Thursday, January 29, 2009

Home Remedy--Diarrhea

Okay, it's one of those things we don't want to talk about, but it happens to all of us at one point or another.

*Eat boiled sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper before bedtime to cure chronic diarrhea.
*For some people eating blueberries works very well.
*Get BRATTY. BRATTY is an anagram for bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, tea and yogurt. It's recommended that diarrhea sufferers follow a diet that consists solely of these foods until the condition has been alleviated, since these foods have the effect of adding bulk to the intestines--thus relieving runny stools. Additionally, the pectin in applesauce should help firm bowel movements, and the beneficial bacteria present in yogurt can help restore the ecology of an ailing stomach.
*Buttermilk is one of the most effective home remedies in the treatment of diarrhea. Buttermilk is the residual milk which is left oven, after fat has been removed from curd by churning.
*Cardamom-Take about 1/4 teaspoon of powder of cardamom seeds and boil them with tea water. Add a bit of sugar for taste and drink.
*Water, Sugar and Salt Solution-This solution is an essential medicine for diarrhea. It is effective treatment for adults as well as for children and infants. Add lime juice (sour/sweet) or orange juice to taste. For adults, a mixture of 1 liter of water , 1 teaspoon of salt and 8 teaspoons of sugar is good for curing diarrhea. For children, 1 liter of water is added with ¾ teaspoon of salt and 8 level teaspoons of sugar.

I hope ya'll have a good day.
Jill Marie

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Soap slivers

Good Morning Ya'll. I went to my tips and was going to just post a tip for a mothball substitue which involves using soap slivers. Of course, that got me to thinking about "soap slivers". There has to be other uses for them, right? I personally save my slivers and then melt them in the microwave and make a new bar.

Mothball Substitute: Take your leftover soap slivers and put them in a vented plastic bag. You place the bag with seasonal clothes before packing them away. Not only will the scent prevent them from moth harm but also they'll smell great when you pull them out.

I've been saving my soap slivers and re-using them. I either melt them and make a new bar or had an idea of putting the slivers into "re-cycled pantyhose", knot the ends and then place into your suitcases when your not using them to keep them fresh smelling. Also put them in your sock drawer, underwear drawer or lingerie drawer. Here are some more idea'a and recipes for re-using your soap slivers.

Save the soap slivers and add water, then slowly melt them down on the stove and use as liquid soap. Or melt them down without water and pour into greased jar lids or anything you want to use for the a mold and you have new bars of soap!

Place Pieces In A Scrubbie-I will take all the leftovers and collect them for a while. Then I take apart one of those scrubbie things most people now use in the shower (I can buy a pkg. of 4 of them at the dollar store), and put the soap in there, and tie it up. I would think cheesecloth would work, too, but I haven't tried it. It works well for the kids since the sudser already has soap in it.

Use the little soaps to write on glass. If your car is for sale, or if you have a shop window, you can write on the glass for an easily removed message. Or write a love note to your sweetheart on the bathroom mirror some morning.

Shave the soaps down and melt in a mold, in your microwave, to create a bath-sized bar. Add soap fragrances (such as lavender)and a bit of oatmeal for mild sloughing qualities. Use yourself or give away as gifts for the holidays.

Shave down and add glycerin. Melt in the microwave and keep in a jar for a homemade liquid hand soap.

Repackage Hotel soaps in nice little fabrics and ribbons that match your guest bathroom, and put out when you have overnight visitors. Tell them they can use them or take them home. It's a lovely little gesture.

Place opened soap in an old sock, and hang it in the shower. it makes a wonderful body scrubby that lathers effortlessly. Keep adding used soap slivers at will.

Shave down and use in powdered form for handwashing delicate clothes.

Here are some more tips (basically the same ideas, but perhaps different recipes) I found for re-using soap slivers at this page :

1. To make soap on a rope, sew up a drawstring bag, say, out of an old washcloth, and deposit your soap bits inside. Next, throw in a couple of tablespoons of dried herbs, like chamomile and lavender plus a couple of tablespoons of medium ground oatmeal to act as a skin softener. Hang the bag from your showerhead and it’s ready to use.

2. To recycle your soap scraps into new bar soap, place 2 cups of grated soap scraps in a saucepan and cover them with water. Let them soak for 24 hours, giving them a stir every now and then. Next, bring the pan to a boil, remove it from heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil for each cupful of soap soup. Pour the mixture into molds–milk cartons work great. After they’ve hardened, you can cut them into smaller bars, but let them cure for two weeks before you use them.

3. To make gel hand/body soap, put the soap bits in a jar of hot water and add some lemon juice and glycerine. Shake well, and you’re done.

4. To make a cleaning gel, place 2 cups of grated soap bits in a saucepan, covering them with water. Wait 24 hours, stirring the soap soup now and then. After 24 hours, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer and then whisk or mash the mixture to completely dissolve the soap. Remove from heat and allow to cool. For each cup of soap gel in the pan, add two cups of talcum powder and two tablespoons of mineral turpentine. Mix the concoction well and store in a wide-mouth container with a tight-fitting lid. This super-soap can be used as a general purpose household cleaner as well as a laundry aid.

5. To make an all-purpose stain remover, put 4 cups of finely grated soap bits in an enamel or stainless steel saucepan along with 3 tablespoons of eucalyptus oil, one cup of methylated spirits and one cup of boiling water. Alan then says to, “Stand the saucepan in a larger pan of hot water over a medium heat, stirring the mixture until it turns clear.” After that, you’re to poor the soap into molds–again, empty milk cartons work best–and let them cool. You can cut them into small bars later, but you should wait 4 weeks for them to fully harden. When it’s time to remove a stain, moisten the bar and rub on the offending spot and then launder as usual. Probably because of the methylated spirits, this recipe is particulary good for removing grease stains.

6. If you feel a bit more decadent, you can turn your soap leftovers into yummy honey and oatmeal soap. To do so, place 2 cups of grated soap scraps into a saucepan, cover with cold water and let stand 24 hours. Then, add 2 tablespoons of honey and simmer, stirring occasionally until the soap melts. Remove the pan from the stove and then stir in 1 cup of medium ground oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of glycerine. Mix well and then pour into molds. After they have cooled, you can cut them into smaller bars, but let them cure about 6 weeks before you use them.

I am just sitting here laughing at myself and how much of a tightwad I must be. I decided to do a little math, just approximations, and this is what I came up with. Let's say you use a brand new bar of soap every other week (26 bars) and you pay, let's say 50 cents a bar. So that little sliver may cost at most 5 cents (and that's probably stretching it). So 26 bars times 5 cent's = $ And I'm saving those little slivers to save money. I am such a flippin' tightwad! LOL Oh well, at least I can laugh at myself. I'd rather be "thrifty" than wasteful.

Have a good day.
Jill Marie

Monday, January 26, 2009

Swiss Steak Recipe

G'morning ya'll. Today I have a recipe for Swiss Steak.

Swiss Steak
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds beef round steak, cut in 6 to 8 serving-size pieces, pounded to tenderize
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Canola oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cups thinly sliced onion
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) tomatoes, or 4 to 5 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup beef brothPreparation:

Combine flour, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Baste steak pieces with Worcestershire sauce, then dredge in the flour mixture. Heat oil over medium-high heat and brown steak pieces about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer steak to slow cooker/Crock Pot. Sprinkle garlic and celery over steak, then add the sliced onion and tomatoes. Pour beef stock into the hot skillet to loosen brown bits; pour over steak. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (on high 4 to 5 hours).
Serves 6 to 8.

