Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Decorate with children in mind

Top Safety TipsIf you decorate a tree, avoid these top decorating mistakes: Do not put ornaments that have small parts or metal hooks, or look like food or candy, on the lower branches where small children can reach them.Natural trees always involve some risk of fire. To minimize the risk, get a fresh tree and keep it watered at all times. Do not put the tree within three feet of a fireplace, space heater, radiator or heat vent.Never leave a lit tree or other decorative lighting display unattendedInspect lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections and broken sockets.Do not overload extension cords or outlets and do not run an electrical cord under a rug.Do not burn tree branches, treated wood or wrapping paper in a home fireplace. Mistletoe berries, Holly Berry and Jerusalem Cherry can be poisonous. If they are used in decorating, make sure children and pets cannot reach it.Artificial snow can be harmful if inhaled, so use it in a well-vented space.Keep alcohol, including baking extracts, out of reach and do not leave alcoholic drinks unattended.In a poison emergency, call the national Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Cantaloupes are named for the papal gardens of Cantaloupe, Italy, where some historians say this species of melon was first grown.
Cantaloupe with its refreshingly rich flavor and odour and minimum number of calories, is the most popular form of melon. Cantaloupe is also referred to as a netted melon because it has a ribless rind with a distinctive netted skin. It has evolved as an excellent source of vitamin C.
One cup of cantaloupe contains 112.5% of the daily value for this well-known antioxidant. Cantaloupe has antioxidants that help us fight heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, aging, etc. Cantaloupe is also a very good source of potassium, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and niacin (vitamin B3)
The combination of all these B complex vitamins along with the fiber found in cantaloupe make it an exceptionally good fruit for supporting energy production through good carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar stability. Cantaloupe is fat and cholesterol free, and is a good source of Folate.
Healthy Cantaloupe Recipe
Cantaloupe Ice Popsicle

  • 1 small Cantaloupe
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp. Fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Lemon
Cut the cantaloupe in half, remove the seeds and peel. Puree the flesh in a food processor together with the honey. Add the finely chopped mint leaves. Squeeze the lemon and add its juice to taste. Pour the mixture into the Popsicle molds and leave in the freezer for 1 hour or until they begin to set. Arrange the Popsicle sticks in the middle and put back in the refrigerator until completely frozen. Alternatively, you can add some low fat yogurt or milk to the mixture for a more creamy texture.

Pineapple is one of those foods that is heaven to eat. A good, juicy ripe pineapple can satisfy a sweet craving as well as any chocolate bar.
In addition to being a delicious food, there are many health benefits of pineapple.
Pineapple Strengthens Bones

One of the benefits of pineapple is that it helps to build healthy bones. Pineapples are rich in manganese, a trace mineral that is needed for your body to build bone and connective tissues. Just one cup of pineapple provides 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. The benefits of pineapple can effect the growth of bones in young people and the strengthening of bones in older people

Pineapple is Good for Colds and Coughs

While many people often take extra vitamin C or drink extra orange juice when they have a cold, few consider eating pineapple. The benefits of pineapple when you have a cold or cough are the same as the benefits of orange juice, but there is an additional benefit of pineapple. Bromelain, which is found in pineapples, has been found to help suppress coughs and loosen mucus.

Want to give your body a boost in health and healing?
Then you may want to add some fresh pineapple and pineapple juice to your diet.
This delightful tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain and the antioxidant vitamin C, both of which plays a major role in the body's healing process.
Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory that has many health benefits and encourages healing. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, bromelain is very effective in treating bruises, sprains and strains by reducing swelling, tenderness and pain. This powerful anti-inflammatory effect can also help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and reduce postoperative swelling. Additionally, the bromelain contained in fresh pineapple can relieve indigestion. This enzyme helps break down the amino acid bonds in proteins, which promotes good digestion.
Pineapples provide an ample supply of vitamin C too, a commonly known antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and boosts the immune system.
When choosing a fresh pineapple, do not judge ripeness solely based upon color. There are several varieties on the market that range from green to golden yellow. The most important factor in determining ripeness is smell, let your nose help you decide. Ripe pineapples give off a sweet, fresh tropical smell. Avoid pineapples that give off an unpleasant odor or have any soft spots or areas of dark discoloration. Once home, let the pineapple sit on your counter at room temperature until ready to use. This will preserve its sweet and tangy flavor.
Tropical Fruit Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 cup fresh pineapple
3/4 cup soy milk (FOR COLESTEROL FREE) but if you prefer used 2% regular milk
1 tablespoon honey or sugar (optional)

