12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Food, Ranch Life, Treats

My daughter and I love making desserts so this Christmas season we were making Hot Chocolate bombs and saw how the mold idea made for another combination we adore…chocolate and orange flavor! So we tried one of the molds into a cupcake liner putting lots of chocolate in it and filling it with an orange creamsicle mousse. OH MY…it turned out fabulous! PLUS, we put the mixture into our Krumkake AND onto our Hot Chocolate pancakes. YEP…we love holiday baking and this mousse makes for more than just dessert! Hope you find it as yummy as we did!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. I used my Kitchen aid with the whipped attachment.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar, orange essential oil, juice, and salt and beat until combined.
    Gently fold in the whipped topping. If you’re using real whipping cream, place the above mixture into another bowl, beat your whipped cream with a tsp of sugar, then fold into your orange mixture.
  3. Place mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve. In the meantime…
  4. Heat your chocolate wafers in a microwavable bowl until nice and creamy.
  5. Fill a paper or silicone muffin cup 1/4 full and brush chocolate up the sides. Make sure every area is full of chocolate. Place in freezer for 5 minutes then do again making a nice thick chocolate muffin cup. Peel off paper and place on serving plate.
  6. When ready to serve fill up each chocolate muffin cup with orange filling. Add a sprig of orange zest on top.

Since New Year’s is around the corner…this would make quite the treat to any appetizer and game night! Ring in the new year with yummy goodness!

Happy New Year! 2021 here we come!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Treats

Well, these are for sure all the rage right now! WOW! An idea comes out and boom…it’s a hit! Especially in this day and age with so many at home and looking for new crafty ideas for gift-giving. I LOVE IT! And so excited to start my own ideas into this great delicious treat!

I came up finding this when I was in the cities with our son who just got a liver transplant. He had to stay “in town” to make sure he was ok so we had an apartment we were renting. It was awesome as it had a big kitchen so of course opened the door for me to try some new recipes. Stuck inside…make the best of it.

I went onto Youtube and searched for the best options on how to make these cuties. I saw many that simply were not good or well made and some I tried and it for sure was a flop! One was using the plastic ornament balls that split apart. NOT! Don’t use those! They simply make a mess and don’t work well.

The one problem I found was there were no molds to be sold ANYWHERE! Being in the city allowed me to search in many craft stores but none of them had the molds. They told me everyone is into it so they sold out quickly. Hence, why I tried the ornament round as I was desperate! Make sure you use a silicone brush too.

Add whipping cream for extra pop!

I also love the idea of making these for the winter months thinking of some different molds. Heart, Horses, of course, Christmas Tree, Snowflakes, and because we have a cop in the family yes, donuts are a must! Awesome for your neighborhood precinct as gifts too!

TIPS:

Use a silicone brush, go to TOP of the silicone cup. Once filled flip upside down onto a metal rack with parchment paper under to help them be nice and round.
Peel away slowly, handle gently. We also did the chocolate twice to make it extra strong.

Decorating is the funniest part! Use squeeze bottles to get the effect of strips. Immediately add the sprinkles to secure them.

Here is my favorite video on how to…I think you will find it easy to understand and is not so drawn out.

https://youtu.be/xGHGVrnuRqA

You can use dark chocolate bars like in this video but I found the chocolate wafers. You can purchase in all kinds of colors and even flavors with other products, BUT they contain dyes which are not good for you like a red dye. If you want to color your white wafer using Beet powder, or Tumeric is much healthier. It doesn’t take much to make the color. Also, these fun marshmallows are pretty awesome and fit perfectly in the bombs.

Well, we got started on our own version for the Christmas season and they indeed were a hit with the receivers! Hope you enjoy making them, being creative inside and out of each one and of course the final wrap for whomever and whatever the occasion. These are a BOMB for sure!

ENJOY and happy dunking!

Love deeper, talk sweeter, give often,

Lee

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Food, Healing, Ranch Life, Treats

A Long Haul

Spending 3 weeks in a hotel room and life upside down due to our son’s liver transplant, I was excited to arrive home for a week break and do some baking. I dreamed all the way home, (3 hours) of the recipes I wanted to make and seemly enough cookies were on the top of the list.

Being the season for cookie baking and what inspired me was seeing these new sugar cookie kisses. The kisses have cute little sprinkles in them and well….here ya go…my absolute favorite recipe! What makes it so special? The powdered sugar…and the joy of the time…our son’s long haul was heading in an upward climb vs. downward. Such a joy to make these and bring some back to him in a few days hopefully discharged! God is good…even with sugar cookies! You can read his miracle story here! Start from Nov. 1, 2020…amazing!

