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Himalayan Salt Lamps

Meaning of Essential Oils

Click on picture to purchase oil

Each essential oil comes with its own therapeutic benefits. Lavender is a stress reliever; peppermint is a natural energy booster. With so many essential oils available, it is sometimes difficult to learn which oil is best for your specific needs. I have compiled a list of some of the most common essential oils and what the benefits are of each. I also found the best essential oil diffuser and use it daily. It changes colors and has a very nice mist. It is a plug in diffuser and is only $16.95!

Color changing Essential Oil Diffuser

Purchase Diffuser


Bergamot is a citrus-scented essential oil extracted from the Citrus Beragamia tree, a native of Southeast Asia, but can now be found primarily in Italy and along the Ivory Coast. It is a popular aromatherapy oil and widely used in perfumes and colognes.Extraction and Application: Bergamot is extracted by pressing the oil from the rind of the fruit. Bergamot can be used as incense or in a vaporizer. It can also be diluted with bath water or blended with massage oils.Aromatherapy Uses: Bergamot is used to treat stress, depression, anxiety, anorexia, and a number of infections including skin infections like psoriasis and eczema. It is used to stimulate the liver, digestive system and spleen, and provide an overall lift to those suffering from a general malaise.Caution: If applied directly to the skin in its pure form, Bergamot can potentially burn the skin ? especially in sunlight. It is advised to stay out of the sun when using this oil.


Cedarwood is a woody-scented essential oil that comes from the Juniperus Virginiana tree native to North America. It has been around for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians, and is thought to be one of the first essential oils ever extracted.Extraction and Application: Using steam distillation, the oil is extracted from cedar woodchips. Cedarwood aromatherapy oil is yellow in color and can be applied via vapor inhalation, as a massage oil blend or mixed with facial creams.Aromatherapy Uses: Cedarwood oil is often used as a calming agent to help alleviate stress and anxiety. It provides a spiritual lift. It also plays a role in aiding respiratory problems as well as skin issues. Use Cedarwood to help ease urinary tract infections, too.Caution: In its highly concentrated state, Cedarwood can irritate the skin if applied directly to it. It also should not be used during pregnancy.


Chamomile, widely known for its soothing characteristics (particularly in tea), is extracted as an essential oil from the leaves of the flowering plant of the same name. There are two types of Chamomile plants, the Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. The aromatherapy oil can be extracted from both varieties, but healing properties are slightly different.Extraction and Application: Chamomile oil is extracted from the flowering leaves via steam distillation. Both varieties of Chamomile can be blended with massage oils, used in steam or vapor therapy or mixed with lotions and creams. The Roman variety of Chamomile can also be used in mouthwash as an analgesic.Aromatherapy Uses: Many of the following properties are consistent in both Roman and German Chamomile, unless noted otherwise. Chamomile is a powerful calming agent, as well as antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant and overall mood lifter. The German variety is often better suited to battle inflammation, specifically urinary tract and digestive inflammation. Both also have analgesic properties and can help to eliminate acne.Caution: Avoid during pregnancy and if allergies to Ragweed are present.


Eucalyptus oil comes from the Eucalyptus tree, native to Australia. It has a powerful scent and is easily recognizable. As an essential oil, Eucalyptus is an effective agent against respiratory diseases. It also has the ability to enhance concentration.Extraction and Application: Eucalyptus oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of some Eucalyptus trees (there are more than 500 varieties).Aromatherapy Uses: As mentioned above, Eucalyptus is a powerful treatment against respiratory issues. In addition it is used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic and stimulant. It also has cooling properties, which gives it deodorizing characteristics; therefore, it helps fight migraines and fevers. This cooling capability also helps with muscle aches and pains.Caution: Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid using Eucalyptus, as should individuals who suffer from epilepsy. Ingested in large doses can be fatal.


Sweet-smelling Jasmine is extracted from the Jasminum grandiflorum, an evergreen with origins in China. Jasmine is an expensive oil that has powerful healing properties; it aids with everything from depression to childbirth. It is known most for its relaxing properties.

Extraction and Application: Extracting Jasmine is a little different from other essential oils, which are primarily steam distilled. Jasmine is obtained via solvent extraction, which means it results in a concrete substance rather than oil. It then must go through an extensive process whereby the flowers are placed over fats to absorb the fragrance. This process takes a number of days and yields a small amount of oil. Hence the reason Jasmine is one of the most expensive essential oils. Add some drops of Jasmine to your bath or to the vaporizer, or blend it with your favorite massage oil.

Aromatherapy Uses: Jasmine has been known to ease depression and childbirth, in addition to enhance libido. It?s great for respiratory problems, addiction issues, and reducing tension and stress.

Caution: Overall, Jasmine is a fairly safe essential oil as it?s non-toxic. It can cause an allergic reaction, however. Pregnant women should avoid Jasmine.


Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils on the market ? and for good reason. It smells great and is an effective stress-relieving oil. The name stems from the Latin word ?lavera,? meaning ?to wash.? In addition to stress-relieving properties, Lavender is a healing aid against colds, flu and migraine.

Extraction and Application: Lavender is extracted from the flowers of the plant and steam distilled. Lavender can be used several different ways. Given the origin of its name, it?s a wonderful essential oil to use in a bath. Many massage therapists use it to help relax their clients. Add a few drops to a diffuser or even your pillow before bedtime to get a good night?s sleep.

Aromatherapy Uses: In addition to stress-relief, Lavender has the following therapeutic properties: antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory decongestant, deodorant, diuretic and sedative.

Caution: Discontinue use if you suffer an allergic reaction when using Lavender.


It comes as no surprise that lemon is a favorite essential oil. Lemon is widely appreciated for its ?clean? smell,? but has numerous therapeutic qualities as well. It improves concentration, aids in digestion and eases symptoms of acne and arthritis.

Extraction and Application: Lemon comes from the Citrus limonum. The oil is extracted from the fruit?s peeling via cold expression. Lemon oil is a terrific fragrance for the house, given its lemony-fresh scent. Add a few drops of lemon oil to the vaporizer or diffuser for enhanced energy. Or apply it via a carrier lotion during massage. Want to boost your immune system? Add some drops to your bathwater.

Aromatherapy Uses: Lemon oil is a multifaceted essential oil. It helps with everything from skin irritation to digestion to circulation problems. It is a natural immunity booster and can even help reduce cellulite! Lemon oil helps to alleviate headaches and fever, and is a quick mood enhancer.

Caution: While lemon oil isn’t toxic, it can cause allergic reactions such as rash. It?s not wise to use lemon oil in the sun.


Got a hyperactive child? Try adding a few drops of Marjoram to his or her bath or vaporizer. One of this essential oil?s therapeutic properties is to calm hyperactivity and relieve anxiety. Marjoram was a popular plant used by the Greeks in medicines and also helps with digestion issues such as constipation and cramps.Extraction and Application: Marjoram oil is steam distilled once it?s extracted from the leaves and flowers of the herb. Use Marjoram in vapor therapy to ease symptoms of asthma or sinusitis. Add a few drops in bath water to increase circulation or relieve insomnia. Blend with massage oil to alleviate headaches and tension.Aromatherapy Uses: Marjoram aids in anxiety and stress relief, combats fatigue and depression and alleviates respiratory and circulatory issues.Caution: Although it is non-toxic, Marjoram is not recommended while pregnant.


A widely known essential oil, Patchouli is often associated with hippies or ?earthy? types who are thought to use it for its mood-lifting properties. Patchouli comes from the plant Pogostemon cablin and actually has powerful skincare properties.Extraction and Application: This thick essential oil is steam-distilled after it?s extracted from young leaves. Add a few drops of Patchouli to your bath or humidifier to alleviate depression and anxiety. Blend with massage lotion to combat skin infections and to facilitate healing of wounds.Aromatherapy Uses: Patchouli serves as a powerful skin care agent; it even promotes skin cell growth when applied directly to the skin. Patchouli helps to relieve anxiety, depression, fatigue, curb addiction, reduce cellulite and bloating.Caution: Although non-toxic, it?s best to use Patchouli in small doses given its strength.


All you need is a whiff of peppermint to put the pep back in your step. Peppermint has a cooling, refreshing effect and is widely used to enhance mental alertness. Peppermint is a perennial herb that boasts natural energy-boosting properties.

