Super Bowl Recipes

Chances are that you or someone you know will be following the Super Bowl this year, which means that it’s party time! Want to score major points at the festivities on February 6th? Try these easy, crowd-pleasing recipes!



What can be easier than using a slow cooker? Making this dip with one! Try many different kinds- milder hot, etc. Just serve with tortilla chips.

Prep Time: 5 minutes      Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes


– 2 (10-ounce) cans tomatoes with green chiles, drained

– 1 & 1/2 pounds Velveeta pasteurized process cheese, cubed

– 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed

– 1 tablespoon chili powder

– 2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles or jalapeno peppers, drained


Combine all ingredients in a 3-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring twice during cooking time. You can serve this right in the crock pot; it will stay soft and creamy on ‘warm’ for a couple of hours, if it lasts that long.


This simple Super Bowl Salsa will have them calling time out for more!

Prep Time: 5 minutes      Chill Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

– 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes (diced – Roma tomatoes work well)
– 1 & 1/2 to 2 cups “Mexican Blend”
cheese or shredded cheddar cheese
– 1 can black beans, drained (or 2 cans if you like)
– 2 to 3 green onions (chopped)
– 1 cup Italian dressing
– 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (optional)
– Homemade corn tortilla chips or a bag of your favorite store-bought chips

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to mix together and then serve with your favorite chips. Garnish with additional cilantro for color and flavor.


Tasty tortilla wheels will keep them cheering through the 4th quarter!

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes    Chill Time: Overnight (8 hours)

Total Time: Overnight, 10-15 minutes


2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 (2-ounce) can sliced ripe olives
1 cup sour cream
1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chiles
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon green jalapeno pepper sauce

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
10 (7 to 8-inch) flour tortillas


Combine all ingredients except the tortillas in large bowl. Spread 1/4 cup of cheese mixture onto a flour tortilla. Roll up jelly-roll style and wrap tightly in plastic food wrap. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture and tortillas. Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.

 Slice off the ends of the tortilla roll and then slice into 6 even pieces; repeat procedure with each tortilla roll. Arrange and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 5 dozen.


Hype up their Half Time with a jalapeño popper surprise.

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes     Chill Time: 30 minutes, followed by

Fry Time: 1-2 minutes

Total Time: Just under 1 hour


– 24 jalapeno peppers

– 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

– 2 garlic cloves finely minced

– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

– 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

– 2 large eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

– 1 cup bread crumbs

– Vegetable oil for frying


Wearing rubber gloves, cut stems off the jalapenos approximately 1/2-inch from the top. Save the tops. Using a small knife, remove the seeds and membrane.

In a small bowl, blend together the cream cheese, garlic, cilantro, chili powder and shredded cheddar. Fill the inside of the peppers with the cream cheese mixture. Over-fill pepper with the cheese and press the top back on each pepper. Wipe off any excess.

 Place the flour in a bowl, the egg/milk mixture in another, and the bread crumbs in a third. First dredge the stuffed peppers in flour, second in the egg, and then roll in the bread crumbs, being sure to cover the entire pepper. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 Heat about 2-inches of oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 350°F (175°C). When the oil is hot, carefully place 3 or 4 breaded jalapenos at a time in the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown (be careful not to overcook!) Drain on paper towels, and keep warm in a 200°F (95°C) oven. Be aware – the filling is hot! Makes 24 poppers.




Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll!

Happy birthday to the man who created a whimsical Wonderland of words that still enchants all ages to this day!  Lewis Carroll was born on January 27, 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire, England under his given name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. This mathematician, deacon and photographer was the first son of 11 children, and spent much of his childhood making up stories for his brothers and sisters.

 A master of the fantastic and of quirky word-play, his most famous writings include Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. He’s also well-known for his poems “The Hunting of the Snark”, “Jabberwocky” and more.

Carroll was about six feet tall and slender, with curling brown hair and light-colored eyes. He (and most of his siblings) struggled with stammering. It’s said that telling his tales to children allowed him to speak more clearly and to work through the speech problem. His health problems didn’t end there, though – over time he developed a stiff and awkward gait, weak lungs, and deafness in one ear. He was also known to have migraines with colorful auras – perhaps explaining some of the shifts and imagery in his most famous work, Alice in Wonderland.

So how did Carroll’s most beloved piece come to be? Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (published for the world in 1865) was originally intended for Alice Liddell, the 4-year-old daughter of the dean of Christ Church. Carroll loved to create stories and adventures for Alice and her sisters. While on a picnic with the Liddell girls on July 4, 1862, he spun the story of a girl who fell into a rabbit hole. Alice asked him to write it down, and presented her a handwritten, personally illustrated version on Christmas in 1864. The first working title was Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. He received such a great response from this first version, that he revised it and produced the wonderful tale we all know today.