Blend all of the above ingredients in a food processor or blender for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
Makes about 2-3/4 cups (2 servings)


I love to share this information
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is now enough data to show that people who consume large amounts of tomatoes and tomato products have a significantly decreased risk for prostate, lung, and stomach cancer. There is some evidence that people who consume a lot of tomatoes may also have a lower risk of pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers.
...And for those with heart problems
The tomato help to dissolve animal fat in foods such as in butter, cheese, eggs, pork, beef, and many deep-fried foods, thereby preventing hardening of the arteries.
Tomato is also useful in reducing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for coronary heart diseases and stroke.
Lycopene, present in abundance in red tomatoes, is a potent antioxidant. Recent research has demonstrated that lycopene is at least twice as effective as b-carotene in protecting blood lymphocytes from NO2 radical damage.
Potassium is very important for the kidneys. Potassium was found to reduce high blood pressure. One jumbo tomato (approximately 3 inches in diameter and weighing about 7 oz.) contains nearly 450 mg. of potassium.
Its good to know
Tomatoes contain lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and other nutrients. Their claim to fame includes everything from lowering blood pressure to boosting immune function. So what better way to be healthy than by making homemade tomato juice? Try a spicy tomato cocktail or how about a hot tomato drink?
Other facts about tomatoes
Fresh tomatoes juice boosts sugar formation in the blood, acting as an excellent natural energizer when feeling exhausted
  1. Contains antitoxin elements, protecting the liver and stimulating its activity. 
  2. Fights negative effects of increased fat intake, otherwise rapidly absorbed by the body
  3. Is an excellent remedy against sunburn: tomato slices applied on burned skin for 15 minutes decrease inflammation and accelerate regeneration; lycopene protects skin against bad UVs, reducing the risk of sunburn
What have in common tomato, watermelon and pink grapefruit? Yes, all are healthy and taste good, but, more then this, all are red. Responsible for this red color is Lycopene, a carotenoid that seems to be a valuable compound for a healthy diet. Tomato contains, per gram, more lycopene then any other vegetable or fruit.
You may also want to know that:
Tomato gives you as much as 10% of daily dose of Vitamin A,13% of Vitamin C,1% of Iron and 1% Calcium.
For those of us who garden and grow tomatoes, there often comes a point in the summer tomato growing season in which the bounty greatly exceeds one's ability to consume it, in its regular tomato form. If you find yourself in this position, and you love tomato juice, V8, Bloody or Virgin Marys, I highly recommend making your own tomato juice. My dad announced the other day that he was going to make some tomato juice and I thought nothing of it. But after one taste, wow. This is how V8 should taste

Homemade Tomato Juice Recipe

Some tomatoes are sweeter than others, depending on their ripeness and the variety of tomato. Use the ripest tomatoes you can. Added sugar will balance the natural acidity of the tomatoes, use more or less to taste. Tabasco hot sauce is also to taste, depending on your desired level of spiciness.

What to do with the leftover tomato pulp? Try frying it up with some eggs for a tasty scramble.YUMMMMMM


  • 3 pounds very ripe garden tomatoes, cored, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • A couple shakes of Tabasco sauce, about 6-8 drops (to taste)


    1Put all ingredients into a large non-reactive pot (use stainless steel, not aluminum). Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until mixture is completely soupy, about 25 minutes.
    2Force mixture through a sieve, chinoise, or food mill. Cool completely.
    Store covered and chilled. Will lasts for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
    Makes about 1 quart.