium-sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, orange zest, cranberries and white chocolate.

Add the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients and mix well.

Divide into two sections, shape into two wide logs of dough on a cookie sheet and press down a little.  Space them far enough apart on the cookie sheet to allow room for expanding.

Bake for 25 minutes, watch them closely and don’t let them cook completely.¬† Take out of the oven and cool.¬† Using a serrated knife, slice into 1/2 inch strips but leave the loaf in the same shape.¬† Place the two loaves back in the oven and bake for an additional 6 – 8 minutes.¬† This will harden and crisp as it cools.¬† Biscotti should be hard and crisp on the outside with a little bit of chewiness on the inside.

For Christmas you can add chopped pistachio nuts to the dough to add a touch of green.

Oh by the way, most of the biscotti was eaten before I got around to taking the picture, so yes, the recipe makes a lot more than the amount in the picture.





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Breadless Breakfast Casserole

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Breakfast Casserole Makeover. ¬†For years we have had that same old breakfast casserole, you know that usual breakfast casserole with eggs, bread, and sausage? No sausage¬†for ours but you know the casserole that I’m talking about. 6 slices of bread mixed with eggs, milk, and cheese. Well,¬†years ago we decided it needed a makeover.
We rarely have a big family breakfast.¬† On Christmas morning though we always do.¬†¬†Since the Christmas season is already filled slam full of all the goodies that we love but don’t eat on a regular basis we sure didn’t need to start Christmas day with a bunch of bread in the casserole to go along with all the cinnamon rolls that we have.¬† So we decided to nix the bread.¬† Maybe that sounds a little bit boring but it’s really like a big cheese omelet¬†with peppers and onions¬†in a 9 x 13.¬† So if you like a good cheese omelet with peppers and onions go ahead and do the makeover.
Continue reading

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Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters

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Peanut Clusters Chocolate Peanut Clusters

28 ounces of lightly salted peanuts (dry roasted works well for this recipe) you can use 2 jars of lightly salted or one jar salted and one jar unsalted.
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1- 8 oz. block of Baker’s brand German Chocolate (break it into chunks)
2 pounds of Almond Bark (white chocolate coating, break it into chunks)
Waxed paper      Continue reading

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Fudgy Bon-Bons

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Fudgy Bon-BonsAnother recipe from my friend Elise Johnson.¬† For more wonderful recipes from Elise go to¬† Her cookbook is a keeper too, don’t miss out, order yours today.


Fudgy Bon-Bons

1- 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp pur vanilla extract
60 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped of course
2 oz. white baking chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil  (I like to use coconut oil) Continue reading

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