Simple advice for a better life.

Potatoes  Au-GratinI have been testing several different recipes in my Nuwave oven, and will be sharing some of them with you.

Today I will post a recipe for a vegetable dish, Potatoes Au-Gratin, which was very simple to prepare, and it turned out to be a delicious side dish.

This recipe was posted in the cook book enclosed with the Nuwave oven shipment, so I will post it for your convenience, in case you have not decided yet to add this kitchen gadget to your collection.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups small red potatoes, washed, and sliced very thinly
  • 1/2 cup red or white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream (whipping cream)
  • 3 Tbs. Parsley, chopped (0r 1 Tbs. dried parsley flakes)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and slice the potatoes, and place them in the bowl.
  2. Add chopped onion, butter, cheese, cream and spices.
  3. Mix to coat the potatoes evenly.
  4. Scoop into a 10 inch baking dish, gently pressing them down into the pan.
  5. Place on 1 inch rack, and cook on HI power level, for 20 minutes.
  6. Let it rest for 2 minutes with dome lid on.
  7. Serve hot, as a side dish with your favorite meat.

Enjoy!

Nuwave ovenThe time has come to add a new kitchen gadget to my collection.

Currently I am testing a very interesting kitchen gadget, a Nuwave Pro Infrared Oven.

I was slightly skeptical at first site of this item, since it is made mostly of heavy duty plastic, and the heating element is located under its lid.

This means that all its heat and cooking power comes only from the top.

Once I have checked out the recipe booklet included with the oven, I decided to give it a try, and test some of these recipes to share my opinion with you.

So far, I am quite impressed by this oven, so in the next few posts I will share pictures and recipes of the dishes I prepared.

As you can see from the picture above, this gadget is portable, convenient to pack, since all pieces disassemble easily, and a great gadget to take along on a family vacation (if you plan to do some cooking and baking….:-) there)

Since my kitchen has only one oven, it find it very convenient to use this Newave oven to prepare side dishes, or quick desserts.  It is also very useful for cooking for TWO, or even four, with less heat in the kitchen, and less energy.

It is also easy to clean, since all the parts are removable and dishwasher safe, with the exception of the lid which houses the heating element.

I would like to hear from those of you who have tried this cooking gadget, and would like to share their opinion.

 

Wine Corks – Interesting Backsplash

Container filled with hundreds of wine corksI would be very interested in knowing how many of you are into wine cork collecting?

Pinterest has  numerous  arts and crafts ideas from wine corks.  You should check it out!

You will find cork floor mats, coasters, place mats, wall decor, candle holders, Christmas Tree decorations, etc.

My daughter and her husband have been collecting their wine corks for few years now, with some help from other family members as well.

They were contemplating several ideas to use up those wine corks , but once their basement was finished, which  includes a fairly spacious kitchen, they knew exactly which cork project to pursue.

Yes, you guessed it….a very interesting backsplash for their new kitchen.

Today I will share some pictures I took of that project, which began with my daughter’s idea, and finalized by her husband, with a helping hand from his dad.

This actually turned out to be a nice family project.

Wine Cork backsplash - begining stages

It all started with a special backing board attached to the wall, to outline the backsplash area.

They also installed extended (protruding from the wall) electrical outlets, to allow for the thickness of the corks in the backsplash.

Wine Cork backsplash - close up

As you can see here, the electrical outlets are nicely fit on the surface of the cork backsplash.  Nice job!

Wine Cork backsplash - close up 2

Here is a close up view of the corks, placed in a specific pattern, to create a very interesting backsplash.

Wine Cork backsplash

At last, the finished project, with lots of corks still left over…ready for another project…?

Please note, there are some color corks placed strategically throughout the  backsplash,  to add a little more color and character.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this project.

What a great way to recycle wine corks, and be surrounded by many memories of the numerous occasions these wines were shared with family and friends.

Please share your comments, plus other ideas and experiences you may have with creating interesting projects from wine corks.

 

If you love veggie eggrolls, but are looking for a healthier way to prepare them, rather than deep frying, I have just the recipe for you.

Have you ever tasted baked eggrolls?

Well, I baked mine, and everyone just loved them.

They are very tasty.  Lots of flavor in the filling.  The wrappers are quite crispy, but not  “greasy” crispy,  thus much healthier for you, so you can enjoy them guilt free!

I read several different recipes, and created one to fit my taste.

I used regular green cabbage for the filling, and low sodium soy sauce for dipping.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2/3 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh onions, or chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (check out my nifty garlic-zoom)
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • 14 eggroll wrappers (or more, depending on the amount of filling you use)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

Directions:

  1. Heat up a medium saucepan on stove top with 2 Tbs. of olive oil.
  2. Add chopped onions, and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped garlic, and saute 1 minute.
  4. Add shredded cabbage and carrots, and cook until wilted.
  5. Season with soy sauce, sugar, ginger and pepper.
  6. Set aside to cool off slightly.
  7. Using cooking spray, grease the bottom of a baking dish, and set aside.
  8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  9. Place eggroll wrapper on a work surface, in a diamond shape.
  10. Place 2-3 Tbs. of filling on an eggroll wrap, about 1/2 inch away from the lower corner.
  11. Fold the corner over the filling, then fold left and right sides towards the middle, as if making an envelope.
  12. Gently holding down all these corners with your fingers, roll the enclosed filling toward the top corner of the wrapper, until fully wrapped.
  13. Place the wrapped eggroll, seam down, on the prepared baking dish.
  14. Continue same process with the remaining wrappers, until all filling is used up.
  15. Lightly spray the tops of eggrolls with cooking spray, or brush gently with olive oil.
  16. Bake uncovered for 18 minutes, or until golden brown (I could have baked mine a little longer, for a crispier top).
  17. Enjoy with the soy dipping sauce, or create your own.
  18. To make the dipping sauce, place all ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well with a whisk ,or beat it with a fork.

Enjoy, and share your comments, please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is here.

Students are home.

Daily computer usage has increased, and not only your electric bill is climbing higher and higher, but the atmosphere pollution is also increasing.

Today I will share some tips from ecomii.com, to help you lower your electric bill, and go green.

 

Today’s Tip:  Don’t Snooze on Computer Efficiency

 

What?
Save energy – and reduce global warming – with your computer’s sleep mode.

 

How?
Be a responsible technophile.

Use sleep mode, and not screensavers, whenever you’re away.

The forgetful type?

Adjust your power settings to have hibernation kick in sooner.

 

Why?

Computers are energy hogs, and screensavers are worse.

In fact, screensavers use a lot more energy than your computer normally does – two times as much if they are graphically complex.

 

Did You Know?

A desktop computer left on for a full year would release 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

 

Okay, But How Hard Is It?
As easy as letting your computer nap during lunch. 

 

There you have it. Now go do the right thing, please.

Please share any other tips you might have to save energy with computers.

 

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