You could serve this with egg noodles and/or mashed potatoes and a veggie. Maybe a simple little salad and some warm dinner rolls too. Dinner rolls are big at our house. Rylie is such a picky eater so sometimes she'll just eat the roll and push the rest of the food around her plate. (((sigh))) I can only make the food, unfortunately I can not force this child to eat. Believe me, I've tried manipulation, intimidation (not scary, just no dessert, etc.), and sending her to her room. Nothing works with this child. I've even tried fixing her a seperate dinner if I don't think she'll like what we're having. But now, suddenly, out of the blue...she doesn't like hotdogs either.

What?! Hotdogs were her absolute favorite, for awhile there I was wondering if she could live on just eating those dogs. Now, she won't even eat those. OH LAWD! I think I may have a flippin' veggie-tarian on my hands. LOL

Well, have a wonderful Monday.
Jill Marie

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Home Remedy--Dark Circles Under Eyes

Here are a few home remedies to try out, before you go spends a lot of money on a store product, for dark circles under your eyes.

Dark circles around eyes

*Make a paste out of 1 tsp. tomato juice, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, a pinch of turmeric powder, and 1 tsp. of flour. Apply around eyes. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.
*For under eye circles and wrinkles, mix a drop or two of honey with 2-3 drops of fresh lemon juice. Apply to the area under the eye. Leave it on for about 15 min. to 1/2 hour and it seems to work.
*Squash a banana and put a little on your eye before going to sleep. The potassium will help your eyes. In the morning when you wake up, wash it off and your dark circle is gone. You have to keep doing this every day!
*Boil some water and place 2 tea bags inside. Take out tea bags, allow them to cool. Lay back and place tea bags over the eyes (close eyes first - one on each eye) for about 15 minutes. This will ease black circles under your eyes caused by lack of sleep.
*Apply vitamin K cream. Although studies haven't looked at the use of topical vitamin K for dark circles under the eyes, preliminary studies have found that vitamin K may help with bruising.
*Vitamin C helps to strengthen blood vessel walls.

The following is a list of some of the causes of dark circles:
*Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
*Heredity — dark under-eye circles can run in families.
*Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol and caffeinated sodas.
*Nasal congestion (which dilates and darkens the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose)
*Pigmentation irregularities — these are a particular concern for people of color, especially blacks and Asians.
*Sun exposure, which prompts your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.
*Thinning skin and loss of fat and collagen — common as you age — which make the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes more obvious.

The MayoClinic website also suggests that you try the following.
*Cold. Try a cold compress, two chilled teaspoons or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a soft cloth to temporarily reduce dilated and discolored under-eye blood vessels. Or, try a cooled, used teabag.
*Extra pillows. Elevate your head with two or more pillows to prevent puffiness that develops when fluid pools in your lower eyelids.
*Extra sleep. Although short nights don't usually cause under-eye circles, a lack of sleep makes you paler and more hollow-eyed, so shadows and circles you already have are more obvious.
*Dark glasses and sunscreen. Although a tan might hide dark circles in the short term, in the long run, the extra pigment it produces can make circles worse.
*Saline washes or sprays. Rinsing your sinuses with a saltwater solution (mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt with 2 cups warm water) or over-the-counter saline spray can help relieve nasal congestion.
*Cosmetics. Hundreds of skin creams that claim to reduce or prevent under-eye circles crowd department store and drugstore shelves. The results of one well-publicized study showed that a cream containing vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E and retinol was moderately effective in treating under-eye circles.
*Camouflage. The right concealer can do just that — hide dark circles. If the circles under your eyes are bluish, use a peach-colored concealer, not one that's white or gray. And avoid scented products and those containing salicylic or glycolic acid, which can irritate delicate eye tissue, making redness and swelling worse.

I also came across an interesting article that said "Eat kidney-balancing foods. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a bluish cast under the eyes are due to an imbalance in kidney energy." I followed the link provided and found that the recommended kidney balancing foods are: Lobster, Sardines, Shrimp, Clove, Dill seed, Fennel, Pistachio, Raspberry and Walnuts.

Sounds like a good enough reason to have to eat shrimp and lobster, lol. Have a great day everyone.
Jill Marie

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesay Cleaning Tips--The Microwave

Good morning. Here are some tips for cleaning your microwave and keeping it smelling fresh.

Microwave Filth: Food splatters all over the inside of your microwave and cooks itself on after time. To easily remove this mess, place a sponge soaked in water or just a dish filled with 1/2 cup water in the microwave. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes. The filth is now ready to be wiped right off - no scrubbing!

You can also used vinegar to clean the microwave. Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. Will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.

Microwave Odors: Keep a cup of baking soda in the microwave between uses to keep potatoes from smelling like bacon or other unusual combinations!

Well, it's Tuesday...blah! Or as Rylie likes to say "boooooring". I don't know where she picked up that word. It's funny how kids learn words and use them. Rylie will us the word "boring" when I tell her to do something she doesn't like or why something needs to be done. So since I don't care for Tuesdays, let's just say it's boring. Which it is. At least Mondays are the beginning of a new week. Wednesdays are the "over the hump" day. Thursdays are a little more fun since the following day, Friday, is the beginning of the weekend. Saturdays and Sundays have always been good because they are "the weekend". Which means Tuesdays are just plain ol' "booooring". LOL

Well, I've got to go. I need to finish another letter to David so I can get it sent out today. I need to go and find some neat little things online, that I can print out, and send to him.

Have a great "boooring" Tuesday!
Jill Marie

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Recipes--Casseroles

"Mom, what are we having for dinner?" If her response was "A casserole", aw dang it, I thought. I was (and still am) a bit weird about having my food touch each other on my plate. So a casserole, where everything is all mixed together, was not my idea of a good meal. However, these days I am the mom and it is my job to fix all the meals. As Rylie would say "boooooring". LOL

A casserole serves several purposes for me. It is usually fixed in one pan which means less to clean up, and it is the whole meal right there in one dish so there is no need to decide what side to make with it. I can just throw it all in one pan and then make some biscuits or a salad to go with it and I am done. I'm also not quite as queasy about all the food together (depending on what foods are in it) and I'm okay with eating a casserole these days.

Here are a bunch of casserole recipes I picked up over at the Better Homes and Garden site recently. I hope you find one that sounds tempting to you.

Upside Down Pizza Casserole
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 15-ounce can Italian-style tomato sauce
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1 10-ounce package refrigerated biscuits (10 biscuits)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet cook beef until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Drain off fat. Stir in tomato sauce; heat through. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle mixture with cheese.
2. Flatten each biscuit with your hands; arrange the biscuits on top of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven about 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Makes 5 servings.

Mexican Style Chicken Casserole
2 10-3/4-ounce cans reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
3/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 6- or 7-inch corn tortillas, cut into thin, bite-size strips
3 cups cubed cooked chicken*
1 8-ounce package (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
Tomato slices (optional)
Sliced green onions (optional)
1. Combine soup, tomatoes with chiles, sweet pepper, onion, chili powder, and black pepper; set aside.
2. To assemble, sprinkle about one-third of the tortilla strips over the bottom of an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half of the chicken over tortilla strips; spoon half of soup mixture on top. Sprinkle half of the cheese and another one-third of the tortilla strips over the soup mixture. Layer with remaining chicken, soup mixture, and tortilla strips.
3. Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree F oven about 45 minutes or until bubbly around edges and center is hot. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, top with sliced tomatoes and green onions. Makes 8 servings.

ToTote: Cover tightly after sprinkling with cheese. Transport in an insulated carrier. If desired, transport tomatoes and green onions in an insulated cooler with ice packs.
*Note: About 1 pound boneless chicken breasts will yield 3 cups cubed cooked chicken; 1/2 pound yields about 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
For 4 Servings: Prepare using method above, except assemble in an ungreased 2-quart square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven about 35 minutes or until bubbly around edges and center is hot.

