Category Archives: Recipes and Food

Make your home smell like Christmas – stove top potpourri recipes

stove-top-potpourriGive your home the scent of Christmas with this homemade potpourri. Below are a few recipes and suggested herbs, spices and fruit for festive holiday smells.


Add to a large pot:

  • A few cinnamon sticks
  • Four orange halves
  • One cup of fresh cranberries
  • Two sprigs of rosemary

Cover all ingredients with water and simmer. Remember; never leave a boiling pot unattended.

There are many variations on this holiday stove-top potpourri with recipes suggesting a tablespoon or teaspoon of whole cloves, ground nutmeg or vanilla in place of the rosemary.  Others use lemons in addition to, or instead of oranges. Another recipe suggests fresh whole pine needles and adding jojoba oil to the water, like this recipe from

Experiment until you develop your own perfect holiday smell. What scents remind you of Christmas?

More recipes and ideas for homemade, stovetop potpourri

Thanksgiving stain removal guide

Thanksgiving stain removal guide

Gravy, cranberry sauce, pie and wine, oh my! Here’s how to get out those pesky stains on your clothes from your Thanksgiving Day feast fast and when you are away from home.

Gravy or Butter

Use salt, flour, cornstarch, or talcum powder on any fresh stains and let it sit 30 minutes to absorb the greasy material and to keep it from absorbing further into the fabric. Shake off the excess material and then dab with dish soap and run the stain under hot water.

Red Wine

Use salt to absorb the wine. Shake off salt and flush the stain with cold water and dab on dish soap or baring that, club soda.

Cranberry Sauce

Flush with water or use a damp cloth or sponge and treat with a stain stick or good ole’ dish soap.

Isopropyl alcohol can also be used to treat a cranberry-sauce stain, according to this article on DeadSpin; put a small amount on a clean cloth or paper towel and dab at the stain.

Pumpkin pie or sweet potato

Scrape excess pie or sweet potato off with butter knife and run under cold water. Apply a bit of dish soap to the stain and rub the stained area against another part of the fabric.

Stain removal help general tips

  • Treat any stain as quickly as possible.
  •  Always check the clothing care tag for recommended washing temperatures and claning suggestions
  • Apply any stain cleaning solutions to the back of a stain

After the stained clothing items comes out of the wash, allow the garment to air dry and check it before putting it in the dryer. Otherwise, you might set the stain.

If you do find a stain lingering, there is a product out there called De-Solv-it Plus! which is a cleaning product designed to remove tough stains from clothing, even after they have been through the dryer.

Get more cleaning tips based on fabric type at the Whirlpool Institute of Fabric Science.

Veterans eat free on Veterans Day 2014 at these restaurants

Thank You Veterans Many local and national chain restaurants are thanking veterans and active duty military personnel by giving discounts or offering free meals to them on Veterans Day Tuesday, Nov. 11. has a list of restaurants offering veterans discounts as does The offers range from a free beverage with a purchase, to a whole free meal including a discount for family and friends.

To receive your discount or free meal be sure to offer some proof of military service (like a valid Military I.D. or a VA Universal Access Card).

Many of the offers are:

  • dine-in only
  • do not include alcohol
  • cannot be used with other coupons or discounts
  • do not include gratuity

Also, if the restaurant is part of a chain, not all locations might participate in the offer, so be sure to phone and check ahead.

Millennial Appliances

Millennials are the generation of individuals who are now moving into their own houses for the first time, and with this migration, comes the necessity of new appliances.  While stainless steel appliances remain a huge focal point in many kitchens these days, the new Artistry series by GE focuses on innovative design aspects with a touch of tradition, at an affordable price.

The newest GE series is their latest line of kitchen appliances, targeted at first time home buyers, and younger families.  Assume that not every first time home buyer doesn’t have the funds to afford brand new stainless steel appliance suites; that’s where this line comes in.

The black gloss, and white gloss appliances lend a fresh look, with stainless accents, offering a contemporary look without compromising pocketbooks.

Tomas DeLuna led the design team in creating the Artistry series, and at 27 years old, he made sure that the necessary features that are needed in todays kitchens were included in way that were attractive for younger buyers.

For those of you interested, this line will be available for purchase some time in September 2013, and the whole suite is said to be under $2,500!

Sweet Summertime!

It’s almost summer time, and this means that we’re able to spend the majority of our time in the great outdoors.  I am a HUGE fan of camping. It is probably the one thing I look forward to the most during the summer months.  It’s so nice to get away from it all, even if just for a weekend.


My favorite place to visit is the Adirondacks, in the North Country of New York. The mountains are stunning, and the hiking is phenomenal, which ranges anywhere from easy beginner trails to expert rock face scaling.

When I’m not camping, I try to integrate camping-like details into my every day schedule.


One of these is a delicious s’mores cookies recipe.  Although these are not very healthy, they are great for parties and get-togethers, and are a crowd pleaser for sure.

For easy clean up, make sure to use the Affresh Kitchen Cleaner!

Happy (Belated) Memorial Day!

ImageWe just wanted to thank all of the service men and women out there risking their lives to protect us!

In honor of the holiday, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes.  I absolutely love grilled portabella mushrooms. These are often used to replace meat burgers in hamburgers and cheeseburgers.  This is usually a vegetarian substitute, but it is so tasty, you should try it anyways.


One concoction that is exceptionally tasty is a “Caprice Burger”.

The recipe I follow is found here.  It is a great mix of the portabella mushroom, balsamic vinegar, tomato, pesto, and mozzarella.

If you’re as sloppy of a cook as I am, make sure to degrease all of your surfaces with Whirlpool’s degreaser.  It works wonders on all surfaces.


Sweet Creamy Goodness

Just the other day as I was skimming through Pinterest,  which has become my new addiction, and I noticed this recipe for cream cheese, cinnamon sugar and crescent roll bites.  I followed the link and lo and behold, the easiest dessert recipe I’ve ever encountered.  I tried these out two days ago, and my family pretty much inhaled these, they were so good!


If you’re a fan of pastries and have a bit of a sweet tooth, these are for you.  You can serve these as breakfast, a snack or dessert. It’s really a very versatile food.



-2 cans pillsbury butter crescent rolls (buy the seamless version if you can find them!)

-2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)

-1 cup sugar

-1 teaspoon vanilla

-1/4 cup butter (melted)

-Cinnamon and sugar (I used about 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbs cinnamon) 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using a glass pan, adjust the temperature to 325 degrees. Unroll and spread one can of crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 9×13 inch pan.  If you aren’t using the seamless crescents, be sure to smooth out the seams before adding the filling. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture, being sure to press together any seams. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

These bad boys turned out heavenly. I will definitely be making these again!

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