Taco Pizza Jalapeno Poppers - If your'e wondering what to do with all those jalapenos in the garden, this is an excellent suggestion.
One of my favorite foods growing up was taco pizza. Going out to dinner was a treat ‘back in the day’ and I remember a couple of meals we all enjoyed ordering and one was taco pizza. I can see it now with the mounds of lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheddar cheese piled on top of a delicious piece of pizza loaded with taco meat, salsa and pizza crust. This recipe of taco pizza jalapeno poppers is my version of that memory.
10 - 15 jalapeno peppers (seeds and membrane removed)
½ lb. lean ground beef
½ onion (chopped)
Teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large Tablespoons cream cheese (softened)
Cup of crushed tomatoes
Shredded cheddar cheese
Dragon Sauce (combine these two ingredients)
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
Teaspoon Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
Taco meat: Brown the hamburger along with the chopped onion. Go ahead and salt and pepper the meat while on the stove top. Once cooked, drain the grease. Add the meat back into the saute pan and add the spices. Blend the spices with the hamburger meat then add the crushed tomatoes. Once the meat has cooled slightly, add the cream cheese.
Once your jalapenos have been sliced down the middle, seeds and membrane removed, place them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Give each jalapeno a dollop of the Dragon Sauce and spread it throughout the jalapeno half.
After the taco meat has cooled, go ahead and add taco meat to each jalapeno. Be careful not to add too much. After the taco meat has been added, give each jalapeno half some shredded cheddar cheese. After the cheddar cheese, slice the grape-size tomatoes into thirds and top each popper.
Turn the oven on broil and cook for five minutes. Once you’ve taken out of the oven, it’s time to plate and serve.
Kentucky Senate Democratic Nominee Amy McGrath will be in Paducah tomorrow for several meetings with locals and will be making a public stop at 2 pm at the Seamen’s Church Institute located downtown at 129 S. Walter St. to meet with Rev. Kempton D. Baldridge and take a tour of the Institute. The Rev. Baldridge is a former marine too and the Senior River Chaplain for the Ministry on the Rivers and the Gulf - Ohio River Region. Both will have a lot to discuss.
McGrath’s latest victory over Kentucky House of Representative Charles Booker in the primary election has given her the ‘green light’ to work hard for Kentucky and find a way to defeat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McGrath was the pick of the Senate Democratic campaign arm and brought in more than $40 million for her campaign. She enjoys the backing of multiple labor unions, and many Democrats, from in and outside the state of Kentucky, are drawn to her military background. McGrath was the first woman to fly an F-18 in combat, and flew more than 85 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“While each of our experiences are unique, as a woman in the military, I had to repeatedly fight the establishment during my 20 year career,” McGrath said. “No one needs to convince me of the urgency to address the issues of equal pay and equal justice, affordable health care for all, real action on voting rights, and ending the corrosive grip that corporate special interests have on our federal government.”
McGrath said in order to move forward, Senator Mitch McConnell will need to be defeated and in order to do that, unity of the Democratic family needs to happen. Of course, she was talking about the last election against her opponent, Booker. McGrath said she intends to “start the dialogue necessary to bring us all together in our common cause for the general election.”
Her current opponent, McConnell has held the Senate seat since 1984 and has been re-elected five times. He became Senate Majority Leader when Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014. Defeating McConnell will require an all out effort and McGrath believes she's up for the task.
McGrath is running on three platforms. The first is affordable, accessible health care for all. She said, “Kentucky has the second highest per capita spending on prescription drugs.” She went on to say, “I’m running to help Kentucky. Everybody should have access to affordable health care. The COVID-19 illness is affecting our entire economy. Our entire region is decimated.”
The second platform is creating better infrastructure that will bring more jobs to Kentucky. McGrath said, “McConnell isn’t working for the average person. Kentucky is being left behind by Senator McConnell.”
Western Kentucky was highlighted as having a great need for new infrastructure. She mentioned the need for broadband internet access, better cell phone coverage, and repair for roads, bridges, and sewer systems. McGrath said, “People don’t have it (broadband).” During COVID-19 it’s important for students to have access for distance learning and for patients to use Telehealth. “New businesses can’t talk to the modern world. We need 21st century infrastructure,” stated McGrath.
The third platform McGrath is running on is ‘common sense’. She said she’s a ‘moderate, common sense’ Democrat. She’s served her country and isn’t ‘hyperpartisan’. “Most people don’t fall into a beautiful box. Forget the ‘Red team’ and the ‘Blue team’, and get on the ‘Red, White, and Blue team.’
This is McGrath’s first trip to Paducah since winning the primary so she’s eager to discuss her vision for western Kentucky. As Congress looks to its next federal aid package, she wants to make sure our area is represented.
Baby boy took a tumble and fought the good fight with the Playskool Sit n' Spin and lost.
Having a bone ‘break’ in the summertime is no fun, especially during COVID-19. Activity is already limited and now there’s less to do. Adding insult to injury, the heat associated with 'the dog days of summer' turns an awkward and uncomfortable cast into a swollen, itchy, sweaty, nightmare. 'Real' temperatures in the 90s with 'feels like' temperatures close to 100, makes the air feel like a ‘less-than-soothing, sweat-filled, theme park mister.'
When thinking about life before the pandemic, families would go to the mall, grocery shop, see a movie, or get a bite to eat at their favorite restaurant. If an injury occurred, there were options to being stuck at home. Today, parents aren't taking any chances.
One solution to the coronavirus circus is to turn homes and backyards into playgrounds. There are swing sets, inflatable pools, sandboxes, riding toys, sidewalk chalk, so many creative ideas allowing families to stay within their small circles. And a month ago, playing with all these great backyard toys was great.
Now, with temperatures rising, it's time to take the party indoors. Creativity is the name of the game. Let’s face it, children get bored fast and the ones that aren’t bored have very vivid imaginations.
The game is stepping stones. The toddler's place the couch cushions on the floor. The idea is to jump from cushion to cushion without touching the floor. Right beside the cushions on the floor is a Playskool Sit n’ Spin. As the children are jumping from cushion to cushion burning off energy required prior to nap-time, one loses their balance and as they try to get their footing, one foot catches the sit n’ spin, the leg twists ever so slightly, and down to the ground they go.
The toddler cries and Mom is ‘johnny-on-the -spot’. After examination, there’s no sign of immediate injury. No swelling or redness, but when the child is set on the floor for a quick weight bearing’ check, it’s a ‘no-go’.
After verifying that the toddler is still unable to walk on the hurt foot and there is tenderness around the suspected injury, it's time for a trip to the ER. The diagnosis reveals that the child has a Toddler’s fracture or a Childhood Accidental Spiral Fracture or CAST fracture.
We’ve all seen those small children with a cast or a boot on their leg and wonder what kind of parent lets their toddler play so rough. That’s not the case. Toddler’s fractures can occur with a simple fall while walking, running or when falling from a relatively low height. During this fall the leg twists ever so slightly and may cause the bone to break. Oftentimes, it’s hard to detect.
Bones are strong but not flexible. They aren’t good at resisting a twist and when this happens, a ‘hairline’ crack appears in the bone or the tibia (which is the shin bone in your leg). The periosteum remains intact and the base of the bone is stable. These are the fractures that are the result of a twisting injury.
After an x-ray has confirmed the fracture, and even if the fracture is undetectable because it’s so small, the provider may go ahead and treat the bone as if it’s broken based on diagnosis prior to x-ray and a cast is put on the leg. Two weeks later, another x-ray is taken that will indicate if the bone is healing.
The cast is typically removed four to six weeks after the break, as long as the tibia bone is no longer tender. For the bone to heal completely, it usually takes approximately 10 weeks. Once there’s no pain with the break and the x-ray shows healing, re-injury risk is low.
Moral of the story, there’s really not one. Children are going to have accidents and many aren’t preventable. Accidents will occur inside, outside, up-high, down-low. Thankfully, children are resilient and bones will heal. On a side note, the Playskool Sit n’ Spin is no longer in the house.
Concerns about returning to the classroom are growing amid rising coronavirus numbers. Envisioning the scope of the situation, is almost insurmountable. The two objectives, returning to school ‘safe and healthy’’ and ‘healthy at work’ almost seem like conflicting ideas.
According to the National Center of Education Statistics, more than one-third of teachers in the public school system are over the age of 50. In a report published in late April, statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that 92% of COVID-19 deaths in the United States are people over 55 years old.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a non-profit organization that focuses on national health issues and the U.S. role in global health policies, found that 1.5 million teachers are at greater risk of serious illness if infected by the coronavirus due to pre-existing conditions.
