Carolina Red Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 lb sausage links cut into thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice
  • 1 bell pepper, medium dice
  • 3 C water, plus additional if needed
  • 4oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Cook sausage until browned in a large pot over med-high heat
  • Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until translucent – about 3 minutes
  • Add butter and rice, cook until rice is slightly browned – about 3 minutes
  • Slowly water and remaining ingredients, stir to incorporate thoroughly.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  • If you need more water add small amounts as needed.  Cook until rice is tender.
  • Enjoy!  ☺

* Note white rice makes a sticky rice so your rice will be sticky and not fluffy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keto Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole

Yields: 4-6 servings

Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes | Total: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

6 slices of nitrate-free bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 jalapenos, seeded and sliced lengthwise into strips

8 oz cream cheese, softened

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon paprika

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup chicken stock

1 cup colby-jack cheese, shredded

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Evenly lay the shredded chicken in a 2 quart casserole dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix together onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Sprinkle on the chicken.
  • In a mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese, heavy cream and chicken stock. Mix well until combined. Spread in an even layer over the spiced chicken.
  • Add the jalapeno pepper strips over the top of the cream cheese layer – mostly covering the surface.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and place in preheated oven to bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add crumbled bacon. Place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Serve warm.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Financial Help for Those Collecting Benefits

Balancing your finances is tough enough, but balancing your finances as you collect benefits is even more difficult. Even though your income is gone (or significantly decreased), you still have expenses. You’ve got to buy food, pay rent, and make sure the bills are dealt with. It can be a complex balancing act, and it’s not surprising that so many people struggle to make it happen.

Fortunately, there is financial help available for people collecting benefits. Including loans for people on Centrelink and other financial service from non-profits. Here are a few things you should know:

The First Step is Understanding Your Resources

Today, there are dozens of programs designed to help people with little or no income to meet their specific needs, including food, housing, and utilities. For many people, though, finding these resources can be a hassle.

If you’d like to save time and effort, your first step should be contacting your local joblessness center. This one-stop-shop can connect you with many of the aid programs in your area and ensure that you’re getting access to the assistance programs you need. You may also find resources you weren’t expecting, like access to job seeking assistance or counseling services.

Government Benefits 101

If you’re collecting government benefits, you can learn a great deal about your account at Benefits.gov. This site will help you understand the ins and outs of your particular benefits program and access additional organizational or logistical assistance. It’s easy to search the site by state. You can also look up benefits programs according to the agency.

Even if many of the resources you find aren’t helpful for you, this is an excellent place to access the input and assistance you need to keep your finances organized while you collect government benefits.

Community Agencies

If you’re struggling to manage your finances while collecting benefits, don’t overlook local agencies. Local organizations like the Community Action Agency (CAA) and other nonprofit organizations offer a wide variety of resources for people collecting benefits. These agencies can help you with things like housing, utility bills, and affordable groceries. They’re also an excellent place to find financial education classes and more.

Balancing Your Finances

The financial management muscle gets stronger with consistent exercise, and excellent financial skills are learned, not born. If you’re struggling to manage your finances as you collect benefits, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you also don’t have to live like this forever. By understanding the financial resources available to you and knowing how each can help you manage your benefits and your budget, you can move yourself to higher financial ground. So, what are you waiting for? Go get your financial life in order today!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Make Your Car Last Longer with These Simple Tips

Just because your loan is paid off, or you hit the 100,000 mile mark doesn’t mean you have to start car shopping – if you treat your car right, nowadays cars can last to 200,000, 300,000 or sometimes even longer. Here’s some simple tips to help make your car last longer.

This post is sponsored by Rouen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Don’t Cut Corners
Don’t cut corners to save a buck – to help extend the life of your engine when you have your oil changed use a high grade filter, and pay a bit more for the high quality synthetic oil. In cold weather, this will help maintain the oil’s fluidity and it will be less likely to break down when the engine gets hot. While it cost you more upfront, it saves you money in the long run helping your engine last longer; same thing with the good filter, it can help eliminate any unwanted particles from the oil.

Always Maintain Your Fluids
Your owners manual will tell you that you probably don’t need to check your power steering, brake fluid or coolant for the first few years, but honestly it’s a smart idea to check at least every 20k miles. Make sure its consistent, and if any feel gritty or smell funny, you’ll probably need a fluid change.
If your orange coolant is dark red, most definitely change it! Also if it’s cloudy – that means your engine may need service. It wouldn’t hurt to change the transmission fluid every 35k miles or so and of course, using high-quality transmission fluid as well, which will offer better protection if the transmission gets hot .

Baby Your Baby
If your car has been parked over night (or especially if it’s been parked longer) don’t just start up and drive off. During the period it has been sitting the oil settles in the oil pan leaving moving parts in the engine without lubrication. Wait at least a minute or so to allow your car to warm up without revving the engine, so that the oil pump can do its job.

Slow and Steady Win the Race
This is more than just road rage – you don’t need to accelerate quickly, or slam on the brakes, or throw your car into reverse before you are fully stopped – all of those things can really wear on your vehicle – and break it down before it should be.

If you take the time to keep up the maintenance and treat your car right, it will treat you right back. You should be able to keep watching that odometer rolling several thousand miles more than you ever thought possible!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Packing like a Pro – Tips on Packing Your Car for a Road Trip

When you are purchasing a vehicle, and you glance at the hatchback or SUV, it looks like you could easily accommodate all the luggage and bags you would need fro a trip – but once you start packing in bags, you will come to realize there probably isn’t as much room as you thought. There is an art to safely and efficiently packing up your car for a road trip.

This post is sponsored by Grogan’s Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

Clean it Out
Before you even THINK about packing for a road trip – clean it out! If you are like me you probably have your reusable grocery bags, some soccer or baseball equipment, etc. Unless you are headed for a tournament, all this stuff can be taken out and give you room to get all your necessities in!

Pack Everything You can the Night Before
Pack what you can the night before, so you are wasting precious driving time trying to shove everything in the trunk or hatch. You can also take time to see what fits where the best, and make sure you have any bags you might need DURING the trip on the top and easily accessible.

Have a Strategy
Pack items in the order you will need them – packing items you’ll need first, last – so you can get to them easily. If you are splitting up your trip and you’ll be staying in a hotel for one night , you don’t need your entire suitcase. Have a ‘go bag’ ready with pjs, 1 outfit, your toothbrush, etc, so that you don’t have to unpack everything until you get to your final destination.

Don’t Cram and Clutter
Packing your car for a trip not only needs to be efficient, but SAFE. You don’t want to cram so much in that the driver’s view is blocked. So don’t OVER PACK!

Pack for Safety
Make sure that you have the proper ‘safety’ equipment readily available. If you are traveling in the winter you’ll need to make sure you have a shovel, emergency blanket, flashlight, etc. If you are traveling in summer you want to make sure you have water, sunscreen, etc. Make sure your cell phone and car charger is nearby if you need to call for help or have an emergency.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment