LET’S OAT SOME GOOD OLE COOKIES

TODAY LET’S MAKE OATMEAL COOKIES. I will post my recipe for Arline’s Version of Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies but before I do, I thought I would re-post the message behind the Oatmeal Cookies attached to a loving memory of my Mom. In days where I watch all sweets, there is something wonderful about an oatmeal cookie and it is not the sugar; it is the sweet love I feel for my precious Mother.


Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

 

  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats (we use Quaker Quick or Old Fashioned. Do NOT use instant.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
Method
1 Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
2 Sift flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add a tablespoon of water. Add raisins (if using) and nuts. Add oats last.
3 Spoon out by heaping tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
Copyright reference for above recipe. Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies on Simply Recipes. Thank you!
 
My version is taking and cutting sugar by half of the brown and granulated sugar and replacing with honey. I never measure by use taste method but no more than a 1/4 cup unfiltered raw honey. Love this taste. 

 

TODAY THE WORDS are OATMEAL COOKIES. We are going to go down memory lane for a visit to my dear Mother’s home before she passed away. As my Mother got older, she cooked and baked less, which is understandable.  I began to bring her baked goodies when I would visit her. I started out with a variety of different desserts but it was soon narrowed down to my version of “Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies. They had honey in them and they are scrumptious to say the least. I would bring her a container full. She would always eat one as if testing them to make sure they were as good as the batch before. As I would watch her, I received more sweet enjoyment than the cookies’ sweetness. I could tell how much she loved them and she also loved I had made them for her. She had a certain spot the container would be placed when she had finished. Once in a while she would splurge and eat two, but never more than two. As sweet of a memory as this is to me, this is only part of the reason for the topic. Why the oatmeal cookie plays such an important part is not that the cookies were tasty, it was Momma’s rationing of the cookies that will reflect a life’s lesson. When I would call Momma for our regular Saturday morning talk which usually lasted about an hour and a half, one of the things Momma would share is how many cookies she still had and if my Sister had stopped by and had eaten some cookies. My Momma was a wonderful person and she would share whatever she had, but you had to be willing to be frugal with those goodies like she was. I would bring her fresh ones every time I would come so rationing was not necessary. It was built into my Momma to have a willing spirit of anticipation.
Now for the deeper thought…...If we would live our live on Momma’s Oatmeal program, we could enjoy life a lot longer and better. I see many people who devour what they receive in a hurry never thinking if they are going to get hungry soon. We are a living, breathing example of why we should eat a reasonable amount of food and not overindulge. The same goes for the rest of lifestyles. some of them need to be lived (or tasted), We need to savor each day (or morsel). We need to appreciate the love and labor which went into each opportunity with a palette of life. We should exercise moderate portions of life and enjoy each bite (or experience) we are given and not feel as it we are on our last “cookie”. Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest!
 
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:\
1 Peter 5:8     
 
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
 
(c) copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is referenced to original location for reference credit.
Advertisements

LET’S GO WITH YOGURT

yogurt
                               PHOTO COURTESY OF FRAICHE YOGURT

TODAY THE WORD is YOGURT. I know that some of you who know me and understand how southern I am are smiling right now and thinking to yourself, “Arline eats yogurt?” I do! My health conscious daughter introduced me to yogurt several years ago in an effort to move me into a healthier eating regime. Oh, how I resisted at first. It had a different texture than anything I had eaten and I thought, “I have to eat this, maybe healthy eating is not for me.” I feel yogurt is an acquired taste unless you go the route of the sugar added not quite so healthy yogurt or get the frozen yogurt that can be topped with a  thousand candies, nuts, fruits, and even chocolate. Now, we may be talking, I thought. That delusion got squashed very quickly and rightfully so and this is the reason for the topic for the blog today. I am having yogurt this morning, and it is healthy non fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. This preparation gave me the thought of how we change things in our life to suit our desires, not our needs. In other words, we want to adjust to appease and that in itself is not healthy. While on one hand, to tell others I eat yogurt gives an impression of health conscious habits but it is necessary to look farther into the description. Am I eating the healthy yogurt or piling on the “goodies but baddies” on top and defeating my purpose?

