Free Helpful On-line Tools for Weight Loss

You can find lots of diet books and guides that help you count calories or carbohydrates in print or PDF.  As well as cookbook for planning meals at home.  Sometimes you need to know information when you are away from your books and printed paper sheets.  Or maybe it is not a nutritional diet plan but rather a physical activity plan.  Perhaps you plan to go to a store as you are looking to buy some exercise equipment so you can work our at home, rather than a gym or walking around town.

Below are a few links you might want to take a look at, then bookmark/favorite the ones you think you will use often.
  • Calories burned per exercise or equipment type on FatBurn.com 
  • Workout videos for popular equipment types on YouTube channel OldWorkoutVidz 
  • Daily caloric intact to reach weight loss goal calculator on VeryWellFit.com 
  • Calories for fast food chain by restaurant/brand and food/drink category on CalorieKing.com
  • Calories for fast food menus by restaurant/brand on NutritionIX.com
  • Calories and serving size for foods at home to plan shopping on WebMD.com
Help me build a better list!  If you know a calculator site or downloadable PDF page, share the link in comments on this post.  I will review it and decide if it is a good one to add.  Thanks!


It’s Fruit Cobbler Season! Two Recipes for Quick and Easy Fruit Cobblers

Peach Cobbler
I love cobblers!  Even as a child, when my mom would ask what I wanted for my birthday, my reply was either Pound Cake or Peach Cobbler!  Mom would say, “You can’t have cobbler as a birthday cake.”  So of course, it would be the pound cake.  The cake was usually preceded by or followed by a cobbler within 2-3 days. 

Sometime after I got married, I began a pursuit of the perfect (yet easy) peach cobbler.  I found what I thought was the perfect recipe for me in the June 1982 issue of Southern Living in a column called “Scrumptious Fruit Cobblers in a Hurry.”  The prized peach cobbler recipe was sent to the magazine by Mrs. Horace Edwards of McCormick, SC.  Besides peach, the column included blackberry, cherry, and apricot cobblers.  Below is Mrs. Edward’s recipe with my notes plus a recipe from my grandmother that is very similar using canned fruit.  Both make a cake-type cobbler rather than a piecrust style.

Mrs. Edwards Fresh Peach Cobbler (circa 1982)
Ingredients:
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups sugar, divided (Note – you only need 1 cup if using pre-sweetened jar or can of peaches)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of salt
¾ cup milk
2 cups peeled and sliced peaches
Directions:
1, Melt butter in a 2-quart baking dish.
2, Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt; add milk and stir until mixed.
3. Pour batter over butter in baking dish, but do not stir.
4. Combine peaches and remaining 1 cup sugar; spoon over the batter. Do not stir.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Yields: 6-8 servings

Grandma Parrish’s Quick Fruit Cobbler (circa 1985)
Ingredients:
1 stick margarine
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 level teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup milk
1 can fruit (peaches, cherries, apples, berries)
Directions:
1. Melt margarine in a baking dish.
2. Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder, with milk to make a thin batter.
3. Pour batter over melted margarine, and put fruit on top of batter.
4. Bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

If you would prefer a cool dessert, check out family’s vintage ice-box (aka refrigerator) recipes in Five Cool Spring thru Summer Desserts.  Or if you prefer a stove-type almost-cobbler, check out Cherry Crumb Cake recipe.

Men's Gifts for Father's Day

Past posts on this blog for father or husband gifts have included jewelry and technology gift-giving around Christmas time.  Links to both ideas and deals were in those posts.

Below are a few links suggesting new ideas to check out for Father's Day this year:




    Quick and Easy Cherry Crumb Cake Recipe

    Cherries on Tree
    When my mother asked my husband to prepare a favorite dessert for her, it was always Cherry Crumb Cake.  Although, he was quick to say it was his friend Faith’s recipe.  And Faith would say a friend gave it to here and so-on.  No matter who, when, where the origin of it. My family has been making this recipe since the late 1970’s. 

    You can call it a cake, a crumble, or a cobbler!  Take it to a family event or other social gathering.  No matter – it is always gone in a matter of minutes.  My aunt loves this easy recipe too.  She even made her own all-American variation by using canned apple pie filling instead of cherries, and she uses walnuts instead of pecans.  Let me know in the comments if you come up with a variation that your friends and family love too.

    Cherry Crumb Cake 

    Ingredients
    1 stick butter or margarine
    1 package yellow cake mix (do NOT get the pudding in the mix type)
    ½ cup nuts (we southerners typically use pecans)

    Directions
    1. Pour cherry pie filling into a 9-inch square pan.
    2. In a large saucepan on top of stove, melt butter/margarine. Remove from heat.
    3. Add cake mix and nuts to saucepan. (Stir until all is covered with butter and forms crumbles.)
    4. Pour or spoon crumbly mixture over pie filling.
    5. Bake about 30 minutes (until lightly browned and firm on top) at 350 degrees.

