Pickle Juice, Did you know??

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 PICKLE JUICE

Who Knew???

Post-Workout Drink:
Forget coconut water. Athletes swear by pickle juice’s scientifically proven benefits to exercise recovery. In one 2010 study, pickle juice halted post-workout muscle cramps in 85 seconds. That, plus its electrolyte-restoring powers has even yielded Pickle Juice Sport – a dill-flavored sports drink. But really, most athletes stick to good old Vlasic!

PMS Remedy:
For those same reasons, pickle juice is widely used as a cure for menstrual cramps. It may also prevent you from eating four bags of potato chips in one day. Not that we ever did that. That was a friend.

Potato Pick-Me-Up:
Add a heavy splash of pickle juice to a pot of simple boiled potatoes for a fantastic side dish. The flavors absorb so perfectly you won’t want to add salt, butter, sour cream, or anything to these taters once you’re done. Making potato salad? Skip the mayo, and toss with veggies and pickle juice for a much healthier (and more flavorful) version.

Pickleback Shot:
Odds are you’ve seen this cocktail on a bar menu sometime in the last couple years (lore has it they were first sold out of a London food truck in 2011). Perhaps you scoffed or called it a fad, but the truth is bartenders claim this to be the perfect complement to whiskey, instantly soothing the taste buds and aftershock of a rough liquor. Order one, and you will order five. For bonus points, follow that up with a
Pickletini.

Hangover Cure:
If you can stomach it on a hangover tummy, pickle juice is a known folk remedy that actually works. It replenishes your depleted sodium levels and helps to assist in rehydration. In many countries, people even take a shot of pickle juice before going out to help prevent dehydration in the first place.

Vinegar Replacement:
Pickle juice works in place of vinegar in salad dressing, soups, or virtually any recipe. It is essentially vinegar on steroids.

Heartburn Cure:
Along with its flavor-boosting benefits, pickle juice seems to have the same health effects as straight-up vinegar. Particularly effective as a heartburn soother, pickle juice may also help to avoid blood-sugar spikes if taken with a meal.

Bloody Mary Booster:
On the not-as-healthy-but-just-as-important side of the spectrum, pickle juice is absolutely dynamite in a Bloody Mary. When its hangover-killing benefits combine with a little hair of the dog, nothing could make your Sunday morning any greater.
Except cronuts

Cleaning Agent:
Food industry insiders have been using pickle juice to clear blackened copper pans for years. It also works well as a grill cleaner, making those charred, crusted-on bits much easier to scrape off.

Dill Pickle Bread:
Make this. Make it now.

Pickle Popsicles:
True, you can buy these on pickleaddicts.com(actual, real thing), but you can also just pour some of this glorious nectar into pop molds, paper cups, or ice-cube trays and make your own savory summer snack.

Re-Pickler:
Or maybe you just want some more pickles? Empty your vegetable drawer and throw some onions, carrots, peppers, whatever, into the jar of leftover pickle juice. Let them sit for a few days and BOOM: new pickles!

Meat Tenderizer & Marinade:
Pickle juice has amazing meat-tenderizing abilities and, as a marinade, will add a ton of flavor to your meats, without the extra cals in heavy sauces or marinades. It works exceptionally well on chicken – some claim a skinless breast soaked overnight in pickle juice will taste like fried chicken when cooked, and we say that is voodoo but we’re okay with it. Try it on cuts of pork and beef, too.

Fish Poacher:
There is very little in this world that sounds more healthy-boring than poached fish. But, add your pickle juice to the poaching water and you will never look back.

Weed Killer:
The high vinegar and salt content of pickle juice has made it a longtime favorite with gardeners. Dumping it on dandelions, thistle, and virtually all common weeds that crop up around your home. Bonus, it’s pet-friendly and you probably already have it in your fridge!

Recipe Add-On:
We lost track of all the things you can add pickle juice to, but some favorites include: BBQ sauce, hummus, chicken salad, mac ‘n’ cheese, gazpacho, deviled eggs, vinaigrette, borscht, beet salad, salsa, bean dip, and meatloaf.

Hiccup Stopper:
We’ve found little scientific evidence backing up this claim (and, frankly, we’re glad the scientists are working on other things), but many, many people claim that the number-one cure for hiccups is a small glass of pickle juice. Given how well this stuff works on everything else in the world, we believe it.

