Labels: Children, Daily Life, From the heart, Homemaking, recipes, trips
A little over a year ago I began hearing more and more about Elderberries and their benefits in fighting the flu. Elderberries are high in vitamins A,B& C and aid in shortening the length of the flu and even colds.

Start with 1 cup of elderberries (I use dried which you can get from The Bulk Herb Store)

Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil (not rolling boil. more like bubbly simmer) Continue to simmer for about 45 minutes or so unitl you see that the liquid has reduced by about half. Squish the berries with a potato masher or fork so that you get as much juice as possible.

Strain this into a mason jar (thus removing the seeds, berry bits, etc)

Add to the strained juice 1 cup of raw honey, preferably from your local area as this will contain local flowers thus boosting the benefits for you.

This keeps well in the fridge.
Children take 1 tsp daily and adults take 1 TBS daily. increase this amount to every 3 hours if sickness should come into the home.

* I do not use store bought honey as many times, it is not pure because it is mixed with corn syrup to make it thicker. If you have a local means to purchase raw honey, the benefits for you are so much more!

**You may also add when simmering your berries, 1 TBS ground ginger root,5 cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon. Add this in with the berries straining the ginger and cloves along with the berries after your liquid has reduced.

Labels: Children, Daily Life, From the heart, Homemaking, recipes, trips
I have made them before, the "usual" way and decided that tonight, we were going to try something different.

Ingredients: 1 box Jumbo pasta shells
1 large tub of cottage cheese(I used small curd, low fat)
1 bag shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts cooked & shredded (you could use whatever chicken you have on hand..perhaps leftovers from a roasted bird or thighs if you prefer dark meat,even turkey as well)
2 jars alfredo sauce (I tried once, years ago,with much failure to make homemade alfredo,so I bought mine)

To-Do: set water to boil for your shells while mixing together the cottage cheese, chicken and salt and pepper to taste.
Once your shells are the desired softness, drain and rinse them with cool water to make them easier to handle.
Stuff the shells nice and full with the chicken mixture and place in a 9x13 pan. (placement is not important as they will fall into place as the pan fills) I did need to place a few shells into another smaller pan as the 9x13 filled and I intended to make leftovers.
Once all of the shells are stuffed, spoon or pour the alfredo sauce over them making sure each one is covered.
Cover with shredded mozzarella and bake at 350* until bubbly.

Since this is a rich dish, I served pumpkin muffins to add a bit of sweetness.

* I used Buitoni alfredo sauce, very creamy!

I didn't take a photo of the finished product...I made some for our church meal and was hurry scurry on Saturday with cooking and such, so when the kitchen was were the last things I thought about. :)

This is super easy and creamy and well..yummy! ♥

Bring 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup milk to a boil. Continue boiling for about 2-3 minutes (to make sure the sugar is good and melted)
Remove from heat and add 7 ounces (small jar) of marshmallow fluff and 1 1/3 cups peanut butter (you can use chunky or smooth)I use a whisk to get this nice and blended and creamy.When it is well blended, pour into an 8x8 pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray and refrigerate until set.

We actually enjoy it better chilled...if you care for your fudge a bit creamier, take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temp.


1 1 pound box of confectioners sugar (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup smooth mashed potatoes (these need to be plain. I used instant to make up a small butter or salt)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 14 oz. bag of sweetened shredded coconut
2 pounds good quality semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate. I used 3 bars of bakers chocolate (not quite 2 lbs.) Chop this into smaller pieces.
3 Tbs. shortening

1. Put the confectioners sugar into a large bowl ; make a deep well in the middle. Add the potatoes, butter, vanilla and salt to the well. (I actually did this in my stand mixer which gave very good results) Mix until sugar is melted and mixture looks like a smooth paste.Mix in the coconut. Place in the freezer for about 20 min until firm.

2.Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and then press into small squares. (you should get about 40 squares) Place them onto a baking sheet lined with foil (shiny side up) and freeze for about 20 min. until firm as they will become soft after working them into shape.

3. Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.

4. Dip candies one at a time into the chocolate using a fork (this allows the excess to drip back into your bowl) Place on foil lined sheet and allow to harden at room temp. (about an hour) I placed them into the freezer again which gave good results)