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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Awesome Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Jun 8, 2010 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Food

Today was a rainy and cool day that kept us from playing outside during the day. There is something about rainy days that makes me want to bake but I wanted to bake something for my kids that was not just chocolate and white flour ingredients. I decided to try to bake a recipe for Oatmeal Raisin cookies with whole wheat flour, rolled oats and raisins.

If you have ever stopped at Great Harvest Bread Company and tried one of their cookies you know how good they are and you don’t feel totally guilty because they are made with natural ingredients and whole grains. I searched and found an adapted recipe for Great Harvest Bread Companies Chocolate Chip cookies that I edited to make Oatmeal Raisin cookies.
They are fantastic! Mmmmmmmm!

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Brown Sugar, Packed
1 Cup Butter, Softened
2 Cups Rolled Oats
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Milk
2 Cups Raisins (I used Golden Raisins)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

Combine Brown Sugar, Molasses, Vanilla, Eggs, Milk in a stand mixer.
Combine Dry Ingredients and add to Brown Sugar Mixture and blend
Add Raisins and mix until well blended.

Bake at 350 for 12-13 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, remove and finish cooling on cooling rack. Makes 4 dozen normal sized cookies or if you want giant cookies, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to measure 24 giant cookies.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Jun 1, 2010 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Food

One of my favorite grilling recipes for the summer is Grilled Bruschetta Chicken.
I have tried many variations of this recipe and this is my take on the recipe.

Grilled Brushcetta Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts, thawed
1/4 cup of Italian dressing
1 teaspoon of seasoned salt
sprinkle of pepper
1 can of Red Gold Diced Tomatoes, with Basil, Garlic and Oregano
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
4 Tinfoil bowls, take sheets of tinfoil and roll in the edges to make a bowl so juices don’t run out.

Clean and trim the fat from the chicken breasts.
Marinate chicken breasts in the Italian dressing for a minimum of two hours.
Preheat grill to about 300 degrees.
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the seasoned salt and pepper and place them on a preheated grill.
Grill the chicken breasts until no longer pink and the pretty grilled marks always look good!
Place one grilled chicken breast in the center of each foil bowl back on the grill.
Mix the Olive oil into the Diced Tomatoes.
Spoon on 1/4 of the Diced Tomato mixture over each chicken breast.
Sprinkle 1/4 of both the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses over the Chicken breasts and Diced Tomatoes inside of each foil bowl.
Close the lid of the grill and allow cheeses to melt and the diced tomatoes cook with the chicken breasts.
I like to let my cheese start to start to get golden brown where it touches the foil.
Carefully pick up the tinfoil bowls with hot pads, and slide the contents of the foil bowl onto four separate plates.

The chicken is so tender you can cut it with a fork! Grab a bit of cheese and tomato with each bite.

I like to serve mine with a dinner salad and some toasted garlic bread! Enjoy!

Fruit and Veggie Wash

Apr 27, 2010 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Food, Health & Safety

Feeding fresh produce to your family is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The problem we run into with fresh fruits and veggies and other smooth skinned produce is the chemicals, bacteria, wax, preservatives and pesticides that are on produce. I wondered what was the best way to clean my produce and found this study. According to a study by Cooks Illustrated (and reported by NPR) they tested the different methods to cleaning your produce. They tested bacteria levels when produce was cleaned with a scrub brush, water alone, a Veggie Wash, and vinegar and water soak. They found cheap vinegar wash to be the best at cleaning your produce, it removed 98 percent of the bacteria from the produce!

So when you bring home your next grocery cart full of produce, give it a soak in vinegar and water (one part vinegar to three parts water), and then rinse it with cold water to get the vinegar residue off. Vinegar is safe for you, safe for the environment and is cheap too! Like I needed yet another reason for me to buy vinegar by the gallon!

Three Tips to Get a Homemade Dinner Ready Fast!

Oct 14, 2009 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Food

As a professional mom people may wonder what else do I have to do all day besides cook and clean?  If you know me there are very few days I stay home and do nothing, we are always running, getting ready to go to the next place and trying to find new active learning experiences for my children.   This means that I don’t have all day to think about and prepare dinner.  I have learned many ways to help prepare a healthy dinner fast for my family without making boxed meals or prepared frozen foods.

