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I Never Knew

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I was in the hospital after my stroke eighteen months ago. I was feeling down all morning because I thought, “Gee! I almost died and I haven’t done anything worth while or important yet.” I finished lunch and was feeling tired. So I laid back in my bed and closed my eyes and was just drifting off to dreamland when out of the blue George popped into my brain.

George was one of my first grade students. He was a crier.

Generally when a child cries once the parents leaves school the child stops crying.

Not George. This was one tough seven year old!!!

He cried the entire day. For the first two days I gave George lots of attention. But he just kept on crying. The only time this child did not cry was at lunch time or on the play ground.

So after one week I decided to just ignore him.

Every book or piece of paper I gave to other students I gave to George too. I collected and graded his papers, even though he did no school work.

It got so bad even one of the children asked me to make George stop crying because the noise was interfering with his thinking.

I explained to the class that it was hard for me to think too.  But that I could not stop George from crying. I told the class that George wanted my attention all day long, twenty-four/seven. I also explained that if I did that I would not have any time for them.

I printed the word, “psychology” on the chalk board and gave the class a child’s definition of it.

I told my class we had to use psychology.  We had to ignore George.  I asked the children how many wanted to help me. Every student except George raised their hand.

A week passed.  I was in day two of the second week of Crying-Gate!  It was after lunch and I had just finished a math lesson and gave the class some practice problems to work. I was walking around helping students with their problems.

All of a sudden my teacher antenna told me something was wrong in the class. I looked around and listened. Everyone was busy. What was wrong?

Then it hit me! That was it! EVERYONE!!!!

I looked over at George and there he was counting on his fingers. He picked up his pencil and wrote on his work paper.

For what ever reason, George decided to become a part of our class that day.

I said, “Boys and girls….I hate to interrupt you because you are all working so well!  I told them George has decided to be part of our class. Let’s welcome George to our class. And I started to clap my hands. Of course the class did likewise.

George had a big smile on his face too. I gave each child a piece of candy as a reward.

George remained a good student the rest of the year.

Now fast forward five years. I was not teaching any more. I worked for Wright State University. I had a meeting at a high school in the school district where I had taught.

As I was walking into the school there was a woman coming out of the school and she said, “Miss Hunter….”  I stopped. “You may not remember me. I am George’s mother.”

OMG!!!!!!

I asked her how he was doing.

She said, “George is in fifth grade now. He is on grade level in reading and on 4th grade level in math.”

I started to say, “How wonderful….” but she went on…….

“……….and I credit you for all of it because you made George grow up that year.”

I was flabbergasted!!!!!! To say I was flabbergasted is an understatement! What a wonderful thing to say.

No one had ever said that to me. I never knew!

This remains the most wonderful compliment I have ever received.

Even if George was the only child I helped, it was enough. But then I realized there was also Brenda, Scottie, Peter, Jeffrey, Darin, and so many more. I have so many stories I could share!

I fell asleep then knowing that I had mattered to many of the children I taught. My life was not wasted.

Featured Recipe         Hamburger Stroganoff

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This is what you need for 3 people:

2/3 to 3/4 pounds ground chuck

2-3 tablespoons butter

4-6 medium mushrooms

¼ cup chopped onions

1 small garlic clove minced

S&P to taste

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 – 2/3 cup beef broth (canned or from granules – I use bouillion granules)

6 tablespoons sour cream

Parsley for garnish ~ Optional

Cooked noodles

Here is what you do:

Prep all vegetables first: onion, garlic, and mushrooms.

Melt 1-1½ tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the  ground chuck.

Brown the ground chuck in one tablespoon of the butter. I also drain some of the fat from the skillet at this point.

Add another tablespoon and one-half of butter to the skillet along with the onion and garlic and the salt and pepper.

Sauté until onion and garlic is softened and translucent.

The water for the noodles us boiling now, so I am going to add the noodles. Cook the noodles according to package directions.

Now back to the Stroganoff. Add the mushrooms and cook until just beginning to soften.

Add Worcestershire sauce and mix well.

Stir in the flour and mix until the flour disappears.

Then add about ¼ – ½ cup of the broth to the meat and mix well.

This is how I do this. To make the broth I use 2 teaspoons of Beef granules. I add 2/3 cup of hot tap water to the granules and stir. (You could use beef broth.)

