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Archive | November, 2011

Dogs and cats

The feud between dogs and cats can be traced back to the first Thanksgiving, when the two sides fought over who got first dibs on the wishbone.

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Lovin’ Turkey Leftovers

Turkey Casserole

(Family Features)
Make sure you buy a big turkey this year, because you’ll want plenty left over to make these tasty post-holiday recipes.
From a savory sandwich and hearty salads to easy turnovers and a simple casserole, there are plenty of delicious ways to finish off turkey leftovers. You can even keep the flavors of the holidays going with Bobby Flay’s recipe for moist and delicious “Stuffing” Crusted Turkey Cutlets. He uses leftover poultry seasoning for flavor and Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise to keep them tender and juicy.
For more great ways to love your leftovers, visit www.hellmanns.com.

Turkey Casserole

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
4     cups leftover prepared stuffing, divided
4     cups coarsely chopped leftover cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
3/4     cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, divided
1/4     cup whole berry cranberry sauce
2     cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 1/2     cups shredded mozzarella cheese
(about 6 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Spray 8-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Spoon in 2 cups stuffing, then top with turkey.
Combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise with cranberry sauce; evenly spread over turkey.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, potatoes and cheese in large bowl. Evenly spread on turkey, then top with remaining 2 cups stuffing.
Bake 40 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with dried cranberries.

“Stuffing” Crusted Turkey Cutlets

A Bobby Flay Recipe
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
2     cups panko or plain dried bread crumbs
3     tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4     cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
2     tablespoons Dijon mustard
1    teaspoon poultry seasoning
4     turkey cutlets (about 1/2 inch thick)
4     tablespoons canola oil, divided
Combine bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper in large shallow dish; set aside.
Combine mayonnaise, mustard and poultry seasoning with wire whisk in small bowl and season, if desired, with salt and pepper.
Season turkey, if desired, with salt and pepper. Brush 1 side of each turkey cutlet with mayonnaise mixture, then coat in bread crumbs.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook 2 turkey cutlets, bread side down, 3 minutes or until golden brown and a crust has formed. Turn over and cook an additional 2 minutes or until turkey is thoroughly cooked. Repeat with remaining oil and turkey.

Blushing Cranberry and Pear Turkey Salad

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1/2     cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1/2     cup whole berry cranberry sauce or cranberry relish
4     cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
2     cups baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
2     cups diced cooked turkey
1     medium pear, cored and thinly sliced
1/4     cup toasted chopped pecans
1/4     cup thinly sliced red onion
In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and cranberry sauce; set aside.
In large bowl, combine romaine, spinach and turkey. Just before serving, toss with mayonnaise mixture. Top with pear slices, pecans and onion. Garnish, if desired with dried cranberries.
Note: Recipe can be doubled.

Turkey Turnovers

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
2     cups shredded cooked turkey
1     cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1     cup chopped cooked broccoli
1/2     cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/4     teaspoon ground black pepper
2     packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine all ingredients except crescent rolls in large bowl.
Separate each package crescent rolls into 4 squares; press diagonal perforations to seal.
Spoon turkey filling onto center of each square. Fold dough diagonally over filling to form triangles; press edges firmly to seal.
Arrange turnovers on baking sheet; brush tops lightly with additional mayonnaise.
Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Leftover Turkey Super Sandwiches

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
4     tablespoons Hellmann’s® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
8     slices whole grain bread
1/2     cup prepared stuffing
1/2     pound sliced leftover or deli turkey
1/2     cup cranberry sauce or whole berry cranberry sauce
1     small apple, cored and sliced
Spread mayonnaise generously on 4 bread slices. Layer stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce and apple on bread slices. Top with remaining 4 bread slices.


Turkey Fiesta Salad

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1/2     cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1/2     cup prepared salsa
6     cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
2     cups diced cooked turkey
4     slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
Combine mayonnaise and salsa in small bowl; set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Just before serving, toss with mayonnaise mixture.
Serve, if desired, with your favorite salad fixings, such as chopped tomatoes, black beans, shredded cheese, sliced pitted ripe olives, sliced green onions and/or tortilla chips.

