Friday, August 14, 2015

Easy beef Stroganoff with hamburger

Beef Stroganoff with hamburger.

1 pound hamburger.
1 chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream
Salt just a little
Pepper to taste
Egg noodles (not homemade type but bagged egg noodles).
Olive oil

Start water in a pot for your noodles. Cook them as instructed on package.

Start sauteeing onions until sweating. Add garlic. When onions are caramelized and ground beef. Cook until brown, then drain the grease and remove the meatloaf mixture to paper towel covered plate to drain.

Wipe remaining grease from pan with paper towel. Add can of soup and sour cream. Mix together well. Add meat/onions/garlic mixture. Heat over medium low until warmed through, not boiling.

Drain noodles when they are done. You can either plate the noodles, and ladle the stroganoff mixture over, or throw it all in the pot with the drained noodles. Your choice.

Salt and pepper to taste. I prefer freshly ground somewhat chunky pieces of pepper for this dish.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wells Family Meatloaf by Donna Robb

It's a family meatloaf recipe that has been passed down through 3 generations. From my Grandma, to my late Dad, to me. We each changed it just a bit, but the basics are the same.

My late husband called it meatcake, because it was too good to be called meatloaf!

If you are in a hurry, or don't want to turn on the oven, it's also good for meatloaf burgers or meatballs with mashed potatoes.

This recipe is for one pound. I will put adjustments per pound as my late husband could really demolish this.

Preheat oven to 375℃.

*1 Lb 73% or 80% lean ground beef. DO NOT USE LEANER, it will be a dry brick!
*1 egg for every 1-2.5 pounds of hamburger.
*1 TBSP melted butter. Increase by 1/2 TBSP per pound.
*1 package cheap, dry onion soup mix. (Don't use the Lipton brand, as the onions look like toenail parings). If 2.5 pounds or over add 2 packages.
*1/2 sleeve Club Crackers smashed into flakes. (I put in a freezer zipper bag and pound on my cutting board with my meat tenderizer. Flat side first, then spiked. Add another 1/2 sleeve up to 2.5 lb. *Maximum 2 sleeves for a 5 lb loaf.
*Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning in the short, round, green, cardboard container to taste. About 4 good shakes per pound. It's not spicy hot.
*Garlic powder 5 good shakes up to 2.5 pounds.
*Seasoned meat tenderizer, if you like. Just about 1 shake per pound.
*1/3 of glaze (see recipe below).

Glaze recipe per pound. Remember 1/3 in the meatloaf. 1/3 on the meatloaf at the start of baking. 1/3 15 minutes out from the end of baking time after you drain off the grease. You may have to make more for the final glazing, I always do. If so just half the original recipe, or add another third to the original.
I don't measure so bear with me.

*A mound of brown sugar in a two cup mixing cup or bowl. The top of it should be about two inches and the rest tapers down like an ant hill.
*Prepared yellow mustard, squirted about 6-7 times around the inside of the cup/bowl.
*Heinz Ketchup, (or Hunt's but no cheap or gourmet types) about 12 times around the measuring cup.
*Two good shakes of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. (Stick with the brand name on this, it makes a difference).
*6 dashes Tobasco, the original. (Brand name specific as other pepper sauces alter the flavor.)

Mix glaze together well. Taste it and adjust to your liking.

Add 1/3 of glaze in meat mixture. Mix the meatloaf ingredients well with your hands. So all is blended well throughout.

Spray cooking spray, or grease baking dish. Put meatloaf into baking dish, I usually use glass. And form into a loaf. (This is very important, or good luck getting cooked on glaze off your baking dish.)

Glaze with another 1/3 of glaze.

For one pound cook 45 minutes for each additional pound add 15 minutes to total time.

When 15 minutes from end of baking time. Take out, close oven door. Drain grease and use last of the glaze.

Cook remaining 15 minutes.

Let stand about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Good served with scalloped potatoes as a side.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Donna Robb's Chicken Noodle Soup

Donna Robb's Chicken Noodle Soup

Boil 4 chicken breasts until done in a stock pot.

Make noodles as soon as you start your chicken so they have time to dry. This is the recipe I used.

