Wednesday, October 8, 2014

If it's October, it's time to make Halloween Hoot Owl Cookies


About this time of year I start seeing different versions of my cookie recipe pop up on the internet. Some people seem to think they can improve upon it or perhaps they simply think that if they change something they will not be violating a copyright.

The copyright to this cookie is no longer held by a major flour manufacturer, so if you wish to share it with others, simply give credit where credit is due. All that I ask, as the originator of this recipe, is that you identify this cookie as the second grand prize winner in Pillsbury's 8th Grand National Bake-off and that you promise to bake these cookies using the original wholesome ingredients.

Make these with your kiddos for Halloween. They will have fun and so will you!

Natalie’s original Halloween Hoot Owl Cookies

2nd Grand Prize Winner in the Pillsbury Bake-off®, many, many years ago...

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup of butter (Do not use margarine or butter substitute)

1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar

1 unbeaten egg

1 teaspoon of real vanilla (Do not use artificial vanilla)

1 ½ squares (1 ½ ounces) unsweetened chocolate

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Chocolate chips (Do not substitute carob chips or butterscotch chips)

Whole roasted salted cashew nuts

Method:

* Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

* In a separate bowl, work the butter, gradually adding the sugar and creaming it well. Blend the egg and the vanilla into the sugar mixture and beat well.

* Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top half of a double boiler. Remove the pan from over the hot water and set aside to cool.

* Add dry ingredients gradually into the egg/butter mixture and mix well to form a ball of dough.

* Remove 2/3 of the dough to a floured board.

* Stir the 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into the chocolate and blend chocolate mixture into the dough that remains in the bowl. Chill this chocolate dough in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.

* Roll out half of the light-colored dough on your board to a 10 x 4 inch strip.

* Shape 1/2 the dark dough into a roll 10 inches long; place the dark dough roll onto the strip of light dough. Mold the sides of the light dough around the dark; wrap this in aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator.

* Repeat this process. Chill both aluminum-covered rolls of dough about two hours.

* Remove aluminum foil and cut rolls into slices about ¼ inch thick; place two slices together on greased baking sheet or on a parchment-line baking sheet and press the slices together to resemble an owl’s face. Pinch the outside corners of each slice to form “ears”. Place chocolate chips, upside-down in the center of the dark circles to make "eyes"; press a whole cashew nut with the pointed side down between the slices to form the "beak".

* Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 8 to 12 minutes, just long enough for the cookie's light-colored rim to become slightly brown. Remove cookies from the baking sheets immediately and place on racks until completely cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

* Cookies can be wrapped, single layer style, in aluminum foil for storage.

Hoot Owl Cookies © 1955 and re-established in 2007 by Natalie Riggin, the first junior contestant ever to win a grand prize in the Pillsbury Grand National Bake-off® Photo is from the personal archives of the author

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, 
patience, kindness, goodness, faith ~Galatians 5:22

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Uplifting Role of Women...

 “Woman is at the top of creation. This is her place and her Dharma, and this she must never lose, for it she does, there will be wars, suffering and cruelty, because she is the opposite of all these things. The nervous system of a woman is by nature more refined and much more delicate. She is the first to sense the good, the pure, the beautiful, the divine. By nature, man is more gross. His position is to deal with the world, so he must be able to deal with stress. Woman is balance, a balance of all nature. She takes in all the stress of her husband and children and does not pass it on. Must not pass it on. Healing is in the lap of the mother; she heals the child's soul. Her place is to see that man goes for higher consciousness. The love of mother that comes through the hands of every woman is Mother Divine. A woman should not get so tired. Her structure is for finer things.”  ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi




Sunday, November 14, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:  
Transcendental Meditation in Iowa Produces Dramatic 50-Month Drop in Violent Crime

(NOVEMBER 15, 2010) An unexpected 50-month decrease in violent crime in the United States, as reported by the FBI, provides “compelling evidence” for the success of a $50 million scientific demonstration project documenting the long-term effects of large group meditations on national trends, according to Dr. John Hagelin, executive director of the International Center for Invincible Defense and director of the “Invincible America Assembly.”

The Invincible America Assembly, launched by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on July 23, 2006, is being held at Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, with nearly 2,000 experts participating in the Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying program.

Federal law enforcement officials neither anticipated the sustained drop in violent crime, nor have they been able to identify a cause. However, Dr. Hagelin lodged in advance with the global press his predictions of a dramatic crime decrease before the start of the Assembly over 50 months ago.

Since then, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime has fallen for three straight years, with the number of murders now the lowest in four decades. Reuters reported: “Year-end statistics for 2009 from the largest U.S. cities defy the predictions of many police commanders who braced for a crime wave they expected to be unleashed by the recession, rising home foreclosures and social despair.”

This unexpected trend towards markedly reduced violent crime continued during the first three quarters of 2010:

Time – Nov 15, 2010 - Violent crime in America the lowest since 1973
Wall Street Journal – Nov 10, 2010 - NY’s crime rate lowest since statistics 1st kept in 1963
Chicago Tribune – Nov 9, 2010 - 2010 may wind up with lowest murder rate since 1965
Los Angeles Times – Oct 14, 2010 - Homicide rate lowest since 1975
Houston Chronicle – Nov 4, 2010 - All major crimes decreased first nine months of 2010

Research confirms positive influence of group meditations

According to Dr. Hagelin, extensive published research shows that coherence and positivity are created in collective consciousness when a significant number of people practice the Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying program together in a group. This rise of positivity in collective consciousness reduces negative trends, including crime and violence, and promotes positive social trends.

“Rigorous statistical analysis shows that the upsurge of positive trends started on the month the Assembly began—July 2006—when an initial group of 1,200 experts assembled from across the U.S. and around the world to practice these technologies in a group,” said Dr. Hagelin, who added that when the number of group meditation experts rises from its current average of 2,000 to the desired level of 2,500, America will rise to become a true powerhouse of peace.

“Twenty-five hundred is the number required to create a far more profound and comprehensive shift away from violence towards positivity and peace,” Dr. Hagelin said.

The Invincible America Assembly has been funded by a grant from the Howard and Alice Settle Foundation for an Invincible America.

###

For more information, please contact:
Ken Chawkin
641-470-1314
kchawkin@mum.edu
Communications Office: 1000 North Fourth Street • Fairfield, Iowa 52557 • 641-470-1314

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review of Healey's Cave


Author: Aaron Paul Lazar
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Mystery, 264 pages
Publisher's Address: P O Box 3340 Kingsport TN 37664
ISBN number: 978-1-60619-162-0
Price: $16.95 - pre-order now at Barnes and Noble

Publisher website address: http://twilighttimesbooks.com/
Author’s personal website: http://aaronlazar.blogspot.com/
Mystery-writing blog: http://www.murderby4.com/

When I began to read Healey’s Cave, a new novel by Aaron Paul Lazar, the author and the book immediately captivated me. I was and still am especially intrigued by how the author as artist has drawn his characters. He sketches the relationship of man and wife in soft strokes, like a lovely pen and ink drawing on fine paper. A grandparent taking delight in the love of his grandchildren, is a pastel portrait framed in gold. Childhood friendships drenched in sepia tones are like old photographs in a long forgotten album taken from the shelf. Flowers in a garden, horses long gone from their stalls in a barn, the feel of leaf mold in the hands of a man who loves the earth— are sense memories so strong, that individuals spontaneously manifest themselves in complete fullness upon the page.

The pace of the book from the very beginning also is to my liking. Nothing is rushed. There is no leap headlong into a maze of frantic action nor is there a plunge into needless back-story. There is a gracious and soft unfolding of detail, layer upon layer, as if one were looking at a painting of a lush landscape.

At first we see the truth of things as through the mists of the natural world in early morning. Gradually the early light matures, and forms emerge; moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, the mid-day comes. Characters reveal themselves. The story unfolds.

Sam Moore is a methodical man, used to figuring out mysteries in life by using tried and true principles. He has honed his solid intellect during many years as a physician and isn’t prone to imagining things. He begins the very first day of his retirement from private practice with a degree of certainty that he would eventually like being away from the office, but before the day is over he is not quite sure whether or not he will be able to keep from going crazy.

Sam loves to work in his garden. And now that he has time to spend there, he hopes his love of the soil will soothe and smooth the inevitable feelings of transition he expects to experience. Instead, he begins an adventure of mind, heart and spirit that will shake him to the core of his being.

It all begins with the innocent discovery of a marble in the soft friable earth. One of those big, bright, green glowing cat’s eye marbles kids used to call “shooters”. The marble flashes scenes of his boyhood, flashes of remembrance of his younger brother Billy, who had been so dear, the brother whose disappearance had left behind an unsolved mystery and a hole in Sam Moore’s heart. The marble seemed alive in his hand, glowing and almost hot to the touch, reminding Sam that this, the first day of his retirement, was also the anniversary of his brother’s birth.

…memory flashed through him—brief, but palpable. Billy and he, aged twelve and eleven, had walked barefoot on the hot pavement after a spring rain. Soft tar warmed their feet. Rain puddles sizzled and misted on the road. The boys laughed, then raced home to dinner. Steak, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and salad. Billy's favorite. Sam checked the date on his watch. May twenty-fourth. Billy turns sixty-one today.

The little boy who slept in the bottom bunk, who breathed hot, sweet breath on his face when they hid in the closet beneath the stairs, who offered his sticky hand during scary movies, and who mysteriously disappeared on his eleventh birthday—would be sixty-one today.

He closed his eyes and let the wind blow across his face. The breeze lifted his hair. Sam felt the cool soft touch brush his leathery skin. He pictured his brother communicating with him from Heaven. He'd often imagined it, and was comforted by the thought.


Had it really been fifty years? Was he hearing his brother speak to him from across the void?

A strange ritualistic serial killer had been targeting young boys every five years since the time of Billy’s disappearance. Could Billy have been one of his victims? Bodies of other young boys had been found. But Billy simply had disappeared without a trace. Questions swirled and whirled in Sam’s mind. Was the killer still alive? Would he strike again? Was his own grandson a potential target?

Aaron Lazar is a master storyteller. The sense of intrigue never dims in this book. As we look over Sam Moore’s shoulder into the fire of the Green Marble, we are drawn with him into an experience of the paranormal, seeing into the unseen worlds he unearths, never to rest until we know the whole truth about what happened to his brother Billy— and to the others.

Though never fond of detective stories or murder mysteries myself, even when written by such greats as PD James, or Agatha Christie, I now must confess that I feel quite compelled to read all of Aaron’s novels. I love a good story. This is one of the most intriguing stories I have read in a very long time.

Healey’s Cave is the first of the Green Marble Mysteries, a riveting paranormal series by Aaron Paul Lazar, which feature our hero Sam Moore; scheduled to be released by Twilight Times Books under the Paladin Timeless Imprint on August 28th 2010, it will soon will be followed by One Potato, Blue Potato in 2011, and For Keeps in 2012. For more information, see: http://www.mooremysteries.com

The LeGarde Mysteries— Double Forté, Upstaged, Tremolo, Mazurka— with hero Gus LeGarde, have long been popular and come highly recommended. Firesong, the newest book in this series, will be coming out later in 2010. For more information, see: http://www.legardemysteries.com


Aaron Paul Lazar tells us that he “writes to soothe his soul.” The author of LeGarde Mysteries & Moore Mysteries enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York. His characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys.

Visit him on Gather.com: http://aplazar.gather.com/ and on his websites: http://www.mooremysteries.com; http://www.legardemysteries.com


Natalie Neal Whitefield writes about ranch and family life in the contemporary west. A student of history and in love with the great outdoors, she works alongside her husband, guitar maker Stephen Neal Saqui, on the banks of the Salmon River in the rugged mountains of central Idaho.

Visit her on Gather.com: http://writerswrite.gather.com/

© 2010 Natalie Neal Whitefield


Natalie's bookshelf: read


Healey's CaveThe Hundred DaysThe Rendezvous and Other StoriesTestimoniesMen-of-war: Life in Nelson's NavyThe Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey

More of Natalie's books »

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mark Twain and The Jews



”...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

- Mark Twain
(“Concerning The Jews,” Harper’s Magazine, 1899)

Sunday, January 17, 2010