Perfect Pot Luck Offering!

I would venture that most people enjoy the peanut butter/ chocolate combination. This is a fast way to get some treats ready for a dessert, pot luck, or snacking. I like the fact that the ingredients are usually already in the house. You can go extra fancy and put on colorful sprinkles before it sets. I mean, what’s a little more sugar? 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Candy

12 ounces milk chocolate chips

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest – it really brings out the peanut butter taste.

4 cups miniature marshmallows

Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil leaving an overhang on the edges of the pan so you can lift out the candy when it is firm. Give the foil a light spray with vegetable oil spray.

Carefully melt the chocolate and peanut butter together, stirring often to prevent scorching. Continue stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts, extracts, and marshmallows. You can mix until the marshmallows are completely blended or leave a few pockets of white here and there,  Chill until firm and cut into serving pieces.

Children, Aging, and Growing Old!

Without saying a word, just by being, children age you! Up until I had children, time seemed to hover over reality and, although I celebrated my birthdays, it didn’t seem to change the time factor much. Once you have children, however, they tend to become the measuring stick of your rapid aging process. Whereas you used to think back on events in a foggy but not that ancient past, you now have the years counted explicitly for you by way of your children.

When a child celebrates a birthday, it quickly brings to mind that another year has gone by and the child has changed. Suddenly, you glimpse an older person in the mirror and realize it it you. Time has sped up and you find yourself working harder at keeping track of the years as they quickly sift through your fingers!

Unless I can make the claim stick that I gave birth to all my children prior to age five, time is proclaiming the fact that while the children are growing up, I am getting older.

Two of my children are off on their own. My older son is  an author and he wrote the book in Chinese. Even my fourth child, my baby is almost twenty-two years old. My younger daughter had a job that actually lets her have keys to the building. Well, they didn’t know her at age five..  My husband often shakes his head and bemoans the fact that it all happened so quickly. We were so busy raising the children, we regret not always having time to stop and totally revel in the fact.

We are, however, blessed. My advice to the mothers with cranky babies, exhaustion, and not enough time to do what they want to do . . . relish it as it ends all too soon and you will have children who will willingly walk into the future on their own, two feet and you are left with the memories. Rejoice and be glad and be thankful and cherish the moments.P1060696-001

obama’s new climate rules . . . and the benefits?

Even as we deal with the current agenda in California to take away our fuel and privacy, obama hasn’t been idle. He has come up with a lot of climate rules that won’t change the climate all that much but will further hurt the economic situations of many American families. My question is what will the president do when he runs out of the middle class, tax-payment piggy banks? And the EPA is involved? Well, they did such a great job on the Colorado River.

US Election 2016 – Quotes to Consider

We are still a nation of laws. We just have to check with Barack Obama every day to see what they are. Ted Cruz
You can avoid reality, but you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand
This country belongs to the people who inhabit it. They can exercise their coustitutional right of amending the existing government, or their revolutionary right to overthrow it. Abraham Lincoln
Historically; the most terrible things: war, genocide, and slavery have resulted not from disobedience but from obedience. Howard Zinn
Obama vs. Lincoln:
With or without congress, I’m going to act on my own. I have got a pen and I have got a phone. Barack Obama
The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both congresses and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln

Feral When It Suits Her!

P1000787 P1000788 P1000789This cat has a long story behind how she came to live with us. She only comes into the house to harass our ‘chosen’ cat. They have a love/hate relationship heavy on the hate side. We can always tell when there has been an altercation long after the cats have left the room but the color of the fur left behind.

Fresh is feral when it suits her. There are times, I can pick her up and times when she will take a swat at us if we pass by what she determines is her space. She is an outside cat by her choice but comes in every night to sleep in the garage where there is food, water, and a comfy bed. She visits the vet regularly. We have a nice vet who can bandage  a human ‘paw’ as  well as a cat’s paw. Don’t ask my husband how he knows that!

Fresh does have a real weakness for getting brushed BUT you have to watch for her to have had enough of the attention so you can clear your hands from her attack space.

Whole30 Eating, Paleo, and More!

P1000797P1000798We started eating low-carb about six months ago. I wasn’t looking for a change in eating but picked up the Whole30 Cookbook and was entranced with several of the recipes. My husband figures any investment in a cookbook that makes me happy, is an investment in coming home to tasty and interesting meals. I also noticed that there were a lot of shared ‘lines’ between Paleo and the Whole30 although the Whole30 is a bit stricter. Another cookbook hit my shelves and my ‘expertise’ in cooking around the restrictions is expanding. The interesting result of eating healthier and avoiding a lot of the carbs is that we lose weight without watching our calories and have no cravings for the ‘fun’ but sugary stuff in life. My kitchen prep has taken on a whole new picture. I never thought that we’d be going through five or six pounds of squash a week (and liking it!) or having Kale a staple on our grocery list. A temptation we can enjoy has become Kale chips I make at home.

Since we avoid all except the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, a favorite dessert is whipped coconut cream with pureed fruits. We feel positively decadent enjoying that layered dessert without the guilt.

Want to check out our addiction? To date, my favorite books are The Whole30, The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. Although some of the recipes in this next book have to be adjusted to avoid the sugars, I’ve already made a full Asian meal from Paleo Takeout – Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk by Russ Crandall.

Since the children still at home are over 21 with minds of their own, go figure, huh? We didn’t impose our eating habits on them. Whenever I had spaghetti squash in place of regular pasta, I would make them the regular pasta. The last few meals, the regular pasta was passed by as they started to favor the spaghetti squash.

Christmas Crafts – Tis the Season All Too Soon!

P1000793 P1000794 P1000795Working on Christmas crafts. Yes, it is ONLY the end of August but, count the days, we will be sitting down to turkey dinners before you know it and realizing the Christmas Season is around the corner. Lots of opportunities for creativity at the various stores. The plain, cutouts and little boxes provide a lot of empty space to fill with paint and faux jewels.