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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Kids say the Darndest Things...How juice is made!

      My youngest son is 12 and is autistic.  He functions more like a 4 year old in many ways as you will see in this video.  I share a funny story that happened recently.  I hope you get a good laugh out of it and while you are on Youtube, please be sure to subscribe to my channel so you never miss another video.




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Happiness is Homemade

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

      These bars are a lot like a chocolate chip cookie but "gooey-er".  They are so rich and yummy that you just can't eat just one.  They are simple to make and turn out perfectly each and every time.  It is our go-to dessert for company or for pot-lucks.  It is requested often and one taste and you will see why!

Perfect bar recipe, chocolate chip cookie bars, idea for potluck, most requested recipe


Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

2 cups flour
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 bag chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

        Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray.  
       
        In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and mix well.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  

Perfect bar recipe, chocolate chip cookie bars, idea for potluck, most requested recipe


       Pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. 

Perfect bar recipe, chocolate chip cookie bars, idea for potluck, most requested recipe

 Bake for 26 minutes.  It is done with the edges are wrinkled and the middle is pale looking.  It may look underdone but it is really good this way.  

Perfect bar recipe, chocolate chip cookie bars, idea for potluck, most requested recipe



    Now, cut into bars and serve.  Warm with a glass of milk is divine.

Perfect bar recipe, chocolate chip cookie bars, idea for potluck, most requested recipe


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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mexican Casserole

      Our family really likes casseroles.   There is just something about a good casserole that is not only filling but very comforting too.  One casserole we like to have every single week is my Mexican Casserole.

Mexican casserole, mexican beef and rice casserole, homecooked casserole, tostadas

      Mexican Casserole

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
3 c. prepared rice
1 1/2 c. Mexican style cheese
1 c. frozen mixed vegetables
1 c. Thick and Chunky salsa
1 c. chicken broth
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (do not drain)
4 oz. cream cheese
toastadas and corn chips

Mexican casserole, mexican beef and rice casserole, homecooked casserole, tostadas

        Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

        In a large pot, brown your meat.  Drain and return to the pot.

Mexican casserole, mexican beef and rice casserole, homecooked casserole, tostadas


       Stir into the pot, 1 cup of the cheese, the cream cheese, taco seasoning, rice, mixed veggies, tomatoes, salsa and chicken broth.  

       Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom of the dish with the tostada chips.

Mexican casserole, mexican beef and rice casserole, homecooked casserole, tostadas


       Now pour the beef mixture over the tostadas.  Then crumble up some corn chips and sprinkle over the top.

Mexican casserole, mexican beef and rice casserole, homecooked casserole, tostadas
Ready to go into the oven.


      Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top and cook for 3 more minutes.  Remove and enjoy.

Mexican casserole, mexican beef and rice casserole, homecooked casserole, tostadas



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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adopting and Raising a Dwarf Rabbit

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,

      Choosing to adopt dwarf rabbits is more and more frequent among pet lovers. This is because these mini bunnies have this reputation of being particularly adapted to kids, thanks to their calmness and tender character. The little bunnies are also easy to tame and can live in relatively small spaces. If you are considering getting a cute and loving pet that is able to adapt well to your apartment, a dwarf rabbit may be an excellent choice.

      Here are some useful tips to help you take care of these little balls of fluff. 

Which breed to choose?

There is a multitude of breeds. As they basically have the same needs and character traits, your choice will mainly depend on your preference in terms of appearance (fur color, shape,…etc.).
As far as I’m concerned, I find the following rabbit breeds to be most attractive. Of course the list is very long and choices are almost infinite. 

The polish rabbit

(Photo credit: Svadilfari via VisualHunt.com /  CC BY-ND)
      As he originated at the end of the 19th century, he is believed to be the oldest dwarf rabbit. The polish bunny has a white fur and bulging pink or light blue eyes.


The Lionhead

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,

     As his name suggests, this bunny looks just like a lion due to the long hair around his head. Although introduced in the US back in 1999, this breed is still little-known among rabbit lovers.


The dwarf Angora


The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,
ð  (Photo credit: distar97 via Visual hunt /  CC BY-ND)

      An adorable ball of fluff, the dwarf Angora has a beautiful fringe on the forehead, sideburns on the cheeks and hair tufts in the tips of his ears.


The dwarf Rex

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,


     The dwarf Rex is very well known for his fine and upright coat. The coat has an amazingly plush feel. For families looking for first-time pets for their children, the mini Rex is an excellent option thanks to his extremely kind character.



