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Some things can never be forgotten. The Lamaze breathing techniques that I learned more than 30 years ago came out of retirement today as I led my daughter-in-law through series after series of patterned-breathing. While my son applied pressure to his wife’s back, I held up my fingers and breathed randomly-chosen breathing sequences with her. It has been a long night and day and still no baby yet. Because I am still at the hospital awaiting the birth of my first grandchild, there will be no regular Friday’s Fresh Five! today.

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Krasnapolski: spinach and Cheese Casserole Flipping through the pages of a cookbook from Hawaii, I spy recipes for classic Hawaiian dishes such Laulau and Pipikaula. Turning a couple more pages, a recipe called Krasnapolski catches my eye. Krasnapolski? That doesn’t sound Hawaiian at all. A Google search for Krasnapolski reveals little information other than it is the name of a five-star hotel in Amsterdam that began as a restaurant in 1865. Whether this rich spinach and cheese casserole has fancy origins or not, it is versatile enough to be served as a tasty main dish for brunch or an easy-to-make side dish for supper.

Krasnapolski
A Taste of Aloha

INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
2 (10-ounce) packages chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (32-ounce) carton of cottage cheese
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Beat eggs.

3. Add spinach, butter, cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese.

4. Sprinkle flour over ingredients and blend.

5. Bake for 1 hour in a greased 3-quart casserole.

Serves 6-8

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Squeeze out as much liquid from the spinach as you possibly can. I thought I had, but I still found the casserole to be a little liquidy. After taking one slice out, I felt compelled to spoon out the extra liquid.

2. Bake the casserole until it is set in the center. It will solidify more as it cools down, so plan on serving it only after it has sat for a while.

3. The next time I make this, I will use a 9 by 13-inch baking pan instead of a 3-quart casserole. I think the depth of my casserole dish contributed to the longer cooking time (73 minutes).

4. This is not a low-fat or low-cholesterol recipe! I plan on experimenting with low-fat substitutions the next time around.

Enjoy!

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Friday's Fresh Five! Someone sometime ago said, “Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.” That’s it. Nothing more. Try it, you might like it.

#1 – Perfect Words
Eleven Untranslatable Words Don’t you think that among all the languages around the world, a perfect word exists to describe every situation? For example, the Japanese word komorebi expresses “the sort of scattered dappled light effect that happens when sunlight shines in through trees.” How wonderful to have a word for such a beautiful scenario. Read more about unique words in the BBC’s Eleven Unstranslatable Words.

#2 – What Makes You Tick?
Identify Your Passion Do you know what truly makes you tick? Can you identify your passions in life? If not, read Know Your Passion: 5 Identifiers of What Makes You Really Tick
and see if it helps.

#3 – Light Up Your World
12 Amazing Light Fixtures Made from Everyday Objects Light up your world using everyday objects or even better using gently used objects. Featuring globes, cheese graters, bike parts and more, check out these 12 Amazing Light Lamps and Chandeliers.

#4 – Listening Is An Act of Love
StoryCorps: Listening Is An Act Of Love Listening Is An Act of Love is an animated special which presents stories from the StoryCorps oral history project. The StoryCorps site states, “Each story reflects StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s fundamental belief: ‘We can learn so much about the people all around us – even about the people we already know – just by taking the time to have a conversation.'” During the minutes you spend watching and listening to the video, you’ll be thinking about the stories you want to share as well as the story of your life.

#5 – Alone Time
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
Wayne Dyer

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.”
Alan Ashley-Pitt

Go now and spread joy!

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Bird of Freedom-T What does freedom mean to you? Here are a number of inspirational quotes to get you thinking about that. Recognize and be grateful for what you have.

Real Freedom Quote

Nelso Mandela Freedom Quote

Thich Nhat Hanh Quote

Thomas Jefferson Freedom quote

Ameil on Freedom

Lincoln on Freedom

Dyer on Freedom

Gandhi on Freedom

Faulkner on Freedom

Price of Freedom

Gratitude

Go now and spread joy!

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Sangria Ice cold pitchers of refreshing sangria tease me as I attempt to photograph them outdoors in 100-degree temperature. I know that the sooner I get the photos taken, the sooner I’ll be able to sit down under the shade of a big blue umbrella and leisurely drink my photo props. Two fruity sangrias await me. The first one combines the crisp flavors of mint and cucumber with the sweetness of honeydew melon and the tartness of lime. White wine and carbonated water add the needed sophistication and sparkle to this beverage. The second sangria is all about fruit. Pineapple and orange juices are mixed with pineapple chunks, orange slices, and slices of crispy green apple. The addition of cream soda brings fizzy fun to this nonalcoholic sangria which makes it a perfect summertime beverage to cool down the kids.

Cucumber Sangria
Better Homes and Gardens

INGREDIENTS
1 small honeydew melon
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
12 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 750 milliliter bottle of Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine, chilled
1 1 liter bottle carbonated water, chilled
Fresh mint sprigs and/or leaves, optional for garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the melon in half; remove and discard seeds and rind. Cut melon into thin slices.

