Who knew play - ahem - social media could be such a great way to save money?
The NY Times Practical Traveler reveals this and nine more ways to save on your travel in 2010.
Thank you, Rachel Ray for saving the culinary day.
At a loss for a quick dinner this week, I was thinking about scrambling through the drawer full of takeout menus. Then I remembered watching RR on TV and watching her prepare a Make Your Own Take Out meal - Spicy Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce.
Ah, shades of the Seventies! There were very few Asian restaurants where we lived and I remember trying to find authentic ingredients - okay, water chestnuts and baby corn - to experiment with my new wok.
Didn't everyone get a wok for Christmas in 1977?
So, I loved RR's MYTO for the day and I made it that very night. I loved it; the boy scraped out the offending water chestnuts, pronounced it edible, but didn't beg for seconds.
Start brown or white rice and 10 minutes before it is done begin your stir fry.
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, add bell peppers and stir fry 2 minutes more. Remove chicken and peppers to a plate and add 2 tablespoons more oil to the pan. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry 15 seconds then add in peanut butter, soy, stock, chili paste and sesame oil and stir to combine into sauce. Add chestnuts and scallions and toss 1 minute, add chicken and peppers back to pan with peanuts and turn to coat in sauce. Serve over rice.
I grew up in a creative home. My mother is one of the most talented and imaginative people I know. She is an accomplished painter, quilter, seamstress and craftswoman. If she can dream it up, she can make it.
Of course, I have paintings by my mom - mostly of the French countryside - done after our trip there in 1996. She is a realist and influenced by the Impressionists as well as the Old Masters.
Recently, my mom, Mary Lou Warren, decided to show her work online. You can see - and buy! - some of her work at her Etsy shop.
If one of your resolutions for 2010 was to exercise more and be healthier, drinking more water is likely on your 'New You' to do list too.
Cool Waters: 50 Refreshing, Healthy, Homemade Thirst Quenchers by Brian Preston-Campbell offers 50 ways to infuse excitement into your drinking water, and the recipes are accompanied by thirst-inducing color photographs by Jerry Errico.
Published by the Harvard Common Press, the 96-page book of thirst-quenchers retails for $12.95 in hardcover.
Cool Waters is full to the brim with healthy, natural, and delicious ways to make ordinary water extraordinary.
Drink a few glasses of this before, during, and after a strenuous workout—its taste surpasses that of any bottled sports drink, and it has far fewer calories. Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-replacing rehydrator—exactly what you need from a sports drink. Other nutrients here are vitamin C, iron, and calcium. If you cannot find golden kiwis, use green.
Makes 4 servings
TIP: Don't confuse coconut water with coconut milk or cream of coconut. Canned coconut water can be found at many grocers and health-food stores.
Sandpoint ID Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival, the weekend of Jan 14 - 18 is the perfect antidote to cabin fever.
Martin Luther King Weekend will be alive with activities in downtown Sandpoint, up at Schweitzer Mountain, inside and outside. Many of the standard favorite events will return such as the Taste of Sandpoint, Fireworks at Schweitzer and the K-9 Keg Pull.
New this year are the Dine Around Sandpoint and Shop Around Sandpoint.
The Taste of Sandpoint is the traditional event kick-off on Thursday evening at the Sandpoint Events Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets available at the door for $1 each, and the average sample dish, brew, or glass of wine is $3-$7.
The Winter ArtTrek will be held in a variety of wine bars, galleries and shops in downtown Sandpoint Friday night the 15th. Self-guided walking brochures will be available at the Chamber, DSBA office and many shops downtown. 5 to 8 pm downtown Sandpoint. Free admission. Friday Jan 15, 5 to 7 pm and Saturday 11 to 5 pm.
The Winter Carnival Railjam is a freestyle contest in the Jeff Jones Town Square. (Friday Jan 15) Skiers and snowboarders compete at sliding on handrails and other man made features. Points are awarded for style, amplitude, difficulty, and variety. Spinneybent Rails will construct a 20 ft tall and 90 ft long feature that includes custom-built rail slides. Riders will compete for cash, and the spectators can keep warm and catch all the excitement by the bonfire. 7 to 10 pm, Jeff Jones Town Square. Spectator admission is free.
Dine Around Sandpoint: January 15 to February 16th. Treat yourself to a night out. During the first annual Dine Around Sandpoint, many local restaurants will be showcasing their culinary talents with fixed price, 3-course dinner menus ranging in price from $15, to $30 depending on the restaurant.
These menus, in addition to their regular menu, are available every night at the participating restaurant during the month and may change weekly. Visit www.dinearoundsandpoint.com for restaurant and menu details.
Shop Around Sandpoint • Thursday January 14 through Monday January 18 at 3 pm: Visit participating retail shops in downtown Sandpoint during Winter Carnival to pick up a “Passport to Prizes” – collect just a half dozen stamps on the passport and turn it in to win terrific prizes, including: Grand prize of two season passes to the 2010 Festival at Sandpoint provided by 95.3 KPND; a night in the deluxe La Quinta suite; lift tickets for skiing at Schweitzer Mountain; a set of four area guidebooks from Keokee Books; and whole pile of other swag. Drawing is at conclusion of Winter Carnival.
