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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…


Monday, July 14 , 2014

Avoid Soggy Salads

Where we live, lunch out can run close to $20 just for one person! And that's for just the two martinis! No, seriously, we know you've probably heard it a million times, but here it is again—you save a lot of money when you brown bag it. And it does not have to be a huge bother. Here is a creative way to make brown bagging effortless (almost), appetizing...and definitely not boring.

Packing a lunch on a workday morning is easy when you plan ahead and overlap at the meals you make at home. Here's what you do...

Whenever you cook, make a few extra chicken cutlets or thighs (we love this marinade)...or an extra inch or two of flank steak at dinnertime...boil some extra eggs...or fry some extra bacon at breakfast. Also while preparing supper, chop up extra tomato, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, nuts, cheese, peppers, celery, cucumbers, olives or whatever it is you're chopping...and set aside some drained beans and/or artichoke hearts (or any other canned salad ingredient) and some washed and spun lettuce.

In the morning (or the night before), based on whatever you're feeling, pick and choose your lunch ingredients from all the great stuff that's now cut up and ready to go in your refrigerator (we like to call it Refrigerator Salad Bar), and make a terrific salad out of it to take with you. Here are some brown-bag salad recipes we enjoy. Remember that your salad container does not have to be fancy. Even those round plastic jobs left over from Chinese takeout work fine.

To avoid soggy salad greens at your lunch break: Pile your meats and cheeses on top of your leafy greens and vegetables, and pour your salad dressing on top of that protective layer. (Put the dressing on in the morning even if you make the salad the night before.) Just before eating, shake your container to toss and your dressing will cover those delicate greens.

Bonuses from homemade lunches: You don’t have to wait in line for overpriced food...and you know you're going to love what you eat for lunch that day.

More ways to save money...


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, January 10 , 2014

How to Keep Your Hearty Winter Greens

Winter greens often come in big bunches, making it difficult to consume all the beautiful leaves before they start to yellow. Here’s a great way to keep collard greens, kale and mustard greens fresh longer...

Keep them in a covered container in the refrigerator along with a piece of stainless steel silverware. Your greens will stay green for a few weeks rather than just a few days. This works for dark green lettuces, too. Wash your greens just before eating.

More food-storage solutions...