stayingalivemoma

Life Is Good, Bad and Ugly

Everyday Life?


 

The only time of the day I can stop hyperventilating!

 

Homemade Tomato Soup


There’s nothing quite like tomato soup for those cold days that are getting closer!

Rod Weston

Ingredients

  • 2 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup half-n-half, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet with 4 whole cloves garlic, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf, cayenne pepper and butter…

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All the Fixins’: Chitlins, Greens, Chocolate Cake & More!


Chitlins in broth.

Chitlins in broth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the end of the year coming ever closer, now is the time I usually start to anticipate the happy time of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I look forward to the turkey and stuffing and all the fixins’ like making chitterlings (chitlins), greens, sweet potatoes, dessert and more!

It’s the time of year when I like to explore new recipes to try, impress friends and family with my “new-found” cooking skills and just let all the unimportant things slip through my fingers. It’s a time to reflect on the past year, your triumphs, your disasters and everything else in between.

So, I’d like to share some great recipes with you in the spirit of sharing and love of food, family and a better New Year. Some are mine, most are not, but I hope you love them all as much as I do and will either share or try some of them yourself!

Chitlins’ (Chitterlings)

When it comes to chitlins, you either love them or hate them. Chitlins are enjoyed all over the world, not just in the South as some would believe, they can be boiled or fried and are just delicious. You can find a recipe for chitlins as well as some chitlin’ history here: Soul Food: How to Cook Chitlins (Chitterlings) & Some Chitlin’ History.

Moist Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Cherry Ganache

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? I have searched far and wide for a chocolate cake recipe worthy of sharing and here it is! Moist Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Cherry Ganache, shared by my friend Vespawolf on Hubpages……it just makes your mouth water! Step-by-step instruction included with photos! Happy baking! (And eating.)

You can get the recipe for this decadent chocolate cake here:

Moist Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Cherry Ganache

Still, hungry? Try some of these great ideas for turkey leftovers like, my favorite, Turkey Pot Pie! Mmmmm… You’ll find an array of turkey recipes here from Curried Turkey Salad and Turkey Corn chowder, to Turkey Stew or turkey & Broccoli Fettuccine! Turkey rocks! You can get this Turkey Pot Pie recipe as well as several others here: Quick & Easy Recipes for Leftover Turkey

Quick & Easy Recipes for Leftover Turkey

Last, but not least, greens!! Collard greens have long been a southern tradition, but are eaten in the North and South alike. Here’s a great recipe for some Southern Collard Greens:  Southern Cooking: Collard Greens

Southern Cooking, Collard Greens

Do Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Make You Itch? You May Have Oral Allergy Syndrome!


Do Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Make You Itch? You May Have Oral Allergy Syndrome!

For years, I struggled with what I though was just a certain “quirkiness” about me. All of the sudden, I couldn’t eat fresh fruits or vegetables anymore.

Already having food allergies to seafood and tree nuts, I assumed that I was allergic to fruits and vegetables as well. I found out, however, that I can still eat fruits and vegetables as long as they are cooked or processed. What?

Yes! It’s called Oral Allergy Syndrome—and it’s real! You can read more about it here or click on the link. Happy Eating!

Divorce Sale: Woman Holds ‘X-Husband Sale,’ Spray Paints His Truck (PHOTOS)



When all else fails, say it with paint! LOL
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Your thoughts: Female preachers/ministers?


English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, ...

Image via Wikipedia

As a woman, I know all too well the ups and downs that women go through in life. The miracle of childbirth, the countless hours of homework, chores, cooking, wiping butts, wiping tears, listening to your husband tell you about who knows what (because you’re only halfway listening to him)….”Yes, dear”…”Oh, really?…”Wow.”…..Yep, it’s called multi-tasking. Although most men would say we are ignoring them, actually, we are listening to you and at the same time planning dinner, setting aside time to “play” with you later and determining what time to put the kids in the tub.

It’s mentally draining. But, even with all of women’s star qualities, we still are underpaid, overworked, unappreciated and sub par in some people’s eyes. But, we also are genuine, thoughtful, loving, caring, supportive, heck, maybe even a little smarter.  🙂  We are just as good as men, right?

So, the hot question today on my Hubpages profile is:

Are women fit to become teachers or ministers?

You really must join in on this one. There are all sorts of views and comments being made…from “women have their place”…to…”why not?”.

The woman in the picture is Joyce Meyer, a female minister, who, unlike some preachers has an approach to preaching that’s like none I’ve ever seen. Because she is a woman, does that make her message any less worthy than a man? Are men threatened by a woman who may be better at explaining things than they do? Is she stepping outside of her womanly duties by spreading the Word of God?

I’m loving all the drama…but more importantly, its great to see how others feel on this subject and open up some sort of dialogue. Want to put your 2 cents in? Or read what others have to say?

Sound off by clicking  here.

Or copy-and-paste the link below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

http://hubpages.com/question/154259/do-you-think-women-should-be-allowed-or-are-fit-to-become-preachersministers

 

Like this post? Why not repost it or tweet it? And, I challenge everyone who has not heard or seen Joyce Meyer, to check her out and judge for yourself.

Blessings to all,

Stayingalivemoma

Bye Bye Social Security


English: Scanned image of author's US Social S...

Image via Wikipedia

 

If you’ve followed me here on WordPress or on Hubpages, you already know that I’m fighting for disability. However, in case that doesn’t pan out….I’m either going to be a famous,  world-acclaimed writer….or forced to go back to work with all my lovely health conditions, which will probably result in me being fired because I won’t be able to keep up the charade of being “normal”, if there is such  thing.

Anyway, as I fight through my own depression and seemingly have the weight of the country on my shoulders, I ran across this article today on AOL that made me feel even more depressed, but not that it effects me currently, but I think about all my aging and aged relatives and friends; it just makes you worry like nothing else ever has.

The article was called, “Social Security is Failing Even Faster Than We Thought“. submitted by The Motley Fool, a very reputable, online website based on financial and retirement planning, stocks, etc. The just of the article was that very soon, oh let’s say about 22 years from now, people will not be able to survive off of social security.

What does this mean? It means save, save, save. But how can you save money when you’re already living check to check?

What if your retirement age is in the next five or six years or one year? Does that mean you should continue working? What if at 65. 66 or 67. your health is failing, you haven’t saved money and will only be able to live somewhat comfortably off social security for the next 20 years?

People, talk to your parents, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, children, hell…talk to your spouse; ask them if they’ve put money away for retirement. Ask them if they have a 401K, Savings account, money under the bed in a suitcase? Be scared. Because this crap is truly scary. Share this post with everyone…not to get me likes or followers, but to get people involved. To make people look at their situation. It’s truly scary to think of an aging population retiring after all those years of service and struggle…only to STILL struggle once they can no longer work.

And, in the end….what is our government prepared to do? What are you going o do or what have you done?

I’d love to hear your comments.

Grilled Cheese & Applesauce


 
Català: Compota de poma English: A photograph ...

Image via Wikipedia

I was making my three young boys, aged 2, 3 and 4 years old lunch today. Grilled cheese and applesauce. Something that my mother used to make for us when we were younger. Most people wouldn’t think to pair the two together. Usually it’s served with tomato soup or something like that. But growing up in Detroit in the 70s made you learn how to stretch your dollar. Especially if you had a large family.

My mother had 4 girls, no boys, of which I am the oldest. My dad had a good job at the utility company. We were fortunate to have been able to leave Detroit eventually and move to the suburbs. My parents felt like we should be able to have a good education and good opportunities.

My mother, formerly a caterer, taught us that family is important and she also showed us how to love and respect each other and other people. But another thing I learned from her was how to cook meals made from love for my family. How to take the little things you have and make it work so that everyone can eat.

So while making grilled cheese sandwiches for my kids, I lovingly recall days of pork ‘n beans with pieces of hot dogs, beef stew, chili, lasagna and fried chicken. However, I also remember things like homemade pound cake, carrot cake and helping her make chocolate chip cookies. I remember being angry at her for never buying ice cream from the ice cream truck for us like all our friends did; but she always kept ice cream and Popsicles in the freezer for us.

Yes, I, like most other kids enjoyed nutritious meals with my family, but also was able to have things to snack on from time to time. Everyone has cravings from time to time; whether it be a sweet tooth or something salty.

I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have someone from outside my household tell me what I can and can’t feed my children. Although, I’d like to think I provide healthy and satisfying meals for my family, you will still find a variety of snack foods in my house at any time. But what do you consider to be a snack? Well, people have varied opinions on it.

Snack or “junk” foods could be crackers, pretzels, fruit rollups, candy bars, Slim Jims, Vienna sausage, spam, ice cream, brownies, corn dogs, hot dogs, sandwiches, pizza rolls, cake, pie, cheese, yogurt, pudding, tv dinners, toast with jelly, hardboiled eggs, or fruits, nuts and vegetables. Is there really only one kind of snack or junk food? What may be considered junk food to some isn’t to others. So how would you regulate something like that?

I read on CafeMom that the state/federal government is considering banning food stamp recipients from buying “junk food” with their food stamps. I have to admit, I was pretty pissed off by some of the comments on there by other moms. Okay, on one hand, I can truly understand people being upset about abuse of food stamp “privileges”. But at the same time, I don’t want anyone to tell me how to feed my kids.

