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Monday, May 30, 2011

Roast Goose with Sausage-Apple Dressing

                   Prep time - 30 minutes... Cook time - 3 1/2 hours
1   goose (  approximately 7 pounds )
1   tablespoon  olive oil
1   tablespoon butter or margarine
4   ounces pork  or beef sausage , crumbled
8   slices firm white or wheat bread , lightly toasted  and crumbled
1   medium-size yellow onion , finely chopped
3   cloves garlic , finely chopped
2   sweet onions , such as McIntosh , peeled , cored , and cut in 1/2 inch dice
1/4   cup chopped paesley
1 1/2  teaspoon salt
3/4   teaspoon dried sage , crumbled
2 1/2   cups  canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2   lemon
2      tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4   teaspoon black pepper

1)  Preheat the oven to 325*F . In a large skillet over moderate heat --- heat the oil and butter until hot but not smoking . Add sausage and cook until no longer pink --- 5 minutes . With a slotted spoon , tranfer to a large bowl , add toast .
2)  In the skillet dripping , saute onion and garlic about 5 minutes . Add apples and cook until tender --- about 5 minutes . Tranfer the bread mixture along with parsley , 3/4 teaspoon of salt  , and sage . Mix in 1/2 cup of the stock.
3)   Rub inside of the goose with 1/4 teaspoon salt . Lightly spoon stuffing  into the body cavity , pull tail up over stuffing, and skewer the opening shut . Tie the legs together with string.
4)   Place goose , breast side up , on a rack in a shallow roasting pan  . Prick breast skin in several places with a folk . Rub goose with lemon . Roast , uncovered  , until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meatiest part of the thigh  but not touching the bone registers 180*F --- about three hours . Spoon off and reserve fat as it accumulates . Remove goose and set aside .
5)   Place roasting pan over moderate heat . Pour in remaining 2 cups stock and simmer 2 minutes , stirring to loosen browned bits .
6) Meanwhile , in a medium-size saucepan over moderate heat -- heat 2 tablespoons of the resserved fat . Blend in flour and cook , stirring constantly , until lightly browned -- about 3 minutes . Gradually add stock from the roasting pan and cook , stirring constantly , until thickened and smooth -- 3 to 5 mintues . Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper .
Makes 6 serving
Heart healthy   

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kids Say The Darndest Things

 A kindergarten student told his teacher he'd foung a cat , but it was dead ."how you know that the cat was dead ?" she asked her student . "Because I pissed in  its ear and he didn't move," answered the child innocently . "You did  WHAT?!?!?!" the teacher yelled in shock . "You know."  said the boy , "I leaned over and went "Pssst !" and it didn't move ."

A mother and her young son returned fron the grocery store and began putting away the groceries  . The boy open the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table . "What are you doing ?" his mother asked . "The box says not to eat them if the seal was broken" the boy explained . "I'm looking for the seal."

On e day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class . She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer . She read,  ... and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said , "The sky is falling , the sky is falling !" The teacher paused then asked the class , "And what do you think the farmer said ?" One little girl raised her hand and said , "I think he said : Holy Shit ! A talking chicken  !"

A mother was preparing pancakes for her son s , Kevin, 5, and Ryan,3 . The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake  . Theie mother saw the opportunity foe a moral lesson . "If Jesus were sitting here  , He would say , 'Let my brother hav e the first pancake , I can wait." Kevin turned to his younger brother  and said , "Ryan , you be Jesus ."

A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year=old son ran up to him , grabbed his hand , and lead him to the shore , where a seagull lay dead in the sand . "Daddy , what happen to him ?" the son asked . "He died and went to Heaven ," the dad replied . The boy thought a moment and then said , "Did God throw him back down ?"

When I was six months pregnant with my second child , my  four-year-old came into the room when I was getting ready to get into the shower . She said , Mommy, you are getting fat !" I replied , Yes , honey , remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy ."     "I know she replied  , but what's growing in your butt ?"

Several years ago , I returned home from a trip  just when a storm  hit , with crashing thunder and severe lighting . As I came into the  my bedroom about 2:a.m. , I found my two children in bed with my wife  , apparently scared by the loud storm . I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom  that night  . The next day I talked to the children , and explained that it was O.K. to sleep with Mom  when the storm was bad , but  when I am expected home , please don't sleep with Mom that night . They said OK . After my next trip several weeks later , my wife and the children picked me up in the terminal at the appointed time . Since the plane was late , everyone had come into the terminal to wait for my planes arrival , along with hunderds of other folks  waiting for their arriving passengers . As I entered the waiting aera , my son saw me , and came running shouting , "Hi, Dad ! I;ve got some goods news !" As I waved back , I said loudly ,"What's the good news ?" My son shouted very excitedly , "Nobody slept with Mom while you were away this time !"

