Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Salted vs Unsalted Butter

A question I received about recipes that call for unsalted butter. It was asked if they could use regular salted butter instead unsalted butter

I recommend using unsalted butter when a recipe calls for it, because it allows you to control the total amount of salt in the recipe. But sometimes I do not have unsalted butter so I do use salted butter and then omit salt from recipe. It is my preference though to use unsalted especially for baked goods.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cleaning the Iron

Please read your manufactures instruction manual.

Mineral deposits can clog your steam iron. You can dissolve them by pouring some white vinegar into the water tank and letting it steam for several minutes. After cleaning with the vinegar, iron an old clean cloth. Residue will be deposited on the cloth. Cool the iron and rinse with water or distilled water if your iron calls for distilled water. If you get frequent mineral deposits, it might be because you are using tap water.

If you use spray starch, it will stick to the soleplate of the iron and need cleaning. The best way to clean it is to make a paste of baking soda and water and then brush the soleplate with an old clean tooth brush. If it isn't coming clean, then apply it again and scrub firmly. Cleaning it regularly will prevent the stuck on spray starch rubbing off on clothing when you are ironing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Favorites

Sweet Paul's Fabulous Fall eMagazine - I just think it is a pretty magazine with some good recipes and ideas

Homemade Chai - with cooler season coming upon us I am this sounds good

Slipcover Headboard - easy way to change things up

How to connect your computer to your TV - This website has articles on this and many more tech related how-to's

Pie Crust 101 by Smitten Kitchen - also 102 and 103 - This is something I haven't been able to master I am hoping by reading these that it will help me on this quest

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eco Tip

Recycle foam or cardboard egg cartons and use them as buffers in packages. You can cut them to size easily, save money and be green by recycling.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Favorites

12 Steps to Eating Real Food - Just some basic steps to start eating real foods instead of processed or refined. I started to do this a few years ago and then slipped off the wagon and started buying refined again and that bothers me but reality - it came down to price. But I would love to start going back to more real foods and this is a good basic guide.

Mingling is the Word - 5 mingling tips to help when entertaining (beware the font is really small - might be easier to highlight and cut and paste into a notepad or word doc to blow up the font) - With gardening coming to an end for many this might be useful for getting rid of some of your extras - trade with others.

Giant Ginger Cookies - With all the talk of fall I have seen in the blogosphere when I came upon these cookies they screamed fall to me. They look so yummy!

Responsible Resale Rehab - basically an article on finding furniture at thrift stores or garage sales and what to do to clean them (greenly) and repair them

NOTE FROM YOUR HOSTESS: I apologize for the lack of posts this summer. I feel that with autumn coming - it is my favorite time of year and I nest. So I have started several posts for back to basics series and other tips as well as recipes and book reviews.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Favorites

DIY Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant - I admit it sometimes I become obsessed about germs - just like I am obsessed with natural products so these recipes I can't wait to make.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting - with fall right around the corner I imagine this recipe being good on many cupcake recipes

Organic Processing Industry Structure - I just thought this was an interesting read on who owns which organic brands. Many I didn't realize were owned by big names in the processed food industry.

Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette - I absolutely love old household books. And this is one I am sure I would never get to read if it weren't online

10 Tips to Remember when Purchasing Appliances - some good reminders when buying appliances. Last year we had our stove go out right around the holidays and had to buy very quickly and there were a few things I wish I would have asked family and friends about before it was bought

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Favorites

September is National Rice Month. Who knew!! I know until recently I had no idea there was such a thing as National Rice Month. But in keeping with that concept, here is this week's Friday Favorites:

National Rice Month
This link is about boosting your health by eating more rice.

How to clean your coffee pot with the use of rice
I never had any idea that one of the ways to clean your coffee pot was using white rice. I found this article and "how to" to be very interesting.

Save your cellphone from water damage Use rice to absorb moisture and perhaps save you from having to replace your cell phone from water damage.

Rice Massage Therapy A short video on how to use rice in massage therapy.

Cooking the perfect cup of rice Often times people have told me in the past that they aren't able to cook rice well. Either it is too crunchy, or too mushy, or too pastey. Alot of that has to also do with the type of rice you are attempting to cook, but here is a quick "how to" on cooking rice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Linguine with Peppery Beef Strips

I have a few of those recipe cards that you get in the mail. They send them in hopes that you will agree to a monthly subscription of them. I will at times save some of them. This recipe is one I saved and made this week.

1 lb lean beef steak
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp coarsely ground pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch*
8 oz linguine
1 cup julienned carrots

Slice steak into 1 4-inch-thick slices. Mix oregano, basil, pepper, olive oil, garlic and green onions in a shallow dish. Add steak; toss to coat. Heat water for pasta. Dissolve cornstarch in broth. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak; stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Remove steak. Stir broth mixture into skillet. Boil, stirring continually, for about 1 minute. Return steak to skillet. Add carrots; cook for 5 minutes. Drain pasta and add to skillet; toss with steak and vegetables. Serve immediately. Servings: 6

* The recipe card left off cornstarch on the ingredients list but not in the directions so I just did a guess on the amount. And it seemed to work good.

- I was out of green onions so I just used some finely grated onion
- I used Top Round Steak - thinly cut
- Added some left over red and orange bell peppers maybe 1/2 of one all together
- Added some red pepper flakes to give it some heat

We liked it and it is something that we would like to have again but I think I would add a little more broth and cornstarch. It soaked in to the pasta quickly. But otherwise it was good. It was a nice change of flavors from traditional stir fry.



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