October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

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October 29, 2012

Chaos In the Garden - Mint

It's always busy in the garden but this week it seemed like chaos left and right. While I'm working on the winter garden, the neighborhood cats keep digging them up. Tried covering them, staking plastic down even, that cat keeps coming back. Arg! Between new plantings and chasing cats though I have been transferring mint around the garden and collecting it's seeds. I've never had to plant mint, it just grew itself in our backyard, but we had to tear most of it down as it started to over crowd other plants including our grapes.

Mint is super easy to grow, not even sure how you would kill it honestly, it's got nice wide roots which you can simply pull up, plug in water then drop in another hole for it to thrive in. Pretty simple! They remind m of strawberries honestly, the root system.  You can very easily split one plant into several different ones and as long as you have good solid roots, you are good to go, it will come back growing strong.

Collecting it's seeds is just as easy as any other plant, simply wait for the flowers to bloom, they need to dry out on the plant itself and then you collect the little "dead heads" the seeds nest inside . I end up putting branches in a plastic bag then just smashing it up so the seeds fall to the bottom of the bag. After that it's just a matter of separating the seeds out.

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October 28, 2012

Rocket Power

We went on a hobby streak here lately building some rockets and launching them off at the park. I am having the hardest time getting the video off my camera (I swear it hates me!) So here are some pictures instead

Setting up!


Last but not least, retrieve the rocket! We launched 3 several different times, enough to draw in the neighborhood kids :) One rocket ended up not letting the parachute deploy, so it need to be fixed. The larger one we forgot to add the little padding for the parachute at the end and so it melted a bit. Nothing that can't be fixed thought,  We plan on doing it again this weekend, hopefully it won't rain! 

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October 25, 2012

Dutch Noddles

Pasta night is always interesting. My kids are picky so the need to come up with something totally different all the time is constant. This dish reminds me of home actually  pretty sure somewhere in our family cookbook there's a version of this recipe. It's pretty basic and simple, easily dressed up if your in the mood for something else. I think the next time I make this I'll toss peas in there, it would make a good quick meal.

These are the basic Dutch Noodles,

1 package of medium, egg noodles
1/2 stick of butter
2 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
salt and pepper to taste (you can omit the salt if needed)

Cook noodles according to package. Drain and set in a casserole dish or baking pan. While the noodles are cooking you can melt the butter in a sauce pan. Once the butter is melted add in the caraway seeds, then lemon juice parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and then pour over warm noodles.
 Simple and basic sometime si like adding more butter and less lemon juice.
 Last night I really dressed it up with mushrooms and some gravy  Used half a stick of butter again to melt in a pan with some butter, and then added in beef broth to make a good gravy sauce. Seasoned with more pepper and sauteed mushrooms it became a Casserole dish!

I know they look the same but these are the noodles with sauce. Three out of four kids approved , so that's something :)

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October 22, 2012

“Wreck-It Ralph,” Coloring Pages!

Here are some fun coloring pages for the kids! Use this link to download the full pages! The link will expire in 7 days, so get them while you can :) 

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October 21, 2012

"The Greater Good" Documentary Film Giveaway

A DOCUMENTARY FILM running 84 minutes
Leslie Manookian
Kendall Nelson
Chris Pilaro

Kendall Nelson
Chris Pilaro

Leslie Manookian

The Greater Good film  brings that all too challenging debate about vaccines to viewers and pushes them to think again. As a parent I am very active in my child's life and make it my goal to know what is going on as well as into my children. We feed our children knowledge and good food, why is it some of us simply think it stops there?
 Vaccines are an issue, no matter how you look at it. American's are the most highly vaccinated on earth, so why is it we are by far no where near healthy? Here's some statistics: according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 children has a learning disability or behavioral problem, 1 in 9 children
is asthmatic, 1 in 110 children suffers from autism, and 1 in 450 is diabetic.
 Why is that? Do you wonder why? Then you should check this movie our yourself.

 The Greater Good brings takes you through the areas where parenting, modern medicine and states’ rights clash with politics, groupthink and Big Pharma. The movie puts together families lives that have forever been changed by vaccinations taking you along their journey . With updated news, interviews that dive into personal lives, it takes on the vaccine debate and challenges people to create a safer more effective program for vaccines today.
 The Greater Good is a great film, I encourage all my parent friends, soon to be parents to watch it as well as any other's that haven't really looked into this discussion about vaccines before.  It may open your eyes a little wider to what's going on in the vaccine world today.

