Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homemade Ketchup

1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in purée
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Blend tomatoes and purée from the can in a blender until smooth. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, Cook onion in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened (about 8 minutes). Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt. Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until very thick (about an hour). Purée mixture in a blender until smooth. Chill, covered, for two hours before serving.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some Uses for Vodka

I found these uses for Vodka on the internet this weekend....

1.  To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. It will dissolve adhesive.
2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, and spray on the caulking.  Let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.
3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.
4. Spray vodka on wine stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry.
5. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.
6. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.
7. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle with vodka: spray bees or wasps to kill them.
8.  Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water into a Ziploc freezer bag. Freeze it for a slushy, refreshing ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.
9. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers; fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain this liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.
10. To relieve a fever, use a wash cloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.
11. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.
12. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.
13. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the oil from your skin.
14. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

......Silly me! I've only been drinking the stuff.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Mustard

Homemade Mustard
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
Dissolve mustard in vinegar. Stir in remaining ingredients until combined, and cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired thickness (about 10 minutes). Pour into a container, cool, cover, and keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homemade Chipotle sauce

Chipotle Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 ounce Dijon mustard
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 ounce fresh garlic, minced
Salt, to taste
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, chipotle, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Purée until fully combined. Add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Refrigerator Hints

What and how you store food in your refrigerator can affect the amount of energy that is consumed. Make the right choices and over the course of 12 months, the savings can add up!

Refrigerators and freezers should not be set too cold. Refrigerators should maintain a temperature of 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezers should be at 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Stand-alone freezers for long storage can be set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. To check your refrigerator's temperature, set a thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the appliance. Read the thermometer after 24 hours. For a freezer, place a thermometer between packages. Again, read the thermometer after 24 hours.

Keeping your refrigerator full actually helps increase energy efficiency because there is less air to cool. Be careful not to overfill though. Overfilling your refrigerator can hinder air circulation. Also, keep liquids covered and make sure to wrap foods when they are stored in the refrigerator. Not only will uncovered foods dry out and have their taste ruined, but the moisture that is released from uncovered foods causes the refrigerator's compressor to run longer.

Check to make sure the coils behind the refrigerator are cleaned on a regular basis. Keeping coils clean allows for better airflow over the coils resulting in the cooling unit’s compressor running less than if the coils were dirty. Another important task that should be done regularly is defrosting the freezer, if the unit is not a frost-free model. Frost buildup exceeding one quarter of an inch will decrease the unit's energy efficiency.

Here’s another money saving tip: Make sure there is no air leakage around the refrigerator’s door seals. When cold air escapes, the compressor runs longer to replace it. To see if your unit needs new seals, perform the “dollar bill” test. Place a dollar bill between the door and the unit. Close the door. If the bill slides out easily, air is leaking and the hinges and/or seals need to be fixed. If it is difficult to pull out the bill, the seal on the door is in good shape.

Lastly, make sure your refrigerator is in the right location. Though location is often limited by electrical and water hookups, making sure that there is proper air flow around the refrigerator can help it run more efficiently. If the appliance is stored between cabinets, make sure that nothing stored around the unit hinders its airflow. If possible, refrigerators should not be located near windows, stoves, or ovens. Heat from the sun or cooking appliances can cause the refrigerator to expend more energy to keep cool. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Emergency Substitutions

For 1 Tbsp fresh herb use: 1/3 to 1/2 tsp dried herb (of the same kind)

For 1 clove garlic use: 1/8 tsp garlic powder
For 1 egg in baking use: 1 tsp cornstarch plus 1/4 cup water
For 1 whole egg use: 2 egg yolks plus 1 Tbsp water
For 1 cup whole fresh milk use: 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water, or 1/3 cup dry milk plus 1 cup water
For 1 cup buttermilk use: 1 cup plain yogurt, or 1 cup sour milk (4 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to make 1 cup -- let sit for five minutes before using)
For 1 cup sour cream (in baking) use: 7/8 cup buttermilk or sour milk plus 3 Tbsp butter

For 1 cup sour cream (in salad dressings, casseroles) use: 1 cup plain yogurt or 3/4 cup sour milk plus 1/3 cup butter

For 1 cup cream use: 1/3 cup butter plus 3/4 cup milk
For 1 cup corn syrup use: 2/3 cup granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup water
For 1 cup brown sugar use: 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 Tbsp molasses
For 1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar use: 1 cup granulated sugar, packed
For 1 cup margarine or butter (in baking or cooking) use: 1 cup hard shortening or 7/8 cup vegetable oil
For 1 square unsweetened chocolate use: 3 Tbsp cocoa plus 1 Tbsp oil
For 3/4 cup cracker crumbs use: 1 cup bread crumbs
For 1 cup cake flour, sifted use: 7/8 cup all purpose flour, sifted (1 cup minus 2 Tbsp)
For 1 tsp baking powder use: 1/3 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp cream of tarter, or 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/3 cup sour milk
For 1 Tbsp cornstarch for thickening use: 2 Tbsp flour
For 1 Tbsp flour for thickening use: 1 1/2 tsp corn flour, arrowroot, potato flour, or rice flour; or 2 tsp tapioca