Tuesday, April 23, 2013

QUICK RECIPE: Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts



Prep time:  15 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Serving size: 2

INGREDIENTS

2 boneless skinless chicken breast
4 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoon green onion (chopped)
4 pieces bacon (partially cooked)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pound out Chicken breast so it is about 1/4" thick.
  2. Mix together cream cheese and green onions and spread cheese mixture over 1 side of chicken breast.
  3. Roll chicken breast up to conceal cream cheese.
  4. Wrap partially cooked bacon around chicken breast and secure with toothpick.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes at 375.
  6. Broil for about 5 minute to crisp bacon.
VARIATIONS:  If you like the flavor of blue cheese you can crumble some over the cream cheese spread before rolling and wrapping chicken.  Or place slices of gourmet cheese on top of the cream cheese spread prior to rolling.  

(Recipe courtesy of Food.com)

Friday, April 12, 2013

ENERGY SAVING TIPS FOR YOUR HOME


In today's economy we all look for various ways to save a penny so our paychecks can stretch further than before.  Some people brown bag their lunches,  or create their own special latte before bolting out of the door for their daily commute.

And some even take it to the extreme and combine both savings and exercise by riding a bike or jogging to work.

Rather than resorting to drastic measures to save a buck, let's look at a few easy ways you cans save money around your home:

TURN THINGS OFF when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.  Don't keep opening the fridge door to get one item while cooking - plan what you need from the fridge and get it all in one go.

USE POWER STRIPS FOR ELECTRONICS.  Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use—TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.

MAKE IT QUICK:  Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow shower heads for additional energy savings.

AIR DRY dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.  Also, air dry some of your clothing after washing a few items by hand.


IRON OUT THE KINKS:  When doing laundry remove clothes promptly from the dryer and place on a hanger to reduce ironing time.  Also, iron what you need in one task rather than ironing on the go; a single  warm-up time costs less than constantly plugging and unplugging your iron.

Also, study your family’s lighting needs and look for ways to use controls—like sensors, dimmers, or timers — to reduce lighting use.  Use lower wattage bulbs in certain low-traffic areas.

By following these tips you will not only benefit financially, it will also help conserve our limited resources and help reduce the impact on our global environment.

Friday, April 5, 2013

TIPS TO HELP WITH ALLERGY-PROOFING YOUR HOME


"April showers brings May flowers."

That sunny prose has been around since the dark ages and is a reminder of another season that lurks hand-in-hand with spring:  allergy season.

According to the National Institutes of Health the number of persons affected by allergies has increased two to five times since 1980.  This increase is being attributed to a number of factors including global warming, higher levels of pollution in industrialized nations, and better diagnosis of allergy conditions - just to name a few.

If you are one of the many people today who morph into frantic tissue-hoarders during the warmer allergy months, below are a few tips on "allergy-proofing" your personal castle aka your home:

  • Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Choose bedding made of synthetic materials.
  • Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mold and condensation from window frames and sills. 
  • If you have pets in your home,  give them a bath at least twice a week to help reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.  
  • Wipe up excessive moisture in your refrigerator to avoid mold growth. Discard moldy or out-of-date food. Regularly empty and clean the drip pan and clean or replace moldy rubber seals around doors. 
  • Mold can be removed from surfaces and walls by using a solution of one part bleach to 20 parts water. Dead mold can still cause an allergic reaction, but bleach has been found to reduce the severity of the reaction in susceptible people. 
    False color scanning electron microscope image of pollen grains from a variety of common plants: sunflower, morning glory, prairie hollyhock, oriental lily, evening primrose and castor bean. 
  • Vacuum daily and use special carpet treatments that inactivate the accumulated allergens and reduce the dust mite population. Frequent vacuuming is needed to remove surface allergens from carpets, however many vacuums simply blow allergens into the air. Replace your standard vacuum bag with a high filtration multi-layer bag and add a vacuum exhaust filter.

Just following a few of these tips could lead to less sneezing and wheezing, and more time quietly relaxing with your perfect companion:  YOU!