Minted Cucumber Chutney

Needing a side to go with our Easter dinner, and also needing to use the ton of cucumbers that were just about to go bad, as well just being intrigued by the name, I had to try this.  I was a bit disappointed when all was said and done, because it lacked flavor.  Even though this dish had red onion and mint (that usually add a sweet/hot flavour) and yogurt (which would add a sour flavour), I was disappointed in the blandness of this dish. 
What the heck is Chutney?
The word chutney is derived from the East Indian word Chatni. The Hindi word for "to crush" literally means "to make chutney".  It is a relish that is made of a variety of fruits, spices, and other ingredients and served with curry dishes in India. Originally, the ingredients were ground to a paste with a mortar and pestle.

8 ounces Greek yogurt, drained
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1/4 cup mint, chiffonade*
1/2 small finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper

*Chiffonade is a cutting technique that you can use to cut up any flat leafy food. It works great on things that you are going to eat fresh, like basil and lettuce and helps you cut uniform, curly, strips of food quickly and elegantly.   Check out Fine Cooking  for further instructions.

Place the cucumber in a colander and set over a bowl or in the sink.
Sprinkle lightly with the salt and allow to drain for at least 30 minutes.
Rinse the cucumber with cold water, pat dry, and transfer to a medium bowl.
Place the drained yogurt, lemon juice and cumin in a medium bowl, blend well.
Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Let sit at room temperature.

Stay hungry my friend!

Blogging Tips

Blogging Tips Part 1: the fluffy stuff

Blogging Tips Part 2: the techy behind the scenes stuff

How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog

How to Create and Photograph a Blog Tutorial

10 Steps to Taking Your Camera OFF Auto

How to Add Pages to Your Blog

How to Add a Button/Badge to Your Blog

How to Create a Link for Words within Your Posts

**and check out the "Beautify Your Blog" series at Momma Go Round for tons of helpful tutorials on how to make your blog pretty!


Postling Analytics
Postling has its very own set of analytics that can help you see engagement levels on Twitter, Facebook, and other networks. From Postling’s analytics dashboard you can see how many posts you’ve made over the past 7 days, 30 days, and 90 days. We also show you the corresponding amount of comments you got on each day, so you can easily see the peaks and low points in engagement. It’s really amazing to see how engagement goes up with the number of posts you make (this is a statistical fact, guys!).

If you have keyword trackers in Postling (which allow you to track what people are saying about your business all over the internet) we will also show you how many results came in over that time period.

So why exactly is this important? Using Postling’s analytics you can break down which of your social media accounts get more of a response from your followers (maybe you get more @ replies on Twitter than wall posts on Facebook) and can help guide your future activities. Also, it’s an important lesson for businesses to see that the more they post, the more engagement they’ll get. We did a study on this a few months ago, analyzing all small business accounts on Postling and the results were remarkable. Across the board, businesses that posted 10 or more times per week across all of their social networks had almost 10 times more comments/responses.

Please note, Postling’s analytics are for Plus and Premium members.

Facebook Insights
We mentioned Facebook Insights during week 1 of Boot Camp but it bears repeating. Insights is a free service from Facebook that provides Page admins (that’s you!) with metrics around their Page and content. From the overview you can see growth patterns in users and interactions for your Page. There are a few things you want to keep your eye on here — Likes, post views, and post feedback. As you get more Likes, in theory, more people will see your posts and engage with the content. Maybe your posts don't involve enough interaction (yet!) to strike high levels of feedback. If that’s the case, try posting a variety of different things (images, links, questions, personal/fun things) to drum up some engagement.

If you click over to Users on the left-hand side of Facebook you’ll be able to break down those metrics even further, so you can see gender and age breakdown, regions, and just what tabs on your profile people are really looking at.

