Browsing CategorySolutions Staff Notes

Keeping cool during the hottest months of the year isn’t just a matter of comfort—it can also be life-saving. Heat stroke and exhaustion strike millions of people each year, and their effects can be deadly. Even if you have central air conditioning in your home, activities like exercising and cooking can raise your temperature fast and put you at risk. And of course, outdoor activities like gardening, walking and running put you at tremendous risk on hot days. Here are a few tips for keeping cool this summer indoors and out so that you stay comfortable and reduce your risk of a heat-related illness.


Pinterest how to help

If you’re wondering about how Pinterest works, get ready for some fun. Pinterest is like an electronic room full of bulletin boards save images on Pinterest where you can pin things you find on the web…or that you find on the Pinterest boards others create. You can even pin your own photos to Pinterest when using the Pinterest app on your smartphone or tablet.

Okay, we’ve all been there: you start the new year all fired up about your resolutions, but by mid-January you find yourself on the couch with a bag of potato chips and the remote control, thinking, “Oh well, I’ll meet that goal next year.”

Here at the Solutions office, we’ve been through the resolution make-and-break cycle a time or two (or ten!), and we’re here with some advice. No, not advice on how to keep your resolutions; if we knew the secret to that, we’d all be millionaires. Instead, we polled our whole team and gathered a list of great excuses for breaking your resolutions. Each of these tried-and-true justifications has been used by a member of our team with rousing success. So if you find yourself at the end of January surrounded by broken resolutions, just pull out one of these for an instant excuse!

These Marshmallow topped cookies are perfect for the holidays.  Everyone gets a kick out of the final presentation and they are fun for kids to help decorate.  The recipe below is a time saving store bought version.  If you have extra time in the kitchen, then start from scratch with your sugar cookies.  Here is a recipe idea for you Sugar Cookies >


Quick (pre-made) Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 10 large marshmallows
  • Betty Crocker Cooking Icing (white and orange)
  • Wilton Decorating Icing tubes in Black, Red, Green, and Pink

OR, make your own Icing

  • 3 tb Wilton meringue powder
  • 1 lb Sifted powdered sugar
  • 6 tb Water


Icing from Scratch Directions:
1. beat the meringue powder, powdered sugar and water together at a low speed for 8 minutes until icing starts forming peaks.  A hand held mixer will probably take more like 12 minutes.

2. Once the peaks become stiff, transfer 1/2 of the finished icing into another bowl.  Start adding a 1/2 a teaspoon of water at a time to one of the bowls of icing.  Keep stirring until the consistency is slightly runny.

3. Test the runny icing consistency by dipping a utensil into the icing and letting it drip back down into the bowl.  The drips of icing should slowly disappear into the rest of the icing so there is no indication of where they landed.

4. Put both finished batches of icing into a container covered with a wet paper towel and a lid.


Cookie Directions:

1. Make the sugar cookie dough as directed by the package or from your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

2. With the finished dough, scoop out golfball sized chunks and squish them down onto a baking sheet until they are between and 1/4 — 1/2 inch thick.

3. Bake the cookies as directed and then let them cool.

4. Once cooled, place the cookies on a flat surface of parchment paper and load them up with a soft or runny icing.  Smooth out the icing with a knife and let it set.

5. Grease a microwave safe plate, wax-paper or other cooking surface to place your large marshmallows on.  Cook the mallows for 20-30 seconds, watching them very closley so they down melt down too far.

6. Carfuly remove the warm marchmallows with a spatual or butter knife and place them onto of your frosted cookie.

7. Finish the cookie by decorating as you please with your colored frosting.



When it comes to traditional family gatherings such as Thanksgiving, many families have favorite recipes that are used every year and shared with newlyweds, friends, relatives and neighbors—anyone lucky enough to be invited to dinner. In my family, one of those recipes is Cranberry Fruit Sauce that I introduced November 27, 1975. In the 37 years since, it has become an annual family tradition. This year, my sister-in-law is preparing Thanksgiving for the extended family, and you can be sure this cranberry sauce will be on the table. (See below for recipe.)


Time & energy saving TIP: 

Cranberry sauce can be prepared a week or more before serving.
If you plan to make cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, you don’t need to do the work on Thanksgiving Day. Make it ahead and store it in the fridge.

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