Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Bath Salts

I do the holiday (and birthday for that matter) gift making around here.  Generally speaking, I do gift baskets with lots of little things tucked inside.  This year, I'm including some of these fun bath salts.  They're quick, easy, and inexpensive but make a fun gift.

Sweet & Spicy Bath Salts

1 Cup Salt (any kind will work: Table, Sea, Epsom, etc.)
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves

Whisk everything together and pour into jars or bags for gift giving.  Add a nice label and instructions to use 2 Tablespoons per bath.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

The guest post yesterday for Vegetable Cheese Quiche was made for a lunch when visited. I asked if I could bring something and my friend requested a salad.  I thought with quiche a salad of spring mixed greens with thinly sliced/chopped onions, feta cheese and seedless grapes would be good. I would have added a nut such as walnut or pine nuts but Master doesn't like nuts.  And the salad was fine without them.  Served a dijon mustard vinaigrette on top. I based it off of a recipe on Epicurious.  

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of sugar

  • I put all ingredients in a bottle and shake until well mixed.  But you can also put in a blender or food processor to mix.  It can be made 3 days ahead. Just mix well before adding to the salad.  

    please click on the title of the post and then click on the print button

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Vegetable Cheese Quiche

    Guest post by a good friend, wench. Her and her Sir had Master and I over for lunch and she served this delicious quiche.  

    Vegetable Cheese Quiche by Wench

    One of my passions is cookbooks.  I truly believe that you can never have too many.  About three years ago, I discover  Not only will they send you recipes daily, you can just spend hours online just looking at that their goodies.

    This recipe came from my searching for a light lunch to serve some very special guests.  But because quiche can be fickle, I didn’t want to experiment on our friends.   This is the third quiche that I made in ten days.   The first one was awful.  The second one was good but just needed a few changes. As you can see, #3 was my lucky number, because there wasn’t much left so it must have been good. 

    I am very lucky that my Sir will eat just about anything.  I do know never to put liver or whole wheat pasta in front of him.  My family teases me all the time because we rarely eat the same thing twice unless Sir requests it.

    Don’t let the word quiche scare you like it did me.  Just follow the steps and enjoy.


    Preheat oven to 400*

    1 - 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1 cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/3 cup melted butter

    In a bowl mix the cheddar cheese, flour, salt, and mustard.  Mix in the butter, until evenly moist.  Press into the bottom and sides of 9” pie pan.

    1 – 1/2 Tablespoon oleo*
    1 – 1/2 cups of broccoli, chopped … steamed
    Chopped onion
    8 oz fresh mushrooms – sliced
    2 – 1/2 Tablespoons flour
    1 – 1/3 cup half and half
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    4 eggs – beaten

    Melt oleo in skillet over medium heat, and sauté the onion and mushrooms until tender.  Stir in flour, half and half, salt, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

    Remove from heat and add broccoli.

    Gradually stir in eggs.   Transfer to pie crust.

    Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven.  Reduce to 375* and continue baking 20 minutes, until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

    *oleo is another name for butter or margarine. 

    All that was left of our lunch
     Find wench at FetLife or Livejournal.

    Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly
    click on the title of the post and then click on the print button

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Apps for Domestic Service Part 2

    These are apps I have read about or heard good things about. But I don't have any of them as of yet. That might change over the next few days. 

    Pocket Informantpowerful Calendar, Notes, Contacts, Task functions to your device (iPhone, iPad, blackberry and android). It is capable of  creating events, has task grouping, GTD/Franklin Covey style tasks, Google, Toodledo, and Desktop sync. 

    Saving Money 
    Mint  -  It has easy budgeting, timely alerts, helpful graphs, investment tracking, help to achieve goals, bill reminders,  and ways to find savings

    Grocery Pal - Find sales your local grocery and discount stores. 

    Apples2Oranges - lets you compare two prices, even when the item sizes are different. Also does calorie count.

    Spark People - Food and fitness tracker as well as healthy recipes

    Betty Crocker Cookbook 2,500 tried-and-true recipes at your fingertips

    Cooks Illustrated50 of Cook’s Illustrated's all-time best recipes, along with a collection of popular and practical supermarket ingredient reviews, recipe videos, and kitchen timer and shopping list features

    How to Cook Everything/How to Cook Everything Vegetarian - "Thousands of recipes and variations; how-to illustrations; menu ideas; and Mark Bittman’s straightforward cooking advice for simple good food. App-only features include recipe timers, easy-to-use shopping lists, and Favorites folders. Best of all, each app is self-contained, so no network connection is required, making these apps the ultimate on-the-go kitchen companions."

    Smoothies - dairy free - 100% vegan smoothie recipes

    21 Day Vegan Kick Start -  recipes and resources to improve and regain your health and includes step-by-step recipe photos.

    FoodGawking - has food porn and then links to the recipe/resource.  Go to the bottom of the page and you will see the link for download on iPhone

    Fooducate  - You scan the barcode and it will tell you what is actually in the product (basically telling you things you don't understand on the label) and then it will also give you healthier choices. 

    iGrowit - it is for the USA and UK. Find out what vegetables you can plant right now, follow detailed growing instructions that will take you from preparation and planting all the way  through to picking and eating your home-grown vegetables, and recipes to use those vegetables in

    Green Genie -  Over 100 projects and tips (and growing), sharing strategies and info with others, a breakdown of certified green products, full glossary of green terms, a collection of essential reading, links to the best green websites, an explanation of the different kinds of plastics and their recyclability, alist of green organizations and many other features

    Around the House
    Remodelista - search files of the sourcebook of products and posts, my Design files bookmarking feature, ability to look at posts in categories. 

    Dwell - Modern architecture and design 

    Selecting Wines for Dummies Articles on popular wine topics, favorites wine list, sharing wines with your friends, sound clip for pronunciation, food and wine pairing tool and several other features. 

    DwellGawking - like FoodGawking but for dwellings

    CraftGawking - again like FoodGawking but for crafts

    Tip Junkie - Great website has a free app that looks good too. You can “Heart” your favorite tutorials from ALL of the Tip Junkie sites to “bookmark” them for easy access later, participate in the Tip Junkie Community

    SixThreeFive also left a comment on the last post of her favorite Android apps but I noticed a few of these have links to other devices. 

    Chore Checklist - helps me have a checklist of daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly chores. 

    Our groceries - Lets you share and create multiple grocery and other to-buy lists. Just sync your phone and you won't need to call home to see if you need milk. 

    ShapeUpClub - Logs my excercise and calories. 

    Easy Money - keeps track of your credit and debit cards, as well as your walled and change. You just have to remember to use it... Has bill reminders, budgets, and other things as well.

    House Maintanence Schedule - I don't personally use this, we live in an apartment, but it helps you remember to clean your waterheater, you vents, and other seasonal chores. 

    Chore Master Pro - Allows family members to gain points for doing chores. We don't use this one, but if we had children old enough, I think I would.

    FetLife Domestic Servitude group had a good thread on this subject too so please check it out for some members favorite apps. 

    Just a few other links you might find some good apps...
    From AppGuide - Best Chore Management Apps
    50 Best Android Apps from PCWorld
    Gizmodo The Best Android Apps

    Please share in the comments your favorite apps that help you in your service. 

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Friday Favorites

    5 Tips for Green Furniture Refinshing
    Food Swap - this link highlights a food swap that was going on in Portland but what I am really linking it for is the links at the end for those who would like to organize or now after reading about them will try to find local food swaps
    Best Comfort foods for Winter by Treehugger - just some scrumptious looking food/recipes.
    3-Tiered Stand - with the holidays coming up and entertaining I can see this being in use a lot
    Custom Cabinet Knobs - I just like the look of these knobs and they are much less expensive then having to buy any other kind of knob.  As someone who has 46 knobs in the kitchen, I am always trying to find a less expensive way to replace them all.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Apps to Help your Domestic Service

    We are geeks in this household so we utilize our smartphone and iPad to help with day to day life . 

