Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things You Should Know

I've been making some great discoveries lately, and I want to share them with you.

Wrap celery in aluminum foil before storing the fridge. I have celery that's over a week old in there, and it still tastes and snaps like I just bought it. Before I figured this out, celery was nasty in about two days. If you already have nasty limpy celery in your fridge, cut it up and boil it with small chunks of potatoes, any other old (or perfectly fine) veggies in the fridge, and whatever spices you feel like. Instant stew!

Get a dehydrator. I bought this one at walmart.com and had it shipped to the store to avoid S+H. It's cheap, works fabulously, and saves a ton of money if you like dried fruit and vegetables. I don't know what it has done to my electricity bill, but I imagine it's not awful. And instead of eating other snacks, I go to the dried fruit collection first! I've also made lots of tofu jerky, and Dan asks for more before it's even half gone. In our house now, we're rarely not drying something. (And California is fabulous about providing lots of fruits and veggies for me to experiment with.) Once you buy one, check out this site for useful information and recipes.

Make your own honey mustard. This recipe from Alton Brown's Good Eats is delicious. I used Trader Joe's Dijon Mustard, local avocado honey, and white vinegar. I drizzled it on baby greens for lunch today. I'll try it on our chickenless nuggets next time we have them. I'm also going to make some with yellow mustard and a milder honey to get a really sweet sauce.

Send homemade post cards. Cut out a section of a cereal box or any other cardboard container and you have an instant 27-cent greeting (until rates go up again in May). See here for regulations about the size of your post card. (I've also been cutting out envelopes from old calendars and funny newspaper images. Just use a real envelope as a template and start wielding that glue stick. You probably shouldn't pay your bills with these, but they make a letter to a friend even more fun!)

Buy tiny art. I've been a bit of a glutton for art lately, and the cheapest way to buy original art is looking for ACEOs (Art Cards, Editions and Originals) or ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). These 2.5"x3.5" pieces of art are affordable and addicting. I have a few of them around the apartment, and more on the way! Etsy is a great place to start looking. (I've also gotten some much larger art on Etsy for my bathroom. I'm putting up bathtub-themed prints and photos.)

I think that's all I have for now. Enjoy!

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