#1- I plan my meals for the week and stick to them.  I sit down with a few of my recipe books, and I have a list of my favorite fast meals and plan the meals for a week, I then write down the recipe pages and recipe book next to them so I can quickly find them.  I try to pick out recipes that can be ready in less than 30 minutes and take as few pans as possible to cook in, to minimize clean up.  I write down each of the ingredients I need to buy to create this whole weeks of recipes and buy all of them at my weekly grocery store trip.

#2- When I get home from the grocery store I cut the fresh veggies and bag them or put them into storage containers so when I am ready to make a recipe I don’t have to clean and cut the veggies.  This also helps me to reach for a healthy snack when the veggies are cut up in the fridge.

#3- Another one of my favorite time saving tools is my vacuum sealer especially for meats.  I buy meat in bulk like a whole turkey breast or bulk hamburger meat and divide them into one pound packages.   Before I seal meats that need to be cut into bite size pieces like steak, chicken or turkey I cut them before I seal them, I throw in seasonings or marinade in the bag before I seal them, that way when I am ready to cook that meat all I do is defrost the package in the microwave and it is perfectly seasoned and recipe ready.

When it is a busy night where I have to get the kids out the door for swimming, gymnastics or to the park, I pick my daily recipe from the list, flip to the recipe book page, grab the pre-cut and cleaned veggies, pre-cut meat add rice, bread or pasta and can create a fast, home-made, stress free meal.

Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Egg Noodles

Jul 28, 2009 Author: Jessy | Filed under: Food

I was a vegetarian for 10 years and I never had the desire to eat meat until I smelt my mother in laws homemade chicken noodle soup simmering on the stove. I am now a huge fan of chicken noodle soup, it is the meal I make and bring to my friends who have babies, it is the meal I make for gatherings at my house in the winter. It is the perfect comfort food. I tried about 10 different recipes and took what I liked from each to make this recipe. This is what I consider the Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup.

2- lbs boneless, skinless, chicken thighs or a 4 lb whole chicken

2 – Lg containers (32 oz) Chicken broth

1- Head of Celery and leaves diced and divided in half

1- Large yellow onion diced and divided in half

1- pound of carrots sliced – divided in half

6- Chicken Bouillon cubes

1- tsp dry parsley flakes

1- tsp garlic (I use the roasted type garlic in the jar)

1- tblsp poltry seasoning

1- tsp thyme

2- tblsp kosher cooking salt- (or salt)

1- tblsp pepper-fresh ground

Juice from 1/4 of a lemon

Home made noodles (recipe below)  or if you must, 9 oz store bought bagged, nested wide Egg Noodles

Boil the chicken thighs or whole chicken in a large stockpot in the 2 containers of broth add 1/2 of the carrots, 1/2 of the onion, 1/2 of the celery and leaves and the tsp of garlic.  Boil for 1 hour or until the meat is easily shredded. I pull the thighs out and shred them on a plate and dump them back in.  Add bouillon cubes, 4 cups of water, and the rest of the ingredients and seasonings to the stockpot bring to a low rolling boil and add homemade noodles, boil 30 more minutes or until noodles are tender and serve!   Even my kids love this recipe and will eat all of the veggies and chicken.

Homemade Egg Noodles-

1 cup flour

1 egg

1 eggshell full of milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

On a clean, flat surface, place 1 cup of flour, create a hole in the center of the flour pile, add the salt, and crack the egg inside the hole. Then fill up one half of the egg shell with milk two times and place the milk in the hole of the flour as well.  Gently fold the ingredients together by hand until it is a soft doughlike mixture. If you need more liquid, slowly add 1/2 eggshell of milk at a time until it is a sticky ball. Sprinkle a little flour on the flat surface and Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is as flat as you can make it, it needs to be thinner than a pie crust. Once it is as thin as you can make it, (once you boil it, it will plump up) cut skinny strips of noodle about 1/3 inch wide with a pizza cutter. 

Add homemade noodles one or a few at a time to the chicken soup at a low rolling boil so they don’t stick together.  Boil in the soup until they are tender, or about 30 minutes.

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