Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Puppy Day March 23, 2016

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Puppy Day

Puppy Day celebrates the joy that puppies can bring to our homes and lives, but is a great chance to adopt an orphan or needy dog and to give them home, a loving parent, and a chance at a happy life.

Word of the Day


Definition:(noun) A place where bees and beehives are kept, especially a place where bees are raised for their honey.
Synonyms:bee house
Usage:She had started her apiary with a small capital, a book of practical hints, and a second-hand queen.

Idiom of the Day

canary in a coal mine 

 — Something or someone who, due to sensitivity to his, her, or its surroundings, acts as an indicator and early warning of possible adverse conditions or danger. Refers to the former practice of taking caged canaries into coal mines. The birds would die if methane gas became present and thereby alert miners to the danger.


Patrick Henry: "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" (1775)

Henry was an American Revolutionary leader who gained a reputation as a skillful orator. A member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, he delivered his famous speech in defense of liberty to the Virginia Convention in 1775, concluding with the words "Give me liberty or give me death!" The speech is credited with having swung the balance in convincing the assembly to pass a resolution to send Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War. 

Akira Kurosawa (1910)

Regarded as one of the world's greatest directors for his ability to combine Japanese aesthetic and cultural elements with a Western sense of action and drama, Kurosawa became an assistant director and scenarist at PCL movie studio in 1936. He wrote and directed his first feature film in 1943 and earned international acclaim for Rashomon in 1950. His later classic films include Seven Samurai andYojimbo.

New Alaska Butterfly Species May Hold Clues to Climate Change

A new species of butterfly could provide clues about Alaska's geological history and its changing climate, according to a University of Florida researcher.

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1066 - The 18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet took place. 

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1806 - Explorers Lewis and Clark, reached the Pacific coast, and began their return journey to the east.

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1836 - The coin press was invented by Franklin Beale. 

1839 - The first recorded printed use of "OK" [all correct] occurred in Boston's Morning Post. 

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1840 - The first successful photo of the Moon was taken. 

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1857 - Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building. It was at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City.

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1858 - Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar. 

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1868 - The University of California was founded in Oakland, CA.

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1901 - Dame Nellie Melba, revealed the secret of her now famous toast. 

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1909 - British Lt. Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole. 

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1912 - The Dixie Cup was invented

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1950 - "Beat the Clock" premiered on CBS-TV.

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1957 - The U.S. Army sold the last of its homing pigeons.

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1972Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after successfully jumping 35 cars. 

Image result for 1973 - The last airing of "Concentration" took place. The show had been on NBC for 15 years.

1973 - The last airing of "Concentration" took place. The show had been on NBC for 15 years. 
rebus: The Jimmy Stewart Show"

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1998 - The movie "Titanic" won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards. 

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If You Were Born Today, March 23

Highly intelligent and perceptive, your mind doesn't seem to stop processing and analyzing. Others especially respect your opinions and ideas, which are progressive and unique. You are an effective communicator, although at times a little bossy! You are perhaps better at beginning projects than finishing them, and learning to finish one activity before starting a new one can be quite a challenge. You have little patience for dishonesty and vagueness.Famous people born today: Erich Fromm, Joan Crawford, Ric Ocasek.

Picture of the day
Holy Trinity, Sloane Street
Holy Trinity is an Anglicanparish church in London, built in 1888–90 on the south-eastern side of Sloane Street to an Arts and Craftsdesign by the architect J. D. Sedding. Funded by the 5th Earl Cadogan, in whose estate it lay, the church replaced an earlier building only half its size which, at the time of its demolition, was less than sixty years old. Holy Trinity was heavily damaged during World War II but restored by the 1960s.

Picture of a spiderweb on a farm in Poland

Work Together

Photograph by Malgorzata Walkowska, National Geographic 
“[It’s] early morning in the field,” writes photographer Malgorzata Walkowska, and apparently the farmer in the background isn’t the only one who rose early to tend to his work: A hardworking spider has been busy spinning an intricate web on plants nearby.

knit, EASTER
Free knitting pattern for Bunny Bookmark and more bunny rabbit knitting patterns