The interactions section really breaks down your posts to show you which produce the highest level of engagement. As a good task, sort the posts by Feedback (so the highest percentage is at the top) and take your top 5 posts and write down the basic factors of all of these — on average how long are the posts, do they have pictures, do they ask questions, are they of a personal or business nature? Try and draw patterns and connections between the posts that perform the best for you and use this to guide your future posts on Facebook. is a tool that allows you to create shortened links and track how many clicks each link gets. We can’t recommend signing up for a free account enough so you can really see just how popular your links are. Additionally, by using shortened links on Twitter you can fit more characters into the description, so people actually know what the link goes out to!

You can also add your account to Postling so every post can have shortened, tracked links. To do this, you will need to go to Manage Brands and select which brand you’d like to add the account to. You will need to enter your username and API key, which you can find here if you have a account.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the top tools out there for analyzing traffic on your website (that is, any site that you can control the HTML code for). All you need to do is setup a profile under your Google/Gmail account and install a little bit of code on your site. From then on out you can track where all of your traffic comes from, how long they stick around, what pages are the most popular, and what people are looking for in search engines to get to your blog. This is the sort of valuable information you should have!

Twitter Counter
Twitter Counter is a great tool that sends you an email every week recapping your Twitter follower growth. It’s simple to setup and a great way to keep track and monitor if your follower count is going up, down, and what they predict it will be next week. And trust us, seeing that follower count go up one week only motivates you to work that much harder to keep the numbers growing!


5 Tips for Getting More From Your Blog

Marketing and Small Business Blog

12 Tips for Writing Better Content

Why Your Small Business Should Have a Blog

Small Biz Owners Encourage Wannabes to Blog, Tweet

Twitter Basics

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media network that millions of people are on. It’s a short-form of communication.

What is a tweet?
A tweet is what you send out on Twitter. Just like Facebook has “status updates”, tweets serve the same purpose. However, it’s really important to note that tweets have a 140 character limit!

Why do they limit the character count?
Twitter was created as a means of communicating information, but not too much information. Capping the number of characters per tweet ensures that Twitter has a certain uniformity and avoid total information overload!

What does “follow” mean?
To follow someone on Twitter means that their tweets will show up in your Twitter stream. The Twitter stream will show up when you log into your account, and will show the tweets of the people you follow in reverse chronological order (the newest tweets at the top). When you go to anyone’s Twitter page there will be a “follow” button.

What is with people using the @ symbol?
In Twitter, the @ symbol is how you communicate with other users. For example, if you want to reach out to Postling you can tweet: “Hey @postling, thanks for all the boot camp help!”. This is called “@ replying”someone on Twitter. By adding the @symbol before any Twitter username the tweetwill show up in their account. People are pretty unlikely to see your tweets ifyou don’t have that @ symbol before their username. 

What should I talk about on Twitter?
We’ve seen a few comments in the forums that it seems a bit overwhelming thinking about what to tweet. Here’s the catch about Twitter… try not to overthink it. Twitter should be more natural than Facebook, and involve less prep. Where as you may post much more about your work and your progress on projects, Twitter should be your chance to really connect on a personal level with your customers. That’s just it — it’s about your personality. Share a few quotes you like, maybe blog posts that you find interesting, or even just talk about what you’re doing over the weekend.

How do I get more Twitter followers?
First off, be sure to use the email sync option when you sign up for Twitter so you can sure that the people you’re already emailing know about you on Twitter! It can’t be easier than that. Next up — try posting on your Facebook Page and telling your followers they can also find you on Twitter (you could even tie in a contest to this, offering 10% off to a random new follower). Maybe give them some incentive? An example may be that maybe you tell Facebook fans that you will post new styles on Twitter first. It’s totally up to you! You can also mention it in your email newsletter if you send one out…. And you can also add it to your email signature along with your Facebook Page!

I seem to be missing some of my @ replies.
If you aren't following someone who @ replies you, the comment won't show up in your stream. This means it's incredibly easy to miss @ replies... and you don't want that! We highly recommend signing up for Postling With the click of a button you can easily respond to all of your comments without having to go to Twitter. This way you save time and make sure that you catch all of your @ replies! 

