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Household Hints



   BirdsNest  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2014/11/03/your-measurin
g-cups/


Use this to measure the accuracy of your wet and dry measuring cups.

Also, to check the accuracy of your kitchen scales...
a new penny weighs 2.5 gm
2 pennies or 1 new nickel weighs 5 gm

Now go cook something!!
November 9 at 13:10 EST .

   11 people like this.



   Bettijo  Great information. Thanks. I bookmarked this site.
November 10 at 07:58 EST .

  7 people like this.



   Gerty  Good article, MissBirdie. Thanks for posting.
November 12 at 11:07 EST .

  6 people like this.





   Bettijo  Smart LED system lets you turn on lights from afar
Never come home to a dark house again

If you could control your home’s lighting from anywhere using your smart phone or tablet, would you? Several manufacturers now offer remote-control LEDs and the lightbulb experts at Consumer Reports are testing Connected by TCP a smart lighting system for the home. Here’s what we’ve found so far.

We paid $50 at Home Depot for a Connected by TCP system that includes two LEDs and a gateway that enables you to control the bulbs. In our initial tests, it was easy to set up the hardware, install the app, and navigate the menus. The system was fairly intuitive but if you get stuck we found that the TCP website was helpful and so was their customer service when we had a question. You can use a smart phone, tablet, or personal computer and your wireless router or you can buy TCP’s battery-powered remote control for $20 to control the LEDs while you’re home. TCP says the remote works within 150 feet of the bulbs.

Remote control away from home, using a smart device, was a cinch to set up and worked smoothly. We were able to turn the lights on and off and dim them to low from wherever we were. The app provides timers so you can set up the bulbs to go on and off at different times and different days. TCP says you can control up to 250 bulbs, including the company’s smart CFLs. To buy more LEDs for this system you’ll pay about $17 for a 60-watt replacement for lamps and ceiling fixtures (A19 LEDs in lightbulb lingo ) and $25 for a BR30 reflector that replaces a 65-watt incandescent.

As replacements for 60-watt incandescents, these LEDs were just as bright and cast a warm light while using about 12 watts each in our initial tests. And when it comes to accurately showing the colors of objects, the LEDs were good at it and in line with others we’ve tested. They appear to evenly cast light in all directions but we haven’t tested them for this yet. And they’re supposed to last about 23 years when used 3 hours a day.

The TCP Connected LEDs are the pragmatic cousin to the Philips’ Hue smart device-enabled LEDs, which are fun and party ready and allow you to change the colors of the lights. Think of the possibilities. You’re too tired to go upstairs and turn off the lights. You don’t like coming home to a dark house. You’re on vacation but want to give the impression that your house is occupied. Your elderly parents or a disabled sibling have a hard time moving about. Remote controlled lighting is here.

In addition to testing these systems, Consumer Reports has lightbulb Ratings of the best replacement LEDs, CFLs, and halogen bulbs.
—Kimberly Janeway
November 5 at 10:15 EST .

   14 people like this.



   Balogreene  Thanks for the info. We never all three leave at the same time, but, as a techno-geek, I want one.
November 6 at 17:14 EST .

  12 people like this.





   Ynaught  Lots of helpful hints here:




October 12 at 07:02 EST .

   19 people like this.



   Gram77  Guess what. I can fold a fitted sheet and have it finish up nice and square. Imagine bragging about such a silly thing. :- )
October 18 at 18:18 EST .

  14 people like this.



   Bettijo  Gram: Me too. I have taught many friends for years. Nothing new here.
October 18 at 20:42 EST .

  14 people like this.



   Balogreene  My mom tried to teach me a hundred times. I never learned. Now, I have a mattress that is too small for fitted sheets (no more than 6 inches ). I only use flat sheets. Problem solved.
October 18 at 21:54 EST .

  14 people like this.



   Flaming Sword  Not happening. I have been trying for a million years to get it exact. I usually end up like a dolphin caught in a net but screaming obscenities. When that happens, I throw the mess into a ball in the linen closet and walk away. Sometimes I get close to getting it right. But I do seem to have have more balls than folded sheets at any time. And my vocabulary seems to increase everytime I wash sheets.

And I've found those balls eventually straighten out on the bed.
November 23 at 15:34 EST .

  4 people like this.





   Bettijo  How to Choose Beef Cuts

When shopping for beef, have you ever taken pause to consider the difference between "Choice" and "Select" cuts? Or did you simply assume these were marketing terms with no meaning?

The USDA defines 8 quality levels for beef. They are stamped on the carcass, but by the time you buy your cuts at the butcher counter, the only way to know is by examining the shield shaped sticker on the package. The quality grades are awarded for 3 parameters:
•tenderness
•juiciness
•flavor

Here is how the USDA ranks the beef you buy:

•Prime grade beef is produced from young, well-fed cows. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking (broiling, roasting, or grilling ).

•Choice grade is still of high quality, but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks are from the loin and rib. They are very tender, juicy, and flavorful. They also do well with dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts, such as those from the rump, round, and blade (chuck ), can also be cooked with dry heat if not overcooked. Such cuts will be most tender if "braised", which means roasted or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.
•Select grade is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades. Only the tender cuts (loin, rib, sirloin ) should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or braised to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.

•Standard & Commercial grade are frequently sold as ungraded or as "store brand" meat. Marinate or braise to avoid chewing for hours.

•Utility, Cutter, & Canner grade are seldom, if ever, sold at retail. They are used to make ground beef and other processed products.

Want to take a guess what quality grade the beef is in your fast food burger or deli meat gets?

Bottom Line

When choosing beef, its quality designation makes a difference.

Copyright 2014 Fooducate, LTD.

   October 12 at 06:14 EST .

   19 people like this.




   Bettijo  I have just become addicted to this site. It contains about 25 2-minute or less videos of the neatest cooking tips I have ever seen. I cannot wait to try some of them. I love poached eggs, and am definitely going to poach them this way in the morning. Warning, as I said, this is addictive.

http://www.foodandwine.com/video/mad-genius-cooking-tips
   October 9 at 15:24 EST .

   16 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Darn, we don't have the bandwidth to watch videos, can you share some of the tips as you watch them?
October 9 at 19:33 EST .

  16 people like this.



   Bettijo  I poach eggs by dropping them one by one into simmering water and cook for about three minutes. Then I have to fish them out, sometimes breaking the yoke In the process. The tip I plan to try in morning is to break the egg into a small strainer over a bowl. Let the egg drain into the dish. There a little water in whites which cause them to separate when cooking. After water has drained odd, leave egg in strainer and insert, strainer and all, into simmering water. Continue cooking as usual. When done, just lift strainer with egg out, let water drain off, dump on toast and serve.
October 9 at 23:44 EST .

  20 people like this.



   MeiDei  To hull strawberries using a straw: fluff up the green leaves - on the opposite side poke a straw through which removes the core & leaf cluster.

To hull cherries using a clean wine bottle & chopstick:
Remove stem, put cherry on bottle top stem side up, push broad end of chopstick through the indent where stem was & pit will pop into bottle.

To make ice cream without an ice cream maker: Make your base as usual, put in a large freezer bag & flatten. Freeze 2 hours; remove & fold bag in various ways to break up the contents, put in food processor & pulse til smooth consistency - pour into loaf pan, flatten & place plastic wrap on top (just as you would for pudding to avoid a skim top )refreeze a few hours & serve with scoop.
Hope these three are of interest for you
October 11 at 13:13 EST .

  15 people like this.



   MeiDei  List your requests and some one of us will gladly write them up for you. The one for pancakes is neat, especially if you're making them for kids - heart shape, Mickey Mouse, Snowman - imagination rules.
October 11 at 13:18 EST .

  13 people like this.





   MeiDei  This video is shows how to cut a watermelon for easy serving, neater eating -
http://youtu.be/eaVNMfS9sgI
(Posted on Recipe Wall - seems to fit here better )
October 2 at 19:14 EST .

   16 people like this.




   Bettijo  Someone asked about getting rid of ants:

Below are 10 ways to effectively kill or deter ants naturally, provided by Mother Nature Network.

Lemon Juice - Spraying pure lemon juice in or around openings near your home can prevent the pests from entering. They dislike the sour, acidic all-natural juice.

Cinnamon - Ground cinnamon, cinnamon oil or cinnamon combined with ground cloves, both fill your home with warm, seasonal scents and deter ants if sprinkled in their paths.

