Diva Tasting: Cheddar Zucchini Pie …..

Cheddar Zucchini Pie 

Ingredients

  • 1 (10 Inch) Unbaked Pie Crust
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 1 Cup Cooked Crumbled Bacon
  • 3 Cups Shredded Zucchini
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Marjoram
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Salt
  • 1 Dash Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  2. Brush crust with melted butter. Sprinkle bacon inside crust. Place zucchini, eggs and cream in a blender; puree until smooth. Pour zucchini mixture into a bowl and stir in marjoram, onion salt, pepper, and cayenne. Fold in cheese and pour mixture into pie crust.

  3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until set.

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Diva Tasting: Cranberry Delight….

Cranberry Delight

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Cranberries
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Chopped Walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

  2. In a saucepan, combine cranberries and water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, sugar and brown sugar. Stir to mix and allow to cool.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add the cranberry mixture and the nuts. Stir together until smooth.

  4. Pour batter into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

  5. Top with whip cream and chopped nuts if desired.

Diva Rambling: Storytelling….

The Power of Storytelling….

Over the next couple of issues we will discuss the art of storytelling and the gift of cheer it brings to all who experience it. When I was in high school my main performances were in storytelling when we competed in speech, debate and drama. I always won story telling at the state level. One of my nieces followed in my tracks. Our family loves to tell stories of all types. So it is something I grew up with; I read to my siblings to get them to take naps.

When my son was little he use to go to my brothers and say…”tell me old fashion stories about Mom when she was little….” He always loved the yarns they would knit for him. Sadly they were usually NOT fiction!

Whenever I went to local fairs I’d try to find the storytellers and I could listen for hours. I appreciated the old men that sat in front of the barber shop and told mountain tales. I appreciated the grandmothers and grandfathers that kept family stories alive. Growing up, we used to listen to family members share stories. Some stories were imaginative or funny, while others were more repetitive.

Nevertheless, hearing accounts of how our family experienced life before our generation was a form of bonding. I believe it had a large part in shaping our roots. I especially loved the stories my father and his brothers use to tell of family idiosyncrasies. They were hilarious and never dull.

A lot of those stories were tied to my sense of identity. Dad was particularly humorous and sarcastic in his delivery. He and the brothers would get out the olive jar and wine and begin the stories and arguments on the accuracy of each others account of a story. Always funny and enlightening. Any story they told was to give you better context to understand the world around us in context to our family.

Exchanging stories with anyone is not a useless pastime. Research published on Family Life shows that people’s knowledge of their family history can be attributed to higher self-esteem, lower anxiety, stronger familial relationships, and a better sense of self over one’s lifetime.

Furthermore, internalized family narratives can influence one’s sense of individuality.

Research further shows that the idea that an individual’s stories about one’s life should be regarded as essential to one’s self growth.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss style and delivery and the healing power of storytelling.

Diva Rambling: Buddha on Forgiveness….

During the Holidays I think we can all use the wisdom of the ancients. Here is one of my favorites from an uplifting website…..

Buddha’s Beautiful Lesson on Forgiveness

https://upliftconnect.com/buddhas-beautiful-lesson-forgiveness/ 

By Sofo Archon on Monday October 24th, 2016

Most people get easily offended or insulted by people who behave in an rude manner, not realizing that each and every person has a story, and unaware of the healing power kindness. But not all people do so, and here’s wonderful story from the life of the Buddha, carrying a beautiful lesson on forgiveness:

A Lesson on Forgiveness

The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spat in his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?” The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit in someone’s face he should ask “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe him. But the Buddha was like neither, he was not angry, nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?” There was no reaction on his part.

What next?

But Buddha’s disciples became angry, and they reacted. His closest disciple, Ananda, said, “This is too much. We cannot tolerate it. He has to be punished for it, otherwise everybody will start doing things like this!”

Buddha said, “You keep silent. He has not offended me, but you are offending me. He is new, a stranger. He must have heard from people something about me, that this man is an atheist, a dangerous man who is throwing people off their track, a revolutionary, a corrupter. And he may have formed some idea, a notion of me. He has not spit on me, he has spit on his notion. He has spit on his idea of me because he does not know me at all, so how can he spit on me?

The Pattern Shattered

The man was even more puzzled! And Buddha said to his disciples, “I am more offended by you because you know me, and you have lived for years with me, and still you react.”

