What’s for dinner??

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As the dog days of summer are upon us I am sure looking forward to a break in the heat.  Our a/c is working hard to keep us cool.  The idea of going near a stove or heat from a bbq makes me sweat even more just thinking about it.  How do you answer that nagging question, ” Whats for dinner?”  while the suns still shinning?  During summer I could happily eat vegetarian, but hubby needs a certain part protien to keep the numbers right. I hate diabetes!  At least he’s an adult.  I know quite a few parents who struggle with this disease in a child and I wonder where they find the fortitude and patience. I guess thats true any time your child is sick.  I know I loose sleep when a niece, or nephew, is not feeling well.  Much less one of my fur babies.  

Fuzzy. RIP. I miss you

Back to the temperature.  It has firmly reached the point that I do not want to stand over a hot stove.  What to do???  Pizza? Our homemade recipe featured last month really takes commercial places out of the running.  Okay my first thought after that was sandwicheshambugersChick-fil-a? Arby‘s? Subway?  Firehouse? We just had Panera, mom just discovered them.  So they are all pricey for food that lets face it isn’t very good for us and not very appetizing.  Several years ago I had an amazing Turkey Chipotle panni, that I’ve tried to re-create as a wrap.  I can get close but have not matched The Cheesecake Factory.  When I called mom to suggest this and check ingredients she suggested hoagies.  French bread, salami, provolone, sharp cheddar, Turkey, ham, roast beef, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green bell peppers, homemade tazziki and a little mustard gives you the masterpiece you see here.  Mom said she checked the deli at Wal-Mart thinking of the premade, but for the same price we got two of these gems!

The Ultimate Family Sandwhich

Best of all they are customized to taste.  Pepperoni, corned beef, chicken, tuna, change the meats, cheese, bread and veggies.  Make it your own and I bet it tastes better fresh than from a sandwich shop.  We cut it three ways and made two meals so dinner and lunch tomorrow. These were so good! I admit it freely tasted better than most sandwich shops.  If you know of one that is better than any of deli places mentioned above I would love to know about it.  How do you beat the heat and feed your family?  

The Ultimate Family Sandwhich

Happy 4th of July

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As we celebrate this weekend and Tuesday the 4th of July, let us remember in our hearts and family cookout why we celebrate.  The last number of years have divided the right and left to such a degree that we are seeing people on both sides moved to violence.  With that in mind I remember this clip being important enough for my grandparents, and father all whom have served.  I find my self looking to this explanation, that we seem to be loosing sight of as the next news scandal breaks.  I think this is the true meaning as it should be for all who call America home. 

 These “trivial” things like our Flag and Pledge belong to all who shelter in her borders.  Immigrant or natural born our Citizens and our commitment to unify behind our Flag and Founding documents are what makes this country Unique.  American covers the great diversity to meld, join, and support both our differences and beliefs that  “All men are created equal.” As a woman I believe it covers me too.  This country was formed of the belief that we can find ways to come together to focus on our strengths not be divided by our differences, and if need be set them slightly to the side if only for a moment to the good of all.  With the rules of law upheld by we who live, work, and create families here.

https://youtu.be/Red Skelton The Pledge of Allegiance

While this is my fondest wish, I also live in the world of today.  I see parts of both here in reality land, and my honesty, usually relegatess me to one side or the other.  My biggest wish for the generations my family and friends currently foster will get to live in my vision of what ‘American’ should be. So as we enjoy moms homemade potato salad while, the men handle ‘The Grill’ all the way to the fireworks shows after dark… I hope we pass on the essence of America and how special we are.  Bought and paid with lives of the fallen to give us the peace we have today.  To come together, to be free!  Let us remember the difference we can make in the world with that vision both here and abroad.

I hope it does not take an Independence Day for us to see the true path here in America, and around the world.  Happy 4th! Be Happy and Safe. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share.  See our latest on Facebook, Google+, Pintrest, Twitter, and of course here! Jens Perspective.  What’s your family tradition? 

A special Thank you for posting video.

Happy Father’s Day

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Happy Fathers Day…. in society today that term is special.  Anybody can be a father,  but Daddy is a big job!!!  Growing up I can remember meeting my dad when he came home from work.  Blue collar all the way,  bear hugs, and tickles came with him.  He smelled of coffee, engine grease, and Brut aftershave.  He worked hard everyday, sometimes two jobs and had  very definate ideas that some find old fashioned.  For all our differences of opinion as an adult I can honestly say i’m greatful for being raised this way.  We learned the value of a dollar, manners, and respect.

.                          Daddy’s  chase away monsters under the bed or in the closet.  He worked hard for our family and spent time with us growing up.  He took imaginary phone calls, drank tea at tea parties, and helped mom make the coolest blanket forts.  Daddy’s  are mysterious creatures and I’ll explain what I mean.  Mine was a real ‘guy’.  He didn’t do things in the kitchen unless it was a Saturday or Sunday.  He did not wear blue jeans.  Button up shirts, flannel in winter.  Dad made the waffles or pancakes. (Mom had to make the eggs and bacon… He didn’t do that).  Electronic toys are great but, I learned how I should be treated by my future husband, by watching  his example.  Mine wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me.

I remember having one of those moments in time where you realize how lucky you are.  At my younger brothers wedding I watched his bride dance with her father, of all my siblings I was fortunate enough to have a father daughter dance.  I miss the whit and gentle teasing.  I would meet him for breakfast, at a really early hour.  That was one of his quirks, if he had to be up extra early he thought we should too.  This sucked growing up on Saturday mornings.  Unless he was making bbq, he spent years perfecting that.

I carry him with me everyday, as I passed on to others he lives on in my heart.  I see his example shine through when my brothers play with their children.  Even when they don’t want to admit it.  My dad lost his battle with cancer in 2011.  I vividly remember in coming to terms with his death how lucky we were to grow up in a world where more and more families fathers are absent.   I wish they had visiting hours in heaven, but until they do, Daddy I Love You.  To all the dads out there I hope you become the hero in your family.  Daddy’s help us see ourselves like this. 

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To all the dads especially if you grew up without one and know find yourself in the role.  Spend as much time together as you can.  To my half siblings I hope you got to spend time with the same father I grew up with.  Children have no owners manuals and parents genrally do the best parenting they are able.  I hope both children and adults remember that word of wisdom mine left with me.


Pizza …. Not Delivery It’s Mom’s

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Okay I grew up as an 80’s  kid.  Little Ceaser’s, pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Hungry Howie’s were the flavor of the day.  I made the BookIt Club, every month with my parents encouragement to read.  Even so if planning a menu and Pizza comes up our choice is not who do we order from, it’s more like do we have the ingredients or run to the store?  You see growing up outside of those awarded  pizza’s, we made ours at home by mom and my brothers and me.

If our friends were lucky enough to get some they would come back just for the pizza. That tradition has been passed down.  I make it and if we go home we still request her pizza over takeout any day.  We still have a traditional round pan, yet we normally make two rectangle baking sheets to feed us all.

The crust is home made from my dads, mothers cook book.  We prefer supreme and even people who claim they don’t like some toppings do not complain when they eat it on this.  Typically we top ours with olive oil, garlic, ground beef, ham, sausage (if we have it), onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, we usually skip black olives due to salt content.  Cheddar cheese ( the sharper the better) mozzarella, and whatever else we have on hand or purchase for….Munster cheese, cherizo, multi color pepers and onion, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper jack gives quite a kick.  

Roll out dough on two baking sheets.  We leave it hand toss thickness or thin if watching carbs.  Regular tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce to lightly coat dough.  Layer Italian season, parmesan, pepper flakes(if desired).  Next up are onions, bell peppers, olives, mushrooms.  Sausages, ground beef, ham, and anything else we desire before a tight layer of pepperoni.  Add yellow then white cheeses in generous quantities.  Ours always looks like deep dish, we use plenty of toppings.  Into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.  One pie at a time.  Cut into about 12 squares and use good spatula to lift weight of slices.  Give few minutes to cool.  Everyone will crave this and this is better than Pizza Hut, and the most you can buy.  

