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Household Hints

   Bettijo  The Difference between Spices and Herbs
We often hear the term "herbs and spices". As any amateur chef knows, herbs and spices are vital ingredients in many dishes. They add flavor, aroma, color, texture and even nutrients.

Both spices and herbs are parts of plants (fresh or dried ) that are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They've also been known to preserve foods, cure illness and enhance cosmetics.

Have you ever stopped for a moment to think what the difference is between the two?

The difference between the two is the part of the plant they are obtained from:

Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant
Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit. This includes the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds.
Examples of herbs include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint. They are often grown in temperate areas compared to spices. They have great medicinal value and are also used in the preparation of cosmetic products.

Spices are usually dried before being used to season foods. Some examples are cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper. Unlike herbs, they are grown in more tropical countries. They've also been known to preserve foods. Some spices have medicinal value, for example turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal properties.

Despite the above clarification, according to the American Spice Trade Association, spices are defined as "any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes". This really broadens the definition of spices, allowing it to include herbs, dehydrated veggies, spice blends and spice seeds.

Below is a short list of 5 herbs, then spices, along with their reported nutritional/health benefits.

Basil - Rich in Vitamin A and K. Assists with combating bowel inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
Oregano - Assists with inflammation
Parsley - Protects against rheumatoid arthritis, antioxidant-rich, fights cancer, high in vitamin C and iron
Thyme - Contains the oil, thymol, especially helpful for chest and respiratory problems, also acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant.
Mint - Helps with digestion and asthma
Cinnamon - May potentially lower blood sugar levels, LDL (bad ) cholesterol and triglycerides, especially in people with type 2 diabetes
Ginger - Can stop nausea and may also relieve heartburn and bloating
Chilli - Contains capsaicin which puts the heat in chilies, may lower the risk of skin and colon cancers; shown to suppress appetite and boost metabolism
Cloves - Have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties; they are known for relieving flatulence and can actually help promote good digestion as well as metabolism
Mustard seeds - Contain phytonutrient compounds that protect against cancers of the gastrointestinal tract; believed to reduce the severity of asthma
Bottom Line
Herbs come from the leafy and green plant parts. Spices come from all the other parts.

Reduce your sodium intake by adding herbs and spices to your dishes!
Monday at 08:08 EST .

   Bettijo  Dave Hax, the clever YouTuber behind the sneak-more-pizza trick, has another food hack that will make your life undoubtedly easier next time you have to deal with a load of rogue tubers.

To start, simply cut a thin line around the circumference of the potato. Don’t cut too deep, but mind your fingers as you move the blade around. After each potato is cut, boil until done. Cool them off with some cold water and then the magic begins.

No knives, or extra utensils needed, just use your fingers to glide the skin right off. It’s really that simple. Dave Hax appears to be using a small variety of Russet potato but we imagine this trick works with most tubers.

July 26 at 19:17 EST .

   1 person like this.

   Dixonnh  Flaming Sword: Dawn Heavy-Duty Degreaser and Dawn Power Dissolver. Where do you buy these products and do you have to buy in large quantities?

(From helpful tip written way down on May 5th )
July 20 at 22:01 EST .

   4 people like this.

   Flaming Sword  Sorry I took so long. I don't visit much anymore. I get mine from Yes ,you do have to buy in quantity, but in the long run it saves a ton of money.Buy it, give a small sample to a friend, and they'll be jumping to split that order with you. I don't think either product is made for the consumer anymore. Strictly for commercial users. Bite the bullet. You'll be glad you did. If you do, the dissolver must be shaken well before each use.
July 25 at 16:23 EST .

   Dixonnh  Thank you Flaming Sword!
Monday at 22:06 EST .

   Bettijo  Read this on another site:

I was in Ulta today and a sales lady dropped nail polish. They immediately began poring sugar on it. Did you know sugar makes nail polish clump up and you can sweep it right off the floor? I watched them. No scrubbing at all!
June 29 at 18:28 EST .

