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Category Archives: This & That

Bacon Jam

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 pound bacon, 1 large Onion, 4 cloves garlic, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar1 cup freshly brewed coffee, ½ cup brown sugar,
    • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, ¼ cup bourbon, ¾ teaspoon cumin

    1. Cook your bacon until crispy, and remove it from the pan onto a paper towel to drain. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.

    2. Slice your onion finely, add it to the greased pan, and sauté over medium heat until softened.

    3. Chop the garlic cloves and add them to the pan, sautéing a further minute.

    4. Add apple cider vinegar and cook until slightly evaporated.

    5. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.

    6. Crumble in the crisped bacon, stir to combine, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid has become syrupy (this may take as long as an hour). 

    7. Pour the mixture into a food processor and pulse until it is spreadable but not entirely smooth — you want a little texture, and the occasional piece of bacon for some crunch.

    8. Place the jam in a jar and label it. Keep refrigerated, and bring desired amount to room temperature before spreading it on absolutely everything!bacon Jam

10 things Food Banks or Pantries Need, but They Won’t Ask For from — http://1027kord.com/

I’m the person who takes care of the Give and Take Food Pantry at Christ Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MA.. Yes we need these things too…  ET 
Getty Images, Justin Sullivan

Some items are in high demand at the food bank and you may not realize it. Because they aren’t essentials, the staff doesn’t publicly ask for them. A survey on Reddit.com asked volunteers what items people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 10 below. If you’re looking for an easy way to help out, pick some of these up while shopping and drop them off at one of our area food banks.

1. Spices.

Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.

2. Feminine Products.

Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. Chocolate.

People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.

4. Toiletries.

Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.

5. Canned meats and jerky.

This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.

6. Crackers and tortillas.

They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.

7. Baby toiletries.

Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.

8. Soup packets.

Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.

9. Socks.

From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”

10. Canned fruit other than pineapple.

Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.


And remember! Food banks love cash donations because it allows them to buy whatever they need!

7 Natural Cleaning Cheats That Will Rock Your World

From: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/7-natural-cleaning-cheats/

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7 Natural Cleaning Cheats That Will Rock Your World

No one really likes cleaning… do they?

This blog post aims to arm you with the knowledge to make cleaning your home so much easier, so much cheaper, and without any of the harmful chemicals.

These seven cheats will help you remove carpet stains with one simple ingredient, remove grease stains from laundry, clean icky pans without all the scrubbing, remove hard water stains in your bathroom, fix wood scratches in furniture and so much more.

So without further ado, here are seven natural cleaning hacks that will rock your world…

1. How To Remove Hard Water Stains With A Lemon

Half a lemon works more powerfully than any commercially available chemical cleaners when it comes to clearing away hard water stains in your bathroom. Simply slice a lemon in half and rub the open fruit on the stains, rinse away and admire your brand new sparkling bathroom! To see before and after photos, plus more bathroom cleaning tricks, visit BroccoliCupcake.com here.

2. How To Remove Carpet Stains With Hydrogen Peroxide

This simple trick requires just two materials: hydrogen peroxide and a damp cloth and will clear away those set in stains from your carpet in no time with no harmful chemicals required. To find out how this works and to see before and after photos, visit DIYConfessions.com here.

3. How To Clean Icky Pans With Castile Soap

Castile soap is an ingredient with so many uses and this method for cleaning “icky” pans is one of the best. Just squeeze a little onto your pan and start scrubbing – but you won’t need to scrub as much as if you were using plain old dish soap. Soon your pan will look shiny, clean and brand new again! You can see full instructions and before and after photos here.

4. How To Remove Grease Stains From Clothes

Grease stains are one of the most common, but also one of the most difficult stains to get out. This fantastic trick which involves simply adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil onto the grease stain works wonders and can help return some of your favorite clothes to their former glory. To find out how this works and to see before and after photos, visit CreativeChristianMama.com here.

5. How To Remove Paint Spills & Splatters With Rubbing Alcohol

Spilling or splatting paint seems to happen to me every time I pick up a paint brush, so I’m thankful that it’s so easy to remove paint spills simply using rubbing alcohol. You simply need a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol and then you scrub. To find out how this works and to see before and after photos, visit CreeklineHouse.com here.

6. How To Clean Your Oven Without Harsh Chemicals

Cleaning your oven is one of those chores that just keeps getting put off… and off… and off! But with this simple method oven cleaning won’t be such a chore and you won’t have to use any harmful chemicals! It requires just baking soda and water and requires very little elbow grease. To find out how and to see before and after photos, visit LiveRenewed.com.

7. How To Fix Scratches In Wood With Two Simple Ingredients

Wood scratches can really ruin a piece of beautiful furniture – but they are incredibly easy to get rid of! Using a simple mixture of olive oil and vinegar you can quickly remove wood scratches and have your furniture looking brand new again! Find out how this works and see before and after photos at DomesticBlissSquared.com

These seven cleaning cheats are so simple, so cheap and totally natural. I can’t promise they will make you enjoy household cleaning, but I can promise you that it will make it quicker!

DIY: fix scratches in wood furniture

DIY: fix wood scratches

A few weeks ago I read this post at Lily & Thistle about a DIY for fixing scratched furniture. It seemed too good to be true! She claimed that she used a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil and magically got rid of the scratches in a piece of thrift store furniture.

I knew I was going to try it, though! See, I have this table:

DIY fix scratches in wood furniture

my preciousssss…

My husband hates it, but I just adore it! I have a small large obsession for vintage modern furniture, and this is one of my favorite pieces I’ve collected (He calls them my “ugly grandpa furniture.” What does he know about style? Bah!). But in this case, he’s kind of right. As much as I love it, it’s in really bad shape on the top. Check it out:

DIY fix scratches in wood furniture

I’ve tried furniture polish and orange oil, and nothing really makes it look much better. It was sitting forlornly in our garage waiting for me to decide if it was worth keeping, so I figured I’d give this magical trick a try as a last ditch effort.

I mixed about 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup of olive oil, because I didn’t have enough Olive Oil and it still worked! Check it out:

fix scratches in wood furniture

I took a kitchen rag and just dipped it in and rubbed it on. I kept going until I had gone over the whole table and used almost all of the mixture. I was shocked! It really worked! The scratches were fixed! My “grandpa table” now looks like this:

DIY fix for scratches in wood furniture

Let’s just do a little side by side comparison, shall we? I think this deserves it’s own montage. Try and imagine Rocky music in your head for me as we watch the transformation:

DIY fix wood scratches

YOU must ASK for your discount !

Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off ( 55 +)
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan’s: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+)
Chili’s: 10% off ( 55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +)
Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off ( 55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+)
Long John Silver’s: various discounts at locations ( 55+)
McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney’s: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off ( 55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off ( 55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+) This is for me … if I ever see one again.

Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+)
Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)Modell’s Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +)

Albertson’s: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)
Fry’s Supermarket: free Fry’s VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe’s Marketplace: 15% off (62+)

Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays – Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Greyhound: 15% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+

Car Rental:
Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members

Overnight Accommodations:
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria – NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)

AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
Massage Envy – NYC 20% off all “Happy Endings” (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)

AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)

Why English Is So Hard…