Monthly Archives: August 2009

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 25 – A pillar of strength

We had our first visit to the Chick ICU (CHICU) this weekend.

It seems that one of our little chicks, Simon of the Appenzeller Spitzhauben Simon-and-Garfunkel pair got herself into a bit of trouble this weekend.

For those of you who can’t stand suspense, no she did not become anyone’s SUNDAY DINNER!

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Practice-day-before-school party

It’s nearly time for the kids to go back to school.

They’re ready and I’m (so) ready. We all need to go back to a schedule and spend some quality time away from each other.

After spending the last few weeks looking for school bargains and picking up glue sticks at .12 cents a piece, the time has come to pull it all together. One way we make the kids both excited about school and appreciative of their new supplies is we have a Practice-day-before-school party.

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Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 24 – Releasing the chicks

Today is the day that we are going to add the young chicks in with the older birds who already live in the Storyland hen house. The little ones’ feathers are in and they have no more of that Easter morning down. The time has come.

This is good news on many fronts.

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The 2009 Fabulous Food Network Magazine Challenge – Recipe 25 – Skillet Pork and Peppers

The 2009 Fabulous Food Network Magazine Challenge
Recipe 25 – Skillet Pork and Peppers
Page 87
25 down 42 recipes to go

As a way to provide summertime entertainment (let’s face it in this economy, we’re not going on a vacation this year) and still provide the kids with a learning experience, we’ve decided to recreate each of the 67 recipes found in the June/July issue of Food Network magazine. I’m thinking of this as teaching the kids to eat outside of the box.

We’ll make the recipes taking notes on ease or difficulty. We’ll also comment on the taste and will take photos of each recipe to see if our final product looks anything remotely like the ones in the magazine. So go ahead, grab a Pineapple-orange Mimosa (page 130) and join us this summer.

**********************************

Skillet Pork and Peppers was worth the wait of doing the wrong recipe first. (see recipe 24).

I’m not the biggest fan of pork but this recipe provided some of the most tender and flavorful pork I’ve ever tasted. The combination of bell and pepperoncini peppers with the tomato paste danced together to create a unique and thoroughly enjoyable complex taste.

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Nashua Telegraph – Simple Thrift Column – August 25, 2009

Wendy Thomas – Simple Thrift

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hens and chicks prove to be low-maintenance pets columnists651

You haven’t been hearing much about the chickens lately because there just isn’t much to tell. Once we got them in the hen house, the daily care was minimal.

Each morning, we let them out of the coop into the pen. If someone is going to be around during the day, we herd them into the fenced-in dog area, where they spend the day happily eating grass and bugs.

Other than checking on food and water, that’s it for the daily care. At night, we don’t even have to herd them into the hen house anymore – when the sun goes down, they automatically go inside.

The younger chicks who have not yet gotten all their feathers still live in the garage in their large plastic container. Care for them consists of making sure they have food and water, occasionally changing the wood chips and taking them out to the yard for exercise.

Daily exercise is not mandatory for young chicks, but it is mandatory for me as a way to get both the chicks and my kids out of the house.

We feed the older ones scraps of bread and vegetable remains (who knew that chickens would love our neighbor’s cucumbers?), as well as their medicated feed.
Now that the roosters are gone, we are left with a very quiet, well mannered and, dare I say, civilized flock of birds who make owning them easy.

Dining for less

This is the last of the restaurant and dining advice from my fellow thrifty friend, Michelle Hovestadt of www.wickedcooldeals.com:

• Skip drinks and dessert. Cocktails, other drinks and dessert can really tack dollars onto your bill. If you are really craving something sweet, have a special dessert at home.

When dining out with friends, something I do is have a special dessert, coffee and after-dinner drinks waiting at my house after. There are also some great restaurants that allow you to bring your own wine or beer.

• Plan where you are going. The lack of a plan always gets you in trouble! I recall a few times where we waited too long, the kids were starving and we stopped at the first place we saw.

Boy, we paid for those mistakes! The food was lousy, the service was awful and we paid three times the price.

• Look for discount coupons in your local paper or online. Restaurant chains like Uno’s, Friendly’s and Applebee’s will often place discount coupon offers in the local newspaper, often on Sundays.

The phone book is another place where you might find a discount coupon. And you can do a simple search online to see if there are any current coupons for your favorite restaurants. Just search by restaurant name and “coupon,” “discount” or “promo code.”

• Buy an Entertainment Book. Although you do have to purchase these books (often $15-$20), they are chock full of discount restaurant coupons.

This is a good option if you are someone who really enjoys eating out often. An entertainment book also makes a great gift!

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Filed under Food Savings, Simple Thrift Nashua Telegraph column

The 2009 Fabulous Food Network Magazine Challenge – Recipe 24 – Pork Tenderloin with Orange Salad

The 2009 Fabulous Food Network Magazine Challenge
Recipe 24 – Pork Tenderloin with Orange Salad
Page 118
24 down 43 recipes to go

As a way to provide summertime entertainment (let’s face it in this economy, we’re not going on a vacation this year) and still provide the kids with a learning experience, we’ve decided to recreate each of the 67 recipes found in the June/July issue of Food Network magazine. I’m thinking of this as teaching the kids to eat outside of the box.

We’ll make the recipes taking notes on ease or difficulty. We’ll also comment on the taste and will take photos of each recipe to see if our final product looks anything remotely like the ones in the magazine. So go ahead, grab a Pineapple-orange Mimosa (page 130) and join us this summer.

*******************************************

Sometimes the best intentions are born of wrong turns. Because of recent knee surgery, I was lying down on a couch in one room heavily medicated yelling out dinner directions to Marc who was working in the kitchen two rooms away.

Yes, yes, the pork recipe I yelled out to him at what I thought was a question about the recipe being used.

The one in the magazine I yelled back in response to some perceived mild objection.

When I finally hobbled my way to the kitchen, what I thought would be Skillet Pork and Peppers actually turned out to be Pork Tenderloin with Orange Salad. There was only one thing, we didn’t have any oranges.

You said the pork recipe in the magazine said Marc in his defense.
Yes, I know I said the pork recipe but I meant that pork recipe I said removing my arm from a crutch using it to point to another photo in the magazine’s recipe index. (Did I mention that I was heavily medicated? Strong medication makes things like correct pork recipes seem very important).

Marc sighed, drew a few dollars out of his pocket and gave them and the car keys to one of the boys telling them to get some oranges so that we could have dinner. Think of this as a mercy mission he said as he pushed him out the door and ushered me back to the couch.

The end result was lovely. The beautifully red colored rubbed pork had been slowly cooked on the grill making it divinely flavorful and moist. Add that to the tangy combination of oranges, onions, parsley and sherry vinegar and you had a bit of a party in your mouth with each bite.

Everyone slowed down their day with this meal. You could see the different flavors melding as people’s eyes closed in culinary delight.

Wrong turn that turned out right

Wrong turn that turned out right

It wasn’t what I was expecting but ironically Pork Tenderloin with Orange Salad turned out to be exactly what the Doctor ordered.

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Specific to NH – 4th Annual 2 mile Walk to benefit OVARIAN CANCER, Nashua

Photo credit: busymommy

Photo credit: busymommy

The 4th Annual 2 mile Walk to benefit OVARIAN CANCER awareness will be held at Mine Falls Park in Nashua ( Exit 5, near Stellos Stadium ) on Sunday, September 13,2009

For more information or to pre-register or to make a donation…go to http://NOCC.Kintera.org/NH@ovarian.org/NH or NOCCNH@ovarian.org or call (603)748-9257

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Life words for my son

Now that my oldest son is going off to college, I feel like I have to get in a few last words about living a value filled life. So here goes:

• Don’t have too many hobbies, the older you get the less time you have. So much will lie unused in closets.

• I know they are cute, I know you were raised around them, but wait to have babies. Go to Hawaii first, buy your sports car, live your life and then have kids. Babies are wonderful but they also take up your life for a very long time, without some maturity and some previous living under your belt this can create some major resentment.

• I raised you. I know you’re a smart kid. When you have a problem, sit down, quiet yourself and figure out a solution. There isn’t one problem on Earth that was ever solved by falling apart over it.

• Learn a few good hearty recipes, if you can cook food you’ll always have friends.

• If you see an infomercial, turn it off. You don’t need another gadget. (even if it is really cool).

• Please, for the love of Pete, tie your shoes before you leave the house.

• Use a pen instead of a pencil. Commit to your work.

• Television will turn your imagination into a black sludge. Resist it and connect with the world.

• Always have a book by your bed. Like brushing your teeth never go to bed without reading something first.

• Get your check ups, take your vitamins, exercise – it’s the only body you have.

• Never make your focus be money. People who do that are shallow and terrible bores. Other people move away from them at parties.

• Walk gently and clean up your messes as you make them.

• Don’t cheat. Just don’t do it. The thought that you may have not played fair will haunt you at night.

• Lay off the candy, it will rot your teeth out someday.

• It’s better to make a decision and move forward later making corrections than it is to sit around gathering all the facts ultimately not making any progress.

• Watch a national news program each day. You are part of a bigger whole, make sure you know what your role is in it.

• You are never too old to look both ways before you cross the street.

• Remember, remember, remember, not everything is a joke or deserves a punch line. Humor is so much more effective when it’s doled out in small amounts.

• Learn to like those vegetables they are and always were good for you.

• Call your mom, she will always be there for you (even in the middle of the night)

• And please, sweetheart, I know it’s hard to believe but try to remember that not everyone adores Jon Stewart.

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Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 24 – The second basket

My son and I were recently at a consignment store where I found a great old round bottomed basket with a long looped handle.

This will be grand to use when we start gathering our chicken eggs (still about 2 months out) I said to him. I draped the basket over my arm and sort of sashayed through the store like Cinderella happily surrounded by her chickens.

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Specific to NH- Great Fall Foliage Deals that won’t break the bank

FALL FOLIAGE FUN FOR THE BUDGET MINDED
Ten ideas for $30-$70/night lodging and activities $10 and under from Mt Washington Valley, NH. View vibrant fall foliage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire without spending a lot of green.

North Conway, NH – Mt. Washington Valley, NH, celebrated for the most spectacular display of fall foliage in northern

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