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Susan Woody

Column: Go guilt free with lettuce

February 25, 2015

Have you noticed how many people who order a sandwich these days order it without the bread or bun? Those high-carbed cradles of goodness seem superfluous. That is why I’ve always loved these lettuce-leaved wraps. No guilt-ridden carbs to worry over, just the savory Asian seasonings that make chicken easy to cook and glorious to Read More

Column: Handmade votives

February 20, 2015

The warm glow of a candle is calming and makes everything around it also glow. Little votives made from small terra-cotta pots make ideal lights for use indoors and out. To make potted candles,  start with a collection of three or four-inch flowerpots from the garden or hardware store. Close the drainage hole with a Read More

Column: No more midnight snacking

February 18, 2015

Until a few years ago there was little scientific evidence to suggest that midnight snacking wasn’t a good idea. New studies show that mice prevented from eating at all hours avoided obesity and metabolic problems — even if their diet was sometimes less that healthy. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Read More

Get ready to dig

February 14, 2015

If your favorite shovel in the shed isn’t sharp, now really would be a fine time to get after it. Figuring out your plan for planting time will be here before you know it and having your tools ready will mean more time to daydream about strategy. These are the supplies you will need: rags, Read More

Column: Marinating basics

February 11, 2015

Marinades contain oil, an acid such as vinegar, lemon juice or tomato juice, and seasonings. Marinate covered food in the refrigerator for a period of time to add extra flavor. • Use glass, stainless steel, plastic or disposable aluminum bowls or pans to marinate foods. Do not use untreated aluminum pans, as they react to Read More

Column: Tips for working with wallpaper

February 7, 2015

I learned to hang wallpaper about 30 years ago while watching a friend hang paper for another friend. Then I had a refresher course several years later when I asked a pro to help me hang paper in my dining room. Small rooms are not a big deal but larger rooms can be a real Read More

Column: Punch up the flavor

February 4, 2015

I often add fresh or dried herbs to dishes. Daughter Ryann asked for a dish of lasagna when she got home over break. While layering ingredients out came the minced garlic, Italian seasonings, basil and parsley, along with salt and pepper. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to put a little kick in the Read More

Column: What to do for February

January 31, 2015

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener. Inside: Tackle one messy closet each weekend. If necessary purchase new organizing bins or baskets. If you don’t have a battery-operated pill remover to defuzz your favorite sweaters, you can use a fine-tooth comb; it will Read More

Column: The cookie jar

January 28, 2015

Most of us grow up with vivid memories of the time we’ve spent in kitchens — those of grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents. Kitchens, then and now, were the magnets of the house, the heart and soul as it were. If you are lucky you can conjure up images of what was and smile. Having Read More

Column: Cleaning carpets and rugs

January 24, 2015

I know it sounds like I clean 24/7 but I don’t. I do like order and am adamant about taking care of rugs, furniture and other possessions. I see these items as assets that once purchased should be cared for to the best of one’s ability. I also think that children should be taught to Read More

Column: Salt to the rescue

January 21, 2015

Humble salt is nature’s most adept flavor enhancer. It also takes center stage in cooking in general. Salt in bread and pizza dough helps control the action of the yeast and improves the ability of the dough to rise. If salt is left out, the finished product will be bland and have a coarser taste. Read More

Winter garden chores

January 16, 2015

Here is a list of chores that will keep your fingers busy and at the same time allow garden chores to get done. • Keep your compost pile cooking by feeding it, turning it and keeping it moist. Add green stuff that contains nitrogen — veggie scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells — or toss on Read More

Column: 10 easy recipes with chicken

January 14, 2015

1. Quesadillas: Shred cooked chicken breast, sandwich between flour tortillas with cheese and black or refried beans, and cook a couple minutes per side in a nonstick skillet. 2. Salad: Grill chicken breasts, slice thinly, and fan atop a Greek salad of romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers and feta  cheese. 3. Blackened chicken sandwiches: Read More

