All posts by prappleye

I am the mother of 2 teenage boys a li'l toddler mud-skippin' princess. I'm a truth-seeking, peace-loving Unitarian Universalist, with an over-opinionated big mouth (& big brain to match). I'm married to my best friend! Just started my own business, I teach sexuality education, I am a part-time administrator, I am the Religious Education Coordinator at my church (www.glacieruu.org), I am a special ed para-educator, specializing in autistic students. We love big, reuse, recycle, eat (reasonably) healthy, enjoy life, respect every living creature, & live in the last best place! Life is so good, & so exciting!!

It’s Summer!

…and you know what that means…

BUGS!

Now I do my best to put up with most insects, following my own version of the “…do no harm…” doc oath, however that once they begin attacking my person…it’s ON!

Here is a simple, easy to make Bug Spray that I use. It is not as strong as DEET, but it is also safe for skin, & technically edible, although I wouldn’t recommend drinking it.

Natural Bug Spray

small spray bottle     ½ cup distilled water     1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol

10-15 drops essential oil: lemongrass, any mint, lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree, neem, geranium, litsea cubeba- can be any one of these or any combination. My favorite is a mixture of lavender & citronella then I add a few drops of lemon or mint to keep it light. It smells like lemon and bugs hate it! (Find 100% pure essential oils here.)

If your skin needs a little love or if it tends to dry out you can add a splash of Aloe Vera juice as well. Obviously it won’t treat your skin as much as gel or oil, but those tend to gum up spray bottles.

Directions:

Pour the alcohol into the spray bottle. Add the essential oils and shake well. Add water, leaving enough room at the top so it will mix when you shake it. If you use a large spray bottle, ingredients can be doubled or tripled.

To use:                                                                                                                                            

Shake well before each use. Spray lightly on body: hands, arms and legs especially. Avoid getting into the eyes, ears, mouth and nose. You should reapply it often if you sweat, if you are in the rain, or if you go swimming.

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Group 12 – Reunion Group, raw.honest.loved.

This is one of my favorite blogs out there! I was part of her project with my Nana a few years ago. There are few things more powerful. There are links at the bottom to the earlier groups. If you haven’t been following this DO IT! (With tissues)…

“Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. Yes, we are totally exposed …

Source: Group 12 – Reunion Group, raw.honest.loved.

I kissed a girl (and a boy!) and I liked it.

This is so good!
Why do we question each others’ sexuality? I am me. You are you. If we aren’t hurting anyone I’ve never understood why people try harder to NOT understand than to find similarities.
Just let people love who they love!

Disrupting Dinner Parties

Hey friends, we need to talk.

What, you ask, is so urgent?

BISEXUALITY. That’s what.

Now, don’t get nervous. I know it’s scary, but this needs to happen. Are you ready? Here goes.

First things first: WE EXIST! Widespread denial of bisexuality isn’t just an issue among heterosexuals, but it is an endemic and pernicious problem within the LGBTQ community as well. Bisexual invisibility and erasure stems from a lot of internalized homophobia and misogyny, and that has very real consequences for people’s identities and relationships, including my own.

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Easter Dinner

uu easter fb

Now, I don’t eat ham…I don’t like the texture (although I’ve always had a hard time explaining why), but I grew up in a family who usually did the traditional “Easter Ham” & I have a husband who gets pretty excited about about it as well. For me, Easter is about spring, egg hunts, flowers…chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies (I’m not gonna lie!), and activities with the kids! I love dying eggs and watching their faces when they discover their baskets in the morning. Even my 17 yr old is excited to discover the T-shirt or comic book hiding among the eggs & treats in his basket (Mommy bunny always puts some non-edibles in the basket as well). Many years ago my mother started making a particular ham recipe that became a family classic. It is now the only one that is asked for in my home, my siblings’ homes, my in-laws have shared it with friends, my husband has been emailing around work…I figured the “cat’s out of the bag” I may as well share it with you all.


Our Easter Dinner consists of Mom’s Coke Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, & a Vegetable, this year I made Garlic Roasted Asparagus. We round it out with my Pineapple Upside-down Cake.