Once you set them to dry, then continue.

Remove schmaltz from top.
Remove chicken, keep liquid, put in colander and run cold water over until you can safely handle. Dice, tear or shred into bite size pieces. Return to pot.

Dice medium yellow onion, add to pot.

Peel and dice 2 carrots add to pot.
If you like add one bay leaf but remove before adding noodles as you don't want to eat it.

Add two or more boxes of liquid chicken broth or stock. I like reduced sodium. It will still be plenty salty to help sore throats if you have them.

You want plenty of liquid as the noodles will soak most of it up.
I also pepper heavily with fresh ground pepper and add a bit of garlic powder, oregano and several dashes of Tabasco sauce. A little Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning is good too if you can find it, in a little green round container. Sorry I don't measure anything. I would say pepper to taste. Garlic powder I cover the top of the broth four times. Oregano probably twelve shakes. Tabasco 12-16 shakes (too taste). Tony Chachere's cover pot four times (it's not spicy hot). 1 or 2 bay leaves if you like.

Cook until carrots are nearly done.

At this point you want to start your noodles. If you don't want them soaking up all your liquid, cook them in a big pot of boiling salt water separately.

If you like mostly noodle, noodle soup, cook in your soup pot. Note, these noodles expand so roll them thin and cut them narrow, and it's still hard to find the chicken, carrots and onions.

When I rolled out the dough, it was hard to get it thin, so I grabbed it by the top when it was in a circle and let the weight of it stretch it out like a pizza dough. Pull on it to help. Then when it's thinner continue with your rolling pin. It's a very dry dough so it's tougher to roll out, but you want it to stay dry.  Since it's fresh pasta, it doesn't take too long to cook after you dry it for twenty minutes. I rolled it up and used a sharp knife to cut it. A pizza roller would do the trick too. I think it only took about 7-9 minutes for the noodles to be done.

After the noodles are cooked add to the soup and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Advice to a teenage girl.

I remember that until I was 25, I was convinced my parents knew nothing.  Their sole purpose in life seemed to be to oppose everything I wanted to do.  At age 25, I finally started to see that my parents were on my side, and just maybe they might actually know something.  Since then, the older I get, the more intelligent they are. 

I always try to learn from the mistakes of others.  So I hope you will too.

It's all about trust.  You trust in God, so give him credit for giving you the parents he did.  He doesn't make mistakes.

Know your Dad was once a young man.  Those days are easy to remember as they are our heyday in life.  He knows what young men are thinking, he was one once.  Even though you don't like to think of it, he thought those thoughts once too.  Trust him, know he is doing what he does for a reason.  His reason is to protect you from making a mistake that can hurt you.  He loves you.  He would probably give his own life to save yourself. 

That's why Honor your Father and Mother is a commandment, because it is extremely difficult at times to do so.  Rely on Christ to help you. 

Whatever the world throws at you, it is all calculated to trying to remove you from your salvation and walk with Christ.  Don't let it.  Pray for strength and guidance.  Then realize the guidance might be found in Godly and loving council from your parents. 

Your friend,


Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Peter 2 Honor all people.

In my reading today first, one of my favorite verses 1 Peter 2:9 KJV.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

I love being called "a peculiar people".  Always have, don't know why unless it goes to show that we who love Christ don't always have to fit in a mold.  We don't have to wear or do certain things to be a Christ follower.  We can be ourselves, who He called us to be.  He does call us to be in the world, not of it.  We are called to be holy, set apart, sanctified.  But we can still have our own unique and beautiful personalities.

This next part, also reinforces that which God has been dealing with me about lately.  Respecting authority.  I haven't been sharing any anti-president/goverment posts lately, even though I have wanted to.  This is why.

1 Peter 2:13-17New King James Version (NKJV)

Submission to Government
13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

There have been anti-Christian statements made about folks who have forgotten verse 17.  Honor all people. - Folks, this is simple, the word is "all".  Not some, not those you agree with.  Not just your enemies enemy.  But all.  It doesn't matter if they commit sin.  Even as a Christian, you, I, and every other Christian out there still sin.  We ask for forgiveness from God.  If we have truly repented, and have no unforgiveness on our hearts, it is given. 