Five fun facts about all those snowflakes

January 10, 2015

With the new year comes time for reflection. Nature is ever changing and yet so very terribly interesting in its simplicity. Here are a few interesting things about snowflakes for your consideration. 1. Snowflakes come shaped like columns as well as plates. Six branched stellar snowflakes (never eight-branched) are only one kind of snowflake. Snowflakes Read More

Column: A bolder bird

January 7, 2015

One new theme I’ve detected so far this year is of food writers origin. Several periodicals are serving up stories on how to liven up the plain chicken dinner. The January/February cover of “Cooking Light” features “Chicken 25 ways.” It would seem that most of us need to try a few new recipes in 2015 Read More

Column: What to do for January

January 2, 2015

Inside: Stow away Christmas gear and make next year easier by organizing and labeling boxes. Change over calendars. Spend a few minutes marking birthdays, anniversaries, doctor appointments or reminders on when to schedule them, and other important dates. Update your address and e-mail lists. Send out thank-you notes. Stock up on cards for various occasions. Read More

Flight path

December 26, 2014

Feeding birds during the coldest weather just makes sense to me. I know a lot of people don’t like the mess that comes when a flock of pigeons takes up residence off your deck every day, but that is the tradeoff to having birds around your yard. I keep suet out in cold weather, too, Read More

Column: Let the good times roll

December 24, 2014

For years and years I made cut-out cookies for Christmas. I invested hours icing and decorating these beauties and found a special cookie tin that I used to keep them in. Cookie tins are magical, kind of like those button tins that our grandmothers and mothers always had. Open one up and you could spend Read More

Column: How to throw a bargain bash without breaking the bank

December 20, 2014

Decor Use food. Decorate and feed at once. Stay focused — focus on three main areas: the front porch and entryway; the bathroom that guests will use; and the food and drink area. Combine nature, inexpensive decor and creativity. Fill clear bowls and vases with colorful ornaments. Use candles and small decorations in the bathroom. Read More

Column: Crazy for cranberries

December 17, 2014

I’ve been experimenting lately with making cranberry salads. Stephen likes them so much and I’ve never tried to make one because the deli always had the one he liked. This is my answer to cranberry salad. Place a bag of picked fresh cranberries in a saucepan with 1 cup of water and 1 cup sugar. Read More

Column: Pointers for poinsettias

December 12, 2014

Millions of poinsettias will come home for the holidays this holiday season. Come January, millions of them will end up in garbage cans and compost heaps. Few people have the patience to keep these cheerful heralds of the season growing after the new year, but with a little care they will perform even better and Read More

Column: The 12 doughs of Christmas

December 10, 2014

Use one basic cookie dough, divide it into quarters, add a little peanut butter here, some peppermint or cinnamon there to create an amazing variety of holiday treats. Here are a few examples of what can be done with a basic cookie recipe. Basic Cookie Dough You can make 4 types of cookies from 1 Read More

Column: Circles of good cheer

December 5, 2014

Wreaths are wonderful decorative items for any occasion no matter what season of the year. Spring and summer wreaths may celebrate bounteous herbs and botanicals using such materials as bay leaves, sage, lavender or quince. Autumn wreaths celebrate the harvest with gourds, nuts, corn, bittersweet and dried leaves and flowers. However, it is the Christmas Read More

Column: Almost heaven

December 3, 2014

Leftover mashed potatoes can be uplifting. Yeah, turkey and cranberry sandwiches are great, but have you ever tried using leftover mashed potatoes to make wonderfully savory croquettes? Simple mashed potatoes lend themselves to great additions like chives, or green onion. Here is a basic recipe to get you started. Potato Croquettes 2 tablespoons milk Salt Read More

Column: What to do for December

November 29, 2014

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is a master gardener. Inside: Gather holiday baking supplies. For slice and bake cookies as you need them, make icebox cookie dough, shape into logs and freeze. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Write a few Christmas cards and mail Read More

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