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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Toasted Ham n Cheese Breakfast

Sorry I forgot to snap photos before I ate breakfast this morning. :( This is the first of my “Use What Ya Got" recipes. OMG I just figured out I can use “ as well as " !!! I thought " was the only one available... Anyways on to the recipe!

1/2 Loaf French Bread
Dijon Mustard
Black Pepper
Sliced Ham
Sliced Provolone

1. Slice bread, spread with butter and bake for 5 minutes at 350°.
2. Mix a little mayo, mustard, honey and pepper till it tastes good.
3. Spread onto bread and top with ham then cheese.
4. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.
5. Cook the eggs like you like them (I scrambled mine) and top your toast with the eggs.

You'll notice I left out measurements. I usually don't measure when I'm cooking because I know what I like to taste and what I don't. Just remember you can always add but you can't subtract. Add a little bit at a time and taste often until you get it how you want. You'll learn by whatever physical sense is your most dominant. I go first by sight, then taste and smell. That way it'll be easy for you to remember your recipes. Happy cooking! :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In the Kitchen Right Now

This is everything in my kitchen right now. My EBT card reloads in three weeks and I'm wanting to use up as much as I can out of what I have on hand so that when I go grocery shopping I can revamp my supply. I'll be filling my cabinets with healthy foods this time. I'm going to be posting my recipes as I go. Stay tuned!

French Bread Pizza

I nicked this recipe from my buddy Jay. It's super easy and super fast.

You'll need:
A loaf of French Bread, sliced about an inch thick
Italian seasoning
Ground black pepper
Pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°

1. Spread the bread slices with butter and place on baking sheet.
2. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and pepper.
3. Bake five minutes.
4. Spread with pizza sauce.
5.Top with cheese.
6. Bake five more minutes.

Non-Toxic AND EBT-Friendly Ways to Clean Your House

These days everybody's wallets are hurting and for people who receive food stamps, finding cheap cleaning products that are safe for families can be a challenge. But I've found ways to use a few items that can be purchased with food stamps to clean my house and I'm sharing my secrets so we can all live healthy, happy and inexpensively. Everything I use can be purchased with EBT.

     Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and in fact I've stopped using Lysol in my house. I got a spray bottle at the dollar store and filled it halfway with water, hallway with distilled white vinegar. I use this for almost everything.  If something is particularly germy or I'm doing a seasonal deep-clean, then I'll bring out the big guns. Otherwise I use my 50/50 mix.

2. Baking Soda
     Combine baking soda with vinegar for a powerful solution that's great at scrubbing tough stains and greasy spots. Baking soda deodorizes (gets the smell out) and scrubs without damaging surfaces. For dried-on, gonna-beak-a-nail-scratching-this-off gunk stuck to your counters or stove-top, sprinkle with baking soda (just a little bit, enough to make a tiny hill) then lightly spray with your 50/50 mix. Let it foam up and leave it alone to do its magic. Come back once its dry, ten-fifteen minutes give or take, spritz again and wipe away. TADA! It's gone!
     Another way I use this combo is to clean the inside of my dishwasher. Believe it or not, those things can get pretty grimy on the inside and you wouldn't take a bath in a dirty tub, right? Here's what you do:
             Fill up the detergent cups as full as you can with baking soda.
             Place a small GLASS bowl in the bottom of the dishwasher, under the bottom rack. Make sure the rotating arms can still move or else this won't work.
***IMPORTANT*** DO NOT use a plastic bowl. It will melt and probably ruin your dishwasher.
             Run the dishwasher on a regular cycle. You'll be able to hear it foaming up as the vinegar mixes with the baking soda. You can even add some lemon juice to the vinegar for a nice, fresh scent.
     Scoop some baking soda into a small bowl (not metal!!). One tablespoon should do, then carefully stir in one shot-glass of vinegar. Stir with a fork to make a paste that you can use to gently scrub the inside of your oven, your stainless steel pots and pans, and those pesky stains on your apartment's kitchen counters that you can't afford to scratch with harsh cleaners.
     Dump your mop bucket onto the toilet so the bowl empties of most of the water. Sprinkle in some baking soda, spritz with your 50/50 spray and scrub. Flush and admire your shiny potty.
     Clean your in-sink garbage disposal by pouring in some baking soda, then vinegar and quickly flipping the switch. Run for about ten seconds without the water running. Then turn on the water and run for ten more seconds to rinse. Next, toss in a few lemon peels and ice cubes. The lemon will freshen your kitchen and the ice will sharpen the blades.
     Slow drain? Go get your baking soda and vinegar. Dump em in and QUICKLY plug the drain. Some foam will escape but, for the most part, the gunk will be shoved down the pipes. Now if there's actually something in there like hair or your kid crammed cotton balls in there, this method won't change that.