    Pearl sizes and necklace strand lengths

    Below is a common pearl size in millimeter (MM) infographic shared thanks to The Pearl Source. They offer a downloadable/printable PDF that provides a way to actually measure your pearl diameter and they also have an interactive page showing standard pearl strand lengths so you can pick the look you want.  If you have ever heard anyone talk about pearl strands, you might want to know the name commonly used for the different lengths.  Pearl Paradise provide an explantaion of how pearl bracelet and necklace strands are measured.

    Once you choose a length in inches, the interactive guide will tell you if it is called: Choker 14-16" which actually sits just about where most t-shirt/dress collars do, Princess 17-19", Matinee 20-24", Opera 26-35", or Rope 36" or longer.  The chart does not include Collar 12-14"which is smaller than a choker but sits higher/tighter on the neck and Lariat which is either a long rope tied in knot or a long unconnected stand that is worn like a scarf. Child size strands range from collar to  choker length and use smaller pearls than an adult strand.  If you buy a necklace for a child, they can wear it later in life as a collar or choker, depending on length. If you are looking for a strand to pass down, look for the Standard adult length of 18" containing around 6MM pearls. 12-14". Torsade is not a length, rather it is a style of wearing multiple pearl stands twisted together to form a chunkier and shorter look. On torsades, pearls might be mixed with other gems for a up-to-date fashionable look.

    For a text guide to wearing the best lengths for your size, visit Fine Pearl Jewelry Necklace Length Guide.  For a suggestion of pearl diameter by age, visit American Pearl Right Size.



    Infographic provided by The Pearl Source.

    Mom’s Stove Top Baked Beans

    I’ve mentioned before that my mom and my husband both love recipes.  This a recipe of my Mom’s that she gave my husband since he loves baked beans.  It is an easy recipe.  It is perfect for picnics, as you can cover it with a lid and take it in the same pan you make it in.

    Stove Top Baked Beans recipe

    Ingredients:
    2 cans (1 lb. each) Pork and Beans, drained
    ½ cup sugar
    1 small can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
    1 Tablespoon vinegar
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    1 onion, chopped,
    1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    ½ teaspoon yellow mustard
    ¼ teaspoon chili powder
    2 or 3 slices of bacon

    Directions:
    1.       In a large Dutch oven, chop and fry bacon.
    2.       Then fry onion in bacon grease, until begins to turn clear.  Drain remaining grease.
    3.       Add all the rest of the ingredients, except beans.  Simmer 30 minutes.
    4.       Drain beans well and add to the sauce.  Simmer 30 minutes more. 

    Eight Ways to Wear a Lariat Necklace

    Below is a 2.5 minute video showing eight ways to wear a lariat necklace.  In this case, a lariat is a long string of beads or a chain that is not tied into a necklace strand or using a claps to close it into a necklace.  IT is held on by knotting, twisting, or draping.  Another way to make it a necklace that is not shown is to use a decorative pin.  Hang the pin from the center as a makeshift pendant or after putting on the lariat, pin the pin somewhere along the two sides to form a bolo-style necklace.


    Grandma’s Recipes: Chicken Livers and Tomato Gumbo

    1985 Recipe Book cover 

    I found several of my Grandma P’s recipes on an old church cookbook sold by the choir as a fundraiser in 1985.  I know my Grandpa and my brother Bobby loved fried chicken livers and gizzards. (I think my brother started eating them to ross out us other kids, but grew to like them.) Below is a casserole-type recipe my grandmother made to stretch the liver into a more substantial meal.   

    I think everyone in my family loved my mom’s fried okra. Some even love okra anyway you fix it.  A popular way to fix okra is in gumbo.   Also below is Grandma’s tomato gumbo side dish, which I’m sure she made with stewed tomatoes she canned from her own garden.  I doubt she served the two together, but with my Grandpa’s love of lots a variety at a meal she might have.   (Grandpa liked veggies and bread with his meals unless he was eating  sandwiches, for which he only required a side of either dill or sweet pickles, usually canned by my Grandma,  and  fried potatoes or packaged chips.)

    Except for any notes I added at the end, the recipes are typed as they appeared in the cookbook.

    Chicken Livers 

    1 lb. chicken livers (washed, salted, and rolled in flour)
    Put 2 tablespoons Crisco in skillet, melt.  Then add livers and brown on both sides.  Remove from skillet and put n casserole dish. 