Dip jar in melted butter, sugar, then onto cookie

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 c. organic sugar
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh vanilla
  • 4 c. flour, plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
All spices I get from Starwest….truly fresh and organic. (link)

Extras: chocolate kisses, cookie cutters, old fashion sugar cookie with sugar sprinkled on top smashing using the bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Any way you choose these is amazing!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl, with a paddle attachment, add eggs and butter until nice and creamy.
  3. Add sugars and vanilla, mix well.
  4. Mix in a separate bowl flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  5. Slowly pour flour mixture into mixing bowl and mix until nice dough forms. Cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
  6. The next part is how you want to make your cookie. If you want the kisses, form balls using a cookie scoop. Bake for 9-11 minutes then as soon as they come out of the oven, place your kiss in the middle.
  7. If you want to make cookie-cutter ones, roll out your dough, make your shapes, sprinkle sugar if you like, and bake for 9-11 minutes. Decorate more if you like.
  8. Lastly is the old-fashioned way, form your balls with a scoop placing an ungreased tray. Using the bottom of a mason jar, dipped in butter, then dip into organic sugar ( I put on a plate) smash ball forming a nice sugar cookie. To DIE FOR!!!

Enjoy all the ways you can bite into this cookie! I truly love it and so does the family after such a long haul! On our way to healing…Praise the Lord!

LOVE LOVE the sugar cookie kisses! They are perfect with this recipe!
Old fashioned sugar cookie

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and thank the Lord for the good and bad times,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Need a quick cake for a potluck or to make for guests? This cake is the ticket and you will be the hit of the party! I also love this cake to give to loved ones who are ill or need a bit of encouragement. It’s a beautiful touch of love!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 c organic sugar
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Oatmeal soak and covered while you prep other ingredients

FOR TOPPING:

  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1/2 c organic sugar with 1 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp. hard and half or milk
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 c flaked sweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. You can use a tube pan that the bottom comes out too. In a small bowl, combine rolled oats and boiling water. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, molasses, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat again. Fold in oatmeal. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. add to the creamy mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan you are using and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. DO NOT REMOVE CAKE FROM OVEN PAN. Mix the topping by combining the topping ingredients in a bowl. Spread the topping on top of the cake and put the cake back in the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes or until the topping becomes bubbly and the coconut is browned. Let the cake cool slightly before carefully removing it from the pan.

Put topping on top and broil for a couple of minutes
Beautiful!

Serve with a cup of your favorite tea and enjoy this wonderful, moist cake!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Food, Healthy Eating, Herb Basket, Living Naturally, Treats

It’s been a crazy fall and I wanted to make some fun thank you gifts just knowing our life could get upside down soon with our son waiting for a liver transplant. One thing I love to do is give a gift to staff or really anyone who has given us extra love.

Getting Creative

Cleaning my whimsy room, I noticed these tubes. I was emptying a to-go-craft bag and wanting to fill it with things to do while at the hospital. HUM…what could I make? I thought to fill them with candy and bow them with a tag. The old hot chocolate idea with cocoa and marshmallows and peppermint candies is always a great go-to. But I wanted to do something different and even more on the healthier side since we are talking about health care workers during such a difficult time. So…I came up with an herbal tea blend. I thought they turned out kinda cool! Plus, giving them out would be easy! The only thing is that when it actually came time for me to give them out the hospitals shut down visitors. I did go to security and asked them to deliver them, just not ideal, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

I just love how they turned out!

How I put them together

I made up three different blends. Fall, Christmas, and simple citrus. The one I loved the most was the lavender one.

Just put the herbs of your choosing in front of you and arrange how you want them to look. The lavender looked great on the bottom with the rose petals on top, then spearmint, lemon peel, and a tinge of orange peel. Just layer as you would like. Christmas tea has my favorite blends of cinnamon chips, ginger, orange, Euchenicia, and very little Hibiscus Flower (great for color too or you could use elderberry or both).

Fall is the easiest, Red rooibos tea, ginger roots, elderberry, clove bits, and cinnamon bits. (Cinnamon sticks work great too but I cut them up into bits for the blends)

All the herbs are organic and wonderful quality! Sometimes they are out of stock but just have them notify you when they arrive.

A new friend moved into our area, so packaged him up some pumpkin bread and tea for a housewarming gift.

Enjoy gifting this year using your favorite things. Blended teas always make a wonderful gift for folks who enjoy the herbal teas. One must have a taste for it though, so choose carefully! You may just have to go back to the hot cocoa idea.

These hot chocolate bombs are a big hit too! I love how creative you can get with these just by switching out the color of chocolate.

Love deeper, talk sweeter, and give generously!

Lee

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Food, Treats

I don’t often make cakes but of course, there are those occasions that call for a special cake. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or welcome new little one this recipe is my go-to! Yep, it’s all homemade and will take an extra step but over 12 years ago we stopped buying cans and boxed items for our cooking and as a result, our overall health is better. I also enjoy the cooking process so there’s that too!

