Friday, November 28, 2008

Splish Splash... Safe Baby Bath Toys

Our little girl just turned one and absolutely loves her bath so I thought it would be fun to add some toys to the tub. Unfortunately SO many of the tub toys out there (duckies, etc) contain PVC and / or Phthalates and / or BPA so... I did a little research and was thrilled to find that there are many products that are deemed 'safe' by the greenies (-: and don't cost a fortune.

I just went to our local Toys R Us and found the Sassy Count 'N Spell letter & numbers as well as the Double Duckies and they were not expensive. There are plenty more out there and this site has lists for safe teething toys and others too.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

The 'Dirty Dozen'

With 'organic' being the buzz word these days it's challenging to know which things to splurge for and which ones to not bother with.

I've found this link really helpful...

You can go there and print off a wallet sized guide for the 'dirty dozen' (12 produce items MOST highly sprayed with pesticides and chemicals). It also tells you which ones not to bother with (unless you really want to).

So bananas, broccoli, avacados and onions are among those that are 'best' (don't bother buying organic). But the 'dirtiest'... peaches, apples, peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach, potatoes and on. You can go online for the full report but thought this might be helpful for you. Also, this site is funded by donations so there is no industry funding which means it is pretty 'grass roots' and not being encouraged to 'fudge' any numbers by any food / grower industry associations.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce

This is another family favourite. Healthy and delish!

1 salmon fillet (size depends on how big you are cooking for)

Mix in a small glass bowl and cover in fridge for at least 1 hour...
2 shallots, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh dill, snipped
3 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Bake or BBQ for about 30 minutes at around 350.

1/4-1/2 cucumber
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups plain yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
pepper to taste
3 green onions, finely chopped (white part only)
2 tsp dill, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

Chop cucumber finely and toss with salt and let sit 15 minutes in a sieve.
Stir it into 1.5 cups of plain yogurt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Salt & Pepper to taste. Stir in onion an dill.

ENJOY! It's awesome with rice (basmati or wild are our favourites).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Roast Sticky Chicken (Crock Pot)

4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion pwdr
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder /or 1 whole clove minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 large roasting chicken

Rub the spice mix into the skin of the chicken. Arrange potatoes around the chicken and bake on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours. This is VERY moist and will be 'falling off the bone tender'. ENJOY - it's my husband's favourite(-: For those of us who don't eat meat this is a great spice mix for tofu or eggs too(-:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nan Knows Best

Our great-grandma is turning 90 next month and is a wealth of knowledge. I was talking to her about what kind of cleaners she used growing up. Talk about cheap!

Disinfecting cleaner (non-toxic) ... dilute vinegar with water. Use to clean and disinfect bathrooms, counters, kids toys, door handles, etc. We also use a 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water solution with essential oil drops to wash the floors.
Bleach alternative ... pour in 1/2 cup to your load ... it works to eliminate static too.
Fruit flies... put out a small shallow dish of vinegar to get rid of them.
Tag / sticker removal... to get rid of the residue left from sticky stickers or tags just use vinegar.
Insect bites... dab on vinegar to take the 'itch' out!
To de-clog a drain... pour in 1 cup of baking soda... then 1 cup of hot vinegar (I don't always heat it first) and then let it sit for 5-15 minutes (sometime I wait 30 minutes). They pour a kettle full of boiling water down. VOILA!
Glasses that are 'cloudy'.... rinse in vinegar.
Coffee Maker or kettle... use vinegar to de-scale

Fridge... leave a box in your fridge and freezer to absort odour.
Shoes, sports equipment... fill an old rag or towel with soda and leave to sit (or live in a sports bag that is stinky!)
Fire extinguisher... have a box handy in the kitchen. If you ever have flames from an electrical fire the baking soda will put it out.
Veggie cleaner...sprinkle soda in water and soak and rinse your veggies to clean them.
Heart burn... if you have heart burn just drink water with 1/2 tsp in 1/2 cup of water.
Laundry... add 1/2 cup to your load to eliminate odours.
Dishwasher... run a load through with soda to clean out the inside of your d/w.
Shower curtains... if they're stinky soak them in a sink of baking soda and water.
Deoderant... my friend uses soda as a deoderant. She just rubs it onto her arm pits.

There are PLENTY more uses but there are a few(-: And these two are pretty inexpensive and versatile. Non-toxic too.