You may need more or less of the broth depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce. I start with about 6 tablespoons and proceed from there. Stir the broth into the meat mixture.

When it begins to thicken…..See how thick and gravy looking the broth is now? That is what you want…..

……now add the sour cream one tablespoon at a time. Don’t mix yet. Allow the sour cream to warm a bit and begin to melt. Then and only then gently blend into the sauce with a spatula.

Drain the noodles.

Mix the sour cream completely into the meat mixture

Serve the sauce over the noodles and serve with a salad and another vegetable.

Bon Appétite!!!
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Skinny People Rarely Diet

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I share two new interesting food research studies for you today and one quick, easy, and super delicious recipe.

1. Skinny People Rarely Diet

Did you know that skinny people rarely diet?  Or so some researchers say.

What the researchers in this study found was that skinny people tend to listen to their hunger cues. Or in other words, skinny people tend to eat only when they are hungry.

Other things skinny people tend to do are cook more at home, and eat more uality, non-processed foods.

It is a short article and you can read the details by clicking here: Skinny People Rarely Diet.

2. Higher Salt, Lower BP

Another recent study found salt lowers blood pressure.

However, no sooner was the study report published the anti-salt folks debunked it.

The fight and controversy continues!

You can read the entire article, pro and con, by clicking this link –  Higher Sodium Lower Blood Pressure – and make your own confusions!

No Matter What,  I stick by Roberta’s Diet Program:

I eat what I damn well want. I just eat less of it and add a fruit or vegetable with it.

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Featured Recipe         Stuffed Peppers

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I love this recipe for so many reasons. One, it is quick and easy. Two, it is simply delicious!!!

I like my stuffed peppers crisp. So I do not over cook them. No wet noodle-like peppers for me!

Shhhhhh!!! Don’t tell anyone.

However, my real secret in this recipe is the mix of ground chuck – NOT hamburger – and pork. It is this combo that makes my stuffed peppers tastier than most stuffed peppers. It makes the filling light and airy.

I like to serve this recipe with small red potatoes cut in half and drowned in butter, salt and pepper.

Bon Appétit

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This Is What You Will Need For 3 People

3/4 pound ground chuck

1/4 ground pork

1/3 cup onion diced

1 teaspoon diced garlic

3 medium peppers; any color

3 – 8 ounce cans tomato sauce

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese*

Salt and pepper to taste to taste

½ cup Minute Rice

About 1 tablespoon dried oregano

*or Mozzarella or feta or cheddar

Here Is What You Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Wash and cut peppers in half, remove membranes and seeds.

Brown the ground chuck and pork; drain if necessary.

NOTE: I use a mixture of ground chuck and pork for flavor. As I said above – this is my secret ingredient.

Stir in diced onion and garlic and sauté a minute or two.

Stir in 1½ cans of the tomato sauce and cook covered 3-5 minutes.

Stir in rice and let stand 7 minutes.

Spoon the filling into pepper halves and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle the oregano on top.

Top with some of the remaining sauce and cheese.

Pour about ¼ inch water and a bit of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Heat in the oven covered 15-20 minutes until peppers are crisp tender.

Let stand covered for about 7 minutes before serving.

Pass more sauce and cheese at the table.

Quote of the Day

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

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Fillets with Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

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Just a recipe today. I should not say, “just.” This is one fantastic and delicious recipe! Best of all it is super quick and easy to make!

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Fillets with Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

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ou will need for 3 people:

¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons butter, divided

4 thin fish fillets about 6 ounces each (flounder, tilapia, trout)

3 tablespoon capers

1 lemon, cut in half

Here is what you do:

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Add fish filets one at a time and shake to coat, shake off excess.

Melt 1 tablespoon over medium heat in skillet.

Cook fillets until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes each side.

Place filets on a platter and keep warm.

Turn off the stove.

Squeeze the juice from one of the half lemon into the skillet.

Add the capers.

Off the heat, swirl the remaining two tablespoons of butter into the pan just until it melts.

Pour the butter sauce over the fish (and over the asparagus if serving – see serving suggestions below)

Garnish with remaining lemon slices and serve at once.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Asparagus, rice pilaf, melon slices, maybe a nice salad with some white wine.

Bon Appétite
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