Monday, July 26, 2010

Household Tips & Tricks

Tip 1: Mix one part vinegar to 3 parts water to clean sinks, tubs and counters. (DO NOT use on natural surfaces like stone or wood)

Tip 2: Start your holiday shopping in the middle of the summer. Saves time and money....not to mention stress!

Tip 3: Put a mini marshmallow in the bottom of ice cream cones to prevent drips.

Tip 4: So you opened a bottle of wine and you have some left over? (What's wrong with you?! Haha!!) Pour the extra wine into ice cube trays - freeze over night - take wine cubes and put into freezer bags. Now you have wine for dishes or marinades.

Tip 5: Dried herbs loose their flavor very fast. Only keep them for around 6 months. Only buy the smallest amount unless you use a lot of dried herbs. When using fresh herbs, use about 3 times the amount of the dried.


"God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done." Anon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

KK's Texas Taco Meat

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 medium/large onion, diced
15 oz can tomato sauce
3 t chili powder
1/2 - 1 t salt
1 t black peper
1 t garlic powder

Brown meat with onion. Drain. Add sauce and seasonings. Simmer 10-20 minutes. Serve. Can be served on tacos, taco salads, noodles, make taco burgers, added to scrambled eggs or soup.

This will serve 8-12 people. I make this for my husband and I. I do portion it out so we can use it all week long for different meals - that way I don't have to do a whole lot of cooking - It's to damn hot for that right now!

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily" Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lemon Aid

Lemons have a lot more uses than you may know...

1. Add lemon to green tea to cut the bitterness down - it also helps your body take in the antioxidants found naturally in green tea.

2. If used in a high dose you can get rid of your acne. Apply large amounts of fresh unsweetened lemon juice to cotton balls and apply to acne. Take care - lemon juice can dry out your skin.

3. Add lemon juice to your dish water. Your dish water will smell good and the lemon juice helps to work as a disinfectant.

4. Rub a cut lemon under your arm for a short term well on feet also. (Ladies, don't do this if you have shaved with in 24 won't like the way it feels!)

5. Lemons make beautiful decorations! Add lemons to your next center piece. One of my favs is a clear bowl full of lemons and limes.

6. After you cut apples or avacados toss them with a little lemon juice - it keeps them from turning brown.

7. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt to clean your wooden cutting boards. Use the used lemon as a scrub pad and rub the heck out of your board. Wash as normal and dry. It will be super fresh. Gets rid of onion and garlic smells.

8. I like to put baking soda in my sink drains every once in a while to keep it fresh - if you add a little lemon juice it will smell even fresher. Leave it there to sit for a few hours - then you can rinse it down or wash your sink with the baking soda then rinse down. It will be safe for your septic. Don't let anything go to waste - cut the peel up and toss into your garbage disposal.

9. Want a cheap hair lightener? Dampen your hair - add some lemon juice - sit in the sun for about an hour - wash hair. Your hair will be lighter. I've done this a few times - just gives you the 'summer hair' look.

10. Cut a lemon in half and cover the cut side with salt - clean your pots & pans - works well on copper, also.

11. My number one way to use lemon is with a shot of tequilla, fully dressed! Lick, Suck, Slam!!

This is just a SMALL list of uses for lemons - there are TONS!! Do you have one that isn't listed that you would like to share??

**You can burn up to 33% more calories standing than you do sitting**

Monday, July 12, 2010

What to do with all this basil?

I have a ton of fresh basil right now - about 8 large plants. I do not want it to go to waste. I dried two whole plants in my dehydrator - that way I can have garden fresh basil this winter. I also made this:

***Basil Sauce/Dressing***

*1 C fresh basil
*1/2 C EVOO - use your good stuff
*1 garlic clove
*2 t lime juice (lemon would work too, but I had limes)
*1/4 t black pepper
*1/4 - 1/2 t kosher salt

Combine all in a food processer or blender.
Can be used as a sauce for grilled meats & fish - pasta - sandwiches - dipping sauce for breads - whatever you want to use it for. It would also be great on a salad.

Follow this basic recipe and change out the basil for tarragon, mint, or even dill.

Remember, when you are cooking - make a recipe your own. If you don't like garlic - don't add it. If you are in a salt free home - don't add the salt. If you would like to use sunflower oil - do it! You can make any recipe your own recipe by tweeking it your way. Don't be scared.

Maya Angelou: I've Learned

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

(don't know if thise are actual quotes....this was sent to me via email from a family member and just LOVED it!!)


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gardening and Arugula Pesto

This morning I cleaned one of my garden planters in the front yard to get ready for lettuces. I had arugula (aka rocket) there all spring and summer up until a few days ago. I had just a few cups of arugula left so I made some pesto and stuck it in ice cube trays and froze it overnight then placed in plastic bags. (Will keep for a good three months in freezer)

*4 c arugula
*1/4 c nuts - whatever you like - pinenuts is the norm but I actually used mixed nuts, it is what I had on hand
*1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
*1/4 c EVOO - use your good stuff for this recipe
*one garlic clove (or two if you really love fresh garlic)
* S & P to taste
Place arugula, nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese in food processor until just shy of smooth - while your food processor is running slowly add your EVOO - process until well blended - taste - add S&P - taste again - adjust your s & p - should look like green beautiful applesauce

So, in my cleaned garden bed I planted two lettuce mixes made up of Beet Bull's Blood, Spinach Bloomsdale Long-Standing, Lettuce Red Salad Bowl, Lettuce black-Seeded Simpson, Mustard Tendergreen, Ashley, Prizeleaf, Royal Oak Leaf, and Salad Bowl. We should be eating some delish lettuces in 35-45 days. I'm excited.

I'm also working on cleaning out the big garden in the backyard. Bugs have tore it all to hell. All of my squash, zucchini, corn and half of my tomatoes are gone. My eggplant is doing really well. I was surprised because this is my first year to try to grow eggplant. Easy shmeasy. Can't wait to plant my fall crops.