It's Okra Season! #Recipe #Healthy #Food

Many people shy away from cooking and/or eating okra because it can be unappealingly slimy if it’s not prepared correctly. Despite its reputation, okra can be incredibly delicious and super healthy. It’s low in calories. One cup of raw okra has only 33 calories, and that serving size is packed with a whopping 66% of the RDA of Vitamin K. Okra is also high is calcium, fiber, vitamin C, protein, folate, manganese, and magnesium. I think that makes okra a super-food veggie!

Come on now! Don’t wrinkle up your nose like that. Try it! I roasted this okra and it turned out delicious.

Roasted Okra

1 pound fresh okra, washed, dried, and stem ends removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (for my European friends that's 200°C, Gas Mark 6).

2. In a large bowl, coat the okra evenly with the olive oil. Spread okra out in a single layer on your oven’s broiling pan. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the ends of the okra are slightly golden.


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Authors Billboard Red White and Books Giveaway - final-05

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Sweet Balsamic Sirloin Steak ~ #Grilling #Recipes

It’s the 4th of July and everyone knows that includes getting together with friends and family for some outdoor grilling. Here’s a recipe that’s sure to please the whole crowd.

Sweet Balsamic Sirloin Steak

For the marinade:

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon dry red pepper flakes
2 pounds sirloin steak
Salt and fresh cracked Pepper to taste

1.     Place the soy sauce, oil, sugar, vinegar, and pepper flakes in a large, re-sealable plastic bag and massage to combine well. Add the steak, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, turning once or twice to distribute marinade evenly.
2.     Pre-heat grill and coat the grate with a little oil to prevent sticking.
3.     Remove steak from marinade, season with salt and pepper, and place on hot grill. Cook for 5 minutes.
4.     Meanwhile, place the remaining marinade in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced to about ½ cup. Watch carefully.
5.     Turn steak and cook for an additional 4 minutes, or until desired doneness.
6.     Remove from the grill, cover with aluminum foil, and allow steak to rest for 5 minutes.
7.     Slice steak against the grain, ½ inch thick. Place slices on a platter and pour reduced marinade over top.

Have A Safe and Happy
Independence Day!

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Sara Carson is a 30-something widow with a busy life: two fun-loving best friends, a caring mom who needs her, and a thriving sweet shop. What more could a woman want? But when the ancient plumbing in her shop springs a leak and a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger rushes to her rescue, hilarity unfolds—and Sara quickly sees exactly what she’s been missing.

Something most peculiar draws Landon Richards to 
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Easy Chocolate Bark #Recipe

I have been buying chocolate covered dried fruit. The packages are small and expensive, so I decided to try making my own. I created this recipe on the fly. The chocolate bark becomes melty pretty quickly, so it’s not a treat you’d want to give a child (unless you don’t mind seeing brown, smudgy fingerprints on your walls and furniture).

Easy Chocolate Bark

4 cups semi-sweet chocolate (I used Nestles chocolate chips)
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup dried tart cherries

1.     Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
2.     Melt chocolate in a glass container in microwave oven on high for 1 minute. Wait 1 minute. Then microwave on high for another minute. Stir chocolate chips until smooth. Microwave oven wattage varies, so adjust the time according to your microwave oven.
3.     Add nuts and fruit to the melted chocolate. Stir until well combined.
4.     Pour chocolate mixture onto waxed paper and spread mixture to the edges. Try to get nuts and fruit in a single layer (rather than mounds of nuts/fruit).
5.     Cool completely in refrigerator. Once the bark is hard, remove to a cutting board and cut (or break) bark into serving size pieces. Store bark in the refrigerator in a ziplock plastic bag. Keeps for a week (but there’s no way it will last that long).

Other types of nuts and dried fruit can be substituted. Try almonds or peanuts or raisins or apricots. I don’t think you could mess this up! It’s delicious and easy. Enjoy! 

He's Still Here, A Warrior's Tribute by @SupernalDana

Written by Dana Taylor
Dedicated to her Dad, Dale Rojas
From Dana: My Dad served in the Marines during the Korean War. After his stroke in 2003, I took care of him until his passing in 2007. During that time we grew much closer and I came to appreciate his depth of character. I also glimpsed how his war experience impacted him. 
Here's the poem I wrote in his honor.



The old man stumbles, about to fall.

To strangers he’s barely a man, no one at all.

Just a stick figure, bent and confused,

Society’s discard in the heap of refuse.

His speech is garbled, a childish babble,

One more elder in the crowd of old rabble.

But look beyond the deterioration.

Old bones once defended a nation.

See in his eyes the trace of the soldier.

The body is aged, but the spirit no older.

Before the years of wife, children and work,

He reported for duty he never would shirk.

Marching from home at the outbreak of war,

He traveled to lands never seen much before.

A callow recruit full of bluster and youth,

He fought for liberty, freedom and truth.

The sights that he saw brought shock and dismay,

Burned into his memory day after day.

A boy caught in battle, unsure and green,

Transformed through war to a mighty Marine.

Forever changed, forever the fighter,

Now time is the enemy, it pulls the noose tighter.

He faces life with a warrior’s heart.

Each day is a battle, right from the start.

He won’t give in to helpless despair,

Won’t use a cane or a smooth wheeling chair.

His walk may wobble as he strolls round the block.

His fierce independence comes as a shock.

The old man knows death, struggle and fear.

Look closely, you’ll see, the Marine is still here

He’s Still Here Copyright © 2004 Dana Taylor. All Rights Reserved. Printed with permission by the author.