Extraction and Application: Peppermint oil is extracted before the herb flowers and is then steam-distilled. It is used in vaporizers, massage oils and lotions, baths, even mouthwash.

Aromatherapy Uses: Peppermint oil has a number of therapeutic properties. It is a cooling agent that enhances mood, sharpens focus, combats irritation and redness, alleviates symptoms of congestion, and aids in digestion.

Caution: Although non-toxic, the menthol component in Peppermint can bother some individuals. It is also a skin irritant and should be kept away from the eyes. Keep away from small children and do not use while pregnant.


Women should keep Rose oil handy as it?s a powerful aromatherapy treatment for issues targeted mainly at females. Roses are some of the first plants to be distilled for their essential oil. Rose oil is pricier than other aromatherapy oils given the number of roses necessary to distill it.

Extraction and Application: Rose oil is extracted from fresh rose petals and then steam distilled. Extracting rose oil is a delicate process.

Aromatherapy Uses: Rose oil is an ideal essential oil to have on hand. It helps with a number of illnesses and conditions, such as depression, anxiety and digestion issues. It is also helps with circulation, heart problems and respiratory conditions like asthma. It is a protector of the heart and is also good for your skin.

Caution: Avoid during pregnancy.


Rosemary oil is a wonderful mental stimulant. Feel yourself getting foggy? Add a few drops of Rosemary oil to your humidifier or bath water for a natural lift and memory booster. This essential oil packs a powerful punch when it comes to aromatherapy uses. Throughout history the herb has been thought of as sacred.

Extraction and Application: Rosemary oil is extracted from the flowering part of the herb and then steam distilled. Add some Rosemary oil to your humidifier to enhance memory, relieve congestion and sinusitis issues. Blend it with massage lotions and oils to help stiff, aching muscles, arthritis, liver and gallbladder congestion and digestive disorders. Rosemary oil in shampoos are excellent for stimulating the scalp, and thus hair growth.

Aromatherapy Uses: Widely known as a mental stimulant, the antidepressant properties of Rosemary oil make it ideal for enhanced memory, focus and overall brain performance. It also acts as an analgesic, soothing aching, cramping muscles, headaches and migraines. As an antiseptic it helps with digestive and liver infections. It is great for skin issues as well.

Caution: Avoid Rosemary oil if you have been diagnosed with epilepsy or high blood pressure. Pregnant women should also avoid this essential oil.


An evergreen, Sandalwood is easily recognized by its woody fragrance. It is an expensive oil given the length of time it takes for a tree to reach maturity, the best time to extract and distill the essential oil. It has numerous aromatherapy benefits.

Extraction and Application: Sandalwood oil is extracted and distilled from the wood chips of a mature tree. Sandalwood oil can be applied several ways: blended with massage oil and lotions, added to a vaporizer, used as incense, even gargled (diluted).

Aromatherapy Uses: Sandalwood oil can help mucous membranes of the urinary tract and chest wall. It helps to alleviate chest pain. It is also used as a relaxing agent for tension relief. Many practitioners of yoga use Sandalwood for its calming and sexual properties. It is a hydration aid for the skin, as well as an anti-inflammatory.


If you have but just one essential oil in your possession, it should be Tea Tree oil. Tea Tree oil is one of the most popular and effective essential oils for aromatherapy use. It is widely known to boost the immune system and fight infections.

Extraction and Application: Tea Tree stems from the Cypress-like Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It is extracted from the tree?s leaves and steam distilled. Tea Tree oil can be inhaled (via humidifier or steam inhalation) and/or applied to the skin various different ways. Blend Tea Tree oil with a lotion, oil or cream to massage it into the skin. Add a few drops into your bathwater or apply it directly to your skin (using precaution, of course). Tea Tree oil is also found in shampoos, lotions and mouthwash because its healing properties are so powerful.

Aromatherapy Uses: Tea Tree?s healing properties are abundant. Not only is it a natural immune booster, but it also fights all three kinds of infection. It works to heal skin conditions, burns and cuts, and also works as an insecticide. In addition, it helps to soothe and treat cold sores, respiratory conditions, muscle aches, the flu, Athlete?s foot and dandruff. Its uses are vast and its healing power is quick.

Caution: Tea Tree oil is not toxic, but avoid using it internally or around the eyes and nose. It is also not recommended for serious cuts.


Ylang-Ylang is recognizable because of its strong fragrance. Its sweet aroma is excellent for reducing stress and as an aphrodisiac.Extraction and Application: Ylang-Ylang is extracted from the flowers of a tropical tree and steam-distilled. Much like other essential oils, Ylang-Ylang can be used in a vaporizer or blended with other lotions for massage purposes. Add some drops into a bath, especially if you?re looking for a little romance. Aromatherapy Uses: While its calming properties are its most powerful, Ylang-Ylang oil is also used to soothe headaches, nausea, skin conditions, stimulate hair growth, reduce high blood pressure and fight intestinal problems.Caution: While it is a non-toxic oil, overuse can lead to headaches.

Glitzy’s Artichoke Hearts

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Packages of Birdseye C&W Artichoke Hearts OR (Trader Joe’s has them in a bag in the frozen dept.You get more and they’re cheaper) 
  • Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
Fried artichoke hearts
Fried artichoke hearts

Make sure you thaw the artichokes completely before using in oil! (you can microwave them on low for 50 seconds, keep checking them!Break the eggs into a large bowl and add bread crumbs, stir until it’s like a paste.

Fried artichoke hearts

If the mixture gets too thick, add water to thin out the batter.

Fried artichoke hearts

Add olive oil (about 1/2 cup) to a pan that has high sides, since these splatter it will help to make less of a mess.

Fried artichoke hearts

Add some of the artichoke hearts and cover with batter.

Fried artichoke hearts

Place in your pan and fry until golden brown on each side. (Sometimes I lay the bigger ones on the sides for an even fry)

Fried artichoke hearts

Place cooked artichokes on absorbent paper towels. While they are still hot, salt them so it will stick. I use Sea Salt now, much better!

Fried artichoke hearts

One of my tricks is to use the paper towels to soak up the excess oil from pans. A great trick and you don’t need a oil dripping can around the kitchen. Just soak it and throw it away!

Enjoy these yummy artichokes with a glass of WINE!

Carrot Salad


  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup diced fresh pineapple


Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then drain.

Fit a food processor with the grating blade. Cut the carrots in half and place in the feed tube so they are lying on their sides. Process in batches. Place the grated carrots in a medium bowl, add the lemon juice and toss.

For the dressing, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and salt. Pour the dressing over the carrots and add the pineapple and raisins. Toss together and serve.

Halibut in Parchment



  • 1 large russet potato, scrubbed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces of baby spinach, well washed
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 6-ounce halibut fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper




  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using two 12-by-17-inch sheets parchment paper, fold each sheet in half crosswise.

  2. Place 1 sheet of parchment flat on a work surface. Place half of the potatoes, garlic, spinach, shallots, and 2 lemon slices on one side of the crease; season with salt and pepper. Place halibut on top of lemon slices, and season with salt and pepper. Fold parchment over ingredients. Make small overlapping folds along the edge to seal.

  3. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake until packets have puffed, and fish is cooked through, about 18 minutes. Transfer packets to individual plates. Serve immediately, opening packets at the table. Garnish with any remaining lemon slices.

No Meat Chili (delicious)


1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 small onion
1 clove garlic ( to taste)
1 Can Organic Diced Tomatoes with Green Chile
1 Can Organic Kidney Beans
1 Can Organic Northern White Beans
1 Can Organic Pinto Beans
1/2 Tsp. Chili Powder
1 Juice of Lime
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Cilantro (to taste)
Tabasco Sauce (to taste)
Gluten free corn chips



Chop onions & garlic with the olive oil until translucent. Add chili powder, salt & pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the beans, simmer for a few minutes. Juice 1 lime, cut the cilantro and add that. Let simmer a few minutes. Add a couple of splashes of Tabasco sauce. Let this cook for a couple of hours.

For toppings:

Guacamole (Avocado & lime, salt & pepper to taste)
Shred sharp cheddar cheese
Shred romaine lettuce
Gluten free corn chips


Rear View Mirror Hangers

My Rear View Mirror Hangers

I started creating rear view mirror hangers about 5 years ago. I used to use a different hanger that was of a rubber material and it didn’t hold up as well. Also, it was hard to clasp it together. So I found they hangers I use now which have a magnetic clasp and made of a very sturdy material. Also, the beads and charms I use now are much nicer. I’ve sold quite a few over the years and people have really enjoyed having their favorite charm in their car, truck or window. What I’d really like to do in the future is somehow figure out how someone can personally pick out what color hanger, beads and charm they want. I’m always open to custom orders, so if you have something specific in mind just email me at and I’ll try my best to create what  you want!

