Friday, April 30, 2010

Nine Tips To Help You Think Outside The Box

Whether it is debt, employment, business, personal crisis, government, etc… people are facing challenges that our generation has never seen before. Common approaches to uncommon problems has not worked. The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Yet, we continue to embrace ingrained concepts that are simply not applicable to today’s world.

How many times have you heard the cliché, “Think outside the box?” We are told to think out of the box all the time on political matters, in business, in personal crisis, and by employers. I admit that it’s funny that a phrase meaning to think of clichéd situations from a non-clichéd perspective has become a cliché by it’s own right. However, the irony does not negate the fact that solutions to our current problems will only come when we stopping thinking with a safe and confined mentality.  

Read the nine tips HERE

Thursday, April 29, 2010

German Chocolate Cookie Sandwich

Cookie Ingredients:

1 ¾ c. all purpose flour
1 ½ c. sugar
1 ½ sticks of softened butter
2/3 c. cocoa
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ c. finely chopped pecans

Coconut and Pecan Filling Ingredients:

1 stick of butter
½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ c. light corn syrup
1 c. of toasted coconut flakes
1 c. finely chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all cookie ingredients except pecans.
3. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well incorporated.
4. Stir pecans in.
5. Form dough into 1 ¼ inch balls.
6. Place balls on cookie sheet and slightly press to flatten.
7. Bake 9-11 minutes.
8. Cool cookies on wire rack.
9. Make coconut and pecan filling- in a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup- stirring until thickened and bubbly; stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla.
10. Spread one heaping tbsp onto half the cookies.
11. Top each of the cookies with the remaining unused cookies to form a German Chocolate Cookie Sandwich. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Easy Cherries Jubilee



  • 2 (15 oz) cans of pitted Bing cherries in syrup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 c. Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1/4 c. brandy
  • 6 tbsp Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 qt vanilla bean ice cream
  • 6 chocolate pirouette rolled wafers 


    1. Place cherries in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan, reserving 6 tbsp of syrup in a small bowl.
    2. Add cornstarch to the 6 tbsp of syrup, mixing well; set aside.
    3. Stir sugar and allspice into cherries.
    4. Bring cherry mixture up to a boil over medium heat.
    5. Reduce heat to low and add cornstarch mixture.
    6. Stir until mixture thickens (3-5 minutes.)
    7. Remove from heat to add raspberry liqueur and brandy.

    8. Return to medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 
    9. Place 1 tbsp of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur in each of 6 serving dishes.
    10. Place two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream in each serving dish.
    11. Evenly pour cherry mixture into each serving dish.
    12. Garnish with a chocolate pirouette wafers in each serving dish.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Mango Salsa

    Very fresh and summery recipe. Hope everyone enjoys!



    4 peeled and diced mangoes
    1/3 c. chopped cilantro
    1/4 c. finely diced celery
    1/4 c. finely chopped green onion
    1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
    1/4 c. finely chopped yellow or green bell pepper
    1/4 c. peeled and finely chopped cucumber 
    1/4 c. honey
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp white pepper
    3 tbsp fresh lime juice

    1. Combine all wet ingredients in a large bowl
    2. Add all dry ingredients, tossing to coat.
    3. Cover and chill 1 hour to 24 hours.

    Mango Salsa works great as an appetizer served with -tortilla chips, bagel chips, or any toasted bread of choice. It can also make a great garnishment for seafood, lamb, or chicken.

    For more great cooking, check out Chris Stonecipher's Peanut Butter Logs and Bren Park's Homespun Solutions: Cooking Tips and Chef Lauren's Sicilian Style Penne Mediterranean Pasta

    Insurance Companies Busted for Owning Stock in Tobacco and Fast Food Companies

    Blogger Graphics
    Blogger Graphics

    I found some really Cute Blogger Layouts at

    Just when I thought that I couldn’t loathe the insurance industry more, I read a stunning article in the American Journal of Public Health.

    These insurance companies spend no telling what on PR that touts what all they are doing to promote healthy lifestyles. This is a quote straight from a very well known insurance companies- HealthyLifestyles pamphlet. 

