Author Archives: Judith

About Judith

Judith is a retired Reading Resource Specialist with a Masters in Education. She is a published author and also a regular columnist with monthly articles in Pink Magazine and other publications. She and her husband Bill live on Hilton Head Island and, when not sailing their 36ft. yacht Serenity, they both volunteer at The Deep Well, Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Club on a regular basis. For many years they have also sponsored and produced a children's educational TV program called The Reading Room which is aired on WHHI each week and which is supported by their educational no-advertising web site, www.readroom.com.

Good Times/Bad Times

Since May, I have had, just like everybody else I imagine, some good days, some bad days, some really bad days, some ok days and yes, some really great days. In spite of everything, I have actually had some quite super days. When I start to feel down, I try to look back to those days and remember what made them so super. So, here are some shared tips for bringing ourselves UP and not letting the really bad days win.

  1. Get up and take a shower, get dressed, and have a cup of something and eat a little breakfast even if you are not “hungry.”
  2. Do some stretch exercises just for 5 minutes.
  3. Go for a walk, go to the gym, just get outside. Yes, even if it is really cold, put on whatever you need and go out even if it is just for 15 minutes.
  4. Do a 10 minute house job and a 10 minute yard job.
  5. Work on you hobby-If you don’t have a hobby, GET ONE!
  6. Call someone. Make it a point to chat with another grown up even for just a few minutes.
  7. Read the paper.
  8. Read one of “your” books. I read books in a series and I like murder mysteries Agatha Christie style.
  9. Re-arrange some stuff in your house just for fun.
  10. Cook/bake something

Sharing Recipes

Well, friends I have just come across, for $5.95 believe it or not, one of those old “gem” cookbooks. I found it in a thrift store and, I might tell you, this is one of the BIG reasons I go thrift store shopping. It was published in 1968 by a woman’s club in a small town in Maryland and it is titled “Sharing Recipes.” I will be doing just that in recipes to come. I just love this old book, and I hope you will love and use some of the recipes too. BTW-easy to modify for vegetarian or pesceterian.

Four Ingredient Recipes

Vegetable Tacos

Vegetable tacos are so easy, yummy, and versatile. What a great way to clean out your fridge and have a super meal. BTW-Just add ground beef, shredded pork, or chicken and this becomes a great meal for those of you who eat meat. Pescatarians: add a little salmon.

  1. Taco shell-For tacos I like the small round flour tortillas but this recipe works for burritos too and that opens tons of kinds of tortillas.
  2. Any or all veggie fillings: Corn, squash, onion, cauliflower, shredded carrots or cabbage, mushrooms, broccoli, shredded zucchini, and I could go on and on, and so can YOU! (Cooked or raw)
  3. Again, your choice: rice, black beans, refried beans, lentils, veggie ground beef, Spanish rice, and on and on.
  4. Condiments-This is up to you also, and optional but I like to put out guacamole, salsa, chopped tomato, and lettuce.

All of this is VERY easy and takes no more than a few minutes. Taco, burrito, even quesadilla!! I use some variation of this once a week and have never had a complaint. Give this a try.

Four Ingredient Recipes

Everybody makes deviled eggs and we all have our special ways. One friend of mine always adds just a hint of horse radish, for example. I like this recipe because it is really tasty and very easy.

  1. Mayo-I use Dukes.
  2. Just a little bit of pickle juice and just a dab of chopped pickles. I use dill.
  3. Yellow Mustard-Only use yellow. I like French’s
  4. As many eggs as you need.

I have not included amounts with these ingredients because we make anywhere from 6 to 6 dozen at a time. Boil the eggs hard and carefully cut in half and remove yolks. Mash the yolks with the four ingredients and fill the egg white halves. I sprinkle with a bit of paprika or dried parsley. YUM!

Four Ingredient Recipes

Cool Whip Easy Strawberry Trifle

I know, I know, Cool Whip is not really a health food. I can’t help myself sometimes. It is really good and very versatile. You can do sooo much with it. Try this and get raves but don’t tell it is so quick and easy. (I cheated a bit, it has 5 ingredients.)

  1. 1 package Jello instant pudding-vanilla
  2. 1 1/2 cups cold milk. (I know the recipe on the package calls for 2.)
  3. 2 cups thawed Cool Whip
  4. Store bought angel food or pound cake ( I like pound cake.)
  5. 3 cups sliced strawberries

Beat milk, 1/2 of the Cool Whip, and pudding mix and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes. Layer up in a large clear bowl starting with the cake and finish with the remaining Cool Whip. This dessert is so pretty in a clear bowl and is also very lite. (I do cheat and say this is four ingredients because I always buy the pound cake-Sorry)

Four Ingredient Recipes

Cookies From Cake Mix

This is from Hints From Heloise and she says it is one of her most requested recipes. I have done it often and my favorite is Devil’s Food cake mix.

  1. One box of cake mix-any kind you like
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil-I use canola oil as it does not have an oil flavor

That’s it! Preheat oven to 350 and mix only these ingredients in a bowl. Do NOT add any of the cake mix items. Drop the batter by spoonful onto your ungreased cookie sheet about 2 1/2 inches apart. The cookies do spread a bit. Bake 8 to 10 minutes but Heloise says keep an eye on them because they brown quickly. I watch the edges. They can be stored in a tupperware or the like container and freeze nicely!

Quesadillas=Flexibility

I love quesadillas because there is really no recipe. All you need is two of any type of tortilla. I use the 8 inch flour but others prefer the big spinach or herb variety. It really doesn’t matter at all.

I start with a frying pan and a little canola oil-just enough to make the pan shine. I put in a dab and swirl the pan with a paper towel, but then I try to use very little oil. Put one tortilla in the warm pan and sprinkle whatever filling you like. I like cheese and olives. My family likes ham and swiss. My grandson likes TUNA!!! Anyway, put the other tortilla on top and press with a spatula until it seems warm. Flip and continue to heat until heated through. Serve with chips and salsa. This is the world’s easiest dinner and each person can have just what they want!

Granola Bars

Often it is really hard to buy just that right granola bar that does not have too many calories, too much fat, or -ouch-cost $3.50!! I also do not like many of the granola bar recipes that call for exotic ingredients and take forever to make/bake and then turn out to be ugh. We all have a favorite granola cereal, so let’s cut out the middle man as i say so often. Let’s do it ourselves Yes, a DIY granola bar.

2 cups of your favorite granola cereal-Oh, did I just say YOUR favorite? Why yes, I did!

2 eggs

That’s it. Just combine cereal and eggs and pour into a greased 8 inch square pan. BTY you can see that is is easy to make more-just keep doubling the recipe two for two. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and seperate edges from the pan and cut into bars while still warm. I like to put a bit of honey on these bars or some jam. My grandson likes peanut butter and my husband likes them just plain. Enjoy!

A Dear Friend

A very dear friend of ours from Church died suddenly day before yesterday. It really made me think about not only loss and sorrow, but what it means to be a friend. In these times it is so difficult to go out to lunch or shop or go to a movie or so many other things we used to do with friends. Our sense of togetherness is limited to unsatisfactory phone calls and even more unsatisfactory masked encounters.

We must keep up the good fight. Wear a mask. Deep your distance, and try to hold tight with all of your heart. Times simply must be better before too long. This is not about politics or religion. It is about being sure that the relationships we hold dear and the values we care about are kept constant.