Ham thick side down in pot

Start by placing your Shank Half/Bone-in Ham, thick side down, into a pot on the stove top. Pour 2-liter of Coca-Cola Classic to cover entire Ham, use more if needed (cannot be diet, off-brand, or Pepsi or it doesn’t work the same). Cover with lid, bring to boil then simmer for at least 2 hours.

pour coke over ham

While the Ham is simmering in Coke, it’s a good time to use the oven to prepare the cake or other dessert. I’ve always been a fan of Pineapple Upside-down Cake. I try to do a lot of things from scratch, but given that I’m in the kitchen all day on the holidays anyway having a couple of cheats I think is alright! I use Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme. If you look on the side of the box there is a skillet recipe; you do need to have a 12+ inch skillet that has an oven safe handle, but it is SO worth it! I’ll paste the link to the recipe on their website below along with the pic of my finished cake. This is my “go to” recipe! I love it. #duncanhinespineappleupsidedowncake

finish with your favorite Easter dessert. Ours is pineapple upside down cake

http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cakes/Duncan%20Hines%C2%AE/pineapple-upside-down-cake/

sprinkle with cloves, brown sugar, and molasses to taste

Now that your Ham has been cooking for 2-3 hours while you got your cake baked & out of the way…Pour the Ham & Coke into a strainer in the sink (be careful, the hot Coke-Cola is sticky & will burn badly if it splashes onto your face). Trim off fat. You can choose to leave the Ham whole or cut it off of the bone in chunks like I do (as pictured). If you leave it whole you must score it well to ensure that the flavors get through it. [I prefer it “chunked” for a couple of reasons. I think that it allows the pieces to all get good & crispy in the oven as well as making sure that the flavor gets all over them.] Sprinkle with cloves, brown sugar, & drizzle with molasses (to taste). Set aside.

Here’s one more “cheat” that I do…I admit that I haven’t yet successfully been able to make homemade, all from scratch, cheesy scalloped potatoes…so sad.  They are always either too greasy, the potatoes are too firm, or the sauce isn’t creamy enough for my liking, as I’m a perfectionist about such things…so, I cheat. I get boxed scalloped potatoes & I embellish them & jazz them up! For our family of 5, I usually use 2 boxes. I always use the “oven method” on the box. Follow all of the steps up to stirring in the potatoes…STOP! Add a small handful of shredded sharp cheddar (I get Tillamook extra sharp white cheddar, it’s awesome & a great price at Costco)  & 1 bunch (just shy of a cup chopped) green onion. Stir it up good then add the potatoes. Sprinkle a little more cheddar on the top (to get that nice crispy goodness) then bake as directed.  So much better than straight outta the box!

if you're gonna cheat, they're SO much better

While the potatoes are in the oven, clean asparagus under cool water. (To remove woody ends from the asparagus, gently bend the end of each spear until it snaps naturally.) Lay on a paper towel & pat dry as you can, you don’t want them to steam in the oven.

once dry spread single layer drizzle generously with olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic

Next, spread the asparagus out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea or kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, & garlic (I use a little garlic mill, but you can use granulated as well). Finally, pop in the preheated 425-degree oven & roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes. The secret is for the oven to be very hot without the veggies getting overcooked & wimpy.

finished asparagus

Now that the asparagus is done, crank the oven temp up as hot as it will go (ours goes up to 550) & throw the ham in for 10 min (15 min if you left it whole), then rearrange the pieces, sprinkle more cloves, brown sugar, drizzle more molasses, & turn on the broiler on high. Set the timer for 7 minutes & go get the table set. (The broiler gets it good & crispy around the edges.)

after 10 minutes rotate sprinkle again cook another 10 repeat sprinkling again then broil on low for 5 if you want extra crispy

Dinner is done!

Dinner is served!


Coke Ham

  • 1  Shank Half/Bone-In Ham
  • 1  2 Liter Bottle Original Coke-Cola
  • Brown Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Cloves

Place Ham, thick side down, into pot on top of stove. Pour Coke-Cola over ham. Cover with lid, bring to boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours. When 2-3 hours have passed: Heat oven as hot as it will go (probably 550); Pour ham and Coke-Cola into strainer in sink; Transfer ham to an oven proof pan (either the entire ham or cut from bone & place in pan, but either way trim fat first; if whole ham in dish you must score it by cutting slashes all over it so the next ingredients will seep down inside); Sprinkle with cloves, brown sugar, & molasses (to taste); Put in oven for 15 minutes (If you cut the ham from the bone, you’ll need to cook 10 minutes in the oven then rotate pieces, add more cloves, brown sugar, & molasses, then cook another 7 minutes on broil to crisp it up.


Garlic Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 4-5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt or Sea Salt, to Taste
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to Taste
  • Ground Garlic, to Taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean asparagus under cool water. Remove woody ends from the asparagus by gently bending the end of each spear until it snaps naturally. Lay on a paper towel & pat dry as you can (you don’t want them to steam in the oven).  Next, spread the asparagus out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with sea or kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, & garlic (I use a little garlic mill, but you can use granulated as well). Finally, pop in the preheated oven & roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes. The secret is for the oven to be very hot without the veggies getting overcooked & wimpy.


Happy New Year! Thanks for playing & reading along this year! Hoping for even more fun in 2015! Here is WordPress’ 2014 in review!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 530 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 9 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.