A physician and her four-year-old daughter  were in the car on the way to preschool . The doctor/mother had left her stethoscope on  the car seat , and the little girl picked it up and began playing with it  . "Be still , my heart," thought the mother , "my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps !" Then the girl spoke into the instrument "Welcome to McDonalds . May I take your order ?"

A father was reading the Bible to his young son . He read   , "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out out of the city , but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." His son asked , "What happen to the flea ?"

Teacher : George Washington not only chopped down his fathers' cherry tree , but also admitted it . Now, Louis , do you kn ow why his father didn't punish him?
Louis : Because George still had the ax in his hand.
Teacher : Clyde , your composition on "My Dog" is exactly the same as your brothers' . Did you copy his ?
Clyde : No , teacher , it's the same dog .
Teacher : Harold , what do you call a person who keeps on  talking when people are no longer interested ?
Harold : A teacher.
Teacher : Cindy , why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor ?
Cindy : You told me to do it without using tables !
Teacher : Now , Sam , tell me frankly , do you say prayers before eating ?
Sam: No sir , I don't have to , my Mom is a good cook.

Nanook - Felted Polar Bear


•White cotton pipe cleaners, 8 inches by 1/8 inch,

•Merino wool roving, in Black, Pewter, and Pumpkin, $2 per oz.; and undyed merino roving, $1.75 per oz.; both by Ashland Bay, from the Yarn Tree

•Felting needles, 36 gauge and 38 gauge, $6.60 for 3, by Colonial Needle

•Small felting needle mat (#8910), $10, from Clover (optional)

•Ivory wool felt, for ears,

Step 1

Make the Body Frame

Twist 2 pipe cleaners around each other in the middle, as shown. Fold each "leg" in half.

Step 2

Wrap the Body Frame

Working in sections, wrap white roving around the pipe-cleaner body and each leg

Step 3

Taper the roving near the ends of the legs

Step 4

Using the 36-gauge needle, needle-felt slightly as you work -- by punching at the fibers with the felting needle -- to secure. Use your fingers to pinch the ends of the pipe cleaners to make 4 "paws."

Step 5

Complete the Body

Punch the fibers all over with the needle until the body and legs are dense and firm.

Step 6

Make the Head

With another piece of white roving, form a ball. Needle-felt the ball until it's firm. Attach it to the body by punching fibers of the "head" and "neck" with the needle, using a bit of additional roving if necessary; it may be easiest to do this against a felting-needle mat, which provides a firm surface for punching.

Step 7

Create a Finished Look

A large needle-felted piece sometimes ends up looking pocked. For a smoother surface, needle-felt a final thin layer of white roving over the head, neck, and body, loosely basting the wool to the body and letting it become slightly dense (so punch at it, but not for too long); it should look soft and fuzzy.
Step 8

Make the Ears

Cut 2 ear-shaped pieces from ivory felt. Attach to the sides of the head by punching them with the 38-gauge needle, folding in half to create ears.
Step 9

Make the Eyes

Tear off 2 tiny bits of dark-gray roving. Using the 38-gauge needle, needle-felt them onto the head.
Step 10

Make the Nose

Make the Nose: Tear off 1 piece of light-gray roving. Using the 38-gauge needle, needle-felt onto the front of the head. (Alternatively, create the nose by punching a ball of the fibers on the mat, until they become slightly firm, and then attach to the head with the needle.)
Once you have made one Nanook, you will get the feel of how to shape the body to look quite realistic and the others will go much faster If you like this craft I will get the pattern for the penguin.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I live in a small  condominium community of 24 units. Two units down , there is an older woman who is a hoarder , She continually has trash piled up by her front door and back porch . When you look through her glass sliding doors , you can see trash from floor to ceiling . She piles up garbage on her car and it sits there for several days before she takes it to the dumpster . She also has two dogs , and we never see her walking them . This has been going on for the last 15 years .
The board of directors of our condo association has tried everything from calling the municipal department to notifying animal control . The board has fined her for various misdemeanors , such as not allowing pest control in her unit and leaving all that trash around , but it makes no difference.The woman does not talk to anyone in the community  and we never see friends or family visit . We are all afraid of what that unit looks like inside . Any suggestions ?
Condo Owner
Dear  Condo Owner,
Hoarding is a form of mental illness , and this woman likely needs professional help , Since you can see the trash inside her home , as well as outside , it may constitute evidence that her hoarding has created a health code violation and the Department of Health could order her to clean it up . There may also be a fire hazard , in which case the condominium board should notify the fire department . As a last resort , the condo board could sue her . Ask the board to discuss this problem with  their association attorney to see what steps  can be taken .

