How Do You Move On From A House Fire

I have been watching the fires in Seaside Park, NJ and am in tears.  These poor people barely made it back from the huricane less than a year ago and now this:?

I know what its like to loose your home/everything to a fire.  I was only 9 years old when our house was hit by a meteor/fireball that exploded on impact.

Thankfully my family was away at a horse show with all our dogs or any living thing in the house would have been killed when 700 million volts of electricity went thru the house on impact.

I did loose my beloved pet mice, my sister her parakeets, but our dogs survived, as well as us.

How do you deal with such a loss?  It was incomprehensible at the time.

I remember being told to get on my horse while at the horse show and go find my father (the local police had word of the fire and were trying to contact us).  Mind you, I was only 9 years old and not told why I had to do this.  So I jumped on my horse bareback and road all over the fair grounds looking for my dad (This was the Saratoga, NY race track grounds).  I finally had to go to the announcer stand and ask him to have Mr. Snow return to his barn over the loud speaker.

I then returned to our barn to find everyone in tears and had no idea why……….

My father explained it to me and my first question was “where are we going to live”.  This is the first thought of a child in a tragedy like this (although I did not know that at the time).

I don’t know why I was so stoic.  I refused to cry in front of anyone and just held it together.

However, 2 weeks later when I and my siblings were brought back home to see the house and walk thru it……..   My bedroom (and my sisters) on the second floor were completely gone.  This is where the meteor hit.  I broke down and crumbled and my dad had to carry me out of the house in tears.

The only solace I got later in life was reading about loosing a house to flooding.  In a fire things can be salvaged.  In a flood, once water hits and stays there, forget it…..

I pray for anyone going thru this type of tragedy and loss.

It has been said that children are much more effected than adults with the loss of a home.  I am hear to tell you this is true.

I am now 50 years old and I can still cry remembering our loss.

Unfortunately the insurance company claimed “act of God” and would not pay.  However, in those days my father was doing well in business and we were lucky enough to have builders there throughout the winter working and our family was able to move back in within 6 months.

However, this was in 1971 and we had to rent a home in the mean time to the tune of $1000.00 a month.  That price was a kings ransom in those days.

I could not fathom how my dad did all this but he did.  He took care of his family and got us back in our home.  We also had 38 head of horses on the property that needed caring for…….

God rest my dad’s sole (he died of cancer at 88 on  4/19/12) he was the best father and provider any family could ask for.

There are pictures below of what we endured.

I pray for anyone going thru this ordeal.


Praline Cheese Cake

This is one of the best cheese cakes I have ever eaten.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tbs sugar

3 tbs butter, melted

3  8oz packs of cream cheese

1  1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 tbs flour

3 eggs

1   1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup pecan halves

Maple syrup (NY or Vermont brand)

Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter and line a spring form cheese cake pan.  Bake this for 10 min. at 350 degrees and set aside.

In an electric mixer add remaining ingredients until well blended.

Pour into crust in spring form pan and  bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

When cooled and ready to serve place pecan halves around top of cheese cake.

Pour good quality maple syrup over the top, slice and serve.


Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes – BLT In One Bite

2 contianers of vine ripened cherry tomatoes

1 lb bacon (cooked till crisp and drained and set aside) (than chop or crush finely)

2 tbs fresh parsley

1/4 cup minced scallion

2 tbs. parmesan cheese

2 cups mayonnaise

Slice off the stem side of the tomato and set aside.

Scoop seeds and membrane out of tomatoes.  Discard.

Place scooped out tomatoes open side down on paper towels to drain.

Combine remaining ingredients other than the bacon (which you have crushed or chopped very fine after cooking crisply)

Put all other ingredients in a zip lock bag.

When you are ready to serve, add the chopped bacon and mix well, than cut the bottom corner of the zip lock and pipe into the tomatoes.

Top each one with the lid you cut off earlier and serve.

Just pop one on your mouth and it is a BLT in one bite.



Natural Anti Itch Remedies For Humans

If you are like me mosquito bites drive you nuts and the itching can keep you up most of the night.

