Handy Dandy Tips & Resources

Every once in a while I have to remind myself that I don’t know it all. Well, like every day! And so I look to others for their brilliance and knowledge of topics, recipes, and general musings about life that I want to know more about. Here are a few I’d like to share with you.

Let’s start with Our Italian Table. Love the website, and recipes. A lot of Italians cook with fennel. This website featured a great recipe for starting the new year that I thought you might like. Detoxing Italian Style.  It features a fennel soup and salad.

Paola & Kerry-Lynne at one of our Stella Favolose dinners

My beautiful friend Paola shared a Fennel Salad recipe. She brought it to one of our Stella Favolose dinners and it was a hit. 

[NOTE: Stella Favolose is a local Portland Oregon group of ladies of Italian descent who get together for fabulous Italian dinners and conversation several times a year.]

Caring for the food once we have purchased it is important. Some items should not be refrigerated while others are a must to keep cold. Summer is always interesting in our house because tomatoes are all over my countertops at various stages of ripening – this year until December 23rd!, In the winter when I don’t have fresh herbs outside, I have basil, cilantro, and parsley on my counter in glass jars filled with water ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

I found this infographic on food storage from Lifehacker that I think says it all.  Best Place to Store Food. It not only tells you the best places to store food, and what foods not to store next to each other, but how to regrow your food scraps. I love the self-sustaining approach to regrowing or repurposing food scraps – like composting. Well, one year that did get a little out of hand when we used our compost in the front yard and it grew tomatoes, gourds, and other unrecognizable “things” all over the yard. We later learned the compost had not fully “cooked” so the seeds of dinners past regenerated themselves. It was definitely a conversation starter with neighbors we’d never talked to. 🙂

Cooking conversion chart. I found this chart from I Love Cooking website. Since I read a lot of recipes and often they are from Italy or England, or other countries that use the metric system, I am constantly trying to figure out what measurements convert to what. And oven temperatures too! Not only is this conversion chart useful, it’s pretty too! I have it taped to the inside of my spice cupboard for easy access. 

Escali Food Scale. Speaking of measuring food, my good friend Kerry-Lynne introduced me to a fabulous scale that measures in grams and ounces. It’s easy to use, comes in an array of colors and stores nicely in a drawer or looks pretty on a countertop. I LOVE mine!

Herbal academy course. I know I may lose of few of you on this one, but wanted to share it anyway. Herbs are such an important element to cooking. I’m interested in integrating herbs to support wellness by learning about their properties and characteristics. This herbal class is promised to inspire and deepen herbal knowledge – and it’s free! (Starts January 10, 2017)

And who doesn’t need a calendar for the new year? The Cottage Market has free printables of various things (not just calendars) on their website. I liked this calendar for the size and beauty. I printed it on card stock, and it’s nicely displayed in a photo frame on my desk.

If you didn’t read my Facebook post on my love of calendars – here it is: 

So does anyone else get excited when they change the calendars out for the new year? The last month or two of the year I start anticipating this day, checking out the latest calendar covers, online calendars and paper goods for the best size, featured art, etc. I save my favorite calendars from year-to-year because you know you can recycle that calendar in future years. Yep, I have art calendars that date back to 1996! And one calendar won’t do. I have three in my office, one in the kitchen/family room, one in the craft room and don’t ask how many are synced together on my computer/phone/ipad. I’m beginning to think I need an intervention. 😉 How often does the calendar repeat itself? 

Whether you read inspirational messages, pray, or meditate, whatever your preferred method, a little inspiration every day is a good thing. There are so many great resources for mental stimulation, positive thinking, and meditations, here are just a few from OprahDailyOM, BrainyQuotes, Forbes Top 100, and Deepak Chopra’s meditation messages. 

Hope you find some of these resources interesting and helpful !

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