April 30, 2011

Cutting Boards


 I have several different cutting boards - each one has a specific job.

My favorite are the two bamboo boards - one small and one large.

Only veggies and fruits are allowed on them though - the cheeses and meats are off limits for these boards.
When cutting bread, I flip over one of these boards and use that side specifically for this job.

These boards are simple to clean and only require a mineral oil rub about once a month to keep them looking great even with all their slice marks.

I have a couple of thin flexible plastic mats that I use for meat and fish - I like to keep them separate too.

Those mats are sturdy enough to survive very sharp knives and extra scrubbing when getting washed.

After a few months, they get replaced - they are pretty worn by then and are fairly cheap at the market.
I have a thicker plastic one that I keep for cheese.

My reason for all these boards - contamination.

By keeping everything separate, the bacteria in the meat doesn't transfer to the fresh veggies, fruit, or cheese that may not get cooked. 

It keeps us from getting sick, and it keeps our food tasting it's best.



April 26, 2011

A Day at the Ocean

Today we did over four miles of walking.
And this wasn't just walking either.
We were at the ocean, climbing and jumping and hopping over the large rocks along the shore.
The day was overcast and the tide was on the way out.
Some of those rocks were so slippery with the mists and water - staying upright was a job itself.
The bending and crouching and balancing was added exercise during this "walk".
The deep breathes of cool salt air were exilerating.
We hadn't been to the ocean since last summer, and it was a needed trip for us.
Even without the sun it was a much enjoyed day.



April 25, 2011

Magic of Onions

I use onions in many dishes.
Raw or cooked, they go with just about every vegetable and meat.
Oftentimes, just cooking them by themselves makes for a great side dish.
They really proved themselves in tonight's dinner.
We had some leftover steak that was quite tender, but not too overly tasty when we had it a couple of nights ago.
Dreading the idea of warming it up, I started thinking about how to disguise it in the meal.
Out came the onions.
After caramelizing them, I added some black pepper and olive oil to the pan.
The meat was sliced into thin pieces and warmed up in the cooked onions.
Those onions then performed their magic.
They made that steak so tasty, we were all wishing there was more.
A good trick to remember next time when the meat is just a bit lacking.



April 23, 2011

Butter Does Work

More and more I have been substituting butter for the shortening fat in my baking recipes.
At first, I was using 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening.
But the shortening was still bothering me, so I decided to use the full butter this time around.
I had read online that it would change the consistancy of the finished product.
It was recommended to use a tad less of the butter.
But I just substituted the correct amount, and I saw no difference in the texture of the brownies that I made.
In fact, I thought they were even better - perhaps a bit richer.
I am glad the butter performs as good as the shortening.
It is more expensive, but I feel better using a natural fat as opposed to a man-made one.
And I know my body will respond better to it.



April 21, 2011

Adding in the Eight Pounder

Today was the day that the eight pound weights were added to the exercise routine.
Already using the three and five pounders, that eight was quite an increase ,and I am sure I will notice it tomorrow.
The hand weights are used every other day, and the legs and lower body exercises are done on the one in between.
The abdominal exercises are done everyday - I read that they don't need the rest in between that the other muscles need.
The crunches have increased to 80.
The goal with them is 120.
The goal with the weights is to eventually use the five, eight and ten pound ones.
It will be a few weeks before those tens are added though - the eights are more than enough for now.



April 18, 2011

Proper Bed for Sleep

It has been a number of years, but after a lot of shopping and testing, we finally decided on one.
A proper bed, that is.
It took a couple of nights to get used to.
But the support that it offers is quite a change from the old mattress.
We knew that we needed one for the past couple of years, but we kept putting it off - thinking it would be hard to find one as comfortable as our old faithful, and a good one is expensive.
Even with the sagging and missing support, we kept putting it off.
After a week of using the new one, we know how important it is to get the right support.
The back and bones feel better, and breathing comes easier too - and you awake more rested.
When you think about it, we spend a third of each day in it.
Having a good bed really can make a difference in one's health!



April 15, 2011

Such a Difference in Prices

It is no secret to those of you who read my posts.
When food shopping, we always check the clearance rack in the supermarket.
Looking for markdowns in the dairy and meat counters are also on our list.
But not all supermarkets have these markdowns, or if they do, it is only on occasion.
My daughter has recently moved to the next state over.
About three hours away from us - doesn't sound too far, but it is far enough to notice a difference in the supermarket prices.
The cost of meat is double what we pay here.
And since she also shops the markdowns, this is a huge difference for her.
And the dairy is also a sore topic - the milk is a third more than what we pay here.
Since she has a couple of the same supermarkets there that are here, she thought things would be close to the same.
Not so, the prices are much higher for all of the food products, and they don't have the clearance racks or markdowns like we do.
She has made a plan to do her meat and dairy shopping when she comes to visit us and pack it all in a cooler for the trip home.
It has always been or plan to retire in a couple of years to the area she is in.
Guess we will all be making plans to drive a couple of hours for major food trips every now and then.
Or perhaps not if the gas prices keep going up too.



April 11, 2011

Movement is the Key

Arthritis often creeps up slowly - an occasional twinge here and there.
First in the extremities - fingers and toes, then all the rest of the joints soon join in.
Some days are easier than others - the flare ups come when they want - no warning given.
Medication is available - using it only when it is really bad is the option that I prefer.
Years ago, exercise was not what doctors preferred to order - it hurt too much.
But it has been proven over the past few years, that movement for arthritis is the key.
Even if it hurts - which it does.
"Use it or loose it" has always been my motto - and it applies here too.



April 4, 2011

Safety First

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April 1, 2011

New Swimwear Styles

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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It is fast arriving - that time to be heading to the beach or lounging beside the pool.

And now is the time to be looking for a new swimsuit.

There was a time when the thought of a new string bikini bathing suit was all that I would think of buying.

But after a few years, pounds, and a couple of kids, my thought of women's swimwear for me is on the idea of something pictured above.

There are a lot of really cute bikinis and swim suits available today - and the new color combinations for this season are quite pretty - especially the purple ones.

I really like the ruffles and the easy flowing design of the outfit above - and the pattern is a classic.

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