May 30, 2011


I love this article because this was my Mom when I was a kid we never had pork unless it was bacon, or ham. My Mom was scared to cook with it, and never would. Still today she won't. That trend continued with me because I rarely cook it myself. 


If you're one of those pork connoisseurs who prefers your chop or tenderloin to be pink in the middle, rest assured: As of Tuesday, the USDA says you're in the clear as far as food-borne illness is concerned.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has lowered its temperature recommendation for cooking pork to 145 degrees -- down from 160. (This means that pork will be held to the same standard as beef, veal, and lamb.) Moreover, it is recommended to let the pork rest for three minutes after removing it from the grill or oven; the temp will continue to rise slightly while killing any remaining pathogens.
Of course, there's an inherent irony in the fact that the USDA is lowering pork's minimum temperature ...
It's that professional chefs have been cooking pork this way FOR YEARS! Now home cooks and backyard barbecuers can finally catch up to the restaurant standard without worry. But the question is: Will they?
The USDA's longstanding 160 degrees recommendation is so ingrained in our minds, it may be difficult for some to adjust to the new temp, explains Rob Weland, a chef at an upscale restaurant in Washington:
People have been taught this for generations and it's going to take a long time to get this removed ... It will be good for the next generation not to be so fearful so they can enjoy pork in a way they may not have been able to in the past.
Pork producers have been lobbying the USDA for years to lower the recommendation, arguing that improved feed and housing methods -- namely, moving hogs into bird- and rodent-proof buildings -- reduced the risk of pathogens and disease. From the consumer point of view, it's surprising to learn they were successful this time around given all the recent horror stories in the media about how factory farms are harmful to animals, the environment, and most important, the public.
But if there's nothing worse to you than a piece of overcooked pork, news about the lower temp recommendation will surely make your day. Bring on the pink pork!
What temperature do you cook your pork to?
Image via VirtualErn/Flickr
Written by Kim Conte for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.


May 24, 2011



With summer steadily approaching soon the kids will be out of school. If your kids are anything like I was they will be bored by the first day of summer. The princess loves crafts and I have no doubt she will love this one. Check it out Elmer’s has come up with a great idea!





Appropriate For: Every Day


Supplies Neededs:
  • Elmer's® Foam Board™, White, 20" x 30" x 1/2"
  • Elmer's® CraftBond™ Extra Strength Glue Stick
  • Elmer's® CraftBond™ Ultra Stix All®, Clear
  • X-ACTO® #1 Craft Knife* with extra blades
  • 12" x 12" scrapbook paper, (2) pink print; (1) orange print, (1) green polka dot
  • 4 1/2" diameter clay pot
  • Pink and yellow paper shreds
  • 2 5/8" x 3 3/4" cylinder floral foam
  • 12" length of 5/16" diameter wood dowel
  • (15) 3/8” – 1 1/2” buttons of coordinated colors
  • 24" length of 1/2' orange plaid ribbon
  • 32" length of 3/8" pink stitched ribbon
  • (8) 3/4" brass cup hooks
  • Cutting mat
  • Old newspapers
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • * An adult should use X-ACTO® Craft Knife
Instructions

  1. Use pencil to draw your own flowers or trace patterns onto Elmer's® Foam Board™. Ask an adult to use X-ACTO® #1 Craft Knife (with new blade) and cutting mat to cut out Foam Board™ flowers. (Hint: Score lightly first and then press more firmly to cut deeper, with several passes of the knife. Replace blades often.) 
  2. To cover large flower, apply Elmer's CraftBond™ Extra Strength Glue Stick to front of flower and attach pink paper. Turn over flower and ask an adult to use X-ACTO® Knife and cutting mat to trim excess paper, even with flower edges. Repeat process to cover small flower with orange paper.    (Optional: Repeat process to cover backs of flowers.)
  3. Use Glue Stick to attach pink or orange ribbon to same-color flower edges, trimming excess with scissors. Apply Glue Stick to back of small flower and position on center of large flower. Use Elmer's® CraftBond™ Ultra Stix All® to layer a 1” button onto a 1 ½” button and glue to center of small flower.
  4. Cut 1/2" x 12" strip from green polka dot. Apply Glue Stick and wrap around rim of pot, overlapping ends at back. Trim excess. On front of pot, use Ultra Stix All® to randomly attach buttons, layering as desired
  5. Place floral foam in pot using Ultra Stix All® to secure. For flower stem, use point of scissors to make starter hold in bottom edge of flower. Push dowel into flower and other end into floral foam. Cover floral foam with paper shreds.
  6. Plan placement of cup hooks on five outside flower petals and tree o inside flower. Gently push point of cup hook into Foam Board™ to start and then gently twist into foam. (Note: If loose, remove, apply a dot of Ultra Stix All™ to cup hook and re-insert.)



