About Me

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IN, United States
I love the Lord and my big crazy family. My husband and I have been together for 40 years. I am a mother of two grown children and a grandmother to four biological grandchildren and six others. I own and operate my own home care business primarily for the elderly. I have written online articles for Bubblews, Seekyt, TopicSpotter and Triond. You may still find some of my articles on Ehow/Demand Studio.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mechanically Challenged: Changing a 1998 S10 Thermostat

Engine of my 1998 S10
 OK, are you like the hubby and I? Mechanically challenged, however, willing to try; as repair bills on the old trucks have become ridiculous.
Getting help from friends and family we started tracking down why the S10 we purchased in late May, has no heat or defrost. We were advised to see if the coolant was filled and it was. Then we were told and then Googled, that doing a coolant flush could clear out any built up junk and start the heat flowing. We got estimates and then decided to take it to John's Auto Spa, Nappanee, Indiana. The flush went OK, however, did not fix the problem. I thought the young mechanics sounded knowledgeable as they showed me where the inexpensive thermostat was located and how to change it. The problem was, they showed me the wrong part so we had panic set it when we took it off and hoped we had not screwed anything up. We do not need any more problems. The part you see here IS NOT the thermostat!
I was told the wrong part

Reading online how to locate the thermostat was helpful. Locate the radiator hose and follow it right to the part. On the 1998 S10 engine that seems jammed packed; it looked as if that could be trouble, however, between the two of us we managed. After we located the correct part, the darker part in the center is the thermostat, the next challenge was to find the correct tools and the proper size. Of course trying to get the tools in the tiny area allowed was not easy.

Thermostat is the darker part in pic
Again, between the two of us we managed to remove and replace everything needed to get to the thermostat. I am not saying this was easy, however the part itself was under $7.00 and we eliminated the diagnostic fee and the $90.00 an hour to replace it. After we removed the cover, I took the picture of the inside so we knew how to install the new one correctly. Sadly enough changing the thermostat on my 1998 S10 did not get me any heat or defrost, therefore, the quest to find the answer still remains. If you have any inexpensive and helpful tips, please share your idea.
The inside look of the S10 Thermostat

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Make Authentic Mexican Enchilada Sauce Recipe


I was in search of an authentic enchilada sauce recipe and no two recipes were alike. One actually had canned enchilada sauce built into the recipe. This would not do, I wanted an authentic Mexican enchilada sauce recipe.
I have been blessed with a wonderful sister-n-law that is a great cook. She also happens to be Hispanic. After arranging to get together, she showed me how to make authentic Mexican enchilada sauce.
She usually does not measure anything when she makes her enchilada sauce, she tastes the sauce until it is the way she wants it, however this time she tried to keep accurate measurements for me.
Now, let me share with you, the best I can, how to make Authentic Mexican Enchilada Sauce Recipe.

Ingredients needed to Make Authentic Mexican Enchilada Sauce Recipe:
  • 1 lb Ground beef or ground turkey
  •  4-5 Tsp garlic powder
  •  3-4 Tsp onion powder
  •  1 Tsp cumin
  •  1 Tsp chili powder
  •  Pinch of Sea salt and Black pepper
  •  4 Ounces tomato sauce
  •  4 Heaping tbsp of any gluten free flour or use cornstarch
  •  1 1/2 Cup of water
  •  1 1/2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes, Knorr is gluten-free!
  •  1 Tbsp olive oil
  •  5-6 Cups water
  •  4-5 Tsp chili powder

Instructions to Make Authentic Mexican Enchilada Sauce Recipe:


  1. In a big heavy pot, on low heat, brown the meat you will use for your burrito or enchilada's. If you eat red meat, you can use ground beef if not use ground turkey.
  2. While the meat is browning, start adding garlic, onion, cumin and chili powders.****I listed the ingredients in the order you need to use them.
  3. Add to that a pinch of each sea salt and black pepper. Now this is all personal preference so you may want more by the time it's all done.
  4. After the meat is browned, stir in tomato sauce. Add Knorr chicken bouillon cubes, olive oil and water to the meat mixture.
  5. Turn your heat down just a little. While that is simmering, put the flour in 1 1/2 cups water, stir until all mixed together. Slowly start stirring in the floured water, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
  6. Your enchilada sauce is now starting to thicken and it's time to add the chili powder. Blend it in little by little, until you get the desired taste you want. As you add the chili powder, you will see it turn reddish. Taste your sauce, if not enough spice to suit you, continue to add chili powder.
  7. **I was told that you really could not get to much garlic or chili powder.
  8. You can use your enchilada sauce for enchiladas, or you can do as we do and pour over your wet burrito.
  9. Serve with Spanish rice.
  10. Authentic Enchilada Sauce Mexican Recipe style is so good if you like making Tex-Mex food it is a must try.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sister Six Vacation: Camping Together since 1981


