Monday, December 31, 2007

The Return of Finster, the Find More Facts Detective

After a bit of a hiatus and several requests from regular readers, we have decided to bring back Finster, our Find More Facts Detective. You may have noticed him appearing in several of our holiday postings. We find Finster a way to a bit of extra fun to our blog, so we hope you will enjoy his return. He'll be sniffing out a lot of great deals for you in the near future. 2008 promises to be a great year and we look forward to bringing you many new features and helpful tips this year.

Rick & Karen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mashed Potatoe Casserole Recipe

We frequently serve this delicious mashed potato recipe on the holidays. It is one of our favorites and you can make it ahead. Just let it come to room temperature, then warm it in the oven about 20-30 minutes, adding the cheese the last 5 minutes.

Mashed Potato Casserole
Serves 8

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 tsp. chopped chives
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Bring potatoes to a boil in lightly salted water in a covered sauce pan. Reduce heat, simmer until tender. Drain potatoes.

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes until most of the lumps are gone. Add the butter and continue mixing until smooth. Add the milk, sour, cream, salt, pepper, & chives, mixing until well blended. Place mixture in the prepared casserole dish and cover with the cheese. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

This recipe doubles well baked in a 3-4 quart casserole.

Happy Holidays!

Rick & Karen

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wine and Food Make Great Christmas Gifts!

Adding to our holiday shopping deals - because who doesn't like to receive delicious food as a gift! :-)


Omaha Steaks make an always appreciated gift and their steaks and side dishes are outstanding! I would order some for yourself as well. You will truly enjoy the quality and taste of the food.

Save up to 55% on the Ideal Gift Collection plus 2 FREE Gifts from Omaha Steaks!

BV Century Cellars Holiday Spirit Duet Gift Basket

If you have a wine lover on your list, this is the place to shop. has an extensive collection of spectacular wines, with wine recommendations available. They also have some beautiful gift packages and wine club memberships.

Save 10% on a 6 month Wine Club Membership at Enter promo code: 10GIFTCLUB at checkout. Offer ends 12.31.07.

Wine Gift Sets – Why bother picking individual wines? We’ve done the work for you. Give premier wines grouped by theme, varietal or region.

Happy Shopping (and Eating)!
Karen & Rick

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Online Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

While shopping online is a great time saver, very convenient, and can offer a better selection than local stores, there are precautions you need to take to safeguard your identity and your credit cards. Here are a few tips to help you shop safely and securely. Just take a few precautions and you can comfortably complete your holiday shopping from home while everyone else is out in the cold! :-)

  1. Always check the security of the checkout pages of any online merchant you are purchasing from. This means that when you are on the checkout page you should see "https" in the web address, the "s"indicates "secure." Also at the bottom of the page, you will see a graphic of a closed lock or unbroken key indicating the site is secure.

  2. Another way to check security when you are on the checkout page is to go to the top menu and click "File,"then "Properties." You will get a Properties pop-up screen that shows the Protocol as "HyperTextTransfer Protocol with Privacy" and the Connection will state "SSL with (at least) 128 bit encryption."You will also see a restatement of the https web address. Make sure it matches the address of the page you are supposed to be on. If all of these factors are in place, you can be relatively certain that you are on a secure site.

  3. Read the return policy before you buy. If you don't like the policy, buy somewhere else.

  4. Be sure you can locate the contact information for the merchant easily on the site.

  5. Print a receipt of your purchase before logging off of the site. Don't just rely on an e-mailed copy of a receipt. Sometimes even e-mails get lost.

Follow these few simple guidelines and you'll have your holiday shopping done in no time! Check back soon for our annual listing of top online places to shop and special online offerings.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Smartbargains Shopping and Calphalon One Cookware

Smartbargains is one of our favorite places to shop for all kinds of items for the kitchen and home adn even for some extra personal goodies. :-) From now until December 10th you can Checkout with PayPal and earn 20% Cash Back on your order! This is an awesome deal as their prices are already quite low and the shipping charges are very reasonable.

For example, check out this fabulous Calphalon One Nonstick 8pc Cookware Set.

It consists of:

  • 8-quart stockpot with lid

  • 4.5-quart saucepan with lid

  • 3-quart chef's pan with lid

  • 10" and 12" omelette pans

It is a wonderful set to cook with and would make an awesome gift for that special cook in your life (even if that happens to be you!)

Keep checking back for more great finds and special reader discounts and deals!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pumpkin Cake Recipe

If you are looking for a little twist on the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, here is a delicious recipe for a pumpkin layer cake. Even those who don't like pumpkin pie usually enjoy this moist and flavorful cake. Let us know what you think!

Pumpkin Cake
1 pkg yellow cake mix with pudding
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 large eggs
Cinnamon Whipped Cream Frosting:
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. In large bowl, combine all cake ingredients. Beat at low speed with mixer until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Pour batter into pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Cool completed on cooling rack.
In medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon; beat until stiff. Place 1 cake layer top side down on cake plate. Dust off loose crumbs. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top frosted cake with remaining cake layer; top side up. Spread sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Karen and Rick

Friday, November 16, 2007

Interior Designers - A Great Asset for Your Home Improvement Project

Sponsored Review

While we are on the subject of remodeling and redecorating, we wanted to discuss the point that using an interior designer for your home remodeling project is a great idea. Interior designers often have access to resources that the ordinary consumer does not. Additionally, interior home design is not always an easy proposition for some people and a bit of professional advice can go a long way.

Interior designers can be hired to do an entire project or you may be able to hire one for just an hour or two to get some advice and direction for your interior home design project. Look for a designer with American Society of Interior Designer credentials (ASID). You'll be sure you are getting a well qualified professional.

Bathroom Remodeling - Choosing Floor Tile and Wall Tile

Thinking of starting a bathroom remodeling project or just looking for some new ideas. We are going to discuss various products available for freshening up one of the most used spaces in the house.

Rick and I have started looking at products to redo our master bath. We decided to start with the floor and wall tile and found that there are a myriad of choices now available. You can find marble tile, granite tile, porcelain tile, clay tile, ceramic tile, metal tile, and glass tile. The choices are almost as endless as your imagination. In our upcoming posts we will talk about some of the pros and cons of the different types of tiles and show you some great examples of each.

Stay tuned and have fun!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Beef Burgundy Recipe - Boeuf Bourguinon

Here is a tasty beef burgundy recipe, perfect for a fall dinner. Serve with some warm, crusty bread, a tossed green salad and the remainder of the wine. Delicious!


3 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
16 white mushrooms, medium in size, wiped with damp cloth to clean, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup frozen pearl onions, defrosted and drained
2 pounds lean sirloin, 1-inch thick, trimmed and cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup burgundy wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
Bouquet of 3 or 4 sprigs each sage and fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string

Herbed Egg Noodles

12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked to package directions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, 2 handfuls
12 blades fresh chives, snipped or finely chopped


Heat a large deep skillet with a heavy bottom and a lid over medium high heat. Add bacon to the pan and brown. Remove crisp bacon bits with slotted spoon. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter to the pan and melt into bacon drippings. Add mushrooms to the pan and turn to coat evenly with butter and bacon drippings. Season the mushroom slices with salt and pepper. Sauté mushrooms 2 to 3 minutes and add onions to the pan. Continue cooking onions and mushrooms 2 to 3 minutes longer, then transfer to a plate and return pan to the heat.

Add remaining butter to the pan and melt it. Add meat to the very hot pan and brown evenly on all sides, keeping the meat moving. Add flour to browned meat in the pan and cook the flour 2 minutes. Add wine to the pan slowly while stirring. When the wine comes up to a bubble and you have scraped up the pan drippings, add the stock and bouquet of fresh sage and thyme sprigs to the pot. Cover the pan. When the liquid boils, reduce heat to medium. Cook covered 5 minutes, remove lid and add mushrooms, onions and bacon back to the pot. Simmer with the cover off until sauce thickens a bit. Adjust seasoning and remove herb bouquet.

Toss hot egg noodles with butter and herbs. Place a bed of noodles in a shallow bowl and pour beef burgundy over the noodles and serve.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mexican Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Here is a great Mexican recipe to go along with our Spanish lessons as promised.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

6-8 servings


3-4 chicken breasts (or 6 halves)
1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8 ounce) can diced green chilies (hot or mild, or a small can of each)
1 (10 ounce) package cheddar cheese, grated
1 small onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
8-12 corn tortillas (you can also use flour tortillas if desired) cut into strips or shredded
16 ounces sour cream


Place Chicken in large saucepan and cover with water. Sprinkle in a 1-2 teaspoons of oregano; add the garlic powder and salt. Boil about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from stock and shred the chicken off the bones, saving the stock.

Mix soups, sour cream & chilies in large saucepan adding only enough stock to slightly thin. You will need less stock if you are using low fat soups.

Taste the soup mixture and re-season as needed. You may wish to add a bit of cumin to enhance the flavor. Simmer on low 15 minutes.

Add the chicken and diced onion to the soup mixture.

In 9x13 casserole dish, arrange ½ the shredded tortillas across bottom, spoon in 1/2 the sauce and sprinkle 1/2 the cheese. Repeat with a second layer.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

If you want to add a bit more zest to the casserole, consider adding some fresh, diced jalapenos or salsa to the mix. You may also want to sprinkle in some chopped olives or diced tomatoes for extra flavor and texture.

Try low fat soups, cheese and sour cream to reduce fat and calories.

This dish freezes well and is a good “make ahead” dish. Leftovers served the next day are even tastier.

Buen provecho! Enjoy your meal!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I love to find great products at bargain prices, especially for the kitchen. Here is a set of Cuisinart Kitchen Knives that I really like and I think it's at a really great price:



The Cuisinart Continental 14pc Cutlery Set
iconincludes an 8" chef's knife, 8" bread knife, 8" slicing knife, 4-1/2" utility knife, and 3-1/2" paring knife, plus six steak knives, 10 " sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and a storage block. All of this for only $99.98. That is a great deal! You can find it at SmartBargains and if you go through the following link you will get 12% off for New Customers - Ends 11-1-07.

If you are needing some new cutlery, this is a great set to try. You can also get October - Free Shipping on Orders of $75 or more - Ends 10-15-07

Happy cooking (and shopping!)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Learn Spanish While We Talk, Cook, & Eat


Hello Find More Facts readers. I am so excited right now because I am finally doing something I have always wanted to do...Learn to speak Spanish!
Actually, Rick and I are doing this together. After much searching and review, we found a great Spanish Language course that we really like and it is downloadable and easy to use right from your own computer.

I like this course because it presents Spanish in a conversational manner and then breaks it down word by word for you to practice speaking and learn the vocabulary and correct pronunciation. They have actually managed to make learning to speak Spanish fun!

To celebrate as we go along we will be posting some delicious Spanish/Latin/Mexcian recipes along with a few of our newly learned vocabulary words. Come on and join in the fun and take some Spanish lessons with us! You can even get the first 6 lessons free to try it out.

¡buena suerte! (Good luck!) Be sure to let us know how you like the Spanish lessons and the recipes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Taco Salad Recipe

Here is a nice taco salad recipe that doesn't include using the dried package taco seasoning mix.