    Mix together:
    1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
    ½ cup milk.
    Pour mixture over the liver; then place frozen onion rings on top. Bake 30 minutes. 

    NOTE:  The original recipe did not have an oven temperature on it, so I assume she used the setting that was on the package of onion rings. 

    Tomato Gumbo

     About 3 cups okra, cut-up
    1 large onion, chopped
    Fry in 2 tablespoons melted margarine about 15 minutes.  (Salt and pepper only – NO cornmeal.)

    Pour in 1 pint stewed tomatoes.  Turn fire low and simmer about 30 minutes.

    Where Are You On Sunday?

    Church Building
    Where are you on Sunday?  Are you in Sunday school, church, or somewhere else?  You probably know that about 75% (majority) of the American population says it is Christian, but secondary religions are growing as their churches expand in various states.  Did you know the American Christian church needs you to be there, if you want this country to continue its Christian heritage?

    Christians, do you attend a sports game or play video games on Sunday morning?  What are you teaching your children?  Is it that game time is more important than learning about God?  How much is this lesson costing you and them?  Does your family know the difference between Heaven and Hell or why they might end up in either?

    Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25 KJV

    Christians, do you stay home and watch TV or go to entertainment venues (concert, movie, play, and etc.) on Sunday mornings?  Are you unknowing communicating to your children that passive engagement is more important than actively worshiping God?  Again, how much might this lesson costing you and them?  Do your family members know about the salvation offered through Christ or the lessons he teaches us?

    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. - Colossians 3:16 KJV

    Christians, do you do your shopping or go to brunch with friends on Sunday morning?  What does your skipping church for these activities say to your friends and family?  Are you saying learning about the Bible is not as important as completing your to do list or eating something you can’t get the rest of the week?  What are your actions telling others?  What would you prefer they think or know about you and your dedication to your faith?

    For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. - Ephesians 4:12 

    My pastor recently shared some shocking news about church attendance in the United States, a country founded on Christina foundations and Bible teachings.  He shared the following statistics:
    • In the 1700’s approximately 80% of Christians regularly (physically) attended (1-3 times weekly) church
    • Sometime in the 1970’s, the number of Christians attending American churches regularly dropped to 40%  in math terms that is half
    • The last time world statistics were gathered, Christian countries numbered 197 and the Church was growing in all but 20 of them – the United States is in that 20
    • Currently only 21% of American Christians attend church on a regular basis
    • By 2050, if this trend continues – only 11% will attend regularly
    Although the above trend may not be as noticeable in the mega-churches of today, it still is something to worry about.  No wonder Christian churches are going bankrupt and having to close their doors.  We cannot blame the denominations or the people in authority for this.  Yes, a few individuals disappointed us because they proved to be human and succumbed to temptation.  This is not the fault of the church as a whole or the faithful body of Christians.  It can only be the fault of Christians that ignore their Biblical responsibilities to the church.

    When Christians thought prayer would not be removed from USA schools in 1962, they proved to be mistaken.  If Christians today think that the church can continue without the support and attendance of their people, again they will be surprised.  This means regular attendance, weekly versus once a month for sometimes attendees or starting with a few times a month verses twice a year (Easter and Christmas special services) if you rarely go.   If you claim to be a Christian, Where are you this Sunday?   Where were you last Sunday?  Where will you be next Sunday? Think about it, search your heart, make plans to be better, and show up for church services. 

    Chicken Rice Casserole

    Ok, I get the message, as I have been told the recipes on my blog are a little dessert heavy.  After all:
    My family loves to bake,
    And we eat what we make.

    Anyway, below is a main dish recipe that my husband got from our friend Angie.  Next to My Chicken Rice Soup or Grandma’s Vegetable Beef Soup, it was one of my Mom’s favorites.  She always loved it when he surprised her with this casserole made with her favorites of bacon, chicken, and rice.  The only dish she loved more was when he made his Corn Sausage Dressing for holidays.

    Chicken Rice Casserole recipe

    Ingredients:
    1 whole chicken cut-up (or 6 split chicken breast pieces)
    1 box Uncle Ben’s Original Wild Rice
    1 can Cream of Celery soup
    1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
    6 strips of bacon

    Directions:
    1.       Line bottom of oblong 8”x13” casserole dish with 3 strips of bacon.
    2.       Mix rice, soups, and ½ the packet of seasoning (found in rice box).
    3.       Pour rice mixture over bacon in dish.
    4.       Lay chicken on top of rice mixture.  Sprinkle remaining seasoning packet over chicken.
    5.       Lay remaining 3 pieces of bacon over chicken.  Cove dish with foil.
    6.       Bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees.