Showing posts from June, 2014

Home Improvements to Save Money and Energy

I am reading "The Self-Sufficiency Handbook" by Alan & Gill Bridgewater and am getting so much from it.

The chapter on self-sufficient houses has this list for improvements:
1 -- Fit good heavy curtains to all the windows and exterior doors.  Open the windows during the day and close close them at night to keep the heat in.  Wear layered clothes when the weather is cold.
2 -- Replace all single-pane windows with double- or even triple-glazed units.
3 -- Reduce the number of exterior doors.
4 -- Insulate the roof space and all cavity walls.  If you have solid walls, add insulation to the inside or outside faces.
5 -- In the northern hemisphere, reduce the number or size of north-facing windows and increase the size and number of south-facing windows; vice versa if you live in the southern hemisphere.
6 -- Install a woodburning stove, and remove items like electric gas and electric fires.  Fit vents and ducts so that you can channel excess around the house.
7 -- Fit a glas…

My New Easy Peasy Chicken Recipe

So I was looking around the kitchen for something (anything) to make for supper and I was down to chicken thighs, potatoes and green beans.  Wow...  a whole lotta blah, right?

Ok, I said to myself, let's do something different.  Grab the electric skillet and here we go!

Heat the skillet to 350F, then add 1 TBSP of olive oil.  When the oil is warm (water drops dance on it), add the thighs and put the lid on those babies.  (Set the timer for 10 min if you're like me and have no sense of how much time has passed!)  Wash 5 potatoes, cut out the bad spots and start slicing then about this | ---- | thick (ok, it was 3/8"  I sew alot and can gauge it without a ruler).  :P  Is that the timer??  Flip the thighs over and put the lid back on them while you finish slicing the potatoes.  And reset the timer!! 

This time when the timer beeps, add some chicken broth (I don't know how much it was, just pour it in until it's about 1/2" deep in the skillet!)  Push all the thighs …

The Even Better Best Cocoa Mix Batch Recipe

One of the things I love about cooking from scratch is that I can customize recipes to my own preferences.  For instance, hot cocoa mix.

For a long time, I would just go to the store and buy the biggest can of cocoa mix I could find at the best price per ounce.  I really didn't think it had the best flavor, and I knew it was totally overloaded with sugar, but what else to do, right?

Silly girl, how difficult can it be to stir up a mix myself?  In fact, I can remember visiting my great-grandmother's house and she did have a big jar of cocoa mix in her kitchen.  Standard breakfast for the little kids was cocoa and toast....  still a favorite of mine.

So, once again, I turned to the internet and started searching hot cocoa recipes... holy smokes, who knew there were so many variations.  First I had to work out the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate.  Yes, there is a difference and I'll save that for another post.  And then I had to find a simple, basic hot cocoa r…

My Photo Journal to Reduce Food Waste

It's Tuesday and that means it's leftovers for supper and clean out the fridge day.  I am focusing on reducing our food waste and thought one way to raise our awareness was to take photos of what gets thrown out each week and post it here.  Hopefully, soon, the photos will show nothing.  We'll see how that goes.  

There it is -- some mixed vegetables, some tuna casserole, and a piece of ham.   That's sad.  Really, there is no reason that I should be throwing out this food, but I am because truely while it isn't yet fuzzy, it is all beyond eating.

I can do better than this.  I can!

So, what about you?  Do you have wasted food?  How much do you think you throw out each week?  How often do you clean out your fridge?  Do you plan for leftovers?