This was a really great recipe that everyone enjoyed. We like making sliders just because they are fun and easy to handle. This recipe is what I would call a kicked up slider. It’s very tasty and easy to make. I love the red onions on these burgers, and I especially love the sauce. Since making this recipe I use the sauce on a lot of things like sandwiches and even on crackers with ham.

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 to 15 small potato rolls, split in 1/2
  • Mustard sauce, recipe follows



Directions:
1.      Preheat a flat top grill pan to high heat.
2.     Add sliced onion to grill pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
3.     In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, onion powder, salt and freshly ground pepper. Make burgers equal in size, about 2-inches across.
4.     Cook burgers on the flat top for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve on split rolls with grilled onions and mustard sauce. 


Mustard Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mustard Sauce Directions:


1.      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2.     Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl


Check Out Our Online Recipe Book: www.CafeChatterbox.com

by Real Simple Magazine, on Thu May 19, 2011 6:29am PDT

By Sarah Stebbins

Clothing and Outerwear

Button-Down Shirts.

Unbutton the shirt.
Unfasten all buttons, including the tiny ones at the collar, before laundering. Otherwise, the agitation in the machine and the weight of other garments may cause buttonholes to tear.
See More: Surprising Cleaning New Uses


Apply a stain remover. It's a good idea to pretreat collars every time you wash them. "Once stains from body oils build up, they are very difficult to remove," says Chris Allsbrooks, a textile analyst at the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, in Laurel, Maryland. Use a stain remover or spot-clean with a mixture of water and liquid detergent. Pour it over the area, then rub with a soft toothbrush. It's especially important to spot-clean permanent-press shirts and other items that have been treated with resins so they retain their shape, because these fabrics tend to hold soiling.
See More: Laundry New Uses for Old Things


Use the permanent-press setting. Wash permanent-press shirts with all-purpose detergent on the permanent-press setting, which is gentler than the regular one, uses warm or hot water, and has a long cool-down rinse to further minimize wrinkling. Opt for the dryer's permanent-press feature, which has a cool-down period at the end. Wash non-permanent-press shirts on the regular cycle in cold or warm water.
See More: Organizing New Uses for Old Things


Sweaters

Wash cotton blends on gentle.
Many knits made of cotton, synthetics, or blends can be machine-washed in cold or warm water on the gentle cycle with all-purpose or mild detergent. To combat wrinkles and stiffness, dry items on low for 5 to 10 minutes before laying them flat on a mesh sweater rack or a towel.

Use a zippered pillowcase for delicates.
Place a wool, cashmere, or fine cotton sweater in a zippered pillowcase; wash on the delicate cycle with cold water and lay flat to dry.

Test silk sweaters for colorfastness. Delicate knits, like crochet and silk, are a different story: Dry-clean these, or test for colorfastness (to see if the color will bleed, place a dab of detergent on a dip a cotton swab in detergent and hold it on the fabric for two minutes) and hand-wash in cold water with mild detergent. Some knits may stretch out; reshape after washing and lay flat to dry.
See More: How to Speed Clean Your Kitchen

Socks


Never lose a sock again. One of the most frustrating aspects of doing laundry is the number of socks that suspiciously go missing. Forget putting out an APB: Simply pin each pair together before throwing it in the machine. No sorting, no matching necessary afterward.
See More: Quick Cleaning Solutions for Every Room

Jeans

Wash jeans in cold water.
Most denim is top-dyed, meaning only the surface of the fibers is colored. To keep jeans from fading or acquiring white streaks, wash in small loads in cold water (with more water than clothes) with all-purpose detergent. This cuts down on abrasion, says Allsbrooks.

Stretch the legs to prevent shrinkage.
"It's common for jeans to shrink in length" when washed, says Steve Boorstein, author of The Clothing Doctor's 99 Secrets to Clothing Care (Fashion Media Group, $5, amazon.com). Hold them by the waistband and legs and gently stretch them vertically before drying. Dry on low or medium heat; overdrying causes unnecessary wear and tear, so take jeans out when the legs are done but the seams and the waistband are slightly damp.

See More: The Worst Cleaning Jobs Made Easy

Hats and Gloves

Wash knit hats and gloves like sweaters.
Follow the same instructions based on different fabric types. Cotton blends can be machine-washed cold on delicates, wool and cashmere on the delicate cycle with cold water, and so on.

Spot-clean structured hats.
Newsboy and baseball caps could become misshapen so its best to keep them out of the washing machine.

Hand-wash leather-trimmed gloves.
You can hand-wash gloves with small sections of leather if the leather is the same color as the knit; otherwise bleeding may be a problem. To dry, insert the handle of a wooden spoon in one finger and set the spoon end in a vase. This will help the glove retain its shape. 

See More: How to Solve 19 Kitchen Cleanup Conundrums
Down and Polyester Coats

Wash adult coats in warm water.
You can wash down coats in front-loading machines with a mild powder detergent and warm water on the gentle cycle. (If you have a top-loader, take these coats to a dry cleaner; most top-loaders have agitators that can compress and displace down filling and prevent pieces from tumbling freely.)

Use towels for speed drying.
Smaller items, like children's jackets, whether filled with down or polyester, can go in a front- or top-loader on the gentle cycle; tumble dry on low. Put a few clean, dry towels in the dryer to help soak excess moisture and speed drying.

Read the Rest: How to Do Laundry

May 21, 2011


by The Editors of Prevention, on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:29am PST

Protein is a dieter’s best friend. It is an essential ingredient for losing weight and keeping it off because it’s a potent calorie burner that plays a role in nearly every body function, from building shapely biceps to regulating sleep and boosting immunity.

High-protein foods take more work to chew and longer to leave your stomach, so you take more time eating (and have more time to register that you’re full). They also slow down the release of carbs and fat into your bloodstream. You feel full sooner and stay satisfied longer.
Thing is, eating a steak or a piece of chicken in your car or at your desk at work isn’t always realistic, so most of the foods we choose for single-fisted consumption are highly processed and lacking in this essential nutrient. Here are 6 grab-and-go proteins to take with you for a midday snack.

18 ways to simplify your diet for easy weight loss

1) Jerky: Jerky (beef or turkey) makes a great snack because it’s low in fat, lean and savory, and high in the chewiness factor (look for lower-sodium varieties if you’re concerned about the salt). You can find a wide variety of flavors, from teriyaki to barbecue. You can also find chicken and buffalo (and, in certain parts of the country, salmon) jerky. Jerky packs 10 g of protein and about 100 calories per ounce.
2) Roasted soy nuts: Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are great. But let’s face it: You can get burned out on the same nut mix. Try roasted soy nuts for a complete protein snack; for a little extra heat, try the wasabi-flavored ones. Each 1⁄4 cup provides 6 g of protein and 120 calories.
3) Cheese packs: Not just for kids’ lunch boxes, string cheese and other portioned cheeses such as The Laughing Cow Wedges or Mini Babybels are the perfect complements to an apple, pear, or bunch of grapes. These low-calorie protein packs  are satisfying enough to carry you through to your next meal.
Dig in! Get 15 low-calorie cheesy, gooey comfort food dishes

4) Protein bars: They are the perfect filling, portable snack to save you from a desperate trip to the vending machine or drive-thru. Pick up bars that are about 200 calories each, such as Luna Protein bars (170 to 190 calories, 12 g of protein) or Honey Stinger 10-gram protein bars (190 to 200 calories, 10 g of protein), to stash in your purse or work bag.
See 5 tasty crash-free energy bars

5) Hard-cooked eggs: Eggs really are one of nature’s most perfect portable foods. Packed with protein and antioxidants, they satisfy your hunger and improve your health. Try Eggland’s Best Hard-Cooked Peeled eggs for a no-muss, no-fuss snack or meal. Along with the usual protein punch, these edible orbs also deliver 10 times more vitamin E and two times more omega-3 fatty acids than other eggs.
Get 21 more delicious packaged food ideas for your shopping cart

6) Fat-free or low-fat milk: It’s the perfect pre- or postexercise snack. You can stock up on small containers of shelf-stable milk (such as Horizon’s 8-ounce cartons); they don’t even need to be refrigerated. Two cups deliver more than 16 g of high-quality, filling protein that will satisfy your hunger and help keep you hydrated. In one study, women who had 18 g of protein 20 minutes before strength-training torched almost 9% more calories at rest 24 hours later than if they didn’t drink the pre-workout milk.
Nosh better with one of these 14 healthy snacks that help drop pounds


Original Article

May 20, 2011

Paul John ScottDETAILS

You probably spend all of one second deciding what kind of milk to put in your coffee. What's to debate? If you want to keep the pounds off and avoid heart disease, choose skim. This is gospel, after all: It's recommended by the USDA and has so permeated our thinking that you can't even find reduced-fat (2%) milk at places like Subway—and forget about whole.

But is it true? Let's start with the question of what's fattening. Whole milk contains more calories and, obviously, more fat. A cup has 146 calories and almost 8 grams of fat, reduced-fat (2%) has 122 calories and almost 5 grams of fat, low-fat (1%) has 103 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, and nonfat (skim) has 83 calories and virtually no fat.

But when it comes to losing weight, restricting calories has a poor track record. Evidence gleaned from numerous scientific studies says that if you starve yourself for lunch, you typically compensate at dinner. And according to a 2007 report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, telling overweight and obese patients to cut calories led to only "transient" weight loss—it didn't stay off. The same goes for cutting saturated fat. In 2003, the Cochrane Collaboration, a respected source for unbiased reviews of research, compared low-fat diets with low-calorie diets and found that "fat-restricted diets are no better than calorie-restricted diets in achieving long-term weight loss." As Walt Willet of the Harvard School of Public Health wrote in the American Journal of Medicine, "Diets high in fat do not appear to be the primary cause of the high prevalence of excess body fat in our society, and reductions in fat will not be a solution."

Related: 5 Foods That Will Make You Look Younger

It's becoming widely accepted that fats actually curb your appetite, by triggering the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which causes fullness. Fats also slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, reducing the amount that can be stored as fat. In other words, the more fat in your milk, the less fat around your waist. Not only will low-fat milk fail to trim your gut, it might even make you fatter than if you were to drink whole, according to one large study. In 2005, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and other institutions studied the weight and milk consumption of 12,829 kids ages 9 to 14 from across the country. "Contrary to our hypothesis," they reported, "skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not."

But surely low-fat milk is better for your heart? We are often told to watch our consumption of dairy because it raises our bad cholesterol, the kind known as LDL. But LDL comes in at least four varieties, and only the smallest and densest of them are linked with heart disease. Dairy fat, it turns out, affects only the large, fluffy kind of LDL—the benign kind.

And here's a final thought: How would you feel if you opened a carton and poured a chalky, bluish-white liquid into your coffee? That's the color many nonfat milks are before powdered milk is added to whiten them—a process that brings its own problems. Any way you look at it, there's been a lot of whitewashing of skim milk's image.

See Also: The 14 Healthiest Snack Foods

THE SKINNY ON NONFAT MILK
To turn skim milk white, "some companies fortify their product with powdered skim," says Bob Roberts, a dairy scientist at Penn State. Powdered skim (which is also added to organic low-fat milks) is produced by spraying the liquid under heat and high pressure, a process that oxidizes the cholesterol. In animal studies, oxidized cholesterol triggers a host of biological changes, leading to plaque formation in the arteries and heart disease, Spanish researchers reported in 1996. "OCs are mutagenic and carcinogenic," they wrote. In 1998, Australian researchers studied rabbits fed OC and found that the animals "had a 64% increase in total aortic cholesterol" despite having less cholesterol in their blood than rabbits fed natural sources of the substance. (A 2008 Chinese study with hamsters confirmed these findings.) Roberts says the amount of OC created by adding powdered skim is "not very much," but until the effects on humans are known, it's impossible to say what's a safe level.

May 19, 2011



what you need
  • 1 pkg. (1.4 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Fajita Seasoning Mix
  • 1/3 cup  water
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 4 large  cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large  red onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) VELVEETA 2% Milk Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cans  (14.5 oz. each) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

make it
COMBINE seasoning mix and water in medium bowl. Add chicken; toss to evenly coat. Refrigerate 30 min.
COOK garlic and cilantro in large nonstick saucepan sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat 1 min. Stir in chicken mixture, onions and peppers; cook 10 min. or until chicken is done, stirring frequently.
ADD cream cheese, VELVEETA and broth; mix well. Cook on medium heat until cream cheese and VELVEETA are completely melted and chicken mixture is heated through, stirring occasionally.
TACO BELL® and HOME ORIGINALS® are trademarks owned and licensed by Taco Bell Corp.


Conde Nast Digital Studio
Conde Nast Digital Studio

I can honestly say I learned a lot from this article. I had no idea you shouldn't wash your chicken. I grew up being told to do half of these things. Koo-doos to the author!! -Nic


By Kemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

Let’s just admit it: Americans chow down on a lot of chicken—82.2 pounds per person in 2010 alone! So here are 10 things you should know about our favorite fowl, safety tips included.

For the best possible bird, DON’T:

1. Wash the Chicken

This may come as a shock to all of you who automatically rinse your poultry just before cooking. It certainly was for me. So what’s the big deal? Cross contamination! Rinsing your chicken is an ideal way to spew nasty pathogens all over your sink and the surrounding area. Rinsing never did get rid of pathogens anyway. Instead, try to get the meat onto the baking pan with as little contact as possible. Then wipe down your counter with hot soapy water or a mixture of hot water and 1 tablespoon liquid bleach.

2. Use an Old Plastic Cutting Board
There’s an ongoing controversy about the safety of wood versus plastic boards for cutting raw chicken. As it turns out, old plastic cutting boards must be run through a dishwasher to be sanitized. Wood boards, on the other hand, are equally clean after a hand washing.

Related: Is the Cupcake Trend Over Yet?

3. Forget to Wash Your Hands
You can’t be reminded often enough: Wash your hands well and scrub under your nails. Have you noticed that chefs and serious cooks don’t have long nails? And they tend not to wear jewelry, either. Both provide great hiding places for bacteria. That mysterious stomach bug you had could very well have been a case of food poisoning from your own kitchen.

4. Ignore the Magic Number
A lot of cooks still aren’t aware that the folks at the USDA dropped the recommended safe temperatures for all cooked poultry five years ago to 165°F. The good news is that this results in juicy, tender meat. (The old temperatures were 180°F for a whole roast bird tested in the thigh, or 170°F for a breast. Both often result in dry-as-cotton meat.)

5. Pull It Out When it Looks Done
The best way to know when your chicken has reached the magic number is an instant-read thermometer. “You really can’t tell by looking,” says Diane Van, Manager of the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, who suggests you may want to test your chicken in more than one spot. This is particularly important with a whole roast bird: Test both thighs and the thickest part of the breasts—some of the chickens these days sport boobs big enough to fill a double-D bra.

6. Pick Your Chicken from the Front of the Shelf
At the market, look for the most distant sell-by date. This means searching in the back of the stacks because the oldest chicken is usually stuck in front. Don’t be afraid to be a nuisance at the poultry case. (The re-stockers of the chicken shelves at my local market roll their eyes when they see me coming.)

See Also: ScarJo's A Carb Queen! 5 Things She Actually Eats

7. Let Your Chicken Hang Around
Cook your chicken within two days of buying it. Home fridges are warmer than the ones in stores (which can go as low as 26°F), and tend to be opened often. Keep it any longer and, even if the sell-by date is way in the future, you’ll probably end up tossing it once you open the package to that telltale, hold-your-nose, the-chicken’s-gone-off aroma. Out to the garbage it goes, leaving you scrambling to figure out something else for dinner. Sound familiar?

8. Throw Out the Scraps
Once this is ingrained into your routine, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start a long time ago. When you’ve got a decent pile of scraps, parts, skin, and bones, dump them in a pot and make a homemade chicken stock. I just can’t bear to spend money on something that’s not only easy to make but also tastes so much better than anything you can buy.

9. Trim All the Fats
The fat police want us to skim and snip every bit of fat from our meat and stocks, but chicken fat has some winning qualities. It is high in palmitoleic acid, which is thought to be an immune booster, and it can also be a source of oleic acid, which is a good thing for cholesterol.  Also, poultry fats are low in polyunsaturated fatty acids, making them more stable than other fats at higher heat.

10. Roast or Broil It
Isn’t crisp skin and tender, juicy meat what we most yearn for in chicken? But how to reach that double-whammy nirvana? High-heat roasting doesn’t always result in perfect skin, and broiling can dry out the meat. Here’s a chef tip: Pan-roast your chicken


I love spaghetti sauce, but I do not like it in the jar. I grew up on fresh homemade sauce, whereas my husband grew up on spaghetti sauce in a jar. I only buy in the jar when I can practically get it for free with coupons. I found this great article that gives you tips on how to “fancy up” spaghetti sauce in a jar! -Nic


Not many of us have time to make spaghetti sauce from scratch. Thankfully, there are many brands on the market that have a good flavor. However, if you want your sauce to taste more homemade, there are some things you can do. Best of all, you won't have to do a lot of work. After all, if you had time to do all the work, you'd have time to make your own sauce.
 

Saute Fresh Vegetables and Add Them to the Sauce
One of the best ways you can doctor up a bottle of store-bought spaghetti sauce is to add fresh sauteed vegetables. One of my favorites is sliced white mushrooms, which I saute in a bit of olive oil and add a bit of sea salt right before they're finished cooking. It's important to season the vegetables before adding them to the sauce or they will taste bland inside the sauce. You can also add sauteed bell peppers, onions, carrots, zucchini or any other vegetables you may like. This is also a great way to bulk up your sauce without adding too much fat. Just be sure to drain the vegetables well before stirring into the sauce or you'll have an oil slick on top.

Stir in a Bit of Fresh Garlic
There is nothing like the flavor of fresh garlic. Adding a bit of fresh garlic to store-bought spaghetti sauce can add a punch of flavor. You can either add the garlic straight to the sauce or add to the vegetables as you saute them. Either way, this is a great way to doctor up the sauce and make it taste more homemade.

Add Freshly Cooked Ground Beef
If you've ever purchased store-bought spaghetti sauce that had ground beef, chances are you never did it again. There is just something strange about the texture. However, if you want a meat sauce, you can easily brown up a package of ground beef and stir your sauce into it after it's been drained. It's not only a great way to doctor up your sauce, but it will make your sauce nice and thick as well. If you want to cut back on calories, use 93-96% fat-free ground beef.

Snip in a Few Fresh Herbs
If you have an herb garden, this can be a wonderful way to add a bit of flavor to your store-bought sauce. Freshly snipped basil, oregano or even parsley will add a fresh flavor to your sauce. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, add a bit of dried Italian seasoning or onion powder. In either case, you need to add seasonings sparingly or you could overwhelm the sauce and cause it to taste bitter or too fragrant.

Adjust the Thickness to Suit Your Tastes
Some store-bought sauces can be too thin and some can be too thick, especially after you add meat and sauteed vegetables. Thankfully, this is easy to remedy. If your sauce is too thick, fill the empty sauce jar about 1/4 to1/3 of the way with water. Place on the lid and shake to remove any of the excess sauce left in the jar. This will help ensure that the sauce doesn't get too watered down. If your sauce is too thin, you can take a couple tablespoons of water and mix with about a tablespoon of corn starch to create a slurry. You thin stir the slurry into the sauce and allow it to come to a boil. Once it boils for about a minute, your sauce should be nice and thick.

Original Article 

May 18, 2011


My husband generously gave me a wonderful camera for my birthday. Since then I have been attempting to learn how to use it. I must admit it’s much harder than it looks. I took these pictures a few night ago and love how the turned out. Creepy yet awesome at the same time.



My husband had gone outside to get the trash ready for the morning pickup. I followed behind him to see what the weather was like. I was so excited to see the moon right in front of my house. It seems like very time I check it's behind the house and in a position that would be next to impossible to shoot.


I ran back in the house really excited to get some moon pictures. I ran back outside with my camera only to find the moon hidden behind a ton of clouds. I was so mad!


I decided to give it a few minutes because I could tell the clouds were moving quickly! I decided to just start shooting to see what would happen.


I love how all the pictures turned out. They look creepy and amazing all at the same time. I never thought I would be able to get pictures of the moon to turn out so incredible! 

Here is to another "Wordless" Wednesday!

May 11, 2011


Cody really is a cute and sweet bunny! I mean seriously who could resist that face? I know I sure can't, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a busy little guy and gets into just about everything you can imagine.

First off Cody has an identity crisis, and thinks he's a cat. He does not live in a cage, in fact he sleeps under a table at night. He has free range of the house and uses the little box just like the cats. He is 7 years old and has outlived any other rabbit I have had in the past. I believe it’s because he is never caged, and the cats keep him on his toes. He does love his kitties!


I got Cody from a breeder when he was 6 weeks old. I taught him how to pull a string, and how to rip paper both of which occasionally come back to haunt me. He love mischief and routinely seeks it out.  If it’s tied he unties it, and if it’s paper well… he shreds it.

Case in point: A new bag of kitty little shredded and kitty litter every place you can imagine. He made the mess and the cats thought it was wonderful so they proceeded to play in it and spread litter throughout the house.


Cody was so tired from his kitty litter bag massacre that he fell asleep in the middle of his mess. Cute, but annoying! 


Every parent wants their children to develop healthy eating habits, but that’s often easier said than done. To help you instill healthier eating habits for your children Yoplait Kids and Author Christine Coppa, best known for her Mama's Boy blog at Parenting.com and is the author of Rattled! Available at Amazon.com (Broadway Books, 2009) introduce a webisode series called Yoplait Kids Snack Chat.

Christine will discusses topics like overcoming pickiness, setting a good example at snack time, and practice good snacking habits with her pre-schooler J.D. 




Please take advantage of this $0.50 coupon off the purchase of (1) four-pack of Yoplait Kids yogurt. Click Here

Listed below are Additional webisodes of Yoplait Kids Snack Chat. There are currently eight in the series. Here you will find more fun and creative tips from Christine and Yoplait Kids. Bon Appetite!
Don't forget to print your $0.50 coupon off the purchase of (1) four-pack of Yoplait Kids yogurt. Click Here


*As required by the Federal Trade Commission: This product was given to Colie's Kitchen by Yoplait through Myblogspark at no cost to Colie's Kitchen, nor is Colie's Kitchen being paid to endorse this product. All that was asked of Colie's Kitchen was to review the product, and give our honestly opinion.*


I Love Allens Vegetables. They are my go to veggy when I am not using fresh vegetables because they are the closest vegestables I have found to fresh. You keep your family members healthy all year long, so why not keep your pantry healthy all year long, too? Think of all the time you’ll save when your veggies come to YOU ... Allens wants to stock your pantry for one whole year.

There’s only one week left to win FREE veggies for a year in our Feast Your Veggies On This recipe contest. Hurry – enter your favorite recipe today. You could be the grand prize winner!


Or simply send a post card or 3” x 5” index card with their name, address and contact information, along with original recipe and category, to Allens’ second annual Feast Your Veggies on This contest c/o 6116 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43231. For more contest information, visit Allens.com.

Good luck, and may the best at-home cook win! Have questions or want to learn more? Send an email or find details here

Hurry the Contest ends May 15, 2011

*As required by the Federal Trade Commission: This product was given to Colie's Kitchen by Allens at no cost to Colie's Kitchen, nor is Colie's Kitchen being paid to endorse this product. All that was asked of Colie's Kitchen was to review the product, and give our honestly opinion.*

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