Dear Maxy,
I am at a loss about what to do with my unruly grandchildren . The boys are 8 and 10 years and the girl is 6 years old. When we visit them , about twice a month , we enter the house and say hello; they totally ignore us and don't speak to us during the entire visit . I brought it up to the father, my stepson, and asked "Why can't they say hello to us ?" The question fell on deaf  ears; he chose not to answer me. When we speak to  the grandkids to see how they are doing in school , etc., they are insolent and rude ; the parents hear this but choose not to correct  or reprimand or teach some manners . I find this disrespectful and upsetting . I know the parents have little control over these kids and teach them little about manners and obedience , The mother has to tell them several times to say thank you when we give gifts to them, but you would think they should know this by now. I want to speak to the parents directly and tell them how upsetting it is without insulting their parental skills, my husband, the biological grandfather of the kids  doesn't  think it's a good idea to speak to the parents . Help ?
Dear Joan ,
This is a tough situation, I'm sure that the parents do not want interference from you .Yet if the  grandchildren do not learn manners , they are bound to have significant  behavioral issues as they mature .
You could try reverse psychology. Next time you visit intentionally do not speak to them . Do not engage them at all . Act  as if they are not there . Do not bring them gifts . Be present without being present . Chances are they will notice . It's likely too that they enjoy the gifts you bring them . With-hold gifts until they wake up to seeing and acklowledging you . It may take time , but it could spark awareness.
I would also speak to the parents , even though it's prickly . I would speak about the future of the children and how important it is for children to learn how to engage people with respect . Tell them that you are worried about their future based on their behavior today.

Dear Maxy ,
If you are in a public setting and you share mints or gum with a friend, do you have to share with everyone around you, even if you do not know them ?
Catherine ...N.Y.
Dear Catherine ,
You should share only with your friends , but be discreet about it . If you have enough to go  around , however, it would be a lovely gesture to share .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Is 40 Too Old to Wear Shorts?

There's a whisper going around among women over 40. Perhaps you aren't there yet. Perhaps, owing to some wonderful cornucopia of self-esteem, you never will be. But for the rest of us, there's the question that cannot be stopped: "Can I still wear shorts?" Even in shorts that don't do more than expose the bottom half of one's leg, it's still a minefield. Sure, knees are adorable on toddlers, are hopefully functional on athletes, and are what separate us from cacti, but can anyone say they're attractive?
Depending on genetics and lifestyle choices, when you no longer have just the Not-Very-Attractive knee, you reach the age of the NVA knee with newly flaccid skin above it. You're standing there, waiting for your dry cleaning or your number to come up at the deli, and you look down to see — aaarh! — the dermatological version of an origami crane. But it's the last warm day of autumn, so you cover up and try to forget
Then it gets warm again, and corduroy pants look incongruous. So, shorts. What to do? Go with the mid-knee style, which covers the offending area while giving you the "Elderhostel in Prague" look? Apparently, skirts are what Italian and French women wear instead of shorts. In theory, a skirt should take no more effort than walking shorts, but I don't have to think about shorts (except in relation to my knees). In a skirt I'm either doing battle with a hurricane-force updraft that seems to be following only me, or I'm in search of my zipper, which should be in the middle of my back yet is constantly migrating toward my belly.

A few of us moms were discussing this Monday while our kids ran up and down the field, their healthy legs lean and firm, their knees surrounded by taut skin, when we were interrupted by the impatient clicking of a tongue. One of the kids had been delivered by his grandmother, who rolled her eyes in mock contempt. "I don't know why you girls worry about these things," she said. "You all look fine. Besides, my friends and I wear shorts all the time."

