New Music for Summer Time!

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Summer is here!


Bring on the picnics, beach days, ice cream trucks, book lists, and feelin’ fine music!

So many concerts, so little time! No warm-weather schedule is so packed however, that it wouldn’t allow for some downloads and earbuds. Might I suggest…

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Katy Perry’s new single, Never Really Over. I find myself singing along in the car with Blessing and Delilah Jr… It’s contagiously catchy and fun, but what else could it be? It’s from Katy Perry!

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Or how ‘bout those Jonas Brothers?! Charming, handsome, and hip; I’m a sucker for their new single, Sucker, from the album Happiness Begins and I know you will be too! Their tour kicks off from Miami, FL in August and wraps up in Paris, France next February. Grab tickets when they’re in your area!

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Meanwhile, P!nk’s new album, Hurts 2B Human found itself in the No. 1 spot on Billboards top 200 list back in March. Walk Me Home is another great sing-along as I shuttle kids back and forth, and the album is packed full of what I know will be your new favorites!

And, I can hardly wait for Lover, one of the most anticipated albums of the year from Taylor Swift. It comes out on August 24 and features the fab singles, ME and You Need To Calm Down. Me? Calm down? No way, I LOVE this album!!!

My kiddos are all out of school now, and summer is fully underway. That means numerous trips daily between friends homes, craft stores, sporting events, and more!

Sometimes I feel like a taxi driver, but then I remind myself of how precious this time is. So much sharing goes on between us (not to mention the eaves-dropping on precious and precocious conversations) and our “performances” as we belt out the week’s new faves are legendary (in our own minds!)

I hope your summers are off to great starts, full of good people, good things, and fabulous music!

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Cauliflower 'Faux-tato' Salad

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My potato salad is famous (or perhaps infamous, not sure which…) and I’ll make it for any occasion; BBQ’s, birthdays, bar mitzvah’s… but (confession session) sometimes I crave a lighter dish.

Enter this delicious “faux-tato” salad made with steamed cauliflower florets - it’s so so tasty, but far lower in carbs. It’s got everything you want for a great picnic salad except all the starch. Go ahead, give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 1/2 cup bacon bits (about 6 rashers of bacon)

  • 1/2 c. sour cream

  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise

  • 1 tspn stone-ground mustard

  • 1 tbsp. dill pickle brine (vinegar or lemon juice work too!)

  • Salt and Pepper

  • 1 1/2 c.  cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1/4 c. chives, chopped small

Directions:

  1. Add cauliflower florets to about 1” of boiling water in large pot or pan. Cover and allow to steam until tender - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. Set aside.

  2. Cook bacon rashers until crispy, turning to crisp each side. Drain on paper towels then break or chop into bits.

  3. Mix together, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle brine (or vinegar or lemon juice) in a large bowl. Add the steamed and cooled cauliflower florets and gently stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in bacon, cheddar, and chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Of course, like most of my recipes, they’re more suggestion than anything else. If you have a particular way you like to dress your potato salad, give it a try only use the cauliflower florets instead of starchy ‘taters.

I’m always interested in what you think - so tell me if you try this, any adjustments you might make to it, and most importantly, what was the cause of your gathering and celebration?! I’m nosy that way!

Rhubarb Nut Bread

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I recently posted a photo of myself and one of the GIANT rhubarb leaves from my garden on Facebook. At the time, I ask my visitors for their favorite rhubarb recipes - I’ve got enough for every recipe out there! Many were kind enough to send me their best-loved, tried-and-true, blue-ribbon-winner rhubarb treats.

From fruit leathers to sauces, pies to puddings, and bars to breads, I’ll never have to ask myself “What am I going to do with all this rhubarb?!” again!

Here’s the first of many recipes I’ll share. This one comes from Bonnie - thank you!

Rhubarb Nut Bread

Ingredients:

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  • 1-1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 2/3 cup veg. oil

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2-1/2 cups flour

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh rhubarb stalk, cleaned and diced

  • 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

  • For Topping:

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

    • 1 Tblspn softened butter

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt and baking soda.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients: brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, blend well.

  3. Add dry mixture to large bowl, stir to combine and add diced rhubarb and nuts.

  4. Pour into greased and floured bread baking pans.

  5. Blend the Topping ingredients in a small bowl with a fork, sprinkle over tops of bread batter.

  6. Bake at 325 degrees approximately 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  7. Cool, slice, and enjoy with a cup of tea!!!


Veterans: Make The Connection!

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May is Mental Health Month, and before we turn a page on the calendar, I wanted to take the opportunity to spread the word about an organization that helps our military heroes called Make The Connection.

By nature, military service exposes our brave men and women to traumatic events. While trained to act and react in the moment for the best possible outcome, the emotional imprints can last long after service has ended. Most of us could never comprehend the situations they find themselves in…

There are millions of Veterans and family members who have needed support during tough times. Their lives got better. And so can yours, or that person you’re concerned for, because there’s a place to turn to: MakeTheConnection.net 

Make The Connection is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members, friends, and other supporters, with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives. There, you can hear personal stories of recovery from Veterans that have served during many different time periods such as: Post-9/11 Era (2001 - Present), Desert Era (1990 - 2000), Post-Vietnam War Era (1976 - 1989), Vietnam War Era (1960 - 1975), Post Korean War Era (1954 - 1959), and, WW II through Korean War Era (1941 - 1953).

They've worn the uniform, shared similar experiences, and found a supportive path to recovery by reaching out for help. If you, or someone you know could use some support, this is the place to come.

I simply can’t begin to express how much gratitude I have for our active military members and the Veteran’s who have served! I want to think that anyone needing support can find it, because they are owed that. For everything our freedom providers do for us, kindness, caring, and tangible support is that least that they should receive in return. That’s why I’m honored to share the services of Make The Connection.

Need some help? Get it here! Make The Connection.

Thank you for your service and for the safety and freedom it provides for all of us! I am so very humbled and grateful!

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Dad's Day Gift Box Sweepstakes

My Dad’s Day Gift Box

My Dad’s Day Gift Box

I’ve recently given away a basket of good things for Easter, and a bushel of blessings for Mother’s Day… It wouldn’t be fair to skip over the very very important men in our lives, so I’ve pulled together a box brimming with gifts for a special dad on his day!

How does books, music, relaxation, candy, and a shopping spree sound to you?

I’ve chosen three books I think he’ll enjoy; an inspiring autobiography, and two action-packed novels my hubby gives the thumbs-up!

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GRATEFUL AMERICAN, by Gary Sinise: You know him from his stage, film, and television roles, and perhaps for his musical act, The Lieutenant Dan Band… and now you’ll know him for his book, Grateful American. After 9/11, honoring America’s defenders with the respect and gratitude their sacrifices deserve became Gary’s focus. He now works tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country through the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten and to inspire others to a life of service and gratitude.

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OPEN CARRY, by Marc Cameron:  Open Carry is the first in a new series featuring U.S. Marshal Arliss Cutter. He’s on a case in the icy wastelands of southeast Alaska, where someone’s declared open season on humans, including a young native girl. Cutter’s job is to find the bodies, examine the crew’s footage for clues, and track down the men who killed them. Easier said than done. Especially when the whole town is hiding secrets, the trail leads to a dead end—and the hunter becomes the prey . . . 

Cameron took over for Tom Clancy, and is the bestselling author of the latest Jack Ryan novels.  His nearly 30 years in law enforcement serving as a police officer, SWAT member, detective, and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal helps to explain his mastery of his action novels.

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CUTTHROATS by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone: After a lifetime of robbing banks and holding up trains, Jimmy “Slash” Braddock and Melvin “Pecos Kid” Baker are ready to call it quits—though not completely by choice. Sold out by their old gang, Slash and Pecos have to bust out of jail and pull one last job to finance their early retirement . . .

Not every Western hero wears a white hat or a tin star. The Greatest Western Writers of the 20th Century kick off a new series featuring two wanted outlaws - with one heck of a story…

I’ve tossed in some great music too!

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Damn Country Music, by my good friend, Tim McGraw: This cd features the hit single, Humble and Kind, one of my favorite songs ever! I’ve not met anybody (that enjoys Country music even a little bit) that didn’t sing the praises of this song. I’ve had sons and daughters dedicated it to dads, dad’s dedicated it to sons and son-in-laws, wives dedicating it to husbands. Humble and Kind, the ideal we all reach for and that we wish upon our loved ones.

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Brave Enough, Lindsey Stirling: Another great friend, Lindsey, is an incredible violinist and dancer who has managed to merge these two talents, and in combination with her gypsy spirit, unique style, incredible inner and outer beauty, created an entirely new genre of entertainment that appeals to a huge variety of music lovers. Did I say “unique?” We are so fortunate to be able to experience life through Lindsey’s music, that’s why I’m including Brave Enough in the box of gifts for Dad!

 Everyone loves to shop - for things THEY want!

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So I’m also including a $50 Gift Card for The Home Depot. Whether it’s a new tool or two, some gardening equipment or plant starts, garage organizers, or an interesting gadget, The Home Depot has it all. The winner of my gift box will have $50 to spend any ole’ way he wants!

How ‘bout some R&R after all that shopping?

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Gravity Blanket: Last year I stumbled upon a product that has an unbelievable soothing, calming effect - by design! The Gravity Blanket, a weighted throw, uses the power of "deep touch pressure stimulation" shown to increase serotonin and melatonin, the hormones responsible for calming relaxation, while decreasing cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress.

What dad couldn’t benefit from that?! Enter to win one in the box or could pick one up for him, and one for yourself at Gravity Blanket.

  • Designed with the same therapeutic benefits as the original Gravity Blanket, the new Cooling Blanket will keep you cool and comfortable all summer long during use. Use code DELILAH to get 20% off your purchase at gravityblankets.com!

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Almond Roca, from Brown & Haley: I’m so fortunate to have confectioners Brown & Haley as long-time sponsors, and even luckier still to have them in my back yard! Almond Roca was delivered on festive occasions to my childhood home by my grandmother, and now that I have grandchildren of my own, I love to spoil them with this special treat. Spoil your dad with the unmistakable taste of Almond Roca!

My Dad’s Day Gift Box Sweepstakes is not a contest; the winner will be picked at random from all entrants.

All you must do is send me an email and let me know you’d like to win it. You DO know of course, that I’d absolutely LOVE it if you included a little story about a special dad in your life!

Write to me HERE by midnight on Sunday, June 9.