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Be A Blessing

Be A BlessingDo you have any idea what a blessing you are?

You may not realize how special you are to the people all around you – even the ones who may never have a chance to know you as a friend.  You can’t imagine how many lives you touch in a single day.

And you probably don’t even realize all the things about you that make you special.  Things that nobody else can be or do quite the same way you can.

It’s a beautiful thing to be you!

But as fast as life speeds by us these days,
we can all use a little reminder now and then
to slow down and let the blessing we are shine through.

When we stop for a moment and think about the people
who made us feel happy in the past week,
what was it they said or did that made us feel so special?
And in what ways would we love to be more like them?

Maybe it was the warmth in their smile.
The sincere compliment they gave us.
A word of encouragement or genuine appreciation they shared.

Maybe they noticed that something was going on with us.
Remembered something that was important to us.
Or gave us a bit more of their time than we knew they really had.

And we felt good.  Noticed.  Appreciated.  And loved.

If there’s a common thread that runs through these types of experiences –
something about these people that makes all the difference to us –
it’s most likely the genuine nature of their kindness.
And the fact that they take the time to share it with us.

So, why not take a few minutes right now
to think about the people you’ll be around this week?
Not just friends and family, but the post office clerk,
the grocery bagger, the person you might stand behind in line…
Even if we don’t know much about someone,
we can think about how life might be for them.
How we might notice them in a special way.
And how we can make a difference in an otherwise-ordinary day.

As Mark Twain noted…
“One compliment can keep me going for a whole month.”
If we’ve been blessed to have good people around us, we know that feeling!

Showing others the kind of genuine interest that makes a difference
can be as simple as this…

Give them a smile.  A moment.  A little extra attention.
Give them the gift of you and the beautiful person you are – inside and out.

Because everybody in our world can use a little blessing.
How can you be one today?

Be A BlessingBe A BlessingBe A BlessingBe A BlessingBe A BlessingBe A Blessing

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Moms Make History–Even Today

Moms Make History  Even TodayEverybody has had a mother.  All mothers change the world when they deliver a new person into its midst.  A delightful Jewish proverb says, “God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”

Though we could mention a host of moms who have played an active role in the shaping of our history, some come more quickly to mind.  Consider these:

  • Mother Teresa—Though not a literal mother, this woman “mothered” thousands of needy souls and ultimately won the Nobel Prize for Peace.
  • Grace Darling Seibold—Mrs. Seibold started a group called the Gold Star Mothers after losing her son in the battles of World War I.  The Gold Star Mothers made it a point to visit and care for servicemen in hospitals throughout the country.
  • Dale Evans Rogers—The woman who wrote “Happy Trails” was often in the midst of pain as she lost three children.  She continued to show a positive face to America and inspired the work of a children’s hospital for mentally challenged youth.
  • Jackie Kennedy—The woman who became an icon of strength upon the death of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.  She brought up her children to honor and respect others and kept protective watch over them for the rest of her life.
  • Nancy Hanks Lincoln—The mother of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln is forever cherished by these words from her famous son.  “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”

As we think about mothers who have shaped history, we have to applaud every mother who has tirelessly, relentlessly, and stubbornly held on to her hope, her belief and her love for her children.  As Washington Irving so eloquently stated it…

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

Happy Mother’s Day to the millions of nurturing women who make history by shaping the lives of their children and who give us hope for the future by their great devotion and love.

Moms Make History  Even TodayMoms Make History  Even TodayMoms Make History  Even TodayMoms Make History  Even TodayMoms Make History  Even TodayMoms Make History  Even Today

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It's Easter! Put a Little Spring in Your Step

It's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your StepAnd Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Easter is alive with springtime rains and pastel flowers which nudge their sleepy heads through the greening grass and stretch toward the sunshine.  We, too  embrace the warmer light of spring and stretch and yawn and bring ourselves back to life.  With renewed hopes, our spirits soar and like the proverbial Easter bunny, we put more bounce in our steps.

Easter reminds us too of God’s love and refreshes us with spring’s celebration of budding trees and flowers.  Mother earth calls out to us to come to the garden and be renewed by her fragrant garments, ready to relax and rewind.  Tender flowers stand up and beckon us closer.  All winter, they stayed quietly rooted to their task and awaited the next call to action.  They weren’t out of the game, they simply stepped back and rested.

Sometimes we run the race, huffing and puffing to the finish line and bursting with excitement as we achieve the goal and take home the prize.  Other times we’re at rest, listening, waiting and watching for the moment when we will run again and fulfill our dreams.  It’s the resting and the waiting and the listening that bring renewal.

Martin Luther called the birds “theologians” because they sang no matter what the weather looked like.  They believed all was well.  We’re ready to sing along with them and create a little “hallelujah” chorus of our own.

Let springtime renew your spirit and bring you back to the light of God’s love. As sunshine pours into your heart, embrace a new mission and fulfill a new purpose. Chirping birds chant a new song, yellow daffodils and shy violets offer to color your world, and warmer breezes beckon you to come outside and join in on the chorus.  Easter is a feast to renew the spirit, and its partner, springtime, graces the table with gentle joy.

Easter is not only about your own spiritual renewal, but is also about rejuvenating the souls of your loved ones.  Want to encourage your family and friends to soak in the beauty of the season and remind them of Easter’s true meaning?  Send them a Blue Mountain Easter eCard today!

It's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your StepIt's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your StepIt's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your StepIt's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your StepIt's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your StepIt's Easter!  Put a Little Spring in Your Step

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Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter Eggs

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsDon’t know what to do with all those hard-boiled Easter eggs?  Eat them, of course!  (But remember to do so within 5 days.)  Here are some tasty, Easter-Bunny-tested recipes that are sure to tickle your whiskers!

First, you’ll want to begin with:

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsThe Perfect Hard-Cooked Egg

  • Place eggs in single layer in saucepan.
  • Cover with at least one inch of cold water over tops of shells.
  • Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • As soon as the water comes to a full boil, remove from heat and let stand for 2-10 minutes (longest for large eggs).
  • Drain off hot water and immediately cover with cold water and add a few ice cubes.
  • Let stand in cold water until completely cooled.

Tips

  1. Never boil eggs.  It makes them rubbery.
  2. Use older eggs.  Fresh ones won’t peel properly.
  3. To keep eggs from cracking while cooking (before placing in water), pierce large   end with a needle, which will also make them easier to peel.

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsDeviled-Egg Spread

Ingredients

  • dozen large eggs
  • tablespoons  white vinegar
  • 1/2  pound  sliced white sandwich bread
  • cup  mayonnaise
  • tablespoon  yellow mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Paprika, for dusting

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with water, add the vinegar and bring to a rapid boil. Cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat; let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs and cool them under cold running water, shaking the pan vigorously to crack the shells. Let the eggs cool in the water.

Meanwhile, quarter the bread slices on the diagonal and arrange them in a single layer on a large cookie sheet. Toast the bread in the oven for about 6 minutes, turning once, until barely browned.

Shell the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Coarsely chop half of the egg whites and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the remaining whites and all of the yolks to a food processor along with the mayonnaise and mustard and process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into the bowl and blend with the chopped egg whites. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the toast points with the egg spread and dust lightly with paprika. Arrange the toasts on a platter and serve. Alternatively, serve the egg spread in a bowl with the toast points alongside.

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsBaked Egg Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • 3 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  • 3 slices extra sharp Cheddar cheese, halved
  • 6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into triangles

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually      whisk in evaporated milk and water. Season with salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.
  • Arrange sliced eggs in a medium baking dish. Pour sauce over eggs. Place cheese slices on top.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Place toast on plates, and spoon egg mixture over toast points.

Serves 6

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsPasta Nicoise

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Shake off excess moisture.red onion, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour half of dressing over pasta and toss well.chicken, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle remaining dressing over salad. Top with parsley, capers, anchovies, and black olives.

Combine lemon juice, oil,

Cook beans until just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Toss beans with half of remaining dressing.

Arrange pasta in serving bowl. Surround with beans,

Serves 4

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsWarm Spinach Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon or 4 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 pounds triple washed spinach, stems removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping

Directions

Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add bacon to skillet and brown, reserve the crispy bacon bits and add the shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes then deglaze the pan with vinegar, turn spinach into pan and wilt down a bit but do not fully cook the spinach, just give it a few turns with tongs. Season the greens with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place spinach on a serving dish and top with quartered eggs, shavings of cheese and reserved bacon bits.

Serves 4 – 6

Eggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsEggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsEggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsEggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsEggcellent Recipes for Your Easter EggsEggcellent Recipes for Your Easter Eggs

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Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

Happy Birthday to Leonardo da Vinci, born April 15th!

He was a handsome, left-handed, vegetarian animal lover who excelled in art, anatomy, architecture, engineering, geology, hydraulics, military arts, optics and sculpture. His mystique was also captured in a book and subsequent 2003 Hollywood movie called The Da Vinci Code by author Dan Brown. Who is it? It’s Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in Vinci, Italy on April 15, 1452. Best known for his painting of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci (which literally means “Leonardo from the town of Vinci”) was a brilliant scholar and artist.

Da Vinci was the illegitimate son of a notary and a peasant girl. Although his parents split up shortly after his birth, both remarried and eventually gave Leonardo a total of 17 half sisters and brothers! As a young boy, he had access to many scholarly texts and great writings. At age 15, his father apprenticed him to artist Andrea del Verrochio in Florence, where he showed early and rapid signs of brilliance.

Along with his artistic flair, da Vinci is revered for his technological ingenuity. Centuries ahead of his time, he conceptualized a helicopter, a tank, a calculator, and brainstormed the ideas of concentrated solar power, and outlined a rough theory of plate tectonics. His smaller inventions included an automated bobbin winder and a machine for testing the tensile strength of wire. In his spare time, he doodled parachutes and flying machines, and wrote lengthy scientific thoughts in personal notebooks… backwards.

It’s a shame that so few of his designs were constructed or were even feasible in the 1400s. A failure by him to publish his findings meant that his grand scope of influence on many fields of study and ingenuity is not well documented by historians.

Known best as an artist, though, da Vinci is the talent behind works such as The Last Supper (1495), two different paintings with almost identical compositions called Virgin of the Rocks, or Madonna of the Rocks (1483-1486 and 1495-1508, respectively) and The Mona Lisa (1503-1506).

Leonardo da Vinci died of natural causes on May 2, 1519. It is said that he passed away as the King of France, Francis I, held da Vinci’s head in his arms.

Leonardo da Vinci left the world with a lot to ponder, and much to smile about. But one question remains: why do you think the woman in the Mona Lisa painting was smiling? Tell us in the comments section!

For other famous birthdays, check out our famous birthdays category here in the BlueMountain blog!  Have a friend or loved one celebrating a birthday today?  Send them a birthday eCard to show you care!

http://www.mos.org/leonardo/bio.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_vinci

http://www.answers.com/topic/leonardo-da-vinci

http://www.leonardoda-vinci.org/biography.html

Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!Happy Birthday, Leonardo da Vinci!

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Origami Soul

Origami Soulby Brian MacDougall

Kami… thin, flat, and open,
Full of infinite possibilities.
Soft, artistic hands, wrinkled with wisdom,
Ready to embark on the ancient practice,

Polyhedra past lives from countless directions,
Converge at vertices, wisdom aggregated…
Some from afar, some more recent,
All treasured and unique.

Shapes emerging from folds
Are more than merely decorative,
Honoring the magic of tradition and ancestry,
Lineage too precious to ignore.

If the soul could be seen
Beyond its aura,
Would it not resemble
The art of origami?

Each a different shape
Of noble complexity,
Every one carefully crafted with
Purpose and foresight.

Ever marvel at the symmetry
And scope captured in each crease?
At the same awesome spectacle
Of life’s journey?

An ancient art
practiced to perfection,
Mimicking our sacred paths,
Recorded before time.

April is National Poetry Month.  Want to poetically express to your loved ones how much you care but aren’t quite ready to dip your feathered pen into the ink well?  Send a Blue Mountain poetry eCard today to creatively connect with all the special people in your life!

Origami SoulOrigami SoulOrigami SoulOrigami SoulOrigami SoulOrigami Soul

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Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet Pink

Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkThe sun is out, it’s finally warm and you and your pets are ready to frolic outdoors.  While you’re out there having fun, here are a few tips to keep them healthy and safe.

Some of our favorite pet friends spend a fair amount of time sticking their noses into somebody else’s business… namely Mister Skunk’s.  If they have an encounter of the smelly kind, skip the tomato juice.  It barely makes a dent in the scent andPet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet Pink you end up with a pink pet!  Instead, head to the store for two quarts of Hydrogen Peroxide, a half cup of baking soda, and about one or two tablespoons of liquid dish soap.  Just mix it all together, and work it deep into the fur – be sure to keep it away from your buddy’s eyes!   Let it sit for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly, and reapply to heavily oiled areas if necessary.

Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkIf you have a pet who joyfully rockets himself into the car at the mere mention of a R.I.D.E., please remember some important safety tips.  Your pet needs to buckle up, just like you.  (Special seat belts are available.)  An unrestrained animal can be fatally injured by a sudden stop.  Under no circumstances should an unrestrained pet ride in the back of truck.  And even though he may enjoy riding with his head out the window, it puts him at risk of injury from flying debris.  Even on mild days, the sun can raise the temperature inside your parked car to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.  So if you’re running errands, please leave your pet at home.

Exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet Pinkhis body stay cool, but overdoing it can cause him to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure he has plenty of water. If he’s panting a lot or seems exhausted, it’s time to stop. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it’s extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure he doesn’t sneak a drink from the street.

Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkKeeping your pet well groomed will help his hair do what it was designed to do: protect him from the sun and insulate him from the heat. If he has extremely thick hair or a lot of mats and tangles, his fur may trap too much heat, so you may want to clip him.  And so you don’t have uninvited guests on your pet or in your home, be sure your pet is protected by veterinarian-approved protection against fleas and ticks.

And finally, keep an eye on what your pet is munching on.  According to the HumanePet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet Pink Society, there are over 700 plant species that can be toxic to animals.  Here are some of the most common:

Shrubs:  all parts of azaleas, Christmas berry leaves, holly berries, seeds and pods of lupines and oleander leaves.

Wildflowers: all parts of delphinium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, woody aster and mustard seeds.

Garden Flowers:  daffodil and narcissus bulbs; bird-of-paradise pods; lily-of-the-valley leaves and flowers; and all parts of daylilies, and autumn crocus.

Garden and House Plants:  potato shoots and sprouts, and yellow oleander can harm animals. Pets should not be exposed to house plants like elephant ear, lantana, mistletoe, philodendron and poinsettia.

Our pets bring us so much joy and companionship.  Let’s do all we can to keep them healthy and safe.Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet Pink

Poisonous Flowers & Plants for Animals | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_6023203_poisonous-flowers-plants-animals.html#ixzz1JzNEKykw

http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?art_key=7733fb84-a684-439f-807f-476c2420460d

http://www.akc.org/public_education/summer_safety.cfm

Pet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkPet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkPet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkPet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkPet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet PinkPet Care Health Tips or How Not to Turn Your Pet Pink

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Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health Day

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayOn April 7th, we celebrate World Health Day.   As everyone knows, a cookie always makes everything better, so here are some cookie recipes that are good for you, too!   These delicious treats are a great way to share a healthy tip on World Health Day this year.  All of them are less than 100 calories, packed with protein, and absolutely scrumptious!  Enjoy!

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayIngredients
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 2 egg whites
* 2/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 1/2 cups old fashion oatmeal
* 2/3 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions
1. Mix brown sugar thru vanilla together.
2. Add flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg.
3. Stir in oatmeal, raisins& walnuts.
4. Drop on cookie sheets which have been sprayed or I use parchment paper.
5. Flatten with fork; Bake in 350 oven for about 10 minutes.
6. Adding raisins will reduce the need for more sugar!

Nutritional Information
Serving Size = 1 Cookie
Calories:       82
Total Fat     0.5g
Saturated Fat    0.1g
Cholesterol    0mg
Sodium    61.2mg
Total Carbohydrate    18.1g
Protein    2.1g

Lemon Dimple Cookie Recipe

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayIngredients
* 1 1⁄2 sticks (3⁄4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
* 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
* 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1 tsp grated lemon zest
* 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 scant cup prepared lemon curd

Directions
1. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in egg, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla. On low speed, beat in baking powder, then flour, until incorporated. Cover; chill dough 1 hour. Place lemon curd into a small ziptop food-storage bag; seal bag.
2. Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need baking sheets lined with nonstick foil, liners or parchment. Shape scant tablespoonsful of dough into balls; place 2 in. apart on prepared sheets. With index finger, make a deep indentation in center of each. Snip a tiny corner of ziptop bag and pipe lemon curd into dough indentations to fill completely (about 1 tsp per cookie).
3. Bake 15 minutes or until cookie edges just begin to lightly brown. Cool completely on baking sheet on wire rack. Dust cookie edges with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Nutritional Information
Serving Size = 1 Cookie
Calories:       93
Total Fat     4g
Saturated Fat    2g
Cholesterol    20mg
Sodium    20mg
Total Carbohydrate    13g
Protein    1g

Healthy Banana Cookies

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health Day

Ingredients
* 3 ripe bananas
* 2 cups rolled oats
* 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, dates, oil, and vanilla. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown.

