Take the Citizenship Test

Are YOU a good citizen of the United States of America?   Could you pass the test that is required of many who want to become members of the U.S.A?

Refinery 59.com offers a sample right HERE… and so does CNN…. are you worthy?

 

Click here to take the citizenship test.

Eagle Cheese Bites from Hallmark™

Eagle Cheese Bites

Photo by Hallmark

Yield: 20 to 24 cheese bites

Ingredients:

  • One 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • 11⁄2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese 1⁄2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1⁄8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese Round crackers for serving
  • Black peppercorns
  • 20 to 24 whole cashews

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder and garlic powder with an electric mixer. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. Spread shredded Parmesan in a shallow bowl or pan.
  3. Remove cheese mixture from refrigerator. Scoop about 1⁄2 tablespoon of cheese mixture into your clean hands and form a ball. Roll the ball in the Parmesan. Shape ball into a slight oval, and place atop a cracker. Add a cashew beak and 2 black peppercorns for eyes. Continue until you’ve run out of the cheese mixture.

Spicy Honey Chicken — Your Homebased Mom

This Spicy Honey Chicken is covered in a rub of spices, grilled and then brushed with a sweet honey glaze for a perfect combination of sweet and heat. We can grill pretty much year round here in Portland, Oregon. Sometimes we have to stand under an umbrella but it’s totally doable! I’m not sure how…

via Spicy Honey Chicken — Your Homebased Mom

Pet Care – 4th of July Safety Tips

Leo_America's Cat; Photo by A. Jones

Photo by A. Jones

For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.Puppy warns of Firework Safety
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

Watermelon Salad

Recipe by Better Homes & Garden™

Servings: 9

Ingredients:

  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups watermelon juice*
  • 1 ½ cups white grape juice
  • 1 teaspoon shredded lemon peel
  • 1 ½ cups assorted chopped fruit (such as peeled peaches, nectarines, pears, and/or green grapes)
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Mint leaves

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan sprinkle gelatin over watermelon juice. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Cook and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in grape juice and lemon peel.
  2. With a ladle or cup transfer half of the watermelon juice mixture to a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover and refrigerate about 1-1/2 hours, or until thickened to the texture of egg whites (keep remaining watermelon juice mixture at room temperature). Add fruit. Carefully spoon remaining watermelon juice over set mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1-1/2 hours more or until all layers are set.
  3. Top with feta and mint leaves before serving. Makes 9 servings.

 

 

Tip:

*Process 6 cups cubed watermelon (about 3 1/2 pounds whole watermelon) in a food processor; strain to remove seeds and pulp.

 

 

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 92 calories, (1 g saturated fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g monounsaturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 68 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 3 g protein.

 

Chilled Corn Soup with Crispy Corn and Panko Toppper

Recipe by Better Homes and Gardens™

Yield: 5 3/4 cups plus topper

Servings: 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 10 ears), cobs halved and reserved
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • One 7-ounce carton plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

 

Directions:

  1. For soup: In a 4- to 5-qt. pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add 4 cups corn kernels; cook 1 minute. Add reserved cobs and the chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 25 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Cool 20 minutes. Discard cobs. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Strain through a fine- mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing solids. Discard solids. Stir in salt. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours. Whisk yogurt into soup until smooth.
  3. For topper: In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining 1 cup corn and the panko; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Top soup with corn-panko mixture, feta, dill, and zest.

 

 

Nutritional Facts:

Per Serving: 340 calories, (6 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 g monounsaturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 991 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 16 g protein.

 

 

 

 

Watermelon-Berry Lemonade

Recipe by Better Homes & Gardens™

Servings: 12

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon
  • 3 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
  • Two 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 8 cups water
  • Wedges of fresh watermelon (optional)
  • Whole hulled strawberries (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. In blender, combine half of the watermelon, strawberries and lemonade concentrate. Cover; blend until smooth. Transfer to serving container. Repeat with remaining. Add water, chill up to 2 days.
  2. Serve over ice with watermelon wedges and strawberries. Makes 12 servings.

 

Tips:

Make up to 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. To serve, stir and add berries and watermelon wedges.

 

 

Nutritional Facts:

Per Serving: 145 calories, (0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 8 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.

 

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto

Recipe by Better Homes & Gardens™

Yield: 16 ServingsRoasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped zucchini (1 medium)
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped yellow summer squash (1 medium)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fennel bulb
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped red sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces dried whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a roasting pan combine zucchini, summer squash, onion, fennel, sweet peppers, and eggplant. Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring twice. Transfer to a very large bowl; cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and cool slightly. In a large bowl combine pasta and the roasted vegetables.
  3. For pesto, in a blender combine garlic, the 1 cup torn basil, the cheese, and walnuts; cover and pulse with several on/off turns until chopped. With blender running, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil, the lemon juice, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Add the pesto to pasta-vegetable mixture, stirring gently to coat. Stir in cherry tomatoes. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle with additional basil.

Tips:

Walnuts are an inexpensive (and heart-healthy) alternative to using pine nuts in pesto.

Nutritional Facts: 

Per Serving: 203 calories, (2 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g protein.