A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens

Posted by Melanie Begley.

My 7 year old daughter loves acting and drama and for the last 3 years she has participated in the Creative Drama & Dance class held at Dramafun in Sandwich.  She and I both absolutely love Courtenay Harrington-Bailey, who is the founding director and teacher.  She is amazing with the kids and always puts on a great performance with the children at the end of the session. In addition she produces “Broadway Jr.” productions three times a year with her children’s theatre company.  We went to the most recent show in December called A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens.  The almost all kids cast brought us back in time to the Victorian streets of London where the characters Jack and Annie helped save Charles Dickens from his past and the memories that haunted him. I certainly felt like I was at a Broadway show!

If you have a chance I would suggest checking out their next big show, Mary Poppins Jr, which will run on Saturday, April 7 @ 2pm & 7pm and also on Sunday, April 8 @ 2pm in the Mashpee High School Auditorium.  Tickets are $15 a person, kids 4 and under are free.


Slow Cooker Obsession!

Posted by Jen Crompton.

When the temperature drops and days become shorter and the night is long, little else brings us as much comfort as curling up on the couch binge watching the latest drama (Come on, who doesn’t love This Is Us?!) with a big bowl of steaming hot soup that has been simmering all day in the slow cooker just waiting for us to dive in.

Of all the gadgets and gizmos I received almost 13 years ago when I was married, my slow cooker is, by far, my favorite and most beloved gadget in the kitchen!

With the popularity of Pinterest at an all time high, the recipes available for slow cooker meals are endless! While strolling the aisles of the grocery store, I can whip out my Smartphone and search for a recipe, grab the ingredients and head home!

Like many moms, serving my family something tasty and nutritious is a daily struggle in our house. We are a busy family of four, and can often get stuck in a rut of the same go-to meals, week after week. The slow cookers allow us to mix it up a bit and explore new things without slaving over a hot stove all day. I can throw all the ingredients in the cooker before leaving for work in the morning, set it on low, go about our day from school, to work, to dance and come home to a warm and delicious, ready-to-eat meal for the whole family!

Gone are the days of slow cooker soup only! While we have our favorite soups and stews (can you say Chicken Tortilla Soup? Yum!), we regularly make Asian inspired Honey Glazed Sesame Chicken and Rice, Mexican beef or chicken fajitas, and pulled pork sandwiches!

https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/slow-cooker-honey-sesame-chicken/

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/141678/slow-cooker-pulled-pork

Our newest favorite dish is one I never expected to be making in my slow cooker! Desserts are the latest craze in slow cooker deliciousness. Ooey, gooey, chocolate lava cake left to cook for 2.5 hours is heavenly and just what we need on a chilly winter night! Perfect for parties or family movie night, toss in those ingredients, set it and forget it!

https://www.crazyforcrust.com/slow-cooker-brownie-pudding/

Speaking of parties, nothing says love like bringing a pot of slow cooker meatballs or a creamy spinach and artichoke dip to your favorite gathering. No more stressing over what to make, finding the time to cook it, just toss it in and press a button! Slow cookers even come in a variety of transportable sizes, for easy party convenience!

Enjoy some of our party favorites here:

http://thefrugalgirls.com/2016/08/easy-crock-pot-bbq-meatball-recipe.html

http://thefrugalgirls.com/2015/11/crock-pot-spinach-dip.html

 

What will you be making in your slow cooker next?


Here’s to a healthy 2018

Posted by Jackie Stewart.

I like using simple household products for other uses around the house. One of my favorites is rubbing alcohol which of course we relate to first aid use.  It is also great for cleaning and sanitizing.  I have tried every daily granite cleaner on the market and nothing works better for mine than 1- part rubbing alcohol 1- part water in a spray bottle.  Use it on chrome, stainless steel, mirrors and windows. Spray dish sponges, let sit to deodorize, then rinse.  Spray a small amount on door, sink and toilet handles, (anywhere other hands touch)  allow to air dry.  Wipe down key boards and mouses.  Keep a few bottles in the workplace to stop the spread of illness from co-workers.

My favorite new product is an oldie but goodie.  Recently, I came down with a flu/chest cold; my mother suggested I try Vicks VapoRub… I didn’t know it was still on the market. When I was little, my mother would rub Vicks ointment on my neck and chest, then cover with a warm towel to keep it from burning my eyes.  The medicated vapors relieve cough and congestion.  The strong menthol brought back memories when my mother took such good care of me when I was sick. Mothers really do know best!   Vicks was invented in 1890 by Lunsford Richardson a pharmacist  from North Carolina.  Vicks Vaporub has many more uses as well… insect repellent, dry skin, minor cuts, even plumping up your lips!  Click on this link to read the interesting history behind this great product..  http://www.smithfieldselma.com/selma-native-invented-vicks-vapo-rub.

 

 

 


The best EVER Chocolate Cake

Posted by Kathy Silvia.

When I was a little girl (about 1,000 years ago!), when a new family moved to the neighborhood, my Mom would bake a chocolate cake for the family as a way of welcoming them to the neighborhood. I still have the recipe card (tattered, fading ink and sticky with stains of chocolate), and even though I have memorized the recipe, whenever I see the card I have fond memories of all the families that received my Mom’s chocolate cake. Not only is it simple to make; the aroma is enticing, and it really is the BEST EVER!

I share this recipe with you….

CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups boiling water
2 eggs
1 Stick butter (soft)
Preheat oven to 350 f. Grease and flour 9 x 13 pan. Mix butter and eggs. Add dry ingredients with water and vanilla. Bake 25-30 minutes.
FROSTING
Combine !/2 stick butter with 1 cup confectioners sugar, dash vanilla and enough milk until frosting is of spreading consistency. Cover top of cake.
Melt 3 squares unsweetened Bakers chocolate. Dribble over frosting and spread.

ENJOY!


Chili Anyone?

Posted by Melanie Begley.

The 12th Annual MDA Firefighters Chili Challenge was this past Sunday at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center.  I had the pleasure of attending with my 5 year old daugther.  My husband was there with his firehouse, Joint Base Cape Cod, and while they didn’t win I still think theirs was the best.  Of course I may be a little bias here seeing as this is my hubby’s family recipe.  The People’s Choice winner was Wareham.  Second place went to Mashpee and Third Place was Hyannis.  Blackstone Firehouse won for the best booth display.  The Chef’s Cup winner was Yarmouth, second place was Mashpee and third place was Plymouth.   MDA and the local firefighters put on a good show.  The chili was hot and drinks served cold.  Orleans won for hottest and it certainly was.  I had just a little taste and OH Boy that was one HOT chili. My mouth was on fire.  My daugther and i also enjoyed the live band that was playing.  Good times for a good cause.  The proceeds benefit the families in our community fighting the effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and similar life-threatening diseases.  See you again next year.

Joint Base Cape Cod   Blackstone Firehouse    Future Firefighter       Enjoying some music