Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sift, Baby, Sift

I have always wondered why some recipes call for pre-sifted flour and other recipes suggest you sift regular all-purpose flour and then why some of these recipes don't turn out well, even when I follow the instructions.

I happened upon this Cooking For Engineers site when trying to figure this out and I found this measuring tip.

When measuring flour without a scale, always assume it calls for sifted flour, because unsifted flour produces different measurements every time. This explains some of the unpredictability of recipes. The author of this site recommends shaking your flour in a large container before measuring. And do NOT pack the flour. It should be lightly spooned in and then leveled off. And shaken in the container first. I've had great results so far!

My favorite containers to store flours, sugars, and other dry goods in are like the Lock and Lock Storage 11 Cup Medium Container.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Storm Chasers

We just received a phone call from a man with an Australian accent claiming he was with "American Shingles", I believe, and he proceeded to tell me about all the homes in my area damaged by storms. I let him know we were not interested in having him assess our damages, yet he kept insisting I have him come. I mentioned the outstanding claim we have with our insurance company and he abruptly disconnected the call. It was amazing how quickly he went from polite, to agressive, to RUDE!

I mentioned the call to my husband and he told me the man must be a storm chaser. According to an old post on Wikipedia's site:
Storm Chaser (contractor): A term used by insurance companies, municipal building departments, local contractors, and the general public to describe roofing and siding contractors from outside a local area that come to help people in need of repair. General contractors do not have enough skilled workers on staff to compensate for such severe damage, so contractors from all over come with a helping hand and their expertise.
Apparently these "storm chasers" often times charge very little money but perform terrible jobs and then disappear. The reputable companies have to come in behind them and re-roof the house.

So consider this a buyer beware - if you receive an unsolicited call asking for permission to check your roof, decline the invitation. You can then contact a reputable roofing and siding company in your area to obtain a FREE damage estimate.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Desperate Times?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. For those of you who have children you've diapered, you understand what I'm talking about. If your child has a terrible diaper rash, they do NOT want to be wiped, medicated or bathed. They just want the pain to stop. It must feel like a sunburn or something because the slightest contact puts them in a screaming rage. So finding a diaper cream that works, is worth making yourself!

A good friend of mine, author of, shared this pediatrician-recommended potion: Combine equal parts Lotrimin, Auquaphor and Maalox and store in a small container. Dispense as needed. (Generic Lotrimin and Maalox may be easily substituted - my friend stores hers in a tiny Play-Doh container.)

Here's why it works: The Lotrimin is an anti-fungal cream and will treat any yeast that may be present. The Auquaphor is a very thick ointment that will coat the skin, adding a protective barrier. The Maalox helps to soothe the skin by cooling it on contact. Please try it. You'll be glad you did.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturated Truth

I read a Men'sHealth article today that is very interesting. It de-bunks myths regarding saturated fat (fat that naturally occurs in animal products). The article explains why eating full-fat versions of foods (the way God intended it) is actually very good for heart health. Please pass the butter!