Hot & Cheesy Chicken Casserole
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 14-oz. pkg. frozen broccoli florets
2 cups cooked rice*
1-1/2 cups frozen peas
1 10.75-oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 10.75-oz. can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 10- to 10.5-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz.)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz.)
1 cup crushed rich round crackers
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken in bottom of 3-quart rectangular baking dish. In large bowl combine broccoli, rice, and peas. Spread mixture over the chicken. In medium bowl combine cream of chicken soup, nacho cheese soup, diced tomatoes, milk, and crushed red pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Pour mixture over broccoli mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle crushed crackers evenly over all. Top with remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
2. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

* If you do not have leftover rice, cook 2/3 cup long grain white rice or brown rice in 1-1/3 cups boiling water for 15 minutes (40 minutes for brown rice) or until water is absorbed.

Eight Layer Casserole
3 cups dried medium noodles (6 ounces)
1 pound ground beef
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1. Grease a 2-quart casserole or a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir tomato sauce, basil, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
3. In a medium mixing bowl beat together the sour cream and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in milk and onion. In prepared casserole or baking dish, layer half of the noodles (about 2 cups), half of the meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of the cream cheese mixture (about 1 cup), and all of the spinach. Top with the remaining meat mixture and noodles. Cover and chill remaining cream cheese mixture until needed.
4. Cover casserole or baking dish with lightly greased foil. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
5. Makes 8 servings
6. Make-ahead directions: Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover with lightly greased foil and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream-cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.?Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking.

Broccoli & Chicken Casserole
4 ounces dried medium noodles
2-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 10-3/4-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 ounces)
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well.
2. In a 2-quart casserole stir together noodles, chicken or turkey, broccoli, and green onions.
3. In a medium mixing bowl stir together soup, milk, cheese, basil, and pepper. Stir into noodle mixture.
4. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with paprika. Makes 6 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare casserole; cover and chill up to 24 hours. Bake as above.

Butternut Squash Bake
Serve as a vegetarian entree' or as a side dish with beef.
1-1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. dried extra-wide noodles
4 Tbsp. butter
6 shallots, chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 8-oz. carton mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, snipped
1 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs or soft bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In bowl toss squash in oil; place in oiled 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes, until lightly browned and tender, stirring twice.
2. Meanwhile, in Dutch oven cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In same Dutch oven melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add shallots; cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until shallots are tender and butter just begins to brown. Stir in lemon juice.
3. Add noodles and squash to shallot mixture. Stir in mascarpone, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Transfer to greased 2-quart oval gratin dish or baking dish.
4. In small saucepan melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; stir in bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan, and parsley. Sprinkle on noodle mixture. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes, until crumbs are golden. Serves 8.

Hamburger Pie
1 recipe Mashed Potatoes or one 24-ounce package refrigerated mashed potatoes
1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
2-1/2 cups frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 10.75-ounce can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup shredded process American cheese (2 ounces)
1. Prepare Mashed Potatoes*, if using; set aside. In a large skillet cook meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in thawed beans and soup; pour into a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish or casserole.
2. Spoon Mashed Potatoes in mounds on bean mixture (or, if desired, pipe potatoes using a pastry bag and a large star tip). Sprinkle cheese over the potatoes. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
3. Makes 6 servings

*Three Mashed Potato Options:
1. Use four servings refrigerated mashed potatoes
2. Prepare 4 servings instant mashed potatoes according to package directions, except reserve the mil. Add egg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add enough reserved milk so potatoes are stiff enough to hold their shape.
3. Make mashed potatoes using 5 medium potatoes.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie
1 recipe Pastry Topper
1 cup chopped leek (3 medium) or onion (1 large)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup sliced celery (1-1/2 stalks)
1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper (1 small)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk
2-1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup loose-pack frozen peas or frozen peas and carrots
1 egg, beaten
1. Prepare Pastry Topper; set aside.
2. In a large saucepan cook leek, mushrooms, celery, and sweet pepper in hot butter over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add broth and half-and-half all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken and peas. Pour into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
3. Place pastry over chicken mixture in dish. Turn edges of pastry under; flute to edges of dish. Brush pastry with some of the egg. If desired, place cut-out pastry shapes on top of pastry. Brush again with egg.
4. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Pastry Topper: In a medium bowl stir together 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/3 cup shortening until dough pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Sprinkle an additional 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water over remaining flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all dough is moistened. Form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 13x9-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut slits in pastry to allow steam to escape, or, if desired, use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes from pastry.

