All posts by thetester2015

Coming to an End

Hello all,

Sorry it’s been so long since I have posted something… but, I felt like I should let you all know, this website will be closing down in the New Year. I will try to keep my Facebook page and hopefully my Twitter account. I just don’t have time to blog anymore. I tried it for a year, and as you can tell, it didn’t work out. It’s been fun and I appreciate each and every one of you that has come and read my blog.

Thanks for the fun and thanks for all your comments.

I will miss my readers the most!

Fruit Flies Have you Outnumbered?

I don’t know about you guys, but for some reason, earlier this summer our house was swarming with fruit flies. It didn’t seem to matter HOW many we killed, they just seemed to keep coming.

So I remembered, reading a “Life Hack” in one of the MANY lists you get bombarded with here and there on the internet. (That and a little ingenuity of my own as well, with some method advice from a friend.)

The “life hack” I tried was pouring about 3 Tbsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar into a coffee cup, tightly sealing it with Saran Wrap, held on with a rubber band and then poking holes in the wrap with a toothpick.

The idea is the fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar (which TRUST ME are they EVER) they climb in the hole and they can’t get back out. The more that are trapped, the more that seem to be attracted to it. I have to admit, this works pretty good, if you don’t have too many full-grown adult fruit flies. (we had some that were too big to fit in the holes and that is how they got out of control ,I believe.) But, you don’t want to have the holes too big or the sneaky little..uh…flies will get back out. I ended up putting a couple of cups out like this to take the population down quicker. I discovered that they were more attracted to a white mug than a clear mug. (Actually they seem to land on anything light or white, so if you set-up one of these traps, use a white mug for best results. As you can see in the picture below.)

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After a couple of days you’ll need to dump out the vinegar and start again with some fresh, if you still have a fruit fly problem. (the fresher vinegar attracts them better)

Where my ingenuity came in was…the adult ones that weren’t getting trapped of course were multiplying causing the population of fruit flies not to diminish as much or as quickly as I had hoped. We have one of those battery operated, tennis racquet bug zappers. (I’m sure you see where I’m going with this) The larger fruit flies fly a bit slower, which helps…but they can also duck and maneuver pretty good, which can add to your frustration.

With some method tips from a friend…(I must advise, don’t do this with people around or for a long time… for one you will look like a crazy person trying to bat down bugs that only you can see and two you will get tennis elbow. Which of course the latter happened to me. lol) You pretty much have to swing that racket in every direction possible, and fairly quickly to get some of the flies. (Maybe you can convince your kids it’s like a video game and get them to swat down the flies? lol) I found it a bit easier if you can see where they land and slowly place the racquet over that spot so the only exit they have is to fly into the racket. (Doesn’t always work…but more times than not it seemed to.)

I hope I have THOROUGHLY entertained you with the hilarious image of me looking like a lunatic swatting invisible bugs. (see the pains and humiliation I suffer to test some of these tips for you guys?! lol) I’m sure in MOST circumstances you won’t need to add this method. Just use the traps for a couple of days and you should see the population of flies reduce. (This is how we NORMALLY get rid of them, they just seemed extra difficult this year)

Hope you find this useful, as well as humorous.

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A Series of Unsatisfying Results-Part 4

This is my very first experience making gluten-free cookies. These were good, just I wish they were a little more crunchy and less chewy. But from what I’ve read, that’s a common problem with gluten-free cookies.

The reason I made these, isn’t because I’m now eating gluten-free…it’s because I bought some coconut flour a while ago, thinking it would be fun to experiment with. Little did I know at the time, you can’t just substitute coconut flour for regular flour in recipes. So it’s been a bit tricky to use up.

I found several recipes online for guidance in making these. This is a small batch, simply because who wants a large batch of something they’re not sure they’re gonna like?

Remember…“Don’t be afraid to play with your food!”

For the recipe, please click here.

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A Series of Unsatisfying Results-Part 3

One of my favorite meals, and smells, is Coq au Vin…there’s some of my many years of Canadian French classes coming into use. Lol (Sounds fancy, but if you haven’t heard of it…it’s pretty much just chicken cooked in wine, garlic and spices.)

When I made this, I was trying to use up some leftover wine I had in the fridge. (I know, what SANE person has leftover wine?) But on this occasion, I seemed to. The wine I had on hand, was a white wine and the final product didn’t come out quite as good as I remember it to be. Because of this, I would recommend using a red wine instead.

Don’t forget…“Don’t be afraid to play with your food!” (I think this has become my new motto…cause I am ALWAYS doing this)

For the recipe, please click here.

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A Series of Unsatisfying Results-Part 2

My second concoction was baked beans from scratch.

These were good, but in my opinion came out too watery. I will share my altered recipe with you and hope that it turns out better. (I haven’t had a chance to try to make them again since my experiment.)

It’s a simple recipe with most ingredients probably on hand. I made this as a main course, so there are a few ingredients you may have to go out and buy.

Enjoy!! Remember… “Don’t be afraid to play with your food!”

For the recipe, please click here.

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A Series of Unsatisfying Results-Part 1

Alright, so I’ve been busy trying different ideas and experiments. All have been edible…but not quite what I had hoped for.