   4 people like this.

   Bettijo  This scared me so badly, I don't think I will ever bake in Pyrex again!

Is Glass Bakeware Safe Anymore? The Dangers Of Exploding Glass Dishes
June 19 at 20:04 EST .

   3 people like this.

   Balogreene  Interesting. For years now, I've baked in stoneware, use aluminum or cast iron on the stove top, but have a ton of Pyrex I use to microwave. I have the microwavable containers, with a sealed lid and a steam hole. especially for tomatoey things.
June 23 at 22:04 EST .

  5 people like this.

   MeiDei  I got very lucky the other day grocery shopping, hitting 3 stores & finding unadvertised specials in each. One was corn on the cob @ 12/$1.00 - [everywhere else 5/$2.00] so this is a reminder of Bettijo's last year's tip to microwaving corn on the cob - in the husk 4 mins. each. After cutting off the stem end & microwaving, I had to roll the husk leaves off & easily remove the silk on the first one. The 2nd one I was able to get the same results as the video showed, which was to squeeze it out cleanly - including the silk - from the tip end. Just a reminder: using a 600-700 watt microwave is 4 mins., using a 1000+ watt microwave I did it at 3-1/2 mins. each. The remainder goes in the compost pile.
June 1 at 21:11 EST .

   10 people like this.

   Balogreene  I'm getting new false teeth within the next few weeks. Can't wait to eat Corn on the Cob again!
June 21 at 20:00 EST .

  4 people like this.

   MeiDei  Here's a link to produce specials by month:
June 1 at 14:11 EST .

   6 people like this.

   MeiDei  Did you ever buy something and a few weeks later see it on sale? Here's a breakdown by month when items are most likely to be less expensive:
June 1 at 14:07 EST .

   9 people like this.

   Carmen  Storing those evil plastic grocery bags: I'm even thinking of hoarding them for when they become illegal everywhere. I use them for all sorts of things ---- cleaning the litter box, picking up dog poo, wrapping paint brushes, trays and rollers in them to store in the fridge (for latex paints/freezer for oil based stains ). Then, of course they are useful to line small waste cans.

So - to store them, I use empty Kleenex boxes. You can get about 50 bags in one of those. For storage in the pantry, I use a quart sized wide- mouth canning jar. You can stuff an unbelievable number in those and they tend to be more attractive sitting on a shelf than a Kleenex box. It is handy to have the storage boxes/jars in various areas for convenient use.
April 25 at 13:51 EST .

   14 people like this.

   BirdsNest  I use the empty tissue box idea too,but I also like the qt jar trick.
April 25 at 16:51 EST .

  8 people like this.

   Balogreene  In about 1990, my BIL had the brilliant idea of canvas grocery bags, with 4 stored in a canvas holder. We, of course, bought some from him, but the idea of reusable/washable grocery bags just didn't catch on then. Not only do we still have and use the bags, we have the holders. I've hung them from our hall-closet door, and stuff the plastic bags inside them. The canvass grocery bags are in the trunk of my car, for when I grocery shop.
May 14 at 18:39 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Bettijo  I cooked a couple eggs this morning and noticed the carton said "Best Used by 4/24/15." Since that was yesterday, I searched Internet to see how long I could store eggs. I was going to hard boil them thinking they would keep longer cooked, not so. This is what I found.

How to store eggs?

The USDA recommends storing eggs in a refrigerator at about 40 degrees F, mainly to reduce the chances that any bacteria on the shell will multiply and cause a risk of illness.

Buy refrigerated eggs and store them in the refrigerator as soon as your get home. However, even under refrigeration, eggs slowly lose carbon dioxide, which enlarges the size of the air cell and causes the yolk to flatten and the white to spread.
Storing Fresh Egg - Refrigerated raw shell eggs will keep without significant quality loss for about 4 to 5 weeks beyond the "sell by" date or about 3 weeks after you bring them home.

