Saturday, February 11, 2012

Breakfast in bed, hearts, chocolate, roses, romantic music and a good book

Guys, she needs a surprise.  Something different than every other year.

Give her chocolate, roses, hearts, romantic music, time, and a good book!
Start out with something first thing in the morning, carefully wake her with romantic music, breakfast in bed ( see below), a note on the bathroom mirror, flowers and a card on the breakfast table, candy for later, lunch together, or dinner out, time together to talk without the kids, and a good book to curl up with and remember who gave it to her.  Maybe you can’t do it all this year but do something different than last.

Oh, and don’t forget to do something unexpected for her like clean the house or complete that "honey do" list.
Ten  minute waffles ( or pancakes)
Save money on a healthy breakfast using inexpensive ingredients.  Cheaper than donuts, cold cereal, toast, hash browns. 
It only takes ten minutes to make waffles for two, a little longer for a larger family. This recipe serves one or two, double it for three to four, triple it for five to six depending on how many big eaters you have.   I call this my "one cup mix"  – One Cup each milk, one cup flour, one egg.
For every two people you will need :
Flour –  total one cup of white, whole wheat, oatmeal, barley or others like rice and corn.
1 Cup Milk – Fresh,  or 2 Table spoons Powdered instant or non-instant
One egg or 1 to 2 Table spoons whole egg powder
1 Teaspoon of baking powder
2/3 cup of sugar – white and or brown, or molasses
Optional- Fresh, frozen or freeze dried fruit, jam and whipped topping as desired.  For Valentines try something red like strawberries, raspberries, etc.
Start the clock
1.       Plug in and turn on the waffle iron, griddle, or fry pan.
2.       Lightly spread or spray some oil –( I like to use a  “Misto”  oil sprayer that I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond filled with a high heat expeller pressed  sunflower oil )
3.       While the waffle iron is heating, stir together one cup of water, and two tablespoons powdered milk – non-instant works fine - or you can just use one cup of milk.  Use a wire wisk or eat beater to blend the powder and water well.
4.       Add one to two tablespoons of powdered whole egg.   ( One if Shelf Reliance, two for most other brands).  Or you can beat in an egg.
5.       Now you need one cup of flour.  I like a mixture of 1/3 cup each of oatmeal ( thick, thin, instant it does not matter) ,  whole wheat flour, white flour and barley flour.  I grind my own wheat and barley about once every couple weeks and keep them in the fridge.  If you were counting you probably noticed that was 1 1/3 cup not one.   If using just white or wheat flour keep it to one cup.  You can try some various grains, corn, rice, etc .  I like to mix heavier whole grains with lighter grains like rice and barley to keep the waffles light and vary the nutrition.
6.       Add the flour to the liquid, top it with 1 to ½ teaspoons baking powder ( not baking soda).  I buy the kind with no aluminum in quantity at Sam’s club.
7.      Stir it up, it should be pourable, and by now your waffle iron should be ready.
8.    I use a 1/4 cup scoop to pour the batter into the waffle iron.
9.       While the first waffle is cooking let’s make the topping.  
10.     Take a small microwavable pan ( not metal), or a pint  jar and add 2/3 cup or sugar, and ¼ cup of water.  Stir it together.  I like to add a teaspoon or so of molasses to make it dark and add nutrition, or you can use 50% brown sugar.  Increase or decrease water to taste.
11.   Microwave it for one or two minutes till the sugar is dissolved.  Watch it, because if it gets too hot it will boil over.
12.   Stir in a drop of so of maple or another extract if you don’t have any fruit.
      13.   By now your first waffle is ready to eat depending on how hot dark you like them.
        14.   While you cook another waffle, you can prepare the fruit topping, thaw the frozen fruit in the microwave, or soak the freeze dried fruit in the warm syrup.
After about 10 minutes you should have four to six waffles ready to eat.  Continue to cook the rest.
If there is any syrup remaining just but on the lid and store in the fridge.
Leftover waffles can be reheated in the toaster or microwave.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Over Our Heads: An Analogy on Healthcare, Good Intentions, and Unforeseen Consequences

I just read this great book, it reads like fiction, but sadly it's not. It's an analogy, maybe you could call it a parable. Once I got started into the story I wanted to keep reading to find out how the character would solve his dilemma. It’s the story of the owner of a small family owned grocery store that is struggling to provide service to his customers in the face of well-intended but not well thought out city regulation.  Maybe I understood his dilemma more because we have a bookstore. Each new regulation makes his job harder and shifts the costs from a select few customers who need help buying groceries to the shrinking pool of those who can afford to pay. In Over Our Heads: An Analogy on Healthcare, Good Intentions, and Unforeseen Consequences the impacts of regulations on a fictitious grocery store are related to the impact on a real health care provider, from a small clinic to a large corporate hospital by noting in inserted notes the history of health care regulations from the Great Depression until today.  In reading the book, I could also see how my own health insurance choices have changed much like the food buying decisions of those in the story.

The author Rulon Stacy, is CEO Poudre Valley Health System, a resident of Fort Collins, a former bishop in our Stake, a customer, and a friend of ours. His leadership in his field has been nationally and locally recognized.   (Read More)

 "Every grocer, car dealer, car manufacturer, steel industrialist, software entrepreneur, restaurant owner, and hospital, resort, and airline CEO needs to read, take heed, and plead for change-if they don't want to hang out a 'going out of business' sign. Rulon Stacey's Over Our Heads isn't a fable; it's a serious reality check."  D.A. Benton, Author, CEO Material


List Price $18.95 (Check our Price)
Costs continue to soar, and Americans already crippled by a sluggish economy struggle to pay escalating insurance premiums. Politicians, entertainers, and other public figures regularly demonize healthcare professionals as the ones who created this situat... (Read More)