Puzzled, confused, the man returned home. He could not sleep the whole night. When you see a Buddha, it is difficult, impossible to sleep anymore the way you used to sleep before. Again and again he was haunted by the experience. He could not explain it to anyone.

Every Man is a River

The man looked at Buddha and said, “Forgive me for what I did yesterday.”

Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.

And you also are new. I can see you are not the same man who came yesterday because that man was angry and he spit, whereas you are bowing at my feet, touching my feet. How can you be the same man? You are not the same man, so let us forget about it. Those two people, the man who spit and the man on whom he spit, both are no more. Come closer. Let us talk of something else.”

Not Judging

Whether this story describes an actual event or not is unknown. However, the lesson it teaches is tremendously beautiful and important. In essence, the story reminds as that nobody is perfect, and everyone is continuously changing and progressing in the journey of spiritual growth. Therefore, we should not be quick to judge others and take things personally, but realize where they are coming from and handle them with a compassionate attitude, no matter if they have treated us badly in the past.

Diva Tasting: Alfredo w/Broccoli & Cream Puff Cake…

Angel Hair Alfredo with Broccoli 

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 Ounce) Package Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1 Serving Cooking Spray
  • 2 Pounds Raw Peeled And Deveined Shrimp, Slightly Thawed If Frozen
  • 2 Cups Chopped Broccoli
  • 1 Large Jar Alfredo Sauce (3 Cups)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook angel hair in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.

  3. Cook and stir shrimp in a skillet over medium heat until slightly pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli; cover skillet and let broccoli steam, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Spread angel hair pasta over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with shrimp and broccoli. Pour Alfredo sauce over shrimp and broccoli; cover sauce with Parmesan cheese.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is slightly browned, about 20 minutes.

CREAM PUFF CAKE 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened

  • 4 cups half n half

  • 3 (3.5 ounce) packages instant french vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 (12 ounce) container frozen extra creamy whipped topping, thawed

  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a large heavy saucepan, heat butter and water to boiling over medium-high heat. Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until it forms a ball and pulls away from the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

  3. Spread in bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

  4. To make the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk and beat until smooth. Add pudding mix and beat until thickened. Spread over cooled shell. Top with whipped topping, and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.

Diva Musing: What’s your energy bill?

What’s your energy bill?

I always hear MEN SAY women don’t let anything go!! My personal experience these days is no one forgets “woundettes”, their bitterness grows and no one is hurt but the bitter person. Usually the one doing the wounding moves on and laughs at stealing the other persons peace. If you look at it as your energy bill…think about what the cost would be to have everything in the house running constantly. Not only would your energy bill be huge but appliances would burn out and maybe even cause a fire that can destroy your home. That is what hanging onto the negatives of the past can do to your health, your soul, your spirit and even your peace of mind. Worth it? I think not.

As we go through the holiday season let’s give ourselves the best gift of all…letting go of unnecessary energy drains. Plug the leaks and keep your psyche strong. Don’t let the bad people steal your energy and joy. Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Penne Alfredo & Heavenly Dessert Bars….

Baked Spinach Alfredo Penne 

INGREDIENTS:

12 oz (about 4 Cups) Uncooked Penne Pasta (from 16-Oz Box)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Rotisserie Chicken Boned, Skinned And Chopped

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

1 Bag (12 Oz) Frozen Spinach, Thawed And Drained

2 Jars (16 Oz Each) Alfredo Pasta Sauce

3 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (8 Oz)

DIRECTIONS:

1 Heat oven to 350°F.

2 Cook pasta as directed on box; drain.

3 Meanwhile, In a large bowl add chicken, salt and pepper;  Add pasta, spinach and Alfredo sauce and 2 cups of cheese; carefully stir until well blended.

4 Spoon pasta mixture evenly into ungreased 13×9-inch OR (3-quart) glass baking dish; sprinkle with  remaining cup of cheese.

5 Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and thoroughly heated.

Layers Of Heavenly Delight

INGREDIENTS:

1 Roll (16.5 Oz) Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 Cup Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 Bag (11 Oz) Butterscotch Chips (2 Cups)

1 Cups Flaked Coconut

1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts

1 Can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk (not Evaporated)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with heavy-duty foil, extending foil over sides of pan. Spray bottom and sides of foil with cooking spray or grease foil. In pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust.

Sprinkle cookie crumbs evenly over crust. Top evenly with butterscotch chips, coconut and walnuts. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown. (Center will not be set.) Cool completely, about 2 hours. Use foil to lift bars from pan. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.