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crochet, EASTER




thanks, helen

Crocodile Stitch Shawl

I love the funky texture of crocodile stitch. This triangle shawl is easy enough that I think a dedicated beginner could learn the stitch. A basic understanding of how to crochet around the posts would be helpful. The stitch works up quickly. 
I used a light worsted weight yarn. It was stash yarn, so I have no idea how many yards it was. I do know that it is acrylic, and I had about 6 ounces. The size of the skein was about a pound of baby yarn. I'm estimating this project will take about a thousand yards. I would recommend using yarn you can easily get more of, since I don't know the yardage. 
Chain 5. 
Slip stitch into the 3rd chain, to form the loop we will begin to crochet in. 
Dc 4 into the loop. 
Chain 1. 
Dc 5 into the same loop, making 10 dc. Chain 3. 
Dc into the top and side of the last dc of the first petal. 
Finished dc. 
Ch 1, dc into the middle of the 10 dc from the previous row, ch 1, dc 2 into the last chain of the chain 3 from the previous row. 
Dc 5 around the first dc, ch 1, dc 5 around second dc. You will have to angle the work and move it around to do this. 
Slip stitch into the dc from the previous row. 
Dc 5 around first post, ch 1. 
Then dc 5 around the second post. It will be the ch 3 from the previous row. 
Ch 3. 
Dc into the top and side of the last dc. 
Ch 1, dc into the loop from the petal below. 
Ch 1, 2 dc into the dc. 
Ch 1, dc into the loop from the petal below. 
Ch 1, dc 2 into the side of the last stitch from the petal below. 
Dc 5 around the first dc. Ch 1. 
Dc 5 around the next dc. 
Slip stitch into the single dc, dc 5 around first post, ch 1, dc 5 around second post. Slip stitch into dc. Dc 5 around first post, ch 1, dc around second post.  
Continue following these two rows. 
Remember the make a slip stitch between each petal, otherwise it doesn't sit quite right. 
The back of the wok will have an almost woven look. 
Remember to make 2 dc in the stitch that was a single previously. Make only 1 dc in the loop from the petal below that was 2 dcs.  
Continue this until your shawl is the size you would like. 
This increases 1 petal per row, and my last row had 23 petals. 
Crocodile stitch is so much fun once you get the hang of it. 


1 C eggs
1 C sugar
3/4 C oil
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
5 – 7 C flour
1 egg + 1 drop of water, beaten well
sesame seeds
(alternative to sesame seeds: cinnamon and sugar or “sprinkles”)
Mom’s directions:
With electric mixer, beat eggs and oil in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended. Add flour and baking powder gradually, knead into a medium dough until no longer sticky.

Place onto floured work area and finish kneading dough with additional flour as needed. Dough should not be sticky as long as you can handle it without it sticking to your hands.
Take walnut-sized pieces and roll down on table with palms of hands into a rope 5 inches long and only 1/2 inch thick.
Press down with fingers to create channel;
Fold rope over and cut slits into the edge.
Join into a bracelet shape. Brush egg on top side.
Dip top side into chosen topping ( sesame, cinnamon sugar or sprinkles):
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from pan. Allow to cool.

Queen Esther

Slow Cooker Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Ribs

Make a Twig Bird's Nest
Twig Bird Nest


Westie at the cottageclaudiacm1146Westie

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege. - Charles Kuralt

Japan’s Kami-Shirataki train station operates for a single passenger every day. -------------------- In 2000, Dr. Karyl Kruszelnicki of Sydney University studied belly button lint from nearly 5,000 people! -------------------- On December 10, 2010, the $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize was presented to an empty chair! Submitted by Dan Paulun, W. Lafayette, OH.


thanks, shelley

Hi Slow Cookerers!

I've got a treat for you today ---  I've compiled all of the questions I get pretty often into one email cheat sheet. Feel free to forward this along to a friend, or bookmark for reference.

While cooking in the slow cooker is pretty easy, sometimes things don't go exactly quite as planned. Since I've used the crockpot eight million and fifty-six times I have a few tricks up my robe sleeve that might be of some help to you.

Cleaning Baked on Gunk.

If you make a casserole in the slow cooker, like a lasagna, sometimes the baked on gunk is hard to get off. Don't use a brillo pad, or harsh abrasive scrubber to scrape it off. Instead, fill the crock with hot water and drop in a fabric softener (dryer) sheet, and let it sit over night. In the morning, rinse out the crock and wash it normally (either by hand or in the dishwasher).

Do You Use the Slow Cooker Liners?

I don't. But that's because I use my pots so much. When I recipe-test I can have up to 7 plugged in at one time! So it wouldn't be cost-effective for me to do so.

If I think what I'm making will be difficult to clean, I'll spray a bit of cooking oil on the crock before loading it up. Otherwise, I just clean promptly, or use the above fabric softener sheet trick.

Also, I just moved to the Ninja Cooking System pretty much full-time, and it has a nonstick coating that is super easy to clean --- cleaning just hasn't been an issue at all with this pot.

Hard Water Stains or Bean Residue.

The white, filmy stuff left behind on a black stoneware is lime scale, and comes from hard water, soap scum, or bean goop. Once you wash your pot with hot, soapy water, it's fine to use, even with this white discoloration. If it really bothers you, you can use a mixture of water and vinegar to wash away the stains, or make a big pot of tomato-based something or other (chili, stew, marinara sauce) to get rid of the stains.

I live in an area with hard water, and have these stains pretty often. I simply ignore them and keep cooking.

HELP, there is Water Trapped in The Handle of the Glass Lid of My CrockPot!

Ew. This happens if you don't have a tight seal on the handle of the glass lid and you run it through the dishwasher. The best thing to do is to unscrew the lid, wipe out the water, and then hand-wash the lid from now on. I'm sure you could hunt down a rubber gasket from a hardware store to make the seal tighter, but usually the glass lids don't get so dirty you can't just hand wash them.

Do you peek while slow cooking?

Yes. I am not the best at following rules, and I often taste, stir, and poke at my food while it's in the slow cooker near the end of cooking time (when I'm certain the food isn't raw anymore!!).

I've heard from reliable sources that you can lose up to 20 minutes of valuable cooking time each time you peek, but I have not noticed that to be the case. Peeking and tasting makes me feel like I'm doing something, and it makes me happy.

I like being happy.

Do you Brown Your Meat, Onions, etc.

Sometimes. If I'm cooking for a party or I'm trying to impress (like on a Holiday), I do take the time to brown my meat and caramelize my onions and garlic. Taking the time to brown the meat and aromatics provides a more pronounced flavor profile and a bit of color and texture.

But unless you are doing a side-by-side taste comparison most people simply can't tell the difference. So on a busy Wednesday when I'm just trying to throw dinner in the pot? No. I do not bother to brown anything.

The Handle Fell off the Glass Lid and it's Broken and I Need a New One.

You can order new glass lid handles from the Crock-Pot main website.  You'll need to get the model number from the bottom of the heating element before seeing what type of knobs are available.

Or, you can go to a hardware store and get a single screw drawer-pull and use that instead for a new handle.

The Glass Lid is Broken.

You can order replacement glass lids from the Crock-Pot or Hamilton Beach website (again, have your model number ready), or you can use a few layers of foil as a lid. Crimp the edges tightly, and cook your food the same way. Be super careful when removing the foil, the steam will be quite hot!

Which Slow Cooker do you Recommend?

I have all my recommended slow cookers and accessories listed on the Store page of the website.

Lead. I've heard that crockpots have lead! OH NO!!!!

I first heard about this in the middle of the slow cooker challenge. It seems to be a bit of an internet rumor, thankfully. I contacted Jarden (parent company of Crock-Pot) and heard that they routinely check for lead levels and that their reports haven't found anything. 

this is the exact wording I got back:

Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS) continues to proactively test its products for lead and other toxic metals, with the results continuing to come back favorably. Lead is not an additive in the Crock Pot® slow cooker ceramic glaze. JCS is diligent in its efforts to ensure that its products are compliant with applicable regulations regarding the presence of lead.
JCS tests for lead and other toxic metals on its products to ensure they are safe for consumers. In addition, we periodically use accredited third party lab testing to reveal that our slow cooker stoneware is far below the U.S. FDA and California Regulation Prop 65 requirements for extractable lead and cadmium in ceramic wares, thus supporting our results.

What Do I Do With the Temperature Probe My Slow Cooker Came With?

Throw it in a junk drawer. I don't use the temperature probe, and none of my recipes call for using one, because I try to keep them pretty simple. If you are cooking a whole chicken or a fancyish piece of meat and would like the meat to turn off when it reaches a desired internal temp, use the probe.

The probe is  not to be used as an instant-read meat thermometer, but as a tool to turn the pot to a "warm" setting once the desired temp is reached.

I Only Have a 6-quart. How Do I Make Recipes that Call for a 4-quart or 2-quart?

Slow Cookers work the best when they are pretty full---about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. You can still use them if they aren't to this capacity, but your food will cook faster.

If you are making a smaller recipe in a 6-quart, you can  load the ingredients in and shorten the cooking time, or you can insert an oven-safe dish and then load the food into that. I recommend a Pyrex or Corning Ware-type dish, although a metal loaf pan or baking dish would work fine also. It's okay if the food mounds over the top, or overflows.

This is also what I use to make creme brulee or cheesecake.

1 comment:

  1. I know one Puerto Rican "puppy" who has changed lives:)