Fresh egg whites - 2 to 4 days

Fresh egg yolks (unbroken and covered with water ) - 2 to 4 days

Hard-cooked (hard boiled ) eggs - 1 week

Deviled eggs - 2 to 3 days

Leftover egg dishes - 3 to 4 days

Whole eggs (in the shell ) cannot be frozen as the eggs will burst. Store in an airtight freezer container. The recommended length of freezer storage for frozen eggs is 9 to 12 months.

Whole eggs - You can freeze an entire egg by beating it (as if you were making scrambled eggs ) and then storing it in an airtight freezer container.

Egg yolks - Separate eggs. Stir yolks with a fork to break them. Add two teaspoons sugar or one teaspoon salt for each cup of egg yolks. Store in an airtight freezer container.

Egg whites - Strain whites through a sieve. Freeze without stirring. Do not add sugar or salt. Store in an airtight freezer container.
April 25 at 12:15 EST .

   13 people like this.

   Carmen  Actually, you don't really know how old the eggs are that you buy in a store. If they peel easily, they are (at least ) 14 days old when you buy them. Fresh eggs don't peel well because there has been no shrinkage of the inside. If you are buying farm-fresh eggs (or gathering them from your own chickens ) just don't wash them --- they will keep for months if refrigerated. Yes, I know all about the regulations to insure freshness of store-bought eggs and I also know there are so many ways to get around that.

I have noticed every year at Easter time, the eggs you boil are very difficult to peel. Yes -- they are selling so many that what you buy tends to be fresh. Personally, when we had chickens they would stop laying in the winter because of the short days. So, we would have eggs for many months until they started laying again in the spring. We are still healthy and alive.
April 25 at 13:48 EST .

  8 people like this.

   BirdsNest  And it is interesting hoe carelessly the eggs are handled from the farm to the warehouse to the store. Some stores leave them unrefrigerated for a good long time. Since we have our own chickens and eggs, we worry less about problems. I made egg salad for lunch today-delicious. I saved all the eggs this week to sell at the tracks today, it was chilly and damp, no one bought eggs so now I have plenty of eggs for cooking.
April 25 at 16:54 EST .

  6 people like this.

   RedWhiteBlue  Is it true that chickens only lay one egg a day?
April 25 at 17:50 EST .

  6 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Hens lay one egg per day. Most days I get only 9 eggs from 11 hens, then the other day I got 10, but that is rare. When they were out roaming the yard I figured the 2 hens were hiding their eggs, but it looks like there are a couple of slackers!! Yesterday I discovered what looked like a dead Guinea hen at the base of a tree against the fence, she popped up when I reached down. She must have been sitting on 35 eggs! They are no good of course because all the Guineas fly up into the pine trees for the night.
April 26 at 08:06 EST .

  5 people like this.

   Carmen  Only one egg a day????? LOL - how would you like to have a baby a day. Just kidding.
April 26 at 09:28 EST .

  6 people like this.

   FlatCityGirl  A friend ours has a place out in a rural area of the county; about 10 acres, I think. He's got everything. A couple of horses, a bunch of funny looking goats, his wife has Shetland ponies [three little darling babies born this week]; he raises a couple of steers every year for beef [he keeps us in beef], and chickens galore. I had forgotten how good a "free range" egg is. Once you get a taste of an egg laid by a chicken who has run all over the place, eating everything in its path, including chicken scratch, you'll never ever want another store-bough egg.

As a kid growing up we always had chickens and fresh eggs, and I remembered mom always cracking an egg into a bowl before she put it into whatever she was getting ready to cook/bake. If you got a bad one, you didn't want to ruin the whole dish, so she she looked at them, one by one, individually before she cooked with them.
May 1 at 10:37 EST .

  10 people like this.

   Balogreene  FlatCityGirl, I don't eat meat much anymore, but, I do know the difference between IL's corn-fed deer, and other state's free-range deer. The deer in IL often raided the cornfields, the Venison was lovely. In other states I've lived, the deer forage, the Venison is gamey!
May 14 at 18:44 EST .

  5 people like this.

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