Recipe of the Month
With warmer weather we are starting to fire up those grills. I love having BBQ's and you can make it special by creating your own BBQ Sauce. If you like, make some extra, keep it in small mason jars and give away to your friends.
Homemade BBQ Sauce
1 C. packed brown sugar * 1/2 C. ketchup * 1/2 C. molasses * 1/4 C. cider vinegar * 1/4 chopped yellow onion * 3T olive oil * 3T grainy mustard * 3 cloves garlic, minced * 1T Worcestershire sauce * 1 T lemon juice * 1 t liquid smoke * 1 t cayenne * salt and pepper to taste.
Place all the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat until reduced and at the desired thickness, about an hour.
Gardening Tip Our yards were hit hard during the unusually cold winter we had. If your yard is experiencing the same, here are some tips from Scotts that can help bring it back to life.
Apply Scotts Bonus S to St. Augustine. It kills dollarweed and 24 other common lawn weeds while it feeds and
strengthens your grass against heat and drought.
Wet, cooler conditions bring out the fire ants. These nasty, menacing
pests are very aggressive, and you don't want them in your yard at all.
There are all sorts of problems and pests that can creep up on you in
the spring. Fortunately, at Scotts, they know how to control lots of them. Take a
look around their site for ideas and solutions. Use their Problem Solver to identify weeds and creepy-crawlies you're unfamiliar
with. You'll also find out how to control them.
Real Estate Information
Whether or not you are putting your home on the market this spring, everyone wants to save on electricity. Here are six tips that can help reduce your monthly bill as we go into the hot summer months!
Save power, save money: 6 easy tips to reduce your electricity
usage and bills
by Emily Hsieh, Shine staff, Wed Mar 31, 2010
There are a bunch of little
tricks you can employ to cut back on power consumption at
home-which not only has environmental benefits but keeps you from
wasting cash too-and it's highly unlikely you'll even
notice a difference. Between the National Resources Defense Council's site and powerscorecard.org
I found some really good tips. Here's a re-cap of six simple,
painless ways to cut back:
1. Check this: refrigerators suck up a whopping 20% of your
household electricity use. Time to turn them down! Aim for
somewhere between 38-42 degrees in the fridge, and 0-5 degrees in
the freezer. If you've got an energy saver switch, make sure
it's flipped on. Doors should be sealed tight: to test, stick a
dollar bill between the gaskets and close the fridge door; if the
bill is hard to pull out you're in good shape. If not, it's
time to replace the gaskets.
2. Wash only full loads in your dishwasher (yet another reason to
learn to pack them efficiently!), and if you have time, let
them air dry by turning off the drying cycle manually-this can save
20% of your dishwasher's total electricity usage.
3. Don't use hot water when doing the laundry. If you must, try
warm water, though in most cases cold is probably just fine. Make
sure that the amount of water you're using corresponds with the
size of your laundry load.
4. Lower the temperature of your water thermostat to 120-130
degrees (any lower than that might backfire on you, since you might
end up running out of hot water).
5. Clean your air filters regularly. Air conditioners have to work
a lot harder to circulate air through filthy filters, which is a
totally unnecessary electricity drain.
6. And while you're sitting in front of the computer, turn on
the sleep mode, so it's less of a power drain when you're
not using it. Windows users can do this via the control panel,
while Mac users can find energy saving settings under system
preferences in the apple menu.