Showing posts with label kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitchen. Show all posts

Weight Loss Breakfast: Zucchini Patties #Recipe



This is one of my favorite diet foods since it is quick and easy to reheat premade patties for  breakfast. They are filling and healthy. You will love them too! Serve as a breakfast item with some bacon or sausage, or serve as a vegetable side dish for lunch or dinner.
 
Nutrition Info: 95 calories for 3 patties (14 gm protein, 6 gm carb, 2 gm fat) 
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
 
Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini, shredded by hand or in food processor (top blade only)
1 T. green onions, chopped
2 T. parmesan cheese, ground
1 egg, or 2 T. of egg beaters
Spray Pam or Olive oil for skillet lubrication
 
Instructions:
1. Shred zucchini and place in a mixing bowl.
2. Add onions, parmesan cheese and egg.
3. Stir mixture until well mixed.
4. Put skillet on medium heat stove top burner, add lubricant, warm up the pan.
5. Place spoonful of zucchini mixure into pan, flatten and shape as desired. About six or seven spoonfuls will fill a skillet.
6. Cook zucchini patties until brown on bottom, then flip with spatula and cook other side too.
7. Place 3 or 4 patties on plate to serve, or cool for eating later.
 
Serves 2

5 Money Saving Ideas for Long-Term Food Storage Shopping

While many of us are thinking about saving money by buying in bulk and storing the goods for a few weeks or months, there is another type of food storage we should also consider. Storing the right foods in case of an emergency can ensure the survival of your family. Many pre-packed kits can feed a family for 1, 3 or even 12 months, but they are outside the price range of many families. You can shop for food long term, however, without it costing a fortune.
1. Pay attention to calorie counts, servings and nutrition on prepackaged meals.
It may seem that the meal plan which offers the most calories per dollar is the best money-saving choice, but this isn't always the case. Nutritious calories are much more satisfying, in addition to supplying you and your family with much-needed vitamins and nutrients. For example, 100 calories of butter is much less filling than a large apple, which is also around 100 calories. The apple is also much healthier.
2. Packaging matters in prepackaged meals.
Where you store the meals where they are not exposed to excess heat, but it is up to the packaging to protect the food from spoiling due to exposure to moisture or air. The common ways that long-term emergency meals are packaged include Mylar bags, pails and tin cans. In each of these packaging techniques, the air is removed through the process of nitrogen flushing, or an oxygen absorbing pellet is inserted in the package. Pails are not airtight, so are usually used in combination with Mylar bag and cans. Mylar packaging lasts 7 to 10 years. If you plan to keep your emergency rations longer than this time, it may be necessary to replace the meals. Some meals packed in oxygen-free tin cans can last up to 25 years.
3. Find a balance between dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.
Some foods are best preserved through dehydrating, while others can only remain nutritious long term when freeze-dried. Freeze-dried foods may store a few years longer, but dehydrated foods are much less expensive. In order to freeze-dry foods, the food must be flash frozen. The frozen food is then put into a vacuum chamber where the ice is removed by turning it into a gas. This is a complicated process requiring very specific technology and tools. Dehydrated foods simply have had the water removed through heating.
Dehydrated food also shrinks significantly from its original size while freeze-drying does not. This means dehydrated food requires less storage space than an equal amount of freeze-dried food.
Some companies that sell prepackaged meals already offer a combination of the two, but if not do not be afraid to purchase your meals from more than one source. Buying items such as fruits and vegetables that have been dehydrated in addition to freeze-dried meals can help to bring down the total cost of emergency food storage. 
4. Know what kitchen basics have a long shelf life, and buy them in bulk.
When considering emergency food options, it is easy to get sidetracked by all of the companies who sell ready-to-eat Mylar packed meals, tins of freeze-dried foods and other prepackaged supplies. There are some items in your kitchen right now, however, that have a shelf-life longer than many of these purpose-designed meals. These products include wheat, rice, corn, sugar, beans, oats, pasta, potato flakes and non-fat powdered milk. While they will not sustain your family on their own, ensuring you have enough of these basics for several months of regular use can help save money when you are stockpiling your rations. Purchase these items in bulk from a local restaurant supply, warehouse store or even your local supermarket. They can be stored in food grade 5-gallon buckets with rubber seals, which are available at most hardware stores.
5. Shop around, just like you would for your weekly groceries.
The most simplistic way to create an emergency food supply is to in pre-packed, storage ready containers. There are many companies who offer these foods, as well as associated items such as first aid kits. Not all of these deals are created equal, however. Many online stores offer coupon codes for free shipping or special gifts with purchase as well. Look for these specials to get more for your money. 
Ensuring there is nutritious food during an emergency is an important consideration for any family today. While stockpiling and storing several months' worth of food can be expensive, you can reduce the costs by following these tips.
 
This guest post provided by Agnes E Jimenez, a professional blogger and writer.

Getting The Most Out of Your Nonstick Cookware

Nonstick cookware can be a useful addition to any well-outfitted kitchen, but it is important to understand the limitations, advantages and special care requirements before selecting specific pieces. Often consumers will find a single frying pan sufficient and can add it at a great price; he or she can use a Kohls coupon, search online or visit certain discounters. Regardless of the steps one takes, proper care can mean the difference between getting the most out of one's nonstick cookware and quickly ruining it.

What follows are brief lists of do's and don'ts that can help you get the most out of your purchases:

Things To Do

Use plastic or coated utensils - The coating on nonstick cookware that makes food slide off of it is also prone to scratching. Metal utensils are likely to scratch the surface, ruining its nonstick properties. Once the surface has been damaged, it can flake off and, in some cases, wind up in food.

Use soft non-abrasive cleansers and scrub pads - Avoiding contact with anything that can cause scratches is always advisable with nonstick cookware. Taking care of the nonstick surface can extend the life of your pots and pans.

Place a cloth or paper towel between nonstick pans when storing them - Leaving a soft layer between pans when they are being stored will help protect the surface.

Limit the use of nonstick cookware to dishes that are cooked relatively quickly - While nonstick cookware is made for cooking, dishes that need to simmer for hours are best left to more standard pots or pans. If one targets the use of nonstick pans for dishes where the nonstick nature of the pan is useful and quickly taken advantage of, these tools will last much longer.

Things Not To Do

Never place nonstick cookware in the oven - Unless the product you purchase specifically states that it is oven-safe, assume that it is not. Many nonstick pans have plastic handles which will melt in the oven. Furthermore, at very high temperature the nonstick surface can be damaged.

Do not place nonstick cookware in the dishwasher - Unless the product you purchase specifically states that it is dishwasher-safe, assume that it is not. The high heat created by a dishwasher can damage nonstick cookware and exacerbate scratches.

There is no need to use cooking oil - One of the biggest health benefits of using nonstick cookware is that it is unnecessary to use fat to prevent sticking. By eliminating fat from the cooking process, one's overall intake can be greatly reduced.

Avoid storing leftovers in nonstick pans - While it is convenient to simply cover one's extra food and place it in the refrigerator, the acids in food can speed up the breakdown of the protective coating that gives nonstick cookware its nonstick properties. 
This guest post was written by Annie Birks. 

The Beneficial Kitchen Faucet Side Spray

If you're someone like myself who spends a lot of time in the kitchen preparing food for others a kitchen faucet with a strong stream that reaches all parts of the sink and beyond is extremely helpful.

When that's not possible the next best thing is to have one of the most useful types of kitchen accessories: a faucet side spray.

An Icy Decision

Earlier this year we remodeled our kitchen by gutting it and getting new cabinets, counter tops and appliances. Except for the refrigerator. Being the frugal type, we decided to wait until the 2003 Kenmore side by side broke down before replacing it. Well, decision time is upon us, as the ice maker quit working this past weekend. We were being frugal in our decision to avoid replacing the water filter cartridge just because it was 6 months, so we usually wait until the water dispenser quits working or we notice less than fresh tasting water to replace the filter. Once it happened that the ice maker stopped working, and when we replaced the water filter it started working again. It was our hope that this was the case this time.
 
