Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bacon and Eggs Pancakes

I thought this was really cute. A little time consuming but what great little things like this aren't. And from a Dad no less!! Happy Father's Day!!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Useful Tip #13 - Fresh Cut Flowers

If you like fresh cut flowers or have a wonderful hubby who on occasion brings them home for you here are a few tricks to make them last longer so you can enjoy them more.

When you first receive them don't just unwrap them and stick them in a vase. Pick a vase large enough for the arrangement. Fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full with lukewarm water. Lukewarm or room tempature water will move thru the stems faster than cold water. Then take a sharp knife or heavy duty kitchen scissors (I prefer the scissors) and cut each stem at an angle as short or long as you want. When flowers are cut the part that is cut will eventually start to seal over or close up therefore making the water harder to get thru the stem. Cutting them again when you receive them opens them back up again to allow the flow of water thru. Then place the arrangement in your vase. Each day you should change the water with more lukewarm water. As certain flowers die out remove them and keep arranging your flowers. I've had arrangements last up to two weeks by tending to them daily.

I've also heard adding an aspirin to the water helps but I have not personally tried this.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Useful Tip # 12 - Mouse Control

Fortunately I don't have a mouse problem. And honestly I really don't mind them although I don't want them taking up residence and having a mouse family in my home. So here are some tips on how to keep them so that you aren't cleaning out mouse traps with dead critters later. That always makes me sad. So try these tips.

Place USED kitty litter from a litter box in small tubs in several places around the garage. Mice smells like a cat--must be a cat - I'm outta here!.

Buy a mesh/net laundry bag that you would use for washing nylons and 5 boxes of moth balls. Put the moth balls in the bag and hang it in your garage near the door to get rid of mice, birds, and bugs. Moth balls also repel snakes

To prevent mice from gaining entry to your garage, stop up any openings with steel wood pads. Mice will not chew through these!

Sprinkle ground cayenne pepper around the garage (inside & out), and especially near entry holes. Pests don't care for the smell of it. Ants also do not like cayenne pepper.

Mice hate the scent of peppermint extract. Simply sprinkle *pure* peppermint extract on the items in your garage you don't want the mice in or on.

If you try these tips or do something that has worked for you please comment!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lime in the Coconut Cheescake Bars from Betty Crocker

This is a great recipe that I tried out for one of my girls nights out. It got rave reviews!! Great to take to a BBQ!! Enjoy!!


Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
2 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (16 oz) cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped cream cheese frosting
1 1/4 cups coconut, toasted
2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in cream of coconut until well blended. Beat in lime juice, vanilla and 2 eggs until smooth. Spread over cookie base.
3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set and light golden brown on edges. Cool 30 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate 1 hour to cool completely.
4. Carefully spread frosting over filling. Sprinkle with coconut and lime peel. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Or go to the following website to print a copy!!

Useful Tip # 11- Traveling

Since summer is almost here that means it's time for VACATION!!! And many of you will be flying to your vacation destination. Being someone who flies frequently one of the things I've seen and learned from is that 80% of peoples luggage is a dark color such as black or navy blue. And due to this it's sometimes hard to pick out your luggage. Most people grab a bag while it's still on the belt and are trying to read the name tag on it to verify it is there's for sure. Recently I bought new luggage (hot pink with black hearts) so that there was no way that I wouldn't know it was mine. So far I haven't seen any like it. But before this I was one of those people with a dark navy blue suitcase. So here's a simple trick to be able to spot your luggage on the belt without having to read the name tag. Just pick out a nice brightly colored or patterned ribbon that you may already have at the house or just run to your local craft store or Walmart and pick up a spool. Cut off a long enough piece to tie in several tight knots around one of the handles or zipper pulls. Don't pick just a solid color as this doesn't stand out as well and I've seen several bags with the same color ribbon. This should help you spot your luggage quickly on your next trip. Of course always verify for sure with your name tag that it is your luggage. Happy Travels!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Useful Tip # 10 - Eggs

Eggs are not something that I have go bad on me very often. But if you are questioning whether an egg is still good or not try this trick.

To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh - if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

Also if you are unsure an egg is bad and you are going to use it in a recipe crack it into a seperate bowl first. This way if it does turn out to be bad you only have to throw the egg away not the entire dish. This is also useful to prevent any unwanted shell in your dish.

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Useful Tip # 9 - Clothes Dryer

When drying your clothes normally you check your lint trap after every few loads. If the lint has built up you remove it, insert the filter back into the dryer, and dry the next load. One thing I learned a while back is even though you think removing the lint frees up the lint screen after time there is hidden build up on there that can damage your dryer or even create a fire.

If you've never done this take your lint screen out and take it to the bathtub. Run some water on it. Does the water fall thru or is there a layer of film on the screen that doesn't allow the water to fall thru. If so imagine what is happening when drying your clothes. If the water doesn't pass thru easily it's time to wash your lint screen.

At least every six months you should pull out your dryer screen and wash it with water and a scrub brush to remove that filmy layer. Not only does it help in drying your clothes but will also cut down on costly repairs on your dryer and possibly a fire.

Happy Cleaning.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Useful Tip # 8- Buying Bread

Someone sent this to me a long time ago and I printed it out and have a very ratty copy of it always stored in my wallet to reference. I am one of those squeezers but if I'm not sure and can't find a "use by" date on the package then I resort to this method. Take it for what you will.

When you buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest? Many people "squeeze" for freshness or softness. Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Each day has a different color twist tie. They are:

Monday = Blue

Tuesday = Green

Thursday = Red

Friday = White

Saturday = Yellow

So if today was Thursday, you would want a red twist tie -- not a white tie which is Fridays (almost a week old)!

To remember the colors of the twist tie, they go alphabetically by color - Blue-Green-Red-White-Yellow, Monday through Saturday, skipping Wednesdays.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Useful Tip # 7 - Storing Onions

A friend of mine gave me some home grown Vidalia onions the other day which got us talking about how to store them. Normally I keep my onions in the fridge in the vegetable box. My grandmother stores hers in the pantry in an open bin. I've tried that but I haven't had much luck with shelf life in my pantry (not that I haven't found rotting onions in my fridge). So we were talking about her grandmother's trick that I kinda liked and would love to use if I had somewhere to hang them. Her grandma would take an old pair of pantyhose and you put one onion down the leg and tie a knot, then the second and knot it and so on and so forth. When you needed an onion you just cut it off below the knot. She stored her onions in the basement which is where I have the problem. Living near the coast means no basement for me. But I really liked this idea and it would be great for that gardener who harvests too many onions to use before they go bad. The theory behind the pantyhose is that air can circulate all around the entire onion therefore keeping it dry. So if you can use this tip great. If not maybe pass it along to someone who can!! I'm sure if anything it'd turn out to be a good conversation topic if someone saw your pantyhose full of onions hanging from the rafters!! Post any comments below!!