It was an epiphany. I might not be wearing shorts this year, but once I hit 70, I can wear them again. I'll be so delighted that I'll wear them in all seasons, with textured stockings just as they do in the fashion magazines. They'll contrast nicely with my sequined holiday sweaters.
By Quinn Cummings      

Hey Nee!
  Witchy and the Genie

Talking Twin Babies - Translation

Now We Know... They Are Mafia Babies
This is for G

Craft - Re-Purposed Necktie Purse

You need five old ties that compliment each other for each side, another one or two to edge the top and two more to join together to make the strap depending on how long you want it. After you join the ties they should be sewn to heavy duty stabilizer. Line the interior in cheap muslin or scrap fabric and you have a unique shoulder bag. You might also consider making it without the tie points at the bottom.( my preference)

Here is another variation on the tie purse

Mirror Decorated With Recycled CD's

Buy a cheap framed mirror or make a flat wood or MDF frame glue or fasten mirror to the back
Cut up your old CDs into little squares and rectangles

 Paint the frame any color, black or white works best
Start adding cut-out bits and gluing. Try to keep glue off the front
 of the pieces

Add more

 And more

You're done...beautiful

Recycled Paper Beads

 WHAT YOU NEED:Any type of paper: newspaper, sheet music, copy paper, flyers
White glue
A bamboo skewer, (or other round object to roll the paper onto)
A large paint brush
Craft paint, your choice of colors

 This jewelry making project shows you how to make your own beads using recycled paper and junk mail.

1.  Place a sheet of paper on a flat surface, with a bamboo skewer placed on the paper.
   Fold the paper over the skewer about 1 inch, and roll the paper for about 2 inches, just to condition the  paper.

2.  Unroll the paper, and brush white glue over the entire surface of the paper, but not under the 1 inch fold.  If you get glue in that area, the roll will be stuck to the skewer, and you will never get it off!

 3.  Roll the paper into a tight roll. Don’t worry about wrinkles!

 4.  Once the paper is rolled, roll it back and forth on a flat surface, as you would a rolling pin, to flatten out any wrinkles.  But don’t worry too much about wrinkles, it adds character to the beads.

 5.  If you are using the paper as is, with newsprint words, or music sheets, or decorative papers, allow to  dry (or speed in the microwave for about 10 seconds at a time).  Once dry, varnish the entire roll.

        (To cut the roll into beads, when the roll is only slightly dried, remove the roll from the skewer, and cut with heavy duty scissors into the lengths you desire, then place them back on the skewer, roll again on  a flat surface to restore the shape, and allow the beads to dry.  If you have left the roll to dry for too  long, and it is too difficult to cut with scissors, cut with a razor knife, or a small saw.  Sometimes a sharp steak knife or bread knife will also work.)

 6.   Painting the beads:  The best way to paint your beads is to paint them a solid color first.  Paint the entire rolled sheet of paper while it is on the skewer.(Or if they are cut out individually, place them back on the skewer to paint multiples of matching beads.)  If you are making multiples of beads to have on  hand, paint some rolls black and some white, then later you can easily decorate them as dark beads or light  beads by spattering them with different colors (or dabbing, or stroking).

    Then place them on a protected surface, with a drop cloth, or a plastic grocery bag to catch the spatters.
  Load paint onto a paint brush, and spatter, or splash, or dab, or stroke colors of paint onto the roll.
 Metallic gold and metallic silver will add shimmer to the beads.  It is also attractive to paint a row of metallic paint on the top and bottom edges of the bead.  Once dry, varnish. (For great, glossy finish beads, use clear nail polish as a finish coat).  A  black  permanent      marker can be used to color the exposed paper on the ends of the beads, or  brush the ends with paint.

 7.  Assemble the beads on a stretch cord, interspersed with purchased beads as shown in this design.
 Then if you wish dangles, place beads onto headpins, and attach onto the stretch cord between the beads.
Make earrings to match your bracelet or necklace!  String beads onto headpins, and attach to ear wires.
Stretch bracelets are the easiest  to make and most popular.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Craft - Magazine Rack.

Magazine Rack

The magazine rack
Building a magazine rack is a relatively easy project that you can complete in a weekend. It doesn't require much wood so you may even be able to make it out of the odds and ends lying around in your workshop. Your family will also be happy with the result as you can now tidy-up your woodworking magazines that are no doubt strewn around the house! We used a relative dark wood for this project, but you can easily use birch, or something similar, and stain to the desired color.


Tools required: sander, router
Wood required:

DescriptionQtyWidth ThicknessLength
Legs42 1/4" (57 mm)3/4" (19 mm)15" (381 mm)
Top supports22" (51 mm)1/2" (13 mm)16 1/2" (419 mm)
Center top support11 1/2" (38 mm)1/2" (13 mm)19 1/4" (489 mm)
Center bottom support11 1/2" (38 mm)1/2" (13 mm)16" (406 mm)
Bottom Supports22" (51 mm)1/2" (13 mm)19 1/4" (489 mm)
Side edging43/4" (19 mm)1/4" (6 mm)6 1/4" (159 mm)
Sides (plywood)26 3/4" (171 mm)1/2" (13 mm)9" (229 mm)
Base (plywood)17" (178 mm)1/2" (13 mm)16" (406 mm)
Diagram of leg
The best place to begin this project is with the four leg pieces. Take one of the four legs are make the following routs in it:
1. On the inside (3/4") edge, make a rout that is 1/4" deep and 1/2" wide that runs from 1/2" from the top of the leg to 2 1/2" from the top. This rout should be 1/8" in from each side. This slot will accommodate the top support that runs along the length of the rack.
2. On the same side as step one, make a rout that is 1/4" deep and 1/2" wide that runs from 4" from the bottom of the leg to 6" from the bottom. Again, this rout should be 1/8" in from each side and it will accommodate the bottom support.
3. On the wide inside (2 1/4") face, make a rout that is 1/2" wide, 1/4" deep and that runs from 4 3/4" from the bottom to 13 3/4" from the bottom. The rout should be 1/2" in from the outside edge of the leg (i.e. the edge that did not have routs 1 and 2 put into them).
Once you have made all of these routs, square off the rounded corners so that the sides, bottom and top slot tightly into them. Having done this, sand the leg, rounding off the edges to give a softer look to the project. Then, repeat the above steps for the other three legs. Before making the routs, make sure you have marked out the correct sides so that the inside edges all match up (i.e. face each other so that the top and bottom supports can be slotted in).
Next we need to make the slots in the bottom supports that will accommodate the base plywood. Cut a slot on the inside face (2") that is 1/4" deep and 1/2" wide. This slot should begin 1/2" from the lower edge and should be 16" long (therefore it should begin 1 5/8" from either end of the piece. Repeat this for the second of the bottom supports, squaring off the rounded ends of the slot to allow the base to fit in tightly.
center top support
Now construct one side, gluing the bottom and top supports into two of the legs to build on complete side. Then construct the second side by repeating this step. Once the glue is dry, connect these front and back constructions to the plywood sides and the base, again gluing them together. You now have the main shape of the magazine rack completed. Glue the thin side edging pieces to the top and bottom of the plywood sides, thus hiding the plywood's edging. Now cut the center top support to the correct shape by cutting out a block from each end, as shown in the diagram. Once cut to shape, sand the piece to round off the edges and then glue it on top of the two plywood sides, half way between the front and back.
Finally, sand off the center bottom support and then glue into place on the plywood base, again half way between the front and back support (and therefore matching the position of the top center support).
Give the entire unit a thorough sanding and then stain and wax.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two More Crafts to Give or Sell....Plants and Sock Dog

Garden Crafts

Odd Planters: Come up with some unusual ideas for what to use as planters for flowers or herbs. Take a trip to the dollar store or go to some yards sales and get  little metal pails or watering cans-- that holes can be made in at the bottom for drainage. Get a few bright colors of Rustoleum  to paint them with and leave some plain ( people like them that way too) All you need after that is potting soil and some flowers. Buy the flowers as cheaply as possible and choose hardy flowers such as petunias or impatiens. Pop them into their new homes and perhaps add a bit of greenery and a bright ribbon. Garden crafts usually sell well and this one is as simple as you can get. They would look great in your shop window if you are having a craft sale.


Turn a pair of dollar store socks into a stylish, updated version of the traditional sock monkey. These toys are adorable and are not cheap in kiddie boutiques, but I will show you how easy it is to make one quickly and inexpensively!  The polka dots were really talking to me.

I also used some embroidery floss (but regular thread would work too) and you'll need scissors, a couple of buttons or pieces of felt for eyes & nose and a knitting needle or some other long pokey thing for stuffing the limbs. I used a sewing machine as well, but you could definitely do this by hand and it wouldn't take too outrageously long.