I read about people wasting their tax dollars on food stamp recipients and all sorts of crappy comments. Where exactly do we draw the line? Should we stop people from buying ground beef because they make cheeseburgers from it and cheeseburgers are greasy and fatty? Or should we stop allowing people to buy Kool-Aid because too much sugar isn’t good for you?  Better yet, will they stop me from buying coffee for my coffeemaker (which I drink while I blog and write) because it has no real nutritional value? Or, no more cooking oil to reduce eating fried foods?

I know, I should just have a spare set of keys made so the government can use the spare bedroom, that way, they can control everything in my household. Come on people, seriously? I think our time is better spent making sure people eat at all, than every-penny-detail of what they spend.

I guess I always could make cakes, cookies, pies, etc. from scratch. Even popsicles and pudding. You guys better start too. Or just have some grilled cheese and applesauce, if it’s approved.

Have you Heard of Heel Condoms? A Unique Christmas Gift


Yes, I said it…CONDOMS…for shoes not for…well, you get the idea. My sweet, sweet daughter who is a stiletto diva shared this great website with me and after I got over the initial shock of the name, I was pleasantly surprised. What a great gift for all those dog lovers out there that have chewed up heels on their shoes. STOP THROWING YOUR GOOD SHOES AWAY!!

I’m sure they weren’t invented for this purpose, but what a great save to your shoe collection! And with Christmas coming up, I wanted to share this with all of you.  The also have heel panties as well. You just gotta see this….AND they have a sale going on now as well. Happy Shopping mamas!!  Here is their website:  Heel Condoms.

 

Other great Christmas ideas you might like:

Free Crochet Christmas Tree

10 Free Christmas Stocking Patterns

Ideas for Unusual Christmas Gifts

 

 

 

 

A Little Piece of Peace: A Tribute to Scarymommy


08.07.10 Jill and Krystle

Image by Lotus Carroll via Flickr

The spirit moves in everyone differently. Some people choose to ignore its presence, while others take it and run free. I grew up in Detroit, moved to a suburb of Detroit (Southfield) when I was a tween and have seen the bottom of the pot in more of my days than I care to remember…I certainly have licked it clean time and time again.

I know how the “system” works. Welfare, WIC, food stamps, medicaid, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, churches, social organizations…I know it all. People in my family come to me when they need help for finding a resource. I don’t know quite how that makes me feel…that I’m the “go-to-it-person” for being poor. But now, I have embraced it. I know my place. Maybe I was never meant to be rich; but what I was meant to do was give people a little piece of peace.

Okay, so enough of the lows…let’s get to the highs.

When I lived in Michigan, there was sooo much help available, IF you knew where to find it. When I moved to Arizona, it was a whole different ball game. Oh, they have the usual organizations: Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, churches, etc. But there was a difference. See, Arizona was not prepared for the population boom that hit it a couple years ago. The economy went down and people moved to where they might be able to make a difference in their lives. There has been such an overwhelming amount of help needed out here that charitable organizations are forced to do “lottery-style” assistance.

What do I mean by that? For instance, in Tempe, Arizona. If you need help with your rent, you call the TCAA (Tempe Community Action Agency) on Fridays at 8:00 am. Or, you call the Salvation Army on Mondays at 9:00 am, or something like that. Anyway, what you don’t know is that out of the thousands of calls that are flooding their phone lines at that precise call-in time, they only take about 10-20 calls and thus, only help about 10-20 people per week. Never have I seen such a thing! Get a busy signal, hang up, hit redial…over and over again. Only to finally get through 30 minutes later and be told you have to call back next week! Whoever can dial the fastest, or is smart enough to dial from two different phones is the “winner” of not being evicted. Sad, but true. (I know from experience.)

I had all but given up on the “system” and chucked it off to…the government/people  just doesn’t care. That was, until I came across an angel in disguise as a woman. Scarymommy is what they call her, although to know of her, she is really not that scary. An angel, I say, because she had the wonderful idea and the courage to actually help people less fortunate than her.

She figured that about $25 would be enough to cover Thanksgiving dinner, posted it on her website and did an “all call” for donors and people in need. The result? Over $18,000 donations from all over the WORLD. As result of people getting the word out ( I was one of them) and people opening up their hearts; therefore, their wallets. Almost 400 families will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner next week (I am also one of them).

So what does this all mean? That there is still good in the world. That we CAN actually help each other if we want to. That one person CAN make a difference. That we should all slow down, enjoy life and embrace the “scary” in each of us. So, sit back in your chair. Close your eyes and for a minute..be at peace…knowing that angels really do exist and you can find them at scarymommy.com 

(Scary, if you’re reading this, count me in for Thanksgiving next year and the year after that and anything else you need help with.)

Christmas is coming up. How can YOU make a difference in someone else’s life?

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