The CDC has identified certain chronic conditions that place people at greater risk for serious illness if infected by the coronavirus. Such chronic conditions include diabetes, COPD, heart diseases, moderate to severe asthma, having a BMI of greater than 40, a compromised immune system, undergoing cancer treatments, or being over the age of 65.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, three of five Fayette County public school board members, including chairwoman, Stephanie Spires, said they’re unsure if they can safely reopen schools. With increased cases and lack of rapid testing, she believes it can’t be done. A couple of those concerns included PPE and spacing to social distance. School buses are very close quarters and Spires said that 80% of school bus drivers in their school district are ‘at risk’ for infection.
Governor Andy Beshear announced on Monday that Kentucky has seen an increase in positive cases among children and staff connected to daycare centers. Though daycare centers aren’t part of secondary education, they provide statistics on COVID infections in children. “This is new data especially since daycare centers haven’t been reopened for that long.” said Beshear.
Beshear went on to discuss the importance of having the right rules and regulations in place so that Kentuckians can continue to plan for in-person education and be ‘healthy at work’. He noted the horrific numbers being seen in Florida and the efforts being made in Kentucky to prevent such strife and despair.
In a joint statement released last Friday by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, AASA, The School Superintendent Association, the organizations made recommendations on the safe return of students, teachers and staff to schools.
Pediatricians, educators, and superintendents realize the importance of getting back into the classroom. It’s not purely academic, it's socializing, receiving healthy meals, exercise, and so many services that can’t be duplicated by distance learning.
“Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff. Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics. We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.”
While on Facebook, a group of Collinsville, IL, parents were discussing whether or not to send their children to school in the fall or home school. Safety for the children was first on the priority list with economics being the second. Parents are conflicted. Being able to go to work and make a living is essential to the family's livelihood yet they’re scared for their children’s safety.
School districts across the country are concerned with lack of funding and knowledge regarding best practices to protect children while in the classroom. Many are graveling with the need for PPE, technology for remote learning, extra training for staff, plexiglass partitions between desks, and creating enough space within the classrooms to provide proper social distancing.
The debate goes on nationally, regionally, and locally. It will be read in the newspapers and on the internet, watched on national news, and discussed on social media sites. Intellectually, we know that getting the economy growing again and getting back to work is key to avoid further financial distress. Emotionally, we want to protect our children and our families regardless of the financial toll. Working together to find solutions and realizing that the coronavirus is the enemy, not one another.
Local McDonald’s restaurants are engaging in a new fundraiser to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) this summer through the “Sleeves to Support” program. Michael Love, President of the RMHC of the Tri-State said that the program was developed by Coca-Cola and will create funding through sales of insulated beverage sleeves specifically designed to hold McDonald’s cups.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities was founded in 1974 with their first home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. McDonald’s became a big supporter through its owners/operators, suppliers, employees and customers. As a non-profit 501c3 organization, RMHC relies solely on donations from fundraising efforts. McDonald's continues to be their biggest corporate sponsor.
The goal of RMHC is to keep families with sick children together and close to the care and resources they need. Located in 65 countries and regions around the globe, the two Kentucky locations are in Louisville and Lexington.
Both Ronald McDonald House Charities in Kentucky just recently opened their doors again after a brief closure due to COVID-19. They’re in phase one of a four phase process.
The homes and family rooms that RMHC offers to children and their parents during their time of need is a blessing. Parents whose children are sick and need medical attention away from their hometowns, are very grateful to have a place to stay without worrying about the financial toll of days, weeks or even months of lodging.
The local RMHC of the Tri-State chapter impacts approximately 70,000 children’s lives per year in western Kentucky, southern Illinois, and southeast Missouri. Just last week, a grant was awarded to Symsonia elementary in Kentucky. In addition to their summer lunch pick-up program, a $2,000 grant to buy books to hand-out to every child that stopped to get a lunch was given.
A few weeks earlier, the local RHMC donated funds to the McCracken County Community Career Endowment to purchase laptops for two of the MCCCE 2020 scholarship recipients.
The cost of the ‘special sleeve’ for the “Sleeves for Support” program is $5 while supplies last. In addition to the sleeves program, the local McDonald’s are raising funds through the Penny Per Happy Meal initiative. The idea is to enrich the lives of local children and it only takes a few spare coins to ‘roll up your sleeves’ and make a difference in a child’s life.