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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Jan 30, 2012

Dog? What Dog?

I love walking at 5 or 5:30 in the morning.  It is so quiet, most people aren't out walking yet, no cars - but it is dark.  The other down side is, well, it is 5 AM.  I am easily seen, wearing the reflective vest referenced previously, but that doesn't help Abby.  She does have a reflective collar, but as her fur grows in, it cannot reflect.  So this is what you see next to me:

Enter the Dog-E-Glow company.  Leashes and collars that are fed with led lights to add a level of safety to you and your dog.  They can be turned to always on or they can be blinking - you choose what is best for you.  After Dog-E-Glow:
We have a pink collar with hearts for Abby, but there are lots of options for patterns - from camouflage to collegiate teams.  Check them out - you will find something that fits your taste, and keeps your dog safe.  They also come with two sets of batteries - a nice way to ensure that you have what you need if the leash stops working when you want to go for a walk.

Jan 29, 2012

Week 4 - 45.64

This week brings us to the Roaring Run Natural Area in Pennsylania.  This is a 3,593 acre natural area is designated as a Reptile and Amphibian Protection Area and includes a Wilderness Trout Stream (Roaring Run).  This area includes varied hiking trails including items such as various vistas and reclaimed logging trails.  These hiking trails are also marked for cross country skiing.  Looking for a place to stay?  There is no camping at this natural area, so try the Hidden Valley Resort.  Nearby is also the Flight 93 memorial, the Great Allegheny Passage, and Laurel Caverns Geological Park.

Jan 28, 2012

Corn Chowder for Two

This is a nice, quick meal for two. 

  1 Cup Frozen Corn                                                                 Dash Pepper
  1/4 Cup Green Pepper, Chopped                                             1 Cup Milk
  1/4 Cup Water                                                                       2 Tablespoon Yellow Corn Meal
  1/4 Cup Ham, Chopped

In a medium saucepan, stir together the frozen corn, peppers, water, and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until corn is tender.  Do not drain.  In a small mixing bowl, stir together the milk and cornmeal.  Stir into saucepan.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for 1 minute more.  Stir in the ham and  heat through.
Per Serving: 177 Cal (13% from Fat, 24% from Protein, 63% from Carb); 11 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 29 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 10 g Sugar; 161 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 268 mg Sodium; 10 mg Cholesterol

Jan 27, 2012

Happy Saturday Morning Brunch

This is a basic whole wheat pancake recipe - stir in cinnamon, blueberries, nuts and/or bananas to give it a nutritious kick.

  1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour                                                       1 Cup Buttermilk
  2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                              3 Tbl Vegetable Oil
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                             2 Large Eggs
  1 Tbl Brown Sugar                                                                  

Beat well. Mix flour into liquids until flour is moistened. Pour onto lightly greased griddle.  Makes 9 servings.
Per Serving: 121 Cal (45% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 41% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 13 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 104 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 287 mg Sodium

Jan 26, 2012

Cabbage? I don't see cabbage.

Getting vegetables from a CSA has sometimes challenged me to use vegetables in different ways.  This soup allowed me to hide cabbage and yet enjoy it.  It added a nice fiber and crunch to the soup, even wilted, and wasn't noticed by those who didn't know it was there.  This soup serves 10 - 12.  The nutrition given is for 12 servings.

  1 Lb Spicy Italian Sausage                                                      15 Ounce Black Beans
  4 Cups Cabbage, Finely  Chopped                                           29 Ounce Tomato Sauce
  1 1/2 Cups Bell Pepper, Diced                                                1 Cup Water
  2 Cups Corn                                                                          2 Tbl Chili Powder
  15 Ounce Kidney Beans                                                        2 Tsp Cumin

Brown sausage in a large soup pot then pour into a colander to drain.  In the same soup pot, sauté the cabbage until wilted.  Add the pepper and stir often until peppers are softened.  Rinse and drain the beans and add to the pot along with the remaining ingredients.    Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often.

Per Serving: 270 Cal (36% from Fat, 21% from Protein, 44% from Carb); 14 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 5 g Mono Fat; 31 g Carb; 9 g Fiber; 6 g Sugar; 55 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 704 mg Sodium

Jan 25, 2012

Blueberry Coff-Tea Cake

Okay, so this is the consistency of a coffee cake without the crumb topping.  It also has the feel of a southern tea cake (not the crispy English kind) because of the blueberries, so this is a Coff-Tea cake.  Excellent served warm, it is a nice breakfast, similar to a sweet bread.  Served with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk - YUM.  Replace up to half the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier, more filling punch.  Serves 18.

