Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Parent Party for October

Easy Whole Grain Snacks

Fiber is important for your health.  High fiber foods help us to stay fuller longer and helps our bowels work better.  Whole grain foods have more fiber than refined grains, but they also have many extra trace nutrients that help us stay healthier.  New research is proving that the phytochemicals in whole grains are linked to a lower cancer risk.

Try these quick and easy trail mixes to get started eating more whole grains. Featuring delicious healthy grains like rolled oats, cereal, bran and yes, even popcorn!

Popcorn Trail Mix
2 cups air-popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups unsweetened whole-grain oat dry cereal
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp. dried blueberries
3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. dry-roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped dried pineapple
2 Tbsp. roasted pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. dry-roasted sunflower seeds
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 91 calories, 3 g total fat (less than 1 g saturated fat), 15 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 37 mg sodium.

N-R-G Trail Mix Snack
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup unsalted almonds
1/2 cup dried apple pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup oat circles
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes
Put all the ingredients into a big bowl. Stir well with wooden spoon. Divide into six equal amounts in small resealable plastic bags.
Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 210 calories, 12 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 24 g carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 50 mg sodium.

Source: AICR eNews Sept 7


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Another Robo Call, How Can I Stop This With Changing My Number

In addition to the text's, messengers, and e-mails we have received tonight while watching the football game, we have received 3 Robo Calls that we have won a cruise because we stayed at their resort and a wrong number.  The robo calls came from 2 different local numbers and then an unlisted number and they came in on our land line and a cellphone.  What are we to do?  Blocking their number does not work.   They just keep changing their number.

 Last year when we started getting 5 to 6 phone calls a day, I did some research and took the time to file complaints and our calls stopped drastically.  It was different because these calls were a live person and the same phone number, however they were selling different items.  Within a few days of reporting them, the calls stopped after 3 months of harassing calls.

You can report "Do Not Call" abuses if your number has been in the registry for 31 days.  Do Not Call even has a way that you can verify if your number is registered.  I checked tonight and one of my family's cellphone was not registered.  So I quickly registered it.  It only takes a couple of minutes.

If you received a call from a live person, jot down the company, time, date, and the number if you can.  This is the information you will need to put in.

This year we are receiving the same two robocalls from a variety of numbers.  According to the do not call registry, we can report these also and they will research into it.  What do we have to loose?  So tonight I opened my computer as soon as my husband hung up and typed in the information.   I hope we can look forward to a quieter evening in the future.

Even if your number is not registered, you can report the robot calls.  How do you know that they are a robot?  The same perky person answers your hello every time with the same spill.  Get the number from your caller id if you can and the company and go to the link below and report it. 

It is worth the time it takes to fill out the form online to slow down these unwanted calls.

Do not call complaint

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It's Apple Season!

Fall is the perfect time of year to try some new recipes using apples.  Because apples are usually harvested in the fall they are at their best this time of year.   They're perfect for snacks and desserts. Plus these recipes are budget-friendly and creative.  After trying them, experiment and come up with some of your own recipes.  Added bonus they are easy to make and require few ingredients.

Apple cookies - Thinly slice your apples with a knife or mandolin and then bake them for an hour at 250 degrees. Once they've been removed from the oven and cooled, they'll taste like crispy apple chips. Serve these with a little whipped cream.
Old fashioned apple compote - Core and slice your apples. Place them in a microwave-safe container with a bit of honey and apple pie spice. Add a drop or two of water, then cover and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes. Mash the apple mixture with a potato masher and serve either hot or cold.
Crustless apple pie - Coat a pie pan with olive oil spray and Panko bread crumbs. Core your apples, then thinly slice them and mix the slices with apple pie spice, corn starch, and a little water. You can add a tiny bit of sugar as well if you'd like. Add the mixture to the pie pan and press down flat. Sprinkle more bread crumbs mixed with apple pie spice on the top of your apples, then bake at 350 (covered with foil) for one hour. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking time. Serve hot. 
Sliced apples and plain yogurt with honey - This is one of my favorite snacks! Place a scoop of plain, nonfat Greek or Icelandic yogurt on a plate. Drizzle with honey. Garnish with sliced apples that are dipped in lemon juice.

Apple butterfly - Core and slice an apple and coat it with lemon juice and apple pie spice. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then dab a bit of whipped cream on a plate in a line. Arrange the apple slices like butterfly wings on both sides of it and sprinkle with toasted nuts. You can also use plain yogurt in place of the whipped cream.
Apple Torte - Make the batter for half of a boxed yellow cake mix, reserving the other half for later. Spray a baking pan with oil spray and then dust with flour. Place the cake batter in the bottom of the pan (it should only be about ½ inch thick). Top the batter with a few sliced apples mixed with apple pie spice or cardamom, then put the whole pan in the oven a bake at 350 until the cake is done, about 30 minutes.

Apples poached in tea. Peel two apples; cut them in half and remove their cores. Poach them in tea until they are fork tender, then allow them to cool in the tea. Experiment with green tea, green tea with macha powder, raspberry tea, or black tea. You can also add orange zest and spices. Serve warm, with the tea on the side.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Shopping List for Quick Meals

School has started and we are gearing our lives towards more of a routine.   Parents are in need of easy meals that can be prepared quickly.  Quick meals start with having basic ingredients on hand.  Below is a list of basic ingredient to have on hand to prepare quick nutritious meals.  Save money by purchasing extra when they are on sale.  Every family has favorite recipes so adapt the list with the ingredients for your favorites.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Save $100 In 30 Days

Join the eXtension Military Families Learning Network’s Personal Finance team in making small daily deposits that add up to $100 in just 30 days!

Sign up by September 1st to participate in the month-long challenge and you’ll receive the daily savings chart and weekly newsletters with savings messages, savings resources, and reminders for upcoming Challenge events scheduled for September.

We’ll be hosting weekly check-ins on Facebook Live ( that will offer encouragement, an opportunity to share your success stories, and tips for making the savings goals a breeze!

So sign up, and encourage friends and family to join you!

Register and find more information about the Challenge here:

Join us and get started saving!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Its Green Chile Season

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Fall is in the air.  Football games have started.   FFA chapters are holding their yearly fundraisers roasting green chile and the wonderful aroma is all over town.  For the next month we will have many opportunities to purchase raw or roasted green chile.  Make sure your family stays safe by handling the chile with safe food handing principals.

Be sure your are working with clean hands and utensils as you are packaging the chile.   Remember bacteria will grow when the temperature of the chile is between 40 and 135 degrees.  You need to make sure the chile is packaged and in the refrigerator or freezer within two hours of roasting.  When loading your freezer spread the hot sacks around and do not stack them on top of each other until the are frozen.

Be sure to label the packages with the date.  Frozen chile is best when used within the year.  To learn more about freezing chile.  Check out this publication.

Freezing Green Chile

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Beware of New Canning Lids

I had the pleasure to judge the indoor exhibit at a neighboring county's fair today.  I always enjoy visiting this small ranching community and seeing the wonderful entries.  They have some fantastic bakers.  This year the crochet was phenomenal.  I always learn about new techniques and yarns.  This year there were some jars canned with a white plastic lid that I had not seen before.  So when I got home this evening, I went to the trusted site to research these lids.  I wanted to know about them for the canning workshop I have next week.

I know that idea of a reusable canning lid is popular, because of the expense of the flat metal lids, but I was skeptical.  Previous versions of reusable lids often did not seal well and often did not maintain a seal.

I found the lids on the Ball/Kerr web site, but there are other companies that make them too.  It it clearly stated on the box that they are for storage in the refrigerator and freezer and for dry foods.  They do not seal jars for shelf stable canned goods.

For jars to form the vacuum seal required to keep the food safe inside the jar, there must be away to let the air out of the jar as it is processing.  The two piece band and flat lid is designed for this purpose.  Steam escapes as the jar heats, the band holds the lid in place and when the steam is gone the sealing compound glues the lid to the jar.  The other important factor is having the correct head space for the food being canned.

These lids are not to be used to processed canned food for shelf stability.  They can be use to store opened canned food in the refrigerator, making foods that are stored in the refrigerator, freezing foods, and storing dried foods.

According to some blogs that I read, some brands of the plastic lids have a gasket in them, which can help reduce leakage if the jars tip over in the refrigerator.  Another blog suggested saving money by reusing screw-band lids from store bought foods instead of buying these.

This link will take you to the Ball/Kerr website page about lids.

 Canning Lids 101

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stop Those Suckers - Control Mosquitos

Eight Reasons Why Walking is Great for Your Health

We all know that we should walk more, but it is hard to get motivated.  It is easy to talk ourselves out of getting started and hard to stick with it, but the rewards are great.  Here are some reasons for you to get out and walk and it is also free!

1. Walking strengthens your heart
Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.

2. Walking lowers disease risk
A regular walking habit slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and you’re 20 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb with consistent aerobic activity such as walking.

3. Walking helps you lose weight
You’ll burn around 75 calories simply by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes. Up your speed to 3mph and it’s 99 calories, while 4mph is 150 calories. Work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed the pounds in no time.

4. Walking prevents dementia
Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80.  Walking would be great preventive medicine.

5. Walking tones up legs, derrieres and stomachs
Give definition to calves, quads and hamstrings while lifting your glutes with a good, regular walk. Add hill walking into the mix and it’s even more effective. Pay attention to your posture and you’ll also tone your abs and waist.

6. Walking boosts vitamin D
Recent research points to Vitamin D’s importance in bone health, immune systems and overall health.  Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.

7. Walking gives you energy
You’ll get more done with more energy, and a brisk walk is one of the best natural energizers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive.

8. Walking makes you happy
It’s true – exercise boosts your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety. So for positive mental health, walking’s an absolute must.

A Walking Group for Beginners Started July 24
We all need some motivation help and the best motivator is being part of a group or having a buddy that is counting on you to be there.  So join me and help me stay motivated as I start a walking group for beginners.  We will meet at the Tucumcari Fitness Complex by the High School Auditorium each Monday at 8:30 a.m.  We will do a few stretches and walk at our own pace around the paths.  The weather should be cool enough to walk safely this early.  Wear good shoes and bring a bottle of water.  This group will start walking July 24 and try to continue through September.  You may start at any time.  No charge!  No registration, just show up.

Canning Workshop Coming Up

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fruits and Vegetables For Better Weight Control

As the low carb craze is making another round in the fad diet world, we often forget the importance of fruits and vegetables in our over all health.  In addition to all of the vitamins and minerals that they provide for your overall health, Fruits and Vegetables can help you avoid extra weight as you age.  A new study analyzing data on 133,468 men and women over up to 24 years reports that eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables is associated with modest weight loss. The weight-control benefits were greater for fruits than vegetables, and strongest for certain types of produce: berries, apples and pears, citrus fruits, tofu and soy, cauliflower, other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and leafy green vegetables.  Phenolic-rich fruits, such as berries and apples, were most strongly linked to less weight gain.

Studies that tracked diet and weight loss over a long period found vegetables higher in fiber and lower in glycemic load such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts were more strongly associated with maintaining a healthy weight. Greater fruit intake was associated with weight benefits regardless of fiber content or glycemic load.

Intakes of starchy vegetables such as corn, peas and potatoes were each associated with more weight gain, however. (The potatoes result was for boiled, baked or mashed potatoes, and doesn’t even include popular forms such as potato chips or French fries.) Corn was most strongly associated with weight gain, with each daily serving linked to 2.04 extra pounds every four years.  Although these starchy vegetables have nutritional value, such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, fiber and protein, they have a higher glycemic load.  This large amount of starch likely explains their ssociation with weight gain.

APPLES, BERRIES AND MORE: Each incremental daily serving of fruit was associated with weight loss of 0.53 pounds. (The study looked only at whole fruit, not juice.) When individual fruits were analyzed, increased intakes of blueberries, prunes, apples, pears, strawberries, grapes and raisins, and grapefruit were inversely associated with four-year weight changes. Strongest benefits were seen for fruits rich in phenolics, biologically active plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

All fruits and vegetables bring something to your table in terms of nutrition. If you’re watching your weight or concerned about "middle-age spread," however, eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables in place of less-healthy foods might improve what you see when you step on the scale.

Since this is National Salad Week, there is no better time to add some fruit and vegetables to your day.

Visit here for the complete article from Tuffs

Fruits and Vegetables Linked to Better Weight Control - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter Article