I have tried a few things that work well.

Put witch hazel in a spray bottle and spray the effected area.  The key is to do this prior to scratching the itch.

A combination salve made from Comfrey, St. John’s Wort Compound from works great.  I keep it on my night stand for when I wake up itching and it works very quickly.

I have recently tried something else that works great, especially if taken prior to bed.

Boiron pellets from Amazon.  It is Apis Mellifica.  Put 3 pellets under your tongue and let them dissolve.  I get results in about 20 minutes when taken after itching starts.


Cauliflower Casserole

Take a head of cauliflower and blanch it.

Put in a food processor and puree.

Add cream cheese, sour cream, chopped chives, grated swiss cheese and butter.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Be creative with cheese.  Parm, cheddar, whatever……..

Puree it all till smooth and t0 the consistancy you want.  The more you add the thinner the casserole.

Put in a casserole and top with buttered sauted bread crumbs and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbling.

(melt  butter in a pan and add bread crumbs and sautee till browned.   The more butter the better.  This is the topping for your casserole)

Serve as a side dish with any meat;  pork, steak, chicken, lamb, etc.



Peanut Butter And Banana Crepe With a Zing

This s awsome.

Make pancake batter very thin to crepe consistancy.  Cook two crepes and set aside.

Take one crepe and spread with peanut butter, add a layer of mayonnaise and place crepe side down in a  cast iron frying pan.

Add sliced bananas, chopped walnuts and crisped cooked chopped bacon.

Put peanut butter and mayo on the other crepe and place PB side down on top of the other crepe.

Bake in the oven at around 325 degrees (or stove top) till PB melts a bit.

Top with maple syrup and vanilla ice cream and serve.



Friendship Batter

I did this years ago and its great.

You bake once a week and since I worked in an office I shared my cakes with my co-workers and passed on the batter to them as well.

Here is the recipe for the original Amish Friendship Breed/batter

You can also make other recipees with your starter batter to add variety:

Add applesauce or canned pumpkin pie mix, nuts, fruits .

Be creative.


Stuffed Peppers

This is my mom’s recipe and its great.

Choose your color of peppers and cut and clean length wise.

Chop meat mixed with chopped onion, garlic, cooked white rice (about 1 lb of meat to 3/4 cup rice.

Add salt and pepper

Add an egg and mix well.

Stuff peppers and pour a bottle of  V-8 juice over all and top with grated mozzarella and/or parm cheese.

bake at 325 degrees till peppers are fork tender.

Serve with mashed potatoes and salad

Be sure to use enough  V-8 to have gravy to spoon over peppers and potatoes when serving.


Chicken Quesadillas

2 large whole wheat tortillas

1 boneless chicken breast

chopped onion

chopped green pepper

chopped garlic

Taco seasoning

Can if cream of chicken condensed soup

1 small tomato

1/2 ripe avocado

1/2 – 1 cup sour cream

Mix some seasoning with flour and coat chicken pieces

Saute in olive oil and remove from pan

Toss chopped veggies in remaining flour and saute till tender

Add a bit of white wine to deglaze the pan

Add chicken back to pan

Put in about 1/3 of can of soup and add water to thin out

Stir well.

Place tortilla in cast iron pan and top with chicken, etc.

Sprinkle with more taco seasoning

Cover with another tortilla and press down.

Coat top of tortilla with a bit of olive oil to help it crisp

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until tortilla is crisp

Remove from oven and top with chopped tomato and avocado mixed with sour cream


Stuffed Meat Loaf

This is a great recipe I made up.

Start with your own basic meat loaf.  If you usually only use one egg, add another


1 box frozen creamed spinach

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

Parmesan cheese

Swiss cheese

Mix your meat loaf and lay it out on tinfoil.  Flatten it out quite thin

Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix

Spread cold defrosted creamed spinach

Sprinkle with parm cheese

Top with thin slices of swiss cheese

Roll up using the tinfoil as a guide.

Pinch in ends and length of loaf seam to seal well

Brush with egg white, especially the seams

Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 min.  Bake low and slow to prevent leakage.