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8 Questions that Test Your Flood Knowledge

Eric Dollinger

Floods can occur gradually over many days or happen in a flash – in minutes – with little to no warning. The more you know now about the conditions that can lead to a flood and what you can do to ensure you prevail through one, the better prepared you can be. Continue…

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Extra Mile Staff


1 cup Shortening

1 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 cup Flour

¼ teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Baking powder

1 can Blueberry pie filling


2 tablespoons Butter or Margarine, melted

½  cup Flour

¼ cup Sugar

In a small bowl, mix together


1. Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

2. In a medium to large size bowl, cream shortening, sugar and eggs.

3. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

4. Spread half the batter in the baking dish and top with the blueberry pie filling.

5. Spread remaining batter on top of blueberry pie filling. Sprinkle with topping.

Alternative topping: If made without topping, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar after baking.

Ziti Bake

Extra Mile Staff


1 – 16 ounce package of Ziti

1 pound Ground beef

1 – 15 ounce container of Ricotta cheese

½  cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup chopped Parsley

1 Egg, slightly beaten

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 – 15 ounce or 1 – 20 ounce jar spaghetti sauce

1 – 8 ounce package shredded Mozzarella cheese


1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

2. Prepare ziti as directed on package, drain and set aside.

3. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Brown ground beef.

4. In a large bowl, mix Ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, salt, pepper and half of the spaghetti sauce. After well mixed, mix in the cooked ground beef.

5. Add cooked ziti that you had set aside in step 1 and toss gently to coat well.

6. Add combined ingredients to a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour remaining spaghetti sauce evenly over the ziti mixture.

7. Sprinkle top with Mozzarella cheese.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Traveling Tip: Once cooked through, cover immediately with a double thickness of aluminum foil. This will help keep the food hot for up to an hour.


Sweet and Sour Kielbasa Appetizer

Extra Mile Staff


1 pound kielbasa, sliced into ½ inch pieces

1 cup Apricot preserves

2 tablespoons Lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon Ginger

Butter for heating skillet on stove top


1. In a sauce pan on low to medium heat, combine and heat the apricot preserves, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and ginger.

2. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced kielbasa and cook until lightly brown on outside and heated through.

3. Add cooked kielbasa to the sauce pan and mix so kielbasa is coated with sauce.

4. Place slices on a platter and serve with hors d’oeuvres picks

Serving Tip: If doubling or tripling recipe, consider adding the cooked ingredients from step 1 and 2 to a crock pot set to low or warm.


Last Minute Recipes and Gift Ideas for Holiday Parties

Extra Mile Staff

Don’t let last minute holiday gatherings stress you out. This time of year you might feel inundated with advertisements for the must-have gifts of the year. You might also be feeling pressure to cook up a festive, tasty appetizer or dessert.

If you don’t have time to do the research, we’re here to share some simple ideas for grab bag and hostess gifts that will require nothing more than a quick trip to the nearest shopping center as well as potluck recipes that are sure to be a hit.

Pot Luck

Sweet & Sour Kielbasa Appetizer 

Ziti Bake 

Blueberry Tea Cake 

Grab Bag Gift

Hat, scarf and gloves set. Pick a solid color that could be worn by either gender (i.e. brown, red, blue, black, gray).

Specialty food items. If you don’t live close to a specialty shop, don’t discount your local grocery store or pharmacy.  Check out the “seasonal” aisles for pre-made gifts sets. You’ll be surprised at what a hit that ceramic bowl filled with delicious candy can be!

Tea or coffee set. Whether you select a portable mug or dainty tea cup, place your choice in a festive gift box alongside seasonal coffee or tea. The recipient will be sure to enjoy the cold winter mornings with a warm drink.

Host Gift

Wooden cutting board topped with a package of holiday paper napkins.  Add a cheese knife and cheese and crackers – now you have both an hors d’oeuvre and a hostess gift.

Festive tea towels wrapped around holiday scented hand soap.  Tie together with a red bow for the finishing touch.

Scented candle and box of truffles.  The host will enjoy this indulgent treat after all the guests have departed.

Your shopping list is finally complete, your home is festively decorated, and gifts are perfectly wrapped.  Your planning and organization has paid off and now there’s plenty of time to enjoy the traditions of the season.

Money Saving Tip:  Take advantage of seasonal items marked-down after the holiday.  That 75% off festive cookie jar would make a great hostess gift filled with cookies next December!

Photo Fantastic

Extra Mile Staff

We want to showcase WHO our readers are–and WHAT they’re all about! Send us a photo (or a few) of you enjoying your favorite activities. Do you like cooking, hiking, playing a sport or just relaxing with family? Let us know by sharing! It’s quick and easy to send us your photos.

Here are some of the best photos of our readers doing what they love to do.