Salad Bars are the BEST!

Lettuce & Fixings

Have you noticed that people don’t like the same food? This is a challenge, not only when we entertain with our large family, but when we have guests over for dinner. So I love salad bars! Everyone makes exactly what they like and then they eat all of it.

When my daughter got married, we served a giant salad bar with everything you can imagine one might put on a salad. What I noticed was that there was hardly any food thrown away after the reception. People ate everything they took on their plates! Using these containers, I put together a salad bar for about 50 people. We didn’t run out of food and everyone enjoyed it.
Salad Fixings

This is one food that works for everyone; vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters that want a side dish! Here’s to the salad bar!

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Posted in Food Preparation

Quick, Easy and Delicious Brownies

Do you ever need to make a quick dessert?  Do you love brownies?  Then this is the recipe for you!  Mix the Brownie Mix and store it in an airtight container.  When you need to make a delicious and quick dessert, add three ingredients to the Brownie Mix and bake!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ingredients for Brownie Mix:

6 cups all-purpose flour

8 cups sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 (8 oz.) can unsweetened cocoa

4 teaspoons salt

2 cups vegetable shortening (Crisco)

Directions:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugar and cocoa and blend well.  With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed.  Label and store in a large airtight container in a cool, dry place.  Use within 10-12 weeks.  Makes about 17 cups of brownie mix.

When you’re ready to make brownies preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9″ X 13″ baking pan.


5 cups Brownie Mix

4 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


In a medium bowl, combine Brownie Mix, eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in nuts if desired.  Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until edge separates from the pan.  Cool.  Cut into squares.  These are great with vanilla ice cream or milk!

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Posted in Baking

Do You Have Miracles in Your Life?

Miracle Jar

Do you have a miracle jar?  About 5 years ago I created a miracle jar and it sits on my desk.  I have a stack of  blank tickets (I cut out with my Cricut machine).  Whenever I have an amazing experience I write the date and the event on a ticket and drop it in my miracle jar.  The events are generally something that happened to me that I couldn’t have done on my own.  It strengthenes my faith that there is a God and He is watching over me.

Have you ever found a penny?  When I find a penny it is a reminder to me of the abundance in my life.

A wise teacher shared this advice with me many years ago.  She said, “Before you go to sleep at night, think of the best thing that’s happened to you during the day.”

This one concept carried me through the illness and death of my first husband Ray, who passed away from a brain tumor in 1997.  Every night I thought of good friends and hospice nurses that were such a blessing in our lives.

Posted in Tip For The Day

Go Backwards to Move Forward

I work backwards in many areas of my life. I love computers. I love learning new software. So you can imagine that I have computer books. This is one method to use when learning new programs:

1. Go to the index in the back of the book and look up a topic. Say you’re learning Microsoft Word and want to know how to center a heading on a page. Go to the Index and look up “Centering”.

2. Look at all the pages referenced on the topic and decide which one gives you the information you’re looking for.

3. Highlight the information most valuable to you and turn down the page.

4. Turn back to the Index and highlight the page number that was most helpful to you.

Over the years this has saved me lots of time. If I haven’t use a particular feature in a long time, I can go right to what I’m looking for by using the index and the highlighted information in the book.

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Posted in Books, Education, Organization, Tip For The Day

Which one do you like better?

When I was in college in Salt Lake City, Utah I decided to make a trip to a department store and look at some china. I wasn’t seriously dating anyone and wasn’t engaged but I thought it would be fun to look. When I got off the elevator of the major department store, I was overwhelmed as I looked at a whole floor of china selections. I was only there a few minutes when I returned to the elevator and left the store. When I returned home for the summer, an acquaintance from church was selling china and an appointment was made for her to come and show us her wares.

This is the lesson I learned from my friend…

After some small talk to get acquainted she began her presentation. Instead of putting all her products out for us to view, she carefully took out one dinner plate and described it. Then she placed it on the table. Then she took out the second dinner plate. She described it, set it on the table next to the first plate and asked which one I liked better. I told her and she put away the one I had not chosen. Then she took out the third dinner plate, described it and placed it next to the plate I had chosen from the first selection and asked, “Which of these two plates do you like best?” She continued this process until she had shown me all her china patterns. The one that I “liked the best” throughout the process was the one remaining on the table. I loved the pattern. I loved everything about it and ended up buying my whole set of china from her.

That was 46 years ago and to this day I still love my china and love setting a table with it!

Have you ever been overwhelmed with the choices you’ve been given? My suggestion is, take a deep breath and begin by selecting just two and asking yourself which one you like best. Go through each choice eliminating the one that is less desirable until you come to the end of your choices. Chances are you will be satisfied with your final choice.

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Posted in Tip For The Day

Pass the Fiber

Today’s post is a real jewel because it has so many applications. This is a recipe for delicious Bran Muffins. These are great for breakfast, brunch or a side dish at dinner. They are also great for giving as gifts. This makes a big batch of muffins (about 72 regular sized muffins). I prefer making mini-muffins however because our grandchildren (did I mention we have 32) like them and will eat a whole one when they are mini-muffins but waste some when they are served a regular sized muffin.