What we looked like in 1981

The last few days I have been picking garden vegetables and fruit as well as baking Gluten Free Zucchini Brownies, regular Zucchini Brownies and High Gluten White Bread.


Camping 2013

Yesterday I made a big pot of chili, actually a big pressure cooker full, for the hubby and I to eat as well as take with me on vacation with the sisters. Oh and yeah, I did not forget to make it gluten free as well as make gluten free corn bread to go with it.



No vacation, especially if you are going with your sisters, would be complete without homemade salsa and chips and or homemade guacamole. Needless-to-say I have planned, made, and packed a lot of food for our 5 day away from home.


What we look like in 2014
 
The local Indiana weatherman is predicting cooler fall temperatures and chances of rain and thunderstorms, we are praying for sunshine and nice temperatures for the sister six's camping vacation.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Peachy Goodness: Making Peach Honey



I love honey and when my daughter said with her excess unsprayed chemical free pears she researched and made pear honey. I had that ah hah moment and used the neighbors apples to make apple honey, it is so delicious my brother and sister-n-law wanted more and learn how to make it for themselves.
When the same neighbor had unsprayed chemical free peach trees, I made an abundance of peach juice, which goes well with orange juice; however, I had a gallon jug that I could not possibly drink by myself and no one else really liked it. Well I decided to make peach honey to see if the family likes it on the great homemade wheat bread I make.
“Peach nutrition: A large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber, it is also a good source of vitamins A and C”, according to WebMD.
In addition, according to MedicalNewsToday.com , “One raw medium peach (147 grams) has 50 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. It provides 6% of your daily vitamin A needs and 15% of daily vitamin C needs.
One medium peach also contains 2% or more daily value of vitamins E and K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper.”

 Ingredients for Peachy Goodness and Making Peach Honey:

  • 16 cups fresh Peach juice, preferably organic peaches
  • 8 cups of sugar, stevia in the raw or combination of both
  • Juice of 1 lemon; optional yet preferred
  • Yield 8-10 jelly jars or 5 pint jars
Herb Bread Recipe

Instructions how to make Peach Honey:

    1. Bring the peach juice to a boil, when it is a roaring boil, stir in the sugar and continue to boil until it is the consistency of honey. When you think it is getting close, dish some out to cool.
    2. After cooling is complete, it will show you if you are ready to jar up or continue cooking.
    3. Using hot sterilized jars fill the jars with a little headspace.
    4. Wipe the top of the jar with a wet paper towel, put on a hot lid and screw the ring down.
If you do not want to make a large batch just use the rule of thumb, 2 parts juice to 1 part sugar.  If watching your calories try reducing the sugar and using stevia in its place.
If your family likes honey made by bees as our family does, they will love the homemade peachy goodness and peach honey as well as apple honey, as it is oh so delicious.

Freezing Bell Peppers: a Tutorial


Freezing bell peppers: a tutorial is for people with an abundance of bell peppers in their garden, or who purchase bell peppers in their local grocery stores when they are on sale. There is never a good reason for a pepper to rot in the vegetable draw of the refrigerator, as freezing bell peppers is so easy.

Freezing bell peppers has heath benefits:

Bell peppers added to any recipe will add a mere 24 calories, however, will add oh so many vitamins. Bell peppers whether sweet or fiery hot, add over 100% of your daily need of vitamins A and C in just 1-cup. Freezing bell peppers whether fresh from your garden, a farmers market or even your local grocery store simply makes nutritional sense.