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Fun holiday activities to do with kids

(StatePoint) The holidays are a time for family and friends, new traditions and old. And many parents may look forward to the school break as a time to bond with their children.
It’s also important that children engage in some educational activities over the holidays, especially those that continue to develop reading and math skills.
“Take advantage of the break from your regular routines to show your children how learning is an everyday activity,” says Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). “The days leading up to the holidays are an exciting time, and many children are thrilled to do something new.”
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, here are some fun holiday activities to do with kids:
• Read Holiday Stories: In the weeks before the holidays, gather your family’s favorite holiday books and read one story or chapter together nightly. Have children participate in following along, turning pages and by asking them questions about the story. Reading the characters in funny voices and acting out the stories can help even the biggest Grinch warm to reading.
• Learn Fun Facts: Do you know why all snowflakes are different? Or why we make New Year’s resolutions? If you don’t, finding out the answers can be fun with your child. Educational websites like Wonderopolis.org, created by the NCFL, lets parents and children explore short videos that explain the answers to many trivia questions — including why people kiss under mistletoe!
• Make Holiday Cards: Have kids make a list of recipients. Then help them write holiday messages and decorate holiday cards before mailing them. If kids are too little to write a message, have them help you create one and then sign their names or add drawings. Grandparents will appreciate these more than store-bought cards.
• Volunteer Together: Whether it’s in your local soup kitchen or hospital, the holidays are a great time to teach kids about the importance of volunteering and spreading joy. If you think it might be difficult for your family to spend a day with strangers, consider baking cookies or a cake for an elderly neighbor or relative. Have kids read recipes, measure ingredients and keep things organized. This helps develop reading, counting and organizational skills while sharing.
• Track Santa: Not all traditions have to be traditional. If your children feel more comfortable in front of a computer than in the kitchen, use that to your advantage when considering new family holiday activities. For example, starting each December, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) “tracks” Santa’s movements at www.noradsanta.org. Children and adults alike are sure to get a kick out of it.
Remember, the memories you make now will stay with your children for a lifetime.
For more ideas for fun activities for kids, visit www.wonderopolis.org.

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Get Your Kitchen Holiday-Ready

(Family Features) The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house – especially around the holidays. With all the cooking, baking and celebrating going on, it can be hard to keep the kitchen clean.
To help you give your kitchen a holiday sparkle, try these time-tested techniques from the pros at Merry Maids.
Before putting containers in the refrigerator, wipe container exterior and securely cover it to avoid spills and reduce odors.
Get rid of leftover items that have not been eaten or have expired. This allows room for new items. Save yourself this step by not refrigerating leftovers that anyone is likely to eat.
Once a month, clean each shelf and bin one at a time starting from top to bottom. Remove items and wash with warm soapy water. Wash the walls, too. Dry thoroughly.
All-purpose cleaners are safe for most surfaces in the kitchen, including stainless steel appliance exteriors. Before the big party, apply a stainless steel polish for extra shine.
Remove finger prints from stainless steel with a glass cleaner, followed by buffing with a dry cloth. Whenever a product is used on stainless steel, the surface should be rinsed with plain, warm water and then dried to prevent streaking and water marks.
Clean other refrigerator surfaces with a soap and water solution.
For stainless steel or ceramic sinks, rinse the sink after each use and wipe with a clean dry cloth. Drying the sink will prevent mineral deposits from building up on the surface.
Once a week, scour the sink with a non-abrasive cleaner, such as an all-purpose cleanser or glass and surface cleaner. Do not use steel wool, wire brushes or abrasive sponges.
If you want to make a stainless steel sink shine, use a stainless steel cleaner or a small amount of olive oil.
Small Appliances
To freshen up your disposal, fill it with ice cubes and slices of lime or lemon. Then, run cold water while the disposal is on for about 30 seconds. The ice will sharpen and clean the blades, and the citrus will release a fresh scent.
If you have stuck-on foods in the microwave, fill a two-cup glass measuring cup with a cup of water and the juice from one lemon. Microwave for about 30 seconds or until the water boils. This should create steam in the microwave that will loosen stuck-on foods, so you can wipe the microwave clean. The lemon juice will provide a fresh scent.
Wooden Cabinets
For stubborn dirt, wash around all handles and any other grease zones with hand dishwashing detergent. Then wash the entire cabinet, including the handle areas, with an oil soap solution, such as Murphy Oil Soap. Just wipe lightly with the solution and buff dry immediately with a terry cleaning cloth. Always wipe dry with any grain or pattern.
If cabinets are dull from wear or age, spray furniture polish lightly across the exterior to fill in the pores and restore the life of the wood.
Do not use acids or powdered cleansers on cabinets. Use an all-purpose cleaner to spot-clean after heavy kitchen use.
For more cleaning tips and information on Merry Maids, visit www.merrymaids.com.

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Mingle with Kris Kringle

Mark your calendars now for Mingle with Kris Kringle—the  annual holiday tree lighting ceremony in Cedar Springs, where families gather to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season!
The event will be held on Friday, December 2, at the corner of Main and Ash Street in Cedar Springs. This year, the event is being organized by Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec Director Amanda Gerhardt, and Pastor Craig Owens, pastor at Calvary Assembly of God.
There will be a living nativity beginning at 5 p.m. with actors and animals. They will be joined by actors from the upcoming play “A Christmas Carol,” who will sing Christmas carols. The tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. when Santa arrives. Afterwards, children may stay and pet the animals as they wait for their turn to see Santa. Activities may also be set up in the United Methodist Church to keep little ones busy.
The details are still coming in, so watch next week’s Post for the final details!

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Less is More this Christmas!

After laying down my last women’s magazine telling me how to be less stressed during the holidays, I’m even more confused and stressed then ever. On one page I’m told to take time for myself and indulge in a lovely spa bath. As I turn the page, I’m told to give all my friends and family homemade ornaments. Then there are articles telling me how not to gain weight at Christmas parties. Isn’t that like telling a three year old to not get dirty while making mud pies?
To top it all off (and the part I like the best) is after they tell us how to get rid of stress and not gain weight, they give us 10 pages of recipes for Christmas cookies made with real butter and cream that are decorated so elaborately in the pictures that it probably took a trained kitchen staff of 10 a week to make one cookie. Doesn’t anyone live in the real world any more? If you are like me and can’t stand that kind of stress, try some of these Christmas ideas from www.LivingOnADime.com to help you have a relaxed and Merry Christmas.
Don’t over-spend. It may be tempting to fixate yourself on the sparkling look in little Johnny’s eye when he sees that $300 play car under the tree. Advertising people are really good at feeding many parents’ fantasies of their children thinking that mom and dad are the peaches and cream for shelling out the cash and looking fondly back on the moment for the rest of their lives. In reality, most kids have lost all interest in that particular toy long before the credit cards are paid off. “When we were growing up, my mom pulled out all of the stops at Christmas to make it as wonderful for us as she possibly could. The funny thing is that now that we are grown, the things we remember the most fondly are Mom’s red jello salad (made with red hots yummy!) and sitting together and reading the Christmas story before opening our presents. I can’t remember what presents I received, but I always look back fondly on the Christmas story.
Do a few things well. Instead of trying to do everything and ending up depressed with how it all turns out, focus your energy on a couple of things that are the most important to you. You may be tempted to extravagantly decorate every room in your house, but if you don’t have the time or energy, focus on one room, like a living or family room. If your entire house is beautiful but you have to go see a therapist when it’s all over, the romantic mystique will be lost. Trust me, I know about this one from personal experience.
Limit activities. Think of the holiday season as triage for activities. Don’t commit to do too many things. One or two parties during the holiday season will make you get all tingly in that “It’s a Wonderful Life” kind of way. One or two parties a week may send you over the edge, especially if you have kids. (Refer to my therapist comments above.) This also applies to all of those appealing looking activities around town like Victorian Christmas events, Christmas celebrations at the zoo or winter carnivals. One or two can be a lot of fun, but too many will ruin the fun.
Limit cookie baking. Don’t try to make 15 different kinds of cookies like Martha. She may look like she is super woman, but did you know she has a lot of people that help her? How much help do you get with your baking? I mean real help, not your five year old who makes everything twice as difficult for you. This is great for grandma, but you have to see your daughter every day and grandma can send her back when the house is sufficiently covered in flour. Again, pick your two or three top favorite cookies to bake and celebrate the fact that you had few enough priorities that you remembered to put the sugar in them.
Everything doesn’t have to be homemade. I know that we advocate making your own stuff, but Marie Callendar’s makes some great pies that you can pass off as homemade if you want to soothe your guilty Martha Stewart conscience. In 20 years, your kids will look fondly back on it as the best pie they ever had. But seriously, if you are making things homemade just to save money, remember that some things like candies and pies are often more expensive to make homemade, especially if you cut your finger while slicing the apples. Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me on this one.
These aren’t the only things you can do to reduce your stress, but if you stick to doing a few things well, you can truly relax and enjoy the season with your family. In the end, they would rather have fond memories of their time with you than memories of how strung out mom was after she burned the cookies.
Tawra Kellam is the publisher of the website www.LivingOnADime.com and the author of Dining On A Dime Cookbook.

