Cast Iron Pan Clean-Up

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This is how your beloved cast iron pan should look before it gets put away in the cupboard.  Clean, shiny and like new.

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But how do I get all of this caked-on food off my pan without soaking it in soap and water or using a scrub brush?

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The answer?  Kosher salt/coarse salt.  Throw a generous handful -ok don’t ‘throw’ it, maybe sprinkle it – into the bottom of the pan,

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add a couple of tablespoons of water,

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and start working those arm muscles and scrub, scrub, scrub with a paper towel!  You do not want to use your fingertips to do this.  Per usual, I am saving you the pain and humiliation by telling you about my experience firsthand…you can thank me later…  I f you did use your fingertips, it might feel a bit like rubbing them up against the coarsest sandpaper you can find, vigorously.  Yup, ouch.

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And they look like this after your done, only picture blood mixed in.  Not a pretty sight.

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Anyhow, back to scrubbing the life back into your beautiful pan…once it’s cleaned up, shake in a few drops of oil and smear around the entire inside of the pan.

IMG_0368Until it looks as lovely as this!  Now you can safely put it away without worrying about rust or critters moving in…

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BBQ’d Hamburgers

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The flavor bomb of these simply made crowd-pleasers is incredible!  Tastes like you spent years trying to come up with the BBQ sauce combo and eats like a grilled hamburger.  Great way to spice up the menu for the week!

Let the savory adventure begin!

THE BURGER:

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In a large bowl mix together 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs,

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1/2 of a large onion, chopped,

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1 pound of ground beef,

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1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

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Mix together with the best kitchen tool you own, your fingers! Pretend your fingers are a pitchfork and kind of churn the meat and other ingredients together.  This will allow for a more tender, airy burger.

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Form into 4 patties and brown in butter over medium heat in a cast iron pan.

THE SAUCE:

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In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar,

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3/4 teaspoon salt,

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1 cup ketchup,

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2 tablespoons white vinegar,

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2 tablespoons yellow mustard

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and whisk all together.

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Place hamburger patties in a 8 x 8 inch pan and pour the BBQ sauce over them.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes.

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Servings: 4

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

Make Your Bed

every morning!

Yup…every morning.

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Why would you go through this rigamarole every day?  Why not leave the bed as it is and jump back into it that night?  It’s just going to get messed up again, right?

  • It indicates an extra touch of mindfulness, insight and thoughtfulness that reflects refinement.
  • It also shows consideration for others, so as not to burden them with extra work.
  • It’s the right way to start your day; you will have accomplished the 1st task of the day.
  • It makes you proud of your bed, your room, your home.
  • It shows pride in your home.
  • Because it’s difficult to get out of bed some days.  It’s hard to feel motivated. Because motion creates emotion and this simple task will kick start it all for you.
  • Little things matter and if you can’t do the little things right, than you’ll have a hard time doing the big ones right.
  • Lastly, because if you have a bad day, coming home to a made bed is a promise that tomorrow will be a better day.

 

BirdWatch

Huh?

Yeah, it’s easy to do, a cinch to learn the different birds in your region and will make your day welcoming old friends and new to your yard!

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So, how do you become a “birdwatcher”?  How do you get to know all the different species of birds out there, whether they are male or female, what their songs are, etc?  Will it take a huge investment of time, energy and money?

Here’s a list of the items you’ll need in order to become proficient in bird recognition:

  • Your eyes
  • Your ears
  • A birdfeeder (you can’t go wrong with whatever one you choose that you like and that is within your budget, but it doesn’t hurt to do a little research before you buy, so check out this site…)
  • Birdseed (here’s a quick guide to the different kinds available)
  • And this fantastic book…which you can find here

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The book is so easy to use.  It will make you an expert on every book in your yard, quickly.

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The book is color-coded with a little bird icon on the left-side indicating the color of birds you’ll find in that particular section.  It then shows full-color photographs of the birds of that color and gives information on their song, their behaviors, their habitat, nesting, etc.

Every time we see a new bird come to our feeder we grab the book, which is right near the kitchen window, and look it up by its color and thumb through all the photographs to find what we’re looking for.  It’s fun, educational and will excite you!

There is also another fun resource out there for learning about bird types and their songs.  It’s called the Identiflyer and it’s a portable birdsong identifier.  It comes with different audio cards which picture birds of a region which you insert into the player.  Then you press the button near the bird whose song you want to hear and Presto!

You are on your way to becoming an expert Birdwatcher!

And goodness that cup of morning Joe will taste even better now that you can admire all the beautiful birds, and their songs, as they fly in and grab their breakfast at the birdfeeder by your kitchen window…

 

 

Your Part to Help the HoneyBee

Not everyone out there has the interest, wherewithal, space, etc to be a beekeeper.  And yet, there are so many of you that are in the know about the plight of the honeybee and the effect this would have on our food supply and want to do your part to help.

Now you can…

What am I talking about here?  Well, the honeybee’s life has been in danger due to parasites and pesticides. And a world without the honeybee would be a disaster.  About 65% of all of our food is available to us because the honeybee pollinated a part of it.  Imagine a world without 65% of the food available to us now?

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So, where do the parasites come from?  The parasites find the bees when they are mass-shipped with other honeybees to locations around the country to pollinate crops.  The exposure to other bees makes them highly susceptible to catching parasites, diseases and weakening their immune system.  We cannot do much about this phenomenon, as beekeepers need to earn their keep and we can’t control what they do.

But the pesticides…that we can all control.

Try to allow as minimal a quantity of pesticides as possible in your yard.  Use natural methods of weed control:  bark mulch, stone, landscape cloth, weeding.  Use grass seed vs. Chem-Lawn.  Use organic bug and fungus and mold deterrents on your trees and shrubs and plants.

Stay away from NEO-NICS!

What are neo-nics?  They are a chemical in fertilizers and gardening dirt, loam etc. that kills bees and other pollinators.  They are especially in Ortho products.

Cross Your Ankles…

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like thus….

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not your legs!

It is more ladylike to cross your ankles and it prevents you from getting varicose and spider veins.  And anything you can do to avoid that…why not?!

Also, you may experience lower back pain and neck pain, it could elevate your blood pressure and will mess with the nerves in your feet….all from crossing your legs!