Each sin, except one, the unpardonable sin, carry an equal weight, death and the separation from God if we love that sin more than Him.  So why do we point fingers at folks who sin differently from us?  What right as sinners do we have to judge others?  None!

Now, if someone has accepted Christ and become part of a church family, and falls into sin; the Bible gives direction about how to deal with that to hopefully bring the person back to repentance and fellowship.  That's not what I am talking about.

I am talking about our actions towards others.  Are they loving?  Are they kind?  Can the person look at us and see Christ looking back at them?  If not, are we really a Christian?  Being a Christian literally means being Christ-like. 

Christ never said following Him would be easy.  If fact, just the opposite. 

John 16:33New Living Translation (NLT)

33 "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”


John 15:17-19 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

His command, that we love one another, even our enemies.

Matthew 5:43-48 NLT

43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

So we must love like Christ, give everyone honor. 

Taking an example from recent news, and just using it as a thinking point, not trying to bash those businesses.  If a gay or lesbian couple wanted something from your business for their wedding.  A cake, wedding clothes, invitations, etc..  You as a Christian, may not feel comfortable about participating in an event of this type.  If you do, are you promoting this lifestyle? 

Point 1:  Does the Bible say "Honor all people", or honor only those you agree with?

Point 2:  You may not agree with the "sin issue".  But tell me have you ever done a wedding for folks who lived together or had sex before marriage?  Or someone who has been divorced and is getting remarried?  Or for someone who is a notoriously greedy or abusive, or drunkards? 

You probably have.  Everyone has sin in their lives.  All of the above sins are mentioned in the same section of 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, but read on just a bit further through 6:11.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT

9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

See in verse 11, some of you were like that.  But you were cleansed and made right through Christ. 
My question to you is, if someone doesn't show a person the love of Christ, maybe that person won't get to verse 11.  What if that person is supposed to be you?  What if you blow it by being hateful, or turning away their business?  Do you really want someone to lose out on the eternal life that Christ has to offer because of you?  I know I don't. 

So what do you do?  Get preachy, or all Church-Lady on them?  No, of course not.  Ask Christ to let you love them like He does.  Breathe, relax, they are not going to bite you.  They put their pants on, just like you do in the morning.  Give them your most sincere and heart felt smile.  Tell them it would be your pleasure to make their wedding day everything they hope it will be, then do your job.  Let them see Christ in you.  If you feel led by the Holy Spirit to say something, then do so.  Otherwise as Saint Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One Christian's realization about Obama.

Finished reading Hebrews this morning.  Of late I have been convicted about my feelings, actions and behaviors towards President Obama.  Every time I want to like or share something about him that is negative.  I understand that even though, I do not agree with him, that, as a Christian, I am still supposed to honor and obey him as the leader which God has placed over me.  We are called to pray for our leaders too.  I don't know what to pray for, for him, except ask for God's will for him.  Many times the Church has suffered persecution, and more came to believe in Christ in the midst of it.  Soon, perhaps, the United States of America may become persecutors of Christians, more so than it already is.  I may not like it, but I know Romans 8:28 KJV says:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This is a verse, that again reminded and convicted me this morning.  Hebrews 13:17 KJV.

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Note also that our leaders have a responsibility towards us in this verse too.  They have watch over our souls and must give an account.  Thus we can be assured that God will deal with our Leaders appropriately. 

Just thought I was supposed to share.

God bless.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hebrews 12:2 and what it means to me.

Getting ready to start Hebrews.  Everytime I read it I wonder who authored it.  Always I have figured it was Apollos.  But the Nelson Study Bible said while Martin Luther and many others believed the same, one scholar, Adolf Harnack suggested Priscilla.  That may make more sense as to why no one knows, although they did in the early church, just left us to wonder.  The commentary suggests that the masculine pronoun in 11:32 probably rules that out.  What if she felt, that it would be better received if it was thought to be penned by a man?  Thus leaving out the introductory greetings and using a male pronoun?  Stranger things have been known to happen.  The commentary's author suggests that it is unlikely to be Apollos as he was an Alexandrian, and the Alexandrian church would have known it.  Unless they, like the Nazarenes failed to accept Apollos in his own home.  Luke 4:24 NKJV Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country."
Not to say Apollos was or was not a prophet, but I think the saying could still apply.  I do not know the relationship Apollos had with the Alexandrian church, but it's all just supposition. 
Anyway, my favorite verse is Hebrew 12:2 NKJV.
2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are the "joy that was set before Him."  We are the reason He "endured the cross" even while he "despised the shame".  He did it for us.  To have the joy of being in relationship with us.  Despising the shame of our sins, taking our curse. 
Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 NKJV
22 “If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.
Do you think Christ didn't know what a death, hung on a tree meant?  He is "the author and finisher of our faith." He is the Word.
John 1:1-5 NKJV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Christ is the Word, so He knew what he was doing as He hang upon the tree.  He was cursed for our sake.  So that we, His joy, might never need be separated from Him, on Earth, or in Heaven. 
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 NKJV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He did, He died.  He took our burden of sin and shame.  He nailed them to a cross.  He who knew no sin became sin for us.
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
So we could have freedom over death, Hell, and the grave.
So to accept this gift, we are all so unworthy of, what do we do?
Romans 10:8-13 NKJV
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For“whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I don't care who you are.  I don't care what you have done.  Christ loves you, died for you and wants to be with you forever.  He forgave me, and trust me, I have done so many things that broke His heart.  I repented, asked forgiveness, and He forgave, and forgot.
1 John 1:9 NKJV
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
My hope is in You Lord, and You never disappoint.  I only intended to write that I was starting Hebrews and my favorite verse.  But You made this so much more.  Thank you Lord.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My new recipe, Jimmy Dean and Chicken Noodle Soup!

Hey all fellow cooks.  I made up a new recipe today.  With the snow, today is a soup day.  For some reason I was craving Jimmy Dean sausage, chicken, chicken broth and noodles or pasta.  I couldn't find a recipe so I made one up.  It's good, not the best thing I have ever made, but was still good and yummy enough I will have again for dinner.  A little more of the seasonings might do the trick.

Jimmy Dean & Chicken Noodle Soup
Approx. 1 hour to make. By Donna Robb 2/22/2015.

8 oz Jimmy Dean regular sausage (1/2 chub) the kind you use for breakfast.
12.5 oz can of cooked chicken breast.
2-32 oz low (or no sodium if you can find it) Chicken broth.
14.5 oz Hunts fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic.
2 tsps Basil
1 tsp Cavenders Greek seasoning (or Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Garlic Pepper
3-4 dashes of crushed red pepper flakes
1.5 tsp (5 or 6 grinds) of fresh ground black pepper.
A dash of sugar
8 splashes of Red Wine Vinegar
8 oz egg noodle or pasta
Shredded Mozarella cheese to top

In a soup pot crumble 8 ounces of Jimmy Dean regular (or spicy, but not maple) sausage.  Cook on medium heat until light brown on both sides.  Remove sausage and drain grease on a plate lined with paper towels, pat dry with other paper towels.  Wipe the grease from the pot, but don't rinse.  Deglaze the pan with about an inch of Chicken broth.  Be sure to scrape off the brown from the sausage on the bottom of the pan and get that into the broth.  Add 1 tsp each basil, Cavenders, Italian, Garlic Pepper.  3-4 dashes of crushed red pepper flakes. 1.5 tsp of fresh ground black pepper - or 5 or 6 turns of the pepper mill.  Stir well.  Let cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.  Open the can of chicken saving the lid.  Squeeze out the fluid with the lid.  Add cold water and squeeze out again.  Add to pot, add just enough broth to cover chicken, stir .  Cover pot and cook on medium low for about three minutes.  Add cooked sausage, add just enough broth to cover.  Stir well.  Cover and let cook another 3 minutes.  Taste, add a pinch of sugar, another tsp of basil and three splashes red wine vinegar.  Add rest of broth, stir well. 