Here it is…ENJOY baking homemade and eating with incredible goodness!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fresh vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutella

For the whipped cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 round baking pans with parchment paper and spray the parchment with baking spray.
  2. In medium saucepan melt butter. Add the cacao powder and stir until smooth. Pour in the boiling water, let the mixture bubble up to 20 seconds or so, then turn it off and set aside.
  3. In a measuring picture or bowl, mix together the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside.
    In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the hot chocolate mixture, stirring gently until it’s halfway combined and less hot. Pour in the buttermilk mixture and continue stirring gently until the batter is combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes os so, until they are just set. Remove them from the pans and set aside to cool completely. (I cut each cake in half to create 4 layers…not ever again!)
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream by whipping cream and powdered sugar together until nice and thick!
  6. To assemble, turn one layer upside down onto a serving platter. Spead half of the Nutella onto cake and half of the whipped topping over the chocolate. Place the second cake on top and repeat. I added fresh strawberries and blueberries to this cake. You don’t want to assemble for an hour before serving as whipped cream will look soggy…hence mine. Cut with a hot serrated knife. I cut my cake into 2 to make it bigger…I won’t do that again…got too wobbly.
  7. Enjoy every dreamy bite!
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Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Treats

Man…there is NOTHING like gingerbread cookies in the fall but add caramel to the mix…WOW…too die for!

I love baking in the fall because of all the wonderful fresh spices. I also love the fact I have more time due to ministry slowing down. This recipe is so simple and will definitely make your family some happy campers! Plus, they were wonderful to have on our trip to Branson, MO. One cookie was enough to meet the snacking need and made the car smell good too!

Hope y’all love it as much as we did!

ENJOY!

Ingredients:

All spices I get through the link, Starwest…organic, fresh!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, fresh grated is best
  • 6 tbsp. salted butter softened
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses or best yet, Sorghum (video below)
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp. caramel sauce (look below)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flout, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Beat in egg.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating until just combined after each addition. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (BPA FREE) and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop a rounded teaspoonful of dough and root into smooth round balls. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Gently press your thumb into the center of each to make an indentation.
  5. Bake until cookies are set but still soft, about 14 minutes. Let cool, slightly then press the handle of a spoon into each cookie center. Remove each cookie and let cool, then fill with 1/2 tsp. of caramel.

Making Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of Sorghum or molasses
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla, more if you like

Put all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk for 5-10 minutes while cooking until thick. Add vanilla and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, cool a bit then pour into mason jar. Refrigerate until cold.

What is Sorghum?

Sorghum is made from 100% pure, natural juice extracted from sorghum cane. The leaves from the cane are stripped by hand, and the heads are removed. The cane is then put through a roller press to squeeze out the sweet juice. The juice is strained again and cleansed of impurities and cooked down in open pans resulting in an amber-colored, mild syrup. Sorghum is one of the oldest natural sweeteners known, used by our ancestors as America was being settled. Besides being the energy food of the settlers, sorghum made their foods tastier and more nutritious. Sorghum contains such nutrients as calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus, and it contains no chemical additives.

The settlers found many ways to use sorghum sweetening drinks, making confection, flavoring meats, but its most popular usage was in baking. It was used in place of sugar in making pies, bread, puddings, and countless cakes and cookies. It is still a nutritious flavoring that gives any food that delicious taste and aroma the spells…HOMEMADE!

Written by the Schrock Family at Silver Dollar in Branson, MO

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Food, Healthy Eating, Jarrin, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats

I love root beer but I tell ya what…Sasparilla is a whole new way of enjoying the ol’ fashion west and the authentic taste! Putting together fresh herbs to make this wonderful beverage fits into any party you are planning. Adding the good ol’ homemade ice cream to make the favorite root beer float….well there ya have it…PURE YUMMINESS!

Sassafras plant, you can smell it as soon as you scrap the stem.

Yes, there are some health risks out there due to the sassafras but like anything eating or drinking too much ill causes issues, so check with your doctor. AND here is a wonderful LINK for more helpful info on this wonderful herb and drink!

Now onto the recipe that will cause your taste buds to burst and impress your whole family you made it homemade!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Stir in sassafras bark, sarsaparilla root, birch bark, ginger, hop flowers, juniper, cinnamon stick, vanilla, and licorice.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl through cheesecloth or strainer. Make sure to squeeze as much of the herbs as possible getting all the juice through.
  5. Stir sugar into the pure liquid making sure it is dissolved. Your mixture should be still very hot so the sugar will dissolve easily.
  6. Allow cooling to room temperature.
  7. Pour in your ginger bug and stir.
  8. Now you’re ready to bottle. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into individual flip-top bottles and seal. Leave at least one-inch headspace. You can also use these bottles.
  9. Leave in room temperature on your counter for 3-5 days, “burping” them each daily to release the pressure.
  10. Place in your refrigerator for up to 6 days. Remember, this is fresh stuff so you want to drink it up!

TIPS:

Vanilla beans are super expensive right now, so I make my own vanilla using 2 beans opened up in a mason jar, and fill with whiskey. Shake as often as you remember and keep for 4 weeks before use. That is MY pure vanilla. If you can swing the bean, get the cheaper 3 pack.

If your ginger bug isn’t giving enough fizz, you can add club soda to your drink to give it that root beer pop!

Enjoy! It is worth the work! Simple really!!!!! You will knock the socks off your guests and or family!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

My hubby and I saw a gal making these muffins and I commented to him how I made these when we were first married. I even still had the recipe in my special box. My sister gave me this to make when I was in my early teens and I LOVED them so much I would make them as often as I could. So of course when I got married they became my special go-to breakfast muffin. OH MY, are they amazing. The only difference was this gal dunked the whole muffin into butter, I just did the tops…I have now switched…the WHOLE muffin is so much more crunchy and yummy!

ENJOY every bite… as with a good cup of coffee or tea, you won’t eat just one!

Prepare 2 bowls for dipping or should I say drenching…

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 /12 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg (using a whole fresh one is best, you will never go back to the store-bought bottles)
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
Drench that muffin!
Smother that coating!

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Spray 12 muffin cups

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and nutmeg

In a big bowl, blend together butter and eggs until creamy

Slowly add the dry ingredients alternating adding milk. Mix until all is well blended. ( I use my Kitchen Aid for this as it makes it easy to blend and add the alternating milk and dry ingredients.)

Using an ice cream scoop, plop into batter into muffin cups. By using the scoop they will be evenly baked and perfectly round.

Bake for 20-25 minutes

While the muffins are baking, mix a cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Have another bowl for your melted butter

When the muffins are done, while still warm, dip muffin into butter covering the whole muffin, then roll that buttery goodness into the sugar/cinnamon mixture covering the muffin. Repeat with all your muffins.

SERVE WARM…really there is no other way to eat them! ENJOY!!

PS…they freeze well too.

Enjoy EVERY bite!
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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Flowers and Fruit Cupcakes?

Yep, I thought we were little nuts to try our hand and adding some weird ingredients to our cupcakes, but…it’s Easter and we wanted to have some fun doing things a little different.

Lavender is our daughter’s favorite herb and essential oil. Even her dog loves it. Plus she is wacko for cupcakes. It must be the police officer in her, but really her hand at cupcake making is adorable so it all made sense for her to try this out.

Lemons is something I have been adding to most of my sweet type recipes only because I love the freshness and pop of flavor. Cookies, pancakes, and cakes in general lemons are the secret ingredient for me. So I encouraged Kinzey to put a lemon her batter. I think you will find these little gems a special treat as well! ENJOY!!! We did!

AHHH, the fresh smell of squeezed lemon!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 lemons, squeezed and zested
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. fresh vanilla (I make my own, recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup squeezed lemon juice (save the remainder for lemonade)
  • FOR THE LAVENDER FROSTING
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. lavender herb, or 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. of milk (only if needed)
  • 1 drop of purple food coloring
  • some lavender herb for garnish
  • NOTE: We had to add an additional tsp. of lavender to get more taste. Test your frosting to see if it is your desired taste.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Whisk the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
  • squeeze lemons and set aside as well as zest from each lemon
  • In your electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Scrap sides and increase speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs and egg whites then add vanilla and half of lemon zest.
  • Slowly add half of dry ingredients mix well until combined.
  • Add milk and lemon juice.
  • Add remaining dry ingredients and beat well.
  • With an ice cream scooper scoop the batter into liners filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the tops are set.
  • Let cool completely.
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • Add butter to your bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until creamy.
  • With the mixer at low speed slowly add the powdered sugar and lavender. Increase the speed of scraping the sides of the bowl.
  • Beat until fluffy. Add vanilla.
  • If the frosting is too thick add your milk. If too runny add more powdered sugar only a teaspoon at a time. When it is right for you to add your food coloring and mix. Frost your cupcakes and sprinkle on some lavender love for a garnish!

Make your own vanilla extract

I really steer away from extracts as you can take any of the flavors and make your own. All you need with the vanilla is 2 vanilla beans in a pint-size mason jar and fill it up with brandy. I use the cheap kind. Let is soak up and shake often for 4-6 weeks. It is to die for!

Let us know what you think and if you added any new flavors!

God bless,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Treats

Incredibly Easy

Time with our adult kids going through difficult trials called for a family time which includes a special meal! Desert being the finally! Chicken Potpie with a homemade crust, luscious fresh salad homemade dressing, and a too die for lava cake. It is so easy and fast, plus it can sit for a while so I could make it ahead of time to give me more time with the kids vs. being in the kitchen. Always a plus!

Really it is simple as you will see. Adding any spice helps make the chocolate stand out, but you don’t have to add any so I did make that part optional. If adding a fruit topping, it does indeed make the whole mouthful more amazing! This lava cake would make a wonderful Valentine dessert as well.

Chocolate Lava Cake

For the batter:

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Mix above ingredients in a bowl making sure to scrap the whole bowl leaving no ingredients not mixed. Very important. Place mixture into an 8×8 glass pan. (doesn’t need greasing which is cool) Set aside while mixing lava.

Lava mixture

  • 1 cup of organic sugar
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1/4 cup organic natural cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup of HOT water (doesn’t have to be boiling just super hot)
All mixed and ready for Lava mixture
Cover totally with mixture up next is pouring water over the top

Mix sugar, molasses, and cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of your batter making sure to cover the whole area. Now…ready for the crazy part? Pour your HOT water over the whole thing. It looks weird and you will want to mix it, but don’t! Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is crusty. Important…place in your prepared oven but make sure to put a cookie tray under your pan as this may overflow in your oven.

Pay no attention to the hole in the upper right…too yummy to wait…

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream or our ranch favorite, raspberry filling. (heat a 2 cups of raspberries with 1/3 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until thick. Optional to add 1 tbsp. vanilla, homemade of course.)