According to WebMD, “Go for a variety of colors in peppers to get the biggest bang for your buck. Red bell peppers are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, and the minerals molybdenum and manganese. And, they're especially rich in nutrients and phytochemicals such as:
  • Vitamin A, which may help preserve eyesight, and fend off infections
  • Vitamin C, which may lower cancer risk and protect against cataracts
  • Vitamin B6, which is vital for essential chemical reactions throughout the body, including those involving brain and immune function
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, which may slow the development of eye diseases, such as cataracts or macular degeneration
  • Beta-carotene, which may help protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer in women before menopause
  • Lycopene, which may decrease the risk for ovarian cancer”

Freezing bell peppers a nightshade plant:

The downside according to Ygoy.com is that peppers are part of the nightshade family of plants and people having arthritis may find joint flare-ups when eating nightshade plants such as green peppers. Ygoy explains, “Nightshade vegetables contain solanine which is a glycoalkaloid. Properties of this compound are given below
This compound is toxic if consumed in high doses
·       This compound is toxic if consumed in high doses
·       It has the potential to affect the enzymatic reactions which involve calcium hence resulting in weakening of the bones and joints.”


 

 Things needed for freezing bell peppers: a tutorial:


  • Garden/Farmers Market/Sale shopping skills
  • Green, Red, Yellow or Orange Peppers
  • Plastic Freezer Bags
  • Sharp knife
  • Marking pen 

Instructions for freezing bell peppers: a tutorial:


  1. Pick the bell peppers from your garden as they come on or ripen and especially if you have heard the hard freeze is coming over night. Peppers will freeze very easily.
  2. Place the bell peppers in the kitchen sink and wash them well. Even if they are organic peppers they need washed.
  3. Cut your bell peppers in ½ length wise and removing all the seeds and the rinse them again.washed.
  4. Take the bell pepper halves and cute in bite size pieces or slices. The size of the pieces will depend on how you will use them in your recipes.
  5. Put the pepper chunks in freezer bags; mark the freezer bag with the month and year. Place the full bags whether quart of gallon size in the freezer in manner so they will freeze quickly.
  6. Making your favorite recipes just became easier, instead of running to the store, just go to your freezer. It is a little extra work freezing bell peppers now; however the work will pay off later.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lime Chicken Recipe



Lime chicken is perfect all year long as you can make it in the oven no matter what the season. Weather a sun filled or rainy day you can pull out your Indoor grill and make shish kebabs or on days simply to hot to cook indoors head outside and use the big grill and make kebabs. Do you love eating chicken; however, you get tired of the same chicken recipes? This lime chicken recipe is fantastic whether made in a casserole form or as lime chicken kebabs.
Using lean chicken breast, vitamin C packed lime, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, and sweet onions, such as a purple onion or a Vidalia onion; you can create a nutritious low calorie meal for your family inexpensively.

Ingredients for Lime Chicken Recipe:

  • 1 Tablespoon of lime juice, fresh squeezed or concentrates
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 4-6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  • 1 Purple or sweet Vidalia onion; cut into wedges
  • 1 Orange bell pepper; cut into wedges
  • 1 Red bell pepper; cut into wedges
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper; cut into wedges

 

Direction for Lime Chicken Recipe:

  1. Using a large bowl squeeze the lime to get the juice. Rachel Ray’s trick to juicing lemons and limes is to firmly press and roll it around on the counter top or stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
  2. Stir into the limejuice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Cut the boneless skinless chicken breast into small 1 ½-inch pieces. If your pieces are too large, the cooking time increases and or you take a chance they will not cooked thoroughly. If you are making the casserole, the chicken chunks could be larger.
  4. Add the chicken to the lime mixture, stir and allow the chicken to marinate no less than 10 minutes.
  5. Taking skewers, start threading alternately, the peppers, onion and chicken. Mix up the colors of the peppers as you put them on the skewers making them look appealing as well as taste good.
  6. Grill the lime chicken kebabs approximately 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If baking in casserole form, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours, again the meat needs to be 165 degrees.
o      No matter which way you choose to make the lime chicken you will not be disappointed. Good for you meals, like this grilled lime chicken recipe; does not have to be boring it is simply good.
  • Whether grilling on your indoor DeLonghi Grill or making a casserole out of the lime chicken recipe, the only thing to make it even better is to pair it up with the vitamin C packed mango salsa.

Canning Diced Tomatoes



Hybrid tomatoes like Viva Italia, Amish paste or Roma are best for dicing.  Of course, you can preserve any tomato but you will have to remove the seeds while dicing. For this reason, picking a meatier hybrid tomato such as Pink or Red Oxheart, Cherokee Purple or Pineapple is a plus.
According to World’s Healthiest Foods, “Lycopene from tomatoes has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.”
1 cup of tomatoes is only 37 calories and chucked full of vitamin C, A, K, B’s and E. As well as, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, folate, copper, niacin, magnesium, iron, and protein.
According to the Purdue University extension office, “Home gardens are a great way to produce healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables. But healthy eating doesn't have to stop when gardens quit producing. With the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and other food preservation publications now available at The Education Store, you can preserve the healthy, home-grown nutrition you value and make it available all year round."
Canning diced tomatoes are great when making tacos and burrito’s. So even in the wintertime you have the taste of summer.

Supplies needed for Canning Diced Tomatoes:


  • Canning lids, rings and jars
  • Sharp knife
  • Large pan or graniteware canner
  • Wet paper towel
  •  Hand towel


Instructions for Canning Diced Tomatoes:


  1. Pick from the garden; firm, ripe, meaty, tomatoes.  You want to can them as fresh as possible. If you are not growing them in your garden buy them from a local supermarket, farmer or farmers market.
  2. Buy the canning lids, rings and jars from the local supermarket, farmers market or Wal-mart.  Make sure to look at the package and buy the right size appropriate for the jars. Some are wide mouth lids and some are regular lids.
  3. Wash the tomatoes real well to remove any dirt or pesticides that might be on them. Even if they are organic, they still need washed.
  4. With a sharp knife, dice the tomatoes in pieces appropriate to the recipes you will be using them. The variety and size of tomato will determine how many pieces you get per tomato.
  5. Wash the canning jars, in hot soapy water, even if they are new, right out of the store packaging.
  6. Get the large pan or granite ware canner, for the water bath or canning procedure. Heat enough water to cover your jars.
  7. Fill the jars with the diced tomatoes leaving ½ inch to an inch head space. Fill the jar with hot water. Wipe off the lid or mouth of the jar with a wet paper towel, it is necessary for the mouth of the jar to be clean for the jar to seal.
  8.  Put the lid and ring on the jar, and snug tight.
  9. Put your sealed jars of diced tomatoes into the hot water, this is the water bath. Put the lid on the pan and boil for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 20 minutes, cooking them to long will make them mushy.
  10. Take the jars out of the hot water, being very careful, set them on a hand towel to cool and seal.

Other vegetable preservation posts: How to Can Tomato Juice and How to Can Green Beans

Guacamole Recipe: added health benefits



A good guacamole recipe is great to have and eat however; did you realize the health benefits the avocado provides? Yes, the guacamole recipe has a few calories, therefore, don’t be piggy and consume massive amounts daily, however enjoy the added health benefits of the avocado and all the ingredients it takes to make it.



According to the world’s healthiest foods, “Arthritis—including both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—are health problems that have received special research attention with respect to dietary intake of avocado.” World’s healthiest foods continue to say, “

The term "anti-inflammatory" is a term that truly applies to this delicious food.”



Nutrients and daily values in 146 grams or 1-cup of Avocado:



  • Fiber    15.4 grams
  • Vitamin K   48.3 units
  • Calcium 28 mg
  • Folate          186 mcg
  • Vitamin C    23 mg
  • Vitamin E   4.76 mg
  • Potassium      1116 mg
  • Magnesium     67 mg
  • Vitamin B6  .591 mg
  • Sodium          16 mg
  • Sugars            1.2 g

 The nutritional facts provided by the ndb.nal.usda.gov



 The anti-inflammatory nutrients of the avocado are things such as antioxidants, beta-carotene, apha-carotine, vitamin C and E, selenium, zinc omega-3 fatty acids and the list goes on-and-on check it out.

Now factor in all the other ingredients it takes to make a good guacamole recipe and the added health benefits. You have cumin, onions, tomatoes, red peppers, fresh lime juice and garlic.


Ingredients for this Guacamole recipe: added health benefits


  •  4 medium avocados cut in half and seed removed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup sweet white or red onion; minced
  • 1 medium, ripe, Roma tomato; diced
  • 2 hot peppers of choice; such as the jalapenos or spicier Serrano’s
  • ½-¾ cup sweet red bell pepper; minced
  • 4 tbsp Lime juice, fresh or concentrate
  • Himalayan salt; to taste
  • White or black ground pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce and cilantro; optional

 Instructions for this Guacamole recipe: added health benefits



  1. Wash the avocados before cutting them open and remove the seeds. With a spoon or rubber spatula, scoop out all the meat from the avocados into a bowl.
  2. Mash the avocados but do not puree` them. A few chucks are just fine.
  3. Dice and or mince the onion, tomato and hot peppers of choice.
  4. Fold in the cumin, garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers and lime juice.
  5. Add the salt and pepper to suit your own personal taste. Gently fold once again.
  6. If you enjoy the taste of cilantro and hot sauce, add it at this time.
  7. Seal airtight and refrigerate. Use within a day or two for the best flavor.