How to Build an Igloo

In the far north, during the season of long nights and fierce storms, there is no better place to tell the traditional myths and riddles meant to pass the dark time than a well constructed igloo. The windfree dome, lit by a simple lamp, is a vision many of us aspired to as children. When the snow finally did come each winter, our humble facsimiles of these time-honored shelters kept us happy and busy for hours.

 Today the snow shelter has fallen under the domain of winter outbackers, survivalists and rescue personnel. The traditional methods of building these shelters have been revised for terrains and latitudes different than their origins. But the immense satisfaction from building our own sanctum amidst the challenges of winter has not changed since our childhood when we pitched snowballs from our misshapen forts.

 Building the Igloo

 Igloos are the hardest type of snowshelter to build on a first time effort, but because of their warmth, roominess, and aesthetic appeal, they are wonderful to spend time in.


You’ll need a snow shovel and an aluminum snow saw, or a carpenter’s rip saw, 14-20 inches long

 Snow Quarry

Borrowed from the term rock quarry, snow quarry is the site you choose with deep, compressed snow. Your quarry may be the same area over which the igloo is to be built and then forms the floor of the igloo. In most areas removed from the far north or high elevations, snow falls without compacting sufficiently for blocks to be cut, but that can be remedied. Tramp an area for your quarry with boots, snowshoes or skis and allow it to sinter (freeze nearly solid). This may take up to an hour. Keep the quarry close to the intended site of the igloo.

Dig a hole or trench to stand in so you can reach the underside of the first blocks to cut them free. Beware of ice layers, where the snow has thawed and refrozen. These layers make the blocks fragile. Sugar snow, which has a texture just like the name, also makes poor blocks. The most efficient block size will be one you can carry that holds together.


When building with snow blocks, each block must be trimmed and shaped after it is cut from the quarry. Once blocks are cut, begin construction in an upward spiral, unlike traditional masonry. Block shape depends on the position in the spiral where it is to be placed. Blocks near the floor are almost rectangular; near the top center of the dome practically triangular. Blocks can be of various shapes as long as they are cut to similar heights, upper length narrow, and underside arched. Continue spiraling up the igloo. Set the final blocks from the inside.

Shovel snow onto the igloo and gently pack it into the holes and crevices from the outside. Protruding edges on the inside should be carefully trimmed to prevent dripping when the inside temperatures climb above freezing.

 The Entryway

The entry is a tunnel into the snow that enters the igloo ideally at floor level, so that one climbs up onto the floor when entering. This traps heat in the igloo. Don’t forget to open a vent high on the igloo wall, especially if you will be cooking inside.

 Curing and Customizing

Cut out benches, sleeping platforms, and cooking areas. Carve out shelves and alcoves for candles, utensils. After a night or two of use, the warming on the inside and subsequent refreezing will cause the walls to become very strong. Keep your snow shovel inside so you can easily dig your way out in the event of a big heavy snow during the night.

Unlike the castle built from sand at the beach, an igloo can last as long as the winter allows until finally left to melt into a memory come spring thaws.






Dust Off Your Dreams

The good news about a new year is that you get to dust off your dreams and pull out some you may have set aside.  Just like those boxes in the attic that hold great treasures you can’t quite part with, dreams need to be dusted off, redesigned, and re-imagined. 

 A dream by its very nature can never be too small to reconsider.  A small candle can let off a lot of light.  Your dream may seem like a small candle today, but given the right setting, it can send a beam you never thought possible.  Walt Disney once said “if you can dream it, you can do it.” 

 So dream!  In fact, dream BIG!  Stand in front of the mirror and give voice to your dream.  Declare that this is the time for it to come together.  Nothing can stop you now because you’re focused and ready to experience a heart-felt idea that you’ve carried for a long time. 

 What do you need to get started?  You need your special dream and then you need to share your dream with at least one other person.  Play with the dream, talk about it, give it wings until you both come up with a first step.  It’s the first step that is the most important.  That’s the step that gets you moving.  It’s like stepping onto the escalator, once you’re on it, nothing can keep you from getting to the top. 

 You can also write your dream in great big letters and put it somewhere that causes you to think about it and imagine it all the time.  Embroider it on a pillow, or set it as a reminder on your laptop so it pops up every day, or make a little note to yourself and carry it in your pocket until the dream comes true.  Dreams are surely meant to come true. 

 Then celebrate your first steps and every time you make a move closer to achieving your dream, reward yourself.  If your dream was a board game, you’d walk one space for every little thing you do to reach the goal.  Since it’s your dream board, you can walk as quickly or as carefully as you want.  You can even stand still for a turn or two as you contemplate all your choices.  You’ve come this far though, and have made a commitment so it’s your time to win. 

