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Don’t pig out too much on comfort food during depths of winter: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 2/20/19

Hello, people! How are we doing? Enjoying winter still? I need to tell you that you only have four more weeks of it, so be sure to get your fill right now.

As obnoxious as that sounds, we have to …

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Don’t pig out too much on comfort food during depths of winter: LaVonne Ackerman


Hello, people! How are we doing? Enjoying winter still? I need to tell you that you only have four more weeks of it, so be sure to get your fill right now.

As obnoxious as that sounds, we have to remember that this is “my kind of weather” to someone! Not me.

Poor winter, it gets a lot of bad publicity! Poets relate it to really old age, or death. People turn into snow birds to escape it. Holidays, which usually mean school is closed, get ignored when we have to make up snow days (usually in the spring).

Another major complaint is that some people gain weight because there are so many warm and cozy dishes to be served over the cold months. What is your favorite comfort food? Have you been pigging out this season? Don't worry, we have a few months until summer is here!

Have a warm week eating all your favorite foods! Feel free to share your favorite recipes with me, or your family news, via email.


Happy birthday greetings are sent to Ginny Wynkoop of Lower Swatara on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Make this the best one yet, Ginny!

Claudi Sisti of Lower Swatara marks Feb. 21 as her super-dupper-dazzling birthday. I hope your Thursday is a thrilling cake day. Enjoy!

Happy cool-parade birthday to Don Carson of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Feb. 21. I hope the skies are sunny with not a cloud in them! Enjoy your day, Don!

Joe Sukle celebrates his totally special day on Thursday, Feb. 21. I hope 65 wonderful things happen on your day, Joe!

Jake Leggore of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Friday, Feb. 22. Jake has the best birth date! Happy 23rd, Jake!

Sandy Wise-Dunkleberger also celebrates her day on Friday, Feb. 22. There is just something super-awesome about this date! Enjoy your birthday weekend, Sandy!

Courtney Freeburn celebrates her quarter-of-a-century birthday on Saturday, Feb. 23. Congrats and enjoy being 25, Courtney!

Here is a shout-out to Crystal Van Valkenburg of Middletown on Saturday, Feb. 23. I’m hoping your weekend party day is just perfect for you, Crystal!

Many happy birthday balloons are sent to Billy Gomboc of Middletown on Sunday, Feb. 24 as he turns 18. Wow, enjoy this special landmark day!

Nate Handley of Lower Swatara celebrates his very special golden birthday on Sunday. He turns 24 on Feb. 24. Cool beans! Happy birthday.

Heavon McGirt of Lower Swatara observes her landmark 18th big-deal birthday on Monday, Feb. 25. Congrats and enjoy it all week!

Brendon Parkhill observes his really exciting 25 on Feb. 25 quarter-of-a-century golden birthday on Monday! Congrats and many good wishes to you for an excellent birthday, Brendon!

Happy landmark 18 cake day to Cameron Parkhill of Lower Swatara on Monday, Feb. 25. What a special day for you and your family, Cameron! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Here is a super-loud shoutout to Deb Breon of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Feb. 26. I hope your day is extra-terrific with plenty of sunshine. Happy birthday!

Jeff Dukes of Middletown marks his confetti-popping, balloon-flying, sun-shining 32nd birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 26. I hope it is full of surprises!

Wishing Chris Reider of Lower Swatara a birthday just how you want it on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Happy balloon-fly-away day, Chris!

Phyllis Etter of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song loud and clear on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Many good wishes for a pleasant day with lots of blessings to come your way, Phyllis!


Best wishes to Charles and Linda Ferree of Lower Swatara as they observe 31 years of wedded bliss on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Congrats to you both!

Sub and soup sale

The Lower Swatara Lions Club will hold a Sub and Chicken Corn Chowder Soup sale on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Lions Club in Shopes Gardens. Pickup is from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Order by email at or call 717-939-9869. All orders must be in by Feb. 21.

It is through projects such as this that our Lions are able to give back to those in need in our township.

Don’t cook on Feb. 28! Order some subs and soup and help out the Lions!

Easy Ravioli Lasagna

2 lbs. frozen ravioli

2 24 oz. jars pasta sauce

8 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach (or use fresh)

15 oz. ricotta cheese

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Mix spinach, ricotta and garlic in a small bowl and set aside. Put a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Lay down your first layer of raviolis. Top with half the spinach, then 1/3 of the red sauce, then 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat layers twice.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more until golden, bubbly and all the pasta is cooked through. 

Thank you, Susan Wagner. How you bless your family, and the readers of the Press & Journal!

Quote of the Week

“The Great Shepherd’s gentle leading is always focused, purposeful, and filled with goodness and mercy.” — John MacArthur, pastor and author.

Question of the Week

What is your favorite comfort food?

“Cheez-Its, and any kind of chips!” — Makayla Long, 10, Middletown.

“Tacos.” — Hailey Herneisey, 15, Lower Swatara.

“Pizza!” — Hayden Herneisey, 11, Lower Swatara.

“Soup, especially chicken noodle.” — Jameson Hoffman, 7, Lower Paxton.

“Carrots and apples. Some are red, and green, and yellow!” — Jonah Cooper, 4, Swatara.

“Homemade baked macaroni and cheese.” — Patty Kuharic, Lower Swatara.

“Hot dogs!” — Ryan Benkovic, 5, Lower Paxton.

Proverb for the Week

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out (24:19,20).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at