Peppermint Bark

Candy Cane Chocolate Peppermint Bark (click image for full size) 

Candy Cane Bark

White Chocolate Peppermint Candy Bark 

White Chocolate Bark

This is a pretty way to wrap your Bark into Holiday Bins






Strawberry, Quinoa, and Ricotta Salata Salad

Strawberry,Quinoa,& Ricotta Salata Salad: Photographer: Iain Bagwell, Food Stylist: Robyn Valarik, Prop Stylist: Sue Smith
Strawberry,Quinoa,& Ricotta Salata Salad: Photographer: Iain Bagwell, Food Stylist: Robyn Valarik, Prop Stylist: Sue Smith

Strawberry, Quinoa, and Ricotta Salata Salad


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small dried red chile, broken in half
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 qt. loosely packed watercress (about 1 1/2 bunches, trimmed to about 5 in. long)
  • 1 1/2 cups quartered or halved strawberries
  • 1 large Persian cucumber or 1/4 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 small spring onion bulb or 2 green onions, cut into 2-in. slivers
  • 1/4 pound ricotta salata or feta cheese, thinly sliced


  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped strawberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • About 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


1. Make salad: Heat oil with chile and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add quinoa and toast, stirring often, until it starts to turn golden in spots, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup water, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes, then pour quinoa onto a plate and let cool. Discard chile.

2. Meanwhile, put remaining salad ingredients except for cheese in a wide bowl and set aside.

3. Make dressing: In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp. water with all dressing ingredients except oils. Set aside 10 minutes; whisk in oils.

4. Gently toss quinoa with 2 tbsp. dressing. Spoon onto 4 dinner plates. Mound salad mixture on top and tuck in cheese. Season generously with more pepper and serve with remaining dressing to add to salads.


Amount per serving

  • Calories 328
  • Caloriesfromfat 62 %
  • Protein 8.9 g
  • Fat 23 g
  • Satfat 7.7 g
  • Carbohydrate 18 g
  • Fiber 3 g
  • Sodium 307 mg
  • Cholesterol 7 mg

How to remove ticks from Pets


The Tick Twister is really easy to use!

There are a number of different types of tick found in the USA including the Wood tick, Dog tick, Relapsing fever tick, Pajaroello tick, Deer tick, Black-legged tick and the Lone star tick. Tick Twister® is THE most efficient set of tick removal tools for removing ticks, any location on people and animals:

  • without leaving the mouth-parts of the tick implanted in the skin
  • without compressing the abdomen of the tick, minimizing the transfer of infectious agents (Lyme disease, Babesiosis, etc.)
  • without ether or other products
  • in a few seconds, without pain

Here is another way to remove ticks:

Remove tick with liquid soap & cotton ball, wait 18 sec. lift away
Works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, etc.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball.

Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20)

After 15-20 seconds – lift away – the tick will come out on his own and be stuck to the cotton ball.

5 Work Habits of Productive & Happy People

Book Available on Amazon
Book Available on Amazon

5 small changes can help you be more productive, happy, and efficient at work, Tom Rath writes in a post for Readers Digest. He shares five techniques from his book that he says are common among highly productive and engaged workers.

  1. They stay positive—but not too positive. “Being blindly positive or perpetually negative can cause others to be frustrated or annoyed or to simply tune out,” Rath writes. Instead, workers should strive for the right balance of positive thinking—about 80% of the time. “We need at least three to five positive interactions to outweigh every one negative exchange,” Rath suggests.
  2. They are focused on the big picture. The most productive workers are those who are able to remind themselves of why what they do is important. Effective workers “find a way to infuse each day with a reminder” of their mission, Rath writes.
  3. They take breaks. The most productive people work in intense bursts followed by short breaks. For instance, a survey by the makers of DeskTime, a software application that tracks time use, found the most productive 10% of workers worked about 52 minutes at a time followed by a 17-minute break. Such a work structure helps workers stay energized, Rath writes.
  4. They ask questions. Questions, Rath says, are one of the best ways to connect with new people—even if you are anxious in social settings. “I have learned that it’s easier to start talking with people when I focus on asking good questions and then listen to the answers,” Rath writes. Learning to ask questions helps workers build productive relationship and trust.
  5. They hit pause. “When you face an immediate and acute stressor, your instinct is to fight back and respond immediately,” Rath observes. In a work context, Rath says this is not the right response. Instead, workers should “take a moment to gather [their] thoughts, and then have a rational discussion” (Rath, Readers Digest, accessed 5/13).