    Tobacco use, obesity, stress and physical inactivity have a significant
    effect on employee productivity and happiness, and encouraging healthy
    behaviors may impact more than your organization’s financial statement:
    It may help presenteeism and the productivity of your employees.
    Transforming unhealthy lifestyles is not easy, which is why we focus
    on the five key behaviors that have the greatest effect on both your
    employees’ health and the overall health of your organization:

    Tobacco Cessation: We offer an educational program, a personalized
    “quit” plan and an online community of support.

    Weight Management: From dietary education to personal coaching, we help
    participants help themselves reach and maintain a healthier weight.

    Yet, these insurance companies are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. On one hand they tell consumers to be healthy...then, they are busted by a research team at  Harvard Medical School as owning stocks in tobacco and fast-food companies. Read about the insurance companies that were busted HERE

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Southernisms Aplenty

    If you want a good laugh, check out the "Southern Aplenty" article in the Hattiesburg American newspaper. The author, Chloe Oliver watched a an episode of the "Real Housewives" that involved a Southern colloquialism calamity. Although she didn't mention the particular offender by name, I happen to watch the Real Housewives of New York myself. Countess Luann deLesseps got into an altercation with another housewife and said she was on me like "white rice." For those of you not from the Southern United States, ya'll might not know that the expression is... "white on rice." Anyhoo, for a good laugh and taste of wit, read the Southern Aplenty article HERE 

    7,500 Online Shoppers Sold Their Soul & Didn't Even Know It

    Do you read the fine print before putting your John Hancock, or are you like millions of Americans who skim, if that, the fine print?

    British owned, GameStation, a computer game retailer, wanted to play a benign April Fools Day joke on  customers. However, I think they proved a much greater point about fine print.

    Read how 7,500 online shoppers unknowingly sold their soul and what they missed out on in the process- HERE

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Dark Chocolate Benefits Liver Patients


    A new study of 21 patients with end-stage liver disease has found that eating dark chocolate restricted the rise in post meal abdominal pressure, which can be dangerously high in cirrhotic patients, and even lead to blood vessels rupturing.  The study was presented to the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Vienna.

    Cocoa contains antioxidants called, flavanols. These flavanols are believed to help the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels widen and relax; therefore, it’s beneficial to those with blood pressure issues.

    The 21 research patients were given a meal with 85% cocoa dark chocolate….now that is my kind of diet! The end stage liver disease patients that were given the dark chocolate had a smaller rise in blood pressure in the liver than those that were given white chocolate.

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Coconut Muffins

    Who needs a cupcake when you can have a coconut muffin. If you have busy mornings and a hungry family, make these coconut muffins the night before...and you have a no-fuss and fast breakfast.

    2 c. all purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 c. sugar
    ½ c. flake coconut
    2 lg eggs, lightly beaten
    ½ c. melted butter
    8 oz plain yogurt
    ¼ tsp coconut extract

    1. Combine first four ingredients in lg bowl.
    2. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
    3. Combine eggs and last three ingredients; stir just till moist.
    4. Lightly grease muffin tin and line with paper muffin cups.
    5. Evenly spoon mixture into each muffin cup, filling each ¾ full.
    6. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  

    Recipe yields 1 dozen coconut muffins.

    Judge Tells Mississippi Schools To Stop The Segregation

    The Justice Department accused the rural Mississippi Walthall County School District of permitting over 300 students to transfer to a school outside of their residential area. Most of the students were white. So, this shifted the racial makeup of each school system. Administrators at three other Mississippi schools were also accused of grouping white students in classrooms and black students in other classrooms in various grade levels. 

    This has been a battle between several Mississippi school districts and the Justice Dept since the early 90’s.
    In fact, the Justice Dept says despite lawsuits seeking reform, these school districts have become even more segregated over the last 20 years. The Walthall Co. School Board rejected a settlement in 2009 that would have overhauled the district's transfer policy and prevented students being assigned to classrooms based on race.

    So, on April 13th 2010, Mississippi U.S. District Judge Tom Lee ordered the school district to significantly limit transfers and  to stop assigning students to classrooms that resulted in segregation. A software program to randomly assign students to classrooms was demanded.

    See the full story at Reuters

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

    How to Avoid Common Retirement Mistakes

    It is never to early to think about retirement. It is a daunting and confusing task for many, but it does not have to be. I was reading an article by CNN Money where financial experts were asked about the mistakes they most often see related to retirement. It is pretty common sense stuff, but considering the cadre of retirees heading back to work, there is obviously some problem between comprehending and completion.

    Read the top six tips to help you avoid retirement mistakes HERE


    Monday, April 12, 2010


    This recipe will make 5 glasses of Watermelon Daiquiri. Try it at your next backyard BBQ!


    4 cups of peeled, seeded, and cubed watermelon
    5 slices of watermelon
    ½ cup light rum
    ¼ cup lime juice
    ¼ cup Triple Sec
    Ice cubes


    1. Freeze cubed watermelon in a shallow pan for at least 8 hours.
    2. Combine frozen watermelon and next three ingredients in an electric blender
    3. Mix till smooth.. Scrape down sides as needed.
    4. Add ice up to the 5 cup level on the mixer.
    5. Pour daiquiri evenly into 5 glasses and garnish with watermelon slices.
    5. Mix until smooth. 

    If you like this recipe, check out The A-Z Cocktail Party Part 1 and Part Two- The A-Z Cocktail Party: 36 Cocktail Recipes.

    How To Make Pralines


    Pralines (Basic New Orleans Style, Orange, Mocha, Peanut Butter, Bourbon, Chocolate, Vanilla, Etc..) Pralines are wonderful little treats. Learn how to take one basic praline recipe and make essentially any type of praline you want. I personally love the Bourbon die for. 

    Get the recipes HERE


    Workers Strike Over No More Free Beer During Work Hours

    While many Americans are desperately searching for work, asking for a fair wage, fair hours, and fair treatment….workers at Carlsberg factory in Denmark are just asking for their free beer not to be taken away.

    Read the story HERE 

    Sunday, April 11, 2010


    A perfect marriage of delicate trout with buttery almonds. Served in a rich savory sauce. Makes 6 servings. Steamed green beans and piped sweet potato soufflé are nice side dishes.



    2 c. milk
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp salt
    2 dashes hot sauce
    6 trout fillets
    ¾ cup flour
    ½ tsp pepper
    1 c. butter
    ¼ c. butter
    1 tbsp olive oil
    ½ c. sliced almonds
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    ¼ c. fresh parsley
    6 sprigs of parsley
    6 lemon wedges


    1. Combine milk, 1 tsp salt, and hot sauce in 14x9x2 inch dish.
    2. Add filets and coat with milk mixture.
    3. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
    4. Combine flour and pepper in large plastic bag.
    5. Melt ¼ c. butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
    6. Add oil to butter.
    7. Gently shake trout fillets in the flour mixture; shaking off excess flour.
    8. Cook trout fillets 2 minutes on each side in butter and oil…or until fish flakes easily.
    9. Combine 1 c. butter and almonds in a saucepan.
    10. Cook over medium heat until almonds are fragrant and lightly browned.
    11. Add 1 tsp salt, lemon juice, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce to almonds; cook 5 minutes on low heat.
    12. Pour sauce over trout fillets.
    13. Serve with extra lemon wedge.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    13-Year-Old Child Bride Dies After Sexual Organs Rupture

    A 13-year-old Yemeni girl, Ilham Mahdi al Assi, was forced to marry a man in a traditional Yemeni arrangement known as a “swap marriage.” A swap marriage is when the brother of the bride also marries the sister of the groom. Five days after her wedding day, her female reproductive organs ruptured and she ultimately hemorrhaged to death.

    Finish reading the story here. 

    Statistics by Sanaa University estimate that more than half of all Yemeni girls are forced or coerced into marriage before they reach their 18th birthday. It is unimaginable what these young girls go through. Ilham Mahdi al Assi is just the latest victim to the Yemen child bride practice.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    "The Blind Side" Provides Much Needed Inspiration

    If you haven’t seen the movie, “The Blind Side” yet, then you have missed out on an inspiring story. I remember seeing the movie, “Rudy” as a child and taking away the message of never giving up on your dreams. “Rudy” inspired me, and that rarely occurs in modern movies. Then, comes “The Blind Side!” It finally offered me that inspiration that I felt with “Rudy.”

    I do not want to give away too much of the movie, but the plot of the based on true events story is Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) and her husband, Sean Tuohy (Tim McGraw,) taking in a homeless African American teen, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron.) Michael had been traumatized by society, school systems, his drug addicted mother, drug and violence plagued neighborhood, and the foster care system.  A caring family is all this young man needed to have the will and desire to succeed in life, hone his skills, and become a productive member of society.

    There are all too many children that grow up just as Michael Oher did, but are never lucky enough to come across their Tuohy family. “The Blind Side” should inspire us all to remember these children and do our part to help them find and reach their goals.

    I'll make it easy for you. Here is an Amazon link to buy "The Blind Side" right now! 

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    How To Pick A Bathroom Scale

    So, I just had a baby....and needless to say I have a few pounds that I'm all too eager to shed. I started counting my calories, set myself up on an exercise schedule, and decided to do something I vowed never to a set of bathroom scales. My disdain for bathroom scales started in gym class. I was 5'9 in middle school; while most all of my 5'2"-5'6" peers weighed 90-120 lbs, I was always the tallest and heaviest girl.

    I swallowed my childhood anxiety and started keeping tract of my weight with a bathroom scale. The encouragement and sense of accomplishment that I felt as I saw the weight on my digital scale decrease from day to day was amazing and invigorating.

    A lot of people get frustrated with bathroom scales- the numbers are too small, the step-on censor has a mind of it's own, accuracy problems, not sturdy, looks like a relic made from a WW2 battle ship, etc... Picking the right scale is half the battle. I would suggest a stylish, but sturdy glass frame; LCD lighting; a bathroom scale with a least four censors to account for even weight distribution; extra large display; and a scale that has auto-calibration technology. Perhaps, a bathroom scale like this one-



    Is Your Doctor Stale?: Specialty Certification Expiration Dates

    A specialty doctor (like a Cardiologist or Oncologist) previously went to medical school, had specialty training in a particular field, and then passed an exam to prove knowledge in that field. This resulted in a life time certification for the field the doctor was educated in. The doctor never had to renew that certification.

    The problem is that like bread, your doctor can go stale. Doctors that were educated 10,20,20 plus years ago were certified in their specialty, but their skills have not been updated, tested, or improved upon since they graduated.

    The American Board of Medical Specialties recognized this problem. They feel that the “measure of physician specialists is not merely that they have been certified, but how well they keep current in their specialty.” Thankfully, they have changed the way doctors get and stay certified.

    Read about the new rules

    New Unvarnished Site Allows Annoymous Rating and Review of Co-workers

    Have you ever wished that you could anonymously spill the beans about a lazy, inept, rude, etc.. co-worker?

    A new website, Unvarnished, is betting on people that answer yes to that question. Unvarnished came out of private beta testing last week. It is currently by invitation only, but the founders are planning to open it to the public soon.

    See how it works HERE

    While I think it would be great to be able to call out co-workers for unethical, rude, lazy, etc.. work, the way the site is set up leaves the door wide open for people to abuse the system. It's like those nasty gas station bathroom walls; anyone can write anything about you....true or not. The only difference is that the Unvarnished bathroom wall can not be erased and is viral for the world to see.

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Tea Party Express Bus Egged By Harry Reid Supporters

    The latest Tea Party Express tour kicked off from Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nevada on their way to a 42 city tour. The Tea Party used the site to kickoff their protest of the policies of Harry Reid and other Democrat politicians.

    But, the Tea Party Express was met by Harry Reid supporters that were none too happy. Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart entered the Harry Reid crowd of supporters with his camera man in toe.

    What followed was prime example of why we are so unsatisfied with our elected officials....with people that engage in such childish antics voting, whose to wonder we how clowns as Congressmen.

    Watch what happens here