• Tips

    Peeling, Slicing and Chopping Onions – Make it easier

    Peeling, Slicing and chopping onions sometimes feels like a chore. There are ways to make it easier on yourself. Not only are onions a core flavoring ingredient for many dishes they are also quite good for you as this facty.com article points out.       First, peeling the onion. On both ends and the same side cut through the onion almost all the way through.                 This will allow you to easily grab the inner skin and pull it off in one piece.             If you are planning to make perfect onion rings (perhaps for battering and deep…

  • Leek and Potato soup with Bacon
    Recipes,  Side dishes

    Creamy Leek and Potato soup, with bacon

    This heartwarming soup is lovely anytime but especially comforting during winter. The mild sweetness of the Leek and the fulfilling combination of potato and bacon is sure to bring a smile to your heart. Cream of Leek and Potato soup is a classic combination, and I add Bacon because I think the dish simply screams for it. Along with a generous amount of black pepper the flavours are delightful. Leek soup is traditionally associated with Wales, and is an important item of Welsh cuisine. In Romania, this soup is popular and known as Ciorbă de praz, and in France it is called Soupe aux poireaux. One variant of leek soup…

  • German potato salad
    Salads,  Side dishes,  Uncategorized

    German potato salad – potatoes with a zing

    German potato salad is widely believed to actually have originated in Germany, although it could have started in many countries it almost certainly began in Europe. It differs from American potato salad in that it is served warm and doesn’t contain mayonnaise or mustard. American potato salad is served cold and most likely originated from recipes brought to the U.S. by way of German and other European immigrants during the nineteenth century     A Japanese version is called potesara. It traditionally consists of mashed boiled potatoes, cucumber, onion, carrot, boiled eggs, and ham mixed with Kewpie mayonnaise, rice vinegar, and karashi mustard.       This potato salad is…

  • Working from home
    Working from Home

    Working from Home – some hopefully helpful insights

    Working from home (whether as part of a regular job or being self employed) has become more and more normal and I think that will only continue. I think there are some important things to keep in mind and do to keep yourself as productive and happy as possible. Some people adapt to working from home better than others. I happen to prefer it. I enjoy the solitude, lack of interruptions, lack of office babble about peoples kids or the latest football game, etc. I can take breaks when I feel I need them, eat when I’m ready to and not be limited to a ‘lunch hour’, and be available…

  • Seasoned salt jar
    Recipes,  Seasonings

    Seasoned Salt – salt with that ‘special extra’

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with traditional salt and pepper for seasoning. But for many dishes I prefer Seasoned Salt – salt with something more. Many dishes gain an extra layer of favor using seasoned salt. It brings additional subtle elements that gives that ‘special something’ to many recipes. While not for every recipe I find myself using it quite often, For example, it’s a must-have for Myrna’s Meatloaf! Seasoned Salt has been around a long time but I think the person who brought the idea into the mainstream was Emeril Lagasse and his trademark ‘BAM!’ when he would add some seasoning. I was surprised that he finally published his…

  • Thyme and Bees

    Pruning – think of the bees and their importance!

    Think about the bees when you prune your flowers! Bees are an extremely valuable part of the ecosystem. In an article I found their importance is discussed and I’ve read numerous other sources that say the same thing. They are the pollinators for a great variety of our foods and without them we’d have to say goodbye to our apples, melons, cranberries, asparagus and many more items. Just Google “the importance of bees” and you will find many sources. Personally, I have to admit that I’m a little scared of bees because of some nasty childhood experiences. But since I love flowers and growing my own herbs, vegetables and fruits I’ve…

  • Pork or Chicken Chili 6

    Pork or Chicken Chili – an alternative to Beef

    Pork or Chicken Chili – an alternative to Beef. Traditionally chili con carne is made with beef, but many people are shying away from beef for a variety of reasons and don’t often think of pork or chicken as an alternative. The issue is with the fat content. In my opinion chili needs a little fat to have the right flavor and texture but pork and chicken are very lean. So you need to augment and I do so with butter. Here’s my approach. Serves 2 Approx. 300g (1/2 lb.) Pork mince (or chicken mince) Approx. 1/2 cup each red, yellow, green capsicum (bell pepper) or any combination thereof, chopped…

  • Dryer
    Frugal tips

    Add dish towel to Dryer to dry clothes faster

    Add a dry towel to the dryer along with the other items to improve drying speed saving both time and money When you add your wet clothes to the dryer throw in a dry dish towel, tea towel, pillow case, etc. This simple trick will make the clothes dry faster saving both time and money. Give it a try – it really works!

  • Pork and Onions

    Sweet and Sour pork and onions – deliciously different

    Sweet and Sour pork and onions, a nice change of pace from standard pan fried pork chops. Serves 2 2 pork chops 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 2 medium onions, sliced 1/4 cup sweet wine (such as a Rosé, or apple juice works nicely if you prefer not to use wine) 3 Tbl cider vinager 2 cloves 2 Tbl cornstarch dissolved in a little water Braising the pork (a combination of searing the meat then cooking in liquid) lets you add nice flavor via the liquid an also keeps the pork nice and moist. Don’t worry about the (apparent) excess onions used – they will soften and add their unique…

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