Read Full Article

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Five Tips on How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

  • Leave them on the Vine as long as possible.  Take the time to cover them with plastic if your temperatures are low.  Don’t be tempted to pick them just because it feels like the season is over. They will ripen the best left on the vine.
  • Place them on a sunny window sill. This is a hit or miss solution and works best with cherry tomatoes (tiny ones).  Tomatoes are more stable sitting on their stem side however, they will rot less readily if you can place them blossom side down.
  • Wrap individual green tomatoes in newspaper and layer in a box, no more than 2 layers deep. Place the box in a dark, dry spot and check weekly for progress. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for the tomatoes to ripen, but check frequently and remove any fruits that show signs of rotting.
  • Place the green tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripe apple or banana. The fruit gives off ethylene gas, which speeds up ripening. Check the bag daily.
  • Place the green tomatoes in a cardboard box and place fruit inside of the box.  It’s important not to let them touch each other – you want space between each tomato and the fruit.  Cover box and store in a dark location.  Check daily and remove ones as they ripen.

See Related Post: Green Fried Tomato Recipe

Home Made Organic Ketchup (no sugar)

ketchupCombine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well:

1 6 oz can organic tomato paste

¼ cup apple cider vinegar (more if needed)

1/8 cup water (more if needed)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried organic oregano

½ teaspoon organic cumin

⅛ teaspoon organic pepper

1 teaspoon organic mustard powder

Original Recipe is from Cupcakes and Kale Chips Website – I modified it to my liking.

How To Substitute Honey for Sugar

Photo and tip by Whole New MomIn general, substituting honey for sugar seems to be a matter of taste. Some people use it cup for cup, others prefer 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of honey per cup of white sugar. Reduce the amount of other liquids by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used.

However, you might need to experience with different amounts of honey depending on the recipe.  For example, I used honey instead of sugar for a toffee bar recipe which involved boiling a sugar mixture.  Honey does not boil the same way and when I poured it over the crackers it was super thin and slid right through.  I was able to save the toffee bars by freezing them immediately but the toffee was on the bottom of the bar and not the middle.  The next time I made the recipe I used much less honey and a little bit of sugar to get the consistency I needed up boil.  I also selected a darker honey.

