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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mini Frittata Recipe

        We love to make up a huge batch of Mini Frittatta's.  They are so simple to make and little kids really enjoy them.  The best thing about them is they are easy to adapt to your own family's taste (just like an omelet that you add whatever mix-ins you desire) and you can make a bunch in a short time with minimal work.

Mini Frittata

                                        10 eggs                                    1/2 c. milk
                                        1/2 tsp. salt                              1 c. shredded cheese
                                        1/4 tsp. pepper                          1 T. parsley
                                        3 T. bacon bits                          diced bell peppers


    Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Put a bit of diced pepper into each muffin tin and a bit of shredded cheese.  Next, in a large bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients together.

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 Pour the egg mixture into the pan.  I fill it up to about the top.  These will puff up real big during baking but will collapse and flatten out.  You bake them for about 11-12 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Let cool for a minute or two and enjoy.

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I know they look smashed  and unattractive but they are so yummy!

Using the 10 eggs and the ingredients listed above, this recipe made 30 of the mini frittatas. 
They can be stored easily in the refrigerator for several days and reheated in a 325 degree oven for a few minutes or "nuked" in the microwave. 



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Monday, February 25, 2013

Mondays With Countrified Hicks #4

    Last week's most clicked upon posts (in no particular order) are:









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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Guest Post: Are You Programmed to AM or FM?

   Today I have the honor of having a guest post from JoAnn Kline.  JoAnn M. Kline, MBA, is a lifelong learner, entrepreneur, author, and writer.  She endeavors to motivate and empower others through her life's journey to serve God.  JoAnn stays busy with her Facebook Page, The Business of Home, and she also author's two columns called "Contentment Quest" and "Savvy Cents & Sensibility" through the monthly newspaper publication called "The Valley Newspaper


