Archive for January, 2011

The Recipes I Promised

Monday, January 31st, 2011

A Breakfast Sausage Casserole and a Regal Ham Sandwich

Winter for me sometimes means I need to eat some meat. So I invent meals with a lot of pan appeal, so I will get hungry and eat like a lioness. But I don’t want to marinate and fry and broil and all that. These are fast and furious and deliciousio.

Breakfast Sausage Casserole

Ingredients:

Johnson’s Original Breakfast Sausage, 14 links.

1 pint fresh button mushrooms

1 soup can of white jasmine rice or your preference of any rice or pasta.
1 can of mushroom soup
1 soup can of water

1 cup of frozen sweet peas, green beans or veggie or veggie combo you prefer.

Stir rice, mushroom soup and water together and cook for fifteen minutes, according to rice directions.

Place mushrooms in a glass soup bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on high (using a 1000 w microwave) When mushrooms are done set aside and retain juice.

Note: I stab each piece of sausage link with a fork to make holes to degrease the meat somewhat before cooking.

Place all 14 sausage links, cut into thirds, into a glass bowl and microwave for 3 minutes and remove from fat juices.

To Cook:

Butter a casserole pan, I use glass. Place rice, sausage, mushrooms in the pan and add your veggies. Put three pieces of your favorite cheese, I used cheddar on top of the dish and place in an oven for about three minutes at 325 degrees.

You can add more or less rice, or fewer sausage links. Make it work for you. Enjoy. Serves 3-4 people. Add a fresh green salad to round it out.

Regal Ham Sandwich for Two

4 pieces of Rye Bread
2 tablespoons of Butter
2-3 pieces of Cheese
8 pieces of thinly sliced deli Ham
2 Eggs

Take four pieces of Rosen’s Hearty Rye or Dark Rye Bread and place them in a large buttered frying pan of any sort. Make sure there is enough butter to fuse with flavor the bread. Then in the cracks, or in another small frying pan, add 8 thin slices of deli ham, or you may call it lunch meat ham, to warm it up. Place thinly sliced Swiss cheese on two pieces of the rye bread in the pan, then set the warm ham on top of the cheese. Close up the sandwich and flip over the sandwich in the pan.

In the place that you have made available, break open two eggs to make eggs over easy. When the eggs are done, place them either in the
sandwiches to eat by hand, or on top of the sandwiches to eat with a knife and fork.

This takes only a few minutes and is so good you’ll want more soon.

Hot Tip for Gardeners

Monday, January 31st, 2011

I recently made the online acquaintance with a person who really knows how to sew seeds in the winter for those of us who cannot wait for spring.
She sent me a dozen wonderful seed types and I am about to get my ya yas going as I gather up some containers, some potting mix and a scooper.

This is going to be a delicious spring, as many of the seeds are veggie seeds and I am going to chow down on the results.

I won’t keep you, or me…check it out, especially if you are looking for new things to plant.

http://www.wintersown.org

Bright’s Living On The Edge

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Sun rays dispersed by ice crystals

A few weeks back I promised to post our first good sunrise. This one was unimaginably beautiful and far more spectacular than many many sunrises I have seen in Minnesota over the last eight years. It’s been pretty grey and white around here with little blue showing this winter. I am hoping for an early spring like we have had for the last two years. But, until that happens, I am going to order some seeds, getting into parrot tulips this year if I can find some, and more herbs and more herbs again. Problem here is the deer and squirrels. I rather see them eat, so I’ll have to keep my flora under tight wrap this year.

We had a lovely after lunch scene here today. Two does came up to our hill and just looked at us sitting near the sliding glass doors, then cknowledged us and barking Zinger, our beautiful collie dog, and commenced to grooming each other and themselves for quite some time. Then, my the older doe laid down, Zinger laid down, dh laid down and they all went to sleep, leaving me here to blog in peace. Nice. Well, I think they all have a pretty good idea there, so I’ll join them and dream of sweet future blogs, cuz today is kinda sleepy.

Oh, I do have a couple of fast, but really nice recipes for a winter’s day or night that I will post a little later. Stay tuned and enjoy the sun wherever you can.

Got Change?

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

This nation is undergoing a quick (decades quick, not days quick) overhaul…and we have to do that to stay on top. Old jobs, old gas guzzling cars, old laws, old ways of doing business are going out the door, under the bus…up, up and away.

Just like the higher educational, hospital and legal systems went under reconstruction in the last decade, so, too, will big business and government, more so than usual. This is gonna hurt. But, my instinct tells me that it is what it takes to induce change for the better.

We’ve got change, now, let’s all work to make it change for the better.

How can we do this. The first step is to ask questions. Lots of questions. Things that aren’t working, ask about them first…no excuses this time, no unconditional love for snarled traffic, dirty engines and filthy plants spewing out cancer causing fumes, no dumping lawn chemicals and animal waste by the millions of tons into our life giving streams and waters.

Then, make sure your congress person is doing all they can to help educate and provide solutions to these problems. Add your own ideas, as well. Write the newspapers, hold home meetings and talk to neighbors. Sometimes, it’s you that brings the change and makes it better for us. Ask not…

Also, support good, sound products and companies that actually reduce energy usage. Invest greenly. Buy solar, etc. If nothing else, walk to the store or mom’s house once a week instead of driving. Do whatever you can…every bit does help if we all do our bit.

I am sure you have your own ideas and I thank you for letting me sound out and maybe be a good motivator for you and others to get started if you have not already done so. Make ‘change for the better’ your new slogan.

Got change? Let’s all make it for the better!

Fresh Wok in Wabasha – Living On The Edge

Friday, January 14th, 2011

When you visit Wabasha, home of the National Eagle Center, you might want to take some repast at the Fresh Wok. I am here to tell you that the eagles never had it so good. This is not the run of the mill same ol same ol Chinese restaraunt. It’s the 2011 version with all the fresh good tasting veggies and lovely thick but not too thick sauces.

We have tried the General Tso Chicken with Broccoli, the Shrimp Chow Mein, the BBQ Spare Ribs, the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce and the Kung Pao Chicken, with of course, rice and fortune cookies. While the rice and fortune cookies are pretty standard, everything else was different from every other Chinese restaurant I have been to, including less salty, fewer ingredients with more emphasis on tasting each veggie or meat item with the color and shine make for a very appetizing meal indeed. The price is right, too. Really good.

While they don’t have an online presence, and they aren’t opened on Sundays, you can prolly guess that they have the items you usually get when you go for Chinese. Fresh Wok is handicap accessible and has in house seating, too.

Fresh Wok
Chinese Cuisine
254 Main Street West
Wabasha, MN
651-565-3800
10:30am to 9:00pm daily until 9:30pm on Fri and Sat.
They accept Visa and Mastercard, minimum $10

I’m a Big Fan of This Small Idea

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

In the matter of slowing down the spread of germs in the private arena, I was thinking that if I wanted to visit a friend who was down with the flu or bad cold, I might want to bring along a small fan and blow the air around so as to break up the concentration of germs. Not sure this will work under all circumstances, but it couldn’t hurt and it might actually feel nice if I do it right. Of course, I do get flu shots and I use the saline solution in my nasal passages and wash my hands thoroughly, but taking another precaution doesn’t put me off. How about you? Could you see this idea being utilized in public places like classrooms?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or in any way a medical adviser or scientist…just putting up an idea that might have some merit.

Another Media Frenzy-My Rant Against The Latest

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Apologizing in advance for this two paragraph rant. Please don’t read it if you haven’t the heart or time.

While I don’t think Sarah Palin should be US Pres, there are many kinds of crosshairs…including map markers, and other types of focal
points indicators. And I saw her saying this is not to promote violence. True, it was not good judgment to use this kind of rhetoric in any case, and that’s the kind of thing that puts me off, cuz no one wants her talking to China or any outher country like that, but we should be sophisticated enough to tell the difference between someone one promoting the shooting down of the opposition and actually shooting everyone in the opposition…no matter how educated you are.

While many readers may never have seen the likes of the kind of man that opened fire in Arizona last week, I have and I can tell you, no amount of trying to understand why killers kill from a layman’s point of view is going to result in a satisfactory answer. Many of these
criminals are missing the part of the brain that identifies with other living beings on an empathic level and feel nothing like a normal person would feel after killing someone even in self defense. That’s the reason, nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes it’s a really messed up hormonal system brought about by horrible diets, drugs, etc.

We All Ought To Get Audited

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

This morning we got an energy audit from an Xcel Energy Representative and oh dear, he showed us the light. Oh, not the light from the lamps we use, but the light coming through cracks in the dark spaces and the cold coming in through the wrong spaces and the heat leaving out the other spaces. Enlightening, it was.

We knew Wikileaks, but we didn’t expect quite this much leaking from our very well built new to us home. There are places leaking where we didn’t even know we had places. At least I didn’t. I’ll let dh speak for himself. :)
Anyway, the man came with thermal testing and infrared testing equipment, a black and white camera that shows cold v hot spots, a wealth of information and willingness to share ( my kind of human being) and left us a written report coverall the the topics and will send us infrared images by email in a few days.

People, I highly recommend getting one of these reports if you live in a house over ten years old. You might need extra insulation in the attic,
around the crawlspace, wherever electrical cords, utility or exhaust pipes are, and in places that you may have never expected.

The Xcel man left us a great 40 page book covering all sorts of things including which kinds of trees are good for energy saving.

Xcel offers three different levels of home audit ranging from $40-100 dollars, but if you have a bigger house, go for the big audit and save in the long run.

One big recommendation is to set your thermostats to 68 F during the day and 60 F during the night in the winter. Make sure your thermostats are accurate, a lot are not. Plug up every where you feel a draft, cuz where you are feeling it may be the little end of a big wind tunnel.

