Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Household Hints and Shortcuts!

Love these! Hope you find them useful!
1. To remove stains, fingerprints, even tape residue from stainless steel, use baby oil on a soft cloth. Leaves a nice shine too!
2. To remove the strong odor of onions from your hands, hold a stainless steel spoon in your hand while running water and rub your hands as though the spoon were soap.
3. To smooth the runners on a sticky drawer, rub the runners and drawer on a bar of soap. It’s amazing how much of a difference it will make!
4. Use vinegar all around house to disinfect and clean many surfaces, although don't use this on furniture made with fabric. It is cheap and chemical free! You can use vinegar straight or equal parts vinegar and water.
5. To remove crayons on walls, use WD-40. It removes it immediately, but if you use it on a flat paint it will leave a greasy line that can easily be washed off with soap and water.

Good luck and stay tuned for future tips!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Time to Start your Spring Herbs!

Now is a great time to begin and indoor herb garden, ensuring a full season of use, and cultivating seedlings to transplant to an outside garden when the weather permits! If you are starting your herb garden for cooking purposes, consider starting with some popular herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, chives, mint and thyme. Starting these herbs from seeds is very easily accomplished with a planting container or containers, soil, and seeds. Label your containers so you know what is growing where, and be sure to use a container with holes to allow for drainage. Water the seeds well after planting and continue to water with small amounts daily to keep the soil damp. Some seeds can be covered to produce more of a greenhouse effect to start the growth, and place your containers on a window sill to allow for adequate sunlight. Your herbs will grow for your use great in this fashion, or you may transplant outside once you have seedlings established and the weather permits. First move the containers outside for a few days to allow the plants to adjust, then move to their permanent location by carefully removing the seedlings from their container, handling by their stems to minimize breakage, and plants in a prepared bed. Transplant on a cloudy day if possible, trim your plants and water regularly until the herbs are reestablished in their new environment. Each herb should be pruned differently to promote new growth. Visit Better Homes & Gardens at http://www.bhg.com/ for tips of pruning the herbs you choose. Good luck and enjoy the gardening and cooking world this will open for you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Inns featured in "Gourmet Getaways"!

Just released this month, Joe David's new book, Gourmet Getaways: 50 Top Spots to Cook and Learn, features locales throughout the country, where chefs share their culinary expertise and recipes! We are very proud to announce that the Inns at Blackberry Common and our own Chef Jim has been featured as one of these, among culinary schools, inns and renowned chefs. The book offers recipes, including Jim's Blackberry Sage Sauce, cooking techniques, biographies of the chefs, and much more! Use it as a travel guide, cookbook or reference tool! An you can pick up a copy here at the Inns during your next stay!

Use this link to preview the book, including excerpts and recipes! Gourmet Getaways

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Traditional Irish Blessing!

May the road rise to meet you;
May the wind be always at your back;
May the sun shine upon your face and
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing
The Earth has angels all too few
And Heaven is overflowing!
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! Hug an Irish person and have a fabulous day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Recipe: Corned Beef and Vegetables in the Slow Cooker!

This recipe is courtesy of Betty Crocker, and is the best and easiest version of traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy!

2 1/2 pounds medium new potatoes, (about 8), cut in half
2 cups baby-cut carrots
1 cup frozen small whole onions, thawed
1 corned beef brisket (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
1 head of cabbage
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

Mix potatoes, carrots and onions in 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Thoroughly rinse corned beef; discard seasoning packet. Place beef on vegetables; sprinkle with pepper. Mix 1/2 cup water and the Worcestershire sauce; pour over beef. Cut the cabbage into 6 wedges and arrange on top of the corned beef. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.
Remove beef and vegetables from slow cooker; cover to keep warm. Pour juices from slow cooker into 1-quart saucepan; heat to boiling. Mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into juices. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Serve sauce with beef and vegetables.