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Showing posts from October, 2018

Happy Halloween

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Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Chocolate-Cinnamon Skeleton Cookies

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Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Level: Intermediate
Total: 4 hr 45 min
Active: 45 min
Yield: about 14 cookies

Ingredients
For the cookies:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Directions
Make the cookies: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Divide the dough in ha…

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

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Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Rotisserie chicken is the time-saving secret to this mash-up of two crowd-pleasing foods. Stuff corn tortillas with a cheesy buffalo filling and bake until melted for an easy weeknight meal or game day snack that's ready in a half hour.

Level: Easy
Total: 30 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups shredded Cheddar
1 cup hot sauce, plus more for serving, such as Frank's
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
16 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons blue cheese dressing

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Mix the chicken, cream cheese, 1 cup of the Cheddar, 1/3 cup of the hot sauce, white parts of the scallions and cumin in a large bowl until well combined. Stir together…

Effective Empathy

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The past month has been trying and emotionally taxing for one friend who was diagnosed with cancer--it was caught early, but she needs to have surgery and chemo/radiation treatments. Another friend lost her grandmother and is trying to cope with the enormous loss. The funeral for my close friend’s grandma was so sad and devastating for my friend’s son who was very close to his great-grandma. I was already somber after the funeral and then found out about my friend’s cancer diagnosis. It was a life-changing week for both of my friends and their families, and it was a somber but humbling week for me, it reminded me to be more loving and kinder to others and myself.

After that tough week, I started to look for better ways to cope in catching the flood of emotions before they wash over me and turn me into a blabbering mess each time something sad or life-changing happens to friends, loved ones or me. My go-to reaction to sadness is to project my thoughts and feelings of how I would feel if…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

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The Day of the Dead is considered one of the richest traditions of Mexican culture. The origin of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico pre-dates the arrival of the Spaniards. There are records of celebrations in the Mexica, Maya, Purépecha, and Totonaca ethnic groups. The rituals that celebrate the life of our ancestors have carried out in these civilizations since pre-Columbian times. 

Day of the Dead for children (1st and 2nd of November) According to tradition, the deceased children are celebrated on November 1st, and adults are celebrated on the 2nd. However, for the Catholic Church day, 2 is for everyone, since the 1st is All Saints Day.

The Day of the Dead tradition celebrated in Mexico with the popular belief that the souls of loved ones who left us awaken from their eternal slumber to become part of the lively celebrations during the Day of the Dead. They are received in joy and laughter with offerings of their favorite fruit, food and drink, sweet calaveritas (sugar skulls…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 3 hr 5 min
Active: 1 hr
Yield: 24 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Dough:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Melted butter, for buttering pans

Filling:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups to 2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Dash of salt

Directions
For the dough: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan f…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Finding the Mystics and Warriors

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“I've spent my life as a warrior, working for women's issues, working on political campaigns, being an activist for the environment. And it can be sort of crazy-making, housing both the mystic and the warrior in one body. I've always been attracted to those rare people who pull that off, who devote their lives to humanity with the grit of the warrior and the grace of the mystic.” Elizabeth Lesser

The uncertain climate in our country led me to focus on the work of some fantastic and gifted authors like Eckhart Tolle, Elizabeth Lesser, Deepak Chopra, Martha Beck, Gary Zukav, Elizabeth Gilbert, Wayne Dyer, Anne Lamott, Glennon Doyle, don Miguel Ruiz, Cheryl Strayed, and Brene Brown. These warriors and mystics have metaphorically opened their arms to spiritual wanders like me through their books, videos, podcasts, and workshops where they share their rich life experiences that I connect to so profoundly. Their work drew me in and helped me expand my group of like-minded people…

Black Widow Halloween Shot Recipe

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Mix together cranberry juice and black vodka to create a venomous Halloween shot.
Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces black vodka, chilled
1/2 ounces cranberry juice, chilled
1 cherry, for garnish
Red sugar crystals, for rim

Instructions
1. Fill a small cocktail glass with ice.
2. Rim glass with red sugar crystals.
3. Pour cranberry juice over ice, and gently layer black vodka over juice.
4. Garnish with a cherry.

For more recipe ideas visit hgtv.com



Slow-Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 7 hr 25 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 7 hr
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3 pieces naan bread
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 Fresno chile or red jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems separated, chopped
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6)
1 tablespoon garam masala
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt

Directions
Crumble 1/2 piece naan into coarse crumbs; transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the red onion, potatoes, chile and cilantro stems. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer over the vegetables and sprinkle with the garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Dot with the butter and add the cinnamon stick. Pour the tomato sauce over the top. Cover and …

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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4-Day Alignment With My Soul

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"Our job while we’re in the Earth School is to align our personalities with our souls. And we do that by becoming the personality that has the same intentions of the soul--harmony, and cooperation, and sharing and reverence for life." – Gary Zukav

It’s been two weeks since Elizabeth Gilbert & Cheryl Strayed's Brave Magic seminar at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley. And I've remained on a quest since then to figure out all that was stirred up in my heart and mind. I kept writing about it trying to figure it out, and yesterday, Gary Zukav described my transformation perfectly when I heard his podcast with Oprah on the Super Soul Conversations as he explained what it's like to connect with the Soul. Gary’s description of our personalities having the same intentions of the Soul by being in harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for life, was what went on in the four days I was at 1440 Multiversity! I was in harmony with nature, in cooperation with authors E…

Witch Crash Cupcakes

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You can call these witches clumsy for not yet mastering their landings, but crashing into these decadent chocolate cupcakes seems like a sweet plan!

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 2 hr 30 min
Active: 1 hr
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Cupcakes:1 cup all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

Frosting:
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Purple, orange, neon green and blue gel food coloring, for coloring the frosting

Decorations:
24 chewy chocolate candies, such as Tootsie Rolls
6 chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos
12 Hershey Kisses
1/4 cup shredded wheat cereal

Directions
Special equipment: 12 black cupcake liners; 4 piping bags; 4 large round piping tips; 2 purple and white striped pa…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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