Note:  When I said you can involve family it’s a great way to occupy children with supervision.  Growing up I always grated cheese, or as oldest used sharp knife to chop veggies.  True story… we were visiting my brother from another mother… not really but only time I’ll get to say it, before he deployed over seas.  Met my new sister in law..who brought 4 beautiful children into our family. After a long day exploring Savannah, GA. Where they were stationed we retired to our hotel pool for the kids.  When the subject of dinner arose it would take about the same amount of time and quite a bit more expensive to feed all of us so we swung into the grocery to get needed supplies. You can buy pizza dough mix you just add water to. I’ve used them before so we decide to buying instead of ingredients to make from scratch.  So we get to their house and we all take a task to hurry this along.  I cooked on stove, mom did crust, she loves making bread, sister in law supervised 7 and 10 year olds using knives.  My brother called from somewhere at front of house and with children’s tasks completed sister went to answer his call.  So mom is ready to roll out and knead this dough so niece goes to pantry retrieves flour to coat table, hands and rolling pin.  So she scrapes dough out on flowered table.  It’s sticky well this can happen even with great dough recpie.  So like any good baker she adds more flour. And adds, and adds and she’s asking me since i’ve used the mix and I’m like it never did that with me.  Now she’s making these funny noises, and it’s stretching out of bowl like slime and by now my sister in law has come back to investigate the uncontrolled laughter, punctuated with moms eeww sounds.  My father and brother have been drawn as well from hunger and sound effects.  Everything she makes 3 to 5 sounds she’s asking me…..and all I can do is laugh as she lets it slide back to bowl.  2 cups of flour and its getting worse not better.  We’re now discussing alternatives, when sister in law notices *flour* container and asks where it came from.  7 year old says I got it from pantry and shows her where.  As it turns out the exact same container, has powdered sugar in it.  She tells them apart by right or left side of pantry. I so wish we had thought to video this!  We laughed so hard and the pizza really could have used some pineapple, but we finally got everyone fed. 

Memories like these are irreplaceable!  The retelling just does not match the look on moms face as her hands are covered in this slime.  I’m so glad my adopted brother got to take this with him when he deployed. He came home, but I have yet to see him since dad passed away.  If you ever read this please know that we love and miss you, and we’re still here when you decide to come home.  Dad would be so proud of the man you have become, that goes for all my other siblings as well.  Sending love to all my siblings and extended family, you’re all loved and I miss you guys so you have to come see me, since I cannot travel those distances yet.  How do you make lasting memories with your family?  See the recipe on Pintrest!  Click here!   Mom’s Pizza Recipe 

Are you green? Emerald that is!

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Wether its the Emerald isles or the Emerald Coast, they both get their names from May’s beautiful birthstone….you guessed it Emeralds.  These precious stones have been coveted by humanity throughout history and its easy to see why.  If you have a May birthday this is your stone.  If not the allure and beauty of the stones gives all the reason needed to add these to your wardrobe.

Colors range from light Columbian to deep Emerald.  Most are determined by mine location.  The fewer inclusions the more valuable the stone.  In times gone by these stones were thought to have powers beyond matching a gown.  Some are rumored to be cursed, while some held curative powers if ingested.  Emeralds are so coveted they even have a shape of diamonds and gems named after them.

A symbol of unending love and honesty have encouraged favoritism as wedding stones of choice.  The Regency era in particular Irish and English girls received many.  Long seen as a symbol of hope and prophecy made them very popular.  Unlike the red ruby, a statement of passionate love, an emerald conveys a complex symbolism and emotions.  Cleopatra draped herself in Emerards.  Rich luscious green color beautifully played off the violet of Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes in the 1960’s 
While being most calming color green it  reflexes growth, peace,balance, and reflection.  Healing and fertility are also attributed to these very rare gemstone.  Verdant tones and inside are tempered by cool blue within the stone symbolize a steadfast bond.

Giving an emerald, you showing a dash of humanity.  You’re considered “green” or a bit naive when you don’t have everything figured out in life.  This should be seen as a positive when you consider your new life as a couple is defined by many unforseen obstacles to confront and solve together and learn lessons from.

Emeralds are often associated with strong sexuality and fertility, it was historically believed to help with difficult births or the problems bearing children.  Linked to healing and balance within the nervous, respiratory and even aid digestion.     Ancient Romans, for example, felt that the very soul of an individual was restored when they wore emerald jewelry.
So whether they are for your Birthday, or you just love the color I wish you any luck they may contain.