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When I was a little girl, every Valentine’s Day my dad would buy me a box of chocolate covered cherries. One bite, and a soft cherry encased in sweet white filling would come pouring out. You had to plop it in your mouth quickly before making a mess on your shirt. As an adult, I’m enjoying a new version, employing my dehydrator and fresh cherries.

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Broccoli Cheese Tots

 

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My daughter Katelyn and I love dipping all kinds of food in ketchup, including tacos. Now we have one more food to dunk in that tomatoey goodness – – broccoli.

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Canning Ground Beef

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Some of my favorite home canned convenience foods are ground beef, turkey and chicken. People tell me they are too afraid of killing someone to can meat. I inform these cautious canners death is just as certain from an improperly canned slice of carrot. More people get sick on packaged foods and grocery store produce than home canned goods. You almost never hear of home canned goods causing illness. You just have to follow instructions, like you would cooking with any method.

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Tips for Family Hiking

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We bought a camper last year, and have been doing more hiking at home, and away. We were going to a beautiful park with a fabulous hiking trail, but my kids just weren’t into it. So, we took them to another park, with a lake and bridges and hiked a trail. Again, lovely. But both girls complained they were tired, and bored. How can they be bored? The trails we took them to were interesting, serene and relaxing. We discovered it’s the serene and relaxing which bores them – – they want excitement. They want to climb on big boulders, jump over creeks, and scale the sides of mountains. Who knew a harder hike is what they were after. My friend Scott, who is an avid hiker, did tell me that kids need a reward for all that hiking – – like a waterfall or some kind of ta-da! He was right.

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Canning Yellow Summer Squash

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When my kids don’t like a vegetable, I don’t give up. I make it several different ways, and sometimes even wait a couple years before re-introduction. I’m my kids’ nutritionist, and I’m putting the effort in now to set them up for a lifetime of enjoying a variety of healthy foods. It’s true everyone won’t like everything, but I gotta try, right? Giving up can lead to picky eaters, which is no fun for anyone. This past year was my victory in regards to summer squash. Neither of my kids liked it before, but they finally like it, after years of re-introduction. It’s worth it, especially because sometimes I can get a 20 pound box for $5 like I did this past weekend.

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