Turn one sock inside out, lay flat with heel facing you and cut to within one inch of the heel. On your sewing machine (or by hand) starting at one corner of the foot, sew across the bottom of the foot and up the inside of the leg, stopping about an inch from the crotch. Repeat on the other side, leaving the crotch open.
Turn right side out.
With your second sock laying flat, cut out the following pieces:
two arms
two ears
a tail
(in my picture, I've marked the heel to be cut out as the mouth, but the sock toe ended up being perfect, so I didn't need it. Your sock may vary, so as needed, cut out the heel for the mouth.)
 Turn arms/legs inside out and starting at outer edge of 'hand' end, sew across hand and up to 'shoulder', leaving it open. Turn right side out.
With ears inside out, sew all the way around triangle, leaving a small space an inch or so for turning right side out. With scissors, trim the excess off the points so they aren't so bulky when you turn them back right side out. Now turn them right side out, poke out the points with your knitting needle and with a needle and thread, put a couple of stitches in to sew the hole shut.
Stuff the head with your foam/stuffing.  I tied off the neck so there would be more definition between body parts. This is completely up to you, if you want yours to have a neck or not.
 Use your knitting needle to shove stuffing down into the bottom of the feet and hands. You can poke it around to make it less lumpy. After it's all stuffed and sewn shut, you can mash it around a bit then too.

Fill the arms right up to the edge, then kind of fold over the raw edges a bit in preparation of sewing them onto the body.

With the arm seams facing down, stick a pin in the shoulder of each arm and place where you'd like them. With needle and thread, stitch around the arm, keeping careful to fold under the raw edge.

After you've gone around the arm, make a knot and bury the knot in the stuffing. So make your knot about 3/4 of an inch out from the arm, then just plunge your needle into the arm and out the other side. Pull a bit, cut your thread and the knot will be inside somewhere and the tail of the thread will sink back into the arm. I do this with most's tidy with no knots showing.
 Starting on the inside of one leg, hand-sew the crotch shut. You can add or remove stuffing as needed at this point, if you are having difficulties cramming all the stuffing in or if there are loose gaps.

Just like what you did with the arms, do so with the ears. Poke a pin in each ear and affix to the head to see where you'd  like them best. Try them out a few different ways. Thread your needle and stitch them on by hand, burying the knot like you did after sewing on the arms
With the heel scrap from the second sock, fold it into a narrow, pointy V shape and sew, leaving the wide end of the V open. Trim a smidge off the point of the V, then turn right side out and stuff. Position where you'd like it on the dog and sew on by hand.
 Get out your button jar and/or felt bits and put together a cute face! Position buttons with a pin until you get them just where you'd like them, then sew on.
Rather than knotting in between each button and nose, I've passed the needle across the face under the sock fabric to reach the other button. Quick and skips a fussy step!
I used embroidery floss for this step, but only because I had some on hand. If you don't have it, regular thread will work.
I've done a blanket stitch around the nose.  
  • 17.JPG
  • 17a.JPG
  • 17b.JPG17c.JPG
  • He is done, but I thought he'd look dapper with a tie. I just used a long, skinny scrap of fabric, folded inside out and sewn on the machine. Taper one end and leave it open, and on the wide end, finish off with a diagonal stitch. Once turned right-side out, this will be the pointy V of your tie.

    Get your knitting needle again and poke into the V or bottom of the tie (the end that's sewn shut). Turn it right side out by poking it out the end that's not sewn shut, then use the tip of the knitting needle to poke out the points of the V and press.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chili Beef & Red Pepper Fajitas With Chipotle Salsa

12 ounces top sirloin steak , thinly sliced
1/2  lime
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup mild picante  sauce
1/2 can chipotle chili pepper  in adobo sauce
         nonstick cooking spray
1 cup  thinly sliced  onion
1 cup red bell pepper , cut into thin strips
4  (10-inch) fat-free flour tortillas , warmed
1/2 cup  non fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves  (optional)