  3/4 Cup Sour Cream                                                                2 Large Eggs
  1/2 Tsp Baking Soda                                                                1.5 Tbl Vegetable Oil
  12 Tbl Unsalted Butter, Room                                                 2 Cups Blueberries
  -Temperature                                                                           3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  1 2/3 Cup Sugar                                                                       1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  zest of 1 lime                                                                           3 Tbl Lime Juice
  1 Tsp Vanilla                                                                           3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, Set aside.

Zest the outside of the lime, set aside the zest then juice the lime.   If necessary, add enough bottled lime juice to make 3 Tbl.

Combine the sour cream and baking soda, set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the lime zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then the oil and mix until well blended.  Add the sour cream mixture and beat just until combined.  Add the flour and the baking powder to the butter mixture and then fold them into the batter, mixing just until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries into the batter, being careful not to over mix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven.  Immediately stir together the lime juice and confectioner's sugar and pour over the warm cake, spreading evenly so it soaks in.

Per Serving: 286 Cal (36% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 59% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 12 g Tot Fat; 6 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 43 g  Carb; 1 g Fiber; 25 g Sugar; 44 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 91 mg Sodium

Jan 24, 2012

Hominy? What's Hominy?

Hominy is a product made by processing corn to remove the hull and germ, leaving the kernel only.  It can be done by cracking and separating or by putting it a lye bath.  I prefer Manning's Homestyle Hominy which is processed via steaming.  The following casserole is a great side dish that can be baked along side a chicken or roast. 

20 ounce Hominy
1.5 cups corn
1 can chopped green chilies
1/2 tbl cornstarch
1/2 tsp pepper
4 ounces sour cream
1/2 tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
3 ounces shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 ounces of sliced American Cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 1 quart casserole dish and set aside.

Rinse hominy and drain well.  Combine all ingredients except cheeses and pour into the casserole dish.  Sprinkle with Monterey Jack Cheese and layer with American Cheese Slices.  Cover with non stick foil (non stick side down) and bake for 40 minutes.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Jan 23, 2012

Leftover Chicken? Make Risotto

With just two people to cook for, we had leftover orange spice chicken.  We also had spinach and aroborio rice, so I made risotto.  To make, you need the following (pressure cooker is optional.  If not using, after browning the rice, add the liquid a little at a time, starting with the wine, until all is absorbed).

2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl Butter
12 ounces Arborio Rice
1.5 cups chicken stock
.5 cup white wine
2 cups shredded spinach
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
12 ounces cheese (I used mozzarella)
Salt to taste.

Heat olive oil and butter in the bottom of a pressure cooker.  Add the rice and sautee until brown.  Add the stock and wine (if not using wine, use 2 cups of stock). Put the lid on the pressure cooker and cook to the manufacturers directions (mine is 9 minutes).  When cooking time has ended, open the pressure cooker and stir in the spinach, chicken and cheese.  Cook until chicken and spinach are hot and cheese is melted.  Taste and add salt, as necessary.

Jan 22, 2012

Week 3 - 44.74

Nestled along the Lincoln Highway is a little town called Schellsburg, part of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.  Lincoln Highway was the first east-west corridor, starting in New York and ending in San Francisco.  Traveling this route in Pennsylvania will take you past such things as 18th century forts, state parks and a HUGE tea pot.  To learn more, check the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website at .

While in Schellsburg, you can enjoy turn of the century architecture as well as a trip to Shawnee Lake at Shawnee State Park.  Nearby Bedford Springs is also a location to visit.  Who knew a golf spa and resort would be nestled in the foothills of Pennsylvania (

Jan 21, 2012

Spiced Orange Chicken

I wanted to make chicken but I didn't want the same old chicken.  A friend had recently mentioned making orange chicken, so I decided to take my hand and making an orange chicken. This has a soft orange flavor and can be made in the oven or slow cooker.

  4 To 5 Lb Chicken                                                                   1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  1 Orange                                                                                4 Tbl Butter, Room Temperature

Remove the giblets from the chicken and rinse.  Pat dry.  Zest and peel the orange and break into segments, set aside.  Stir together butter, orange zest and cinnamon.  Stuff this under the skin of the chicken on top of the breast.  Put the orange segments in the cavity of the chicken.  Put in a slow cooker and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or put in a roasting pan and roast at 375 degrees for 1 to 1.5 hours.  Chicken is done when the breast registers 165 degrees.

Abby Update - I think she likes the snow.

While I realize that you cannot bottle puppy energy, I have learned that you can harness puppy energy, she certainly makes me more active.  BP (Before Puppy) - reaching 10,000 steps a day was a challenge.  AP (After Puppy) NOT reaching 10,000 steps a day is a challenge and most days, 15,000 is not out of the question.  This morning, it was the snow.  While we did not get to see her first snow as it was VERY early this year and before she came to live with us, it was very enjoyable watching her play in the snow in our yard for the first time.  Almost as soon as we went out the door, she was snow plowing with her face.  Once she was off leash, she was tearing around the yard at full speed.  Shoveling was a bit of a challenge - stopping every two shovels to kick the ball that was rolled to me and, if I didn't, going to stop her from digging a hole in the yard (yes, she started with the snow, but she kept going until she hit dirt).  All in all, I think she liked the snow.  What do you think?

Jan 19, 2012

Cream Cheese Frosting

As promised, here is the recipe for the frosting for yesterday's cake.  The recipe just calls for extract - you choose what flavor you want to make the cake.  You could also use cinnamon and make cinnamon frosting.  For yesterday's cake, use orange extract.

  8 Ounce Cream Cheese                                                           1 Lb Confectioners Sugar
  8 Ounce Butter                                                                        2 Tbl Extract

Whip all ingredients together and enjoy.

Jan 18, 2012

Blueberry Cake

This is a very simple dress up for a boxed cake mix when you want an easy WOW dessert.  I used a Betty Crocker Lemon Cake Mix.  I made an orange frosting to layer the cakes - that recipe will follow tomorrow.  The calorie count following the recipe is for the cake only.

  1 Pkg Lemon Cake Mix                                                          3 Large Eggs
  1/2 Cup Orange Juice                                                             1 Tbl Orange Zest
  1/2 Cup Water                                                                        1 Tbl Lemon Zest
  1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil                                                             1 1/2 Cups Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 9x3 or three 9x2 round cake pans, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, orange juice, water, oil, eggs and zests. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat for 2 minutes. Fold in blueberries (if they are frozen, the do not need to be thawed) and pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (may take longer with frozen blueberries). Cool layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks. Frost and enjoy.

Per Serving: 124 Cal (49% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 45% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 14 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 12 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 52 mg Sodium

Jan 17, 2012


Okay, I'll admit, I am always cold.  Hubby says I have a broken heater.  So when I woke up on Sunday morning to walk a half marathon and it was 19 degrees, I had serious doubts.  Had it not been for Abby needing to go for a walk, it is entirely likely that I would never have gotten out of bed.  Thankfully, I had invested in cold weather walking gear.  For my head, I had an Under Armor hat combined with a neck gator.  These combined nicely to cover my ears and keep them warm.  For my Core, I wore a Nike Compression top designed to wick moisture but still keep you warm (yes, you do need to wick moisture in the winter, you really do create it). 

On top of that, a wind/rain layer of a TekGear jacket.  This jacket is almost neoprene in feel and keeps you warm and dry. 

My pants were Sport Hill Winter Running pants with Zensah compression running cuffs on my calves.  Finally, I had a pair of Under Armour winter running gloves.

So, all in all, I was warm.  The only part that could have used another layer was the top half of my legs.  The pants I wore were not rated for as cold of a day.  If I have to do it over again, I would invest in winter running tights and layer them with a wind/rain layer, similar to the top.  I did not have frost bite, but I was chilled enough that it took several hours and a roaring fire until I could shake the cold.

If you are looking for cold weather gear, I like to shop with REI due to their policy of stewardship ( or in stores).  Their return/exchange policy is quick and easy.  However, If you don't live near a store and prefer to shop where you can try things on as opposed to online, I shop at Dick's Sporting Goods.  The only thing that was not purchased at either of these stores was the TekGear jacket - that was purchased at Kohl's.

No matter what you choose to buy or where you buy it, make sure you trust your gear.  The hardest thing I had to get used to was that I should NOT BE WARM when I start.  If I dressed to be warm, I was overheated and shedding layers by the end of the event.  This is the case with any brisk walk - if you are going more than about a mile, don't over dress.

Now get out there and get moving!

Jan 16, 2012

Broth or Stock?

Yesterday, I found myself wondering if there is a difference between broth and stock.  I have always used them interchangeably, but I have noticed a difference in flavor.  Although that could have been, and still could be, the fact that I use a canned broth vs using a homemade stock, I started looking for an answer.  This is what I found.

Broth is made by boiling meat and/or vegetables in water.  There may or may not be spices, such as thyme involved.  Generally, no bones are involved.  However, if you are using chicken legs or thighs, they may be there, but if they are not broken, I would still consider it a broth because you are not getting the additional depth from the marrow in the bones.  Broth could also be made by adding water to the drippings left behind from roasting a chicken or turkey.  This is often how I make my noodles at the holidays - I rinse the roasting pan well with hot water and use the resulting broth to cook the noodles as well as make the gravy.  If you have salted or spiced your meat in any way, those spices will be in the broth and flavor any other preparations you make with that broth.

Stock is made by cooking Mirepoix and your choice of meat and bones that have been broken in water.  It is much richer because the breaking or cutting of the bones allows the flavor from the bones and marrow to add depth to the liquid.  No spices or salt are used in order to make a neutral base.  In addition, stock is often boiled into a concentrate so you can store it in smaller containers and adding salt could make it too concentrated.  If you would like to learn more about making and freezing your own homemade stock, you can go to

Jan 15, 2012

Week 2 - 35.87

This week's trek continues thorough a wooded and very hilly area of Pennsylvania.  Most of the roads traveled wind through various Pennsylvania State Parks and Nature Preservation areas, including Colonel Denning State Park and Cowans Gap State Park.  Pennsylvania has many outdoor recreation areas for hiking, boating, hunting, camping and wildlife preservation.  Their website, , offers a searchable index of locations and activities.

At the end of the week, I am at the Fort Littleton Area of Pennsylvania.  This is quite nice as I spent a lot of time there with an Aunt and Uncle when I was little.  Lots of wooded area to run around in and a stream to play in kept me busy the better part of two weeks every year.  It is also near Burnt Cabins, known for it's Grist Mill (photo from the Burnt Cabins Grist Mill website.)

Jan 14, 2012

Soft White Frosting

This frosting is easy and stays soft but it is not fast.  The egg mixture needs whipped until you think the mixture is thick enough to hold the mixer up.  I usually mix it until I believe it is at that point and then whip 2 or 3 minutes more.  Even if under-whipped, it is good, but it will run when you frost and/or cut the cake.  The recipe calls for vanilla, but you can substitute any liquid flavor you like.

2 Egg Whites OR Egg Whites Powder reconstituted for 2 Egg Whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white syrup

Place all ingredients in the top of a double boiler and beat with an electric mixer until very thick.  Whip in 1 tsp vanilla flavoring and spread on cake.

Jan 13, 2012

Spicy Rigatoni - you choose your spice level

This is a nice way to sneak green leafy vegetables into your family meals.  When preparing the Swiss chard, make sure to remove the thick center veins - that will remove most of the bitterness.  Chop it fine, but not so fine that it runs out with the water when drained through your colander.  The recipe calls for Hot Italian Sausage, but you can use Mild or you can add some hot sauce to kick it up a notch.

  4 Tsp Olive Oil                                                                        1/4 Tsp Salt
  1 Lb Hot Italian Sausage                                                          16 Ounce Rigatoni
  4 Clove Garlic                                                                         2 Cups Swiss Chard, Veined And
  29 Ounce Diced Tomatoes                                                      -Chopped
  2 Tbl Dried Basil                                                                     8 Ounce Part-Skim Mozzarella
  1 Tbl Dried Oregano                                                                1/4 Cup Parmesan
  1/2 Cup Marinara Sauce                                                         

Put water to cook pasta in a large pot and place over heat to bring to a boil and turn your oven to 375 degrees.  Once water is boiling, cook pasta to package directions.  Stir in the Swiss Chard for the last 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium high heat.  Sauté sausage until browned.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, sauce and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and stir in the beans.  Maintain simmer until pasta is cooked.