Peppermint - Similar to cinnamon, peppermint either by itself, or combined with equal parts water can be mixed and poured into a water bottle and sprayed directly at the ants or along their pathways.

Coffee grounds - Some people have had luck with placing used coffee grounds in the cracks near their entryway. The coffee doesn't kill them, but deters the ants, forcing them to set up shop somewhere else.

Chalk - Drawing a line around windows or doorway entries has kept ants at bay for some. You can usually find chalk at home improvement stores, some of which come in a squeeze bottle, making application easy.

Baking soda and powdered sugar - Mixing baking soda and powdered sugar in jar lids and placing them in strategic corners can greatly reduce ant populations.

Boiling water and dish soap - Filling a spray bottle with soap and hot water can work very effectively against ants. Also, food items that attract ants, such as honey jars, can be placed on a small water-filled saucer to prevent the insects from reaching it. Pouring boiling water on ant colonies both kills the ants and is safe and nontoxic to humans.

Vinegar - Vinegar plus equal parts water isn't just great for cleaning your kitchen countertops and floors but has been known to sufficiently kill unwanted insects. Pouring the solution where the ants have their nest is key. You can also mix vinegar with peppermint for an extra kick that gets rid of them faster.

Cream of wheat - Posts on Helpful Gardener say cream of wheat takes care of ant infestations. After eating the cream of wheat, rolled oats, dry cornmeal or grits, it swells up in their guts and their stomachs explode.

Diatomaceous earth (DE ) - DE is a substance made up of fossilized remains from plankton, an off-white talc powder that effectively kills any bug with an exoskeleton; however it's safe for mammals to eat. DE is completely nontoxic to humans but works well for killing ants. Remember not to let the DE get wet, or it becomes ineffective. While this method isn't instant, you should be able to see results in about a week or so.

As you can see, there are so many effective ways to kill ants, or other insects, without using toxic chemicals. Keep this list handy next time you're dealing with an infestation.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047021_ant_infestations_natural_r
emedies_pest_control.html#ixzz3ER8H5xPX
September 26 at 11:41 EST .

   20 people like this.



   Bettijo  My brother had a family of raccoons that wanted to play on his roof right over his bedroom. He did not want to harm them, just encourage them to play on a different part of the roof. Solution: He sprinkled cinnamon on roof over bedroom.
September 26 at 11:44 EST .

  20 people like this.





   Bettijo  Have you ever had a ring that was so tight you could not get it off (or on ) your finger? A jeweler I know keeps a bottle of Windex under his display case. Whenever a customer has trouble getting a ring on or off, he squirts a little Windex on their finger and the ring is no longer too tight.
September 24 at 11:16 EST .

   19 people like this.



   Gerty  If finger turns blue for more the four hours, consult a physician or seek medical...... ;- )

Sorry, Mr.Wright--I just couldn't resist.
September 25 at 11:51 EST .

  20 people like this.





   GrannieEagle  Cheap brush saver solution for removing dried up latex paint is soaking them in a quart of Simple Green with a quarter cup of TSP added.
September 5 at 11:31 EST .

   22 people like this.




   Bettijo  WW: Is this safe?

Unclog drains without expensive chemicals. Pour a half a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into a clogged drain. Once it stops foaming rinse down the sink and your drains will be clear. A cheap and environmentally friendly way to unclog a sink!
September 5 at 10:13 EST .

   18 people like this.



   MeiDei  Must be safe Bettijo, I've been using this method for years! Sometimes I've had to repeat the process & a few times the plunger came in handy.
September 5 at 22:24 EST .

  21 people like this.



   Gerty  For an ounce of prevention: ALWAYS have a wire mesh placed in the drain. Works wonders--saves clogs and money.
September 6 at 12:25 EST .

  21 people like this.



   MeiDei  Yes, the wire mesh inserts work well but don't protect the drains from men's shaving leavings, or some soaps & some oily substances that pass through easily. I always put any grease/fats in a container for the trash & wipe down my pans with paper towels before washing but still there can be clogs built up over the years. We were told you should put some baking soda & vinegar in each of your drains 2x a year - when you check the batteries in smoke detectors - just as a preventative. This was advice from our plumber while he was replacing a faucet 30+ years ago.
September 18 at 10:10 EST .

  22 people like this.



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