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Tuesday, March 10 , 2015

Don’t Plant Your Garden Wrong

Depending on what climate you live in, you might be getting ready to sow some seeds or plant some seedlings! Here's the word on what to put where, based on how much sun you get.

If a section of your garden is bathed in sunlight, consider growing corn, melons, peppers and/or tomatoes. They thrive in the sun.

If a section of your garden doesn’t get much sun, consider growing lettuce, pumpkins and/or spinach, which all thrive in the shade.

More help with your garden…


Tuesday, August 26 , 2014

Healthy Homemade Microwave Popcorn—Cheap, Easy, Delicious!

Sometimes you just want a single-serving snack of popcorn without harmful additives or expensive “gourmet” cheddar toppings. That's a good craving to have because popcorn (without the artificial butter flavoring) is a healthful snack food (read this to learn more). Got a microwave? Here's what to do...

If you don't have an air popper but you do have a microwave, you still can prepare fresh, healthful popcorn very easily. Put one-quarter cup of popcorn kernels in a lunch-sized brown paper bag. Fold the top over twice, and secure it closed with tape. Microwave the bag on high power until the kernels stop popping...from one-and-a-half to four minutes.

When the popcorn is done popping, carefully open the bag...face it away from you so you don't get a steam burn. Then put the popcorn in a bowl, and add salt or curry or any seasoning of your choice. You can also drizzle real melted butter on it. Stir and enjoy! Makes about one cup.

More great snacks...


Monday, June 02 , 2014

Lettuce-Growing Secrets

Want to grow a tasty, less bitter batch of lettuce? Here's how to do it...

Let your lettuce plants grow in a shady patch of your garden. The Farmers' Almanac suggests planning your garden so that lettuce will be sheltered by taller plants, such as tomatoes or sweet corn...and consider planting rows of chives or garlic between lettuce plants to control aphids. (The chives act as "barrier plants" for the lettuce.)

What, you've already planted your lettuce? Then go find a shady spot and plant some more. Lettuce plants mature quickly, so you can sow a new set of seeds every two to three weeks for a continuous harvest. If you keep the lettuce cool as a cucumber, it will mature without any bitterness...but then again, wouldn't we all?

More help with gardening...


Friday, August 24 , 2012

The Right Way to Buy Corn

Don’t consider buying a cob of fresh corn unless it has husks—nature’s freshness seal. The husks should be moist (not dried out) and bright green, with a little brown tassel on top. The kernels should feel full and plump.

Do not remove the husks until you are ready to prepare the corn for eating.

As soon as you’ve removed the husks, take a damp paper towel and wipe off the silk threads in a downward motion.

Do not add salt to the water when boiling corn—it will toughen the kernels. If you want to enhance the corn’s natural sweetness, add 1 tablespoon of sugar or 1 or 2 packets of sugar substitute to the cooking water.