Add noodles/pasta, cover and cook for three minutes on medium-high.  While cooking open your can of Hunt's tomatoes.  When three minutes are up add 5 splashes red wine vinegar and tomatoes.  Stir well.  Cover and cook for seven minutes.  When the cooking time is up, note there will be a creamy colored foam on the surface from the starch of the noodles, it's okay, just stir it in.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve with shredded mozarella as a topping.  Stir in to soup while hot to melt.  It also cools the soup somewhat.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Gun Buying Pointers for Women

Some buying tips on guns for women, by a woman.

There's a newer gun model out that I will check into for my next gun purchase.  It's called Sccy pronounced Sky.  I haven't researched them thoroughly, but what I have heard and found, I like.  Especially the price, size, weight, and crazy awesome warranty.  They run about $250-$275.  They are supposed to be pretty indestructible. 

I like my gun too, it's a Glock 19 gen 3.  Both of these are 9mm.  In my opinion the 9 mm is the smallest caliber I would go.  If you have to use it in defense, you want to stop someone, not piss them off.  The Glock has a trigger safety only.  The Sccy has one version with safety, one without.  It may have a trigger safety on the one without, am not sure.  Both guns are supposed to shoot no matter what you do to them.  I know Glocks are easy to clean as Matthew said above.  I don't care for the gen 4 as my finger rests on the trigger itself, not safe.  Plus the grip is very uncomfortable in my hand.  It does have adjustable back straps to adjust for the size of your hand that the gen 3 doesn't and comes with a 3rd cartridge.  Then gen 3 has 2.  As far as how mine handles, I love it.  I only noticed recoil the first time I shot it.  I was so nervous, it may have just been me, not the gun. 

Also, gun guys a lot of times at the store will try to sell you a revolver instead of a semi-automatic.  My instructor said a lot of women had problems cocking them, or doing the longer trigger pull instead. 

Best thing to do is to go somewhere like Bullseye.  They have where you can rent a gun for about $10 an hour.  You have to buy their ammo at about $18/50 rounds.  They let you trade out guns.  You may want to decide what ones you want to try and make sure they are all the same caliber so you only have to buy one size ammo.  Again, I would suggest 9 mm.  Have them show you how to load them before you rent so you are not on the clock.  Shoot 10-15 rounds depending on how many guns you want to try.  Then change to the next gun and try it.  You may want to buy a separate target for each gun and write the name of the gun on it.  That way you can see how well you aim each of them.  Read up online about how to aim using your sites and proper stance.  If there's a woman there at the range store, ask her how she stands, accounting for the "girls" being in the way.  You either hold your arms over the top.  Or from the waist.  I go over for a better stance.  Have her show you how to hold it. 

When you are done shooting be sure to wash your hands in cold water immediately.  When you get home wash exposed skin in cold water.  Wash clothes in cold water too.  You want to get the lead off. 

When you know what gun you want, call around for prices.  Gun stores usually are the highest priced by a good margin.  Just like the mark up on ammo.  Get ammo at Wal-mart or Cabela's or some Ace Hardware stores have good prices.  Check they have it in stock and ask them to hold it for you to pick up right away.  Remember FMJ=full metal jacket is practice ammo.  It's not good to use for defense as it's not as safe for that use.  JHP=Jacketed Hollow Point is defensive ammo.  Hollow points expand upon impact and should stop.  FMJ's go through a person, wall, etc. and keep on going.  Very dangerous to your neighbors and others. 

Update: My Concealed Carry instructor told me that he's had multiple folks with Sccy on the range.  They had multiple malfunctions within only the 25 rounds needed to qualify. He said my Glock 19 was a much better gun. Which is why I bought it in the first place.  I did ALOT of research before I bought it.  My best friend and another friend from church did ALOT of research too and both ended up going with Glock 19, one has a Gen 4 and I think the other a Gen 3.  So you can't really go wrong with a Glock.  If you don't like the 19, there are other 9 mm model Glocks you can try.  I have huge hands, so mine is a good fit for me.  But there are more compact Glocks too.  I wouldn't get anything larger than a 19 though, as it's right at the maximum size you want to conceal.  Any larger, you will have a hard time with concealed carry purses and some holsters.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting for the Bread Machine.

Wow, I think I should have halved the cream cheese frosting part of the recipe as well.  I initially did, but then when it made enough dough for two pans, I went ahead and made the entire amount of frosting.  I just ate one and had to scrape off frosting.  However, these rolls are better after being refrigerated overnight.  Even the massive amount of frosting is good.
Here's the recipe I adapted to be made with a bread machine.
Cinnamon rolls for Bread Machine.
1/2 Cup of warm water
1/4 C
1 package or 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 Cup of milk
1 Tbsp of butter
3/4 Teaspoon of salt
1 egg
2.5 Cups of all purpose flour
2 Tbsp butter
2 Teaspoon of cinnamon
3/4 C Brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 package (4 ounce) of cream cheese
1 Cup of powdered sugar
1/4 Cup of butter
Cooking instructions:
1.  Put 1/2 cup warm water 80 degrees. 
2.  Add egg and milk.
3.  Add flour, 1/4 C granulated sugar, salt, 1 Tbsp melted butter.
4.  Add dry yeast.  (If using timer function, make a well in the flour and put yeast in the well to avoid mixing early).
5.  Start the bread maker on the dough setting. 
6.  Stop bread maker.  Remove dough from bucket.  Turn out onto lightly floured board punch down.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.  
7. Shape into an 18 x 9 inch rectangle (approximately). Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and brush the rectangle with melted butter. Combine 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon.  Sprinkle half of the sugar mix over dough. Roll each up to make 18-inch roll. Seal edges firmly. Cut each roll into several pieces, mine made 26 about a ½ inch wide. The ends usually have little to no filling, so I hold back a little in reserve and dip them in it.
8. Place, cut side up, in a greased 9 inch round cake pans or greased 8-inch square pans. Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake in moderate oven (350 F) about 20-25 minutes, or until done (golden brown). Remove from pan and place on plate to frost.
9.  CREAM CHEESE ICING: In a medium microwave safe bowl cut cream cheese and butter into pieces.  Microwave for 30 seconds or slightly longer if needed.  Using a mixer on low mix until creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the sifted powdered sugar and mix until smooth scraping sides as needed. Put the icing on the hot rolls and let it cool down a bit.
10. Enjoy.
Adapted from Fleischmann’s Creative world of baking (mid 1970′s) as found on Blog of Alexandra titled I Adore Food. 
Changed by Donna Robb to be able to be used in a bread machine, which included halving.  Also changed margarine to butter.  The granulated sugar for the filling to brown sugar. 
Still makes about 24-26 smaller rolls.  Also changed proofing and finishing process.
Updated 5/9/15 to add more butter and cinnamon to the filling and clarify some steps. Renumbered to break into more logical steps.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Print ads I was asked to create for KWLS US 107.9 Real.American.Country.

Last week my old classmate, Amy, asked me if I could work on a project with her to create some moving billboard and print ads for the new radio station where she works. She knows I've been unemployed and we had worked together on our class reunion this summer. Recently when she was consulting at another business, I saw some print ads for it that totally horrified me. Everything I learned about what makes up good print ads in my marketing and advertising classes, was missing. I went over the ad (she didn't create or place it, it was before she started consulting there) with her. Told her all the many things that were wrong with it. Gave suggestions for a replacement ad.

So when her new station needed some ad copy for a campaign they are beginning, she asked me to help. While I'm not a graphic designer, I am a geek, have a good eye, and marketing training and background. Plus this station plays primarily traditional country music (i.e. Country and Western to those of us who grew up with it). But they have a syndicated show that plays newer country too. The cool thing is they are the only FM station in the Wichita Metropolitan area playing the classic country. They also play a variety of bluegrass, honky-tonk, and other sub-genres that I'm not really sure I've ever heard of referred to as a genre before.

Having been forced fed "Hee Haw", "The Grand Ole Opry", and "The Porter Wagoner" show from a very small child, I know quite a bit about "Classic Country". I've even grown to appreciate and reminisce when I hear old Country & Western. Quite a few songs they play remind me of my late Aunt Cheryl, who had Down's Syndrome and only ever had the intellectual capabilities of a three to five year old. She couldn't speak, read or write either. But she certainly had no problem curating a huge collection of old 45's and 33's recordings. She later moved to cassette tapes. I remember setting on the floor of her bedroom in Liberal for hours as a child listening to her play song after song for hours. She would always amaze me that I could ask her for any song and she went right to it in it's huge stack (amongst several other huge stacks) of 45's approximately 3 feet high. At first I thought she had them alphabetized or categorized in some fashion. Then I noticed most of the labels were worn off with use. It was only as an adult, I finally snapped to the fact that she couldn't read even had they not been worn off. To this day I have no idea how she knew where each and every record was that she played. So Country music has become a big part of who I am. Although, I can't think of a music genre that I don't appreciate. I truly love music.

As I grew up I remember the change over from classic country and western to the country music and artists that are popular today. Things started changing around the time "Rhinestone Cowboy" came out in 1975, sang by Glenn Campbell. In 1980, John Travolta starred in the pivotal movie "Urban Cowboy". Then 1981 saw the song "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" sung by Barbara Mandrell. That six year period seemed to me to be the end of Country and Western as many knew it. What came after were many wannabe Cowboy's and music that went along with the new Country craze and popularity. Many C&W aficionados had/have nothing but disdain for the "new Country". So I tried to separate marketing techniques for the new Country artist and make this totally separate, solely focused on Country & Western fans, not "new Country." With all of this in mind, last Friday, I downloaded a new graphic editing software Gimp. Found a blog that explained how to make photo collages with it. Thank you very much Erin of Life On Spin Cycle blog. With the recent death of Little Jimmy Dickens a couple weeks before, I came up with the concept and the initial ad. Frank at the station loved it. Gentle Ben and Amy helped with the wording and which performers we should put on the new ads. My thought was to have all the same feel and look, but have different artists that would appeal to different age demographics and musical tastes.

My main concern was that the artists used were readily visually identifiable by their photographs. I also wanted to keep the same theme, not necessarily the same wording or images, but that the styles and visuals would be consistent. Since three ads were going to be on a moving billboard, I insisted we keep the word count down so that folks could actually get the message in the short time they will be exposed to it.

Here's what we came up with. Let me know what you think.

Please note, I am still looking for a new career. Would love to find something that I love.  My preferred positions have people, planning (i.e. event planning, travel planning, etc.), and technology included.  I also enjoy most things to do with marketing.  If you would like to know more, please visit my LinkedIn profile the sooner the better!

Donna Robb
Inspired Acts with people, planning and technology.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bread making lessons I am learning.

Well, my goal today is to make some lighter yeasty bread than the recipe with my breadmaker calls for.  So I got out my trusty Joy of Cooking - the blue one.  The new one is awful.  I decided to use a basic recipe for two loaves of bread as the one for three was too large for my bread maker.  Well, the ingredients fit for two loaves, but after rising I would probably have a huge mess and a non-functioning bread maker:-(  I hadn't added the yeast mixture yet, so I scooped out all the flour down to the milk mixture.  Let that cool down to 85 degrees (didn't see that step even after reading three times).  So I popped it and a kitchen thermometer (best investment ever for a kitchen device after the bread maker) in my fridge.  Took about thirty minutes to cool down after scalding it.  Then I had to add the milk to the yeast and start stirring in flour, manually.  Then yep, you guessed it, I had to knead it.  Hopefully I did it long enough.  My hands were killing me.  Now it's raising for two hours before I have to deal with it again.  Now I know to halve that recipe and do it in the bread maker next time.  I am using all purpose flour as the loaves with the "bread machine" flour has so much gluten, it's way more dense than I like.  John said he could understand now how people lived off of bread and water in the past as it's super filling.  Good but just not as tasty as what I remember Grandma Wilson (Dad's mom) made.  I don't think they worried about things like bleached vs. unbleached flour back then.  So I used regular old all pupose flour like the recipe called for.  Now to go clean up my mess and start a recipe for cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.  Mom and Dad are particularly anxious to try those!

I don't know what's gotten into me lately but I have been a bread making fool.  So far I have finished twelve loaves.  Today will be the equivalent of four more.  Biologically both my birth Mom and half-brother Loris were both big into breadmaking or so I have been told.  So maybe it's been "bred" into me. . . Har, har!

Boy the yeast from that rising dough sure smells good.  Y'all have a good day.