 Before you even get to the goal, imagine how you will feel when you win the game.  Picture the outcome, prepare for the celebration.  Embrace the opportunity and keep walking and talking.

 Can you do it?  Of course!  Is it easy?  Perhaps not!  Only you know why the dream is important to you.  Only you can bring it to life.  It’s not too late.  It’s there, perhaps needing a new form,  but waiting for you to lift it gently out of the box, enjoy the beauty of it, and make it happen.  As one writer put it, “In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.”




Dream Walking

by George Davis

Hand in hand
we walked.
Our spirits at peace,
our souls leading the way.
Towards a land
that was built centuries ago,
a land created by faith
with us in mind.
we walked
down a road paved by promise
where the victories of the past
served as landmarks
to keep us on course.
Legs weary,
motivated by Love,
we walked.
Every traveler sharing their story,
sharing their culture,
sharing their hope for the future.
We walked,
all with different points  of origin,
headed in the same direction,
guided by the same dream.
Wide awake,
we walked
Dreaming of better days.



Salute to Friendship

 Let’s celebrate our friendships, the ones we’ve had for years, the ones we’ve just made, and the ones that are just around the corner.  We share degrees of friendship with each person in our lives.  We may have a kind of friendship with the person who serves us coffee at Starbucks, or the person in the neighborhood who stops to say hello as we walk by.  These are the buds of friendship, the kind that may or may not blossom into late night chats, but are still important to our daily lives.  They give us a reason to smile.

 For most of us though, friendship is like fresh air, the thing that helps us breathe life in more fully.  We’re committed to each other.  We hold up the light of possibility when things are uncertain.  We listen, we laugh, we seek to understand and when we don’t understand, we let it all go.  We shop and we explore and we keep the music playing because friendship brings a song to our hearts.  We are connected and fully visible and it feels good.  Three cheers!

 C.S. Lewis said that friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:  “What?  You, too?  I thought I was the only one.”    We don’t want to travel the world alone and so we count on our friends to serve as mirrors, to reflect back to us what’s important, or to give us a chance to laugh at ourselves when we fall down.  Friends walk with us, no matter what.

 As Albert Camus said, “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.”   Friends may bump into you now and then without meaning to, but they won’t throw you over or off the tracks.  They may get slightly miffed about something going on between you, but they’ll always find a way to make up over brownies and coffee.   Friends need each other and that’s a good thing.

 You’ve probably noticed with cherished friendships that no matter how long you may be apart, even if years pass by, once you’re together again, the connection you have is solid.  You’re plugged in, ready to give and receive more of what you share.  Friends are forever and that’s the real truth.

So, let’s celebrate all our friends, the new ones, the-couldn’t-live-without-you ones, and the ones yet to be discovered.  There can be no loftier title, no degree achieved, or no equation stronger than the one that is summed up in the word “friend.”  Hug your friends today and give each other a round of hearty applause. 




Winter Turkey and Corn Chili

For our Blue Mountain holiday potluck lunch, we all brought in dishes and voted on our favorites.  Artist Aaron Brudvig was the winner.  Here’s his tasty recipe for winter turkey and corn chili. 

Winter Turkey and Corn Chili

1 tbsp  vegetable oil
2 lbs   ground turkey
4   green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp  chili powder
1/2 tsp  dried oregano
Pinch  cayenne pepper
2   roasted red bell peppers, diced (available in a jar)
2 tbsp  pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
3   cloves garlic, minced
1   bay leaf
1   can navy beans or white kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1   can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 cups  frozen corn kernels
1.5 cups  chicken stock
1/2 cup  chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp  lime juice
1 tbsp  granulated sugar
salt to taste
sour cream
a few dashes of liquid smoke (optional)

1. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add ground turkey and green onions; cook, breaking up meat with spatula, 4 to 6 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.  Add chili powder, oregano and  cayenne; cook 1 minute longer. With a slotted spoon transfer mixture to slow cooker.
2. Add red peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, bay leaf, beans, corn, and stock; stir to combine. (optional liquid smoke)
3. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours.  Discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, sugar and salt. Cover and cook on High 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream.



National Braille Literacy Month

Do your children or grandchildren ever see the patterns of little dots on different objects like elevator buttons or ATM keypads and wonder what they’re for? January is the perfect time to get educated! It’s Braille Literacy Month, a time to bring awareness to BRAILLE, the method that is used by the blind to read and write. Because January 4th is developer Louis Braille’s birthday, it is only fitting that we celebrate Braille literacy this month.

