Ideas From the Kitchen and Environs . . .

I was preparing salad the other evening and didn’t have any cucumbers. I decided to substitute zucchini as we often put zucchini sticks on vegetable trays. I sliced the rounds very thin and marinated them with smallish tomatoes slices equally as thin as possible. I made up a quick red wine vinegar/olive oil dressing with favorite herbs and seasonings but a favorite bottled type would work just as well. I gave it an hour to cool in the refrigerator and just before serving, I add a couple of diced avocados.

I recently read that if you set out mint plants around the available areas around the immediate perimeter of your house, it could keep the ants at bay. I like mint, anyway, so it is as good an excuse as any to freshen up some bare areas around the foundation of the house.

We started eating extra healthy about three years ago now so I’m always looking for way to add protein to our meals. My new addition to our dinners is chia seeds! They are low-calorie and can be used in many ways. When I make gluten-free bread, I add a couple of teaspoons and it just looks like poppy seeds. When I run out of eggs, one tablespoon of the seeds soaked in three tablespoons of water and instant ‘egg’. I add a couple of tablespoons to my meatloaf, chili, or meatballs and you can’t even see them and the family isn’t even aware that I’m inflicting more healthy stuff on them! If you make smoothies at home, add a couple of teaspoons and they pretty much grind right in without too much visibility. You can always say they are kiwi or strawberry seeds if questioned!

I keep a spray bottle of ammonia on the kitchen counter and we use it to wipe down the counters and table after dinner. It does the job for a lot less than most cleaners.

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