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Liberty Bell facts

PA liberty bell


Summer is nearly upon us. We have plans for trips to see relatives and visit historical sites. If you are fortunate enough to be heading east and you are anywhere within radar range of Philadelphia, PA, you may wish to see this great American symbol of freedom.

The Liberty Bell is one of the things most of us associate with Pennsylvania. Did you know the first one was actually forged in England? Rather ironic, eh? That first bell, commissioned in 1751 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of William Penn’s Charter of Privileges, the state’s original constitution, had a crack in it when it arrived, so it was melted down in America and recast. (Of course, the second bell also developed a crack.) The bell, originally known as the State house bell, bears these words from Leviticus 25:10— Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. And on July 8, 1776, the bell did, indeed, proclaim liberty, as it rang from the tower of Independence Hall to summon all citizens to come hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Later on, abolitionists adopted the bell as their symbol, and they’re credited with renaming it the Liberty Bell. Following the Civil War, the bell was taken on a tour around the country as a symbol of unity, and a replica of the bell later toured to promote women’s suffrage. The replica’s clapper was chained to its side during that time, keeping it silent until women won the right to vote. When the nineteenth amendment was ratified, the replica bell was brought to Independence Hall, and rung in celebration.


Yes, you can make this at home. I did.


I have been craving real Deep Dish Pizza for 28 years since I moved from Chicago to Colorado. If you want one that tastes like the real thing, you cannot find it in this gorgeous state we live in. You must make it yourself. Follow this recipe. You will love it.

Chicago Deep Dish

The secret to the dough is a process known as laminating the dough, which is similar to how you make croissants (although not nearly as involved or time-consuming). You basically roll out the dough, slather it with lots of butter, and then roll it and fold it in such a way that the butter ends up in thin layers within the dough, which creates a wonderfully flaky texture – one of the key components to a great deep-dish pizza.

As illustrated below, the dough is rolled out into a rectangle, smeared with butter, and then rolled up into a tight cylinder. You then flatten the cylinder slightly so you end up with a long rectangle.

Once you have your long rectangle patted out nicely, you’ll cut it in half (hello knife that still had some basil stuck to it!) and then proceed to fold each half into thirds, like a business letter. Then pinch together all of the seams to seal them up and form two balls. Those go into the refrigerator for a short while, and then you’ll be ready to assemble your pizza. The stint in the refrigerator chills the butter, which is essential for the texture. When cold butter hits a warm oven, it creates pockets of steam, which is how you end up with tons of flaky layers.

Once you’re done chilling the dough, you’ll roll it out into a 13-inch circle and fit it into your oil-coated pan. Next comes the cheese (mozzarella is a must!), throw on any toppings (we love pepperoni) or none at all, and then finish off with your sauce and a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.

Bake it up, and before you know it, you’ll have crazy delicious pizza waiting for you!

This recipe makes two pizzas, so I decided to make one according to the recipe, and to tweak the second one. The reason? I am not a huge sauce fan and prefer my pizzas with a large cheese to sauce ratio, so I wasn’t sure that I would really like an entire layer of sauce on the very top of my pizza. So, for the second one, I made the pizza exactly the same except that I switched up the order of the toppings on the dough. Instead of cheese, toppings, sauce I did a traditional pizza of sauce, cheese, toppings. In the back of my mind I kind of figured that I would prefer it this way, but boy was I wrong!

Not that it was bad, of course. It’s hard to make a bad pizza, especially homemade. However, the original deep-dish provided a far tastier pizza, and my Chief Culinary Consultant agreed. I was honestly really surprised! However, I shook my head at myself for questioning a Cook’s Illustrated method in the first place – they are usually always spot-on, and this was no exception. I will definitely go all-in with the traditional deep-dish method from now on!

The experimental pizza, however, did provide a really nice gooey, cheesy picture Yum!

I’m thrilled to have an awesome deep-dish pizza recipe to bake up when the urge hits now. I’d love to try a version with sausage and maybe mushrooms, and a vegetarian one as well. Do you have favorite toppings for deep-dish pizza?

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours


For the Dough:
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1¼ cups water, room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon + 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup grated onion
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Toppings:
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Make the Dough: Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Add water and melted butter and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. (You can easily make this by hand, mixing in the water and butter with a spatula and then kneading by hand.)

2. Coat a large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Using greased spatula, transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat the dough in oil; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.

3. Make the Sauce: While dough rises, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to about 2½ cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

4. Laminate the Dough: Turn the dough out onto dry work surface and roll into a 15×12-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten the cylinder into an 18×4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half, fold into thirds like a business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

5. Bake the Pizzas: Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch circle. Transfer dough to the pan by rolling the dough loosely around a rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.

6. For each pizza, sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. (If you’re using any meat or veggie toppings, add them now, on top of the cheese.) Spread 1¼ cups tomato sauce over the cheese (or toppings) and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Three tips for any fundraiser

Whether or not you want to try to raise funds for a cause that you and your school or community wishes to support, and how, will depend on local circumstances and what projects you are planning. This short guide provides some basics on the importance of ensuring that your fundraising for a cause is managed carefully.

Three things to know when fundraising



Decide on how you can best support the cause. You may want to raise funds for your own project that is aimed at furthering the cause, or you may want to get involved in raising funds for an organization that is supporting a cause you and your classmates or friends believe in. If you want to raise general funds for a cause, the best option is to do so on behalf of an established non-governmental organization. Many organizations have fundraising campaigns that involve local volunteers and projects. Always contact an organization in advance: you must have their official permission to raise funds in their name.


Raise funds in a clear, honest and directed way. Whether you are raising funds for an established organization or for a project of your own, through local events or by applying for a grant, remember the following guidelines:

The purpose for which you are fundraising must be absolutely clear.

Any money raised must be used for the stated purpose and no other.

You should keep careful accounts of any money you raise and what you spend it on, recording even the smallest amounts.

Any money raised must be kept safely, preferably in a bank account opened in the name of your group.

It may be a good idea to ask a responsible adult to ‘audit’ your accounts, so there can be no question of misuse of funds.


Select a way to raise the funds. There are many ways of raising funds, from simple collecting boxes and doing odd jobs to organizing sponsored walks and more elaborate events such as concerts and fairs. See the article Use School or Community Events to Raise Awareness for more ideas.

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No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls???

no yeast cinnamon rolls

Old Fashion Cinnamon Rolls / Call Me PMc

“Where have these been all my life?!”
“Why haven’t you ever made me these before?!”
These were the first words out of Big Daddy’s mouth
after her stopped eating long enough to breath and say something.
That was confirmation enough for me tha this recipe is a keeper!

Desserts have pretty much been my favorite thing to eat my whole life, in particular Cinnamon rolls. However, my mother didn’t make anything with yeast- no bread, no cinnamon rolls, no rolls. Therefore, every time we went ‘in to town’ I wanted to go by the bakery and get a Cinnamon roll. Isn’t it funny how you want/crave what you can’t have. I do make items with yeast. I make homemade bread weekly. My boys, like it, they love it, they don’t know that every Mom doesn’t make homemade bread. They don’t know that other kids don’t have hot homemade bread with melting butter for an after school snack.

So after (ahem) 29 years of eating Cinnamon Rolls every where I go, trying numberous recipes myself, I have become quite the Cinnamon Roll efficinado. The icing to bread ratio has to be, mmm, almost even for me. There are no pecans in Cinnamon Rolls! Lord help us all – there are no raisins in Cinnamon Rolls (bleck!) Cinnamon Rolls are 1. cinnamon 2. bread 3. icing, preferably cream cheese icing

With that ratio being stated, these Cinnamon Rolls are the exception to that ratio rule. Although my inspiration for these rolls didn’t have a glaze, I would use a glaze on them drizzled over the top. Other wise, they are not very sweet.

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
1 c cold water
1 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
3 T cinnamon
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until crumbly and resembles wet sand. Stir in water. Dump dough onto a floured surface. Seperate into 2 even portions. Roll each part, one at a time into a rectangle. Dough should be thin. Try to get it to be 13 x 9 inches or larger. It should be about 1/8 inch thick. Spread softened butter over rectangle; sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Pinch ends closed and place in a 8×11.5 inch pan seam side down. Repeat with second ball of dough. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until top of roll is golden.

Optional Glaze: Mix 2 c powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 4 T milk and drizzle over top of Rolls

There is more than one way to walk your lion


Stringer/russia / Reuters

Zukhro, an employee of the city zoo, walks with Vadik, an 18-month-old male lion, on the territory of the zoo in the capital Dushanbe, Jan. 20. Employees take the lion from its cage to have a promenade along the territory two times a week while holding a piece of meat to attract Vadik’s attention so it walks nearby.