 Created by Braille in 1821, the system is made up of characters called “cells”. The cells are made up of raised dots in varying positions, and arranged in columns that can be felt or “read” by the blind. The first Braille book, Fables and Tales for Children, was printed in Louisville, KY by the American Printing House for the Blind. For more information about Braille or visual impairment, visit the American Foundation for the Blind on the web at    





Happy New You!

The New Year is upon us with promises of attitude adjustments and hopeful tomorrows!  We get to take a panoramic view and look at everything from that oh-so last year hair style, to our jobs, to the things that bring a laugh or the things we know we don’t want to repeat again.  With our colorful New Year’s glasses on we can make a resolution to be smarter, thinner, more spiritual, richer, or even kinder as the year begins.  After all, it’s time to be optimistic, burn some rubber over the past, and keep moving.  Ready! Set!  Wait…

Hold on!  Maybe we need a new compass here.  This could be a good time to tap into the resources of the One with the big GPS system, (Glorious Personal Services) and notice that we might yet have room to be molded and shaped.  We’re still the clay as the New Year starts, and perhaps more open to new designs and deeper impressions.

We might not be as pliable as we once were, but we’re still soft enough to be reshaped and redesigned for new purposes.  In fact, we could be getting ready to face the best year yet!  Wow!  To that idea, we might start out with a big round of thanks for all we’ve been, for all we hope for and for all we yet believe is possible.  The fact is, everything is possible!

Let’s start the New Year with a happy dance for the things that have worked to make us unique in the presence of others.   Then, let’s step out into the proverbial and the real world of possibility.  Let’s recharge, refocus, review all that we want and make a plan to go after it.  Now, mind you, we can’t simply make a resolution to lose five pounds, we have to make a re-soul-ution to lose all those things that hold us back, and embrace the good and happy things that move us forward.  Come on!  You can do it right from where you are!  Start something new and be open and willing to see where the path leads.

Remember, you are not alone in this challenge of shaping and changing things up a notch.  You’re already beautiful to those who love you, who want only good things for you, and who see you becoming amazing in even more incredible ways.

Happy New Year to you…to us…it’s going to be exciting!   Yes, happy new YOU!



New Year’s Resolutions

Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions in order to “put away” the old year and welcome in the new. But while we may start off with a go-getter attitude and lots of motivation, those resolutions seem to fall by the wayside too soon. Here are some tips for keeping and conquering two of the most popular resolutions: 1) spending more time with family and friends, and 2) losing weight.

Spending More Time With Family and Friends

With the age of email, Facebook and other forms of social media, we’ve become complacent in our relationships. It’s simply easier to text someone rather than reaching out with your voice, or posting to a Facebook wall rather than asking “what’s up?” in person. Some simple things to help you get a bit more of “you” back into your relationships can include:

1) Send an ecard, a paper card or handwritten note.

2) Instead of texting, make an actual phone call.

3) Make a date with your friends once a month – a regular “girls night out” or meet-up anywhere keeps bonds strong.

4) “Unplug” your computer once a week and take that time to take a relative to a movie, or go for a walk in the park.

5) Sit down to a meal with your family – at the table, not in front of the TV. Whether at home or in a restaurant, regular meals together help with communication.

Losing Weight / Getting Fit

Whether your resolution is to lose weight or simply to get in shape, resolving to get healthy is an important but difficult goal for many. Stay on track and motivated by incorporating these tips into your routine.

1) Start a food / exercise journal to track your eating and activity habits. Seeing these things written down can help you see where there’s room for improvement and where you’re succeeding! It’s your “proof” of effort.

2) Go slow! You didn’t gain the unwanted weight in a day or a week, so don’t expect to lose it that quickly. Go into your resolution knowing that this is a longer-term commitment.

3) Set measurable goals. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Instead, make a plan to lose 5 pounds by January 31st, or whatever that goal may be. Be specific and realistic – no one healthily loses 20 pounds in two weeks! (see “Go Slow”).

4) MOVE! Increasing your activity will burn more calories and boost your energy. Consult your doctor or a trainer for the best routines that deliver the most results. A mix of stretching, cardio and strength training is a good plan, but realize that even if you can’t get to the gym every day, simple things like taking short walks will help move your body towards your goal.

5) Clean out pantry. Get a new attitude on food and clean out the “junk” that may be hiding in your cupboards and fridge. Replace junk food with fresh veggies and fruits, and ditch the soda for low-sugar fruit juice and water.

6) Take a photo of yourself at the beginning and then another every four weeks – this can help you see your progress and motivate you to keep up the good work. Don’t just rely on a scale – take stock of how you actually look.

7) Get some help from your friends. If you have a buddy with the same goals, use them as a support system. Having someone to exercise with will keep you on track and honest in actually getting the physical work done.

What are some of your tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions?