Wednesday, November 22, 2017

BANANARITA & SOME THOUGHTS

If you still need a drink for tonight or tomorrow that's simple and will wow your guests, you've got to give this recipe a try. Some people call it a margarita with a twist.  Go for the virgin version for the kiddies, or add some kick for the adults.




BANANARITA

INGREDIENTS

Ice
4 Mediums Sized Bananas
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Lime Juice
Lime Zest for garnish (if you like)

DIRECTIONS
Fill a blender halfway with ice, then add the bananas, milk, sugar and lime juice.  Mix until frothy and serve immediately.  This recipe serves 2.


BANANARITA COCKTAIL VERSION

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 Ounces Silver Tequila
1 Ounce Banana Liqueur
3 Ounces Lime Juice

DIRECTIONS
Fill a mixing glass with ice
Pour in the ingredients
Shake it up (great opportunity for some aerobics)
Strain into a glass of your choice
Garnish with a slice of banana


If you want to get some really great recipes for the holiday that are easy to make and have a vintage feel, grab Sweetness by Christy Jordan.

  • BLACK FRIDAY MADNESS
Years ago, we used to have to wait until the day before or the day of to find out about Black Friday deals in the local newspaper if you live in the United States. 
Now, I'm hopelessly confused on when to go, where to buy, or what's the best deal to save the most money.  Do I shop on Thanksgiving, the Day After, or wait until Cyber Monday?  What's a girl to do?


PARKING LOT RAGE
Yesterday, while driving through a parking lot headed to Kroger, I stopped at the 2 way stop sign, waiting for the other cars to go.  After about 3 minutes, I noticed they weren't moving.  There was a Ford truck in the intersection stopped with his reverse lights on  appearing to wait for someone else to move out of a parking space.  After about 5 minutes, the lady in the 3rd car walked up to this guy's truck with some type of stick, shaking it at him from the passenger side and yelling for him to move.  He yelled that he was waiting to get into the handicapped spot, to which she screamed," he just needed to ****ing move!"  She stormed back to her vehicle, cursing, and he moved just enough for everyone else to barely squeeze by.   
I didn't want any trouble. All I wanted to do was use my coupons for some FREE Nivea swag, so I didn't mind waiting around patiently. (lol)


WHEN WILL IT END?
I'm saddened over the loss of life from acts of terrorism, pure rage, mental illness and domestic violence, and imagine that those families & friends affected are struggling to find reasons to feel thankful right now.  I hope they are able to find some type of peace.



NO ONE GETS A PASS
The floodgates have opened, and no more sweeping things under the carpet. Out of everyone who has come forth regarding allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct, I was more surprised to hear about Charlie Rose, who I watched regularly on 60 Minutes. 
But it reminds me once again how people in positions of power feel comfortable saying and doing whatever they like to achieve sexual satisfaction or control.
No one should feel uncomfortable in the workplace, which is where most of us spend a good portion of our day.  I feel badly for the victims who have suffered through the nightmare when it occurred, and to go through it again now that those heinous acts have become public. To the perpetrators I feel embarrassed that they felt the need to hurt someone in this manner, and relief that their despicable behavior has come to light for all the world to see.


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & HOLIDAYS
Statistically, calls that come in during the week of Thanksgiving actually decrease according to the National Resource Center of Domestic Violence, but progressively begin to spike higher up until Thanksgiving Day.  Then the week immediately after, the numbers are much more alarming, increasing significantly.  So while the holidays should be a time of joy, the abused victims suffer even more than many of us can even imagine.  What can you do?
Sometimes the best thing ever is to be there just to listen when someone reaches out and is ready to talk.  It's free and can make a world of difference to someone.



THANKFUL
I'm thankful for lots of things which include having a roof over my head and a bed to sleep on. Being homeless makes you appreciate those things that much more.  And of course I'm so happy to have many, many books to read, food to eat and the Internet. I'm grateful to have met so many blogging friends who entertain me on a daily basis with their tips, laughter and information. 
More than anything, I miss being away from my son and his family, who live in another state, but I'm thrilled that he's around by phone or email to deal with my nutty conversations.  This Thanksgiving, no gigantic meal.  It's just me this year, so I'll be enjoying macaroni and cheese and yes - a cheeseburger,(lol) along with some movies that will hopefully keep me out of trouble.  If you celebrate, I wish you and your wonderful families a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!



If you'd rather miss all the Black Friday hoopla, save your cash and head to Fort Lauderdale Florida on December 9 for the Winterfest Boat Parade.  There are plenty of mega yachts and celebrity sightings for your viewing pleasure.







Monday, November 20, 2017

TURKEY GIVEAWAY

It sure would be wonderful to be able to offer this everywhere, but unfortunately, I live in the Triangle area of NC.  If you, or someone you know is struggling and in need of a turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving, just stop by to tell us what you're grateful for this year and a way to reach you.
I'll choose a name randomly on Tuesday by 5pm, and the winner will need to pick up the Honeysuckle White frozen turkey in Fuquay Varina, NC no later than 9am on Wednesday (November 22) morning.