Would you like to view the movie yourself? One of my readers have a chance to View the Documentary Film The Greater Good!
 Please enter the Raffle copter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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October 20, 2012

Food Tip- Defrosting your foods

We all hear different ways to thaw certain foods correctly, which are true? Which are not? With the holidays coming up, I thought this was a must to share.

Some more Do's on Defrosting-

  • Defrost food in the refrigerator. This is the safest method for all foods.
  • Thaw meat or poultry in airtight containers/packaging in cold water if you need to use them immediately  Be sure to change the water every 30 minutes or so. This is how I thaw my turkey each year! 
  • Defrost food in the microwave only if you are going to cook it immediately.

Major No's of Defrosting

  •  Never defrost food at room temperature. This is when having a meat thermometer helps, unsafe temps are between 40°F and 140°F. Bacteria can multiply rapidly between 40°F and 140°F.
  • Don’t defrost food in hot water
Click here for some facts about keeping your food safe! 
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October 18, 2012

Still time for the grill

It was over a hundred the other week here in Northern California. Who wants to cook in that heat? Not I, that's for sure. The easiest meal ever, food on a stick. Even the kids can put this together though of course they cannot grill it. Just lay out your choice of meats vegetables and seasons if you wish. Have the family gather their array of food and toss to the grill. Kebabs are easy, you have plenty of variety and they never get old. Come on, food on a stick, how can you complain?

This is sausage and red peppers. Dinner in a hurry, and you get to toss the sticks for a no clean up night! 
Easy Peasy. :) 

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October 14, 2012

HobNob Wines’ latest blend, Wicked Red

This fall I treated my guests to some Wicked Red HobNob wine, and it was tasty! We enjoy wine in this house and even more enjoy to share it with others. 
HobNob's was recently recognized in “Wine Fast Track,” by Cheers Magazine,

This wicked blend of  Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot Noir,  is sure to be enjoyed by guests. With hints of  roasted coffee, mocha, toasted hazelnut aromas and a zing of orange zest and orange flower we enjoyed the 2010 vintage and plan on keeping a lookout for it the next time we host a party.

I don't always like wine with screw caps, I have had my share of not so good picks this way but Wicked Red was a nice surprise making it easy to enjoy. My guests and husband enjoyed it and we plan on having it again in the feature. 

Wicked Red retails for $9.99 . They are sold in the U.S. by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits. Other varietals include: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. For more information, please visit www.hobnobwines.comHobNob on Facebook or Twitter 

For Entertaining Guests this season here is a wonderful recipe for punch. I made a small batch and it was amazing! 

12 servings
1 750-ml bottle of HobNob Wicked Red
1½ cups spiced rum
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons of orange zest
1 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons simple syrup
1 lime, zested
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let sit, refrigerated for at least an hour before. If available, add one large block of ice to the bowl. Stir well before serving and garnish glass with a sugar rim and orange slice.

I hope you enjoy as much as we did! As always drink responsibly! 

**Disclosure- I received the products mentioned above , in order to write an honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this post. I did not have to write a positive review, Any and all opinions are and will always be my own.* 
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Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Event & DVD Giveaway

On Saturday, October 20th Radio Disney will be at the Sacramento Zoo from 11:00am to 1:00pm with music, dancing, games, activities and more! Want to have some fun, come on over to the zoo and enjoy everything that's going on! Some fun things going on-

· The first 100 kids in line will receive a prize!

· Join the party with a wig like Marty and get your copy of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted on Blu-ray™ and DVD today!
*Note you do need to purchase Admission tickets to the  Sacramento Zoo in order to have access to the Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted event.

Would you love to win a copy of  Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted on Blu-ray yourself? Just enter the raffle copter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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October 10, 2012

Green cars to the environment

This is a great illustration on the current state and effectiveness of green cars to the environment I wanted to pass along. You can check out the article which is on Carinsurance.org , interesting and informative! I myself would not have thought it depends on where you live to get the most from any "green friendly" car , turns out it does and you may want to check out the facts before your next car buy.

Green Cars Infographic
Graphic originally from CarInsurance.org
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Wordless Wednesday

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October 9, 2012

Frankenweenie - Pumpkin Carving Cutouts!!