So we purchased a new filter from Amazon with some Swagbucks gift cards, and it arrived the next day. When we replaced it nothing happened. We waited 24 hours like it says in the owners manual, and still nothing happened. It looks like the ice maker problem is not due to the water filter - we've got bigger problems than that. As I was looking through the refrigerator documents, I found a receipt from 2004 where we had Sears come out and fix the ice maker under warranty. The labor and parts for the sensor module service visit were $235.
 
So now we have a few choices to get our ice now.
  • We can do nothing and just make ice using old fashioned ice trays. (NOT! I might do this for a temporary while but geez there is technology out there now!)
  • Attempt to research the problem using Google, buy the parts online and fix it ourselves. This is a fairly likely scenario from what little checking I've done and the cost of the parts should be about $60.
  • Call Sears to fix the problem with a service call. Not likely - means time off work and paying probably at least $300 toward an old fridge.
  • Get a new stainless steel fridge to match all the other new appliances. This may be a premature choice since refrigerators should last about 10 years. Ours is only 7 years old, there should be plenty of life left in it. However, the old one could become our stockpile and soda fridge, allowing us to get rid of the two other dorm size fridge and freezer we have.
  • Get a used stainless steel fridge from craigslist. I've seen used but practically new ss fridges for as little as $500 on craigslist. However, DH is still injured from the motorcycle collision, and can not possibly assist in moving an appliance. This choice would have to wait.
 Oh, the joys of living. If any of you have any ideas, I'd love to know how you'd handle this dilemma.
 

Time To Remodel Again

Once again as the summer winds down, its time in our house to consider another remodel project. If you remember, last fall we gutted our two bathrooms and kitchen, replumbed the water pipes and built entirely new bathrooms and new kitchen. Our next project is the bedroom and the dressing room. We're kind of non traditional folks and decided to use our rooms in the house as we see fit which isn't always what other people do.
 
We made our master bedroom into a dressing room since it had a larger closet and bathroom connected. When we first moved into the house we had different work schedules with one of us getting up earlier to get showered and changed for work. It was more convenient and considerate to do this in a different room than the one the sleeping person was in. Also, I happen to have asthma and try to keep the bedroom allergen free by minimizing surfaces to collect dust, clothing or materials that shed skin cells and attract dust mites. So our bedroom is pretty bare, all it has is a bed and a dresser for the TV.
 
Anyway, we sold our vintage waterbed (thru craigslist) the other night which was drama in itself, you can read about it here. So now the bedroom is empty. Since its empty we decided to replace the carpet and update the window sills with marble, rather than the mid century tile. We may also replace the ceiling fan and we'll definitely paint it a color (yeah another white room bites the dust!), and get new blinds or window coverings.
 
The first step is to schedule a measure for the carpet. Home Depot has a deal now for $37 install. plus I signed up for the HD movers club and they emailed me a 10% off coupon the same day. I also redeemed a bunch of AMEX points for HD gift cards that should arrive in a few days. So after the measure it will be another 7-10 days to get the carpet installed. By then the windowsills and painting would done.
 
Next its bed shopping for us and paint selection.

Finally Our Kitchen is Done

Finally our kitchen remodel is finished and we are able to enjoy the simple pleasures of eating off a real plate and using a dishwasher to clean the dishes. Our remodeling projects started exactly five months ago when we started removing tile from the walls of the bathrooms using a roto hammer. We did all the demolition of two bathrooms and our kitchen by ourselves, hiring a guy from craigslist to haul away over two tons (4000 lbs) of rubble, lumber, sheetrock and old cabinets and counters.
 
Our goal was to redo the bathrooms for $5000 each, and the kitchen for $10000, for a total of $20,000 for the remodel. We actually were over budget due to having to replumb our 50 year old home's plumbing we busted in the demo. It needed to be done anyway, but we blinded didn't think of it. It is a relief to know we have brand new plumbing behind our walls though. The bathrooms ended costing about $11000 including the replumb job.
 
While we tried to be frugal by using 10% off Home Depot or Lowes coupons for all our purchases, we still got top quality stuff which costs more. At first we thought we would go inexpensive with white appliances, but then we realized that stainless is really what people want, and hopefully it won't be out of style in 20 years when we sell our house. We don't plan to do this again, so we wanted to do it right with good workmanship, quality cabinets, counters and tiling.
 
We were fortunate to have a referral for a great handyman who was able to do everything except the replumb for us. We changed plans last minute several times and he was able to work with the changes. I felt bad at first asking him to incorporate all those 2" accent tiles into the backsplash, but not enough to not do it. It took two days to tile and grout it, and its not even that large of an area. We decided since our refrigerator is only 6 years old, we'll keep it until it dies and then replace with a ss model. We designed extra space into that area to accomodate the larger models when we replace it.

Anyway, we ended up spending about $12,800 on the kitchen. Here is an approximate breakdown
 
$4100 Cherry cabinets (incl free sink base, soft close) Lowes
$2900 Granite counter top (incl free ss sink) Lowes
$3400 Labor over 100 hours for the handyman
$1400 SS Dishwasher, Microwave, Range, Kenmore Sears
$1000 Faucet, blinds, switches, lights, switchplate covers, dimmers, cabinet hardware, tiles, misc
 
Here are the ways we made it more affordable without compromising quality:
1. Saved the money ahead of time so we could take advantage of deals when it was the right time of the year. We saved a lot on the appliances at Sears with stacking deals like price matching, coupons and holiday sales.
2. We picked up our own appliances from Sears when we were ready for them to be installed. We borrowed our neighbors truck and loaded up the 3 boxes and unloaded them on our own, saving delivery and installation fees.
3. We purchased all supplies a 10% off coupon. If our handyman had to run and get something we just paid retail, no markup.
4. We gave our handyman a home depot gift card to use to pay for items he needed so he didn't have to charge them on his own card.
5. We did all demolition and cleanup ourselves by borrowing tools from our neighbor or from the handyman. We hired the handyman on a Saturday to help remove the old cast iron bathtub since it was so large. We also needed to move the shower and toilet drains in the bathroom to accomodate a new shower design which involved jack hammering the terrazzo floor through to the dirt and the buried drain. We rented the jack hammer for just 4 hours and returned it.
6. We installed simple things ourselves to save hours from the handyman - like installing the ceiling lamp, sanding, painting, lightswitch covers, cabinet knobs, installing undermount lights, put up blinds. It actually took us longer than we thought, but when we were done we were glad we didn't have to pay someone to do it.
7. We took advantage of Lowes and Sears delayed payment plans for interest free payments for 6 months (Lowes) or a year (Sears). We have the cash saved but are trying to pay back the credit with income rather than taking it from savings. This is working well and we have over half of our savings left from the budget that we might not have use for the kitchen costs.
8. When we did purchase something it was on the Mastercard or American Express card that earns points, and you guessed it we have redeemed the points for Home Depot gift cards.
9. We returned all unused items soon after to get credit back. We have tons of receipts and we couldn't always find the right one, or the item was purchased with a gift card. The cool thing is they just scan your credit cards you might have used and it shows if you ever purchased that item and they can give you credit back if you did. If you didn't show a purchase history, they give you store credit on a gift card. Either way works for us.

Kitchen Smitchen

 
 

I don't really know what smitchen is, but it rhymes with kitchen. Dear stayed home from work on Tuesday to accept the delivery of our new American Woodmark (have I ever said how much I like that companies service and quality??) kitchen cabinets. We got 26 different items in 11 boxes and they are scattered all over our house. Poor dog has her place moved and its like walking in a forest of boxes for her. The color is a little darker than the bathroom cabinets, not quite the cinnamon hue, more muddy looking. But that actually will allow us to get a new color paint for the walls that is a neutral color instead of the current yellow shade. It doesn't clash with tans, browns, greens like the cinnamon does. If you want to look at all the remodel pictures so far.
 
We're due to get our appliances picked up from Sears anytime after Friday, so we'll probably get them Saturday. I want to cut away a little more of the old counter top so we can actually hook up the range and use the cooktop and oven until the handyman can work us it. He is slammed now with a ton of jobs, so we're just having to wait in line for our turn. We'll have to figure out how to wire in a 3 or 4 prong range plug, and then buy a range cord and connect it. The other one was hard wired in, but it doesn't appear very safe. We have 50 year old original copper wires in the kitchen and some of the outlets aren't even in conduit boxes. We're lucky we never burned down.
 