We found that we are loosing almost a small bedroom of air every minute when the thermal machine was on high.
Oh, boy. We got our first full bill right after the man left and it was what we expected, after doing our research, but we would like to see it lots lower and with this audit and the remedies put into place, we ought to see some real savings next month. Join us and keep these energy prices as low as possible for all of us and put some work on the market for energy auditors at the same time. Call for an Home Energy Audit date 1-800-895-4999,
24 hours a day.

Chew on This – Weight Watching While Living On The Edge

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Weight watchers, here are a few ideas I have gathered up and tested over the years that you can use at home without spending a bunch of money or energy. Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and these recommendations are not for everyone. If you have special needs, take care…always see your doctor about any dietary changes. These ideas are just my own experiences and I am sharing them based on that fact only.

Anyone visiting certain areas of the Middle East will find that they may be offered a cup of hot mint tea. Mint is a favorite herb
for many culinary uses as well, but the reason I like it is because it chases away those winter blues. I often drink a cup of
peppermint tea, chew a piece of doublemint gum or have a chocolate mint patty…Pearson’s is the famous Made in Minnesota brand.
Wintergreen mints are also a nice uplifting treat. Use mint or a little mint treat instead of candy bars or whatever big calorie item you might use to chase the winter blues away. Note, I only chew about one third of a piece of gum at a time. Also, the dentist told my mom it’s good to chew gum for the gums.

Teas with Chamomile as a base…be sure and read your tea ingredients on the box of tea bags you use. Many teas have a chamomile tea base and that may not be good for dieters because chamomile is an appetite stimulant and acts as a calmative…sometimes the brain thinks the calm is low energy and wants food to fuel activities. it might better to drink tea minus the chamomile when you are watching your weight.

A nice squeeze of fresh lemon, and a dash of honey in a six or eight ounce glass of water between meals or twenty minutes before a meal can really serve to reduce hunger and help make smaller meals more filling. That or an apple may help. Change up with a little bit of pickle or apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Lemons can be cut up into pieces and frozen for weeks for your convenience.

For several years, I have been using the 400 calorie meal for 4 meals per day (1600 calories per day for moderate activity). I would do three sensible meals and then 400 calories for healthy treats. It has worked well, but I find that now that the habit is firmly established, and I don’t mean to say there weren’t a couple of times per week when I had a full fledged meal with numerous calories to stave off the feeling of being completely denied, I can actually skip a meal here and there when I am actually not feeling hungry.

The good thing about the 4-400 calorie meal plan is that it helps to keep the body’s metabolism up and even throughout the day, given that the food is good quality food and not a lot of empty processed calories. And, if you can get to the point where you feel like skipping a meal two or three times a week, you can save a couple of pounds a month…which I translate into saying you can save four pounds per month, because not only are you loosing two pounds, you are not gaining additional two pounds.

The bad thing about the 4-400 calorie meal plan is that I tried to make your goal even if I wasn’t hungry without realizing it. So now, I don’t do that, and I might loose a few pounds over the winter instead of gaining and then having to really watch it closer int he spring. Learn from my mistakes!

Another great way of watching it, the weight that is, is to change your food up everyday. Here are some examples of how to do this easily.
For your carbs, do rice one day, brown rice another, potatoes another and pasta another and wild rice another. Now remember that not all rice is created equal, you’ll have to read the container. For your protein, eat eggs one time, beans another, red meat another, chicken or fish another. Mix up your veggies, as well. Salad one day, mixed hot veggies another and then throw in a veggie juice or celery soup another. The reason for this is beside getting the recommended variety of foods, your body will not store foods unless it thinks more of the same is coming. Your body will tend to throw off the excess of any new food. Go at least a few days without eating the same food.

When eating pasta, throw in some whole wheat pasta with the regular pasta. It’s tastes great, is better for you, but doesn’t overdo the fiber thing.

I once lost quite a few pounds drinking pomagranite juice for a couple of days in addition to my regular diet. Don’t know why.

I did try the three glasses of milk per day and I did loose belly fat, but I couldn’t keep it up because I am not a big fan of milk.

At home, I try to eat as much high quality food as possible, but I do love my junk food. Avocados, bananas, berries, peas, carrots, fresh greens, potatoes, 12 gran bread, sour dough muffins,fish, chicken and pasta with tomato sauce make up about 80% of what I eat. The other 20% is frozen pizza and hostess cupcakes. I drink water or tea 95% of the time. Then I go for dinner out a couple of times per week, and save half of whatever I eat for the next day.

If you like what I have read, and want to help me back, buy a card from me so I can buy my husband a nice birthday present. And 10% of my card earnings go to Red Cross Disaster Recovery Aid.
go to;

http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/Bright

bonus tip, if you have stayed with me so far…and you have…
use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate for your main meals
to fool the eye and stomach that you are getting a full portion…
that way, seconds won’t be so naughty!

good luck!