 

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DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We do not suggest that anyone should replace traditional medical treatment with our products. If you are under a physician’s care, it is very important that you do not discontinue or reduce any prescription medication without first consulting your physician. Results May Vary: Causes for being overweight or obese vary from person to person. Whether genetic or environmental, it should be noted that food intake, rates of metabolism and levels of exercise and physical exertion vary from person to person. This means weight loss results will also vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as typical. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material, contained on this website is for educational purposes only. The content is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Garbage Disposal Cubes

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Does Your Garbage Disposal Have a Funky Order? These Garbage Disposal Cubes will get it smelling Fresh and Clean again!

Make “Homemade Garbage Disposal Cubes” by cutting up pieces of lemons and/or limes and place them in small containers (that will fit into the disposal opening). Pour vinegar over them and freeze. Once frozen, you can put them into plastic freezer bags to reach and grab one as needed. To use: Pour about 1/2 cup Baking Soda into garbage disposal and drop in one of your “ice cubes”. Run cold water and turn on disposal for cleaning.

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45 USES FOR LEMONS

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Most people are familiar with the traditional uses for lemons to soothe sore throats and add some citrus flavor to our foods.

However the diversity of applications for lemons far exceeds general knowledge and once you read the following list, you’ll likely want to stock at least a few lemons in your kitchen 24-7.

1. Freshen the Fridge
Remove refrigerator odors with ease. Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours. Make sure to toss out any malodorous items that might be causing the bad smell.

2. High Blood Pressure
Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness.

3. Prevent Cauliflower From Turning Brown
Cauliflower tend to turn brown with even the slightest cooking. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice on them before heating.

4. Mental Health
Lemon water can also prep up your mood and relieve you from depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.

5. Refresh Cutting Boards
No wonder your kitchen cutting board smells! After all, you use it to chop onions, crush garlic, and prepare fish. To get rid of the smell and help sanitize the cutting board, rub it all over with the cut side of half a lemon or wash it in undiluted juice straight from the bottle.

6. Respiratory Problems
Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.

7. Treating Arthritis and Rheumatism
Lemon is a diuretic – assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism.

8. Prevents Kidney Stones
Regular consumption of the refreshing drink — or even lemon juice mixed with water — may increase the production of urinary citrate, a chemical in the urine that prevents the formation of crystals that may build up into kidney stones.

9. Keep Insects Out of the Kitchen
You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.

10. Anti-Aging
Lemon water reduces the production of free radicals which are responsible for aging skin and skin damage. Lemon water is calorie free and an antioxidant.

11. Fruit and Vegetable Wash
You never know what kind of pesticides or dirt may be lurking on the skin of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Slice your lemon and squeeze out one tablespoon of lemon juice into your spray bottle. The lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and will leave your fruits and vegetables smelling nice too.

12. Treat Infections
Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property. If salt water does not work for you, try lime and water for gargling.

13. Deodorize Your Garbage
If your garbage is beginning to smell yucky, here’s an easy way to deodorize it: Save leftover lemon and orange peels and toss them at the base under the bag. To keep it smelling fresh, repeat once every couple of weeks.

14. Keep Guacamole Green
You’ve been making guacamole all day long for the big party, and you don’t want it to turn brown on top before the guests arrive. The solution: Sprinkle a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice over it and it will stay fresh and green. The flavor of the lemon juice is a natural complement to the avocados in the guacamole. Make the fruit salad hours in advance too. Just squeeze some lemon juice onto the apple slices, and they’ll stay snowy white.

15. Purges The Blood
We consume a lot of junk food or food with a lot of preservatives and artificial flavours. This builds up a lot of toxins in the blood and body but daily consumption of lemon water helps to purify the blood.

16. Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp
Don’t toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.

17. Oral Health
Lemon juice also stops bleeding gums and reduces toothaches

18. Lighten Age Spots
Why buy expensive creams when you’ve got lemon juice? To lighten liver spots or freckles, try applying lemon juice directly to the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse your skin clean. It’s a safe and effective skin-lightening agent.

19. Create Blonde Highlights
For salon-worthy highlights, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then, sit in the sun until your hair dries. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week.

20. Make a Room Scent/Humidifier
Freshen and moisturize the air in your home on dry winter days. Make your own room scent that also doubles as a humidifier. If you have a wood-burning stove, place an enameled cast-iron pot or bowl on top, fill with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and apple skins. No wood-burning stove? Use your stovetop instead and just simmer the water periodically.

21. Clean and Whiten Nails
Pamper your hands without a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

22. Cleanse Your Face
Zap zits naturally by dabbing lemon juice on blackheads to draw them out during the day. You can also wash your face with lemon juice for a natural cleanse and exfoliation. Your skin should improve after several days of treatment. Lemon water is also a cooling agent, best way to beat the heat.

23. Freshen Your Breath
Make an impromptu mouthwash by rinsing with lemon juice straight from the bottle. Swallow for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that causes bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes because long-term exposure to the acid in lemons can harm tooth enamel.

24. Treat Flaky Dandruff
If itchy, scaly dandruff has you scratching your head, relief may be no farther away than your refrigerator. Just massage two tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir one teaspoon lemon juice into one cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat daily until your dandruff disappears.

25. Get Rid of Tough Stains on Marble
You probably think of marble as stone, but it is really petrified calcium (also known as old seashells). That explains why it is so porous and easily stained and damaged. Those stains can be hard to remove. If washing won’t remove a stubborn stain, try this: Cut a lemon in half, dip the exposed flesh into some table salt, and rub it vigorously on the stain. But do this only as a last resort; acid can damage marble. Rinse well. Use These Lemons To Clean – Easy and Effective

26. Remove Berry Stains
It sure was fun to pick your own berries, but now your fingers are stained with berry juice that won’t come off no matter how much you scrub with soap and water. Try washing your hands with undiluted lemon juice, then wait a few minutes and wash with warm, soapy water. Repeat until your hands are stain-free.

27. Soften Dry, Scaly Elbows
Itchy elbows are bad enough, but they look terrible too. For better looking (and feeling) elbows, mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste, then rub it into your elbows for a soothing, smoothing, and exfoliating treatment. Rinse your extremities in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, then massage with olive oil and dab dry with a soft cloth.

28. Headaches
Lemon juice with a few teaspoons of hot tea added is the treatment of a sophisticated New York bartender, for those who suffer with hangover headaches–and from headaches due to many other causes. He converts his customers to this regime, and weans them away from drug remedies completely.

29. Chills and Fevers
Chills and fevers may be due to a variety of causes; never the less the lemon is always a helpful remedy. Spanish physicians regard it as an infallible friend.

30. Diptheria
Skip the vaccine for this disease. Lemon Juice Treatment still proves as one of the most powerful antiseptics and the strong digestive qualities of the fruit are admired around the world. With the juice every hour or two, and at the same time, 1/2 to 1 tsp. should be swallowed. This cuts loose the false membrane in the throat and permits it to come out.

31. Vaginal Hygiene
Diluted lemon juice makes a safe and sane method of vaginal hygiene. Though it is a powerful antiseptic it is nevertheless free from irritating drugs in douches and suppositories.

32. Forget The Moth Balls
A charming French custom to keep closets free from moths is to take ripe lemons and stick them with cloves all over the skin. The heavily studded lemons slowly dry with their cloves, leaving a marvelous odor throughout the closets and rooms.

33. Stomach Health
Digestive problems are the most common ailments but warm water and lime juice is the solution to most digestive problems. Lemon juice helps to purify the blood, reduces your chances of indigestion, constipation, eliminates toxins from the body, adds digestion and reduces phlegm.

34. Disinfect Cuts and Scrapes
Stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scraps by pouring a few drops of lemon juice directly on the cut. You can also apply the juice with a cotton ball and hold firmly in place for one minute.

35. Soothe Poison Ivy Rash
You won’t need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping. Just apply lemon juice directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

36. Remove Warts
You’ve tried countless remedies to banish warts and nothing seems to work. Next time, apply a dab of lemon juice directly to the wart using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.

37. Bleach Delicate Fabrics
Avoid additional bleach stains by swapping ordinary household chlorine bleach with lemon juice, which is milder but no less effective. Soak your delicates in a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda for at least half an hour before washing.

38. Clean Tarnished Brass and Polish Chrome
Say good-bye to tarnish on brass, copper, or stainless steel. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt (or substitute baking soda or cream of tartar for the salt) and coat the affected area. Let it stay on for 5 minutes. Then wash in warm water, rinse, and polish dry. Use the same mixture to clean metal kitchen sinks too. Apply the paste, scrub gently, and rinse. Get rid of mineral deposits and polish chrome faucets and other tarnished chrome. Simply rub lemon rind over the chrome and watch it shine! Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

39. Replace Your Dry Cleaner
Ditch the expensive dry-cleaning bills (and harsh chemicals) with this homegrown trick. Simply scrub the stained area on shirts and blouses with equal parts lemon juice and water. Your “pits” will be good as new, and smell nice too.

40. Boost Laundry Detergent
For more powerful cleaning action, pour 1 cup lemon juice into the washer during the wash cycle. The natural bleaching action of the juice will zap stains and remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton T-shirts and briefs and will leave your clothes smelling fresh. Your clothes will turn out brighter and also come out smelling lemon-fresh.

41. Rid Clothes of Mildew
Have you ever unpacked clothes you stored all winter and discovered some are stained with mildew? To get rid of it, make a paste of lemon juice and salt and rub it on the affected area, then dry the clothes in sunlight. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

42. Eliminate Fireplace Odor
There’s nothing cozier on a cold winter night than a warm fire burning in the fireplace — unless the fire happens to smell horrible. Next time you have a fire that sends a stench into the room, try throwing a few lemon peels into the flames. Or simply burn some lemon peels along with your firewood as a preventive measure.

43. Neutralize Cat-Box Odor
You don’t have to use an aerosol spray to neutralize foul-smelling cat-box odors or freshen the air in your bathroom. Just cut a couple of lemons in half. Then place them, cut side up, in a dish in the room, and the air will soon smell lemon-fresh.

44. Deodorize a Humidifier
When your humidifier starts to smell funky, deodorize it with ease: Just pour 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice into the water. It will not only remove the off odor but will replace it with a lemon-fresh fragrance. Repeat every couple of weeks to keep the odor from returning.

45. Reduce Asthma Symptoms
In addition to a general detoxifying diet, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice before each meal, and before retiring can reduce asthma symptoms.

 

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It Does Not Need to be Complicated

simple

Check out Wildtree Balsamic Vinegar

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Chives

chives

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Banish Boring Burgers

burger

2016 All Rights Reserved, WendyWeighsin

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Canning Methods for Various Foods

can-freeze-tips

Canning Methods for Various Foods
There are all kinds of methods and recipes for canning foods. But which method works best with which food? This is a rather important consideration, because incorrect methods can result in spoilage, unsafe foods, and/or wasted time and money. Here is a sampling of canning methods for various foods.

Pressure Canning

Your great-grandparents didn’t use pressure canners, you may be thinking. Why should you? Well, we’ve learned a lot about microbes and food spoilage since our great-grandparents’ day. One of the things we’ve learned is that you need really high temperatures for a certain amount of time to kill bacteria, especially if those foods are low-acid. High-acid foods are less hospitable to bacteria, so not quite as high a temperature is needed to prevent bacteria from growing.

Foods that should be canned using a pressure canner include:

* Asparagus
* Corn
* Meat
* Fish
* Potatoes
* Carrots
* Cabbage
* Spinach
* Kale
* Green beans
* Peas
* Beans (such as pinto or kidney)
* Apples
* Pears

These are just some of the low-acid foods for which you’ll need a pressure canner.

Hot Water Bath

Some foods do fine in a hot water bath, that is, placing the filled jars in a deep kettle, pouring in water, and simmering it for 10 minutes or so (canning recipes give exact times). This works okay for high-acid foods, such as the following:

* Berries
* Tomatoes
* Citrus fruits
* Pineapple
* Cucumber pickles (the vinegar in the recipe makes the food very acidic)

Freezer Canning

This is one of the fastest ways to preserve foods in freezer-safe jars. You can put the whole food into the jar, pour sugar syrup, broth or water around it, and freeze. You can also puree the food, cook it down into a sauce or jam, and freeze it that way. Make sure you leave a good inch and a quarter of air space between the food and the top of the jar. Here are some foods that work well with the freezer canning method:

* Meats
* Berries
* Strawberries
* Citrus fruits
* Tomatoes
* Corn
* Homemade salsa

Vinegars and Oils

While it isn’t canning in the strictest sense, vinegars and oils are a great way to preserve herbs and spices. You pour oil or vinegar around lightly packed foods such as these:

* Raspberries (vinegar)
* Herbs such as basil, sage, mint, lemon balm and rosemary (vinegar)
* Garlic (oil or vinegar)

Sauces

Surplus apples, pears, and tomatoes can be made into sauces like salsa, spaghetti sauce, straight tomato sauce, and apple/pear sauce. Follow your favorite recipe for making the sauce of your choice, then freeze, pressure can, or place in a hot water bath.

©2016 WendyWeighsin

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Isn’t this a great idea!!!!

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Put the chocolate chip cookie dough on the outside of a cupcake pan lined with a cupcake liner and make cookie bowls. Make sure you don’t put too much cookie dough on, or it will spread out. Just enough to cover the cupcake liner.
Bake at 350 F till golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan. Once they are baked… you can put Ice Cream inside of them and top off with your favorite toppings!!!

 

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How To Pack School Lunches That Your Kids Will Actually Eat

2016 All Rights Reserved, WendyWeighsin

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Summer is coming to an end and school is about to start. That of course means it’s time to get back into a school year routine. Part of that routine in many households is packing school lunches. Packed lunches are a great option when your child isn’t too fond of what the school has to offer or you want a little more control over what your child is eating.

Of course if your child has dietary restrictions or food allergies, packing lunches is a must. Frankly, packing a lunch allows you to include healthy foods your child will actually eat and it doesn’t have to cost any more than what you would be paying for lunch at school.

Of course packing a lunch every day doesn’t do any good if your child doesn’t eat it or ends up trading most of it away for junk food. The key then is to find things that your child loves and enjoys eating.

The best place to start is to get your child involved. Depending on the age of your kids, you could even put them in charge of making their own lunches. Not only do you know that they’ll pack something they will eat, being in charge of packing lunch will teach them responsibility.

Start by talking to your kids about what they want in their lunch box. Make a list of options and then head to the store so you have everything you need for the first week of school. Getting the kids as involved as possible will make sure that they end up with lunches they will eat. For older kids that may mean making their own lunches (under your supervision of course).

Younger children can help. Even your kindergartener can wash grapes and put them into a container, or pick a snack for his lunch box. Get in the habit of making lunches together the night before. Over time you can give the kids more and more responsibility for their lunches. This alone will help make sure they eat what they’ve packed. After all, it’s the lunch they made. Along the way you’re teaching them independence and important life skills.

Of course you want to encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods. Insisting on all healthy, organic food options all the time may not be your best strategy though. Strike a balance and make compromises. If your kids pack and eat a healthy wrap or salad for example, let them have some cookies for dessert. Teach them to make good choices, but don’t freak out if they decide to pack some Cheetos or a pack of Oreo cookies. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food, causing them to trade with friends for forbidden Twinkies.

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SMALL BATCH CUPCAKES

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I have had some asking how to make only 6 cupcakes at a time.
Well here ya go!!

SMALL BATCH CUPCAKES

How to make only Six Cupcakes :
3/4 cup ANY Cake Mix
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
HEAT oven to 350°F. Line 6 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
.
Blend 3/4 cup of the cake mix and 2 T. melted butter in small mixing bowl on medium speed until well blended. Add 1/4 cup milk and 1 egg. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups.
.
BAKE 19 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely.
Frost cupcakes with your favorite frosting.
Note: Reserve rest of the cake mix in a jar or air tight bag for future when you want to make more cupcakes!

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Did you even know?

Spaghetti Server

Spaghetti Server

HOLEY HECK Ever wondered what that hole in the middle of a spaghetti spoon is for… it’s actually more useful than you might think

That hole in your spaghetti server equals 1 serving! Now you can cook pasta for 2 & not the whole neighborhood. lol

 

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Source:  https://www.thesun.co.uk

 

Grocery Tips: Signs Of Good Produce

produce

Grocery Tips: Signs Of Good Produce

 

We all know that fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a healthy diet. The vitamins and nutrients from them helps make the body stronger and can boost the immune system. Each fruit and vegetable has its own natural properties that are beneficial. For instance, a tomato has antioxidant properties that help cleanse the body of toxins and free radicals.

You can easily find fruits and vegetables in the grocery store.  But how do you choose the good ones from the bad ones? Read on for some great tips.

Tips for Finding Good Produce

Fruits

Oranges- Good oranges are firm, heavy and have a smooth texture. Do not buy oranges that are lightweight, dull, spongy, and have a rough texture.