NOTES:

Instead of baking powder which some brands carry aluminum, I use the combo of baking soda and cream of tartar. Also, did you know brown sugar is just sugar with molasses? Hence the above mixture and choose ingredients better for our bodies and our overall health. The above links are good reads.

Enjoy your days, be thankful daily, and

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Grillin' One, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats

Burr… it’s cold -31 this morning

I do love a nice crisp winter air, but not this crisp. Doing chores this morning I thought my nose would fall off!
What did I do to change my attitude and feel warm? Asked Alexa to play Caribbean music and…

Make a dinner full of Caribbean flavor! Appetizer, soup, salad, and the main dish. Oh and dessert of course! I even made a fun NA drink.

Appetizer…Orange Shrimp Mojo

A bright avocado salsa and the citrusy rum-kissed glaze make this appetizer spark the mouth watering for more! Use only fresh herbs and spices. Links below. It really makes a difference!

  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange or tangerine peel
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1/2 lb. peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, uncooked
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2cups orange juice
  • 2 tbsp rum or chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup cubed avocado
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 tsp chopped seeded jalapeno pepper, optional but good
  • 1 fresh Lime

Prep

  1. In a small dry skillet over medium heat toast cumin seeds and peppercorns until aromatic. 1-2 minutes. Remove from skillet. Crush seeds using a spice grinder (great gift idea by the way) or mortar and pestle
  2. In a small bowl, combine the orange peel, oregano, salt, and crushed cumin and peppercorns. Sprinkle 1 tbsp spice mixture over shrimp.
  3. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in oil over medium-high heat. 1 minute, turn shrimp. Add the orange juice, rum, garlic, and 1 tbsp. spice mixture. Cook and stir until shrimp turn pink, 1-2 minutes longer, remove shrimp squeeze 1/2 of the lime juice over top and keep warm. ( when in a pinch I will use my Lime essential oil but fresh is best for this dish) If you do purchase the essential oil, you can only order one and get FREE shipping in the USA! Cool huh?
  4. Bring liquid in skillet to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, for salsa combine the orange, onion, avocado 1/4 cup cilantro, jalapeno, and remaining spice mixture in a small bowl. Stir shrimp and remaining cilantro into the sauce, heat through. Serve with salsa.

Serve with Fresh Ginger Mojo

This is an incredible drink and so fresh but most importantly good for you! YES, a fun drink that is refreshing and good for you…don’t forget the lime!

Muddle fresh squeezed lime juice and sugar along with dried or fresh mint. On ice pour ginger beer into a glass and stir in your muddled mixture. Garnish with mint. SOO refreshing! Put on the Beach Boys and start prepping for dinner!

Main Dish

This grilled chicken gets a lovely pop of color and spice from the lime butter… OOO you will love this dish! One of the reasons I love Caribbean night during cold stretches it gives us a warm time together cooking. The challenge to this dish is grilling out on our deck in the minus 30 below but SO worth it! You can do this on a grill pan (link below) too, which in this weather may be the better idea!

Ingredients: ( I like fresh herbs and spices. Store-bought you never know how long they sit on those shelves PLUS this company has such fun flavors so get creative with your dishes!)

1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar ( I use molasses and regular organic sugar instead)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cacao
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 bone-in chicken breast halves
Cilantro Lime Butter

1/4 cup butter, melted
minced  fresh cilantro (I like a lot so 1/2 cup )
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tbsp lime juice
1 pepper, jalapeno, or serrano, Fresh
pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Brush over chicken. 2.Place chicken skin side down on grill rack. grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 15 minutes. Grill until a thermometer reads 165 degrees, 20-25 minutes longer. Grill pan we use for indoor cooking. 3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter ingredients. drizzle over the chicken before serving.

TIP: if you have leftover, shred the chicken and save for tacos or other dishes. I freeze mine and save for later nights when I need a quick meal.

Now for the finale’

Yep, I love my desserts! What can I say! SO refreshing perfect in tying all the flavors of your pallet together!

Key Lime Mason Jar Delight

Give your own twist to make your winter meal a delightful time together! There is nothing like cooking together and enjoying a wonderful meal you have made! Stay WARM!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee


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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Cooked vs. Raw

It has been many years since I tried making this wonderful beverage homemade and the last time I did it was raw. I used fresh farm chicken eggs from a friend’s farm, regular 1% milk and heavy cream. It turned out awesome and no one got sick! Of course raw is best as you know natural as best as I can is what I desire, but not always easy to get. If you can know your source for the eggs, the risk is lowered significantly.

“The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small organic farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating conventional eggs raw. One study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.”

Because of an illness in our home

Recently our son who had a. liver transplant when he was 20 months old, (he is now 24), from his dad, is undergoing some issues. We are hopeful the liver will function healthily as ever but the doctors are predicting he will need another transplant in 2020. With this going on during the holiday time, I decided to use the cooked recipe which is awesome and of course very safe. I don’t have to worry about any further sickness. I also could add less salt as he is on a low sodium diet. (it doesn’t have much in it but less is best)

Stir milk mixture well.

