Saturday, August 31, 2013

Make fresh Berry Jam with an automatic Jam & Jelly Maker

I know this is a advertisement and I usually don't post them on my blog, but this looks so intriguing, I'm even thinking about getting one. And the video itself is charming.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Great Mildew and mold killers for bed and breakfast owners

I found these great tips on-line. As an innkeeper and owner of a 125-yr-old historic home, I have to fight both Mildew and Mold continually. Rather than wait until it overtakes my five bathrooms, we jump on it right away. So when I came across these tips on killing the ugly stuff with little white, fluffy, cotton-balls, I got very excited. Furthermore, I decided I had to share it with the rest of you; not just you innkeepers, this is for anyone who does housekeeping.

Four Cunning Uses for Cotton Balls

by Jessica at Brightnest

Cotton balls may be fluffy, but it’s time to take them seriously. These little round wisps of cotton can be lifesavers around the house. Here’s how:
Kill Mildew Naturally. Mildew and mold aren’t polite: they don’t always grow in accessible places. If your bathroom or kitchen have developed minor mildew or mold issues in tricky places – like the very back corner of your under-the-sink cabinet – you can reach them easily with cotton balls. Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil or white vinegar, and then place it on the problematic spot (this may require a well-aimed toss). Let the cotton sit overnight. The tea tree oil or vinegar will kill the growth.

 Freshen a Room. Here’s a philosophical question: if a carpet doesn’t smell great after it’s vacuumed, is it really clean? Avoid this quandary entirely by spreading your favorite scents at the same time you vacuum. Simply moisten a few cotton balls with your favorite cologne, perfume or essential oil (we like eucalyptus) and then drop them into your vacuum bag. As you vacuum, the scent will fill the room.

Organize Jewelry Chains. If you ever want to test someone’s patience, hand them a few tangled jewelry chains and tell them to fix it. To avoid testing your own patience every time you need some jewelry, use cotton balls to store necklaces and bracelets. Unroll the cotton balls, and then wrap them around the chains. (If your chain is long, use more than one cotton ball.) The cotton works as a buffer, so when chains are stacked on top of each other, they won’t tangle. Tip: This is a great packing technique if you’re traveling.

Deter Mice. Fall is coming. And the colder weather means Chai lattes, sweaters and mice infestations. Yikes! To deter mice from moving into your home this fall, soak a few cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around common entry points for mice. Mint smells like wet garbage to mice, so they’ll stay far away. Every few days, replace the cotton balls so that the minty smell remains potent.

Check out Brightnest for more great household tips

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Craving a nice juicy steak

  I did something a couple of weeks ago I’ve never done before. I’ve thought about it many times but changed my mind at the last minute before I got to the point of looking it up on the internet. But I finally took the plunge. Usually I just delete a lot of my emails, especially those looking like they might be spam. This time I clicked on that link taking me to a site that’s been tempting me for weeks now.

The site? Kansas City Steaks.  I know, a lot of people order steak through the mail without hesitation. But I’m so careful about what I put in my stomach that I was a little afraid to order red meat, much less red meat sent through the post. Yes it comes packed in dry ice, and yes this company has been in business for a long time and is very reputable. But still…. Would the dry ice melt? Has the company gone down hill over the years? Are their delicious looking steaks photo-shopped?

I know. I know. How obsessive can you be? Well, finally I got over it and ordered six 8-ounce rib-eyes; my favorite cut. I really don’t eat a lot of red meat…mostly chicken and fish, but once in a while I start yearning for a thick juicy steak. And that’s what I got in the mail. They were beautifully wrapped, still encased in dry ice, and looking really fresh and tempting.

This evening, for dinner, I am having half of one (they’re gigantic) for the first time. I took it out of the freezer last night and set in the frig, This morning I made some Béarnaise sauce (my very favorite…thanks for the recipe, Julia). I will broil my steak carefully and have it with the sauce, fresh sautéed mushrooms, a baked potato slathered with butter and sour cream, and a salad. Not exactly low cholesterol, but I won’t do this again for a couple of months. In the meantime I’ll pump up the fruits and veggies at dinner-time for a while. I am so excited!!

I have included, below, an absolutely exquisite recipe for Béarnaise sauce:

Béarnaise Sauce


1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 egg yolks
1 stick butter, melted
Salt and pepper


Make the Béarnaise reduction first. In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, shallots, vinegar and wine over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Blend yolks and Béarnaise reduction together. With the blender running, add 1/3 of the butter in a slow steady stream. Once it emulsifies, turn the blender speed up to high and add the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and set aside in a warm spot to hold the sauce.  Yummmm.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

The 3rd St Gallery in Old Louisville: .....where art and music come together

The Aleksander house is located in Old Louisville, the third largest historic preservation area in the United States. Within that area are row upon row of beautiful and interesting historic mansions and houses. There are also nine other bed and breakfasts as well as several good restaurants. If you stroll around the area, you will soon discover some interesting independents shops, galleries, local groceries, and a a hardware store. One such place is the 3rd street gallery.

"Today the 3rd Street Gallery is a fine art space dedicated to providing quality and original art through the promotion of local, national, and international artists. [We] They host a variety of special events in [our] their spacious restored gallery, including art exhibits, social events, and charitable gatherings. [We] They provide a forum for artists, collectors, and the public to experience painting, works on paper, jewelry, and pottery." (quote from 3rd st. gallery website.)

I have made a concerted effort to keep up with what's going on at the gallery and was recently sent the following post announcing a very special performance by local jazz musicians. I am going to make an effort to get out and see these guys perform on the 18th of August. I know they will be great as they are stellar musicians.

3rd Street Gallery
Roger Barbour & Friends

Please join us for a afternoon of music featuring Roger Barbour on trumpet & flugel horn, with Mark Strickland on piano, Miles Jackson on upright bass, Vince Taglieri on drums.  Special guest Barbara Ray on vocals.

August 18, 2013
3:00 - 4:30 pm
$15.00 at the door

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