Male or female?

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,


      There’s a tendency to think that a female would be gentler than a male. This is not the case. The calmness of the bunnies depends on his/her sexual impulses. The less impulse he/she has, the more obedient he/she will be. Anyways, rabbits available in pet shops are mostly males as breeders prefer to keep females for reproduction purposes.

      For many reasons, it is preferable to have your bunny sterilized. This will make him calmer and cleaner. The operation is done at the veterinarian and is totally riskless. The bunny recovers from it fast: after only one day, he gets his full energy back.


Hygiene

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,

      Like with a cat, it is quite easy to get your rabbit do his business in a specific place.  If he lives in a cage, he will choose himself a corner where he would always defecate. Otherwise, you will have to be firm on the matter at first. For this, do not hesitate to scold him if you surprise him doing it in a wrong place and show him the right location. However, do not use any form of physical punishment. This will make him fear you, and you do not want that.

       The cleanliness of your bunny also depends on his living space. If he lives in a cage, he needs a large enough space that contains a corner where he sleeps, another where he eats, and of course a separated “bathroom”.

      By nature, a rabbit likes to be always clean. That is why he grooms himself many times a day. For this reason, it is necessary to frequently clean the cage (every 2 or 3 days). If not, he won’t do his business inside it and would rather do it in a cleaner place (Couch, house corners…Etc).

Free or in a cage?

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,
(Photo credit: JaseMan via Visualhunt /  CC BY)

      You can choose to keep your bunny as a free-range pet, meaning without using a cage. In this case, he would have access to the whole house. If you do so, don’t forget that likes to gnaw. If you don’t wish for him to end up as a roasted rabbit, it is then necessary to hide all electric wires. Rabbits are also keen on paper, carton and even wood sometimes. So do not let books at his disposition, or he will cut them to pieces.

      If you prefer to use a cage, keep in mind that you need to let him free for one hour a day at least as he needs to stretch his legs, to run and jump around freely. The best option is to put the cage in your room; your bunny will enjoy your company and would be happier. 


Food

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,

       Two types of food are absolutely necessary for your little rabbit: Hay and fiber rich vegetables. You can also use mixes of seeds and vegetable patties available in all hypermarkets. While hay should be always at his disposition, give patties only in the morning. As dwarf bunnies tend to rapidly go over-weight, try to permanently keep control over food rations.

       You can provide fresh fruits and vegetables as well. As you may know, rabbits are fond of carrots, apples and other radishes and salads. Here again, provide only small proportions to keep control over your bunny’s weight and intestinal transit which may cause rabbit anorexia.


Veterinary care

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,

      The main care is vaccination. There are two mandatory yearly vaccinations, one against Myxomatosis and the other against VHD (Viral Hemorrhagic Disease). Be cautious to symptoms of these two diseases as they can be fatal.

       Another important care is related to teeth.  The rabbit’s teeth are like nails, they permanently grow. Normally, lower and upper teeth mutually wear out while chewing rough food. However, they sometimes grow out of place. In this case, it is necessary to trim his teeth regularly (once or twice a month). Although it is preferable to get your veterinarian do it, you still can perform this operation yourself using an adequate small clamp. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt him. 


Understand your bunny’s language

The best dwarf rabbit breeds, adopting a baby rabbit, raising a dwarf rabbit,


       A rabbit is generally quiet unless he is somewhat frustrated (he would then emit a sound like loud snoring) or feeling a pain (he would loudly scream).  Otherwise, he would use his body language to express himself. 

Here are some examples:

If he repeatedly pokes you with his head, he’s is asking for caresses.

If he repeatedly hits the grounds with his leg, he’s either asking for attention or he’s frightened by something (Often an unusual noise).

If he rubs his teeth against each other, he’s is feeling good.

The position of your bunny’s eyelids is also an indicator. Half closed eyes are a sign of comfort while wide open eyes are a clear indicator of fear. 


Final thoughts

      A dwarf rabbit is not a toy. He is rather a fragile pet that needs daily attention. I find it inconceivable to let him by himself even for 48 hours. When you go on vacation, take him with you or leave him with a trustworthy person who will be able to provide the minimum care during your absence.      
                       
     Lastly, a rabbit is appreciates good care and is generally very grateful for it. But he can also be overly resentful and would do everything to upset you. 


Thank you to our guest post writer:  Marvin Delany!

Be sure to check out my post on Growing Fodder for your Farm Animals!

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