How do I get people to click on my links?
If you describe in your tweets what the link actually is, the likelihood of that link being clicked is going to be much higher. For example, if you’re tweeting a link out to a blog post about new necklace styles maybe your tweet will read, “Jackie’s blog covers the newest necklace styles… from gems to wires. Check it out! [LINK]”. People are wary to click on links that they don’t know where they’re going. Help them out a bit!

What about these spammers that are following me?
If they’re following you, you absolutely don’t need to follow them back. Be smart about the people you follow back since you’ll see their tweets in your stream all the time. Similarly, if you are following someone and they tweet way too much you can unfollow them. It's your stream, you should decide what you see in it!

Should I auto-post my blog posts to Twitter and Facebook?
This is something we’ll cover more in-depth later in bootcamp, but here is an initial answer. Now, some blogging websites send links toTwitter and Facebook that look spammy. If this is the case, then I would say no and recommend you either do this through Postling or manually. After all, you want your followers to click on those links! In Postling we have a smart work flow, so once you publish your blog post we automatically ask if you want to post a link to your blog on Twitter and Facebook. We let you easily drop in a shortened link as well so it’s really easy.

How can I tell if sales come from Twitter or Facebook?
We recommend using unique coupon codes for each social networking site. Maybe you offer your followers on Twitter 25% off with the code “tweetapril” and 25% off for followers on Facebook with the code“facebookapril”. This way you can accurately track just how much business is coming from which site.

5 Key Tools for Effective Facebook Marketing

1. Website Integration: Include the Like button throughout your site (blog, landing pages and any other marketing effort).  It creates opportunity for social engagement.  Make sure your web pages are integrated with your Facebook page.
2. Facebook Pages:  Good thing to note - “Just because you hit ‘publish’ doesn’t mean your news post went to all your fans"
3. Facebook Ads: the goal would be to captute this person w/in FB
4. Facebooks Apps
5. Facebook Analytics

Webinar notes

Creating authentic relationship-6 drivers of influence
Reciprocation - if a blogger attends a premium experience they may reciprocate ex: linked in recommendation
Consistency - in opinion and posts
Social Proof - in blogging, audience identifies with the influencer, is the action of buying the product
Liking - will talk about them long after you're done with the product
Scarcity - exclusive opportunity, only 500 left...
What's an "influencer":somebody that can convince somebody else to take action, causing a shift in someone else to act
think of how the person in relavent to your space

20 most retweetable words or phrases: post, blog, blog post, new blog post-See Dan Zarrella's post, therefore, content is being shared on blogs and being RT'd, look at who the top blogs are in your circle
read Tribes by Seth Godin
5 basic steps of influencer indentification:

How to spot an influence:
  • Listen 

  • Think beyond the traditional sources

  • Assess relevance

  • Action and reaction:comments on the blog, likes on FB, RT on twitter

  •  Don't confuse popularity or reach for influence

  • 3 automated tools for indenity influencers

  • (,,

  • jitterater-grades you on how you interact, how engaging are they with others


  • 3 keys to becoming an influencer yourself
    Create content, putting something out there in the world that ppl want to consume, develop your own authority within your own space
    Curate; acting as the filter
    Connect: make the connection between people and other resources, so then you're seen as a hub

    4 action steps to implementing influencer strategety and interaction in your own business or organization

    Put some human effort behind the automated tools:
    Get "zen" on the WIIFM (What's In It For Me) thinking past the Influencers to the Influencers audience
    Build relationships before you need them: the bridges that you build for your community, ex. networking for your next job.
    Set goals and measure them:

    Marinated lamb breast

    I'm trying to figure out the reasoning why people eat Lamb on Easter, but it doesn't make sense to me.  All week the supermarket sales have been filled with huge spiralled hams.  As much as making a glazed ham sounds delicious, I wouldn't eat it, as I'm not a big fan of ham.  Piggy2 loves lamb, and is always talking abou the wonderful Osso Buco he made, we decided to on Lamb Breast because it sounded so off.  I say this because when I looked for recipes for "Lamb Breast" I came up short.  So instead I found a few different recipes and cobbled them together.

