Something of everything this month, a recipe, travel tips and a freebie offer
Best Buys for May
New to the Produce Dept-green beans, corn, zucchini, blackberries, raspberries, stawberries
At their peak-sweet Vadalia onions, peas
Grab them Now-broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, spinach, salad mix, rhubarb
Tuna and Rice Stuffed Peppers (serves 4)
This is the recipe I mentioned in Monday’s blog. Green peppers were on sale and I wanted to use them as the base for a meal instead of just chopping them up as part of a recipe. I think this recipe would also work in tomatoes and also in wraps. I served it with pesto toast. Sliced French bread toasted, then spread with pesto sauce and grilled.
4 green peppers
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup of corn
1 12 ounce can of tuna
1/2 crumbled feta cheese
1 small onion diced finely
salt and pepper
Lots of recipes call for raw peppers but I like to partly cook them before baking. Wash and slice off the tops of the peppers, seed them and then place them in a saucepan of water and cook until crisp tender which is about 5-8 minutes. While they’re cooking mix the rest of the ingredients. Drain the peppers, place in a casserole dish and fill with the mixture.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
One thing I love about this season and summer is the abundance of produce. I love the idea that they can be perserved for winter eating. One way to do that is to dry them. I found this at Natural Home and Garden. At first I thought a hammer and nails might be involved but it looks simple enough children could help you put it together-
Summer Travel Tips
Summer travel is just around the corner and here are some great tips from Susan Foster
Air travel costs are escalating but there are ways to keep the total price down, it just takes a little homework to know where the expensive pitfalls lie. It is estimated that fees generated $22.6 billion in 2010 for the world’s airlines, according to the Los Angeles Times. As fuel costs go up, airlines look for ways to cover this increase without raising ticket prices; fees are helping. If you can minimize the fees, you save the cash!
If you have already paid for your spring break ticket (or are planning ahead for summer travel), here is a guide on how to avoid the add-ons that can hurt or break your travel budget.
· Carry on. Pack less and carry it with you.
Susan Foster, packing expert and author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler (www.smartpacking.com), packs for a three-week Europe trip in a 22″ carry-on bag. “Just take less and plan to do laundry,” she says. “This is where you can save real money — fees vary by airline and range from zero to $25 each way for the first bag, and from $20 — $45 each way for the second bag.”
Spirit Airlines is the only one to charge for carry-on bags so book with another airline if their fare is equal to another carrier. (Spirit’s add-on internet booking fee and carry-on bag fee will bump up the total price.)
· Book tickets online. Most airlines charge a booking fee for phone or in person reservations, a few even charge for internet bookings! Third party sites may add fees for multiple airlines, international flights, or packages. Check each site carefully before deciding so you can add up and compare fees and fares to avoid surprises.
· Don’t be fussy. Advance seat selection and priority boarding privileges add more fees.
· Don’t change your mind. All airlines but one, Southwest, charge a fee of $75 – $250 to change your ticket.
· Unaccompanied kids and pets are expensive. If you want your child to fly alone to visit Grandma, add at least $25 – $100 each way. Or consider going along, it may actually cost less. And if you want to take Bowser with you, add at least $50 to $125 each way for him to ride under the seat and more in cargo.
· Take it with you. In flight food and drinks are available but for a price. Carry your own snacks and drinks and save. Even pillows and blankets on some airlines now incur a fee, so pack a blow-up pillow or roll up your sweater to tuck behind your head. A shawl makes a good blanket if needed.
Here are Foster’s tips to pack less:
1. Start with a small bag. It is human nature to fill the available space so start small (the largest legal carry-on is 22″x14″x9″). Make use of every inch of real estate in the bag — fill shoes with rolled up socks or underwear, roll casual clothes and tuck items into the “valleys” created inside the bag by the handle assembly.
2. Just take less. Let go of the idea of wearing a different outfit each day. Pack interchangeable pieces based on one basic color, and plan to wear each piece more than once. Two pairs of dark slacks plus one jacket plus four shirts/blouses will last for one week. For two or more weeks, launder/clean and repeat. Pack clothes that you love so you feel good wearing the same things many times in different combinations.
3. Choose items that pack small. A thin wool or cashmere sweater packs smaller than a sweatshirt; micro-fiber slacks pack smaller than jeans; loafers pack smaller than boots. Several lighter weight layers are as warm but pack smaller than a bulky coat.
4. Take only 3 pair of shoes — wear one and pack no more than two. Shoes are bulky and heavy; cutting back in this area makes a huge difference.
5. Minimize cosmetics and toiletries by taking only the amount needed for the trip. One ounce of shampoo lasts for two weeks with daily use; any more is excess weight. Buy travel/sample sizes or transfer to small containers.
6. Plan to do laundry. Go high tech with quick-drying underwear, socks and tee-shirts made of wicking fabrics. Wicking fabrics absorb perspiration so are comfortable to wear plus they wash easily in the bathroom sink and dry overnight (or less). Then pack only 3 sets of underwear — one to wear, one to wash, and a spare.
7. Avoid the “what-if’s” that lead to multiple suitcases. Pack for what is known and for logical possibilities. Logical: rain, so pack a raincoat or poncho and perhaps a small umbrella. Not logical: an impromptu formal dinner, so leave evening clothes at home.
Susan Foster is the author of Smart Packing for Today’s Traveler. Learn more about Foster and her book at www.smartpacking.com, and sign up for her free newsletters that offers great travel tips and information several times a year. Foster is frequently quoted in national and regional publications and is a regular guest on numerous radio shows.
For Meatless Monday
Anyone going the Meatless Monday route? If so check out this slideshow, lots of good stuff-
Articles I found on the Web-
Ways to lower your car insurance costs-
One of my pet peeves is getting highlights put in my hair and having them disappear a month later. Lots of companies are selling products to make hair color last longer. Here’s one from Aveeno you can sample for free-http://www.aveeno.com/1005/haircare-free-sample
Have a good month