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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Try this wonderful pumpkin and walnut bread which is perfect with a cup of hot coffee.

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree or you can just boil/bake your pumpkin and puree in the blender
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions :

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8″ or 9″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, blend honey, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.


Makes one 12-slice loaf.
Per slice serving : 116 calories, 5g fat, 2g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 16mg cholesterol, and 69mg sodium.

Watermelon Martini!
Watermelon Martini!
Watermelon Martini!

ingredients :

  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Triple sec
  • 6 frozen watermelon cubes (about 1/2 inch square each)
  • 1/2 shaker of ice
  • 1/2 oz. Chambord


Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake until very well chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Hint: A properly shaken Martini will have a very thin layer of ice crystals floating on top after it is strained into the glass. Most people don’t shake long enough and with enough vigor.

Javanese Ginger Tea: Wedang Bandrek
Javanese Ginger Tea: Wedang Bandrek
Wedang Bandrek

Ginger tea with a twist – a hot, spicy and sweet tea relaxes and re-energizes.

Ingredients :

  • 1 Lt of water
  • 200 grams of fine brown sugar
  • 100 grams of ginger. Roast over a flame and crush.
  • 5 cm piece of cinnamon
  • 2 pieces of pandan leaf
  • 5 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions :

  1. Bring to a boil – water, pandan leaves, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  2. Strain and serve hot.

Orange Upside - Down Cheesecake


Ingredients :

For the Garnishing

  • 1 ea Env. Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1 1/2 c Unsweetened Orange Juice
  • 1/4 c Sugar
  • 2 c Orange Section

For the Cake

  • 1 ea Env. Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1/2 c Unsweetened Orange Juice
  • 24 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 c Sugar
  • 2 t Grated Orange Peel
  • 1 c Whipping Cream, Whipped
  • 24 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 c Vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 3 T Margarine, Melted

Directions :

  1. Soften Gelatin in juice. Add sugar; stir over low heat until dissolved. Chill until slightly thickened, but not set. Arrange orange sections on bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. Pour gelatin mixture over oranges; chill until thickened again but not set. Soften gelatin in juice; stirr over low heat until dissolved.
  2. Combine cream cheese, sugar and peel, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add gelatin mixture, mixing until well blended. Chill until slightly thickened; fold in whipped cream. Pour over oranges, chill. Combine crumbs, cinnamon and margarine; gently press onto top of cake. Chill. Loosen from rim of pan; invert onto serving plate. Remove rim of pan.

Omit cinnamon. Substitute graham cracker crumbs or chocolate wafer crumbs for vanilla wafer crumbs.

Here is a recipe of another orange cake for you to try… or you can check out fluffy japanese cheesecake recipe.

Homework Tips

Homework continues to be the “nagging” issue for teachers, parents and students. Here are seven tips on managing homework by creating an environment at home that puts across the message, “Homework Is To Be Done.”

 1. Make the point that education is important and keep making it. Parents need to let children know that this is what they value.

2. Prepare a work space at home. It can be almost any place, from a lapboard to to a space with a table, chair and lamp.
3. Develop with children a schedule for homework and for chores around the house. List these on a calendar, day by day, week by  week.
4. Convey the impression that your children can do the job. If they are hesitant, remind them of previous accomplishments. Be encouraging, and be specific. A child who feels capable will be more willing to try things.
5. Help children, as needed, to break down a job into manageable steps that can be done one step at a time. This works both for household jobs like cleaning their room and doing big homework assignments.
6. Pick the time for homework with care. In some homes, early morning is the best time; in others, it’s after supper. TV should be off and the telephone off limits.
7. Reminders to Ourselves: Let’s not worry about what we might not have done in the past. Let’s start where we are now. This is the way we improve our children’s success for now and later…and our own, too.


Many people currently shop online with their credit cards. And for good reason. They are accepted everywhere you want to be on the Internet. That means you can choose from online shops worldwide. So relax, and use these tips to get the most from your online shopping experience.

Internet gambling advisory.

Internet gambling may be illegal in the jurisdiction in which you are located, including locations within the United States. Visa cards may only be used for legal transactions. Display of a payment card logo by an online merchant does not mean that Internet gambling transactions are lawful in all jurisdictions in which the cardholder may be located.

Shop with merchants you know and trust.

Dealing with merchants you already know can make your online shopping experience more comfortable. To help you find hundreds of top merchants, you can use popular shopping sites. You can also find out about a merchant by visiting their Web site and reading their guarantees, warranties, and return policies. Don’t hesitate to contact the BBB Online and other consumer agencies for information about specific merchants.

Read delivery and return policies and privacy statements.

Before completing an online transaction, be sure to read the delivery and return policies on the merchant’s home page. Check if you can return a purchase and whether you’ll get a refund or credit. Also take a look at privacy statements to see how your personal information will be used. The most reliable online merchants will always make this information easily available.