Any guacamole recipe is truly made to suite your own personal taste. Just remember avocados are good for you in moderation. Change up the recipe to make it as hot and spicy as you enjoy it.  Use fresh and healthy vegetables and you will have a guacamole recipe: added health benefits too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Can Tomato Juice Using Water Bath Method



Do you have tomatoes growing in your garden and are there too many tomatoes to eat fresh?  We do! Therefore, in this bad economy processing and canning tomato juice to enjoy this winter simply makes sense. It is possible to freeze tomato juice, however, if you do not have a deep freezer to hold it canning using the water bath method is the way to go. This is how to can tomato juice using the water bath method.


Supplies needed for canning Tomato Juice using the Water Bath Method:

 


  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Ricing/milling machine
  • Canning jars, quart or pint jars
  • Appropriate size canning rings/lids
  • Large pot for water bath




Instructions on canning Tomato Juice using the Water Bath Method:

 


1.  First thing to do is head out to the garden and pick your tomatoes. You want to process them as fresh as possible. If you are not growing them in your garden, buy them from a local farmer or farmers market.

2.   Buy canning lids and rings. Make sure and get the right size appropriate for the jars. Some are wide mouth some are regular.

3.  Wash your tomatoes well. Cook and rice/squish them into tomato juice.

4.  Get out a large pan for your water bath or canning procedure. Heat enough water to cover your jars.

5.   While the water is heating, fill your clean canning jars with fresh hot tomato juice. Do not fill the jars to full. Leave ½ inch to an inch headspace.

6.   Wipe off rim of the jar with a wet paper towel. You want a clean rim to make sure the jar seals.

7.  Rinse or soak in hot water the canning lids.

8.  Put the canning lid on and snug the ring tight.

9.  Put the jars of hot tomato juice into the hot water. This is the water bath. Put the lid on the pan and let it boil for at least 30 minutes. I usually let it boil a bit longer just to make sure there are no germs and I get a good seal.

10. You now have successfully canned tomato juice for the winter months using the water bath method.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Zucchini Brownies: Fudgy and Gooey Recipe

Zucchini Brownies ready to take to church
It is harvest season once again in Indiana. This year the cucumbers and zucchini are growing in abundance, so much that I have given many away and left wondering what can I make with them?
I have used zucchini’s in salsa, breads, pie and cake in the past; however, this year I wanted something slightly different to share with my family at this year’s family camp.
Not even sure the recipe existed I searched for a zucchini brownie recipe, there were several, however, this moist fudgy and gooey recipe stood out to me.
I am not sure mine is a gooey as the picture from the original recipe I found on crazyforcrust, however, it was delicious and not a bit was left.
Garden Fresh Shredded Zucchini

Ingredients for the Zucchini Brownies:

  • ½  cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ½  cup canola oil
  • 1 ½  cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups garden fresh zucchini; shredded 
  • 2 cups all-purpose or high gluten flour
  • 3-5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts; optional

 

Ingredients for the chocolate frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼  cup butter; melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼  cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

 

Instructions to make the Zucchini Brownie:



Hot out of the oven.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Using a 9-inch x13-inch glass baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and if you want you can spray it with cooking spray.
  2. Using bread hooks on your mixer is best, as this batter is very thick. In your mixing bowl, (I do not believe in using more than one bowl); therefore, add the ingredients in the order listed adding the water last to make a thick cookie dough like batter. The water you use is determined by the moisture in your zucchini.  Do not add too much water or it will be more like cake than a brownie.
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. While the brownie is baking, whip up the frosting. Spread the frosting on the brownies after they have cooled a little. I prefer to frost the brownies while slightly warm; however, you can do as you like and wait until they are completely cooled.
  5. Cut into squares and watch the zucchini brownies disappear.
***I doubled the recipe and spread into 3 aluminum pans, which is easier to give away.