Friday, September 19, 2014

#Recipe: Lacy Thin Pizzelles #Italian

One of my mom's favorite recipes was for the Italian Pizzelles.  She would make them every Christmas.  Pizzelles are an Italian waffle type cookie, traditionally made with anise seed or extract.  (However, there are numerous variations.) Somewhere along the way, my Dad came across an extra (affiliate link to follow) Pizzelle Maker.  No one else was interested in it, so I took it and decided to start making these cookies when Mom's vision got too poor for her to make them.  I was living in the south at the time, and had been introduced to White Lily Flour.  I had tried this flour in our family Italian Easter Bread recipe, but it took a
way from the recipe.  I had some leftover and gave it a try in our Pizzelle recipe.  It worked just as I imagine!  The Pizzelles were light and crisp.  My mother was amazed!  She loves thin, lacy Pizzelles, but was never able to get them as light as mine.  I know the secret is in the flour!

Anyway, I made a batch tonight and thought I would share the recipe.  If you like light, lacy Pizzelles, this recipe is for you.  (I know some prefer thick, heavier Pizzelles.)

Italian Pizzelles

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp anise seed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 White Lily Self-Rising Presifted Flour
2 tsp. baking powder

Beat eggs and sugar.  Add cooled melted butter, vanilla and anise and mix.  Sift flour and baking powder together and add to egg mixture.  My batter is softer than a regular cookie mix, but it works.  Drop by teaspoon onto the Pizzelle iron.  Don't put directly in the center, but a bit towards the back so when you close the iron, it will spread evenly.  Generally, each cookie takes 40-55 seconds to bake.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Easy Way to Choose Secure Passwords

Do you remember the days when the only pass code you needed to remember was the 4-digit number for the lock on your school locker?  Times have really changed since then.  And if you are like me, you have hundreds of passwords that you have to keep track of.  Every single site you visit wants you to have a password now.  Sometimes, it is not really even necessary at some sites.  (Seriously, I don't think anyone is going to hack my Better Homes and Gardens online account so I can log in to view all projects at once.)  Naturally, others definitely require a secure sign in password.

Experts advise not using the same password for multiple accounts, which definitely makes sense.  But I really miss the days when I just had a couple passwords that I used repeatedly.  I never had to write them down and go look them up.

I recently read a suggestion on how to come up with a great password and thought it was brilliant.  Choose one password you want to use.    Say you want your password to be "password."  To make it more difficult, it is advisable to include one capital letter, a number and a symbol.  You could make it pAssword*14.  Here is where it gets clever.  You can use that same password at all sites by simply adding the first 2 letters of the site you are visiting.  Example:  for your Yahoo account, make your password pAssword*14ya.  For your Amazon account, make your password pAssword*14am.  Get the idea?  Or, you could just as easily make it yapAssword*14 andampAssword*14.  That way, your password will be different for each account, but easier for you to remember!

If you want to make it even more secure, choose a non-word, such as hApolaw?97.  This would make it very difficult for someone to figure out.

Hope this helps!

Free Printable Fall Card "I Fall for You..."

I love this free printable I Fall For You card from The Dating Divas.  If you don't want the message, you can always just trace these leaves and hand write your own message on it.


Friday, September 12, 2014

The Birthday Reminder I Don't Want to Be Reminded Of

Before my car accident, I had a nearly impeccable memory for numbers.  Birth dates were included in that.  I remembered all my friends and family's birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates.  But 18 years ago, I was in a car accident where I was hit from behind and although I had a seat belt on, I ended up on the steering wheel.  Ever since, I have had memory problems, mainly with recall.  So, when it comes to birth dates and such, I rely heavily on calendar reminders.

This week, I got one such reminder that I don't want to be reminded of.  It is of a friend's birthday.  A friend that is no longer with us.  My friend, who was tragically murdered.  (You can read more about it HERE). When it popped up on my phone, my first thought was I don't want to be reminded of this.  I don't want to be reminded that I no longer need this reminder.  Instead of reminding me to scurrying about to get a card in the mail, it is just a painful reminder that he is no here anymore.  My heart swells with pain.  It swells with sadness for his family and other friends.  It swells with sadness for everyone's life whom he touched.  And most of all, it swells with sadness for those who never had the opportunity to know him.  Those whose lives he wasn't able to touch because it was cut short.  You see, Chris was one of those guys.  The type of guy who made an impression on everyone he met because he truly cared about people.  In his career, he worked with children and families and gave and gave.  And he made a difference.  He was able to provide hope and healing to so many.  Chris wiped tears.  He loved the hurt.  He wanted to save the children.  He gave hope.

And so the reminder pops up.  And although sad, I am reminded to celebrate in my heart what a great man he was and to push myself to be more like him.

After all, deleting the reminder, doesn't delete the memories.  Rest in peace, Chris.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Warming Up with @Starbucks Fall Blend! #FallBlend #coffeeathome

Disclosure:  I received samples to facilitate this review as well as a Starbucks Gift Card.  As always, this review contains my honest opinions.  

The kids are back to school and there are moments now when the house is silent for a change.  Walking out on my deck, I hear the birds singing as the crisp nearly-fall air moves in.  The perfect time to sit back and relax and enjoy a cup of Starbucks Fall Blend.  Its bold, robust taste still has the citrusy overtones found in Pike Place Roast or Spring Blend, yet the Sumatran beans offer a strong, spicy note, warmed by Peruvian beans that add a bit of nuttiness.  

I prepared the coffee three different ways - traditional drip, pour-over and via a press.   The press produced the best results. While everyone’s palette is different, this blend is a little bolder and heavier than the Spring blend.  I enjoyed the warmth  of the flavor that seems to blanket me on a cool morning. 

I would recommend the Starbucks Fall Blend, especially for coffee drinkers who enjoy a slightly bolder blend but also want to retain some of the lighter, citrusy overtones found in Pike Place Roast or the Spring blend.

The Fall Blend is one of three limited-time only, seasonal blends that is offered by Starbucks and is available this fall season exclusively at major grocer stores for $8.99 per 10 oz. package.

Disclosure:  I received samples to facilitate this review as well as a Starbucks Gift Card.  As always, this review contains my honest opinions.  

Dense Breast Tissue and Breast Cancer--What You Need to Know

There is a grassroots movement to get the word out about Dense Breast Tissue (DBT) and early detection of breast cancer.  Having DBT puts you not only at greater risk for cancer, but it makes it more difficult to detect on a mammogram. Learn more about this movement and the Dangerous Boob Tour by watching the video below or visiting

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

U2's Latest Album--FREE on iTunes!

Songs of Innocence, U2

Wow--I am loving this!  U2's latest album, Age of Innocence, is FREE on iTunes right now. This is a gift from Apple. If you want it, head over to iTunes and download it now!

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