Peaches- Good peaches are firm and plump. It should be white or yellow in color with a red blush. Do not buy peaches that are very cushiony or shriveled.

Grapes- Good grapes are tender, plump, firmly attached to the stems and have a slight amber blush (green grapes). Bad grapes are brown in color, have a wrinkled surface and brittle stems.

Apricots- Good apricots have a uniform golden color and they are firm. Do not buy apricots that have a pale yellow or greenish color. Bad apricots can be very soft or very hard.

Cherry- Good cherries have new looking stems and a smooth and shiny surface. Bad cherries have dried steams and dull surfaces.

Cantaloupe- Good cantaloupes have a delicate aroma, yellowish skin and a thick texture on the rind. Do not buy cantaloupes with a sweet and pungent aroma as well as those with a soft rind.

Watermelon- Good watermelons are symmetrical in shape and have a cream-colored underside. Do not buy watermelons with cushiony spots.

Vegetables

Broccoli- Good broccoli is firm, have closed florets and have a deep green color. Do not buy broccoli that are yellow in color, with open florets and water-soaked spots.

Asparagus- Good asparagus have closed tips and straight green stalks. Bad asparagus have open tips and the stalks are curved.

Bell Pepper- Good bell peppers have bright and glossy skin. They are firm and thick while bad bell peppers have soft spots and shriveled surfaces.

Carrots- Good carrots are firm and have a bright orange color. Bad carrots have a rough texture, soft and have green roots.

Tomato- Good tomatoes are plump, smooth and have a rich red color. Bad tomatoes look shriveled and have blemishes.

Now that you know how to choose good produce, you will spend your money wisely. Do not rush choosing good produce though, take your time and make sure you buy the best, it will be worth it.

 

©2016 WendyWeighsin

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21 Tips for “Tastes of Summer”