3. Water!!! Water wipes away most anything and is the safest cleaner you'll ever have.
     Soak paper towels in water and close them in your George Foreman grill immediately after cooking, while it's still hot. The steam will loosen whatever's stuck on the cooking surfaces. Wait till there's very little steam coming out then carefully lift the lid and, using tongs, fold up the paper towels and wipe the grill clean.
     Microwave a coffee cup of water and lemon juice a couple times until it boils. Leave the door closed at least ten minutes so the steam can loosen any dried-on particles. Wipe down the surfaces with a damp paper towel.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life Lessons for the Next Generation

     Let's face it, if you need this rule explained to you, you don't need to be having sex. Period.

2. Double-knot your bikini strings.
     Getting into this habit will not only prevent the idiots at the pool from trying to get a sneaky peep show, it'll also keep the girls from being broadcast to the kin folk at the family reunion.

3. Never go to the grocery store without a list.
     Save yourself tons of money, frustration and time by keeping this little tidbit in your mental file. We've all gone out for milk and come back with a trunk full of junk food...and no milk.

4. On the subject of groceries, if you get groceries from Walmart, enter and exit through the grocery side door ONLY.
     This is another thing we've all done: strolling in through the general merchandise (GM) door with a mind to get cereal and Hot Pockets and getting sidetracked by the shoe department. If you need food, only go to the food side. Don't deviate or you'll waste time and money.

5. Don't judge strangers.
     You wouldn't want someone saying/thinking something negative about you if they'd never met you, right? So do them the courtesy of returning the favor.

6. Spend more time celebrating and less time whining.
     That doesn't mean party your cares away. That means give someone a compliment instead of complaining about your issues. Don't brag, find joy in life. Basically, give those roses a sniff.

7. If you feel like you're having a bad day, ask someone else how theirs is going.
     You know the old saying "The grass is always greener on the other side"? Well, your point of view depends on your point of view. Just because your life "sucks" at the moment doesn't mean you're currently having the "world's worst day."

8. Smile, it won't kill you.
     Did you know smiling actually brightens your mood? Its true! You see, blah blah blah scientific stuff, it makes you feel better. Don't force it though. Watch a funny movie, listen to a CD you'll sing along to.

9. Count your blessings every night before bed.
     Take a moment each night to relax and reflect. Jot down tomorrow's to-do list and get it out of your head. You'll sleep much more peacefully if you let out that anxiety. Then reflect on what means the most to you. Say a prayer of thanks, or if that's not your thing, write a list. Just a little reminder of how important it is to be grateful.

10. And finally... If something bothers you, change it!
     Don't whine about your loser boyfriend, your crappy job or your scrap-heap car if you're not willing to do something to fix that. Your friends don't want to keep having to listen to the same old worn-out song and dance. Drop what's holding you back in life and move on, no matter if its a well-paying job you loathe or your moron of a best friend. To quote the one and only Christopher Titus, "You don't get that time back."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Can duct tape really fix everything?

I found this table and chair set at the dumpster at my apartment complex and I just HAD to have it. When I brought it home a year ago, the paint was still intact and there were four chairs. Ok so when I dragged Mike out of bed one morning after work (he's on third shift) and conned him into driving his truck up to the dumpster, helping me lift the heavy ass table in the back, helping me climb into and out of the dumpster for the leg one chair was missing then fighting it through the doorway into the apartment...But after getting left out in the weather for so long, this poor set is falling apart. Mike gave me a great idea when he said "Too bad you can't just cover the whole thing in duct tape." Immediately my mind was spinning. I knew what my first blog project was going to be. Granted, I'll have to fix that one chair with more than just duct tape but this will still be fun!! Stay tuned to see how it goes. :):):):)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Opening Day

Hi everyone!! Thanks for coming by my blog!! :) I started this for a friend to long-distance teach her how to cook. But there's more to me than just cooking. Moms these days have to do many, many things to keep the family and house running smoothly. From general cleaning and fixing broken toys to organization and first aid, Mom needs to have a wealth of readily-available information on her hands. I hope that I can do my best to impart some of my wisdom to you. :):):):)