It really is amazing and super creamy!

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3 cups Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (I make my own look below)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh nutmeg for garnish

Instructions:

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt.
2. Add eggs one at a time whisking well until homogeneous.
3. Pour 3 cups of milk into Dutch oven and heat on medium.
4. Pour egg mixture into the milk and continue whisking.
5. Continuously whisk while it heats up. Using a food grade thermometer heat to 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the mixture until you start to see a little steam, then give it another minute. It will become thicker and smoother as you are whisking.
6. Remove from heat as soon as you reach the right temperature. Add 1 cup of cream and vanilla. Stir well.
7. Pour into a gallon mason jar, cover and refriderate for 8 hours or overnight. 
8. When ready to serve, pour into cups, mason jars, or like we have eggnog mugs! Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Love adding fresh spices!

Fresh homemade vanilla: Fill a pint-size mason jar with brandy any brand. Take 2 vanilla beans (Mexico source is best), scrap the inside into a mason jar along with the beans. Cap it tight, place in a cool, dark place remembering to shake daily for 4-6 weeks. Take beans out and you have yourself the best vanilla extract ever!

Delicious! Every time!

Comment below…love to hear what you think!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Thanksgiving this year took on a WHOOOOLLLLEEE new meaning!
Yep! For us when you almost lose a loved one to mental illness, struggles with ministry needs, son facing health issues with his liver again, and a daughter so far from home my heartaches.  I am just overwhelmed with thanksgiving!
It has indeed been a difficult 2019…but we face 2020 with a new vision.
(GET IT? New Vision? 2020?)

A Special way to engage in THANKS

I saw these special ribbons from Ever Thine Home. I wanted to make them myself but for $20 I couldn’t do it. There are 12 ribbons each having a different way of sharing thanks. Anywhere from describing a time in your past to sharing specific people whom you are grateful for. I loved it! And I think all of this year at the table did too!

Family and friends! Thanksgiving 2019 a year we will never forget and are grateful!

With this special way to begin our meal, our friend Lori made a delicious hot drink for us to enjoy as we cozy upped and had some wonderful conversations. This amazing drink is really easy and of course a wonderful presentation to show off to loved ones. She sure loved on us!

Yummy Apple Carmel Drizzle
goofballs…

Ms. Lori’s (she’s a teacher/mentor/volunteer/board member…) RECIPE!

Carmel Apple Drizzle Delight

  • Ingredients: Fresh is best…When you purchase from this herb market you are getting quality that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf. PLUS you help our ministry! 2 in1 deal!
  • One large Honey Crisp Apple

Whole Cloves

5 Cinnamon Sticks

1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder

  • 1-gallon Organic Apple Cider
  • 2 cups of heavy cream, whipped
  • Carmel sauce (melt your own, or buy the squeezed bottle kind)

Directions:

  • 1. Polk cloves an inch apart around the apple.
  • 2. Put Apple cider into Dutch oven on low heat.
  • 3. Place cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder, and apple into Dutch oven.
  • 4. Simmer for 4-6 hours, covered.
  • 5. When ready to serve, put a tablespoon of caramel into each mug.
  • 6. Fill a mug with cider, top with fresh whipped cream, and drizzle caramel on top.

Enjoy…it really hits the spot on a cold winters night!!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

Raspberry Snowflake Pull Apart Makes for a Great Breakfast

This pretty looking breakfast treat just makes anyones morning! Does it take time? YES! Making fresh raspberry jam and making the dough all pretty much by hand does take some work. But, it is SO worth it! I promise you! Our family loved it! Plus, it’s pretty…keep telling yourself that when you make it!

 

 

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 ¼ cups of warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast

1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

grated nutmeg

4 ½ to 5 cups of all purpose flour

1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Filling and Glaze:

¾ cups of chucky raspberry jam

½ teaspoons of ground cardamom

grated nutmeg

1 large egg yolk

4 to 5 tablespoons of  almond milk

¾ cups of confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoons of lemon juice

 

Directions:

For the dough: Stir together the water, yeast, and granulated sugar in a pouted measuring cup. Let it sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Combine the salt, cardamom and 3 ½ cups of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted wit the paddle attachment and mix briefly on low speed to combine.

Beat together the 1 egg, 3 yolks, honey, and oil into a medium bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, mixing in low speed until combined. Add 1 more cup of flour and mix on medium speed to make a sticky dough that comes together in a loose mass around the paddle.

Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed to make a smooth but still somewhat sticky dough that clears the sides of the bowl, adding up to ½ cups of more flour if necessary, about 4 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few times to make a smooth ball. Oil a large bowl and turn the dough ball in the oil to coat it.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For filling and glaze: Meanwhile, stir together the jam and cardamom in a small bowl.

Shape the dough: When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 4 equal pieces. Line an flat baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form the dough pieces into balls on a floured work surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one ball into a 10-inch circle and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Spread with a third of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Roll out another dough disc in the same manner and place on top of the first; top with the second third of the filling. Repeat wit a third dough disc and the remainng filling.

Roll out te remaining dough disc and place it on top of the last layer of filling.

Center the bottom of a small drinking glass (about 2 inches in diameter) in the middle of the dough to mark the center. At the 12 o=clock mark, cut through the dough with a very sharp knife from the edge of the glass to the edge of the dough circle, leaving the dough underneath of the glass uncut. Repeat at the 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock points on the circle to make 4 quarters. Cut through the middle of each quarter in the same manner to make 8 equal wedges. Cut through each wedge one more time in the same manner to make 16 wedges.

 

Remove the drinking glass. Lift the edges of 2 wedges that are next to each other and twist them away from each other twice, then pinch the ends tighter to reconnect them and make a pointed tip. Repeat with the remaining pairs of wedges. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

 

Stir tighter the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl, adding up to 1 tablespoon more of milk or confectioners’ sugar if needed so that the glaze is the correct consistency to slowly drizzle off the end of the spoon. Drizzle the glaze all over the bread and let harden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

So…yep it’s a lot of work…but your guests and family will adore you! Such a pretty way to start your morning!

 

I hope it turned out. Let me know if you tried it!
Love deeper, talk SWEETER with this tasty treat,
Lee

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Food, Healthy Eating, Treats
Pumpkin Pie wasn’t always my favorite thing growing up. I had to grow into this flavor as well as texture before I could enjoy a good pumpkin pie. With this honey and homemade even pie I think the fussiest one at your holiday table will enjoy this dessert. If they don’t, well…you get to eat it all! Ingredients: 2 Cups of organic pumpkin puree 3/4 cup honey 1 tsp pure vanilla 1/2 sea salt 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (here is my homemade one) 1 drop Cinnamon essential oil 1 drop Clove Essential oil 3/4 cup of heavy cream (half and half will be fine too) 2 eggs lightly beaten 1  unbaked pie crust Dan is amazing at making crusts! He uses Crisco which I hate, but it works and the Betty Crocker recipe. Of course his magic touch makes for perfect crust every time! Honey Homemade Pumpkin Pie Directions: 1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees 2. Mix first 5 ingredients together 3. Mix in cream 4. Gently beat in eggs 5.Carefully pour into your pie shell 6. Cover edges with a pie shield or use foil bake for 20 minutes. Remove shell and cook an additional 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and no jiggling. Honey Homemade Pumpkin Pie Enjoy every bite and add a bit of whipping cream and sprinkle fresh nutmeg on top. Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

We are rockin’ around with excitement here at the Minnesota homestead! Our Vikings have made the playoffs and the game day festivities begin! YEP, I got into the kitchen and made these fun cookie shots especially for our special celebration for our boys in purple and gold! 

These cookie shots can be made with any favorite cookie dough recipe and filled with chocolate malts, to smoothies. We filled ours with ice cream as they were a perfect evening game treat.

                                                                                   

You will need to purchase one of cookie shot pans 


For the Cookie:

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla

1 drop Organic lemon essential oil

2 tbsp coconut milk

3 cups flour

1 ½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp salt

Blend your first six ingredients. Then slowly add your flour one cup at a time along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and put in refrigerator while you prepare your hot pan. If you want different colors of dough, you can separate them at this time too. 

I use Turmeric for yellows, Beet Root Powder or juice for pinks and reds. Purples I had to break down and use the color here

To decorate your rim:

Frosting or melted chocolate, and dipped into colored sugar or sprinkles of your choice

 

Chocolate should be almond bark or candy chocolate


The frosting mixture I used:
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of coconut milk
1 drop   Citrus Passion
Mix and add the color you want. If too runny, add a little more powdered sugar until you get the thickness you want.


So raise your little cute cookie shots filled with ice cream, smoothies, or whipping cream, even milk and SKOL to the Vikings!

God bless you and enjoy the winter months with fun recipes for you and your family!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

SKOL
Great photo editing prograhttps://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1267850&u=1733024&m=46133&urllink=&afftrack=m and inexpensive too!

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Food, Healthy Eating, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats

OOO La La! I love Elderberry and it is SOOOO awesome for you! Elderberry is our GO TO herb when we are coming down with something and especially if we already are in need of a boost.

You can easily make this up and keep in your refrigerator for up to 3 months. We take 2 Tbsp of it a day when a bug is going around. Sniffles, sneezes, coughs, you name it, we start taking our Elderberry Syrup. (recipe below)

Once you have the base you can make up some fun drinks with it. Of course, we put a tablespoon in our tea especially our Christmas blend, but I also have some other favorites below. I think you will find them enjoyable for the whole family!

We call them MOCKTAILS because we don’t put any liquor in our drinks. You can, but that is the reason for the name…MOCK…pretend cocktail. My dad long ago called them foxtails, along with the Shirley Temple…ahhhh fun memories.

Anyway, here ya go…hope you like it. If you have a favorite way to use elderberries, post it! I love getting as much use out of this wonderful herb!

I like using some fun glasses when I serve these up. It just makes it look pretty and fun!