So this weekend we'll get the appliances, hook up the microwave and range, hopefully pick out a nice paint color, and maybe start painting. It'll be a lot easier to do the ceiling and high walls with out new cabinets and appliances in the way. Too bad we weren't on the ball and didn't get the Glidden Paint rebate last weekend.

More Curb Alerts

Well since today is a holiday for government employees we have another day for demolition before the new American Woodmark Cabinets arrive tomorrow. Did I ever mention how impressed I am with Lowe's and American Woodmark? No? Well I am.


So we're planning on removing everything except the sink. Earlier this week we put out the washer and dryer for curb alert and it was gone within minutes on craigslist. Then on Saturday, we put out the dishwasher and it was gone within a day. And then today we got rid of the stovetop and oven to one of the guys from earlier who emailed. All our appliances are gone now and it was so easy.

 
Now we have to continue to burn the old cabinets in fires, and chop them up for the trash man. Here's what's left of the old kitchen, just the sink. We cut the wall out between the dining room and the kitchen and it opens up the area and makes it seem really big.

Kraftmaid


Kraftmaid has this free kitchen idea book available now, click the banner to order yours, Hurry they go quick!

We just finished remodeling our bathrooms with Kraftmaid cabinets and they look beautiful. Unfortunately, the quality is really crappy. The doors are hung crooked on hinges applied sloppily. Of our four cabinets, three have problems. When we got the replacement cabinet door, it was missing the anchors to attach to cabinet and they sent the wrong part 2 times. After two months, we are still in limbo with them.

So go ahead get the book, dream about a beautiful cabinet, and then wakeup in the middle of a nightmare.

Can I Have the Crowbar Please?

Last night we got confirmation of a ship date on our kitchen cabinets, and its pretty quick - like in eleven days. That means the old cabinets needed some attention. We started out by boxing up the food, and tossing out expired stuff. Dear found a can of tuna from 2001 that we just didn't have the heart to put out for the neighbor cats. We didn't want to lure them near the puddle of antifreeze that oozed out of the neighbors truck onto our driveway after we used the truck to bring home the washer and dryer. Anyway, I emptied out the cabinets with dishes and have five large dog food bags full of coffee cups, glassware, dishes, bowls and cups that we're not even going to bother giving away - into the trash they go. This is stuff we moved in, stored in the cabinets and have not touched in fifteen years, I don't think we'll miss it.
 
So we've cleaned out the cabinets, moved the small appliances out onto the kitchen table and we're ready to remove the upper wall cabinets to see what we've got in store. This couldn't possibly be as bad as using a hammer drill on the tile and concrete walls that were in the bathroom, so we didn't even bother with gloves and ear protection. Mistake number one. Um, dear can I have the crowbar please? I don't see any screws or nail heads anywhere, how the hell is this thing attached to the wall?
 
The Man Servant gets a drill to remove all the doors to make this a little easier. I grab a flathead screwdriver to start prying off the laminate to reveal wood and hopefully some screws or nails. After peeling off a couple layers of contact paper (pretty yellow mushrooms under there) we found a couple screws. So, the man gets the drill and removes all the up down supports. Good deal, we're getting somewhere. But, oh the thing looks like it was a pre-assembled 10 foot box that was nailed to the walls. All the nail and screw heads are buried against the wall. Great, this means we need to get out the circular saw to cut it apart. So tonight we'll be all garbed up with safety gear, ear muffs, goggles, gloves. And the crowbar.

Happy New Kitchen Year

Today is the beginning of our kitchen project. Our hopefully frugal kitchen project. So we waited til Sears was having a Kenmore sale and we need to get a stove, microwave hood, and a dishwasher. And, oh maybe a dryer too because ours just died tonight. After drying the load of clothes 3 times and the dryer never got warm, it seems the thing is failing us. So maybe a dryer too. But back to Sears, we bought a range and a micro hood. Stainless because white just looked cheap. Not the most frugal choice because there is no functional difference between white and stainless - its all looks. Anyway, we used our sears card to get 5% off, and the cash for clunker deal that sears is offering ($100 off), and ended up spending $1144. Still may need a dryer.