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Super-Easy Apple-Raisin Quick Bread

 I made this yummy apple-raisin quick bread this morning and unfortunately, my husband and I have practically eaten the whole thing before I thought of how useful it would be to get the recipe down here. I'm sorry. I know it would have been nice to have seen the whole loaf. Maybe the next time I make it (there will be a next time) I will remember to photograph the whole loaf. In the meantime, here is the recipe: INGREDIENTS : 3 cups of self-raising flour (see below) 2 cups (16 oz) apple sauce, sweetened l teaspoon cinnamon (optional) 1/2 to 1 cup Thompson's raisins (or other raisins) Canadians don't often use self-raising flour. It is so handy to have on hand for biscuits, and the like. Here is a recipe: For every one cup of flour (all-purpose), use 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 salt. I want to make 6 cups of self-raising flour so include: 6 cups of flour, 9 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3 teaspoons of salt. I whisked the above well and stored the additional qua

Black Bean-Taco Hummus - Vegan- Dip or Spread

 My current favorite quick black bean-taco hummus made with organic black beans, taco spice, peanut butter, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Delicious with corn chips, veggies or on crackers or bread.  This scrumptious hummus is Mexican-influenced. The taco spice by Clever Crow contains paprika, cumin, coriander, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic, and chilies. It is gluten-free. To order go to their website at Clever Crow Farm. INGREDIENTS: 2 14-oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed 2 teaspoons Taco Spice 2 tablespoons peanut butter 2 minced garlic cloves Juice of 1 lemon or 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon sea salt Put all the above ingredients in a blender carafe and whirl until smooth.  Add in a little water or more lemon juice or cider vinegar to blend if needed. Store in a jar or dish with a lid in fridge. Enjoy as a dip with chips or vegetables, or as a spread on tortillas, buns, bread, crackers, pitas, or a homemade pizza. Talavera Ceramic Mexican Pottery C

Ghost Gear: Haunting Canadian Waters

O Canada!  Our safe sea home and pristine land! Apparently NOT... Take a gander at the plastic gunk garnered from our "pristine" waters: A man-made garbage hill like this is known as "ghost gear" and is the lost, abandoned or trashed gear -- mostly plastics--of the fishing industry, that ends up as a disgusting 58% of marine macro debris.   Want to be part of the solution and not the problem?  Learn More →   . Learn More →   Marine Sea Glass Crafters and Collectors -- today only-- 39-piece sea shell and sea glass collection from Vancouver Island beaches. From Etsy Canada Also take a look at Natalie McIntosh's London, Ontario enterprise: I am an affiliate with Etsy. When you purchase using the above link, I receive a small fee that does not in any way affect your purchase cost or satisfaction. Thank you so much! ~Cynthia

Granny Reads: Review of "Anatomy of An Illness: As Perceived by the Patient" by Norman Cousins

Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient by Norman Cousins My rating: 5 of 5 stars This little book has achieved 'classic' status based largely on the radical steps the author, Norman Cousins, had taken previously to let the world know about his success in overcoming a painful, life-threatening disease that plagued him and that 'doctors' at that time (1960s) gave no hope for overcoming. This book is an analysis of how the ill perceive their illness and the prognosis for overcoming it with/ without medical interventions and the opinions of medical experts. It looks at studies that show that placebos are often almost as effective as some of the "medications" being studied before being brought onto the market. There is a pretty clear case made for the benefits of optimism, having a clear understanding how the body and the mind work together to achieve wellness (or conversely, give into sickness), and how important it is to be persistent and creativ

Granny Reads: Review of "Memoir of the Sunday Brunch" by Julia Pandl

Memoir of the Sunday Brunch by Julia Pandl My rating: 4 of 5 stars Memoir by the youngest child in a big family (9) growing up in a restaurant tradition with a side of Catholicism. The most fully-developed character is the dad, a.k.a. George. He is a complex make-up of a generous but penny-pinching man who takes his family, all of whom work for him at the restaurant, on fancy trips to restaurant conventions where he drops $1200 at the restaurant fancy meal, but gets into a rage over someone opening the hotel fridge and eating a can of peanuts, going out and replacing it with a Walgreen's can. He is a loving, interested father and spouse at home, but at the restaurant he strikes fear and shame into all his kids and staff. Over all, the family is very "close" and supportive of each other, and Julia, the youngest, single adult-child, appears to have a major role in caring for her parents as they age and moves back in with her father before his passing. It seems very clear

Solar-Oven Cooked No-Butter Chick'n and Chickpeas

Here is a yummy plant-based version of the popular Indian Butter Chicken recipe, but without butter or chicken, and put together to cook in the American Sun Oven harnessing the free and mighty power of the Sun. It feeds 4-6 and on a bright, warm day, will cook up in about 30 minutes, although it is also possible to have it cook for several hours in the Sun Oven without burning or dehydrating while you go about doing other things at a campsite or beach or in your cool house or back garden. Learn more about the American Sun Oven HERE .  See my short video HERE . I know that an Indian person would likely be quick to disclaim this pretty bland recipe. I basically mix up all the ingredients together at one time (no sauté step) and transfer the mix to the dark 'granite' Dutch oven. I add rice ingredients to the other pot and stack it with the other pot and a lid in the Sun Oven to cook together. You won't believe how scrumptious this recipe is until you try it. To Start: Assemble

Granny Reads: Review of Laughter Yoga: Daily Practices for Health and Happiness

Laughter Yoga: Daily Practices for Health and Happiness by Madan Kataria My rating: 3 of 5 stars I enjoyed reading and applying this little book about how laughter is healing and promotes happiness. The author is an Indian physician who stumbled across laughter therapy when going through some adjustments to the pressures and disconnected quality of life in a large Indian city while attending medical school. He read Norman Cousin's book about his experiences with laughter and comedy in healing his painful disease and immediately set about doing personal "research" into how effective laughter would be in healing his depression. He also looked at laughter as a way to bring people together in a warm and friendly way, to reconnect humans. Using Yoga philosophy and breathing exercises, in 1995 he went about formally setting up Laughter "Clubs", first in India and then around the world. In this book he describes the way laughter yoga is practiced, the principles, an