    All the apps are either linked to their website which has a link to the app or the iTunes store.  But please google the name if you want to see it has an app for other devices such as Blackberry or Android.  We use a AppAdvice to get most of our apps for free (this is geared to iPhone and iPad but again google for name of app for use on other devices.) Things that normally charge will do free for limited time so please bookmark this site as a resources to find apps.  They also have an AppAdvice app - which is how we actually use/read it and I find it is worth price. But view the website not just the above link but the whole website for a while and see what you think.   

    For a to-do list/task list organizer - Toodledo - it is a great tool. It has customizable alarms, you can set priority levels on them and break the projects down into tasks, you can share with others, it has folders, tags, contexts, subtasks and more to organize, search and sort through your tasks. It also syncs with Google calendar and gmail. 

    Skygrid - basically really powerful newsfeed. If you are needing to find something out on the web and having problems, put that topic in and it will take some time - usually a day and start pulling in everything it finds on the topic. It is really good to if you don't have time right now but let it pull stuff in and then when you are sitting in a doctors office or have 10 mins you can browse through the things it found on the topic you were needing.

    Dropbox - sharing files anywhere. It has been an amazing tool for us for business but we use it when we sit just with a wall between Master and my office because it is so easy to use it for sharing files. You just drop and drag to a folder that is on your computer and it will upload it to be shared with those you specify.  There is a little pop-up notification on the toolbox when someone has shared something with me. You then will also be able to access it anywhere because it is saved up in the cloud. So I can save a list of household needs and measurements and when out and about, I can access it.

    Evernote - Take a note of anything. I like it because I can save websites, news articles and things I know might not be there at some point but evernote will save it for me forever as long as I want it. I can then access it anywhere. So if I read a great article online about wine, I save to evernote and when shopping for wine pull it up up on evernote.

    HowCast - videos on How-To.  How to do almost anything.

    Free Wi-Fi Finder - just what says

    Remember that many magazines will give you issues via their app for free if you have a (paper) subscription to them. I have Martha Stewart's Living and Everyday Food and love the issues on the apps as they have extras like videos or more photos.  It is nice to read the recipe right on the iPad instead of trying to keep my magazine open on the counter or ripping it out.

    Saving Money has an app that we use all the time to find the cheapest gas. The other night Master saved 14 cents a gallon not traveling very far down the road to get it either.

    The Coupon App- pretty much says it in the title what it is huh? :)

    Barcode Scanner - it is for the Andriod but Gizmodo has a list of barcode scanners for other devices too. You can scan barcodes or data matrixs and then the app will find you the lowest price. 

    Menu Planning/Shopping Lists - Not only a great website but has an app too so you can access everything you have on  Pepper Plate has a place to store recipes easily from their recommended sites as well as other sites. You can create shopping lists, menus and it also has a planner.  From the home page - it looks like the app allows you to set timers and has a feature so your iPad won't dim when you are using to read a recipe while cooking.   I have been only using it for a couple weeks but love everything I have used it for so far - and just love the interface.

    GroceryIQ & NutritionIQ  - Grocery IQ is a great app for creating shopping lists. You can have multiple stores, add details such as size, price and quantity, organize by aisle, has barcode scanning and predictive searches, print or email coupons and it can share with multiple devices and syncs the lists to them so if maybe you went shopping that day and then later one after work another member of your household stops by grocery store and they will be able to see an updated list.  Nutrition IQ isn't as powerful as Grocery IQ but gives you categories of food - nutritious foods and you can click on a category such as fiber and it will list all nutritious foods with fiber. You can then add them to a shopping list and it has the ability to check them off as you shop just as Grocery IQ does. 

    Around the House
    Handyman App - it is from the magazine The Family Handyman.  It has some old issues to flip through on it but if you want current issues you have to pay for them. The old issues they have available are full of great information though. You can read the forums and blog on the app too.  The forums are full of problems and solutions.

    Good Housekeeping @ Home - has stain buster, do-it-all cleaning tips, home decor gallery and news & tips.

