Aug 30, 2008

SAVE WATER TIPS

As part of saving the world and environment, we should learn about how to save water in our household. Some of the old washing machinese use up a lot of water. The amount can be up to 50 gallons of water for each load you do. Although it makes sense not to spend on a new machine, but you could end ups saving more in the long term. The new machines only use only 11-30 gallons of water. If you need to wash the clothes try to do it at full load or when you have enough for full load. Half loads are wasteful. Soak your dirty linens in a small pail before you wash them so that you don't use the presoaking mode which may take up loads of water and use up electricity.

If you need to water the plants, do it when it is not hot outside as the temperature and wind will reduce evaporation and you may end up watering more. Use the kind of plants that need lesser water. If you need to use sprinklers, limit the timing or use a timer. A hose is better than sprinklers, if you can change.

In the bathroom, take a shower instead of having a bath.

There are many other ways of saving water. Perhaps you might like to share it with me.

Aug 29, 2008

HOW LONG CAN A FLOOR LAST

Have you ever wondered what is the average lifespan for some home appliances, fittings that you have at home? Life expectancies increase when you take care of them well and may exceed the average number of years. But an abused usage will shorten it of course. Fittings in your home like your flooring has different life expectancy too. Take for example, if you fix a wooden flooring, your flooring will give you a good expectancy of about 20 over years. Yes. For some who does some maintenance, polishing would be able to see it exceed this number of years of course. But a hardy wood will make a lot of difference. In the older days, hard woods are used but lately most flooring are made of compressed wood. Wooden floorings made of oak and pine lasts a lifetime!

A ceramic tile in your kitchen or other hardy place is a good choice because they generally last a lifetime. So if you want to have a longer lasting floor, pick a ceramic tile, a homogeneous one for anti slip.

Plastic laminate usually lasts about 10 to 15 years, thus you see some of these laminate flooring suppliers give a warrantee of only 10 to 15 years. Granite lasts about 20 over years so granite tops for kitchen are great too.

Will post up more details about other home components too.

Aug 28, 2008

MAKE YOUR OWN ORANGE JULIUS DRINK

I was an Orange Julius fan in the 80s. I love their drinks and would try the few flavours each week. It was good till it lasted. Thought there aren't as many outlets, whenever I pass by, I get me the Orange Julius as they reminded me of Good 'Ol Times after school.

I found a recipe that is almost close.

A can of frozen orange juice (concentrated)
1 cup of fresh milk
1 cup of water
30gms of granulated sugar
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
A handful of ice cubes.

In a blender, mix the ingredients except the ice cubes and blend it well until the sugar is melted. Lastly add the ice cubes few at a time until they become like an ice blended drink.

Aug 27, 2008

BEST CHEESECAKE I FOUND

After I drooled at the cheesecake Cooking Momster did in her blog, I decided to look for a Baked Cheesecake recipe. I surfed and read many sites. I found one that had so many comments on it and decided to try it out. For some whose cake didn't turn out well, they still complimented on the taste as the best tasting Cheesecake they've tried. So this is the recipe I have here.


INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


METHOD
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly coat a 10 inch springform pan with spray oil. Note: You could use a 9x13 inch pan instead.

To make the crust: Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Spread to the edges of the pan. Prick all over with a fork, then bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Allow to cool.

Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 5 eggs and the yolks and mix thoroughly. Add cream and mix only enough to blend.

Pour filling over crust and bake for 10 minutes at 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Reduce temperature to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C) and continue to bake for one hour. Turn oven off, but leave cake in for another hour. Don't worry if it looks a little jiggly in the center.

Chill overnight. If the top doesn't come out nicely, you can always add fruits on top or whipped cream.

Aug 25, 2008

DIY HOME CLEANERS

How many of you spent a lot on Disinfectant Cleaners for your home? Perhaps it may be more convenient but did you know that you can make them yourself too? Here is a simple recipe you can use, provided you have some of these items at home. But at least you know what are the ingredients in your cleaner. Sometimes the commercial ones may have certain toxic ingredients..

You will need;
1/4 cup of your laundry powder soap
1 tablespoon of borax
3/4 cup of hot water
1/4 cup of pine oil

Firstly, dissolve the powder detergent and borax in hot water to dissolve them. Add pine oil and stir it to mix well. This mixture is good for hard surfaces including your toilet floor. If you are using it for your kitchen, you might like to dilute the strength down with water. This mixture is heavy duty.

Aug 22, 2008

CLEANING A COFFEE MAKER

Do you know that vinegar has many uses? Not only can you use it for cooking, you can use it to clean out the slime in your coffee machine. Yes, no joke.

This is what you can do. You will need white vinegar for it. Pour a quart of white vinegar into the water chamber in your coffee machine. Turn on the coffee machine and let it run a cycle of it as you would do when you are brewing your hot coffee in the morning. The hot vinegar will then flow into your coffee pot. Do the same again, using another quart of vinegar and leave it there for about 15 minutes. Once you have done this, you can throw away the vinegar. And this time, put water as you would brew coffee (minus the coffee of course) and let it run through brewing cycle, twice or three time to clean off the vinegar remains.

There, you are done.

DIY FURNITURE POLISH

Have you ever used Lemon Pledge to polish your wooden furniture? They smell lemony, don't they. If you have run out of them and would like to make your own, you can! It is important to know what is in you polish solution and also having your own DIY ones are very useful.

Here is what you need:
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of boiled linseed oil
1 tablespoon of turpentine

Yes, these are the three ingredients for you to make your own Furniture Polish! Isn't it simple? Make more if you need more, or make lesser as an when you need it.

The method are: Find a tight fitting screw top glass jar. Place all the ingredients in the bottle or jar. Shake the bottle jar until they are blended. Prepare a clean soft cloth and damp it with cold water, but wring out the excess water as dry as possible. Dip the cloth in some of the mixture and use it to wipe your furniture, testing it on a hidden spot first.

This mixture must be used on demand or it gets a little gummy after a while.

Aug 21, 2008

CHEESEBURGER AND FRIES IN A CASSEROLE

This is yet another yummy potato recipe that's great for the kids and couch potatoes!

Frozen french fries
Half cup diced Yellow Onion
2 tablespoon Dill Pickle/Dill Pickle Relish
450gms ground beef
1tsp salt
1tsp black pepper
A can of mushroom soup
2tbsp ketchup
2tbsp yellow mustard
5slices of cheese

Saute the onions, followed by the beef in a skillet. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the mushroom soup in and mix untill it is well combined. Pour it in a casserole dish. Spread ketchup and mustard on the top, followed by layers of cheese. Arrange the frozen fries on the top layer and bake in oven for about 50 minutes. Serve with a salad.

Aug 19, 2008

BAKED BEEF WITH POTATOES

I was looking for ways of cooking potato when I found a recipe that is simple and can be done in 20 minutes! It's called the Beef and Potato Stroganoff and it is really simple and delicious too.

The recipe uses russets and according to the creator, you may use noodles instead of potatoes as an option too. How wonderful. Here is the original recipe.

2 med Russet Potatoes/4 small red potatoes is also fine
350gms Lean Ground Beef
1tsp Salt
pinch of Black Pepper
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can of mushroom (brown fresh mushrooms or button is fine)
Half cup water
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Cut the potatoes in half, lengthwise, then slice it into 3cm thickness.
In a microwave safe dish, crumble the gound beef, season with salt and pepper.
Add the soup, mushrooms, water, mustard and potato slices. Stir them well until combined. Cover the lid with cling wrap. Microwave it for 20mins on high. Let it sit for 2 more minutes. Remove and serve.

Aug 16, 2008

PUMPKIN RICE



Pumpkin has been popular during Halloween for displays as lanterns. It is also popular with many in the kitchen as food. They are high in potassium, beta carotene and vitamin C. Pumpkin is also a good source of fibre and you also can obtain calcium from it.

Have you tried Pumpkin Rice before. It is very nutritious and yummy. Try this.

400g pumpkin
4 cardamon pods
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups of washed rice
Chopped Celery of a stalk
1 tsp sugar
salt
pepper
600ml water
grated orange rind
chopped chinese celery

Without seeds, pulp pumpkin
Rinse and Steam for about 7 minutes
Using a parisian scoop, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and leave it aside

In a wok, saute onions in oil, and add the cardamon just fry it briefly. Add the rinsed rice, the chopped celery, salt and pepper to taste, sugar and make sure they are all stired through and mixed well.

Once you have fried them thoroughly, you can cook the rice in the electric rice cooker with the pumpkin and water. Cook until it is done.

Serve with orange rind and chopped chinese celery as garnishing.

Aug 14, 2008

WHEN BABIES CRY

Some newborn parents who just got acquainted with Baby do not know what they should do when Baby cries. It's true Babies are not born with a 'manual' and every baby is individual and has a different personality. But here is an 'easy' checklist that as a new parent, what could be wrong when your little bundle of joy cries.

Milk
Babies cry when they are hungry. If the time is scheduled for her milk, this could be the first reason.

Diaper
Babies tend to pee and poo alot. As many as 7 times a day, or more depending on their diet. When their diaper is dirty, wet or uncomfortable, they do cry.

Mummy
Yes, Babies need all the loving and assuring that mummy is nearby. They can tell when mummy is in the room or not. They cry for attention.. they want Mummy!

Security
Babies in womb are kept warm so when he or she is out in the world, the feel is different. It helps to bundle them tight in their nappy cloth, just for the security and comfort of warmth.

Wind/Colic
Babies may swallow air when they cry. These sometimes may cause tummy aches or colic. Sometimes a good rub and pat may help to soothe them down.

Sound
The sound from inside the womb and outside is a drastic different. It helps for them to hear 'white' noise like the vacumm buzzing in the background. Or you can turn the radio on too.

So, there you have it, Mummys. This is not a sure answer to your baby's cries but possible checks that you can do when they cry.

CLEANING ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

Look around you at home. We use many types of Electronic Equipment daily in our lives. From the television, microwave, personal computer, our mobile phone, the refrigerator running and even the radio that we play. How often do you clean these equipment at home. It is important to keep them clean. Some of us prefer not to clean them as often as we do not really know how to go upon doing that.

It is very simple, actually. Always use a soft cloth that wont cause scratches. Isopropyl alcohol is a the best liquid to clean, and not water or lightly soapy water. Do you know why. Because of the alcohol content, the liquid evaporates faster thus your electrical or equipment is not subject to risk of being electrocution nor rust. Oh of course don't forget to unplug from the power point, of course.

Clean out the equipment and make it a regular habit, and it will last you a very very long time.

Aug 13, 2008

PERSIMMONS

Persimmons look a little like a beef tomato, to me. But unlike tomato, persimmon is a fruit high in beta-arotene, Vitamin C and potassium. There are two types of Persimmons - Fuyu and Hachiya. If you love persimmons, you probably have tried the Fuyu versions which are sweet and can be eaten right away. But if you have eaten Hachiya and detest it, you probably have eaten an unriped fruit. The Hachiya needs to be ripen before consumption as it can taste as bitter as several cups of extra strength tea! It has a very high level of tannin and if you have tried a bitter persimmon, you probably will not eat one ever again.

The country that produces the most persimmon is none other than China. Other countries are Brazil, Japan and also Korea. Hachiyas should be handled with care as they are delicate when riped. Refrigerate them and eat them within those few days. The unriped ones can be kept at room temperature until they are ripe. You can place them with a banana or apple in a bag to accelerate it to ripe.

Fuyu persimmons should be firm and yellow orange in colour. They can stay firm up to 3 weeks in room temperature, and then become soft like the delicate Hachiya.

The persimmons peak during the months of October, November, December and January. These are the months where you get the abundants of Persimmons.

Aug 10, 2008

JAPANESE INSPIRED PRODUCT BLOG

If you love Japanese inspired products you might like to check out this blog that reviews items like kids accessories, cute food picks, tiny forks and spoons, bento lunch pouches, rice moulds, bento belts, silicon dish for bento lunch boxes and more. This site is new so you may not find that many items yet. But I'm sure as time progress, you'll find heaps of items that are just too cute or like that the Japanese word Kawaii. Navigation is simple, straight forward and layout is very simple and uncluttered.

I thought the portable Banana case was unique. I've never seen a banana case before so this is the first time. This blog is a 'widget' by itself, so instead of subscribing to the blog, you might like to copy down the html and paste it in your blog. This way, you can view the items added each time. It is all for your convenience.


The blog that I'm talking about is http://allaboutkawaii.com

EAT A BALANCE DIET

Learning to eat healthy is important. One should always follow the basic balance diet when it comes to nutrition and proportion of food. One should always start with having a regular meals and not eat at odd intervals. In order to eat healthy, one should first stock up on healthy food in their fridge or larder. Avoid processed foods, foods that high in salt and sugar and avoid junk food as they contain little or no nutrition. Store more fresh foods like vegetable, fruits, lean meat, dairy products. Avoid using a lot of oil like deep frying and grilling foods. Steaming, poaching and baking is a healthier option.

Many people who have been eating healthily continues to do so because they are so used to the fact and foods that are high in salts, sugar and oil do not attract them. Those who have been so used to choosing the unhealthy food options finds it hard to pick up good eating habits. Some become desperate when they find their weight ballooning and start to worry about their weight.

In order to lose weight quickly, they start to starve themselves, go on diet and hit the gym. Exercise is a good option but in moderation, supplementing with a good diet but starving themselves is out of the question. Some would hunt for the best diet pills in the market. It is important to remember that diet pills have health risks so it is important to read about it as well as learn the ingredients and effectiveness of the selection before consumption.

Aug 9, 2008

SPINACH GOOD SOURCE OF IRON

I love Spinach. It is the most widely used vegetable found in my weekly diet be it for lunch and dinner. There are many varieties of spinach. In the US, most of the variety used are the spade leaf spinach, with textures like flat/smooth leaf or the savoy spinach ones.

In Asia, very common ones are usually categorized as the sharp leaf, round leaf and also other varieties like the baby spinach, and the red spinach. These are most often used in cooking, like stir fry and in clear soups.

Spinach can be found in frozen packs too. Some are canned but I still prefer the frozen over the canned ones. Spinach can be eaten fresh as in your salads and sandwiches too.

It is very high in nutrition, and low in calories. A very good source of iron, vitamins A, C, some minerals and also fiber. There are about 3gms of protein in every serving of spinach.

















Did you know that spinach contains Oxalic Acid, a chemical that binds with iron and calcium. Iron and Calcium are not easily absorbed in our body unless it is accompanied with foods that are high in Vitamin C. So, remember that when you are eating spinach, try to add fruits like Oranges, Kiwis or even Tomatoes to maximise absorption.

Some suggestions you can cook spinach in. Pizza, pasta, soup, stirfry.

Aug 8, 2008

CARAMEL PEANUT BUTTER POPCORN

For those of you who happened to hopped into my blog looking for Caramel Popcorn, here is one recipe which is very nice. I've tried this twice at home and it tastes great! I got it from a little magazine from the gas station.. but it was months ago and I can't remember where I placed it.. lucky I did scribbled out the recipe though.

You will need:
80gms of popcorn (unpopped)
a stick of butter (salted)
half a cup of sugar
4 tbsps of yummy peanut butter of your choice. (i used Planters and tried Skippy too)
quarter cup of corn syrup

Oil a large flat pan(that comes with a lid). Don't use a shallow one, a deep one is the best! Place the popping corn on a single layer and cover it over medium high heat. Do not lift the lid and shake it occasionally and you will hear popping sounds. The pop corns will pop but do not peek, remember or you might get hurt from popping corn bullets!! When you don't hear any popping sounds, turn the heat off the stove. Pour the popped corn onto a large roasting pan.

Make your glaze (sugar coat)
In the saucepan, melt butter, sugar and peanut butter and stir well to prevent burning of sugar in butter. Butter burns fast. Once the sugar is melted in the hot butter, remove from heat and pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir or toss to get the corn evenly coated. Place it in the oven and and bake in the oven at 120 deg C for an hour. Stir the pop corn at 15 mins interval, to get crispy and well coated popcorn.

Remove, cool and store in airtight container.

Have fun and enjoy your Caramel Peanut Butter Popcorn!

Aug 7, 2008

DRIED FRUITS

Have you asked yourself if you actually consume at least 5 servings of fruits or vegetables in a day? Did you know that as a recommended daily consumption, it is important to have that number of fruits and vegetables in a day. For some people, they do not have the luxury of getting fresh fruits at some time of the year because it could be winter, or they could be living in areas that are away from access.

So how can one make sure that one gets enough nutrition from fruits and vegetables then. One way is to have dried fruit when fresh ones are not available. In ancient times, freeze drying fruits like dates are just as nutritios and has been in practise since. A fruit that is left exposed to the heat of the sun (or freezing night temperature, the food is able to maintain the nutrition of it's form although the water had evaporated. Dried food is easy to store and can be stored over a long period of time. Because of this favourite method, after the World War II, freeze drying food/fruits become commercialized.

Among some of the fruits excellent for freeze drying includes Strawberries, Blueberries, Apples, raspberries, celery, onions, carrots, peas, corn, peaches and more. Try to get them especially if you know you will run out of fruits for some periods of time.

Aug 2, 2008

SURPRISE SOMETHING IN A BOX

If you love surprise, you should get yourself a little surprise in a box. If there is no one to do it for you, you still can get your own box of surprise by going to SomethingStore. Something new and quite innovative, customers pay $10 to get themselves a brown little package of surprise. You may receive anything from an electronic kettle, a new set of shower curtains, jewelery, rare book or even an ipod shuffle. The element of surprise is not known until it reaches you at your doorstep upon receiving this package in a brown box! In its first month of starting this business alone, it sold over 1,000 items! Shipping is free within US, $4.75 in Canada but it is a standard $8.75 for all other international orders.

How about sending someone a little surprise something from Something Store? I wished they allow PayPal orders for international orders.. but they don't. What a disappointment because I was ready to buy a Something!

Aug 1, 2008

PREVENT MOSQUITO BITES

Mosquitos bring the risk of Dengue fever. The mosquitos that are responsible for these are the female aedes mosquitos. Mosquitos breed in stagnant water that can be found in hidden little grooves as little as a ten cent coin.

Mosquitos love warm bodies.. Those with a higher or warmer body temperature are more prominent to mosquito bites. But there are some ways one can do to prevent this. Instead of using toxic chemicals, there are alternative natural repellant.

Garlics
Mosquitos dislike garlic. Rubbing some on your exposed skin will help to repel mosquitos. If you are a garlic eater, it works too. It will permeat through your skin from the pores.

Citronella
This is a good and effective way to prevent mosquito bites. If you can find products like the candle wax, rub some on your skin and allow it to work. Or you can find them in essential oil and rub them on your body. Pulse points that produce heat are the best places.

Vitamin B1If you take a table of these, it releases the odour through your skin. The smell repels mosquitos of course. These would be a good choice if you are holidaying in a country or forest prone area.. take a table of these once a day can help you avoid mosquito bites in your trip.

Lavender, Cinnamon and PeppermintThese plants produce a certain aroma that helps to repel mosquitos. It is helpful to plant them in the garden to prevent mosquitos too. You can also have pots of them in your home in corners that are dark and tend to attract mosquitos.