Family Fun Day & Coffee Tasting • Saturday Jan 16, 9:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m., 524 Church St. Savor hand-crafted coffees at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasting Studios along with food, live music and indoor and outdoor activities for kids of all ages, including a snow ball toss, snow slides, snow man photos, art projects and more.
Saturday night is arguably the highlight of the weekend with a spectacular torchlight parade and fireworks show starting at 6 pm at Schweitzer Mountain. www.schweitzer.com
The weekend is capped off with the ever-popular K-9 Keg Pull, as we watch our dogs of all sizes race down the Eichardt’s alley pulling kegs of various sizes. The race starts Sunday Jan 17 at 10 am but dogs should be registered at 9 am.
Lodging packages, and the most current events list are at www.SandpointWinterCarnival.com. For more information on lodging and activities, contact the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association at (208) 255-1876.
Make something magical at your next brunch, dinner or celebration with cocktails inspired by Dubonnet aperitifs.
Dubbonnet aperitifs have been anticipating good things to come since 1845 when Parisian chemist and wine merchant Joseph Dubonnet created this exceptional aperitif.
Originally, created to make quinine more palatable for Foreign Legionnaires battling malaria in North Africa, the French aperitif with the storied past has been preparing the palate with its mix of fortified wine, a proprietary blend of herbs, spices and peels, and medicinal quinine.
Derived from the Latin, aperio, meaning to uncover or lay bare, aperitifs are consumed to open the palate, to prepare the appetite for a meal. Dubonnet, one of the many different styles of aperitif, is part of a special class of aromatized wines or fortified wines that flavored with herbs, roots, flowers, barks and other botanicals.
In the world of sophisticated drinks and mixology, Dubonnet is legendary. Bring the flavor of the French Riviera to your next gathering with this crisply, aromatic recipe and make your own legend.
adapted from Dubonnet recipes
1 1/2 ounce Dubonnet Rouge
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice
Add all the ingredients to a shaker half-filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled five-ounce martini glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
I've been a French hand-milled soap snob all these years. Nothing but Savon de Marseille for this ultra-dry pachyderm skin of mine.
That was then. This is now.
I'm madly, totally, in love with Saponificio Artigianale Fiorentino, specifically the Olive Oil soap.
It's pure, fragrant and so creamy. I lather up and am transported to Tuscany, which is no mean feat of the imagination.
It doesn't hurt that each 4.40 oz bar is so beautiful - with slender, leafy branches and plump olives etched into the surface. I want to cry just looking at them.
Retail about $20.
It's the season of leftovers. From Thanksgiving to New Year's, there are big dinners and that means lots of food to re-heat or re-invent.
Re-heating leftovers is easy, but not particularly interesting. In fact, after about one re-heat, the entire food situation begins to look desperately boring.
Whether you cooked a turkey or a rib roast like the one I served Christmas Day, there are lots of opportunities for delectable re-invented meals that go beyond the usual sandwiches.
Soups and stews are go-to recipes for leftover meats (and I always recommend cubing some of that turkey or beef and freezing it for soups or stews later). You can also use cubed or diced meats for a hearty Cobb-style salad as a quick meal.
A Mexican-style lasagna of layered flour tortillas, diced turkey, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and a roasted poblano chili sauce spices up an ordinary after the holidays meal. This dish makes a fantastic one dish brunch or dinner meal served with a green salad garnished with avocado.
With a homemade pie crust (or store bought, if you must) and some chopped root vegetables and mushrooms, leftover beef or turkey can be transformed into a savory and meaty pot pie just like Mom used to make - and infinitely better than a frozen version.
HOMEMADE POT PIE
1 cup diced beef or turkey
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup diced carrots
1 medium potato, diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup diced onions
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Prepared pie crust or puff pastry
In a large casserole, mix diced meat, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, peas and onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix stock with cornstarch and pour over the meat and vegetable casserole. Cover with prepared pie crust and vent with three vertical slashes.
Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is browned and sauce has thickened and bubbly.
6 flour tortillas
1 cup diced turkey
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup diced or canned tomatoes (drained)
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 cup roasted poblano sauce
for the poblano sauce
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 poblano pepper, roasted and seeded
salt and pepper to taste
In a small sauce pan, combine milk and butter. Stirring continuously, bring the milk and butter to almost boiling. Whisk in the cornstarch and continue stirring until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat and pour into a blender. Add roasted poblano, then pulse until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium-sized casserole, spread a thin layer of poblano sauce, then top with strips of tortilla (each tortilla can be cut lengthwise in quarters to make serving easier), followed by diced chicken, tomatoes, onions and grated cheese. Repeat the layering process, ending with grated cheese.
Bake in oven, preheated to 350 degrees, for 45 minutes or until bubble and cheese is melted. Allow to sit for five minutes before cutting and serving.