Saturday, September 29, 2012

It is time for...Fall Cleaning

I love fall cleaning almost more then spring cleaning. I think it is because I just love that chill that starts hitting the air. Nesting kicks into high gear for, cooking, and doing crafts and decorating in prep for the holidays. So this weekend, I have been making lists,  going over things to make sure I have supplies on hand and mapping out my schedule.

Fall Cleaning Lists - Download and Print:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Favorites

Shorten Jeans and Keep the original hem - This is a fabulous way to keep the original hem on pants or jeans but still make alterations to them.

Use a Golf Tee to Fix a Door Hinge  - how to fix that wiggle door when the screw has been stripped and left with a hole that won't hold anything

10 Simple Things to Make You Happier at Home  - nice list of simple things

Learn to Sew - an eight part series on learning to sew

Heirloom Tomato Pizza - from Martha Stewart

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favorites

Warm Black Bean Dip - with football season here having an afternoon snack with the game is a must so this recipe looks pretty good for that

Free Wash Cloth Patterns - knitted wash clothes - I know both the crocheted and knitted washcloths I have received as gifts are some of my favorite wash clothes.

Storage Boxes - she just covered ordinary boxes in jute to make cute storage boxes (she has another photo of them here)

10 Recipes using Ground Beef - we always seem to have some ground beef or turkey in the freezer so having some recipes to refer to is always a good idea when in a pinch and needing a meal. These might help you find some go-to dishes and it looks like none of them use a cream of something soup...which although very convenient is a nice change.

How to Paint a Door like a Pro - Our front door is in desperate need of painting. The sun hits it all year around - and heats it up and creates sun spots which eventually lead to cracking in the paint and then flaking. I can't hang a wreath on our front door or anything really because it melts it not matter what it is made out of it something always melts on it - glue or other materials it is made out of so the sun is not my friend for the front door. So really needing that how-to as it is that time to paint the door.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crab Rangoon

When I was growing up, I was the only odd ball in my family to not like Chinese food. My family would go to a Chinese restaurants and I would have to find something to eat. One thing I liked was Crab Rangoon. Over the years Chinese food is my go-to food as I love it almost as much as chocolate. 

I started making crab rangoons was because I wanted to make something for a party. I have served these at all sorts of parties as well as when I entertain at the holidays. I have made them for Thanksgiving as an appetizer even though they don't really go with the Thanksgiving food theme, but they were a nice change that people seemed to enjoy.  

Crab rangoons is time consuming because you are filling each little pocket of crabby cream cheesy goodness. But the end results are always worth it. I fold my differently then you will normally see, because I have found that the filling doesn't come out as much folding it half  to form a triangle. I have tried to make the ones that are baked before, but never had luck with them working. But that was before I switched how I fold them/seal them - now in the triangle. So I should try that sometime, but for now my go-to recipe for Crab Rangoon....

Crab Rangoon

8 ounces of cream cheese (softened - at room temperature)
1 cup flaked imitation crab meat (or fresh)
3 green onions (minced)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package won ton wrappers
water (for sealing edges)
oil (for frying)

*  In a bowl combine the cream the cream cheese, sugar, soy sauce, green onions and garlic powder. Stir in the crab meat. (Make sure the crab is flaked and/or chopped into small pieces - although when mixing it in it will start to flake apart more and that is works even better)

* Lay out a won ton wrapper so it forms a diamond shape and place 1 teaspoon of filling just below the center of each wrapper.

* Moisten edges with water and fold over the edges of the wrapper to make a triangle. Press to seal with either your fingers or a fork.

* Cover the completed Crab Rangoon with a damp towel or paper towel to keep them from drying out while preparing the remainder. If they dry out before cooking, they tend to break their seal when frying. 

* Heat deep pan or a wok with oil for deep-frying. When oil is hot (360 - 375 degrees),carefully place the Crab Rangoon into the oil in the pan. Do not to overcrowd the pan or they will stick together. Deep-fry until they are golden, about 3 minutes, turn once during cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve hot with Sweet and Sour Sauce or Chinese Hot Mustard.

* I always just use water for sealing my won tons, but if you are having problems with them sealing you can use an egg wash

* Each batch that is done, I put on a cookie sheet in the oven on low to keep warm before serving. But they are good room temperature if you have to transport to a party. 

* I have frozen fried Crab Rangoon and then reheated in oven so they retrain their crisp exterior. 

* If you have any left over crab rangoon cream cheese mixture - which I do sometimes and other times I don't even though it is the same recipe - I will heat the crab mixture in an oven safe bowl and use as a dip with some pita chips. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan

About a month ago I posted a tip on dusting the ceiling fan, but today I am going to actually write about cleaning the ceiling fan that uses the same technique with the pillowcase, but takes it one step further when the blades are really needing to be cleaned not just dusted.

When you have blades that are dusty and just holding on to dirt, it can send all that flying when you turn on the blades.  That means allergies can be kicked up and as if we don't have enough allergens in a normal house and seasonal living.

I like to actually clean not just dust the ceiling fan during my seasonal cleaning. And soon I will be throwing myself into my fall cleaning routine so thought I would share how I clean the ceiling fan during my seasonal cleaning.

Old Pillowcase
Extra cleaning cloth such as a microfiber cloth
Spray bottle with water and vinegar
Optional: Drop cloth

1. If you want for extra protection, place down drop clothes over furniture and under the area of the ceiling fan.  I often don't do this often, because I use the nifty pillow case trick, but also I start my cleaning a room by cleaning the ceiling fan so any dust and dirt that falls from it will be cleaned up during the rest of my normal cleaning.

2. Take a spray bottle and fill it with warm water and 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar. Spray the inside of the of the pillowcase with the mixture.

3. Standing on a ladder, slip the pillowcase over a blade and pull it back and forth to clean the blade.

4. You will notice dirt on the inside of the pillowcase as you take it off and move to the next blade. Spritz a clean part of the pillowcase and slip it over the blade and pull it back and forth like you did on the first blade. Continue doing this with each blade.

5. Take your cleaning cloth and clean the light fixture, base of the fan and any residual dirt and grime on the blades.

6. Take the pillowcase outside and shake out the dust and dirt and then launder.

If you have a ceiling fan that is very high, I don't recommend climbing on a ladder to clean it. If it is over 12 feet from the ground, I would get an actual ceiling fan duster from your local hardware store. They even have extensions to buy if you need to to go even longer.


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