Take advantage of the benefits of Internet research when making purchases.

The power of the Internet allows you to search the world for everyday items and rare treasures. Shopping online can help you narrow choices and locate items that are out of stock at your local stores. And access to product reviews and other online information can enhance your knowledge and help you make a more informed buying decision. For example, on some music merchant sites, you can listen to songs online before buying a CD.

Look for the rewards of online shopping.

Most online merchants are eager to welcome you to this easy and convenient method of shopping. You can often find special frequent shopper programs, awards, bonuses, and promotions by shopping online. Look for the items you want, then check to see what extras are available.

Save on shipping and handling and other costs.

When calculating the final cost of a purchase, don’t forget shipping and handling charges. And if you’re doing business with a merchant located in another state or country, taxes and international costs may apply. Before you buy, check the merchant site for a description of what charges will apply to your purchase – you may be able to save money by purchasing multiple items at once, or by identifying lower costs on a particular Web site.

Look for signs of security and never send payment information via e-mail.

There are several ways to tell if a merchant site is secure. Symbols like an unbroken lock or key, a URL that begins https://, and the words Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) mean that no one but you and the merchant can view your payment information. Some merchants also ask you to create a personal account that requires a password to enter an order. This is a secure method as long as you always keep your password private, create passwords that are hard to figure out (avoiding numbers like your birth date, phone number, or social security number), and change your passwords often.

Also, never send your payment information via e-mail. Information that travels over the Internet as regular electronic mail is not fully protected from being read by outside parties. All reputable merchant sites use encryption methods that will protect your private data from being read by others as you make an online transaction. If you choose to use your payment card online, make sure that you are using a secure browser, and always look for the merchant’s privacy policy and an explanation of how your personal information will be protected. Many reliable merchant sites will also allow you to pay by phone, fax, or mail.

Never provide your card number as proof of your age.

At times, some merchants have requested you provide them your Visa card number as a proof of age. Never provide a merchant this information, as the card number does not validate an age.

Pay with your credit or check card.

Using your Visa card online is easy. And you’re protected in exactly the same way you are when you use your card at the store, order from a catalog by mail, or call in an order over the phone. And in case of a problem, you always have safeguards from Visa against unauthorized card use, theft, or loss.

Keep a record of your transaction.

Just as you save your receipts when shopping at the mall, you’ll want to keep a record of your Internet purchases. Back up your transactions by saving and/or printing the online confirmation of your order. These records are just like the receipts you keep when shopping in the physical world.

Use common sense, take your time, and have fun. Shopping on the Internet offers many advantages, from the convenience of shopping from home to the ability to find hard-to-locate collectibles. As you explore the world of electronic commerce, don’t underestimate your common sense. Take your time, have fun, and know that while good bargains exist on the Internet, some offers may be too good to be true. There are many good products available over the Internet from respected merchants, so if you’re uncertain about a particular site, there are always other places to shop online.

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If you are traveling here are the top 10 tips you need to make your trip easier:

  1. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visas, if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport!
  2. Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit.
  3. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, your own countries constitution does not follow you! While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.
  4. Make 2 copies of your passport identification page. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives. Carry the other with you in a separate place from your passport.
  5. Leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends at home so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  6. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas. Do not accept packages from strangers.
  7. Prior to your departure, you should register with the nearest embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website . Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts may not be released without your express authorization.
  8. To avoid being a target of crime, try not to wear conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of money or unnecessary credit cards.
  9. In order to avoid violating local laws, deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques.
  10. If you get into trouble, contact the nearest embassy.

Cheesecake Crust

Cheesecake Crust

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ground nuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup margarine

Filling :

  • 3 (8oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 pint sour cream

Directions :

  1. Mix (Graham Cracker Crumbs, Ground Nuts, Sugar and Margarine) together with hands and press into a 10″ cheesecake pan covering bottom and 1″ up the sides. Set aside. Cream sugar and cheese until smooth.
  2. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating only until incorporated.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into cheesecake pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, turn of heat. Leave in oven with door closed for 1 additional hour.
  4. Cool completely and refrigerate at least an hour before removing from pan.

Make sure to read the recipe for making a good japanese cheesecake.

Indonesian Salad (Gado-Gado)

Ingredients :
Makes 6 servings

Indonesian Salad (Gado-Gado)Dressing :

  • 1/2 c Flaked coconut
  • 1 c Hot water
  • 1 Onion — chopped
  • 1 cl Garlic — finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 ts Peanut oil
  • 2/3 c ground roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 1 tb Sugar
  • 1/2 ts Salt
  • 1/2 ts Chili powder
  • 1/8 ts Ground ginger

Salad :

  • 1 c Bean sprouts
  • 1 c Cabbage — shredded
  • 4 oz Bean curd — drained and cut -into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tb Peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 c Potatoes — cooked, peeled -and sliced
  • 1 c Green beans — cooked
  • 1 c Carrots — cooked & sliced
  • 1 Cucumber — sliced
  • 2 Hard-cooked eggs — peeled -and sliced

Directions :

  1. To prepare Dressing, place coconut in blender container. Add 1 cup hot water. Cover and blend on high speed about 30 seconds. Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 2-quart saucepan about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut and remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  2. To prepare Salad, pour enough boiling water over bean sprouts and cabbage to cover. Let stand 2 minutes. Drain. Cook bean curd in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, turning pieces gently, until light brown. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain. Cook potatoes in same skillet until light brown. Drain. Arrange bean sprouts, cabbage, bean curd, potatoes and remaining ingredients on platter. Pour warm dressing over Salad.

Serve chilled or at room temperature!

Tuning Up Your Career

Turn your working life into a well-oiled machine.

Is your career moving along smoothly, like a finely oiled automobile? Or is it sputtering along the highway at a slow pace, in obvious need of a major tune-up? The following guide will help troubleshoot your particular career problem.

Knocking Engine

Are you a chronic complainer? You might suspect something is seriously wrong with your car if it continually makes knocking noises; the same goes for chronic complainers in the workplace. If you gain the reputation as a whiner or critic, you can put your career up on blocks or commit to rebuilding your attitude. Negative thinking is a bad habit, but it can be changed. Pay particular attention to everything you say one day. How many complaining remarks do you make? You may be surprised! Now, make a conscience effort to find the positives. Your engine–and career–will serve you much better by running smoothly rather than knocking constantly.

Overheated Radiator

Overheated radiators are a pain. They bring the car to a quick stop and affect the entire engine. You may be experiencing a similar phenomenon if you are not in control of your emotions at work. How well do you get along with your peers and supervisors? Do you find yourself at odds with them frequently? Do you spew out your aggressions in front of them or behind their backs? The ability to get along with others is a key success factor in the workplace. A lack of emotional maturity in this area can limit even those with the highest intellect and best work aptitude. Check the thermostat on your career radiator frequently by maintaining a cool head and choosing your battles wisely.

Malfunctioning Horn

If you are not tooting your horn occasionally at work, don’t be surprised if you aren’t noticed. Striking a perfect balance in horn-tooting skills is tricky. Too much noise is downright annoying. Consider the egomaniacs in the workplace who can’t seem to stop saying great things about themselves. On the flip side, those who patiently wait in the shadows for someone to notice them fare no better. Telling your boss and others of your successes and milestones is an important step toward visibility–and visibility does matter! It’s equally important to toot other people’s horns occasionally. There is great power in a sincere compliment and the favor will invariably be returned.

Rusty Battery

Cars won’t start if they have a faulty battery, just as your career won’t start without a solid motivation level. Is it hard to get up in the morning to go to work? Do you feel depressed on Sunday evenings, knowing another workweek is around the corner? Do you lack the initiative to volunteer for projects and extra assignments? Poor motivation is difficult to hide, but you can commit to change it with proper discipline and attention. Personal attitude is within your control, not others. Don’t allow yourself to rationalize low motivation by blaming external factors. Give your battery a jump by surrounding yourself with positive people–and going the extra mile at work.

Wheels Out of Balance

When the wheels on a car are out of balance, the tires get run down very quickly. Without proper balance between your personal and business life, you won’t achieve maximum mileage results, either. “Workaholism” is nothing to be proud of. Any positive behavior (including work, exercise, sleep, or eating) can become detrimental when taken to excessive levels. If you find yourself frequently dwelling over work matters at home, or if you are working an inordinate number of hours per week, you need to examine the balance in your life. Neglecting family, hobbies, entertainment, and quiet time for your job will put an unpleasant tread on your life. You will actually perform better at work when other aspects of your life are not ignored.

Worn Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers are designed to help a car manage inevitable bumps in the road. If you are unable to maneuver over obstacles at work effectively, it may be time to examine your resilience level. One wise man put it well: “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” Are you able to hang on when the going gets rough? Are you easily discouraged and ready to throw in the towel when things go wrong at work? According to another wise man, “If you don’t have problems, you don’t have a job.” If you want to succeed, you must maintain a healthy attitude toward problems and obstacles. Viewing them as challenges rather than nuisances is an excellent way to glide over any bumps in the road.

Take Time for Tune-ups

Tune-ups make cars last longer and improve their performance. Smart car owners take the time for proper maintenance and achieve the best results. Your career tune-ups are just as important to ensure maximum mileage at work. You’ll be on the road to success in no time.