Before I share this recipe, you need to know that this is the BEST food to share with someone who is getting out of the hospital or is taking pain medication. Pain medication can really block up a person’s digestive track and this totally helps to regulate them. We have a grandchild who was having trouble in this area. His pediatrician wanted to give him a prescription to take care of the problem. I said, “Oh no! I’ll make a batch of bran muffins.” This took care of the problem without medication. Because they are sweet, children will eat them.

These are great to make ahead and freeze. Freeze a dozen mini-muffins in a quart-size Zip-lock baggie. Drop off a bag to people coming out of the hospital (instead of a plant or flowers) who have been or are on pain medication. They will be most grateful!

Another tip I’ll pass along is this. Not everybody likes or can eat everything you can. We have a grandson who can’t eat nuts so this is the solution. Don’t mix any of these items into the batter. After filling the cupcake papers, the extras (raisins, dates, nuts and/or cinnamon/sugar mixture) is sprinkled on top of the batter. Some are left plain with a little cinnamon/sugar sprinkled on top. Some have raisins. Some have nuts and raisins. It’s easy to identify what additional items are in the muffins.

From my favorite IPAD app, PAPRIKA, to you. Enjoy!



2 cups boiling water

2 cups All Bran cereal

1 cup shortening

3 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 quart buttermilk

5 cups flour

5 teaspoons soda

5 teaspoons salt

4 cups bran flakes cereal (yes there are two kinds of bran cereal in

this recipe!)

Dates, nuts, raisins, cinnamon/sugar may be added


Add All-Bran cereal to boiling water and set aside.

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and buttermilk and mix. Add flour, soda, salt and mix. Add bran flakes. Mix well. Add the All-Bran cereal and boiling water mixture and mix.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners or greased muffin pans. (Don’t forget to use your Wilton cupcake scoops if you have them!)

This recipe makes a gallon and keeps up to 6 weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator to be used if you want them baked fresh. I prefer baking them all at once and freezing them.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. They are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean or when they bounce back when you touch them. Delicious!

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Posted in Baking

Things Take Time

I’ve discovered that things that take time need to be done first.  For instance, if you want a great body, exercise needs to be done first because it will take awhile to see results.  It’s not like getting a haircut that only takes a few minutes and makes you look better.  Exercise will take time and in the long run will make a huge difference in the way you look and feel about yourself.  Make it a priority if you want long-term results.

If you run credit cards for a business and it’s going to take a couple of days to have the funds available to use, then processing credit cards should be a priority so you have that money as soon as possible.  If you want a slow cooker dinner, starting the slow cooker early in the day works much better than thinking you can pull off a slow cooker dinner beginning at 4:30 PM.  Think through your day (or week or month).  What, over time, will help you accomplish the most long-term results.

This past year I pretty much redid the whole upstairs of our home including 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  My husband was having some health problems and wasn’t in a position to help me.  I learned a few things in the process.   I learned that even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can work on one wall at a time.   I began in October of 2013.  In January I began watching my 3-month-old granddaughter from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday.  I wasn’t finished with the work on our house yet.  However, I could meet her needs, get her down for a nap and while she was down, prime or paint a wall or work on a small area until I heard her wake up.  Little by little, I finished the job in February of 2014 and every day I’m so glad I did it.

Each wall got new paint, new plug covers, new base boards and as I worked on a wall, all pictures or mirrors that I’d taken down from that wall got rehung when the paint was dry.

When the man came to lay the vinyl in our bathroom, (he was working on two bathrooms at the same time) he ran a large fan in one room while he worked on the other room.  What a great lesson that was for me!  My husband had purchased a large fan for our garage.  By using that fan, the paint dried so fast and I could work much faster.

I learned that if painting needs to be done and you need to get other things done as well, paint a wall, leave it to dry and get a few errands run or do some other chores.  When you get back the paint (or primer) will be dry and you can put on another coat.  NEVER JUST SIT DOWN AND WAIT FOR THE PAINT TO DRY.  Learn to multitask so that at the end of the day you will be proud of your accomplishments.

During this project I learned to change clothes.  For years I got up and dressed professionally.  I used to hate to change clothes.  Now I change clothes several times a day from exercise attire, to business attire, to jeans (if I’m watching grandchildren, we have 32 (thirty two at this time), to work clothes for working in our very large yard.  I discovered that it only takes a few minutes to change clothes for any appropriate occasion.  I’ve also learned that the better you dress to go shopping, the better you’re treated (even if it’s a hardware store).  I’m certain it’s refreshing for those employees to see people come into their store that look good!

So you can indeed eat an elephant one bite at a time.  Decide what your elephant is and begin eating it!

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Posted in Home Decor, Organization, Setting Priorities, Uncategorized
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