Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chocolate M&M Pretzel Bites

I enjoy the taste of sweet and salty not to mention the taste of chocolate.  One candy that is beyond easy to make and even better to eat around the Holidays are these Chocolate M&M Pretzel Bites.  I promise that you cannot eat just one!
  • One bag of regular size pretzels
  • One (or two-depending on how many you want to make) bag of Hershey Kisses Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • Plain M&M's
Turn your oven on to 200 degrees.  Line a cookie tray with wax paper and then make several rows of pretzels.  Next, add a Hershey Kiss to to the top of each pretzel.  Put in the oven for 2-6 minutes, allowing the chocolate to become soft enough that you can press the kiss all the way down on the pretzel.  Add an M&M to the top of each one.  Let cool and store in the refrigerator.

The first thing to do is turn your oven on 200 degrees. 
I line a cookie tray with wax paper and then make several
rows of pretzels.

Next, add a Hershey's Kiss onto the top of each one.
It can be the milk or dark chocolate kind.
Now, put them in the oven for 2-6 minutes, allowing the chocolate
to become soft enough that you can press the kiss all the way

Once you take them out of the oven, add an M&M
to the top of each one and let cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

O is for Orange

I really love oranges.  As an FFA member in high school, our primary fundraiser was selling fruit.  Each year in November we would take orders for a December delivery.  There was nothing better than sinking your teeth into one of those fresh Florida oranges. 

Recently, I purchased a case of navel oranges from our local Shenandoah FFA Chapter and they have been delicious.  Of course there were about 80 in the box and there are only three of us to eat all of those.  Needless to say, we have had oranges for breakfast and dinner for the past two weeks.

Eating all of the oranges got me thinking about their value nutrionally and agriculturally.  According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, citrus fruits are one of the largest commodities of Flodida agriculture.  Oranges mean so much to Florida that they selected it as the official state fruit in 2005. They made the orange blossom their state flower, and orange juice their state beverage. I'd say they have a serious love of oranges in Florida and they should because oranges are a major part of their economy.  In 2006, 67% of all the citrus grown in the United States came from Florida.

Oranges come in several varieties: Naval, Hamlin, Pineapple or Valencia.

The USDA recommends that you wash the orange under cool water and pat it dry before peeling and eating it.  It is also suggested that you keep them in the refrigerator.  We usually keep ours on the back porch where it's just cold enough that they won't turn.  The great thing about oranges is that they make an excellent (but sometimes messy and sticky) snack.  Oranges have only 60 calories and have no saturated or trans fat in them.They are a huge source of Vitamin C which every human needs for the repair and growth of tissue in the body, healing wounds and in some cases have even helped lower blood sugar.

So how about adding an orange to your weekly food menu?

Happy peeling:)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

French's Green Bean Casserole

If you are just starting out and are a young wife learning different things to make, I would highly reccommend adding this simple recipe to your cookbook.

French's Green Bean Casserole tends to be a staple around most homes during the holidays.  It is a traditional casserole that requires few ingredients and doesn't take long to make.  Serve it with some meat and a salad and you have a complete meal!

French's Green Bean Casserole


1 (10 3/4 oz.) can CAMPBELL'S® Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 pepper
2 (14.5 oz. each) cans cut green beans 
1 1/3 cupsFRENCH'S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions


MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions.
BAKE at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot.
STIR. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 min. until onions are golden.

First thing I try to do is set out the ingredients.

In a mixing bowl, mix the soup, milk and pepper.

Stir in beans and 2/3 of the French Fried Onions.
We like a lot of the onions, so I usually add extra.

Pour the mixture in a 1.5 quart casserole dish.
I usually add the French Fried Onions to the top when I bake it rather than waiting.
Just be careful not to let them burn.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

And there you have it!

You can substitute the French Style Green Beans instead of the regular beans. 
Try adding some ham in the mixture as well.
Sprinkle with your favorite cheese.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


As you know, I raise chickens.  Chickens can be prey for many different types of wildlife.  Over the last three weeks, I have found a dead chicken in one of my chicken coops almost every other day.  Not to gross you out, but their heads would be biten off and their bodies left in the coop.  Long story short - I was aggrevated and disgusted.  Action must be taken on whatever was killing my girls.

For two weeks, I was on patrol of the coop.  I would sneak down once it became dark (which right now is by 5:30 P.M.) with my pistol in hand and my two labs walking next to me.  We would search all over the coop to see if we could find the predator.  The coop would smell a little like a skunk, but I knew in my research that skunks don't usually kill chickens.  Although the dogs and I found lots of night time wildlife, I couldn't find the one killing my chickens.

Last Wednesday night, while feeding, my dog Libby started barking and scratching at a small opening in the side of the coop.  After a little further inspection and prying one of the boards loose, I could see two eyes staring at me.  We had FINALLY found this creature that was killing the chickens.  I went to get my pistol while Libby kept the creature in place.  When I came back, the creature had turned itsself around, but I had a clear shot, BOOM.  There was the first shot.  I saw it move again toward another small opening, so I shot it a second time.  Yes!  I had killed...what?  What was that thing?

Our friend Joey heard me hollaring with glee and came over to see what was going on.  He pulled the creature out and I thought it was a weasel, but it was actually a mink.  Long, slender, and dark in color it was finally dead.

I'm no Annie Oakley, but wildlife beware - Don't mess with the chickens!