Recipe: Ham and Bean Soup

This soup recipe is from my sister-in-law. It is perfect for this time of year. Smells so delicious when it is cooking. And…did you know that you can get a ham bone from your local butcher? Many times they will give it to you for free. Just ask!

2 cups Great Northern Beans
1 lb ham with bone
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 whole onions- chopped
1 garlic clove
3 whole potatoes cut 1″ thick
1 tablespoon parsley
3 large carrots cut 1″thick
3 stalks celery cut 1″ thick
1 teaspoon paprika

Cover beans with water and bring to boil. Let them sit for 1 hour and then drain. (If using beans from a can then skip this part).
Add 2 quarts water, salt, and ham. Let them simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove ham bone and cut off meat- shred it or dice it, return meat to soup.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil- then add to soup. Stir in the rest of ingredients. Simmer until vegetables are to desired softness. Add pepper to taste.

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Fight Back Against Flu and Cold Viruses – Bleach Water Recipe

Cold weather has begun to push out the fair weather days of fall. As the chill in the air increases many of us find ourselves hibernating indoors giving germs more opportunities to travel. If your like me I do everything I can to keep my children and family healthy. This effort increases especially through the colder months of the year when it seems germs are more prevalent. Following a few simple steps can help prevent flu bugs and other viruses from invading our homes this year.

Get Outdoors – Just like your mother always told you, spending time out in the fresh air is good for your lungs. Breathing in clean air helps clean out the lungs and energizes the body with renewed oxygen. Find time to take the kids or dog for a brisk walk in the clean cold air.

Stay Hydrated – Keeping the body hydrated properly will help the mucus membranes work properly and fight off viruses. So reach for a glass of water.

Sleep – Get plenty of sleep. Sleeping about 8 hours a night will help make sure your body is well rested and better able to fight off viruses that may come your way.

Exercise – It’s true exercise not only strengthens your muscles. It also gives your immune system a workout, making it stronger and in turn better able to fight off germs.

Eat Healthy Foods – Choosing healthy foods will also help boost your immune system. Fruits, vegetables and garlic have all been shown to have immune boosting properties.

Disinfect – It may sound repetitive but washing your hands often is one of the best ways to keep germs from spreading. Think about keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car or bag to use when you are away from home. Wipe down areas of the house that are frequently used like counter tops and door handles with sanitizers.

Get the Flu Vaccine – Yes one of the best ways to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Check with your local medical provider to make sure that you are healthy and will have no complications from the vaccination.

Following these tips can help keep you and those you love on the pathway of health during the flu and cold season.

Just a side note-

As flu and cold season sets it seems that my cleaning supplies are constantly in use. I have to admit that I am a fan of Clorox Wipes and Hard Surface Disinfecting Spray. I use them to clean daily. However I am a “penny pincher” and always on the look out for ways I can save myself a few dollars. Recently when my Clorox Hard Surface Spray ran out I decided that I could make my own bleach water to clean my counters. This is great for cleaning toys and other surfaces that are touched often through out the day. Many of you probably have already done this but for those who haven’t I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Bleach Water Recipe
Mix
1 Tablespoon of Bleach
1 Gallon of Cool Tap Water

For a smaller batch:
Mix
1 teaspoon of Bleach
1 22oz spray bottle full of Cool Tap Water

Store in a cool darken place.

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net :

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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