2.  In a large pitcher combine melon, cucumber, lime slices, and 12 mint leaves.

3. In a small bowl stir together lime juice and honey until combined; pour over melon mixture.

4. Add wine, stirring gently. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

5. To serve, stir in carbonated water. Ladle or pour into glasses. If desired, garnish with additional mint.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For best results, use a honeydew melon that is ripe with sweetness, but not so ripe, that the flesh is mushy.

2. I cut the honeydew into wedge-chunks. If the melon is cut too thin, there is a chance it will fall apart when the sangria is being stirred.

3. I cut the limes into thin wedges rather than crosswise circles, so as to not repeat the shape of the cucumbers slices.

Tropical Faux-Gria
Good Housekeeping

INGREDIENTS
4 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 cups cream soda
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 medium orange, sliced
1/2 green apple, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large pitcher, mix pineapple juice, orange juice, cream soda, pineapple chunks, orange slices, and green apple slices.
2. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For ease of preparation, I used canned pineapple chunks.
2. The flavor of this beverage is reminiscent of a fruit punch.
3. Add wine to make this a real sangria for adults.

Enjoy!

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Brightening Beer Facial After an exhausting weekend helping my daughter pack and clean her apartment and then relocating her hundreds of miles away, this old lady needed some TLC. Before leaving home, I’d read an article titled Facials to Feast Upon. One recipe in particular caught my attention – maybe because it contained beer or maybe because it claimed to brighten. And I desperately needed to be brightened. From reading the article, I learned that: the ingredients in beer help to “dissolve dead cells and increase the skin’s luminosity;” the yeast in the beer and the egg white combine to create a “mask that hydrates and improves the elasticity of the skin;” and the vitamin C in the lime “helps to clear pores and fade brown spots.” What a wondrous way to spend 10 minutes and what a good excuse to drink up the remaining beer in the bottle!

Brightening Beer Facial
Real Simple Magazine, April 2014

INGREDIENTS
1 egg white
1/2 cup beer (any brand)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the egg white and beer with the lime juice.

2. Slather onto the face.

3. After 10 minutes, rinse with warm water.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. The article mentions for best results to “gently cleanse and exfoliate” your skin prior to applying the mask.

2. This facial smelled fresh and left my skin feeling smooth and more taut.

3. I stored the remaining concoction in an airtight container in my refrigerator. I’m not sure how long it will keep this way, so I plan on using it a few more times this week before discarding it. It’s so easy to make, you can whip up a new batch anytime you want.

Enjoy!

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Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks “Dessert, Ma’am?” the waiter asked. “Oh, no thanks. I already had it,” I replied. Noticing his puzzled look, I explained how I used up my dessert calories by eating three of the most addicting bread sticks I’d ever eaten in my life. Smiling knowingly, he looked at me and said, “I understand.” Let me explain: there are bread sticks and then there are THESE bread sticks. Cheesy, buttery, crunchy, and with just a slight amount of kick these bread sticks make a perfect accompaniment for a salad or a bowl of soup.

Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks
Cooking With Cafe Pasqual’s

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 large organic egg
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon medium-hot chile powder

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Put the butter and cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment to combine. When well incorporated, scrape the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook attachment.

3. Add the egg and mix, then add the heavy cream and mix again to combine all.

4. With the machine running on low, slowly add the flour, then the poppy seeds and chile powder. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

5. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand on a floured surface for one minute. Re-flour the work surface and roll the dough into a log shape, then flatten the log.

6. Flour the work surface again. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle 12 by 16 inches by 1/4-inch thick. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter to make them straight, then cut strips lengthwise 1/2-inch thick in width.

7. Place parchment paper on 3 baking sheets and carefully transfer the bread sticks, 12 to each pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until the sticks are just lightly browned.

8. Remove and let cool completely before carefully transferring the sticks to a serving container.

Makes 3 dozen bread sticks

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Cafe Pasqual’s uses a multi-wheel cutter which makes it easy to cut the bread sticks evenly. Not having one of those cutters, I washed and floured my metal yardstick. Pressing against the yardstick, I was able to cut straight lines in the dough with my pizza cutter. Cheddar and Poppy Seed Bread Sticks

2. I got 18 bread sticks and a dozen 2-inch crackers out of one recipe. Next time I will double the recipe.

3. The author states, “The dough may be made a day in advance of baking, if it is tightly wrapped with plastic wrap for storage in the refrigerator.”

Enjoy!

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Dads Dads come in all shapes and sizes, so here’s a Father’s Day wish I penned for all fathers that’s short on words, long in sentiment, and big in heart: Thanks for blowing air in our sails and anchoring us during storms. Thanks for dreaming the big dreams and making us believers. Thanks for loving us like no one else could and for sacrificing as only you would. Thanks for loving our mothers and respecting them, too. But mostly, thanks for just being you. On this Father’s Day, may the love and devotion you give come back to you a thousand times over. Happy Father’s Day!

#1 – My Dad
Remember watching the Donna Reed Show? Well, at the risk of revealing my age, I remember it. I also remember listening to Paul Peterson’s song My Dad. As a Father’s Day tribute, here’s a blast from the past.

#2 – Dadvice
Dadvice One of my sons is going to be a new dad this summer and I’m thrilled. I’m sure he’s going to be in need of some parenting advice at some time or another, so this is for him, as well as all new dads and dads-to-be: Dadvice is a collection of “90 tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, try-this’s and skip-that’s, for every stage of fatherhood. It’s the most complete, most comprehensive list available anywhere. Print it. Bookmark it. Share it. Tweet it.”

Here are some examples:

Imagine being hired as a pilot with no training. “Here’s the cockpit. Good luck getting to Houston.” That’s what it’s like coming home with a newborn. And it’s like that for everyone.

Cargo shorts are a diaper bag you can wear.

Travel with an extra set of clothes. Both for you and the kid.

If you let your kid play with the iPhone, put it on “airplane mode.”

Tell your partner “thank you.” A lot. And let your children hear you say it.

#3 – Unusual Gifts For Dad
Father's Day Gift Ideas Still thinking about that special gift for dad? What about a laser pizza cutter? Or what about an espresso maker made from an actual race car engine? To see these and more, check out 13 Food & Drink Father’s Day Gifts That Will Guarantee You’re His Favorite Child.

#4 – Miles O’Brien
Miles O'Brien TV reporter Miles O’Brien lost an arm while on assignment. Read his story Life, After and learn what he’s gained from his loss.

#5 – What Matters
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
Anne Sexton

Now go and spread joy!

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Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake An early Father’s Day present for my husband came in the form of a cheesecake. Testing recipes is an occupational and personal hazard for me (think hips), so I gave this fresh-flavored and ultra-creamy dessert to him as a gift. Being the good husband that he is, I knew he would share it. I could bake a cake and eat it, too. Pretty clever of me, wasn’t it?

Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake
Recipe from Robbie’s Recipe Collection

INGREDIENTS
20 vanilla cream sandwich cookies
1/4 cup margarine, melted
24 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
1. Process cookies in a blender or food processor. Pulse to finely chop.

2. Add melted margarine or butter and pulse until thoroughly combined.

3. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan; refrigerate.

4. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy.

5. Beat in sugar and cornstarch.

5. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

6. Beat in bananas, whipping cream, and vanilla.

7. Pour mixture into prepared crust.

8. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

9. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake an additional 75 minutes, or until center is almost set.

10. Allow to cool completely before removing rim of pan.

11. Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, at least 6 hours.

Serves 12

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used a 9½-inch springform pan and I’m glad I did. This recipe does not make a tall cheesecake, so it was perfect with the smaller pan.

2. Because I used a smaller pan than specified, I used fewer cookies. Even then, the crust was a little thicker than I would have preferred.

3. I used butter instead of margarine, basically because I didn’t have margarine on hand. 1/4 cup of butter is equivalent to 2 ounces of butter for those that weigh their ingredients.

4. Even though the directions don’t state it, don’t forget to preheat your oven.

5. I served each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, a banana slice and a small sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

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Santa Fe Blossoms They were everywhere, but nobody knew their name. Pretty trees covered with delicate rose-like blossoms decorated the streets of a town I recently visited. Fixated with their beauty and wanting to plant one in my own garden, I asked around for help identifying the trees. I even carried a photo of the blossoms on my smartphone. No one could tell me the species of the trees, not even people who had lived in the city for their entire lives. Many responses sounded like, “What trees? Oh, those trees. Don’t know.” Some people didn’t even realize the trees were in bloom. How could this be? How could trees that make our world more beautiful go unnoticed? And how could we take the world around us so much for granted? We see, but are we seeing?

#1 – Possibilities
Fun DIY Craft Ideas Do you throw “junk” away only to discover similar items cleverly refurbished and for sale at thrift stores, flea markets, and “vintage” stores? Do you think to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t thrown my _______ away. If I’d only known it would make such a nice _______, I would have saved it.” Where you saw lack of potential, someone else saw possibilities. If everyone could see such transformative possibilities, there would be less waste in our landfills. Use your imagination. To get your creative juices going, here are a few Fun DIY Craft Ideas. What happened to the child in you who built forts out of pillows or made cakes out of mud?

#2 – DIY Father’s Day Gifts
40 DIY Father's Day Gift Ideas Don’t take your father for granted. Show him how much you care and how much he means to you by making him a special gift. Brit + Co. provides some great ideas in their post titled 40 DIY Father’s Day Gift Ideas. Dad is sure to love anything you make, but the Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow, and Bacon Bark looks really good to me!

#3 – A Splash Of Sea Water
Photo of Magnified Drop of Water What’s in that gulp of sea water you just swallowed? “Not much?” you say? Well, check out this photograph of “one dip of a hand net” into sea water by David Littschwager. It’s been magnified 25 times. Read about all the aquatic flora and fauna you take for granted, too!

#4 – Being Grateful
Rainbow Thinking: What Are You Grateful For? Writing in a gratitude journal is one way of keeping life in perspective. No matter how bad your day has been, there’s bound to be something for which you are grateful. The site Rainbow Thinking focuses on gratitude by allowing people to anonymously submit entries about what they are grateful for and by posting the submissions of other people. What are you grateful for?

#5 – What Makes It Different?
“You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.”
Neil Gaiman

Go now and spread joy!

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