The first concoction I tried, was creating my own pasta salad recipe. (The weather has been overly hot this summer here in Oklahoma, so cool dinners have been more appealing than hot ones.)

Since I made this the first time, I have improved the recipe. The first pasta salad, was the first time I tried this product out and I didn’t put in NEAR enough for it to make a difference in the taste. (You could add a half a packet of ranch seasoning mix…but that would also add quite a bit of sodium, plus likely unpronounceable ingredients.)

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So here is the “improved” recipe, but still…there is something missing. I’m pretty sure it’s the salt taste that I crave, but we are trying VERY hard to not add salt to food. (I know the ingredients list looks a bit daunting, but trust me, once it’s all chopped it’s easy.)

Hope you enjoy!

For the recipe, please click here.

(I feel like I’ve mentioned this before, but can’t find where. I’m sure someone famous has said it before, I don’t think *I* could have thought it up on my own…”Don’t be afraid to play with your food!” Figure out what you like/don’t like and create something that suites YOUR tastes.)

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Pecan, Apple, Cherry Chicken Salad

It’s been a busy week trying to figure out what to write about and trying new recipes to see what worked and what didn’t,

This actually isn’t a NEW recipe, it’s kinda a “Go to” recipe of mine. (Especially in the warmer weather) It’s pretty simple to make, providing you have all the ingredients on hand.

If you have some chicken in the freezer left over from my post “Chicken Stock, Easier than You Think” it makes it REALLY simple and easy.

This is gluten-free, as long as if you choose to use it for sandwiches you use gluten-free bread.

For the recipe, please click here.

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Hummingbird Nectar

I know this is late in the season for me to be posting this, but I’ve always assumed people know how to make this. (You know what they say about assuming!!)

Well just incase there are some of you out there that DON’T know how to make your own hummingbird nectar. Here is the recipe and it’s super easy.

Yes, you can BUY hummingbird nectar, but the stuff with the red dye in it isn’t really good for the birds. Plus it’s easy to make, so why not make it?

You will need to clean and rinse the feeder out weekly and put in fresh nectar at that time. (Especially in the heat we’ve been having, it tends to mildew or mold quickly, hummers seem to be able to tell when it’s not good for eating)

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For the recipe, please click here.

Giddiness Over the Simple Things

It always surprises me how giddy I get with things I can accomplish that people used to do out of necessity in the Pioneer days.

I know LOTS of people out there are probably snickering at this, cause many people do this several ways, and it’s no big deal to them. But…did YOU know you can make your OWN butter?! And it’s actually really easy, and not overly time-consuming!!!

I had MY doubts at first too…but it’s TRUE! I couldn’t believe just HOW simple this was the first time I did it. I can’t take credit for the idea though, I found the recipe/idea here…Homemade butter. (You will find the ingredients list there and most of the directions. Read my comments below for making it in your food processor instead of stand mixer).

As you know by now, I usually don’t follow something exactly. I didn’t add the milk or carrot (Those are just to add more color to it so it has a more yellow color). I just used the heavy cream(Organic of course) and salt. (If you want unsalted butter, I believe you could just leave out the salt) I tried to make this in my mixer…at first…and I believe she states that it can be messy, it was a disaster for me…(Of course I can be a bit of a neat freak.) There was cream splattering out of the mixing bowl and all-over my mixer, even with a towel over it. So, I decided…or read in the comments (Can’t remember which) to make it in my food processor!! That way it could splash around all it wanted and it’s not everywhere in my kitchen, it that would only leave me ONE thing to clean…in the dishwasher!! 😉

This is one of those recipes you have to watch closely, there are stages you need to watch for. You do NOT want to over mix it. (Which of COURSE I did…but managed to make it work) Once you see and hear the food processor sounding a bit more labored than usual, and the cream is sticking together, you want to change to just pulsing the machine. It won’t become like a dough-ball where it ALL clumps up and spins in the processor, but you’ll notice there is less and less liquid. When you hit that stage, stop the processor and strain the “buttermilk” (with a bowl under the strainer from the butter. (Now you have some buttermilk for other baking needs as well). Then follow the rest of the directions at the link above. Starting at around step 5.

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Clean Onion Soup Mix

OnionSoup_mixI don’t know about you guys, but when I originally started “Clean Eating” there were SO MANY things I never thought about. I used Onion soup mix for lots of things, and in the beginning never thought about how processed it was or what was in it. It’s dried stuff, it’s SOUP mix, there can’t be anything bad in it, right? (Once I picked up a box and looked at the ingredients I realized I couldn’t pronounce some of them.)

The following, is a “Clean Eating” recipe. It doesn’t taste exactly the same as most Onion Soup mixes. I think for it to taste more like what you are used to, you would need to add a little beef bouillon powder. I haven’t looked for a “Clean” version of that, so I don’t know if there is one.

When I made this, I doubled the recipe, simply because I knew I would use it a LOT, plus it will keep for about 2 months.

The recipe looks intimidating due to the long list of ingredients. You can always adjust and shorten to your taste. You could probably take out the turmeric, but it’s so healthy for you…I like to keep it in. You can also take out the sugar and salt if you prefer. Literally, if you can measure ingredients you can make this. There’s nothing else to it and as always, feel free to experiment! 🙂

For the recipe, please click here.

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