    ColorSmart by Behr - it has a feature if you use with iPad2 or phones with cameras - where you can take a photo of your room and then upload it  so that change the paint  so you can see how it would look. ColorSnap is the Sherwin-Williams app that is like Behr. SnapShop is a similar app but for furniture. 

    Houzz - is basically for inspiration when I want to redecorate or when I start thinking of our dream home and want more ideas. But it is just a gallery of photos that you can save and make notes on each photo for future reference or also upload photos you find inspiring. I think this app is only for iPhone or iPad.

    Flashlight - I admit it - I have used the iPad for a flashlight before trying to find my way around in the dark. It casts off more light then the little maglite I have in the junk drawer. 

    I use the Epicurious app quite a bit when needing a recipe or have an ingredient I want to use - I can a search there.

    Soup Master - I got this app for free but it has so many recipes that I do feel it is probably worth the $1.99. It will list like 5 chicken noodle recipes but all are a little bit different.  But the variety of recipes is beyond what I could ever think of for soup.

    Whole Food Recipes -  It has categories such as bugget, quick and easy, cooking with kids, you can target special diet needs such as gluten-free, diary-free, lowfat, vegetarian/vegan and so on,  and you can also search by ingredient, build a shopping list from the recipes. 

    All Recipes - they have a free version and a paid/pro version that doesn't have ads and has just a few more features. I use the free version and have liked it just fine.   But I can see the paid version might have some benefits if you use All Recipes quite a bit.  Because it will access your recipe box, allow you to create shopping lists from the recipes and just a few more features that you can't get with the free version. But the free version allows you access to all the recipes, doing search by 1 ingredient or up to 8, by nutrition or name. It also allows you to bookmark favorites on the app. 

    Big Oven - can search 170,000+ recipes, add recipes to grocery lists, and automatically synchronize those grocery lists, search by ingredient

    Pocket Cocktails and Cocktails HD - It is an app for iPhone/iPad. It has recipes for cocktails. They now have their Christmas cocktail section up right now and during Halloween they had some really good cocktails that were great way to celebrate the holiday.  They have a full screen photo for every drink, search by drink name or an ingredient.  Also includes a Pocket Sommelier.  There is a list of tips and tricks such as how to coat a rim of a glass, how to make layer drinks, zest fruit and so on. Even though I have an iPad I use Pocket Cocktails as Cocktails HD hadn't come out when I first got Pocket Cocktails. They are both 99 cents so not bad for all recipes and information it gives you.

    Good Guide -  find health, environmental and social performance ratings for 120,000 food, personal care and household products,  has barcode scanning built in to retrieve product ratings while you shop, you can personalize by selecting issues you care the most about such as is a product tested on animals if that is a top priority for you - you can select that to make sure it tells you how that product rates in that area. It also allows you to create shopping lists. 

    Locavore - find local, in-season food, seasonal recipes, nearby farmers' markets & farms that sell the products you enjoy. 

    iRecycle - tells you how, where and when to recycle just about anything by inputting your location and also shares new with tips and ways to make green changes to your life.  Another app that I think is similar is My Recycle List.

    Part 2 of this will be apps that I haven't used but heard good things about and a few other resource lists for finding applications. 

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Homemade Toilet Cleaner

    Everyone likes a clean toilet and nice smelling bathroom, right?  I certainly do and this has become one of my favorite ways to achieve both.

    Lemon-Pine Toilet Cleaner

    1 Cup Boiling Water
    1 Cup Borax
    1 Cup Vinegar
    10 drops Pine Essential Oil
    10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

    Mix together the boiling water and borax until the borax dissolves.  Add the vinegar and essential oils, stirring well.  Dump the whole thing into your toilet and let it sit (overnight is fine).  Scrub with your brush and flush.  It'll leave the bowl clean and if you have hard water the vinegar helps get rid of that calcium build up and the whole bathroom will smell nice but not overly harsh.

    You could easily switch up the essential oils to scents you enjoy more.  If you used some grapefruit seed oil, it has some antibacterial properties, too.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Just a quick note

    I haven't forgotten about Tuesday's Tips, but due to a lack of tips coming in, I'm taking a bit of time off to accumulate some tips to post!


    Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin