Sunday, July 29, 2007

Getting Back on Track

Well we are back from a wonderful family vacation and ready to get back to work. We will be covering topics from recipes to real estate, so stay tuned and be sure to share your thoughts and ideas as we go along.

A big thank you to our fellow blogger, Debbie, for filling in and providing the delicious sounding kabob recipe. We can't wait to give it a try!

We will be starting on our decluttering project this week as well, so come on and join us and start cleaning. Look for an upcoming contest for those who share their organizing ideas.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your weekend and we will be back on Monday.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Back Next Week!

Karen & Rick and family are on vacation having a terrific time. When they get back they will be ready to share all kinds of great ideas and start in on their decluttering project! Meanwhile, the rest of us might want to get a jump ahead by ordering the e-book they are going to follow so we can declutter alongside.

Karen & Rick also wanted to share this great kabob recipe while they were out -

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

1 Pineapple cut into chunks
2 green or red peppers, cut into cubes
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive Oil
Salt to taste

In a blender or food processer, combine the onion, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and thyme. Add the yogurt and mix.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Cut into 1-inch cubes and place in container. Pour the yogurt mixture over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and thread them onto skewers alternating with pineapple and green peppers. Brush the chicken with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the skewers on an oiled grill rack and grill, turning and basting once with the reserved marinade, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quick Update on the Declutter Project

I'm still going forward with my home declutter and get organized project but will be sidetracked for a few days due to taking some time off with the family. No, I'm not procrastinating. Yes, I know it sounds like I am.

I'll have another update on this in about a week. In the meantime, here is the original plan in case you missed it.

Stay tuned...

Roasted New Potatoes Recipe

We were cooking some chicken on the grill and trying to think of a good side dish, so I pulled out my roasted new potato recipe. The directions call for you to bake them in the oven, but it works equally well in a foil pan on the grill. Give it a try, its delicious!

Roasted New Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste (use kosher salt for the best taste)

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag and toss to coat. Place potatoes in ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan. I like to line my pan with foil for an easy clean up.

Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm.

If cooking on a grill, stir potatoes occasinally to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Haricot Verts Definition - Food Word Game #4

Here are the Food Word Game #4 Results:

What are haricot verts?

Long green noodles

Slender green beans 50%

Thin, pale green asparagus 50%

Hairy green fruit

Haricot verts are actually slender French green beans. They are delicious steamed with a bit of butter, lemon, fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of thyme.

I Want to Declutter My Home & Get Organized!

I've decided its time to do some more work around the house to get organized and get rid of all of the extra "stuff" that is just taking up space. Looking at all of that stuff laying around and tucked in closets and cabinets just makes me nutty sometimes! (Yes, I know I'm already nutty, so okay "nuttier").

The problem, as with most people, is where to begin. I decided to get some help with this task, as getting organized and decluttering is one of those things that can easily overwhelm you.

On that note, I have ordered and downloaded a copy of Declutter Fast, an e-book that promises to get things in order in an extremely easy way. Sounds good to me! I'll get started with the suggestions in the book and get back to you on how its working for me.

In the meantime, if you can't wait to get started decluttering your own life you can find a copy of the book here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Color Splash with David Bromstad - A Work in Progress

As bloggers who are interested in home and food, we are frequent viewers of television channels such and HGTV and the Food Network. As we were watching a recent episode of Color Splash with David Bromstad on HGTV, we were trying to decide whether or not we really liked the show. While we think David has a lot of talent, there is something about the show that strikes a bit of a negative chord.

David is charming, but maybe a bit too charming. His charisma can be a bit hard to handle at times. On the other hand, some of the other cast members come across a bit dull. It’s kind of a strange mix. Most of the rooms they do on the show are quite nice with a good balance of color and style, obviously done on a budget. It’s also kind of a neat idea that the homeowners’ always receive an original piece of art done by David.

Obviously our opinions are a bit mixed on Color Splash. We will probably continue to watch, however, because David is a talented designer and we hope the show will begin to flow a bit better as it matures. Time will tell.

What is your opinion?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Food Word of the Day Game #3

Here is the correct answer to yesterday's Food Word Game question:

What is celeriac?

A small piece of celery.

An allergic reaction to celery.

The root of certain types of celery. 100% selected this answer

The leaves of the celery plant.

The correct answer is... The root of certain types of celery. Great job everyone!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Making Green Choices When Buying Dinnerware and Dishes

Be Green and Save: Making Green Choices When Buying Dinnerware and Dishes

Here is an interesting post on bamboo dishes, a green choice when you are looking for dinnerware or serving pieces. They show some lovely pieces on the Be Green and Save site.

Here are a couple more bamboo pieces we found that we think would be a great addition to any kitchen.

Totally Bamboo 11.5x14.5 Hawaiian Collection Kauai Bamboo Cutting Board

Totally Bamboo 11.5x14.5 Hawaiian Collection Kauai Bamboo Cutting Board

This handcrafted board is made from flattened strips of bamboo that are bonded together. Its natural beauty comes from the natural sugars in the wood which caramelize to a beautiful honey color. Harder than maple and a gorgeous piece to have in your kitchen.

Wusthof 2-pc. Classic Black Asian Cook's Set in Bamboo Box

Wusthof 2-pc. Classic Black Asian Cook's Set in Bamboo Box

This is a beautiful knife set from Wusthof presented in a bamboo storage box. The santoku, similar to the chef's knife, can be used for slicing onions, cutting melon or mincing herbs; the paring knife removes skins from potatoes or apples. Both are from Wusthof's Classic line, offering high-carbon stainless steel blades that are hardened to maintain a sharp edge and full tangs that provide perfect balance. The precision forged knives also come with triple-riveted, high-impact composition handles that fit comfortably in the hand. Really a gorgeous set and knives that you will use on a regular basis.

Food Word of the Day Game #2

Here are the results of our second Food Word of the Day Game:

What is an onglet?

1. A French cut of beef from the skirt and flank area. 0%

2. A French way of cooking eggs until set and then folded over. 0%

3. A South African fruit. 0%

4. A way to prepare fresh vegetables. 100%

The correct answer is... A French cut of beef from the skirt and flank area.

Play again and feel free to leave comments or tell us your guess.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Food Word of the Day Game #1

Here are the results of our first Food Word of the Day Game:

What is bran?

1. Part of a raisin.

2. The thin papery skin covering a piece grain. 2 votes

3. The core of a piece of grain. 2 votes

4. A piece of cardboard.

The correct answer is...The thin papery skin covering a piece of grain!

Play again and feel free to leave comments or tell us your guess. Have fun!

Food Scales from QuickSupply.Net

Sponsored Review

Food Scales or Kitchen Scales are a necessary part of any good kitchen, especially a commercial kitchen. They are essential for measuring baking ingredients to ensure accurate measurements. They are used for weighing meats, poultry, fish, produce, candy, and more depending on the type of shop or restaurant. Food scales are of course quite useful in the home kitchen as well for ascertaining accurate amounts for any recipe. There are a variety of types of FoodScales available and a great source is QuickSupply.Net. They offer many models of commercial food scales ranging from the Detecto's Mechanical Baker's Dough Scale which offers precision measuring for the baker to the very high tech Avery Berkel IX Series Price Computing Scales /w Built In Printer which offers a built in thermal label printer, cash drawer interface, and links to a PC or barcode scanner. Very useful for the small retail/food outlet. Many of the FoodScales offered can run on either A/C power or battery power, which makes it very convenient for many applications where portability is an issue or outlets are not readily available. Other features to check for are whether the scales are legal for trade if you are using it in a retail setting, zero and tare functions, water resistance (things can get messy!) and the units of measure available (e.g. lbs, g, oz conversions).

Whatever your measuring needs, you are sure to find an outstanding, high quality scale at QuickSupply.Net.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Food Word of the Day Game - Play & Learn New Cooking & Food Terms

We are going to start a fun new feature today. It will be our Food Word of the Day Game. We will be running the game for fun and to encourage more reader interaction. We are going to post a food / cooking related word along with 3 or 4 possible definitions. Try to guess the correct definition and place your vote. The question will be answered in a post the next day and a new question will be posted. This is a great way to learn a lot of new culinary terms.

Feel free to leave your guess in a comment. We would love to hear what you really think. We’ll also make an effort to visit as many of your sites as possible. We encourage all of our readers to visit one another’s sites to support our Find More Facts Foodie Community.

Also, watch for our new contests coming soon with some great prize giveaways.

Have fun!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Chicken Salad With Apples, Grapes, & Spicy Pecans Recipe

Chicken Salad Recipe
This is a great fruity and crunchy chicken salad for anytime of the year. Makes a great main course on its own or in a sandwich. Try it on pita bread or a croissant for an extra special treat.

Makes 4-6 servings


1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fruit chutney
5 chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
2 chopped celery ribs (about 1 cup)
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
1 peeled and chopped tart apple, such as Granny Smith or Pippin (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I prefer the Italian flat leaf parsley)
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper


In a medium bowl, stir together mayo, Dijon mustard and chutney. Add remaining ingredients and toss together gently. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the recipe of spicy pecans (recipe shown below). Reserve remaining pecans for snacking (yum!)

Check out this gorgeous glass serving bowl from Joseph Abboud. What a fabulous way to serve this chicken salad, or a green salad, or fruit salad, or vegetables, or pasta salad or ...

Joseph Abboud Ventana Serving Bowl

Spicy Pecan Recipe

2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking oil spray.

Combine pecans, vanilla, and olive oil in medium bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in small bowl, sprinkle on pecans and toss to coat.

Arrange pecans in a single layer on baking sheet. Stirring frequently, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until nuts are brown and crispy.

Cool on baking sheet, continuing to stir often to prevent sticking. Sprinkle 1/2 of nuts over the chicken salad. Remaining pecans may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature. Makes a great snack with a good bottle of wine or a cool cocktail.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Home Remodeling and Interior Design – Should You Work With Professionals or Do It Yourself?

If you are thinking of tackling that long awaited renovation or interior design project, the first question you need to answer is should I do it all myself or should I hire professionals? What is the answer? That depends on your skill and comfort level. If it is a sizable project that entails a fair amount of money or if it is something you have never done before, we recommend at least getting some bids from contractors and interior designers before you begin.

Contemporary White Glass Pendant

It should not cost anything to get an estimate and you will get a better idea of the amount of work that will actually be involved with your project. If a contractor charges you to come out and give a basic estimate, keep looking. There are plenty of reputable contractors who won’t charge for the initial estimate. If however, you are expecting to receive a significant amount of advice on the initial consultation, then it is not unreasonable for someone such as an interior designer to charge a consultation fee. Always ask if there is a fee before making the appointment.

Napa Dining Table

A service such as Angie's List is a great way to determine the reputation and work ethic of any potential contractor. Make certain that you get multiple references for each contractor you are using to be certain they will complete the job in a timely manner, within budget and with a high quality of workmanship.

We’ll have more on the benefits of using decorating and remodeling professionals and how to get organized for a home remodeling project in our upcoming posts.