Worlds Largest Chocolate Sculpture


Bobby Yip / Reuters

Italian chocolatier Mirco Della Vecchia puts the finishing touches on a chocolate sculpture of the Torre pendente di Pisa displayed as part of his “Chocolate World Heritage” exhibition in Hong Kong, Jan. 20.

Marco has also created the largest chocolate sculpture in the world!

  MILANO, Italy — Mirco Della Vecchia, one of Italy’s most famous chocolatiers, together with a team of artists, has created a white chocolate replica of the Dome of Milan which is 1.5 meters tall, 2.5 meters long and weighed and impressive 5.37 tons – setting the new world record for the Largest chocolate sculpture.chocolate-dome-of-milan 

Together with a team of artists Mirco Della Vecchia spent many days sculpting the white chocolate Dome.    All the left-over chocolate was wrapped in small packages and sold to passers-by, in Milan’s Carosello Shopping Mall, where the event took place. All the proceeds will be donated to children of Haiti foundations, to help rebuild their lives.

Baby bear breaks into Colorado chocolate shop


Jo Adams got quite the surprise one morning when she opened her store, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park, Colo., to find that something was amiss.

By Christine Roberts / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A Colorado candy shop owner got quite the surprise one morning when she opened her store, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Estes Park, Colo., to find several candies out of place and wrappers on the floor, the Estes Park News reported.

Jo Adams first thought a squirrel was to blame.

She thought, “Oh darn, one of those pesky ground squirrels has gotten in the store and upset a few things,” according to the News.

It wasn’t until she and her son decided to take a look at the store’s security tapes that she discovered the sneaky critter was actually a much bigger animal – a young black bear.

The surveillance video shows the chocolate-loving animal open the front door to the shop with his paws and casually lumber up to the candy display rack.

He takes several mouthfuls of candy and walks back outside to chow down on his haul, only to make six more similar trips in and out of the store.

The baby bear didn’t satisfy his sugar cravings with just one type of treat, either.

He got a taste of several chocolate covered Rice Krispies treats, multiple peanut butter cups, English toffee and chocolate covered cookies bearing an incredibly fitting name – Cookie Bears.

“That little bugger ate a lot of candy!” Adams said.

The clever cub was apparently able to break into the sweet shop thanks to a faulty lock that wouldn’t latch.

Adams has since fixed the locks and completely disinfected the store.

But the Colorado shop owner says she’s unfazed by the incident since the cub “was just doing what bears do … eat!”

Business has also been booming since the furry break-in, 7News reported.

Several customers have come to the store requesting the same treats the cub chowed down on.

Great News from Ethiopia!


Johnny Dasher owner of S’Cool Services Fundraising along with his wife Amy are adoptive parents. The Dasher family supports and encourages adoption of children from foreign countries as well as children right here in the USA.

Great News from Ethiopia!

Written by Bethany Christian Services on Wed, 10/10/2012 – 14:27

In August 2012, Bethany celebrated an exciting moment in Ethiopia. Yared, a 3 year old boy, became the first child to be formally adopted through our Family Care program!

Family Care is Bethany’s unique response to the orphan crisis in Africa. Working with local churches in Ethiopia, we are recruiting families to foster—and eventually adopt—orphaned children. Through Family Care, children like Yared can find loving homes.

Yared lost his parents when he was a baby. By the time he was 2 years old, he had already lived in two orphanages. As one of Ethiopia’s 5 million orphans growing up without a family, statistically he is more likely to end up living in poverty and turning to crime as an adult.

But when he was 2, the direction of his life changed completely: Yared went to live with foster parents. He didn’t have to come to the United States, in fact, he didn’t need to leave Ethiopia. His foster family, Sisay and his wife, Ehete, were in Ethiopia.

Sisay and Ehete had heard about Family Care through their local church fellowship. Married for eight years at the time, they had no biological children and longed for a child’s presence in their home. As Christians, they also felt that caring for an orphan was simply the right thing to do.

Bethany introduced them to Yared and facilitated a few meetings at the orphanage. Then they brought the little boy home. The initial days weren’t easy—Yared cried a lot and had trouble sleeping. “The hardest time was the first week,” Sisay says. “We tried to find ways to help him feel comfortable, and after that he started to grow close to us. As he started to know us better, he felt more at home.”

As his father is speaking, Yared plays beside his parents, pretending to talk on a cell phone and then resting his head on his mother’s lap. Ehete, his mother, tells us that Yared’s favorite activities are playing with his ball and playing with other children, and he likes eating eggs and chocolate.

After a year, Sisay and Ehete decided to formally adopt Yared. They are thrilled to have a child of their own. “We are no longer alone in our house,” Sisay says. “Now we have a child who calls us Mama and Papa. He is very happy, he plays, he comes to both of us when he needs help or when he is upset.” Sisay and Ehete feel as though being Yared’s parents is very natural, and they are a family as God intended.

His adoption day was a milestone for the Family Care program because it represents the culmination of what we hope will become a regular “norm”: Ethiopian parents fostering-to-adopt.

Adoption is not a traditional part of Ethiopian or African culture, and fostering children is completely new. African families readily welcome and care for orphaned children of relatives, but historically this practice has not been extended to non-related children.  Sisay and Ehete are pioneers in this regard. They know only one other potential adoptive family, also through the Family Care program. While it is new in the community, family and friends have been very supportive.

“Yared’s behavior has helped in this,” Sisay says. “He is a very affectionate child, very affectionate towards family members and neighbors who come to visit. That helps them accept him as a child of the family.”

Based on the success of Family Care in Ethiopia, Bethany has been invited by other countries to come and establish the same program.  “I am tremendously excited by the way God continues to open doors,” says Bethany CEO Bill Blacquiere.



16 year old Elle Wilkinsons life was saved by CHOCOLATE – after gorging on the treat prevented her needing a last ditch liver transplant.The 16-year-old, from Bridlington, East Yorks, was told by doctors she had just six to 12 months to live if she didn’t find a donor to cure her liver failure.But after changing her daily food intake to a high-carbohydrate diet – including copious amounts of chocolate – and set medication, Elle’s condition rapidly improved.

Why the world needs moms!


Could You Fight Cancer While Pregnant? Or Win a Gold Medal?

September 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm , by


I cover pregnancy here at Parents, and I heard two amazing stories about expectant moms today that I just had to share with you.

Meet Jessica Henriquez. She’s married to actor Josh Lucas, and she gave birth to their son Noah in June–while also battling cervical cancer (that’s the couple, pictured left).

The couple met and fell in love shortly after Henriquez was diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer, at the age of 25, according to the Huffington Post. Six weeks after their chance encounter in a New York City dog park, they got engaged.

A few months later, after going through two courses of treatment that were unsuccessful, Henriquez’s doctor started talking to her about having a hysterectomy. And then she learned she was pregnant.

“I hadn’t thought about children,” she tells HuffPo. “It wasn’t my dream since I was a little girl to have a family. But when a doctor looks you in the eyes and takes that option off the table, it immediately sets something off in you — this motherhood gene.”

Henriquez then made an incredibly gutsy decision, in my opinion. She decided to discontinue  her cancer treatment, for fear she would miscarry, and focus on her pregnancy. Despite a rough go of it, she did it!

Unfortunately her cancer has progressed from stage 1A to 1B, but the good news is that it  hasn’t spread, according to the report. Here’s to hoping this brave mom gets through the treatment she’s starting again this fall with flying colors–and she can focus on motherhood once and for all.

Then there’s Kerri Walsh Jennings, who is inspiring me for completely different reasons. She apparently won the gold in London while she was five weeks pregnant. She told Matt Lauer this morning on the Today Show that she and her hubby Casey started trying for baby #3 just before the Olympics, but they never imagined it would happen so quickly. She figured it out shortly after arriving at the Olympics.

“I’m a pretty happy girl and I was unreasonably moody,” she explained. “At some point, you’re late and then you start feeling something. And I definitely started feeling something in London.”

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, told Today that competing at the games did not increase Walsh Jennings’ risk of pregnancy complications–so Walsh wasn’t being irresponsible.

When I was five weeks pregnant, I was puking my guts out–I can’t imagine being well enough to power walk, let alone run around in sand and dive for a volleyball. She pulled off growing a baby and winning yet another gold medal, at the same time. WOW!

Photo: Josh Lucas and Jessica Henriquez via Helga Esteb /