Now for the deeper thought…..Do we do this misrepresentation in other areas of our lives? Do we pretend to be a good employee and steal time from the company we work for? Do we portray total faithfulness to our spouses and at the same time do what we call “harmless” flirting? Do we give to others when it is selfless or do we give when it suits our image? Do we say we trust in Our God but question when our prayers are not answered immediately? Let me say this please, I am speaking to all of us on this and getting real. Not everyone will go the healthy route and sometimes even the best of us will feel we deserve the toppings with disregard to our spiritual health, but God is there to guide us back to what is healthy for our souls. Life presents all kind of unhealthy temptations and our souls can benefit if we choose the healthy, wonderful lifestyle and be frankly honest with ourselves. At points in my life, I didn’t want to be frank with myself. I find it so enlightening to be honestly free now. I make mistakes and have to pray and “straighten up my spiritual diet” and God hands me my “soul diet” (bible) and forgives me for getting off the program. If all of us will commit to “soul happy diet” our lives become easier, better things happen, and we acquire a taste for the healthy living and we “exercise” God’s love. Let’s get healthy in our souls today!

 FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Exodus:

“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all of His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’ ” Exodus 15:26

(c) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

IS IT COMMON TO LOSE COMMON SENSE?

 

common sense

IS IT COMMON TO LOSE COMMON SENSE? This morning I ran across a memory post on Facebook and it seems as applicable or even more in this world of he said, she said, or they said. or anonymous said.  I am posting it here and then I will give you my additional thoughts on this subject.

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 8.12.02 AM

common sense 2

Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes common sense:

Definition of common sense

  1. :  sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts She’s very smart but doesn’t have a lot of common sense. rely on common sense for personal safety

Common Sense Is Neither Common nor Sense

Psychology Today  provides an excellent insight on Common Sense.

Common sense, defined as “sound judgment derived from experience rather than study,” is one of the most revered qualities in America. It evokes images of early and simpler times in which industrious men and women built our country into what it is today. People with common sense are seen as reasonable, down to earth, reliable, and practical.

But here’s the catch. Common sense is neither common nor sense. There’s not a whole of sound judgment going on these days (though whether it is worse than in the past, I can’t be sure), so it’s not common. If common sense was common, then most people wouldn’t make the kinds of decisions they do every day. People wouldn’t buy stuff they can’t afford. They wouldn’t smoke cigarettes or eat junk food. They wouldn’t gamble. And if you want to get really specific and timely, politicians wouldn’t be tweeting pictures of their private parts to strangers. In other words, people wouldn’t do the multitude of things that are clearly not good for them.

And common sense isn’t real sense, if we define sense as being sound judgment, because relying on experience alone doesn’t usually offer enough information to draw reliable conclusions. Heck, I think common sense is a contradiction in terms. Real sense can rarely be derived from experience alone because most people’s experiences are limited.

In fact, I think that so-called common sense is a fallacy that has been foisted on us by our culture of ideology (any ideology that wants to tell us what we should think and do) that prefers us to be stupid, ill informed, and poor decision makers. Sorry to get a bit political here, but common sense is even used as an ideological cudgel by conservatives in which so-called coastal elites lack common sense and, as a result, are out of touch with “real Americans” who apparently have an abundance of common sense. But, if we use our elected representatives as examples (though I can’t vouch for how representative they actually are), I think it’s safe to say that unsound judgment, that is, the absence of common sense, doesn’t discriminate based on political ideology.

The word common, by definition, suggests that common sense is held by a large number of people. But the idea that if most people think something makes sense then it must be sound judgment has been disproven time and time again. Further, it is often people who might be accused of not having common sense who prove that what is common sense is not only not sense, but also completely wrong. And, by the way, common sense is often used by people who don’t have the real knowledge, expertise, or direct experience to actually make sound judgments.

The unfortunate reality is that trusting common sense, in point of fact, causes us to make poor rather than sound judgments. Perhaps the biggest problem with common sense is that it falls prey to the clear limits of personal experience. Or, we don’t even have any actual experience in the matter and rely simply on what we believe to be true or have been told is true, what we might label “faith-based sense” (in the broadest sense of the word faith). For example, when you’re having a discussion about just about anything that requires taking a stand, for example, the weather, the economy, raising children, sports, what have you, how often do you hear some variation of “Well, it’s been my experience that [fill in the blank]” and the person then draws a conclusion based on said experience? And how often is that conclusion wildly at odds with the facts? More often than not in my experience (though, of course, my experience may be insufficient to draw a truly sound conclusion).

I think we need to jettison this notion of the sanctity of common sense and instead embrace “reasoned sense,” that is, sound judgment based on rigorous study of an issue (which also includes direct experience). Of course, we can’t do an in-depth scientific study of every issue for which we need to draw a conclusion or make a decision. We can’t, in the formal sense, do a review of the literature that includes relevant theories and the scientific findings to date, prepare detailed hypotheses, design a formal methodology, collect data, and employ complex statistical analyses from which we draw conclusions. But we can, and should, apply many of these basic principles of the scientific method in more informal ways to our daily lives.

 

common sense 1

 

 

In conclusion of the breakdown of what we older people have referred to a common sense may be more realistically described as ‘REASONED SENSE” and it may be less common than any of us want to admit.

 

 

I will leave you with this LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by appreciating and understanding that life sometimes makes no sense, common or reasoned, at all.

 

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 ARLINE MILLER with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit. Photos are not exclusively property of blog unless stated.

WHERE DID MY ROSE COLORED GLASSES GO?

WHERE DID MY ROSE COLORED GLASSES GO? Once in a while I will have a topic come to me without outside influence. When talking to my daughter, the topic of people seeing life for what it really is. Even though we want to think the best of people, we have to have eyes wide open and minds in sync with reality. Years ago, I took off my rose colored glasses. I hope I will never need them again.  John Conlee wrote a beautiful song and I used to sing it a lot. I actually bought a pair of rose colored sunglasses at a time when this was a fashion trend (not that I was such a fashioniva). So many things were distorted in my life at this particular time in my life. One verse now comes to mind in a different context:

So I just keep on hopin’, believing
That maybe by counting the many times, I’ve tried
You’ll believe me when I say, I love you
And I’ll lay these rose colored glasses aside.

 

 

Courtesy: John Conlee – Rose Colored Glasses Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here is an excerpt from an article I find helpful in our discussion:
Be positive but stay realistic
 
How do you think and feel about the past, the present and the future? Do you tend to see the good side and the opportunities or do you tend to focus on the problems and things that might go wrong? How realistic are you being? All of this matters for how happy and satisfied we are with our lives
WHY DO IT?
People who are optimistic tend to be happier, healthier and cope better when times are tough. So there are a lot of advantages to looking at the world through a positive lens and focusing on the things that are good. However, it’s possible to be unrealistically optimistic which isn’t a good thing. And it’s certainly not helpful to put a positive spin on everything or pretend that things are fine if they’re clearly not
Whether we are naturally an optimist or more of a pessimist, it’s impossible to know what the future holds. So perhaps the best of both worlds is to be a realistic optimist – someone who tends to maintain a positive outlook, but within the constraints of what they know about the world.
Whether we tend to be optimistic or pessimistic is part of our personality, and can be hard to change – but it is possible. We can become more conscious of our own patterns of thought and learn skills to help us be more flexible in our outlook.
Source: ACTION FOR HAPPINESS 
 
By thinking of those lines, I think of God singing this lyric to all of His Children who hesitate to believe how much God loves us and how many times He has tried to show us and most of us live with rose colored glasses on trusting in ourselves only and not giving God the credit for all of the good things in our lives. John Conlee didn’t have this idea in his mind but doesn’t it fit for any of us who refuse to take off the rose colored glasses of life which distort the truth and take us down paths we don’t need to go? I am thankful for pulling off those rose colored glasses and seeing, believing, and trusting in God’s truth. I can now see how many times GOD tried to show me how much He loves me and you.
 
Today, I dived into the deeper thought by the message itself, but I leave you with this thought. God’s love is deeper than any ocean, wider than any river, and higher than any mountain and is everlasting!
 
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
1 Peter 3:3-4            
 
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
 
(c) copyright 2012-2017 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. All third party reference is sourced to original post.

LET IT BE; LET ME BE ME!

LET IT BE; LET ME BE ME! I woke up this morning and realized a compelling thought. I don’t want to be compared as much as I want to be free to be me. I may never be recognized as a great writer, but I love to write. I may never see fame or fortune but I am famous as Nana with a fan base you wouldn’t believe. It is comprised of eight beautiful grandchildren and one hug from any one of them is better than a Pulitzer prize any day. I chose to write a little thought on Facebook and felt I would share it on the blog. Individualism is extremely crucial to our self worth but is as crucial in our society allowing LET ME BE ME!

Be true to yourself

Friday Morning Thought: If I concentrate on being the best I can be with all of my flaws, I will not have time to be in anyone else’s business. One thing I observe is sometimes we get busy trying to fix others, we lose sight of our individual goals and personal growth. What I think is right might not be what feels right for someone else and vice versa. Let me give an example: I love beautiful horses and my husband was a great horseman but I can assure you I am not comfortable on a horse, never was and never would be but I love how much he loves riding. This is open minded thinking but understanding what we can and are willing to do. I write books and many people have expressed how much they love to read my books. When I have asked them if they would like to write, it is obviously responded with a NO. In other words: Some ride and some don’t; Some write and some don’t. This world would be a better and more compatible place if we recognize just because we love to participate in certain actions and/or events; others may want to do differently. Live and let live doesn’t mean that what others do is something you would do; it means freedom for each person to live their life the way they choose. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LIVING IT TO THE FULLEST….Arline Miller, Author

care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a great article which gives us 5 reasons why individuality is important.

5 Reasons Your Individuality Is Important

Many people get bullied or harassed in life because of their unique traits or qualities. But the fact is that the only people who bully these individuals are non-unique people! Other people who have some individuality in them, and let it loose, know what those confused and sad clones don’t know. Uniqueness is important to our society and our world.

Here are 5 reasons why your individuality is important.

1. You Contribute Great Ideas To The World.

When you are unique you can think outside of the box. Limiting beliefs are not always there to hold you back from coming up with new ideas or seeing things in a new light. Many of these new ideas can help this world and the people who are in it. Creating a better life for everyone is left to people who think outside of the box.

2. You Are Not Influenced By Other People’s Fears.

Many people will hold back from attempting something because of other people’s fears. They are told by someone else that they can’t do it or wouldn’t be able to do it and they don’t even try because of that fact.

People with their own minds tend to think for themselves. They decide whether they want to go for something they want and whether the risks outweigh the benefits. And most of the time they go for it! They achieve and do more with their lives than their cookie cutter peers.

3. You Lead The Way For Others.

Because you are more open-minded and willing to learn and try new things, you clear the path for people who have to see what will happen first before they try anything. You also clear the way for those people who have to follow the latest belief in order to feel part of this world. Every trend, fad, and present belief, was started by one unique individual who led the way.

4. You Life Live With More Joy.

People who pride themselves on being their own individual also are more aware of what makes them happy and take more pleasure in those things. They know what makes them happy and they go for it!

Many people who believe that their pleasures are wishful thinking or not plausible because of other people beliefs do not attempt to find their pleasure, but instead live a life of acceptable behavior and normality. In other words, they want to paint the scenery they see and they know it would give them pleasure, but because other people would judge them or make fun of them for painting they just don’t even bother.

5. You Inspire People Like You to Live Their Lives More Passionately.

Many people are scared to break out of their shells with their own individuality. They don’t see anyone around them like themselves and don’t want to risk the judgement from the peers. But many people are inspired to do so when they see the freedom that your uniqueness gives you. You allow people to break free from their pretend self and live their life out with the joy of being their individual selves.

As you can see, being an individual is not only important to your own well-being but leads the way for others to be happy as well. So be who you are meant to be and live with no regrets. You will thank yourself later in life and you will feel better about yourself now.

attitude3

 

 

 

Find ways to be yourself and allow the same privilege to others. Think of how many wonderful and talented people there would be if we LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST.

(c) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is referenced to the original location for reference credit. Photos are not property of blog unless stated.

LET’S GET HERBIE!

 

18766072_10211411027264814_8746698889254603766_nLET’S GET HERBIE! On my blog, Healthy Bites, you can find tips on using fresh herbs but I listed them here on storing and drying those wonderful seasoning herbs.

Time to use fresh herbs for seasoning garden veggies and great in soups:

Left top to right Split Leaf Parsley;Rosemary; Thyme; Thai Basil; Center – Cilantro; Bottom Center -Rosemary; and Purple Basil

First Drying tip: Use a mug tree for hanging herbs to dry. Great fragrance and presentation. Once dry, package for all year enjoyment of garden grown herbs.
Second Drying tip: Place herb leaves or stems on paper towel in microwave. Make sure turntable is off and microwave for 1 minute. Herbs will be dry and remove from stems and package.

Our Fresh herb harvest after clipping to be refrigerated with filtered water

Method for storing fresh herbs in refrigerator

1 Snip off the bottom of the stems.

2 Make sure the leaves are completely dry. …

3 Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar.

4 If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag.

Tip: Fresh Mint put in garbage disposal is the best refresher

and if you have left over lemons, place both in disposal. Lemony-mint fragrance.

 

You can visit HEALTHY BITES by going to my blog at:
https://sippingcupsofinspiration.wordpress.com

 

Herbs

 

 

Food Network offers a great info article on the popular uses for cooking with herbs:

Guide to Fresh Herbs http://fw.to/E4zIxRa

Basil

A close relative to mint, basil has a floral anise- and clove-like flavor and aroma. There are two main types of basil: Sweet, or Genoese, basil and Asian basils. In Western cuisine, basil is most often associated with Mediterranean foods like pesto and tomato sauce. Sweet basil pairs naturally with tomatoes, but it can be used with almost every type of meat or seafood. Asian basil has a more distinct anise flavor and is often used in soups, stews, stir fries and curry pastes.

Parsley

One of the most common and versatile herbs used in Western cooking, parsley has a light peppery flavor that complements other seasonings. It’s most often used in sauces, salads and sprinkled over dishes at the end of cooking for a flash of green and a fresh taste. Flat-leaf or Italian parsley has the best texture and flavor for cooking. Curly parsley is best used only as a garnish.

Cilantro

Cilantro, also called coriander, has a flavor that some people find “soapy,” but it’s still one of the world’s most popular spices. Many people are addicted to its bright refreshing flavor, and it’s a staple of Latin and Asian cooking. The sweet stems and leaves are usually eaten raw, added after a dish has been cooked. The roots are used to make Thai curry pastes.

Mint

Although more commonly associated with sweet treats, mint lends its cooling, peppery bite to plenty of savory dishes, particularly from the Middle East and North Africa. Fresh mint is perfect for summer-fresh salads, to liven up a sauce and or to brew fragrant teas. The cooling flavor is also used to temper spicy curries.

Rosemary

A tough, woody herb with a pungent flavor, rosemary’s spiky leaves can be used fresh or dried for long cooking in soups, meats, stews or sauces. Because the flavor is strong, it’s best to add rosemary sparingly at first and more if needed. Fresh rosemary can be stored for about a week in the fridge either in a plastic bag or stems down in a glass of water with a plastic bag around the top.

Thyme

One of the most popular herbs in American and European cooking, thyme can be paired with nearly any kind of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable. To use fresh thyme, peel off as many of the leaves as you can from the woody stem by running your fingers along the stem. Particularly with younger thyme, some of the main stem or little offshoot stems will be pliable and come off with the leaves, which is fine. Thyme keeps for at least a week in the fridge, wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag.

Sage

Most people use dried sage once a year for their Thanksgiving stuffing, but there are many other delicious uses for this herb, particularly in dishes with pork, beans, potatoes, cheese, or in the classic sage and brown butter sauce. The flavor can be somewhat overwhelming — particularly with dried sage — so start off with a small amount and build on that. Fresh sage can add nuance and complexity to a dishes.

Chives

Chives add a flavor similar to onion without the bite. Plus, their slender tube-like appearance looks great as a garnish either snipped and sprinkled or laid elegantly across a plate. Add these delicate herbs at the very end to maximize their color and flavor. Purple chive blossoms are more pungent than the stems and can be a beautiful addition to a salad.

Dill

The feathery leaves, or fronds, of the dill plant add a pleasant anise-like flavor to seafood, soups, salads and sauces. Its subtle taste makes an excellent compliment to foods with delicate flavors like fish and shellfish, and it is commonly used in cuisine across Europe and the Middle East. Fresh dill should have a strong scent and keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Oregano

Oregano, a pungent herb primarily found in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, is one of the few herbs that dries well, so it is easier to find dried oregano than fresh. Dried oregano can be substituted for fresh, but use half as much dried oregano as you would fresh since the flavor is more concentrated. Oregano can also be used as a substitute for its close cousin, marjoram.

 

There is nothing more fragrant, delicious, or healthier than fresh foods seasoned with herbs picked or cut from your home grown herb garden. Let’s get Herbie!

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location for reference credit. Photos are not property of blog unless stated.