Using syrup and Blood Orange sparkling juice

Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Elderberry syrup base (recipe below)
Fill remaining glass with Blood Orange Sparkling Juice
Top with an orange slice if you like

So pretty…you can stir it up or serve with a swivel stick

This next one is fun! I made up some of our favorite tea during the day, Christmas Tea Blend…which has Hibiscus and Rose Hibs herbs in it. Plus a whole lot of fun spices like clove, and cinnamon. So what a perfect drink.
If Bulk Herb is out of Christmas Tea to blend her is my recipe:
1 Cup of Hibiscus Flower
1 Cup Rose Petals
1/2 Cup Rose Hibs
1/4 Cup of Cinnamon Chips
1/8 Cup Whole Cloves
Orange Peel and Ginger Root about 2-3 tbsp each

In a  mason jar glass:
put 1/2 cup of your blended tea cooled
3 Tbsp of Elderberry syrup
Fill glass with crushed ice
Put a lid on your jar and shake.
Take the flat part of the lid and pour it into your fun glass about 1/2 full.
Fill glass with Club soda to give it the fizz.
I added frozen raspberries on the top and serve.

Elderberry Raspberry Mocktail
Raspberry Hibiscus Tail

The last one is just adding cream to your Mocktail! Use any recipe and just add a little heavy cream on the top. So pretty and fun for all ages and GOOD FOR YOU! For the most part!


*Elderberry Syrup

1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried Elderberries
3 cups of water
1 cup raw honey
1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, and a tablespoon of ginger root
(I love Starwest.  They offer free shipping)

Place berries, spices, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour mixture into a strainer over an easy-pour bowl. Smash berries to release remaining juice and get all that goodness into your bowl. Allow to cool and add your honey. Stir. Pour into a mason jar or pretty bottle that seals well. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

*When you purchase items with the highlighted links or by clicking banners, all proceeds go to our ministry helping kids who are in need of healing and hope. Thank you!

Enjoy these wonderful drinks and celebrate with goodness and wellness!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Food, Ranch Life, Treats

We do love root beer around here!

Especially with a little ice cream and the homemade touch. We also love to have it on our pizza nights! It all just is down home goodness! I have always been fascinated with the ol’ time flavor and the name sarsaparilla. There really is a difference in taste! It is stronger and really more delightful with the tastes of herbs like real vanilla and licorice root. Just amazing flavors pop out! I think you will like this! This recipe makes a quart of syrup that you can use to make your root beer and as a syrup over your favorite ice cream too. For any occasion, you will impress your family and friends with this special drink! So here ya go: 4 cups of water ¼ Sassafras bark 2 tbsp organic anise seed 2 organic Vanilla beans or 4 tbsp of pure vanilla extract ½ tsp organic Licorice Root 10 organic Juniper berries 3 large organic Hops Flowers (optional but love the flavor)

How to Make:

Place 4 cups of water in a pot and bring to boil. Add sassafras bark and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the herbs using a large mesh strainer. Measure the resulting liquid and add ½ part of honey. To 1 part liquid. So if you have 2 cups of liquid add 1 cup of honey.

To make into a soda:

You can add your homemade root beer syrup to a sparkling soda machine or add Club soda to your syrup. Depending on taste you add however much syrup to your soda mixture. Of course, serve in a mason jar to get that ol’ fashioned look! ENJOY it we sure did!!!
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Food, Treats
This recipe is so yummy you won’t be able to eat just one!  Perfect fall goodness filled with sweetness and the right spices. AND…of course, you will want a cup of tea with this treat! The perfect tea I recommend is the Creamy Pumpkin Delight! I doubled this recipe because I like to use a whole can of pumpkin versus 1/2. Ingredients: 1 Cup Butter 3/4 Cup Olive Oil 1 can Pumpkin Puree 1 3/4 Cup Organic Sugar 1 Cup Powdered Sugar 1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla 4 Organic Eggs 6-7 Cups of flour (Add enough flour to have your dough soft and binding but not too much) 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda 1/2 Tsp. Cream of Tartar 1/2 Tsp. Salt 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon 1 Whole Nutmeg grated pinch of cloves Directions: Mix first three ingredients in your mixer. Add powdered sugar slowly while mixer continues to work. Add vanilla and eggs. Put all your flour and remaining ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix well. Switch paddles on your mixture add slowly add flour mixture to your sugar mixture.  Once combined you’re ready to make your cookies. Doesn’t the smell just make you smile? AHHH! For the glaze (I made this amount smaller as I didn’t add a lot onto each cookie, and some cookies I left without the glaze. This part does add a TON more sugar…) 3 Cups Powdered Sugar 4 Tbsp Water 1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon 1/4 Tsp. nutmeg 1/4 Tsp. cloves 1/4 Tsp. All Spice (The last 4 ingredients is the same as Pumpkin Pie Spice as I make my own) Yummy Sugar Pumpkin Cookies Preheat oven 350 degrees Line cookie sheets with parchment paper putting one scoop on a tray. Squish down with the bottom of scooper or spoon to hold glaze Bake for 8-10 Minutes After you place your done cookies on the cooling rack, put your glaze onto each cookie. It will harden once fully cooled. NOW enjoy with your cup of tea!!!!! Enjoy and share! God bless you today! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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