Nutritional Information
Serving Size = 1 Cookie
Calories:       44
Total Fat     2.4g
Saturated Fat    1g
Cholesterol    0
Sodium    <1mg
Total Carbohydrate    5.3g
Dietary Fiber    0.7g
Protein    0.7g

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health Day

Ingredients
* 1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 1 cup(s) white whole wheat flour
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1 cup(s) sugar
* 1/2 cup(s) trans fat-free vegetable oil spread (60% to 70% oil)
* 1 large egg
* 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

Directions
1. On sheet of waxed paper, stir together flours, baking powder, and salt.
2. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat sugar and vegetable oil spread until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes, occasionally scraping side of bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low; beat in egg and vanilla, then beat in flour mixture just until blended.
3. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to roll.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of dough 1/8 inch thick. With 2-inch cookie cutters, cut out as many cookies as possible; wrap and refrigerate trimmings. With lightly floured spatula, place cookies, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
5. Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. With thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and trimmings.
6. Use small star-shaped or other decorative cutter to cut out centers of half the cookies. Bake and cool as above in step 5. When cookies are cool, if you like, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar through sieve over cookies with cutout centers. From 1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam, spread scant 1/2 teaspoon jam on each whole cookie; top with cookie with cutout center. Makes about 3 dozen linzer cookies.

Nutritional Information
Serving size = 1 cookie
Calories    35
Total Fat    1g
Saturated Fat    —
Cholesterol    3mg
Sodium    20mg
Total Carbohydrate    5g
Protein    1g

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayIngredients
* 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour
* 3 tablespoon(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
* 6  large egg whites
* 3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
* 1 1/2 cup(s) packed dark brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon(s) vanilla extract
* 3 ounce(s) unsweetened chocolate, chopped and melted

Directions
1. Position rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until foamy, about 1 minute. Beat in granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Scrape down the sides, then beat in brown sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and melted chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
3. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart.
4. Bake the cookies until flat yet springy, with slightly cracked tops, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the pan cool for a few minutes before baking another batch; replace parchment paper if torn or scorched.

Nutritional Information
Serving Size = 1 Cookie
Calories    68
Total Fat    1g
Saturated Fat    1g
Cholesterol    0
Sodium    51mg
Total Carbohydrate    14g
Protein    1g

For even healthier options, visit this great source for healthy baking substitutions for cookie recipes to find tips like what to substitute for conventional sugars, oils, butter, peanut butter, eggs, and more!

Have a very happy (and healthy!) World Health Day!

Healthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayHealthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayHealthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayHealthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayHealthy Cookie Recipes for World Health DayHealthy Cookie Recipes for World Health Day

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A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime Stories

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesIf you were very lucky, you were read to as a child.  You remember a comforting voice and delightful stories that will stay with you forever.   Developmental experts confirm what we already knew, there’s nothing better than reading to a child to build vocabulary, spark imagination and build a lifetime of happy memories.

In honor of International Children’s Book Day on April 2nd, we’d like to share some of our favorite children’s book classics with you and your family.  Remember the children in your life this holiday, and surprise them with one of these classic bedtime stories that they will always remember, too.

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesHarold and the Purple Crayon (1955)- Bedtime Story
By Crockett Johnson

Cleverly disguised in this story is a wonderful life lesson–we are all creators of our own life experiences.  Four-year-old Harold, armed with his purple crayon, goes walking in the moonlight and creates a world of his own simply by drawing it.  Children love his many adventures in his imaginative quest to find his room.

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesWhere The Wild Things Are (1963)- Bedtime Story
By Maurice Sendak

This book, which was recently made into a movie, tells the story of Max, a mischievous child, who goes on a journey to where the wild things are.  His strange and exotic adventures lead him to realize in the end that there’s no place like home.

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesWhere the Sidewalk Ends (1974)- Short Bedtime Stories
By Shel Silverstein

Silverstein is considered a master of children’s poetry.  This charming collection of fanciful poems and stories is both whimsical and insightful.  Adults will enjoy reading these as much as the children will enjoy hearing them.

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesMake Way for Ducklings (1941)- Children’s Book
by Robert McCloskey

This enduring classic tells the tale of a pair of mallard ducks who decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden.  It is a heartwarming portrayal of the parents’ loving protection of their ducklings.

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesGoodnight Moon  (1947)- Bedtime Story
by Margaret Wise Brown

A classic in American literature, Goodnight Moon recounts a bunny’s bedtime ritual of saying goodnight to the objects in his room.  Be sure to notice the many details, such as the mouse, who is present in all the pages showing the room.

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesCharlettes Web  (1952)- Children’s Book
by E. B. White

This enchanting novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte finds a clever way to save his bacon!

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesJames and the Giant Peach (1961)- Children’s Book
By Rold Dahl & Illustrated by Lane Smith

Join James, who discovers a giant peach that triggers an adventure across the sea where he encounters a group of oversized, talking insects who become his traveling companions.  It’s a wild ride, and best for slightly older children.

We hope you enjoy some of these classics with your family.  Happy reading!

A Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesA Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesA Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesA Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesA Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime StoriesA Collection of Our Favorite Bedtime Stories