Simple advice for a better life.

Crocheting Scarfs for My Grandchildren

Red Scarf - fringesGray Scarf - with fringesCamouflage - close up view

I have been bitten by the crocheting bug, and have been crocheting scarfs and hats for my grandchildren.

It all started when we could not find an appropriate hat for my grandson’s Halloween costume (he was a Minion), so I crocheteded one for him, and the rest is history…

Now I will share pictures and type of yarn used to crochet some of these scarfs, which made nice Saint Nicholas gifts.

 

Red Scarf   Red Scarf - fringes

 

 

 

 

Red Scarf - brand and type of yarn

This yarn is sooooo soft and fluffy, it made a very nice scarf for my granddaughter.  As you can see in the top picture, I also made nicely tied fringes for that scarf, to make it a little more special.  She loves it.

I also am sharing the brand and type of the yarn used, as well as the hook size H-8 (5 mm) hook, and a pattern created by rows of single and double crochets.

Gray Scarf - with fringes  crochet camouflage hat

 

 

 

 

Gray Scarf - brand and type of yarn

 

I crocheted this gray scarf for my grandson,  using the above type of yarn, which is also very soft and very suitable for children scarfs, hats, gloves, or sweaters.  I also crocheted a camouflage hat with a gray trim, to go with the scarf.

 

Camouflage scarf

Camouflage - close up view

 

 

 

 

Camouflage scarf - brand and type of yarn

 

Here is another scarf I crocheted, out of the yarn type displayed above, but this one is not as soft and cuddly as the previous ones, hence more suitable for hats or sweaters.

Now that I have a collection of yarn and crocheting hooks, I have been “inducted” into an actual, full-fledged Grandmotherhood…It’s quite an honor, don’t you agree?

If you like to crochet or knit, please share your experience with all of us.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Sausage and Herb Stuffing – Recipe

stuffing ready to serve 2Stuffing is a must Thanksgiving Dinner menu choice, alongside the roasted turkey.

In the past, most cooks baked the stuffing inside the turkey cavity, but now most of us prepare it separately, in the oven or on a stove top.

Every year I like to try different stuffing recipes, so this time I will share one with herbs and Sweet Italian Sausage.

Roasted turkey ready to serve

My latest favorite turkey roasting recipe is by Martha Stewart.

This recipe yields enough stuffing to accompany an 18 lbs. turkey.

Herbs and spices for stuffing

 Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter (or Canola oil)
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery (2 stalks), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and shredded
  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, without casing
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Crasins
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups white bread cubes
  • 3 3/4 cups wheat bread cubes

 Directions:

  1. In a medium frying pan, heat the butter, and saute the onion, celery, garlic, carrot, and apple.
  2. Remove from pan into a large bowl, and set aside.
  3. Add the sausage into the same frying pan, and cook for about 15 minutes,  stirring often, to break it up.
  4. Mix in the Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat and add to the sautéed veggies.
  6. Preheat to oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Mix in the eggs, Crasins, and Parsley.
  8. Fold in the bread crumbs.
  9. Pour the broth over the mixture, and toss lightly, to incorporate evenly.
  10. Spoon the stuffing into a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Uncover, and bake another 15 minutes.
  13. Serve hot. (see TIP below)

 

TIP: If you like your stuffing quite moist, you can use some of the broth/pan juices from the turkey roasting pan, or additional chicken broth, and drizzle over the top of the baked stuffing, before serving.

Summer season - flower patchAutumn season - flower patch

Autumn season has been here for almost a month now, but the favorable weather we have been enjoying  makes us cling onto summer, at least for few more days.

Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons.  I like the beginning of Autumn, while all the leaves change colors, but once they fall off, and leave everything so starkly looking, I begin to miss my happy summer days.

Since I love gardening, end of Summer brings a lot of work into my already busy schedule, in preparation for the Winter season.

Today I will share some pictures of my garden during this transition period.  In the top picture you can see my East side flower patch in its full bloom during the summer, and how it is getting more and more bear at this time.

Westside flower patch - mid summerWestside flower patch - Autumn season

This is my West side flower patch during the Summer and now.  This one actually looks better now, since these flowers enjoy the cooler nights, and really spread out.

Red Canna standing strong...not wishing for early frostEvergreen all trimmed for winter, and Hydranga changed its color once againCosmos flowers still hanging in there

Here we have few of my summer plants  still trying to “hold their own”, to add a splash of color to my otherwise dreary looking garden.

The Hydrangea is a very interesting plant, since it changed its flower color for the 4th time this year.  It started with green color, then turned to blue, then changed to beige like, and now it is kind of burgundy.

My last veggie crop for this yearLast tomato crop - picked green, ripened with timePreserving a cucumber for seeds

 

These are my last crops from the Summer gardening.  I picked off the remaining green beans, few green peppers, and to my surprise, I dug up couple of potatoes….must have missed them few months ago.

A week ago I picked off all of my green tomatoes, spread them over a thick layer of newspaper covered with paper towel, on the table in my sunroom, and look how nicely they matured into beautiful red tomatoes.

The yellow looking cucumber is no longer edible, but rather a source of succulent seeds for next year’s crop.

Autumn season vegetable garden

This is how my vegetable garden looks like now.  Almost everything has been harvested, with the exception of  Dill Weed, Italian Parsley, Red Beets, and Sorrel leaves.

collecting dried up flowers for next year's seeds

 

Every year I pick off dried up flowers, and collect seeds for next year’s seeding of the same flowers.  This is a real money saver!  Seeds are not cheap!

Passion Fruit plantPassion fruit

Photographed above is my new plant in this year’s garden.  It is the Passion Fruit plant.

I failed to capture the beautifully dainty flowers this plant produces, but you can click here to see some pictures.

I am not sure how large this fruit will grow, and if it actually will be ripe enough to consume, but right now it is the size of an apricot.

If you ever grew your own Passion Fruit plant, please share some tips.

Nettle plant

To my total surprise, I found this plant growing in my garden…don’t know how it got there, but it is called Stinging Nettle.

Nettle leaves are edible, while still very young and tender, but once they mature, watch out….they are not a friend of mine.  You barely touch the plant, and it will sting you  something fears, and cause temporary blister like bumps on your skin.

While visiting Poland, I have noticed Nettle Soup (zupa pokrzywkowa),  and Scrambled Eggs  with Nettle, on a restaurant menu.   I wish I was brave enough to taste it, but maybe next time…

I have been told that Stinging Nettle has many homeopathic medicinal benefits, and found a link to support some of these beliefs, so please check it out.

My grandma used to brew dried Nettle leaves to soak her feet to relieve arthritis pain.

Now I understand why some chefs incorporate it into their favorite dishes, and here I thought it was just a nasty weed in my garden.

I still would love to know how it ended up in my garden, as this is my first time to come across Stinging Nettle here in the US.

I was so amazed by it, and did not want to destroy it, so I transplanted it into a pot, since like any other weed, this one will overtake my whole garden in no time, if I let it grow freely.

Have you ever experienced a contact with Stinging Nettle?

Please share your experience with all of us.

Happy Halloween - decoration

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

 

Sweet Poison – Health Related News

Sugarfree GumAspartame

 

 

 

 

I just received a very interesting email from one of my friends, and since I personally can identify with these issues, I decided to share it with all of you.

The subject discussed here are sugarfree drinks, mainly containing Aspartame, but also other sugar substitutes disguised under different scientific names, which can easily confuse the general public, as chemists, and food scientist would agree.

I personally do have an adverse reaction to sugarfree gum, and do not like any foods containing sugar substitutes.  Not only they leave behind a bitter aftertaste for me, I experience abdominal cramps, discomfort and other issues associated with these conditions.

I would strongly suggest for you to read the whole article quoted here, as it will only take a couple of minutes, but it is quite informative.

I would love to hear from those of you who are in the medical field, chemistry, or food science.

If you experienced adverse reaction to these chemicals, please share your story.

Please share your comments.

SWEET POISON…A MUST READ!

In October of 2001, my sister started getting very sick.  She had stomach spasms and she was having a hard time getting around. Walking was a major chore.  It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much pain.

By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and was on 24 various prescription medications.   The doctors could not determine what was wrong with her.   She was in so much pain, and so sick she just knew she was dying.
She put her house, bank accounts, life insurance, etc., in her oldest daughter’s name, and made sure that her younger children were to be taken care of.
She also wanted her last hooray, so she planned a trip to Florida (basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.

On March 19, I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and she said they didn’t find anything on the test, but they believe she had MS.

I recalled an article a friend of mine e-mailed to me and I asked my sister if she drank diet soda?   She told me that she did.   As a matter of fact, she was getting ready to crack one open that moment.

I told her not to open it, and to stop drinking the diet soda!

I e-mailed her an article my friend, a lawyer, had sent.   My sister called me within 32 hours after our phone conversation and told me she had stopped drinking the diet soda AND she could walk!  The muscle spasms went away. She said she didn’t feel 100% but, she sure felt a lot better.

She told me she was going to her doctor with this article and would call me when she got home.
Well, she called me, and said her doctor was amazed!  He is going to call all of his MS patients to find out if they consumed artificial sweeteners of any kind.

In a nutshell, she was being poisoned by the Aspartame in the diet soda… and literally dying a slow and miserable death.

When she got to Florida March 22, all she had to take was one pill, and that was a pill for the Aspartame poisoning!   She is well on her way to a complete recovery.  And she is walking!   No wheelchair! This article saved her life.

If it says ‘SUGAR FREE’ on the label;   DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!

I have spent several days lecturing at the WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE on ‘ASPARTAME,‘ marketed as
‘Nutra Sweet,’  ‘Equal,’ and  ‘Spoonful.’

In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United States in 2001 there is an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. 

It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to be rampant.   I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.

I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous:

When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis.

Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants.

The methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus.

Many people were being diagnosed in error.

Although multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, Methanol toxicity is!

Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with
Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers.

The victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit.

He or she continues its use; irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening condition.   We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken off diet sodas.

In cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, most of the symptoms disappear. We’ve seen many cases where vision loss re turned and hearing loss improved markedly.

This also applies to cases of tinnitus and fibromyalgia.  

During a lecture, I said:

‘If you are using ASPARTAME (Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms,

  • Spasms,
  • Shooting  pains,
  • Numbness in your legs,
  • Cramps,
  • Vertigo,
  • Dizziness,
  • Headaches,
  • Tinnitus,
  • Joint pain,
  • Unexplainable depression,
  • Anxiety attacks,
  • Slurred speech,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Memory loss

you probably have ASPARTAME poisoning!’  

People were jumping up during the lecture saying,’I have some of these symptoms.  Is it reversible?’
Yes!
Yes!
Yes!
STOP drinking diet sodas and be alert for Aspartame on food labels!   Many products are fortified with it!   This is a serious problem.

Dr. Espart (one of my speakers) remarked that so many people seem to be symptomatic for MS and during his recent visit to a hospice; a nurse stated that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence!

Diet soda is NOT a diet product!

It is a chemically altered, multiple SODIUM (salt) and ASPARTAME containing product that actually makes you crave carbohydrates.

It is far more likely to make you GAIN weight!

These products also contain formaldehyde, which stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs.   Formaldehyde is an absolute toxin and is used primarily to preserve ’tissue specimens.’
Many products we use every day contain this chemical but we SHOULD NOT store it IN our body!

Dr. H. J. Roberts stated in his lectures that once free of the ‘diet products’ and with no significant increase in exercise; his patients lost an average of 19 pounds over a trial period.

Aspartame is especially dangerous for diabetics.

We found that some physicians, who believed that they had a patient with retinopathy, in fact, had symptoms caused by Aspartame.   The Aspartame drives the blood sugar out of control.   Thus diabetics may suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are NEUROTOXIC when taken without the other amino acids necessary for a good balance.

Treating diabetes is all about BALANCE.   Especially with diabetics, the Aspartame passes the blood/brain barrier and it then deteriorates the neurons of the brain; causing various levels of brain damage,
Seizures,Depression,Manic depression,Panic attacks,Uncontrollable anger and rage.

Consumption of Aspartame causes these same symptoms in non-diabetics as well.

Documentation and observation also reveal that thousands of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have had complete turnarounds in their behavior when these chemicals have been removed from their diet.
So called ‘behavior modification prescription drugs’ (Ritalin and others) are no longer needed.

Truth be told, they were never NEEDED in the first place!
Most of these children were being ‘poisoned’ on a daily basis with the very foods that were ‘better for them than sugar.’
It is also suspected that the Aspartame in thousands of pallets of diet Coke and diet Pepsi consumed by men and women fighting in the Gulf War, may be partially to blame for the well-known Gulf War Syndrome.

Dr. Roberts warns that it can cause birth defects, i.e. mental retardation, if taken at the time of conception and during early pregnancy.

Children are especially at risk for neurological disorders and should NEVER be given artificial sweeteners.

There are many different case histories to relate of children suffering grand mal seizures and other neurological disturbances talking about a plague of neurological diseases directly caused by the use of this deadly poison.’

Herein lies the problem:

There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products and strong objection was made concerning its use. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, and still nothing has been done.
The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets.

Sadly, MONSANTO’S patent on Aspartame has EXPIRED!   There are now over 5,000 products on the market that contain this deadly chemical and there will be thousands more introduced.   Everybody wants a “piece of the Aspartame pie.”

I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of Aspartame, knows how deadly it is.

And isn’t it ironic that MONSANTO funds, among others, the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association and the Conference of the American College of Physicians?

This has been recently exposed in the New York Times.   These [organizations] cannot criticize any additives or convey their link to MONSANTO because they take money from the food industry and are required to endorse their products.

Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote and presented a bill that would require label warnings on products containing Aspartame, especially regarding pregnant women, children and infants. 10pt”>

The bill would also institute independent studies on the known dangers and the problems existing in the general population regarding seizures, changes in brain chemistry, neurological changes and behavioral symptoms.

The bill was killed.

It is known that the powerful drug and chemical lobbies are responsible for this, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting and uninformed public.

Well, you’re informed now!

Please print this out and/or e-mail to your family and friends.

roasted mini sweet peppers ready to enjoyWhile visiting my son and his family, we enjoyed a delicious barbecue meal with also included roasted mini sweet peppers.

These were absolutely delish, and my daughter-in-law shared her preparation instructions, hence this post for you.

I have seen these at the grocery store, but never thought of trying them out, since I usually buy the full-grown multi-color peppers to use in veggie platters, or to cook them stuffed, for a  meal.

I enjoyed the mini ones so much, that now I buy them on regular basis, and actually more often than the other ones.

They are great as a side veggie to any meat dish, a healthy snack, or even as an appetizer.

Package of sweet peppers

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Mini Sweet Peppers, rinsed, patted dry (leave them whole with the stems on)
  • 2 Tbs. of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt, or Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil paper.
  3. Pour 2 Tbs. of olive oil onto the lined pan.
  4. Place the rinsed, and dried off peppers on the pan.
  5. Mix or toss around to evenly coat them with the olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning.
  7. Place pan on a middle oven rack, and bake for 20 minutes (see TIP below).
  8. Remove from oven to cool off slightly before serving (they are very hot inside).

These still taste wonderful at room temperature.

cleaned and ready to flavorall roasted nowoiled and seasoned

Here are some pictures of the steps above:  clean peppers layered on the pan, seasoned with spices and oil, and finally all baked.

 

TIP:  You may bake these peppers without turning them over, so they are lightly toasted on top, and get more browned on the bottom, which is fine, and you might even like them better that way.  Or you may bake them for 10 minutes on one side, and turn them over to the other side for the remaining 10 minutes of baking, to make them evenly baked on both sides.  I do not turn them over, since I love the slightly charred bottom, which I feel it adds to the overall flavor of the finished product. 

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