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Keep cool this summer by stocking your freezer with make ahead ice cubes

Here is a recipe roundup for make-ahead ice cubes to keep your summer chill. Save time and refrigerator space by making flavored ice cubes to add to recipes, drinks and more.

Kerekes Bake Deco has Silicon Ice Cream Molds that are on sale for 20% off, which would make these DIY flavored ice cubes a fun project.


Green blocks of goodness Make "Meatless Monday" even easier with Amanda Cohen’s Secret-Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce. This sauce is made with cilantro, parsley, Thai basil, garlic and ginger - or what ever is in your veggie drawer!
Kitchn's freezer friendly tips for making stock Get cooking lessons from Kitchn - who shows you how to make basic chicken stock and vegetable stock; which you can keep in your freezer to use later.


Infused ice cube ideas Martha Stewart infuses ice cubes with fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers to enhance your water and help keep you hydrated throughout the summer.  Here are recipes for Cucumber-Basil PureeOrange-Lime Mix and Lemonade-Raspberry…

I inherited cast-iron skillets, what do I do now?

Hello dear readers!Well, it was my birthday last week and my mother sent me two of her beautiful cast-iron pans that have been in our family for years.  This gift was pre-arranged and discussed (I mentioned that I wanted them).  I patiently waited to see what this "surprise" would be.  Would the cast-iron skillets need to be restored? Will I ruin them?  What meals do I remember my mom making in them?  What should I make in them?I was so excited that I must have mentioned that I was getting these pans to everyone I met. 
And the people I talked to had stories to tell: from having them ruined by helpful guests who zealously cleaned the pans with soap, to just forgetting about them - only to find them later rusty and ruined, to searching for pans in vintage stores to try and restore them back to their former beauty.The pans that my mom sent me are beautifully seasoned.  Their patina are perfectly black.  I suspect, knowing my mom, that she probably dressed them up a bit prior to…

Thinking Of You - Greeting card tips and tricks shared with you

My mom has finally moved off Facebook!
What a relief!  No more gushing over her daughter online! No more excessive “Likes” and reveling embarrassing moments of my childhood.
Whew!
...wait, by not talking to my mom via Facebook, I now have the desire to make greeting cards, so I can send them to her and stay connected with my family and friends.
To make this music-themed card, I cut up pieces of black and white paper to look like piano keys. I chose brown colors to represent the wood typically seen in performance halls.  To dress up the card, I added a black bow to make it a black-tie affair.  The music sheet paper was included to tie the theme together.  This took a lot of glueing, but overall - this card was simple to make.
To inspire you to make cards, I am sharing 3 greeting card sources, with great tips and tricks to you get started.
Melissa, from “A Vegas Girl at Heart” shows what you can do with just a simple circle punch.  She even provided a simple sketch to help you figure o…

One-Pot-Meal: Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Earlier this month, my husband and I flew to New Orleans for the weekend.  We happened to catch the beginning of the Carnival season that officially started on January 6 and continues through Fat Tuesday - marking the last day of the season.
New Orleans is a pleasure-loving city with famed common dishes that are heavily influenced by Spanish and French cuisines.  To put you in the mood for Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), I am sharing my modified version of the classic dish: Jambalaya.
To keep this dish easy, you can use store bought stock.  Since it was the weekend, and I had some extra time, I used a technique I learned from Chef Paul Prudhomme's book "Fork In the Road." 

This cookbook is one of the books I inherited from my mother, and was originally published in 1993.

Chef Prudhomme is a Lousiana chef - known for using fresh ingredients and serving upscale Cajun and Creole dishes.

I had some frozen stock that I made from our smoked Thanksgiving turkey.  I defrosted my sto…

Decision making tip to help prioritize your bullet journal lists

I discovered Bullet Journaling and now I am obsessed.  I have been creating lists of places I want to go, movies I want to watch and things I need to get done!  Now, I want to reorder my list based on what is the most important.

In my career, I have been a Project Manager, Scrum Master, Business Analyst, and Product Owner - all roles that are faced with the challenge to get decisions made and priorities set. I learned this technique called: Pairwise Comparison.

Basically, you create your wish list of all the things you want, in this case my Places That I Want to Visit list.  Ireland has always been a place I want to visit, so it went first on my list.

Then you create a grid where you have to chose one over the other. This forces you to make your choices by comparing them head-to-head.  After you are done, you can clearly see the order of your preference.  In my case, I learned that Cuba is actually the first place I want to visit.



How to make a pairwise comparison chart:
List all your …

Bullet Journaling for Lefties: Achieve Smudge-Free Lists in the New Year!

Happy New Years! This is the time of year, where I try to slow down, reflect and organize my thoughts.  It is also the time of year when I like to make a lot of lists.  I create lists for movies I want to watch (the Oscars are coming), places I want to visit, what I hope to achieve in the new year, restaurants I want to try, and the lists go on.

I heard about Bullet Journal (BuJo for short); which is an "analog system for the digital age" that was created by Ryder Carroll, who is a digital product designer.  I was instantly turned off to this idea.

Check out these cute journals sold at Darn Good Yarn.



The idea of going analog and putting down the laptop intrigues me, but being a lefty who can barely read my own writing, the idea of writing things down outright scares me.

Writing makes me nervous. Not the act of expressing myself with words, but physically writing.  I am left-handed, so my handwriting is terrible and I am subject to the lefty smudge. I am the last person to …

Last Minute Holiday Ideas To Keep Your Season Sane

Need something quick for a Holiday Exchange?  Would you like to stop by the neighbors to say hello and drop off a thoughtful and tasty gift?  Want to offer a small treat to thank your co-workers? In need of a quick host or hostess gift?

Here are some ideas I gathered. Cheers!


Bring Holiday Cheer!
A little booze can be a great ice-breaker for the season. Dress up bottles for a quick gift idea to add something special under the tree or to take to a party.  Please check out my alcohol themed ideas to get the holidays started.
Bark, The Herald Angels Sing! Fa La La La etc...
The trick to making bark is to not make them too thick. They break easier and are less "fudgie" tasting. You also need to watch when you are melting white chocolate, because it melts at a different time and temperature than dark chocolate.  Here is a link about how to melt white chocolate that you can read before trying these recipes that have a bigger bark than their bite.

Quick Ideas for the Host or Hostes…