TURKEY TALK LINE
By the way, if you're turkey challenged and run into an emergency situation, you can still call for help at 800-288-8372Butterball also uses Social Media, so if you'd rather get your answers via the Internet, feel free to visit Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook  or Instagram.

Monday, November 13, 2017

TUESDAY TRIVIA , TASTY TREATS & A REVIEW


Despite being born in August, I'm no fan of hot weather, so the past few days here in NC have been great!

Something about cooler weather gives me extra energy, and encourages me to catch up on my massive reading list which continues to grow. The cool days didn't last very long, because it looks like we'll be back in the 60's again all this week.


Meanwhile, more veggies are supposed to be on the menu, so I'm passing on this unique and simple recipe for collard greens which takes about 35 minutes to prepare and cook.  If you use these exact ingredients, the calorie count should be no more than 180 calories.

JAMAICAN COLLARD GREENS 

INGREDIENTS
1 Tbsp Coconut or Olive Oil
1 Cup Chopped White Onion
1 Habanero Chile, stemmed and diced (or jalapeno for less heat)
2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 Cans (13.5 oz. each) Coconut Milk
2 Bags (16 oz. each) Fresh Chopped Collard Greens
1 Tsp Salt
1/8 to 1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes


DIRECTIONS
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high.  Stir in the onion, chile and thyme, cooking for 3 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the coconut milk, bringing to a simmer, cooking for 3 minutes.

Stir in the greens, then cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Use tongs and mix the wilted leaves.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, covered, mixing a couple more times. If you like your greens more done, leave in for 30 minutes more.  Stir in salt and nutmeg.  Transfer to a bowl, and scatter toasted coconut on top.



PRODUCT REVIEW
I always get a kick out of trying new things, so when given this new product in exchange for an honest review, I was definitely on board.
ARGAN  SHAMPOO from Maple Holistics is hypoallergenic, BPA free, and safe to use on all hair types.  The ingredients include argan, jojoba, almond, peach kernel, avocado, camellia seed and botanical keratin.


My hair is very thick and curly, but it tends to be dry, so I wondered if  this would work better than some of the name brand shampoos I've been using.


The first thing I noticed right away once I opened the bottle was that it had almost no scent at all, which sort of disappointed me because I'm a HUGE scent person.  So if heavy scents bother you, or you're allergic, 
Argan Oil Shampoo  would be perfect to try. 


Despite that, like most of their products, it doesn't take much to create lots of lather, which I enjoyed.  The result once my hair air dried was softness, and it was easy to comb.

If you'd like to try this for yourself or other products,  be sure to visit their free samples page  and their dermarolling blog post .  






In 1852 Louisa May Alcott released her first novel entitled, The Rival Painters:  A Story of Rome, and it didn't get a lot of attention.  But she became famous once she wrote the classic, Little Women about 17 years later.  So many people wanted to meet her that crowds would show up at her home in Massachusetts.  The renowned author was so shy, however, that she pretended to be a servant to trick her fans into leaving.  


The movie Little Women has been created in 1933, 1949, and again in 1994.  Some people consider this one of the best movies for the Christmas season because it's so family oriented and heartwarming.


GIVE ME MORE CHEESE
I'm fanatic about cheese and will add it to just about anything.  When we think about cheese, Wisconsin comes to mind because they're the makers of more than 600 high quality varieties. 
I just wish I had the skills to make my own cheese like Rain from Rain's Garden!  *Waving at Rain".





Thursday, November 9, 2017

WHY DO YOU BLOG?


Lots of projects going on these days, but I'm most excited about receiving my much needed new glasses, which help me to see a heck of a lot better, (even for night time driving) thank goodness!  Drivers in NC can rest easy now and the roads are safe again. 
The New Pink Glasses
 


Blogging has been around since 1994, but I didn't really know they existed.  I didn't get into using the Internet regularly until 2004, and that was mostly to enter sweepstakes.  A late bloomer, I started visiting book related blogs in 2012.

These numbers are mind-blowing, but as of 2017, over 410 million people check out 23 billion blog pages on a monthly basis!

Initially I started reading other blogs because it was a great way to find out about new books and to read reviews.  And that's one of the reasons that I spout trivia almost all the time to friends and family - but I don't think they really listened all that much.  Thus the reason that I gathered up my courage and started this blog.  I figured I could share a whole bunch of useless information with the masses hoping that somebody else would  pay attention. (lol)

Over time,  blogging seemed like the perfect platform to talk about the plight of those abused in domestic partnerships, as well as the suffering of homeless veterans. 

Over time, this blog has evolved into posts on recipes, interviews with authors/chefs and sweepstakes. Along the way, I've met incredible people with varied interests who have made me laugh and cry, and I've learned quite a bit. Blogging made that possible.

Why did you start your blog?

