Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Store Fruits and Veggies

Just stopping by for a quick HELPFUL tip!

I found this website while pinning the other day. It is so helpful. It is a list of TONS of veggies and fruits that you might have in your kitchen at this moment -- and some you don't because frankly you've never even heard of them!

The list gives you specific instructions for how to prep your produce when you bring it home from the store so that it will last as long as possible in the fridge, counter, pantry, etc. until you can get it eaten up!

Here's an example:

Avocados place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening place an apple in the bag with them.

If you scroll all the way down through the list (it's like 5-6 pages long!!!) you will see a link for printing it so you can store it in a binder with your recipe books. I have a binder of all the "homemade" recipes I need and I stuck it in there for easy reference.

Visit My Thirty Spot and get your list today!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bake some Heath Bar Biscotti

A few months ago we had a family over for dinner and she brought me a lovely gift basket filled with treats...  special teas, espresso powder, etc. and these delightful homemade biscotti!  The recipe has been around a while, apparently she got it out of the Washington Post and it can be found online in several places.  I adapted it by leaving the butterscotch extract out and replacing the chopped up candy bar with Heath English Toffee bits. I also used pecan halves...  not sure why the original recipe called for whole pecans.  Worked just fine and tasted great!

You'll need:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Heath English Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits 
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, cream the oil, granulated and brown sugars together until well blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Blend in eggs.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and then fold into batter. Fold in toffee bits and pecans.

Place batter on baking sheet (it will be thick and a little sticky) and form it into two logs, each about 10 to 12 inches long about 3 inches in width.  (Flatten the logs slightly -- it's more like a long rectangle.)  Bake in preheated oven until set, about 25 minutes. Cool very thoroughly.

This was the first batch, tiniest bit underdone.  The second batch got a bit more brown.

With a sharp knife (serrated might work well for you, experiment or you could also try a pizza cutter), slice the logs in strips (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide) and return them, cut side down, to baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven first on one side, about 12 minutes, then turn over and bake other side about 5 minutes, or a little longer to desired level of brown.  If you bake them a bit longer they will be a bit more crunchy and taste more caramelized, but watch carefully so you don't over-do it and burn them! Cool well. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Green Monster Smoothie

This is what I had for breakfast.
You are probably wondering two things.
Q1. What in the world is it?
Q2. Why in the world would I drink it?
A1. This is a Vegan Detox Green Monster Smoothie. I got it from Ambitious Kitchen. It is
  • 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup cucumber peeled, sliced
  • 1 large frozen banana, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (I used Vanilla Almond Milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup kale, loosely packed (just the leaves--not the stalks!)
  • Large handful of Spinach
Throw it all in a high-powered blender and go! It makes a LARGE glassful of smoothie!
A2. I am currently on the Paleo diet... but that's a topic for another day... so this smoothie is perfect for me! Plus it's fast and easy to "eat" breakfast this way... And it does NOT taste like veggies at all. It tastes fresh and smooth and cold. This one is a keeper for sure!
Why should you eat Kale? WebMD says:
"One cup of kale is a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw."

Obviously you could use regular cow's milk in this smoothie. The benefit of using almond milk is that it becomes dairy-free and can assist you in getting rid of toxins in your body. You won't miss the milk, I promise! And if you are someone who can't have milk--well then this is just for you!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DIY Stain Remover

Okay, wait until you see this! It is awe-some!!!

I hate spending tons of money on special cleaners just so that I can have a million bottles in my cabinet for every little cleaning need. So, I am always looking for more ways to use the same products over and over to make cleaning products to use around the house.

Here's another great one. See these? They are my 4-year old's T-Ball pants from practice this week.

DIY Stain Remover
2/3 cup Dawn Dish Soap
2/3 cup ammonia
6 Tbsp baking soda
2 cups warm water
Mix together and pour into a spray bottle. This tends to separate easily so you'll have to shake it up each time you want to use it. Spray it on the stain and rub! Then wash as normal. Since these are white, I dried them outside in the sun. Here's the result...
Is that amazing or what?!?!?!?!

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