Are Your Programmed to AM or FM?
by JoAnn M. Kline
            Many of us have a favorite radio station that we enjoy listening to, or a favorite TV channel that we tune into daily.  But, what about “your” channel?  What are “you” programmed to?  Is your personal channel programmed to AM (against me) or FM (for me)?  Before I continue, I guess I should issue a disclaimer that I in no way am insinuating that one type of radio channel is better than the other – AM or FM.  I am simply using the AM and FM letters to get my point across for this month’s article.
            What are you tuned into on a daily basis?  Are you tuned into a lifestyle and life circumstances that are AM (against me), or are you bebop’n to life circumstances on the FM (for me) dial?  Research has concluded that our health can be affected by our self-talk.  The Mayo Clinic determined that our outlook on life and our attitudes toward ourselves can affect our physical health.  Some research studies have shown that our personality traits (such as being positive or negative thinkers) can affect many areas of our health and well-being.  Positive thinking is associated with proper stress management, and effective stress management is associated with health benefits.  On the flip side, negative thinking, pessimistic attitudes, and negative self-talk are all associated with dis-ease in the body and mind.  The dis-ease also known as anxiety, worry, and agitation can result in health deterioration over time.  I know I have said it a million times, but it’s worth repeating again, we all must work hard to rid negative thinking tendencies from our life.  Many times negative thinking is a byproduct of the automatic thoughts we produce as a result of our human “conditioning.”  In other words, negative thinking and self-talk has become a habit.  Habits can be ingrained in us, and often they are ingrained over many years, but habits can be broken or altered.  It is our own personal decision to determine where we want to tune our thinking and doing dial – AM or FM.
            Researchers continue to explore the benefits of positive thinking and optimism on health.  The Mayo Clinic listed several health benefits on their website that are linked to positive thinking.  Below is a short list of some of the benefits:
·         Increased life span
·         Lower rates of depression
·         Lower levels of distress
·         Greater resistance to the common cold
·         Better psychological and physical well-being
·         Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
·         Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
One research theory deems that positive thinkers cope better with stressful situations therefore they experience less harmful effects of stress.
      Do you know how to spot and identify negative self-talk?  Common forms of negative self-talk are:
Filtering – Magnification of the negative aspects while filtering out positive aspects.  For example, you had a relatively productive day at work but you choose to focus on the one thing that you didn’t get accomplished.  Another instance is filtering what you see in other people.  For example, you choose to “see” or discuss lack rather than credit people for accomplishments they attained.  You may see someone who is struggling to find adequate employment or choose to further their education, rather than settle for their current underemployment situation.  But rather than support them for their efforts to better themselves you focus on criticisms – which just creates more stress for the individual.
Personalizing – The act of automatically blaming yourself when something bad occurs.  For example, you were looking forward to an evening out with friends but plans got cancelled.  You believe the plans were cancelled because no one wanted to be around you.
Catastrophing – You always anticipate the worst.  Something goes wrong in you everyday life and you assume the remainder of your day will be a disaster.  For example, you order coffee at the local drive-thru window, you pick-up, pay for the order, and leave.  You sip the coffee to find it is bitter and black when you ordered sugar and cream – entire day ruined!
Polarizing – You see things as either good or bad – no middle ground.  In your mind, if things aren’t perfect, then it’s a total failure.  For example, you work extra hard on a school assignment and receive the grade of a “B” rather than the anticipated “A” for all of the hard work and sacrificing necessary to give the assignment all you got.  You are downtrodden about the “B” because it wasn’t the coveted “A” rather than rejoicing in the fact that it still a good grade.
      Here are some examples of negative self-talk turned positive from the Mayo Clinic’s website http://www.mayoclinic.com:
·         I’ve never done that before – It’s an opportunity to learn something new
·         I don’t have the resources – I’ll tackle it from a different angle
·         I’m too lazy to get this done – I will re-examine my priorities
·         There’s no way that will work! – I can try to make it work
·         No one communicates with me – I will open the channels of communication
·         I’m not good at this – I will give it another (and another, and another) try
We can choose to focus on positive thinking is we so wish.  The process to turn negative thinking and self-talk into positive thinking and self-talk is simple, yet it does require a bit of practice.  If you are ready to change your channel and tune into the FM frequency here are a few ways to behave more positively:
·         Identify areas to change – what must change? What do you think negatively about?
·         Check yourself – periodically stop and think about what you are thinking and feeling at that moment.  Is it good or bad?
·         Welcome humor – Laugh, smile, seek humor and joy in all aspects of your day.
·         Follow a healthy lifestyle – eat healthy, get exercise & rest, and practice deep breathing
·         Surround yourself with positive people – DO NOT give negative people any space in your life.  Only give space to those who support you and your endeavors.
·         Practice positive self-talk – DO NOT say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.  Give yourself the same respect & honor you offer others.
Set the dial to FM frequency today.  The world needs more optimism and positivity.  The world needs you to be the best you can possibly be.  The world needs you to have the strength and focus to reach your fullest potential.  The world needs you to help spread the light – spread the positivity.  Are you up for it?  Are you up for contributing to what the world needs?  Of course you are!  Get up, get tuned in to FM, give the world your best, and watch the light spread!

“The one who is optimistic is able to spread the rays of happiness all around... He is able to enjoy seeing only this positive aspect, filling himself with positivity, the happiness spreads around and touches the lives of those around.”  ~Brahma Kumaris
                       

JoAnn’s book: An Arduos Ascent: The Climb of a Lifetime available at www.westbowpress.com; www.amazon.com; and www.barnesandnoble.com.".



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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dehyrdrating

   My husband bought me an Oster dehydrator a year ago this past Christmas.  I had wanted one forever but  after I got it, I never used it.  Never until this past week that is.  Finally opened her up and thought I'd see how it went.  Well, basically, we have been dehydrating non-stop.  We love it.  Just wanted to share some of it with you all.
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Mushrooms cut up and ready to go into the dehydrator.


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The dehydrated mushrooms.

   Dehydrated mushrooms can be re-hydrated in water or just pop them into soup, dressing, stew, sauce, or casserole and let them cook with the rest of the ingredients.