It's Halloween Season!! I love this time of year :) Lots of fun with the kids. Inspired by Disney's new  Frankenweenie movie which is now playing in theaters  here are some fun pumpkin cutouts. Just click on the picture below it should take you to my Google Docs where you can view, print and use the instructions! Please if you want to share the link, just simply share this post, thanks :)

(If you have trouble try signing into Google, if you still have trouble just shoot me an email and I'll send them to you! mburbage@sbcglobal.net) 

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October 7, 2012

No time to chill in the garden!

Weather went from 100 degrees the last week down to 70 and windy requiring jackets not only for the kids but for my plants! Could not believe it, then again I did mention something along the lines of "When will the weather cool off already?" Well now it is, serves me right for opening my mouth right?

Quick tip to keep your warm weather vegetables going even as the temperature drops is garden covers. Before the sun sets, cover your plants that are not hardy to cold weather and keep them covered until the sun starts warming up the next morning. This can give you a longer season, sun and air does pass through the covers, so if you fail to remove them he next day, no worries. It keeps frost from damaging your plant and or vegetables still growing. You can also layer down some straw or wood chips to keep heat in the ground as well around the plant.

I've been super super busy in the garden which is still producing summer vegetables, but also rushing to collect seeds. The birds go nuts over many kinds, the like the beans - who knew! They love any leafy green seeds, like kale, mustard and collards. Problem is I can't pick them till they are truly dried and the birds? They love them before this stage. If you have the same problem, no worries, just use those light garden covers or screen works well. Clip them over the plants your trying to keep safe.

The covers I use are below here you can get them at any hardware store pretty much.

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October 4, 2012

New “Lincoln" Trailer! Take a look!


In select theaters November 9, 2012
Opens nationwide November 16, 2012

Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

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October 2, 2012

Food Myths Debunked!

We all hear dozens of myths from one subject to the next. What about Food Safety? Here are four most common myths, have you thought of any of these four to be true? 

MYTH #1: “If I microwave food, the microwaves kill the bacteria, so the food is safe.”
MYTH #2: “Of course I wash all bagged lettuce and greens because it might make me sick if I don’t.”
MYTH #3: “I don’t need to use a food thermometer. I can tell when my food is cooked by looking at it or checking the temperature with my finger.”
MYTH #4: “I can’t re-freeze foods after I have thawed them – I have to cook them or throw them away.”

Last Month was National Food Safety Education month, but this issue should be addressed each and everyday in the kitchen while you prepare foods. It's one issue as well that I am a stickler for.
Food safety in my house is a huge deal, after I've gotten food poisoning once. I can all too clearly remember it and let me tell you this, I will never ever skip steps in the kitchen Ever...Ever...Again.
It was almost nine years ago, grilling up some chicken on the grill, and we were starving! My husband checks the temp of meat by poking at it, and guessing, he assured me about five times the chicken was cooked and well- it wasn't. No, I got sick within thirty minutes of eating that and stayed very sick for hours. It was horrible!! My stomach still knots up at the thought of it honestly, and till this day nothing that he takes off that grill isn't double checked by me with a meat thermometer.

Doesn't matter how many times I've cooked something and know what it looked like done, even when the chicken is poked and the juice runs clear (which is a common way to check the doneness) I still stand there poking a meat thermometer in there. There's no way I want my family to become sick like I had, it's not something anyone really should be risking. Not unless you like puking your guts out and feeling like your insides are being torn up by some rabid wild animal, and that's saying in nicely. My husband still doesn't use a thermometer, drives me bonkers, and that's most likely why I nag on him about letting me check it. You should see me on Thanksgiving, my guests stand around waiting for me to check everything and clear it. I'm that serious along with all the other ways to keep my family from getting sick and handling food properly, it's just not something to take lightly.

Take a look at the four myths below and then head over to www.foodsafety.gov/ for more truths, tips and a great deal of information that can help you keep your family safe from any harmful handling of food before you eat it.  Also check out fightbac.org  a Partnership for Food Safety Education, really great site you can sign up for some weekly e-cards and more safety tips!

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October 1, 2012

Great American Bakesale!! #Nokidhungry

Nearly 1 in 5 kids in America struggle with hungry . It's never been more important to  help and donate to feeding programs that can help connect kids with the food they need to thrive. Even $1 helps! 
 How can you help?

You can Donate!

You Can buy! Find a Bake Sale and help by buying some yummy baked goods. Use the map which is at the bottom right using this link. 

You Can Sell! 
Set up your own bake sale, after registering with No Kid Hungry! 

Let's help Make No Kid Hungry a reality by 2015.
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