I’ve noticed that just about every car I see driving around has something hanging from their rear view mirror. Don’t YOU want a unique rear view mirror hanger to have in your car, truck or even in your window! I created a slide show of some of my newer rear view mirror hangers.

If you would like to purchase one…
Click here >> Rear View Mirror Hangers for Sale

Mermaid Water


  • 2 Parts Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1 Splash Malibu Coconut Rum
  • 2 Parts Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Splash Blue Curacao
  • 1 Squeeze of Lime Juice

Mermaid water



Walnut Honey Bran Muffins


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the muffin cups
  • 1 cup (12 oz./375 g.) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./185 g.) toasted and chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) wheat bran
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz./125 g.) raisins
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml.) buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Brush 24 standard muffin cups generously with butter. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of the honey onto the bottom of each muffin cup. Place 1 tablespoon walnuts on top of the honey in each muffin cup.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, combine the bran and raisins. Pour in the boiling water and mix well. In another bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda, and the salt. In a third bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the remaining 3/4 cup (9 oz./280 g.) honey and then the eggs, beating well after each addition. Mix in the bran mixture on low speed. Mix in half of the buttermilk, then the flour mixture. Add the remaining buttermilk, mixing just until combined.
  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling each cup about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly in the pan. Run a small, sharp knife around the inside edge of each cup to loosen the muffins sides. Invert a rimmed baking sheet over one of the muffin tins, invert together, and lift off the muffin tin. Repeat with the second muffin tin and serve. Makes 24 muffins.

She Was Not Wearing Panties Or A Bra…

She Was Not Wearing Panties Or A Bra…

but that was the best way to wear the dress she had just purchased, and she looked as though she had just stepped out of the pages of a woman’s fashion magazine. She may have been wearing something a bit trendy…but she was wearing a very expensive and fashionable dress, and she was the best dressed woman in the place…and everyone noticed that she was there!

A few of the men could not take their eyes off of her, and a few of the women were shaking their heads, almost in disapproval, because they could never in a million years, get away with wearing something like that. Is that envy or jealousy? One woman said to her friend, “She’s just asking for trouble.” Her friend replied, “Why do you say that?” Then the woman responded, “She is inviting trouble from a man who has an unbalanced psychological state of mind. Women like that sometimes get attacked.”

This is a ridiculous belief, and just because a woman has money to afford a fabulous dress, and she is fortunate enough to have the body and the gumption to wear it, does NOT mean that she wants trouble, is asking for trouble, or deserves trouble of any kind!

This is a good reason for a woman to carry a self-defense pepper spray! If some creep does try to mess with her, in an “attack” situation, she can spray the thug in the face with a hot pepper spray, and it will give her a chance to escape to safety as he coughs, chokes, rubs his eyes, and tries to regain his sight and normal breathing. The effects will last about twenty minutes, but they do not cause any long term harm or damage.

Pepper Sprays are legal throughout the United States, and these days all adult women, and even some of the men, should be carrying one of these effective, yet humane, forms of self-defense! They are small, light weight, and not very expensive, and although pepper sprays are not sold at every corner store, you can find them online.

You can Buy Pepper Sprays Online and have them send to your home, and they also make a great gift for the people who you really care about! You can even buy a few dozen of these beauties at wholesale, even without owning a business, at places such as, where they have a wide variety of non-lethal, self-defense items for your convenience.

It is better to be safe than sorry, and a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants! After all, this is America, where we have liberty and freedom! Right? You bet your sweet a**, whether it’s covered with silk fabric or not!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Idea’s

Just some idea’s for Valentine’s Day!

How cute are these?

Heart-Shaped Wholewheat Pizza with Fig Butter, Chicken Sausage, Goat Cheese, and Arugula

Heart-Shaped Wholewheat Pizza with Heart-Shaped Pepperoni

Heart-Shaped Breadsticks

Gorgeous Salad with Heart-Shaped Cucumbers and Red Cranberry Dressing

Heart-Shaped Cheese and Crackers

Heart-Shaped Pitta with Hummus Dip

Heart-Shaped Cucumber Cream Cheese Bites

Heart-Shaped Strawberry Shortcakes

Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small chopped potato (optional)
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion in hot butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Whisk 1/4 cup melted butter and flour together in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until flour loses it’s granular texture, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk if necessary to keep the flour from burning, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Gradually pour milk into flour mixture while whisking constantly. Stir chicken stock into milk mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook until flour taste is gone and mixture is thickened, about 20 minutes. Add broccoli, carrots, sauteed onion, and celery, potatoes; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir Cheddar cheese into vegetable mixture until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with warm crusty bread

Yummy Cauliflower Recipe

You will LOVE this recipe. Let me know what you think after you make it!



  • 1 large cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Salt



  • ? cup blanched almonds
  • 6 to 10 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for basting
  • 2 teaspoons wine vinegar (white or red), more to taste
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped parsley, mint, tarragon, cilantro or a combination
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes(optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven while you prepare the cauliflower: Place a heavy oven-proof skillet (a cast-iron skillet looks very nice) or a baking sheet in the oven and turn the heat to 375 degrees. Place a small pan of hot water on the floor of the oven, to create steam.
  2. Break off and discard the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut off the bottom of the stem, and then use the tip of a small, sharp knife to cut off the leaves close to the stem. Carefully cut out the hard core of the cauliflower, near the bottom. Leave the main stem intact and make sure not to cut through any of the florets.
  3. Rinse the cauliflower (leave the water clinging to the outside) and place on a work surface, core side up. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to rub over the cauliflower until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Place the cauliflower on the hot pan in the oven, core side down, and cook until very tender all the way through when pierced with a knife, at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours. During the cooking, baste 2 or 3 times with more olive oil. It should brown nicely. If you have a convection feature, use it toward the end of baking to brown the crust.
  5. Make the sauce: In a small frying pan, toast nuts over low heat, shaking often, just until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  6. Soak anchovies, if using, for 5 minutes in cool water. Rinse and set aside on paper towels.
  7. In a food processor, combine almonds, anchovies, garlic and butter and pulse until smooth. Mix in oil, then vinegar. Mix in herbs and red pepper flakes, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  8. When cauliflower is tender, remove from the oven. (If desired, run it briefly under the broiler first to brown the surface; there is no need to do this if you used convection.)
  9. Serve cauliflower in the skillet or from a serving plate. Cut into wedges and spoon sauce around each wedge.

Chicken Orzo Soup


  • 1 carton (32 oz) Progresso® chicken broth (4 cups)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo or a small pasta (4 1/2 oz)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat broth and chicken to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F). Remove chicken to cutting board. Skim fat from broth, if necessary. 
  2. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, carrots and celery in oil, stirring occasionally, until tender. 
  3. Add cooked vegetables, pasta and water to saucepan with broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  4. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Add chicken and parsley to soup; heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper.


Combine the broth and the chicken in a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the chicken breasts are cooked through.


Chop your carrots, celery and onions.


In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the veggies until soft.


When the chicken is cooked through, remove it to a cutting board.  Add the vegetables to the broth. Pour in the orzo.


Then add in the water. Allow the soup to cook until the orzo is tender.


Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and when the orzo is tender, add the chicken back into the soup. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.


Chicken Orzo Soup

Velveeta Cheese Bites


egg, beaten

1/4 tsp. black pepper

125 g (1/2 of 250-g pkg.) Velveeta Process Cheese Product, cut into 24 cubes

1 pouch Shake’N Bake Extra Crispy Original Coating Mix

1/2 cup salsa



COOK potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan 15 to 20 min. or until tender; drain. Cool 10 min. Mash potatoes until smooth. Add onions, egg and pepper; mix just until blended.

HEAT oven to 400ºF. Roll potato mixture into 24 balls, using about 2 Tbsp. for each. Insert 1 Velveeta cube into centre of each ball, completely enclosing Velveeta cube with potato mixture. Place potato balls on baking sheet covered with coating mix; turn until evenly coated. Place on clean baking sheet.

BAKE 14 to 16 min. or until heated through. Serve with salsa.


 2 Tbsp. chopped chives for the green onion.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps



  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup water chestnut
  • 2/3 cup mushroom
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 -5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot mustard
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar


  1. Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
  2. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
  3. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
  5. Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
  6. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  7. Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  8. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  9. Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
  10. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
  11. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
  12. When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
  13. With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  14. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
  15. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce”cups”.
  16. Top with”Special Sauce”

Pork Carnitas








4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tb fresh lime juice
  • 2 C water
  • 1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves


1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.

2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.

3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.

4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.

Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Dutch Apple Pie Cookies






Crust (You can also use store-bought refrigerated pie crust)

  • 1 ¼ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon Crisco (vegetable shortening)
  • 3 tablespoon ice cold water
  • Flour for dusting


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups canned apple pie filling* roughly chopped (I took a knife and cut the apples while still in the can.)
  • powdered sugar for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Prepare pie crust: In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut 4 T butter into flour until it looks like coarse meal, and then cut in Crisco until well blended. Add ice cold water and stir with fork. Then use your hands to gently work the dough into a ball.

3. Flour a square sheet of wax paper, place dough ball in the middle, flour the ball, and cover with another square sheet of wax paper. Roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/8”. Using a 2” round circle cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Carefully place circles on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer until needed. Collect dough scraps and roll and cut more circles that you will add to the pan in the freezer.

4. Prepare topping: In a large bowl, mix all of the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Add butter chunks and mix with your fingers until all the butter is incorporated and it begins to form crumbles. Set aside ½ cup of this crumb mixture.

5. Stir chopped apple pie filling into remaining crumble mixture, just until mixed.

6. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, evenly place 12 of the frozen dough circles. Place a scant tablespoon of apple mixture onto the middle of each circle. With your finger, flatten the top of the apple mixture a little bit. Using a fork, place about ½ teaspoon of the reserved crumble mixture on top of each cookie.

7. Bake at 375°F for 14-15 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from oven and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Shake a little powdered sugar over cookies to make them look pretty.

Apple Pie “Filling”

4 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup apple juice (fresh apple cider is better)
1 cup water (you can use just 2 cups water, but the apple juice/cider is better)

Directions for Pie Filling
-In a large bowl, toss diced apple with lemon juice and set aside. Pour apple juice and water into a high-rimmed saute pan over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, & nutmeg. Add to liquid in pan, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

-Add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

-ladle into plastic containers to refrigerate or freeze. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 1/2 hours.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Recipe is easily doubled.


Gobble Turkey Cookies


Vanilla frosting
Crackers rounds of Oreo cookies
Candied corn
Chocolate kisses
Caramel candy


Spread some canned vanilla frosting on a round cracker. Place a chocolate kiss near the bottom of the cracker. 

Add corn candies above the kiss to make feathers; place one corn candy on the kiss for the head. Let frosting dry. 

Attach a caramel to the back with more frosting. 

When dry, place on your table or nibble for a yummy treat.

Pork chops over Potatoes

 Another Family Favorite


  • 6 pork chops (either with or without bones)
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 cups Progresso Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp Red wine
  • 1 large Onion
  • 3 large Idaho potatoes
  • 1 can Campbell’s Golden Mushroom Soup
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper


1. Get your frying pan ready and fairly hot. 
2.  Mix wine, egg & salt & pepper together in a bowl and have your bread crumbs in another bowl. You will need to soak your pork chops in the egg mixture and then dredge in the bread crumbs. 
3.  Fry on both sides until golden brown, let them drain on paper towels while you do the next step.
4.  Peel and cut your onion and potatoes. Use a mandolin to slice your onions and potatoes. Fry them in the left over oil from the pork chops, just for a few minutes.
5.  Add your Golden’s Mushroom soup and mix thoroughly.
6.  A casserole dish or glass dish works best for the baking process. Add your onion & potato mixture into the casserole dish, then place the pork chops on top (kind of move them down into the mixture, but don’t cover the pork chops with the mixture). Cover the dish with a lid or use foil. 
7. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

The whole house will smell great and this dish will WOW everyone about to eat it. The pork chops come out tender and the potatoes will be tender and SO yummy. Give me some feedback after you try this recipe!

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