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The dehydrated oranges.
  Dehydrated oranges make a great snack.  They also can be cut up and put into a marmalade.  Or use them in a marinade for meat.  Put them in a stew, or toss one into your iced tea glass or hot tea glass.  Cook them in with some sweet potatoes or fish, or in your homemade bread, or even in a salad.  (Okay, I'm making myself hungry!)

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The bananas all cut up and put into the dehydrator. 
   Banana chips make such a great snack.  Yum!

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Dehydrated limes.
The lemons and limes can be tossed into a glass of water or tea for flavoring.  You can also add them to a soup for some extra flavoring.  Just be sure to remove it before you eat the soup because of the peel.  You can grind up the lemons for lemon powder or to make lemon pepper seasoning or use the powder in jams.  Or you can throw some into the crock-pot with your chicken for some extra "oomph".

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Dehydrated lemons. 
How do you like to eat/use your dehydrated food?



  If you are looking to buy a dehydrator, here is the link to the exact kind that I use.  I have had mine for 3 years and use it often and LOVE it and best yet, they are less than $40!  Oster dehydrator
 




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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Super Easy Pumpkin Muffins

   For those of you who have limited time for meals, this one is for you.  These taste soooo good and are soooo easy.

Super Easy Pumpkin Muffins

1 box Spice Cake
1 can 100% pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves

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   Preheat your oven to the temperature stated on the spice cake box.  In a large  bowl, mix the dry cake mix, spices, and pumpkin together.  You do not need to add any other ingredients.  Mix well and pour into sprayed muffin tins and bake. 

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Muffin tin
 Bake the muffins for the same temperature called for on the cake mix box for a cake.  That is it.  The taste so delicious and go great with a cup of coffee (or two). 

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Ready to eat!


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Mondays with Countrified Hicks #3

Don't forget to grab the "button" on the right hand side of the page.

   Last week I messed up and did not do the link up with photos.  Sorry for my mistake.  I am learning and hope I will get this all figured out soon.  We ended up with 58 link ups last week.  (Hoping to reach over 100 like the first week this week).  Anyway, the most clicked on entry last week was:

Front Line Moms and their post on The Top 10 things I want my Daughters to know about Boys
                                          AND
Yesterfood and their post on Oven Tacos

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homemade Waffles Recipe

   I don't know about you but Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day.  It is right up there with Lunch and Supper.  ;-)  Today, I am going to teach ya how to make waffles.   These are not the frozen kind out of a box.  These are the homestyle ones that make ya smile from just their aroma.

Homemade Waffles

                                        2 c. flour                                             4 tsp. baking powder
                                        4 T. sugar                                           1 tsp. salt
                                        2 eggs                                                1 1/2 c. milk   
                                        1/4 stick margarine                              2 T. vanilla

      First, mix the dry ingredients together.  Heat up the waffle iron.

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 In another bowl, beat the eggs and then stir in the rest of the wet ingredients.  Once they are stirred up, pour the wet into the dry.  Stir well.
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 Once the waffle iron is heated up, pour the batter in and cook.  
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   ****AND BE SURE TO COME DO OUR WEEKLY LINK-UP (starts every Monday). ****


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Monday, February 11, 2013

Poor Bubba...

     My 15 year old son, bless his heart, is clumsy.  Well, clumsy is an understatement.  The boy falls or trip or hurts himself at least 5 times a day.  We generally contribute it all to his big feet.  His feet seem to grow faster than the rest of him and we tell him he is still trying to get the hang of his big clown feet.  The rest of him has to catch up.  Anyway, I was in my office yesterday and I heard a faint "Help!".  I get up and go outside and this is what I see.
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   Yep, there he sat all forlorn looking.  The day before, he and his dad, dug up a tree stump and filled the deep hole with dirt.  Well, it rained all night long and became a muddy pit and then along came Bub, who had forgot about the hole, and this is how I found him.
Life with the Gravitts, clumsy teenage years, stuck in the mud, poor Bubba
Don't he look pitiful?


Life with the Gravitts, clumsy teenage years, stuck in the mud, poor Bubba
Yep, he's in there good.


Life with the Gravitts, clumsy teenage years, stuck in the mud, poor Bubba
Almost past his boots.

   So, after laughing, I went inside to call my hubby.  He had gone into town and with my MS, I knew I couldn't pull him out on my own.  The mud had sucked him in there good and it was so tight, he couldn't even pull his feet out of the boots.

   So...I'm inside making the call and guess what?  My 8 year old came out to see what all the commotion was about and I guess he wanted to join his big brother.


Life with the Gravitts, clumsy teenage years, stuck in the mud, poor Bubba
       Yep.  You guessed it.  He stepped off into the mud hole too.  (Thankfully, he removed all his clothing, but his underwear first)
     See, he looks a lot happier about his situation though.  So I get to call Ron, my hubby, back and let him know he has TWO children to help out of the mud now.  Only in our family!!!!

Click here to see what happened to Bub another time!

    

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mondays with Countrified Hicks #2

   Welcome to my 2nd ever Link-Up.  Last week was incredible.  We had over 100 link-ups, 111  to be exact, in our very 1st week.  Amazing!  Thank you everyone.  I could not have done it without you all.  Let's make this week even better!

   The most clicked on post was from Are We Crazy or What? and their post on How to Make and Can Applesauce and Apple Butter.
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 The 2nd most viewed was John from Chef Not Included and his Cinnamon Pie


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Three posts that we really enjoyed (in no particular order) are:
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    Congratulations to each one of you.  If you were featured, feel free to grab the "Featured" button below for your blog. 
**********If you joined up earlier and do not see your link, I had some issues and had to redo this.  Sorry for this and please relink up! ********************


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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Root Cellar

    I have been wanting a root cellar FOREVER.  One of our chest deep freezes went kaput awhile back so my hubby stripped it of its motor, etc. and set to work giving me a make-shift root cellar.  I am so happy.

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Here is the chest deep freeze before burial. 

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Breaking ground...

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Buried!

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My 15 year old son who helped dig the hole. 

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My hubby:  the brains and brawn of this project!


   So, that's it.  It is done.  The average temperature inside it is between 52-55 degrees.  Right now I am keeping some potatoes and carrots in there.



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Monday, February 4, 2013

Button design

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mondays with Countrified Hicks BLOG HOP

   Welcome to the 1st ever "Mondays with Countrified Hicks".  Be sure to become a "follower" on the right hand side of the page and follow us on Facebook too (http://www.facebook.com/countrifiedhicks).

Also, be sure to link to a SPECIFIC post and not your main blog page.  Please do not link up more than 3 different things a week.  It would be extra sweet of you to visit the others posters too.


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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baked Potatoes

   Okay, you may be thinking, why in the world is she telling us how to make a baked potato?  They are easy.  Well, the art of making potatoes seem to be lost.  The microwave about ruined people and made them forget how much better an Oven Baked Potato truly is.  When you bake a potato in the oven properly, it is art.  Beautiful, delicious art that will make your mouth water.

Oven Baked Potatoes

   Russet potatoes
Sea Salt
oil

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Sea Salt...makes food taste better!

    First scrub your potatoes to get all the dirt and stuff off of them.  Tear off pieces of foil.  Tear pieces big enough to fully encase each potato.  Then pour some oil in your hands and rub it all over each potato to be sure each potato is completely covered.  Put each potato on a sheet of foil and generously sprinkle the sea salt over it.  
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Oiled and sprinkled with sea salt.

Wrap up securely and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes).  
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Ready to go into the oven.


 I cook about a dozen a week at one time and then just place the ones not eaten in the refrigerator to be warmed up and enjoyed for another meal.

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Perfection!

  They turn out beautifully.  Crisp skins and fluffy center.  These taste so good they do not even require butter or sour cream.  You can eat them plain!





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