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Back Again After a Short Break

Dear Family, Friends, Subscribers, and Visitors,

I’ve been remiss in not posting very much since Thanksgiving of 2011, and I know you have wondered where the “Hot Flashes in the Pan” videos have been.  You will be glad to know that I will be focused more on bringing all types of new information, articles, videos, photos, and a whole new array of projects in 2012.  I took  a short hiatus to work over at my Church, tend to our business of forensic work, went through the holidays, preparing the taxes for the IRS submission, etc.

Featured on my blog will be some of the projects I worked on at the Church which can be applied to all other situations & locations, including your home.  My husband and I also put together a website for the church which I think is pretty phenomenal, if I do say so myself.  It’s a tiny little church, about 80 members, but you just can’t imagine all the things that this little congregation does and gets accomplished.  If you would like, please go to the site:  www.sanmateopresbyterianchurch.com and see all the events, activities, projects, and everything that this church does.  The previous church that we were members of has over 1,200 members, and they don’t do or accomplish anywhere near what our little San Mateo church accomplishes.  Hope you enjoy seeing our “little” church.

I thank you for your patience and understanding while I was away, and really appreciate you keeping up with my blog.  So get ready for a New Year, 2012 will be an fun, exciting, & beautiful time for us all!

Yours very truly,


Cooking Tip of the Day: Use Rubber Gloves

Whenever you are cooking with raw meet, particularly chicken, I find it easy and sanitary to use a pair of disposable gloves when handling the raw meat.  When you are finished with the raw meat, then you can take the gloves off, throw them in the trash, and continue cooking with your vegetables or whatever other ingredients are in your dish.  This will alleviate the cross-contamination of the meat, fish, or poultry juices with any of the rest of your ingredients.

I find that you can usually get the best price on these gloves at one of those big box stores.  They usually come in a double box pak, so they will last you a pretty long time.  I also use them when I’m cutting up onions, peppers, or any other type of food that I don’t want to smell up my hands, or get raw meat, poultry, or fish juices on.

You know, I have been doing this for years, and just the other day Nate Berkus has one of those “celebrity chefs” on his show doing a cooking lesson and she talked about this very same thing.  I thought GEEEZ, I’ve been doing that for years!  Maybe somehow she telepathically got my message (you never know!).

Cooking Tip of the Day: Adding Beans

If you want to increase the portion of a ground meat base that you are making, whether it’s beef, turkey, pork, etc. and do it economically and healthy, try adding some beans to the mixture.  You can use dry beans that you cooked, even left over cooked beans will work.  The easiest method for me is to add beans that are in the can already prepared.  You can used pinto, black bean, kidney beans, white beans, or whichever are your favorites.  If you don’t want to make your meat mixture more on the dry side, then be sure and drain the liquid from the can beans.  If you want to have a little “gravy” in your meat mixture, then leave the liquid and pour in the whole can.

By adding beans, you not only expand the dish to feed more people, which is great if you have a large family or are cooking for a family gathering or party, but you also add the healthy benefits of fiber and antioxidants from the beans.  It also add texture to your meat base.  Then you can use the meat base mixture for spaghetti sauce, tacos, enchiladas, meat pies, etc.


Cooking Tip of the Day: Be Creative with Herbs

Sweet Basil Blooming

Sweet Basil Blooming

Whether you have an herb garden, or if you buy herbs at the store, don’t be afraid to be creative with your herbs.  On my patio I have growing Sweet Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, Mint, and Sage.  Even though a recipe may call for one particular type of herb, let’s say you don’t have that type of herb, then use another type.  What I like to do is clip a sprig of each type of herb I have, wash it thoroughly, take off the leaves, and chop all the different types of herbs together.  You would be surprised the melody of flavors that come from preparing a meal that way.

One dish that I prepare uses the cod fish fillets that I get frozen at the big box store such as Costco.  After defrosting, I put the fillets in a small skillet (1 fillet per person usually) with a little bit of olive oil (about a teaspoon or so) and then I chop up a mixture of all my herbs and sprinkle the chopped herbs on top of the fish fillets and cover so the fish will steam cook for about 15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flaky when you use a fork.

Another great idea for the “herb mixture” is to make a salad using whatever type of garden greens you like.  I usually use a mixture of Romaine and Red Leaf lettuce, maybe some cucumber, carrots, celery, tomatoes, etc.  Then I add the “herb mixture” and toss it thoroughly.  Then try not using any salad dressing, maybe just a squirt of lemon or lime, maybe a small dash of olive oil.  You will be amazed at how flavorful your salad is.  You can taste all the individual herbs, your taste buds will thank you for such an aromatic explosion of flavors.  And you will save a lot of calories by not using a heavy, creamy salad dressing!  Try it once and you will change the way you have salads.




Bar Code

Bar Code

Let’s go for Made in America!!  ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY–NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE SAYS, TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK–CAREFULLY!  With all the food and pet products now coming from China, it is best to make sure you read label at the grocery store and especially Walmart when buying food products.  Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located.  It is important to read the bar code to track it’s origin.

How to read Bar Codes …. interesting!  This may be useful to know when grocery shopping, if it’s a concern to you. GREAT WAY TO “BUY USA & CANADA ” AND NOT FROM CHINA!!  The whole world is concerned about China-made “black hearted goods”.  Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China?

If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690, 691, or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA.  471 is made in Taiwan.  This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to educate ourselves.

Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products “Made In China” so they don’t show from which country it is made.  However, you may now refer to the bar code  — remember if the first 3 digits are:

690, 691, 692 — Made In China

00 – 09 — Made in the USA & Canada

30 – 37 — Made in France

40 – 44  — Made in Germany

471 — Made in Taiwan

49 — Made in Japan

50 — Made in the UK

Please buy USA and Canadian made by watching for “0” at the beginning of the number.  We need every boost we can get!  If the government won’t help us, we must help ourselves.


Hot Flashes in the Pan YouTube Videos

Hot Flashes in the Pan YouTube Videos

Critter Corner

Alligators In Our Yard!

July 17, 2012

  You have to look real close, but the gator is resting behind the sago palm and the water’s edge.  Needless to say, I too these photos from inside the house and did not go out to get a closer inspection. The Alligator Trapper caught “the big one” which was 12 foot plus.  Here he […]

Back Again After a Short Break

February 2, 2012

Dear Family, Friends, Subscribers, and Visitors, I’ve been remiss in not posting very much since Thanksgiving of 2011, and I know you have wondered where the “Hot Flashes in the Pan” videos have been.  You will be glad to know that I will be focused more on bringing all types of new information, articles, videos, […]

Shepherd in a Manger

November 20, 2011

  Found on the Internet / Facebook: A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard. During the night, someone came across this. An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there […]

Tale of the Missing Socks

September 17, 2011

My cat Penelope wears socks.  Yes, you heard correctly, socks.  She’s a little over 15 years old now and has arthritis in her back legs.  This causes her to be a little unsteady when using the litter box.  Sometimes, not always, but sometimes after she tinkles she looses her balance and steps in the clump of […]

Pets and the Joy They Bring

September 16, 2011

Having a pet, be it a cat, dog, bird, fish, horse, pig, or whatever furry creature you relate to, is a positive and healthy experience.  Studies have proven that they can extend our lives, lower our blood pressure, and pretty much make us feel good all over because they give us unconditional love. You may […]