Sites on how to Substitute Honey for Sugar:, and

25 Uses for Fabric Softner

25 Alternative Uses for Fabric-Softener Dryer Sheetsread full article by curbly

1. Dusting: used dryer sheets can knock the dust off nearly any surface.
2. Keep bugs away: Tuck some in your picnic basket or under lawn furniture to repel bees.
3. Keep your clothes fresh: tuck a few fabric-sheets in your drawers
4. Scrub your showers: Lightly wet a used dryer sheet, and scrub to remove soap build-up
5. Freshen your home: Place (or tape) a dryer sheet on your HVAC vents to scent the air circulating through your home.
6. Reduce static cling: Pat your self with a sheet to combat static on your clothes, stockings, and even long hair!
8. Clean your laundry room: When you finish drying a load, hold on to the dryer sheet, and wipe down the inside of your dryer’s drum, your lint trap, the outside of your washing machine and dryer.
9. Scrub the bugs from your car: Simply wet your car down, and use a dryer sheet to scrub away carnage with ease.
10. Wipe up hair: The cling of a dryer sheet is perfect to wipe up pet hair from your furniture, or even your own hair from your bathroom.
11. In your shoes: Toss a dryer sheet in the toes of your shoes to minimize odors and prolong the just-purchased smell.
12. While traveling: Place a few dryer sheets in between items in your suitcase to keep both your clothes fresh.
13. In your crafts: Use dryer sheets to add texture to cards, scrapbooks, etc. Also use for reinforcement in appliqué and quilting work.
14. For diapers: Keep your used dryer sheets in your diaper bag, and roll one up in the diaper to prevent odors before you have to chance to throw it away.
15. In the kitchen: Soak cookware with burnt or baked-on food in warm water, with a dryer sheet or two. Makes clean-up easier than you’d expect. Also works on cook tops and dingy cabinet doors.
16. Clean paint brushes: Soak your used paintbrushes in warm water with a dryer sheet, and that pesky latex paint will come off in under a minute.
17. In books: placing a dryer sheet in new books or photo albums will keep them smelling fresh, and can combat the musty paper smell of used or old books. Also works as a killer bookmark.
18. In toilet paper: Roll up a dryer sheet in your toilet paper roll. Each time you spin, it releases a little freshness into your bathroom.
19. As you sleep: keep a fabric-softener sheet in your pillow case and under your mattress or mattress pad for sweet dreams of summer all year ‘round.
20. While sewing: use a dryer sheet to store your needles while threaded to keep them from tangling, for paper piecing whilst you quilt, and for backing for embroidery.
21. Repel rodents: Use dryer sheets to keep out mice, skunks, squirrels, rats, etc from your basement, garages, boats, campers, and clubhouses.
22. In your car: stash dryer sheets under your car seats and floor mats, and in your glove box and trunk for fresh scents as you travel.
23. At work: Hide dryer sheets in drawers, behind computers, and in cabinetry to keep your workspace fresh.
24. In you vacuum cleaner: Place a dryer sheet in your vacuum bag or dust containment unit. As the hot air moves as you vacuum, you’ll bulk up your cleaning efforts. (Make sure this is in NO WAY a fire hazard)
25. In storage: tuck dryer sheets in your rarely used items such as luggage, camping gear, sports equipment.

Hydrotherapy & Deep Tissue Concentrate for injuries


Hydrotherapy – 6x or more –
1 minute in hot water than 1 minute in cold water.
Circulates the blood and carries away the extra blood that cause swelling and pain.
This assassinate the deep tissue concentrate to reach the healing levels.

Rub inDeep Tissue concentrate and cover with saran wrap to keep it working,
Ace bandage wrap to keep saran wrap on.- it will burn so use it sparely at first.

Products are $2 to 4 less with Northern Botanicals
This treatment really works on repairing tissue, my Mother swears by it and many others do to.

Or call 1-800-herbdoc (437-2362) – Dr. Schulze website  He doesn’t list all of his products on his site so you might need to call and ask for specific products.

If you don’t order call to be put on his mailing list.   You will receive his free product catalog (shows health issues and remedies for them and includes the list of products on order forms)

See Related Post: Deep Tissue Healing

Deep Tissue Healing

Here is some information on Healing deep tissue.  Please see related post Hydrotherapy & Deep Tissue Concentrate for Injuries.

Most large Health food store should have assortment of products for 1st aid injuries, etc. Dr. Schulze recommends his “Deep Tissue Oil”. Jason Cooling Mineral Gel seems to have about the same proprieties. Jason is a brand name for other products.

The person at Farmington Better Living Center (health food store) said the Jason Cooling Mineral Gel has tree tea oil for pain relief, the essential oils and menthol oils for healing torn and damage tissues, and there are no animal products in this bottle.

Some people would call this mixture ligament. I think it is similar to what vets use on animals and what mom used to have years ago for sprains and strains.

Deep Tissue Oil   (Schulze)

Ingredients from Dr. Schulze’s catalog 1-800-herb-doc. See directions below.
Wintergreen Oil, Peppermint oil, Cayenne, Ginger, Arnical flower, Calendula, Marigold flower or
St. Johnswort Flowers, Olive Oil

Dr. Schulze directions: do the hot & cold therapy first. Than apply 1 or more droppersful of the deep tissue oil, rub in well for 10 minutes. Wash hands afterwards, do not get in eyes.

Jason Cooling Mineral Gel

Information from Better Living Center in Farmington, ME

Essential oils – avocada, primrose, Menthol oils *, Tree tea (pain relief),
No animal products

*Note: menthol oils are wintergreen, peppermint and spearmint, etc.

Trama oil

Info from Better Living Center, Farmington, ME.

Arnica and St. John’s Wort

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