Taco Salad

· 1−1/2 Pound Ground beef
· Bottled French dressing
· 1/4 Cup Onion, chopped
· 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
· 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
· 1/2 Teaspoon Dried oregano, crushed
· 1/2 Head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
· 2 Tomatoes, cut in wedges
· 8 Ounce Can corn, drained
· 8 Ounce Can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
· 1/2 Cup Radish slices
· 1−6 1/2 oz Package Tortilla or corn chips or a taco salad tortilla bowl
· 1 Avocado, peeled and sliced
· 4 Ounce Cheddar cheese, shredded
· Pitted black olives, sliced
· Sour cream

Brown meat and drain off fat. Add 1/3 cup French dressing, onion, salt, pepper and oregano. Simmer 5 minutes.

Combine lettuce, tomatoes, corn, beans, radishes and enough dressing to moisten. Toss lightly.

For each salad, serve meat mixture over tortilla chips or in tortilla bowl. Top with lettuce mixture, avocado, cheese, olives and sour cream, as desired. You could also add some sliced jalapenos if you want to add a bit of heat to the salad.

Bon appetit (or Buen appetit)!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Decorating Using a Focal Wall & the Color Wheel

You will often hear it recommended that you use a focal wall when decorating. What this means is that you take some architcetural element or important piece of furniture or artwork and draw attention to it by creating a focal area in the room. This is often accomplished by painting that wall a different color that the other walls in the room. It can also be accomplished by using wallpaper on just that one wall, or creating texture on that wall with fabric, wood, or other treatments.

A focal wall, while a useful decorating tool, should not be overused. Every room in the house does not require an outstanding focal wall. Also, be careful of how you use color when creating the focal wall. Consider complementary colors when using paint or fabric (colors opposite each other on the color wheel) or for a subtler effect, consider adjacent colors. This will give it enough differentiation to make the feature stand out without being overly aggressive.

What is an Eggplant - Answer to Food Word Game #6

Here are the answers to our latest Food Word Game:

What is eggplant?

A vegetable 60%

A fruit 40%

A legume

An plant that grows egg shaped nuts

While 60% of our players thought eggplant is a vegetable, it is actually the fruit of an Indian plant. You will occasionally find a dictionary that calls eggplant a vegetable however, it is a berry related to tomatoes and potatoes. Amazing!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Burberry Sunglasses 9421 Grey Lens NEW & AUTHENTIC! eBay Auction

We're clearing out some merchandise on eBay, so check out the fantastic merchandise we are offering at unbelievable prices! Here is our latest listing:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What is a Kitchen Mandolin - Food Word Game #5 Answer

Here are the answers to our last Food Word Game:

What is a kitchen mandolin?

A cutting implement with interchangeable blades. 66%
An oval shaped sauce pan.
An Italian instrument used for playing dinner music. 34%
A device used for trussing poultry.

The correct answer is... A cutting implement with interchangeable blades.

Real Estate Investing - What is the Future?

We were having a discussion about real estate investing, such as house flipping, vacation property rentals, and even home purchases. With the current real estate environment of dropping home values, increased interest rates, and more foreclosures and problems with sub-prime mortgage lending, we wondered if many people still consider real estate as a positive investment choice.

Of course real estate in general should be considered a long-term investment, unless you are in to flipping properties. However, with the loss of recent value in properties some investors are nervous they will be losing their large gains of the past several years. Is this a permanent correction that will cause large losses of revenue? Is the future of real estate investing in doubt?

We certainly hope not. Real estate has always been an up and down value but has generally been considered one of the safest places to invest your money. Where do you see the future of real estate as an investment? What types of real estate do you invest in and do you feel it is successful? We would love to hear what you think and what your experiences have been.

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.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pineapple Pistachio Cake Recipe - Great for 4th of July Parties

I have been making this cake for years and it is definitely a family favorite. It's cool and moist, so it's really great for warm weather parties or even just as an everyday treat. Even though the cake is green, it is still a hit on the 4th of July. Enjoy!

Pineapple Pistachio Cake



  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix without pudding

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 box instant pistachio pudding

  • 20 can crushed pineapple with juice


  • 1 package of Dream Whip (1 - 2.6 oz pkg, both envelopes)

  • 1 box instant pistachio pudding

  • 1-1/2 cups milk


Preheat oven to 350 degree (F) oven.

Mix and then beat for 2 minutes the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, and 1 box of pudding. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until cthe cake springs back when touched in the center.

After removing cake from the oven, poke the cake all over the top with tines of a dinner fork. Pour the pineapple with juice over the top of the cake. Cool for 1 hour.

Beat the topping ingredients until stiff. Frost the cake. Refrigerate after frosting.

Cool and delicious!

Home Office Furniture Site Review - Saxen Business Furniture

Sponsored Review

We’ve been looking for some new furniture for our home office and have found it a more difficult task than expected. Finally we found some online sites we thought looked promising, so we thought we would share some of our findings with you.

For those living in the UK, Saxen Business Furniture offers an excellent selection of
Home Office Furniture. They offer everything from office desks, chairs, and cabinets to bistro furniture, screens & partitions, and even children’s desks and chairs. They even offer free delivery within the UK! Another rather neat item Saxen offers is what they call interior landscaping. This is a really great selection of artificial plants and trees ready to dress up your office or home. Some of their styles include topiaries, ferns, palms, and even birch trees. This is a super offering you don’t often find in online furniture stores.

Materials for the office furniture range from steel to wood to glass. They have a very attractive selection of all types of office furniture at quite reasonable prices. The Saxen website is easy to navigate and all policies are clearly stated on the site. Customer service is readily available via e-mail, telephone, or live chat. The site is really quite user friendly. I would certainly recommend making this site your first stop if you are looking for a great source to build your office, whether at home or in a traditional office setting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to Dispose of Trash Without Using Plastic Bags

Here is a great post on better ways to eliminate your trash at home. It outlines some great alternatives to consider instead of adding more plastic encased trash to the landfills.

read more | digg story

Friday, June 22, 2007

Spinach, Lemon, & Ricotta Pasta

Here is a delicious, fresh pasta recipe that is wonderful anytime of year.

Spinach, Lemon, & Ricotta Pasta


  • 16 ounces rigatoni, farfalle, or other favorite pasta shape

  • 2 T. olive oil

  • ¼ c. finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/3 c. chopped (chiffonade*) basil leaves or 1 T. dried basil

  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • One 6 ounce bag or 6 cups of fresh baby spinach

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) ricotta cheese


Cook pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

Combine oil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, basil, salt & pepper in a bowl. Add to pasta along with spinach. Toss well to coat.

Divide pasta into 4 bowls or plates and top each with a dollop of ricotta cheese.

Some great add-ins would be chicken breast sautéed in garlic and olive oil, kalamata or black olives, and/or cherry tomatoes.

*An easy way to slice basil is to stack the leaves and roll it up. Then slice across the roll forming thin ribbons. This technique is called chiffonade.

Here is a terrific pasta pot from Calphalon with a pasta / strainer insert to make removal and draining of pasta much easier. I find the Calphalon cookware to be very well made. It is heavy enough to generate even heating and very durable.

Calphalon 6.5-qt. One Infused Anodized Stockpot with Pasta Insert

This 6.5-qt. stockpot is ideal for boiling pasta, making chicken noodle soup or preparing a pot of jambalaya. It's from Calphalon One, the cookware with the new surface that lets you brown and deglaze like the professionals yet is easy to clean with its specially advanced polymer cooking surface, similar to nonstick. It comes with its own insert for boiling pasta. Infused anodized cookware is an exclusive breakthrough anodization process that infuses an advanced released polymer (similar to nonstick) into the aluminum surface penetrating and filling the metal pores and creating a hybrid surface of metal and nonstick that is stick- and stain-resistant, durable and versatile. It’s the perfect surface for classic cooking techniques with easy cleanup. It's safe with metal utensils, is oven- and broiler-safe, carries a lifetime guarantee and is made in the USA.

Calphalon 6.5-qt. One Infused Anodized Stockpot with Pasta Insert