1)  Place steak on plate , squeeze lime over the steak  ; sprinkle with chili powder and cumin , toss to coat well ; let stand 10 minutes.
2)  Meanwhile , prepare salsa , combine tomatoes and picante sauce in small bowl . Place chipotle on a small plate . using a folk , mash completely  . Stir mashed chipotle into tomato mixture .
3)  Coat 12-inch skillet with cooking spray . Heat over high heat  until hot . Add onion and pepper  ; cook and stir 3 minutes or intil beginning to blacken om edges ; remove from skillet . Lightly  spray skillet with cooking  spray . Add beef ; cook and stir 1 minute . Return onion and pepper to skillet ; cook 1 minute longer .
4)   Place beef mixture in center of each tortilla ; top each with equal amounts of salsa , 2 tablespoons sour cream and cilantro , if desired , Fold or serve open -faced.
        Makes 4  servicing
* Note : For a less spicy salsa , use less chipotle chili or eliminate it completely.
Heart Healthy

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Six Best Fat-Burning Superfoods

Click here to find out more!

Add these magic foods to your diet to help boost weight loss in time for shorts and bathing suit season

  • By Dr. Natasha Turner ND Thu May 12 2011
 People ask me all the time if there is a magic supplement they can take to look younger, shed body fat, boost their energy or improve their skin. In reality, the answer is food. The right food, at the right time and in the right quantities, can have a dramatic affect on your appearance and overall health.
Here are a few superfood suggestions to include in your spring diet — they just might help to slim your waistline in time for summer:
Avocados: Avocados contain glutathione, one of the most potent antioxidants and disease-fighting agents available. Unfortunately, avocados — high in monounsaturated fats — got a bad rap during the past low-fat era. But avoiding avocados will only work to impede your weight loss, depriving you of a source of healthy fats and antioxidants that are good for any complexion.
Studies show that people sustain their nutrition program longer and have greater weight loss when on a diet that contains about 30 percent healthy monounsaturated fat, like those in avocados, rather than a low-fat diet.
Whey protein: Protein is essential for immunity, for maintaining healthy body composition, for keeping blood sugar balanced, for healing and repairing tissues, for developing muscles, and for producing hormones, chemical messengers and digestive enzymes in the body. However, by adding a bit of whey protein to your meal, you will also reduce your short-term food intake. You don't feel hungry so often. Whey protein reduces insulin and can even help to reduce blood pressure.
Blueberries: Free radicals cause cellular damage, accelerate aging and contribute to the development of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. However, blueberries are absolutely loaded with antioxidants and fibre, which will keep you full and looking younger. They protect against sun damage, support eye health, are low in naturally occurring sugars, and contain a potent dose of proanthocyanidins beneficial for skin, cognitive function and cardiovascular health. This same antioxidant activity is also present in pomegranates, pink grapefruit and tomatoes, which makes them an important addition to your plate for both cancer protection and heart health.
Cherries: Cherries are the new wonder food — and not just because they taste great and can satisfy even your sweetest cravings. This fruit contains red-pigmented antioxidants and is high in soluble fibre and low in calories, which can help improve insulin sensitivity. Anthocyanins are a class of plant pigments responsible for the colour of many fruits, including cherries. They also are potent antioxidants, highly active chemicals that have been increasingly associated with a variety of health benefits.
That being said, when having any fruit you should be sure that they are part of a meal or snack that includes protein and essential fats. A great morning smoothie might include one cup of  non-fat vanilla yogurt, one serving of whey protein isolate, one tablespoon of ground flax seeds and a handful of fresh cherries (pitted with the stems removed).  
Broccoli: Next to your favourite source of protein, stir-fried broccoli is a welcome companion. Some sources say that just 2½ cups of broccoli a week may reduce your risk of various types of cancer. Broccoli is high in fibre, numerous minerals and vitamins, as well as a compound called indol-3-carbinol (I-3-C). I-3-C is an anti-cancer compound because it helps to convert estrogen, linked to breast and prostate cancers, into a less harmful metabolite. Since higher amounts of estrogen are associated with belly fat and increased fat around the hips and thighs, this superfood just might help you shed a few pounds before bikini season. The soluble fibre in broccoli is also fantastic for lowering LDL cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugars.
Eggs: Our grandparents had it right — eating eggs for breakfast improves appetite control and boosts energy levels. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that participants who consumed eggs for breakfast had greater feelings of satiety, and consumed significantly less energy and grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat for lunch. Energy intake following the egg breakfast remained lower for the entire day as well as for the next 36 hours. For a balanced meal, scramble one or two whole eggs with three or four egg whites and an assortment of your favourite diced veggies.
Eat healthy and get that bikini out of the bottom of the drawer.