Friday, January 25, 2013

Please, remember your manners. Thank you.

First, I want to apologize to the cab driver I p-$$ed off the other night. I'm sorry that my big mouth got belligerent. I hope you don't think everyone who comes from an open-bar, cocktail party, dressed in 4-inch stilettos and attitude, are all discourteous and rude. I let Gin get the best of me. And I'm sorry for what I said.

With that said, I've noticed lately that some people just have bad manners. I see it almost everywhere: places I dine, shop, commute, work, and sometimes, unfortunately, with people I know. I'm guilty of it too, I admit it (not the nose picking part by the way). And so, as a reminder, please, please, take the time to get re-acquainted with these good manners:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Someone Call the Cute Police!

Our precious lab mix is very cute and she does a lot of cute things, but holy crap, this sleeping bulldog puppy takes the blue ribbon today!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My First Peruvian Chicken

One of the things I love...Peruvian Chicken. This is the first time making this. I hope my lovely Peruvian girlfriend makes sure I'm making this right. Ladies and gents, I'll report back to you when Hubby takes this off the grill.

Lots of garlic...

and lime...

and cumin, paprika, and other spices...

Now, getting ready for the grill...

Let's hope it turns out delicious...

Is That Milk OK To Drink And Other Eat-By-Date Tips

Every time I use milk, I look at the "Use By" date and I smell it, even if it hasn't met its expiration date. But milk, like some foods, are actually OK to use after that date, but how long can I really keep it before I have to put on the gas mask and rubber gloves? If you can't find the "Use By" date, look for the printed date--or go by your purchase date--and use these unofficial guidelines.

Source: Source:

(If you want to know about food safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.)

Fresh Eggs

Eggs, when stored properly in the fridge, are good 3-4 weeks after the printed date.


Unopened, real butter, lasts for about month one in the fridge. If opened, plan to use it within 2 weeks after the printed date. To extend its shelf life to 6-9 months, store it in the freezer.

Fresh Oranges

These refreshing citrus fruits will last 2-3 weeks on the counter, and 1-2 months in the fridge.

Fresh Apples

You know what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctors away.” So keep some on hand: fresh apples in the pantry will last 2-4 weeks and 1-2 months in the fridge.

Deli Meats

Fresh deli meats should be use 5-6 days from the purchase date. If you buy the prepackaged deli meats, use it within 7-10 days after opening or store unopened packages in the freezer for up to 8 months.


Breads from the bakery should be eaten with 2-3 days of purchase, packaged breads up to 7 days. In the freezer: 6 months.


Cereal is one of those foods that my Hubby and I don’t eat regularly but we always seem to have boxes of it in the pantry. An unopened box of cereal will last 6-8 months in the pantry after the printed date. If opened, it will be good for 4-6 months.

Packaged Tea

I drink tea and always have an assortment lying around. Packaged tea should last 6 to 12 months after the printed date and 1-2 years in the freezer. I didn’t even know you could freeze tea!


Hubby and I tend to have sparkling wine and champagne on hand. It’s a great go-to drink for drop-by visitors and brunch mimosas! Both will last 3-4 years after purchase date, and if you happen to have vintage champagne on hand, it will last you even longer—20+ years. So, stock up!

And Milk?

I use skim and the guideline says you should be able to use it 7 days after the printed date. BUT, I’m still going to smell it and hopefully the answer is obvious whether I go ahead and pour it into my coffee or not!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Which Side of the Foil to Use and Something Else That's on My Mind

Foil: Shiny or Dull Side?

As I was unwrapping my lunch burrito from its coil cocoon, I had a flashback to the time when someone told me that you should use the dull side of foil to wrap food. I wasn't sure exactly why (something to do with one side being untreated?) so I had to find out if that was true. So, shiny or dull side?

First, let's understand why there is a difference: During manufacturing, one side comes in contact with the rollers and becomes shiny. Some believe the shiny side deflects heat differently but technically, both sides are OK to use but there are always the skeptics. So, what was the result of a temperature test on baked manicotti using both sides? The same temperature no matter which side was used!

The bottom line: The shiny and dull sides of aluminum foil insulate and conduct heat at the same rate. And either side is OK to use.


Skirt Slits: Please Open It

One of my pet peeves is seeing women (and some men) who do not know that you are suppose to open up the slit in new skirt or jacket!

You know, the slit in the back, at the bottom of that new skirt or jacket, where two edges are sewn together, and sometimes looks like an "X" boxed in? Yes, yes, that part. Please remove that so you don’t walk around with what appears to be a large slit-shaped hole. Whew, isn't' that better?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

27 Ways to Make Your Fruits and Veggies Last Longer

I had no idea! Great tips so I had to repost. Seriously, with the prices of groceries going up and up and the embarrassing amount of food we waste (average family throws out more than $2,200 worth of food annually), these little things can help keep more money in your pocket and food on your table!

Original posting: Go to buzzfeed for all the pretty pictures!

1. Onions stored in pantyhose will last as long as 8 months.

Put onions in pantyhose, and tie knots between onion. Plus it makes a freaky wall art installation!


2. Freeze green onions in a plastic bottle.

Make sure the green onions are completely dry before storing or they'll get freezer burn.


3. Get an ethylene gas absorber for the fridge.

A set of 3 costs $16. These little pods absorb the ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh up to 3x longer. Here's a handy list of ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive foods.


4. Store delicate herbs like flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubberband, and refrigerate.

This is the best way to keep delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives fresh the longest.

5. Treat oily herbs differently.

Oily herbs like thyme can be tied loosely together with string and hung in the open air.

6. If you use a lot of fresh herbs...

Invest in an Herb Savor. Supposedly, it'll make your herbs last up to three weeks.


7. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer.

Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Swirl the berries around in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won't taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

8. Spray leftover guacamole with cooking spray before putting it back in the fridge.

There are a number of ways to keep avocado green, and oil is one of them. You should also keep the pit in the guacamole.

9. Don't store onions with potatoes.

They'll spoil faster. In a cool dry place with good air circulation, onions will last 2-3 months.

10. Store potatoes with apples to keep them from sprouting.

11. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch.

It's not just an old wives' tale.

12. Add a dab of butter to the cut side of cheese to keep it from drying out.

13. More cheese rules:

Wrap in cheese paper or wax paper (NOT plastic wrap) and then place in a plastic baggie. Keep in the warmest part of the fridge (vegetable or cheese drawer).


14. Freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil.

The herbs will infuse the oil while freezing, and the ice cubes are very handy for cooking: just pop one out and use as the base of a dish. Works best with rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. Dill, basil, and mint should always be used fresh.


15. Follow these rules on where to place items within your fridge:

16. Store asparagus like cut flowers.

Sort of. Cut the stems, place in water, throw a plastic bag over 'em and refrigerate. They'll stay crisp for a week or longer, and you can use this trick on cilantro and parsley as well. See here for more details.

17. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap.

They'll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual, which is especially helpful if you eat organic bananas. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.

18. This trick using a paper towel will keep your salad lettuce fresh all week long.

The paper towel will absorb the moisture. Get more info here.

Also, you might want to invest in a salad spinner. It'll get rid of moisture, which is the culprit of wilting leaves.

19. Wrap celery, broccoli, and lettuce in tin foil before storing in the fridge.

It'll stay crisp for 4 weeks or more.

20. Mason jars are your friend.

They provide a healthier and longer-lasting alternative to plastic tupperware, which deteriorates and stains easily. Produce will keep a few days longer if stored in a jar.

21. Clean your fridge.

Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind a nice gang of mold ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge — it'll make everything last a little longer.

22. How to store tomatoes:

Don't store tomatoes in plastic bags! The trapped ethylene will make them ripen faster.

Unripe tomatoes should be kept stem side down, in a paper bag or single layer in a cardboard box in a cool area until they turn red in color. To ripen faster, store with fruit. The gases emitted will help ripen the tomatoes.

Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, on the counter away from sunlight, in a single layer, not touching one another, stem side up.

Overly ripe tomatoes should be put in the fridge, but let them come to room temperature before eating them.

23. Reuse plastic bottles to close up your plastic bags.

Make sure your produce is absolutely dry before putting the cap on.

24. Keep ginger in the freezer.

It grates much more easily, and the peel grates up so fine that you don't actually need to peel it. Plus it lasts way longer.

25. Roast nuts as soon as you get home from the store, then store them in the freezer.

Nuts that are roasted have more flavor, keep longer, and can always be used in recipes that call for nuts, roasted or otherwise. Spread them in a single layer on a sheet pan, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.

26. Keep mushrooms in a paper bag, not a plastic bag.

A plastic bag will trap moisture and cause them to mildew. Put them in a paper bag in the fridge or in a cool, dry place.

27. Follow this handy guide on what to store on the counter, and what to put away in the fridge:

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Monday: Ways to Reduce Stress

Ways to reduce stress naturally: 

1. Stress spot: The brain
The fix: Don't be so damned conscientious.
Bonus instant feel-good fix: Swear. 

2. Stress spot: The neck, head and back
The fix: Create a three-legged life. 

3. Stress spot: The hair
The fix: Focus on somebody besides numero uno. 

4. Stress spot: The sympathetic nervous system
The fix: Twist yourself into a pretzel and laugh. 

5. Stress spot: The gut
The fix: Give yourself a hand.

6. Stress spot: Your DNA
The fix: Meditate. 

7. Stress spot: Your sex life
The fix: Unleash the oxytocin. 

Read the full article courtesy of