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THESE?
Some of these states have some pretty unusual city names that may make you scratch your head or giggle a little.  Here's a few:

Why, Arizona
Tightwad, Missouri
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky
Happyland, Connecticut
Porcupine, South Dakota
Mosquitoville, Vermont
Michigan

Mississippi

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THIS?
In the United States, about 350,000 people pass out from cardiac arrest annually, but you may be able to help save someone's life.  With one hand pressed over the other, press hard at a rapid pace on the chest with 100 to 120 compressions per minute. It sounds crazy, but singing along to Stayin' Alive by the Beegees is actually the perfect rhythm.  CPR Classes are also available by visiting www.redcross.org.

Cranberries seem to be everywhere, so here's a super simple recipe from the book, Martha Stewart's Appetizers.

CRANBERRY SPARKLERS
In a blender, combine 2 cups fresh or thawed  frozen cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup vodka..  Puree until smooth, then strain and chill.
Fill flutes one quarter with the cranberry mixture.  Tilt flutes and gently pour sparkling wine down the sides of glasses to create the sparkler effect, and serve immediately.











Friday, November 3, 2017

THROWING BOOKS AWAY, TRIVIA & A RECIPE

The other day I ran into a blogger who was really interesting.  She reads and loves books, but when she's done, she usually gives them away.

I also have a very close friend who doesn't care about books at all, but somehow she manages to accumulate a bunch.  Some she gives to me, many go to charity and others are simply thrown away. 


Another friend recently had many of her books destroyed by water damage, and we were all horrified that she lost some of her treasures.


This is actually a cake


Most of the readers I know save their books, have even larger TBR piles, or keep adding more to their already overflowing shelves.



My books are set up by author on some bookcases, and by genre on others.  I'm getting better, because at one time, they literally took over the house.  In some instances, it was even hard to get my friends back to the library!



I've also been known to save magazines, but have managed to whittle that down to keeping just those from 2013 up to now. (lol)


What about you?  When books seem to overflow, or you're tired of certain novels, do you simply get rid of them?  




CRANBERRY LOVE
It's time to move on from the pumpkin spice to the cranberry extravaganza.  Some people like doing it the old school way and serving it right from the can, while others like to perk things up with personal recipes.


Have you noticed the Ocean Spray® commercials where the 2 guys are standing in water, surrounded by cranberries?  The first time I saw it, I thought it was totally fake.  It wasn't until later that I realized it's actually called a "bog", and you can typically find them along Washington State's Cranberry Coast, as well as Massachusetts and Wisconsin.  If you really like cranberries or just want to help with the harvest, tours are often available.  Check out www.cranberries.org for more info.


SHIRLEY'S CRANBERRY SAUCE
In case you're wondering who in the heck is Shirley, she's Alana Chernila's  grandmother,  who has since passed away. Alana shared this precious family recipe in Parents Magazine.

INGREDIENTS

2 Sweet Apples, cored and coarsely chopped
6 Oz. Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 TSP Salt
1/2 Cup Canned Pineapple Chunks, drained and coarsely chopped (or fresh)
1 Tbs Pure Maple Syrup

DIRECTIONS

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the apples,cranberries and water.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the apples soften, and the cranberries burst - about 20 minutes.  Add the sugar and salt.  Continue to cook stirring often, until the mixture thickens - 6 to 8 minutes.

2.  Pass the mixture through a food mill, or allow it to cool first, then pulse it a few times in a blender.  Stir in the pineapple and the maple syrup.


3.  You can make this 5 days ahead and keep in the fridge.  This recipe is only 61 calories, but for those watching carbs, it includes 16 grams.  



DO YOU LIVE IN THE RIGHT STATE?
If you live in the United States and play the lottery, you may not be living in the right place.  According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, these 4 states which all started their games in 1992, statistically have more Powerball winners than any other, and my son lives in one of them. (lol)
*  Indiana - 39
*  Missouri - 31
*  Minnesota - 22
*  Kentucky - 18


HOW RICH IS REALLY RICH?
When we think about people who are rich, Forbes and its annual list gives us the scoop, which includes Bill Gates. 
But there are people who have been considered the richest of all time that most of us would never consider.

Bill Gates is considered the richest living person, and with a net worth of 86.7 billion he's only #9 on the list.



The person who is considered the richest person ever in history and commands the #1 spot is devout Muslim Mansa Musa, the King of Timbuktu or the Mali Empire.




In 1324 King Musa famously took a tour to Mecca, gave 72 tons of gold to the poor along the way, and used his empire's wealth to build libraries and mosques.  Pictures suggest that he sat on a golden throne, wearing a gold crown, holding a gold scepter and golden cup.  His fortune was just too huge to even imagine.


Just a reminder that Friday, November 11, is Veteran's Day, however, in some instances it may be celebrated on November 10.  Many of us will get together to grab freebies and discounts that include Golden Corral, Applebee's, Chili's, Krispy Kreme, Meineke - free oil changes, and more.  

But I can't forget about the veterans who are struggling with addiction, illness, or homelessness.  Many are also victims of domestic violence.  Sadly, their situations may get worse as it gets  closer it gets to the holidays.

Sometimes all that's needed is a ride to a veteran's center, the use of a telephone to make calls, or food to eat.  Some are just too ashamed to ask or embarrassed, and at night when it's cold, they are crying, praying for a miracle or a helping hand.