Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some things are worth it

High school reunion

$40 for fees

$35 for a tank of gas to get there and back

Connecting with old friends: Priceless

Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Monday: Ginger-Curry Chicken

My fiddle on a recipe I found:

1 tablespoon chopped ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3-4 tablespoons water
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl, stir together ginger, lemon juice,
curry powder, garlic, salt, cinnamon, water and
cayenne.

Place chicken in a baking dish (one with cover if
possible). Pour ginger-curry mixture over chicken
(add a bit more water if you want more sauce)
Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until
chicken is done.

Serve with rice, couscous or lentils.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden report





Things are moving right along. I'm about to harvest my first banana pepper!



Also, the bell peppers have teeny-tiny fruits, as does one of the Roma tomato plants. Lots of flowering going on, and the pole beans are slowly climbing up the trellis! My basil and mint are doing well, and the cooler weather is allowing the salad greens to hang on.



I have had some setbacks. A good number of Lima beans did not sprout. I'll replace with more bush beans.



My Black Russian tomato plant is looking sickly, so not sure if it will survive.



My oregano and cilantro seeds didn't sprout, or barely sprouted, so I bought plants to replace them. (I do intend to get my $$ out of them -- I've already harvested some for various dishes)



In the meantime ... I'm still picking mulberries!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Well, something's changed

There's an grocer and a superstore here that have been notorious for being extremely unfriendly to Internet coupon users. After several bad experiences, I've taken most of my business to the superstore that is very coupon-friendly.

Anyway, in the past month, I decided to try an Internet coupon or two at the two stores. (And was prepared to not buy the item if there was a problem.) You know what, they took them. No "We don't take those," no staring at the coupon suspiciously and examining it from end to end, no attitude. Just a simple swipe over the bar code scanner.

Wow.

(Not that I'm planning to take all my shopping to those two stores ... I still have price issues with them.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today's tip

Went in to take a shower today and noticed that my plastic shower curtain was hanging at an unnatural angle.

Turns out that two of the holes had been torn from the hooks. (And gee, why do I think a couple of furbabies were responsible for this? Hmm.)

Anyway, I quickly needed a temporary hook (or 2) ... I spied a couple of clothespin hangars (hook on top, clothespin on the bottom, used for drying hand-washed stuff). I pinned two of them to the curtain, and voila! Instant curtain hooks.

Course, now I have to figure out how to repair the curtain ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Silver-plated lining

As part of my decluttering efforts, I finally took a good look at the silverware drawer. Besides the stainless that DH and I have collected over the years, there sat a jumble of very tarnished flatware that I'd inherited from my late mother and aunts.

The flatware is nice enough, but outside of a couple of pieces, I never use it. Frankly, it's a pain to keep clean. (Don't think it's dishwasher safe.)

So, what to do? Maybe this is worth something, I decided. So a bit of research later, I discovered a couple of things:

1) It's silver plate, not sterling. Seems Wm. Rogers flatware was very popular in the first half of the 20th century.

2) So far, it's not worth much. Apparently there's not enough silver to make it worth selling to a metals dealer. As for collectors ... there are lots of unsold listings on eBay and other sites. There is a large company that sells/buys flatware patterns, but it only seems to be buying odd pieces, like serving forks.

So I'm still sorting .. and learning ... Ultimately, it may just land in a box. Unless I can come up with some killer craft item using flatware!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Time to cut the cord?

Warning: Rant!

The phone company is now on my "you know what" list.

In the past two months, the combined DSL/landline bill at the casa de chaos has jumped by $8.50. Oddly enough, the actual increase is only $5, but higher prices mean higher taxes.

Wondering if this is the start of ever-escalating price hikes ... as more folks dump the landlines, those of us who are left are going to have to pick up more of the costs of maintaining them.

Admittedly, we're sort of stuck with the Internet option. Dial-up's too slow for our needs, so it's either DSL or cable (unless we want to steal the neighbors' wireless ... No, not really). And I dumped cable because of lousy TV service ... not sure I want to entrust my Internet to them.

But I'm really considering dumping the landline and replacing it with a pay-as-you-go cell phone for the house, and just buying the DSL. Lots of pros and cons to be considered ... but it's sure something to think about.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well, it seemed like a good idea

Ever do something that you thought would save money, but turned out to be a mistake?

Last year, we decided to get a subscription (with one of the national card companies) for e-mail greeting cards. We figured we'd get our money's worth in postage and time saved.

Eh! Turns out most of the folks we sent cards to never opened them. They were afraid that it was some sort of spam or virus carrier. Or it got sent to their spam file and they never saw it.

As for the younger members of the family, seems they don't pay attention to anything that's not on Facebook, or Twitter or texted to their phones. (and frankly, said company has very poor instructions for sending cards to FB ... never could get one to go there.)

The subscription is up for renewal ... I think we're gonna pass.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Redecorating

I decided to try a new look ....

You like?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Monday: Mulberry bread

It's mulberry season here at the Casa de Chaos again! Which means I'm on a mission to get the last of last year's berries out of the freezer.

One of our favorites around here is ..

Mulberry Bread

1 cup mulberries (cranberries also work)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 orange
1 Tablespoon chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Sift dry ingedients together
Grate rind from orange, squeeze out juice. Add water to juice to make 3/4 cup of liquid.
Add rind, liquid, margarine and egg to dry ingredients; mix
Fold in mulberries and nuts
Pour into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan
Bake at 350 for 1 hour

Notes: Don't worry too much if you don't have fresh oranges. I've used 3/4 cup of frozen or bottled orange juice or even orange drink. Then toss in a tablespoon of dried orange peel.
As for nuts ... walnuts or pecans work equally well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

May freebies

A very quiet month

Taster's Choice coffees
Breakstone cottage cheese
Uncle Ben's Ready Rice
Dove men's deodorant

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Not going "buy" the book

Something's obviously wrong with me ... I went into a used bookstore that was having a 20% off sale ... I had $$ to spend....

And I bought ... nothing.

I don't know ... maybe it was because I didn't find anything on my list. Maybe it's that pile of books on my cabinet that I've barely been able to touch. (I joke that I'm saving up my reading for retirement, LOL!) Maybe it's that I've been in decluttering mode lately ....

Maybe I should go take my temperature.