Have a wonderful Monday.
Jill Marie

Friday, January 16, 2009


I cannot believe that it is already Friday again. Has it already been a week? I feel like I haven't slept in a week. I feel like I haven't gotten a thing done all week. I am tired, so tired.

I apologize for missing days and post's on here. Suffice it to say I've been a wee bit distracted and have not gotten a lot of anything done lately.

Good News---I got a letter from David yesterday. He has been promoted to Squad Leader. I am so proud of him. I don't know much about the service, but I would have to guess that they must have seen something special in him to do that. I'm sure that it's wonderful each and every time someone in the service gets a promotion or special recognition. I just think how great it is that even in Basic Training they saw something special in David and recognized it. This Mom is just bursting with pride.

More Good News---I just heard that my nephew, who is serving in Korea, will be promoted to Tech Sgt. I know his Dad and Cathy are just as proud of him too.

Finally, good news, we've been needing it around here.

In other news, the little thing on my computer is telling me that it is currently -11 degree's outside. BRRRRRRRR! The heater just keeps running and running and it is still cold in here. I'm getting ready to close all the bedroom doors and just huddle up with Rylie in the living room under a big comforter.

Have a good weekend and stay warm!
Jill Marie

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beyond crazy...

Friday night Ray and I went to his work's company Christmas party. It's always held after Christmas because people have less going on then. His brother who works with him, John and his wife, Cathy, went too. We took separate cars and stopped by their house when we went home.

Imagine our surprise when they found their 17 year old daughter missing. Her dinner was on the table and she hadn't taken a coat. The only thing gone was her purse and cell phone. The police were called and a missing person report was filed when we were unable to locate her anywhere.

We spent the entire weekend making calls and searching for her. Saturday seemed like an day of endless calls and waiting for return calls. Cathy and I spend a lot of time crying and trying to support each other. Sunday morning I got up and got 100 copies of a missing child flyer made up and delivered them to all kinds of places. More calls. More searching the computer. More waiting for return calls. And more calls. It was emotionally exhausting.

We finally got a different name thrown at us late Sunday evening. No last name, just a first name this time. Wow...lets make it hard, huh? More searching on the Internet and I found two guys in Facebook with the same name. I did some searching and phone calls. I finally got a name of a street. Ray and John went there this morning and waited for officers to arrive. Courtney was found inside and returned to her parents. As of right now, they are downtown dealing with the legal side of it all.

If the information I have is correct and this guy is 20 years old...well, he has a LOT of explaining to do. Not to mention the relative who knew all a long where she was and did NOT tell anyone! I know who not to trust, especially with my child, from now on. This family went through hell thinking that someone had snatched this girl and were doing terrible things to her. ANYONE who had ANY information is less than a fleck of the white on dried dog poo. I'd use stronger language, but I think you get the idea. Let's just say I will have absolutely no respect for or trust for this person/people ever again. Their behavior was just despicable and absolutely UNFORGIVABLE!

I will never ever understand someone IN THE FAMILY having knowledge about her whereabouts and not telling anyone! Her mom and dad were going through hell! UGH! I know, because I was there and I was feeling the fear and terror too, and I'm not even one of her parents. I feel nothing but disgust towards the person who lied to us and told us they knew nothing while they knew where she was the entire time!

Jill Marie

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Home Remedy--Dandruff

When my youngest son was little he had a terrible problem with dandruff. I found this remedy and tried it on him. Although he hated the smell, it worked great.

Pour distilled white vinegar onto the hair, as close to the scalp as you can manage; massage into the scalp; and allow to dry for several minutes before washing as usual. Repeat daily until the dandruff disappears, usually within a few days.

Last night I played around with my Paint Shop and posted a few pictures from when we took David up to Detroit Airport in my photo blog, Jill Marie's Memories. I miss that boy and hope he is doing well. They have some very big training coming up and I know he was a little bit worried about it. One of the training procedures is when they are going to be put into a forest (or something) for 3 days and they can't sleep for the entire 3 days. There are also some rifle and live ammunition trainings coming up.

I know he is a bit worried about the rifle exercises because of his lazy eye. His eye is the reason they first denied sending him to basic training. He got letters from his congressman, high school principal and an optometrist and sent them in. He won his fight to get in, but I have a feeling he has to work really hard to stay in. He just has to make it a few more weeks, till he graduates from basic and begins AIT. Hopefully, once he completes basic he won't have to worry about them sending him home.

I am so proud of him for finding something that he is so passionate about. Something that he is willing to fight for his right to do. Can you imagine? This young boy fighting for his right to serve his country when there are so many who would try to come up with every excuse not to? I've heard of some families who said they would send their children up to Canada if the draft came back. How could I not be proud of my son, his moral character, his sense of values and patriotism? When I think of it all...I feel as though I am about to burst with pride and love for this child of mine.

Samantha is proving to be a child...yes, at 20 years old I still consider her a child...that I am very proud of too. She bought her single wide in September and is making it into a very nice little home for herself. She got a new job and is looking into getting another part-time job. I worry that she is going to over work herself, but then I wonder how many parents can say that these days. Then job she got was through an agency, so they continue to take their "take" out of her earnings. Which means she is making less money and that is just not a good thing during this economy. She got a call back for a part-time job at Tan Pro, or some place like that. I hope she gets the job but I hope she doesn't have to work there for long.

Christopher, my youngest son, seems to be going through one of those teen stages. He will turn 17 in February. His teachers say that he is an extremely smart boy. He is even in advanced Biology. Yet he doesn't do the work necessary to maintain a passing grade. Although when he does bother to do homework the teachers tell us that it is A and high B work. It is extremely frustrating. It one of those things where I look at this child and wonder how someone so smart can be so.....grrrr! Well, you know..."unintelligent".

Miss Rylie, the baby, just can't seem to shake the cold she picked up shortly before Christmas. The poor thing is so congested and she wakes up almost every two hours. I told her dad that I had that schedule when she was a baby and now it's his turn. LOL She is just tired a lot and very grumpy. Yep, a real joy to be around. I feel bad for the lil' pumpkin. She was slow to talk and a real mumbler and with this cold it feels like old times. It is so hard to understand her because of the congestion. I keep asking her to repeat herself and she just gets frustrated and says "neber bine" (never mind). Poor baby, it was easier for me to understand her gibberish than her "cold" speak.

So that is what is going on around here.! I'm just trying to get everything done in the mere 24 hours I am granted in a day. I don't know, does anyone else think the hours got shorter in 2009? It sure seems that way to me. I get up, do all the things that need to get done (or at least try to) and before I know's time to start dinner. Where the heck are the day's going?!

Take care and have a beautiful day.
Jill Marie

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009, what a pip

I just haven't been able to find more than a few minutes to get one and make a decent post. Yesterday I had to get up early to get baby girl and myself around and take David up to the Detroit airport and it seems like we were just running all day. The same thing with Monday. I didn't even get home that day until almost 4 pm and then I was rushing to get dinner done.

Today I have a few minutes here before I have to go do a few things and then get Rylie up again and run a few more errands. Hopefully we will be home before it's too late in the afternoon. However, I won't hold my breath on that...unless I feel like being a pretty shade of blue.

Since I wasn't able to post a cleaning tip yesterday I'll do it today. I hate cleaning the hood over the stove. Our's is a big one because the stove is in the middle of an island. It gets to be a real mess and cleaning it up is even messier. All the goo just plops down on the stove and island...gross stuff.

Kitchen Grease: I recently had to clean the hood of the stove exhast fan, it was covered with grease and accumulated dust. The cleaner I had wasn't doing much good, just gunking it up and slightly moving it around. So I put a little dishwasher powder on a wet sponge and used that. It worked great! It cut the grease and the powder acted as a mild abrasive without scratching the finish.

We'll see how well this works now that I am making my own dishwasher detergent. I hope it cuts the grease as well.

To get grease off of kitchen cabinets use vinegar, that wonderful all-purpose natural cleaner will clean and remove cabinet buildup. If the cabinets just need a regular cleaning, a solution of half vinegar and half water should do the trick. For more stubborn dirt and buildup, try straight vinegar. A paste made of baking soda and water makes a formidable scrub and helps remove a lot of the grime. Even club soda and lemon juice can be applied.

Try using a natural cleaner like the vinegar before using a cleaning product. Some of the things you buy at the store are too strong for wood cabinets and may remove the finish. If you have to use a store bought cleaner be sure to use it on a hidden part of the cabinet first. You may need to dilute the cleaner with water so it doesn't remove the finish. Also, be sure to use a soft sponge and nothing that will scratch the cabinets.

Well, happy over the hump day. I can hear the trash truck coming and I see a few bags of gift wrap papper that were left in my office that I have to rush out there.
Jill Marie

Monday, January 5, 2009

Meatloaf Recipe

Well, David goes back to Ft. Benning tomorrow. It's just hard to believe that the time has gone that quickly! What a birthday present...blpppphhhht! Yeah, yeah...I turn another year younger today. As you may have guessed birthdays, my own that is, are not a favorite thing of mine. It's just hard when I continue to stay "29" and my own kid just turned 23. How in the heck did that happen?! Who gave these kids permission to get older and start having families of their own?! Oh, someone is getting grounded...

Anyway, since David leaves tomorrow I am having him and his fiance' (he got engaged over Christmas to the sweetest girl and her name is Jill too!) over for dinner tonight. I wanted to make an "all American" dinner. NO! Not So I am going to make meatloaf. I've tried a lot of recipes over the years, but I haven't found one that I really liked. So I decided to got on a search and found this one that claims to be the "Best Ever Meat Loaf". We'll see. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it too.

Best Ever Meat Loaf

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can Campbell's Condensed
Cream of Mushroom or Golden Mushroom Soup
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water

Mix thoroughly 1/2 cup soup, beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion and salt. Shape firmly into 8 x 4-inch loaf; place in shallow baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour 15 minutes.

In saucepan, blend remaining soup, water, and 2 to 3 tablespoons drippings. Heat; stir occasionally. Serve with loaf.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Swedish Meat Loaf:
Add 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to loaf. Blend remaining soup with 1/3 cup sour cream; omit drippings and water. Serve over loaf; sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Garnish with thinly sliced cucumber.

I know I haven't been in here much lately, but things have been pretty busy around here and we've been spending lots of time with our beautiful children and the grandbabies. I still have to go through pictures and stuff. I'm just getting my house back in order. Things are just starting to return to normal and I haven't even had time to play with my new photography stuff Ray got me for Christmas.

Oh, my baby did well by me. I do love that ol' man. He got me some backgrounds, including a Chromakey and background CD's. A rechargeable battery for my camera and just all kinds of goodies. He say's that when I go into business he only wants 10 percent. LOL I still have a lot of reading to do and want to make some homemade lighting stuff and whatnot. But the background stand and backgrounds will get me off to a real good start. I'm gonna use it tonight to take some pictures of David and Jill2. Yes, I said Jill2...I think thats what we're gonna have to start calling her. Christmas was just way too confusing for this ol' lady. LOL

Have a beautiful week and Hugs!
Jill Marie