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How to fix distrust in government

By Lee H. Hamilton

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll had bad news for Congress, whose support is down to single digits. But it had even worse news for the Republic. Americans’ distrust of government, the pollsters found, is “at its highest level ever.”
When so many Americans believe that their representatives in Washington do not have their best interests in mind, something is desperately off-kilter. It means that Americans feel betrayed by how the political class operates.
So the question becomes what can be done to restore the people’s trust in government. May I suggest it involves more than changing policies. It means paying attention to the values that people would like to see embodied in government.
To start, they want fairness from Washington. I’ve always been impressed by the importance Americans place on fairness; they strive to be fair to those around them, and they expect government to do the same.
They also want government to be open. This is not a blanket pronouncement — where national security and defense are concerned, or where congressional negotiators need space to find common ground without being forced to posture for the cameras, there is a place for secrecy. But transparency ought to be the rule.
There is also a deep thirst for accountability in Washington. So many different people have their hands on promoting or blocking a given initiative, it can seem as though the entire political system is designed to shrug off responsibility. It is hard to respect institutions whose leaders refuse a forthright accounting of, or deny responsibility for, their failures.
Americans do not expect miracles or understate the difficulties of governing. They do not expect a single person to right the ship of state. Quite the contrary. They want a collective effort, a sense that people in government are working together to resolve their differences. Americans tolerate disagreement, but not to the point of gridlock — in the end they prefer cooperation, not confrontation; remedies, not filibusters and scorched-earth politicking.
Finally, they want honesty. Americans really do want to know the scope of the problems they confront and to make up their own minds about them. They resent politicians who paper over the complexity of the problems or toss off inadequate solutions.
Rebuilding trust in American government will require more than changes in rules or policy. It will rest on the manner in which our elected officials conduct the business of government, and their willingness to embrace fairness, openness, accountability, cooperation, competence and honesty.
Lack of trust in government is a far more serious problem than most politicians believe, one that cannot be resolved easily. The solution can only come from a patient, long-term effort to return to our fundamental values and instincts.
Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

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Main Street

Zap on!
The Republican nomination wrestle is turning out to be more fun than I expected. What a sight. All eight candidates are dancing around for a better position. While energetically looking for dirt on the others, each tries to deflect attention away from his or her own personal shortcomings.
Yes, it’s tacky, even discouraging, but we might as well enjoy it if we can. When the GOP has chosen its candidate, thereal mud slinging will start. I could do without it and will keep my TV remote in hand. You?
Meanwhile, have a nice Thanksgiving!
Long joke
A contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” had reached the final question. If she answered it correctly, she’d win $1 million. If not, she’d pocket only the $32,000 milestone money. Naturally, the $1 million question wasn’t easy: “Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds? Is it A) the condor, B) the buzzard, C) the cuckoo, or D) the vulture?”
The woman was on the spot. She didn’t know the answer. And she was doubly on the spot because she had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her Audience Poll Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend Lifeline. The woman had hoped she wouldn’t have to use it because her friend was, well, a blond. But she had no alternative. She called her friend and gave her the question and the four choices. The blond responded unhesitatingly: “That’s easy. The answer is C, the cuckoo.”
The contestant had to make a decision and make it fast. She considered employing a reverse strategy and giving any answer except the one her friend had given her. Considering that her friend was blond, that seemed like the logical move. On the other hand – the blonde had responded with such confidence, such certainty….
Crossing her fingers, the woman said, “C, the cuckoo.”
In joy, she heard the host’s response “That answer is …  absolutely correct! You are now a millionaire!”
Three days later, the contestant hosted a party for her family and friends, including the blonde who had helped her win. “Jenny, I just do not know how to thank you!” said the woman. “How did you happen to know the right answer?”
“Oh, come on,” said the blonde. “Everybody knows that cuckoos don’t build nests. They live in clocks.”
Short joke
Returning to West Point late one night, Colonel Schultz and his wife were challenged by the sentry at the gate.
“Halt and identify yourself!”
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!” declared the startled woman.
The sentry stepped aside. “Advance, Holy Family, to be recognized.”
Final words
Of course I can keep a secret. It’s the people I tell it to who can’t.

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Teen gets first deer

Austin M. Coalter, 11, shot his first deer, a 6-point buck on Nov. 16, 2011, while hunting with his uncle Keith Coalter, just north of Cedar Springs. He was shooting a Ruger 270 cal. rifle and the deer was about 120 yards out. His family is very proud of him. Congrats, Austin!

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Teen bow hunter gets his buck

Michael Smith Jr., 15, the son of Mike and Betty Smith, shot this nice 8-point buck with his bow on Nov. 5. He was hunting behind his house in Solon Township. He is a freshman at Cedar Springs High School. Congratulations Michael!

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