When pasta is cooked, drain completely.  Stir into the sausage mixture.  Add Mozzarella and pour into a greased baking dish.  Top with Parmesan and bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serves 10 - Per Serving: 445 Cal (42% from Fat, 16% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 17 g Protein; 21 g Tot Fat; 7 g Sat Fat; 10 g Mono Fat;  47 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 10 g Sugar; 213 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 1081 mg Sodium

Jan 12, 2012

Drunken Chicken

This is a chicken dish that requires a little forethought to remember the marinade time, but it is well worth it.  Fresh or ginger powder can be used, it is your choice.  Keep in mind, chicken breast dries easily, and it will do so even though it is cooking in a liquid, so try not to allow it to cook too long.  If it does, it is still tasty, but it will dry out.  The instructions show use of a crock pot liner.  While not necessary, it does make clean up much nicer.  If not using one, still spray the inside of your crock pot pan with non stick cooking spray.

  1/2 Cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey                                               1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  1/2 Cup Semi Dry White Wine                                                2 Tbl Honey
  1/4 Tsp Pepper                                                                       4 Medium Chicken Breast
  1/2 Tsp Ginger                                                                        

Remove skin from the chicken and place bone side up in a 9 x 13 pan.   

Mix together all other ingredients and pour over the chicken.   

Marinade chicken over night and up to 24 hours.

Line a 6 quart slow cooker with a liner and spray with non stick cooking spray.

Place chicken bone side up in the pan.  

Pour marinade over the chicken and cook on high for about 3 hours or on low for about 6 hours (to an internal temperature of 165 degrees). 

Per 3 Ounce Serving: 236 Cal (10% from Fat, 57% from Protein, 33% from Carb); 21 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 12 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 9 g Sugar; 17 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 62 mg Sodium

Jan 11, 2012

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake

Recently, my sister in law posted that she couldn't decide if sauerkraut cake sounded good or not.  I have heard of it several times, but never tried it, and her post motivated me to change that.  In the photos below, you will see the sauerkraut draining in the new measuring cup/sieve from Pampered Chef, but a fine mesh sieve works just as well.  This cake is very good - the sauerkraut is not tasted at all and it adds some fiber to your diet.

  11 Tbl Butter                                                                         1 Tsp Baking Powder
  1 1/3 Cup Sugar                                                                     3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  3 Large Eggs                                                                         1/4 Tsp Salt
  1/2 Cup Special Dark Cocoa Powder                                      1 1/4 Cup water
  1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour                                                  3/4 Cup Sauerkraut
  1 Cup Cake Flour                                                                   

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.  Drain sauerkraut, rinse thoroughly, drain again.  Chop thoroughly and put in a fine mesh sieve and allow to drain until ready to use.

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time.   

Sift together cocoa, flours, baking powder, soda, and salt, and add alternately with water to egg mixture. Stir in

the sauerkraut. 

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 40 minutes or until a  wooden pick comes out clean.

Serves 16 - Per Serving (no frosting): 229 Cal (37% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 57% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 9 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 33 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 17 g Sugar; 30 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 206 mg Sodium

Jan 10, 2012

Spinach and Wild Rice Soup

This soup was a hit during the week in Pennsylvania when the temperatures had a hard time being two digits.  If using raw chicken, stir it in at the beginning as directed.  If using left over chicken, stir it in with the spinach.  You can use lower sodium chicken soup for this recipe and I would recommend it if you are using a canned chicken stock.  This recipe serves 6.

  2 Cups Water                                                                     1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  3 Cups Chicken Stock                                                        1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  10.75 Ounce Cream Of Chicken Soup                                 1 Lb Chicken Breast, Chopped
  2/3 Cups Black or Red or Long Grain Wild Rice                 3 Cups Spinach, Shredded

In a 4 quart slow cooker, stir together the water, broth, soup, rice, thyme, pepper and chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Stir about half way through and add another cup of water, if necessary (the rice will absorb quite a bit).

About 15 minutes before serving, stir in spinach.  

Per Serving: 276 Cal (20% from Fat, 43% from Protein, 37% from Carb); 30 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 26 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 183 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 1329 mg Sodium

Jan 9, 2012


When walking or running outside, always make sure you are being safe.  When you walk when it is dark, as I do often at this time of year, take extra steps to be seen.  Wearing light clothing is not enough.  As seen in this picture below, modeling what one would look like walking into traffic with a car behind you, visibility is almost non existent.  You can see that someone is there, but the camera would not even register enough to take a picture without the background light.

A lot of my walking clothes have small reflective patches, but most of them are less than 1 inch square and, in the instance of those in the center of my back at the top, are covered by my hair.  My winter walking coat has no reflective material and my winter coat has piping, but it is limited.  A flashlight helps, but can often be overpowered by headlights.

Enter the reflective belt, vest or strap.

In this example is the Amphipod reflective Xinglet.  I chose this so I had multiple planes of reflective surface that were not contained on a full vest that could contain heat in the summer.  With fully adjustable waist and shoulder straps made of a stretchy material, it is very comfortable to wear.  Hubby wants just a belt, which Amphipod also offers.  Another option would be a full vest.  Any of these options are available from Amphipod with just reflective material or with LED lights. This particular color also practically glows in pre-dawn and dusk lighting when headlights are not necessarily in use yet.

So walk often and walk safe.

Jan 8, 2012

Week 1 - 30.01

Week 1 has passed and with two surgery recoveries in the house, the mileage is a little low, but still a good start.  Hubby is recovering well, as is Abby.  This week I have 30.01 Miles, which would put me on route 641, still in PA, just outside of Newville (Above Images courtesy of

Jan 7, 2012

Farm Show

If you are in Pennsylvania the Second Week of January, you should plan on visiting the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  It showcases the best produce, livestock and youth participants to be found in Pennsylvania.  From Potato Donuts and Milkshakes to Quilts and Rodeos, there is something to interest everyone.  For two years, we have taken exchange students to this event.  Both of them truly enjoyed the High School Rodeo.  One of them found the auctioneer endlessly fascinating.  Kids love to see the animals, Adults like watching the kids in addition to being stunned by the varieties of fowl.  If you can't make it, why not make yourself some potato donuts?

Jan 4, 2012

Creamberry Pumpkin Bread

This is a nice high fiber bread that helps get your fruit and vegetables in addition to a little protein.  It is quite filling.  If you don't have 3 bread pans, make 10 - 12 muffins for each loaf pan you are making.  Bake for 45 minutes.

  2 1/4 Cup flour                                                                   1 2/3 Cups Sugar
  1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon                                                            2 Large Eggs
  1/2 Tsp Nutmeg                                                                  2 Cups Pumpkin
  1 Tbl baking powder                                                           1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  1/2 Tsp salt                                                                        2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  8 Ounce Cream Cheese                                                          

Combine flour, spices, baking powder, and salt in bowl; stir to blend the dry ingredients well.  

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.    

Add eggs, one at a time, and combine well.  

Add pumpkin and oil, beating until smooth. 

Stir in flour mixture.  Rinse and pick through the cranberries.

Stir them into the batter.  Spoon into 3 greased and floured 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. 

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Jan 3, 2012


I love to work on puzzles.  Izzy (our cat) loves to run off with puzzle pieces.  These two things do not mix.  I had a felt roll up mat.  If I can roll it up and put it away, my pieces wouldn't grow 4 furry white feet, right?  Not so much - he would stick his paw in the layers and run off with pieces, so I gave up on doing puzzles.  This year, as a thank you give, I received two puzzles.  Coincidentally, I had also received a catalogue for Bits and Pieces and, what to my wandering eyes did appear but a Jigsaw table.  No, not a table to hold a Jig Saw, but a self contained table for working on Jigsaw puzzles.  Yes, when I first saw it, I thought the price was a little steep as, at the time, I had no puzzles.  Then, after receiving the puzzles, I also received a coupon for 25% off at Bits and Pieces.  It was a sign - I could do puzzles again.  So, I ordered the table.  When not in use, it folds flat and has a handle for easy moving and storage.  The two silver dots on the top left of the table have a corresponding wood bar with magnets for standing your puzzle lid upright so you can see the picture.  On my wood bar, one of the magnets is missing.  I contacted Bits and Pieces for a replacement part.  The customer service representative said that they do not offer replacement parts but, instead, offered to send me another table along with a return shipping label.  It was great customer service.

The Culprit:

The Solution:
 When upright, you can lock the lid closed:
When you open the top, you will see two felt boards - these can be moved into the wings of the table for additional work space.