July2016_NationalGrillingMonth

  1. When grilling an assortment of summer vegetables, try to cut them as uniformly thick as possible. This ensures they cook evenly and makes for a better presentation when serving.
  2. Another tip when grilling fresh vegetables is to cut them so that the maximum amount of surface area is exposed. The more surface area exposed to the grill grates, the better the taste will be.
  1. Want a perfect rim on your margarita glasses? Try this: Instead of dipping your dampened glasses straight down into a plate of coarse salt, sugar, or other mixture, moisten only the outside of the glass. Then, roll the dampened outer edge of each glass at a 45-degree angle around the plate. This will create a nice looking rim, but will keep the salt or sugar from getting into the drink and affecting its taste.
  2. Next time you make peach or other fruit cobbler, break out of the “plain-old-vanilla-ice-cream” routine. Instead try pairing your creation with ice cream flavored with the same ingredients as the recipe itself. For my warm peach cobbler recipe, try cinnamon or peach ice cream. ‘Salted Caramel with Pecan’ is another great choice because it brings out the tiny hint of saltiness found in the recipe.
  3. Did you know that not all sweet potatoes are orange? It’s true. Some varieties have a light yellow or almost white color instead. Although they look more like typical white potatoes than their orange-fleshed siblings, they don’t taste anything like a traditional baking potato. However, they aren’t identical to their orange counterparts, either. They are a little less sweet and a bit more starchy than “normal” sweet potatoes.
  4. Mini sweet peppers are great for snacking on right out of the bag, but they are even better when stuffed with your favorite blend of cheeses, fresh thyme and bacon. Pop under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned and voila! You have a perfect warm and delicious appetizer in less than 15 minutes.
  5. It’s easy to take basic lemonade to a whole new level with some quick and easy tweaks. Instead of making a basic simple syrup of 1 part water to 1 part white sugar, try adding some chopped lemongrass and fresh, peeled gingerroot into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly before straining to remove solids. Use the cooled infused syrup to sweeten lemonade to taste.
  6. Many popular culinary herbs are available in citrus varieties and can be used to add an extra dimension to your recipes. Lemon balm, basil, thyme, mint, and lemongrass are popular and readily available examples. Choosing citrus varieties of herbs will allow you to add another subtle layer of flavor to your dishes.
  7. Speaking of lemongrass, it is very easy to grow from seed and can act as a pretty ornamental in your garden, as well. Because it is from the tropics, it won’t survive cold winters in northern areas. However, it can reach 3-5 feet in height in a single growing season, so be sure to give it ample room to grow.
  8. Lemongrass is a popular ingredient in many Thai recipes. Different parts of the plant have different uses: The base of each stem has a strong lemony flavor ideal for infusing simple syrups or cooking oils, while the more tender leaves are great for making tea or soups.
  9. Fresh herbs are abundant during the warmer summer months so it makes sense to pair them with season’s most popular cooking method. Herb salts and compound butter are 2 super easy ways to add extra flavor to grilled meats and vegetables. Simply combine chopped fresh herbs with either salt or soft butter. Be creative! Add some fresh citrus zest to salt combos for even more flavor variations
  10. Salt-cured lemons are great to have on hand because there are so many ways to use them. Preserving slices of fresh lemon between 2 slabs of Himalayan salt greatly intensifies the natural citrus flavor by reducing the water content while simultaneously infusing the slices with salt. The result is a concentrated, briny treasure that is perfect in pasta dishes or wherever you want to add an unexpected intense “pop” of flavor and seasoning.
  11. Himalayan salt blocks are very versatile kitchen tools that can be used to cook, chill, cure, or serve food. Caution should be exercised when using the blocks with heat, however. The blocks may contain small amounts of moisture inside that can cause them to break or even explode when heated. It is very important to follow directions carefully and temper salt blocks over moderate heat before placing them in a hot oven.
  12. When selecting a Himalayan salt block for heat applications, be sure to choose one that is “cooking grade.” Also, look for one that has a minimal amount of pattern to it. The gorgeous grain pattern that makes for a beautiful presentation block becomes a liability in the oven. Each striation indicates a fissure or potential weakness that could cause the block to break apart or explode when heated.
  13. Technique is everything when using Himalayan salt blocks to cure, cook or serve food. It’s easy to end up with overly salted foods if you aren’t careful. For example, when serving watermelon and feta salad on a salt plate, arrange the watermelon slices so that only a small portion of the exposed surface area is in direct contact with the salt. This will give a perfect hint of salty flavor without overpowering the entire bite.
  14. Unlike red meats that can be seared on the outside and rare-to-medium on the inside, pork needs to be more uniformly cooked throughout. When grilling, a medium, direct heat is the best way to ensure the inside cooks evenly with the outside.
  15. The pork available today is a lot leaner than it was a couple generations ago. This means it can dry out quickly if overcooked. For years, pork was always served well done due to fears of trichinosis. As a result, an entire generation grew up believing tasteless, dry pork was the norm! However, in 2011 the USDA dropped the recommended internal cooking temperature of pork down to 145 F – a full 15-degree drop from previous recommendations.  This means it is now okay to serve pork that is still juicy and a little pink inside. Just be sure to use an instant-read thermometer to confirm the meat has reached a safe internal temperature before serving.
  16. Warm goat cheese croutons are a great way to make any salad seem more like a full meal. For best results, make sure the croutons are at least ½” thick and not too wide across or they are more likely to break apart while handling. Also, be sure to get the oil hot enough before frying them, because they need to cook quickly or the goat cheese will start seeping out of the crust.
  17. Most recipes for warm goat cheese croutons call for using vegetable or canola oil for frying. However, coconut oil is a delicious, healthy alternative that does not infuse the melted cheese or breadcrumb crust with an overbearing coconut flavor.  I highly recommend it.  Learn more about coconut oil here:  http://www.mywildtree.com/pws/wendywilkes/tabs/coconut-oil.aspx
  18. No ice cream maker? No problem! It is possible to make creamy, delicious ice cream at home without buying special equipment. The base for the ‘Salted Caramel and Pecan Ice Cream’ consists of just 2 simple ingredients: sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream.
  19. Want to enjoy raw kale outside of juices and smoothies? Although the tough, somewhat bitter leaves can be a bit unappealing raw, there is a simple fix for that. Simply massage each leaf with olive, sesame or other oil until they become more tender. Then enjoy kale in mixed green salads just like you would any green, leafy lettuce.                                                                                                                                                                                   Enter your email address to subscribe to this Blog                                                                                                        Join my Recipe Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/StirThePotRecipes/                                              Come and get healthy with us:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/Fit4LifeWithWendy/Are you wanting to try a product that is all natural and can help you on your weight loss journey?  Money back guarantee.  Learn more here:  http://Wendyweighsin.SBC90DayChallenge.com     cropped-Screenshot_2016-05-18-13-52-35_wm-1-1.jpg