    1 cup Merlot
    1 tablespoon thyme 
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    4 teaspoons of chopped garlic
    1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon parsley
    4 lbs of lamb breast


    Heat oven to 325 F.
    Whisk together the wine, oil.  Add, thyme, parsley, pepper and garlic, whisk a bit more.
    Add the lamb and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
    Put in roasting pan, and cover with foil.  Cook for 1 hour.
    Remove foil and brown for 20.

    Stay hungry my friend!

    Tips to Tweet

    1. Provide Value: Your followers must find your activity valuable.  If at least 1 in 5 of your tweets is not getting retweeted, you are not providing value.

    2. Leave room for the retweet. Make sure your content is easy to share by leaving enough of the 140 character limit to include "RT" and the "@username".

    3. Show your personality. slang, emothion and pov are ways to distinguish who you are in the millions of other Twitters out ther.

    4. Embrace the hashtag. Find relevant and/or popular hashtags relating to your content and integrate them in your tweets.  Hastags will help your content get curated into searchable topic areas, while establishing yourself as part of mini twitter communities.

    5. Insert Links.  When tweeting abt your own content, inserting links is always a best practice.  Don't just have an opinion, provide a doorway to further detail and other helpful resources.

    6. And shorten your links.  using and other link shortening services can help you make the most of your 140 characters.  Bonus points that it helps you track how many clicks each link receives.

    7. Share your handle far and wide.    Share your twitter handle on your business card, website, email signature and other creative ways to raise awaremenns of your presence.

    8. Start a meme.  The point is to make a memorable, engagin topic spread faster and easier.

    9. Send a thank you for mentions.  If people take the time to talk about your or share things on your behalf, make sure you acknowledge their acitivity and show appreciation. 

    10.  Look for question being asked about your industry.  Provide valuable answers as quickly as you can for anything pertaining to you or your space.  Offer to talk more via other channels if users prefer different forms or follow up.

    How to engage on Facebook

    Be Timely

    The study found that daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning (7 a.m. EST), after work (5 p.m. EST) and late at night (11 p.m. EST). Therefore, posting all of your updates during the workday means you’re missing key opportunities to engage fans at non-work hours. However, not all brands’ engagement peaks at these three times — Playboy engagement peaks in the wee hours of the morning, for example — so you must work on a case-by-case basis.
    Good timing on Facebook depends on the day of the week, too. Thursday and Friday have 18% more engagement than other days of the week, suggesting that Facebook is a procrastination tool when people are itching to get out of the office. But don’t start stacking all of your Facebook updates on Thursday and Friday — the study found interesting user patterns and engagement trends throughout the week that are unique to particular industries. Below, the findings are broken down by market so that you can see where entire industries are missing the mark and where — or rather, when — there’s room for improvement.
    • Entertainment: Friday, Saturday and Sunday are huge, as that is when people are most inclined to see a movie or go to a concert. However, entertainment brands post twice as much content on a weekday than a Saturday or Sunday.
      Tip: Take advantage of the weekend.
    • Media: Weekends have strong engagement for media brands, but Mondays are weak. During the study period, most posts went out during the week.
      Tip: Avoid Monday.
    • Automotive: Auto brands see the most engagement on Sundays, but less than 8% of posts go out on that day.
      Tip: Capitalize on Sunday.
    • Business and Finance: Engagement peaks on Wednesday and Thursday, though this industry tends to spread its posts even on Monday through Friday.
      Tip: Post on Wednesday.
    • Retail: Sunday is a big day for engagement on the shopping and retail front, but only 5% of entertainment posts go up on Sunday. The industry’s posts lean heavily toward Friday, which has below-average engagement.
      Tip: Target shoppers on Sunday.
    • Fashion: Engagement peaks on Thursday but dips on the weekend. The industry pushes the most content on Tuesday, the day with the lowest engagement.
      Tip: Optimize engagement on Thursday.
    • Healthcare and Beauty: Like fashion — perhaps because consumers are shopping and preparing for the weekend — healthcare and beauty brands see the most engagement on Thursday. But a lot of content is posted on Mondays and Fridays, when engagement is lower.
      Tip: Post content on Thursday.
    • Food and Beverage: More than the other verticals, the food and beverage brands do a good job of spreading their posts throughout the week and weekend. But in this case, engagement peaks on Tuesday and Saturday and dips on Monday and Thursday.
      Tip: Target Tuesday.
    • Sports: Not surprisingly, especially during football season, Sunday is king for sports brands and teams on Facebook. This data is affected by the fact that Super Bowl Sunday fell during the data collection period, but Sundays remain strong during other weeks, too. 
    • Tip: Increase your post volume on Sunday.
    • Travel and Hospitality: The highest engagement occurs on Thursday and Friday, when the week is winding down and people are looking to escape from the office.
      Tip: Get these eyeballs at the end of the week.
    • Joe Ciarallo, Buddy Media’s director of communications, says a lot of smart brands already target their audiences when they’re most engaged. For those who don’t, Ciarallo says they should consider scheduling Facebook posts to go live during times of high engagement at night and on weekends.
    • Fan engagement rockets up on Sunday.  But retailers only post 5%

    Be Concise

    The data indicates that the length of the post can determine engagement just as much as the time of the post. The bottom line: Keep it short and sweet. Posts with 80 characters or less — the length of a short tweet — garnered 27% more engagement than posts that were more than 80 characters. But brevity is far from a common practice — only 19% of posts in the study were shorter than 80 characters.
    And while the content should be short, the URL probably shouldn’t be — posts with a full-length URL had three times the engagement of their shortened, and tinyurl counterparts. The reason is likely because readers want to know where the link will take them. Ciarallo says a brand-specific URL shortener, like or on.mash, keeps a post short while also providing context.

    Ask For Engagement

    Words ranked in order of their effectiveness at converting Likes and comments.

    If you’re looking to get Likes on a post, all you have to do is ask. Ciarallo says simple, outright instructions — “Like us if … ” — are much more effective at getting a Like than a post with a long explanation of why you should “like” something. Remember, “liking” only takes one click and then the “liked” item is syndicated on a user’s own page, so don’t be afraid to ask for the thumbs up.
    The same goes for comments — outright saying “post,” “comment” or “tell us” motivates fans to engage. If you’re seeking answers, put a simple “where” or “when” or “would” question at the end of the post — you’ll get 15% more engagement than if the question is buried in the middle. Shy away from “why” questions, as they seem invasive and ask much more of a user than a “what” question, Ciarallo says.

    Advice for Smaller Brands

    These findings are insightful and can help brands better target their consumers, but it is important to note that the brands studied are all large and well-established. While URL shortening is a good idea for all brands, the day and time findings may not apply to businesses of all sizes within each industry.
    For small businesses, it’s important to balance the data above with what you know about your own brand, based on Facebook Insights and your own experiences with your Page. “Small brands can take away some best practices from this, but remember that the data set is all large brands,” Ciarallo says. “Still, a boutique hotel owner could look at the hospitality section and see how it can help his Facebook marketing.”
    He also says it’s important to realize the social marketing space is constantly evolving, and these statistics can change in a matter of months. If every brand begins to post when the engagement is high, then engagement either will increase because of the optimization, or it may decrease because there’s so much noise at the high-engagement times. Only time will tell for the long term.
    “This is 200 large brands over two weeks, so it’s a large data set, but things are moving fast,” meaning your Facebook marketing program must be flexible, Ciarallo says. Though this is the first study of its kind that Buddy Media has publicly released, Ciarallo foresees future reports like this one to help brands maximize engagement in an ever-changing marketing environment.

    Roasted Red Onions and Tomatoes

    I love red onions!  Maybe it's that spicy sweetness that it adds to a dish, or the tender crunch you get at the first bite.  Whatever it is, I use them a lot in place of regular onions.  But this recipe actually called for red onions, so I was very happy. 

    8 Roma (plum) tomatoes
    2 red onions
    2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
    Cut the tomatoes into quarters lengthwise and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray.
    Cut off the tops of the onions and peel.
    Cut each onion into eight wedges an place on baking tray.
    Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
    Roast for 1 hour.
    Remove from oven and plate. 
    In a bowl, place vinegars, mustard, garlic and oil, whisk until emulsified.  Drizzle over vegetables and serve.
    Garnish as desired.  (I used some chives that I have growing on my patio)

    Stay hungry my friend!

    Slow cooker Tofu Chili

    I love cooking in the crock pot, it makes coming home or waking up (depending on when you set it for) a wonderful surprise, because when you either open the door or your eyes, you are greeted with a wonderful aroma and a satisfaction that your meal is ready.
    This usually yields a ton of chili, so you may want to freeze it and save some for later.  I have a muffin tin where each section measures exactly one cup.  So when you've had your fill and the chili has cooled off, scoop out the leftovers and save some for another day.  Leave in the freezer overnight, then gently coax the frozen goodness with a bit of warm water, then vacuum pack and freeze for later.

    29oz. (large can) Black beans
    29oz. Garbanzo beans
    4oz. Green Chiles
    14 1/2oz. Kernel corn
    29oz. Diced Tomatoes with garlic and basil
    1 pkg. of firm Tofu
    1 or 2 teaspoon(s) of chili powder
    1/2 cup of chopped green onions
    2 tablespoons of chopped garlic


    Drain the tofu. Cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.* Place in the bottom of the Crock Pot
    Drain the beans and corn and rinse thoroughly. Add them to the Crock Pot
    Add tomatoes, 1 to 2 tablespoons (to taste) of chili powder, garlic and top with onions.

    Cover the Crock Pot and set it on low for about 5 hours or high for about 3 hours.

    Please note: The cook time on Crock Pots vary.  Adjust your Crock Pot accordingly.
    *To drain tofu, I place it on a plate and top with several layers of paper towels, then place another plate on top and then some cans to help press the excess water out.  Replace the paper towels a few times until tofu looks dry.

    Draining the tofu

    Stay hungry my friends.

    Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes

    When I first bought my mandolin, I could not get enough of chopping up potatoes.  So what do you do when you have 2 pounds of thinly sliced potatoes.  Grab some cheese and make some good 'ol comfort food.
    Feta and Cheddar topping


    8-10 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup of crumbled Feta Cheese
    1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper, or more according to taste

    Layer potatoes, onions and cheese in slow cooker.
    In small bowl, combine condensed soup water; pour over potato mixture in slow cooker.
    Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until potatoes are tender.
    Gently stir before serving.
    Crock pot Scalloped Potatoes
    Stay hungry my friend.

    Garlicky Cheesy Baked Shrimp

    Garlicky cheesy Shrimp
    This recipe is good when you have a bag of frozen shrimp that you need to use and don't want to make another batch of shrimp scampi (not that there's anything wrong with that).


    2 pound peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp (about 30)
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    2 tablespoons white wine
    kosher salt and black pepper
    1/3 cup softened butter
    1/4 cup panko* bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

    Raw Shrimp

    Heat oven to 425ยบ F. In a baking dish, combine the shrimp, garlic, white wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
    In a small bowl, combine the butter, bread crumbs, and parsley.
    Sprinkle over the shrimp and bake until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 15 to 18 minutes.

    Garlicky cheesy Shrimp

    Plate and serve!

    *What is Panko?

    Panko is the Japanese word for bread crumbs used as a breading, and can be used a filler in things like crab cakes.  The biggest difference is that panko is a coarse grind which makes them more like flakes than crumbs and they are made from bread without crusts.

    Stay hungry my friend!

    Wanda's new background

    The ethnogeographical and anthropomorphic migration pattern of early Anishnabeck people post glacial movement and precontact with of Nordic man

    Spring Cleaning

    Today was cleaning day and I had a huge pile of canned food that had to be put away from the other day.  While attempting to squeeze everything in the cupboard I decided to rotate the stock around.   Why did I start this project, because sometimes I think I have ADD and now I've started to look at the expiration date on all the cans.  Now there is nothing wrong with this, it's good actually because I found some hidden soups that I've had a craving for and couldn't find them.  But what should be a quick process has turned into a day long project.  First you have to take everything out, then sort it out, then decide how to reset it in on the shelf.  The latter was the worst part, I kept moving things back and forth trying to anticipate how someone would reach for the marinara sauce, so I would not have to constantly re-check the shelf to make sure the most current jar/can was being used.  See, a wee bit ADD-like. 

    But what it also did was make me realize that I need to figure out where I can donate canned food that I know I won't use in the next while that and how long can you keep spices?

    For the canned food, doing a general search worked well (I like since for every search I do, money is donated to my favorite charity Life Through Art Foundation), so did a search on

    Doing a search for spices, I found a ton of information and what to do with expired products.

    If you visit the Spice Hunter, you can find out information like how to store your spices and when your spices will expire.

    Or if you buy McCormick spices, you can visit their site and see exactly how old your spices are.

    Stay hungry my friend.

    Chickpea Curry

    Lately I've been on a curry kick. First buying the pre-made curry pastes at Trader Joe's and Fresh and Easy, but now I want to make my own. In an effort to eat better, I need to include more vegetables in my diet and more than just a handful of baby carrots and celery sticks, so I bought a vegetarian cook book, Vegetarian Cooking (Commonsense Guide), which I found on the clearance shelf, but I absolutely love.  This is my first try.  I substituted some of the ingredients, such as using vegetable oil instead of ghee, as well as using a red onion instead of 2 white onions (this certainly cured my sweet tooth, as the cooked red onion added a sweetness).
    Chickpea Curry

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    2 onions, finely sliced, one yellow, one red
    4 tablespoon of chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon turmeric
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    1 29oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 29oz. can of chopped tomatoes

    1 teaspoon garam masala**

    Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
    Add the chili powder, salt, turmeric, paprika, cumin and coriander and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
    Stir in the chickpeas and tomato, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    If using Garam Masala, stir in and cover and simmer for further 10 minutes.
    Serve hot.

    *What is Ghee?
    Ghee is a clarified butter without any solid milk particles or water. Ghee is used in India and throughout the South Asia in daily cooking. A good quality ghee adds a great aroma, flavor and taste to the food.

    **What is Garam Masala?
    Garam Masala is a basic blend of ground spices common in Indian and some South Asian dishes.  You can buy it and if you fall in love with it, you can make your own:

    Garam Masala
    1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    1 tablespoon cardamom pods
    1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon whole cloves
    1 small cinnamon stick, crushed

    Put all spices in a dry frying pan and shake over medium heat for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Transfer to a spice grinder or blender and crush to a fine powder.

    Stay hungry my friend.

    Crazy you tube comments

    Crazy youtube comments

    Native Americans are the greatest people!!! I have native roots, Blackfoot. My great great grandmother was fullblooded, married a french man... So i am indian and french...I love Natives!!! I wish I lived where there were some. The white ways of life really s*ck!! Our government is horrible.. I give the natives all the respect in the world!!!

    Long ago White men came to this land and were starving after awhile, indian showed them how to survive, They got fat and then told indian they had to join their Church,That they had the wrong gods, and must go to white church and be like white man or they would be killed , They rounded them up and began to treat them very bad and killed a lot and put the rest on reservations where they would not be seen, and they are still there!!!!!
    • Im white , but also part Lipan Apache ( legally quarter blood ). My Grandfather is full Apache. I don't hate anyone , and you would be foolish to not respect even those you want to kill . But I do hate some peoples views of life . The way they think . White people have made mistakes , but they don't know any better . Not all white people are bad just like not all Native Americans are good .
    • I dont have native roots..but have always as long as I can remember ,respected and admired the native people and what they stand for..this video is awesome btw

    columbus Day

    Columbus Day is marked as a national holiday in the United States, with most banks, some financial markets, federal agencies such as the US Postal Service, most state government offices, and many school districts closed for the day. It is celebrated throughout the Americas (North America, Central America and South America) on the same day, although the celebration, and its reasons, varies widely.

    For example, in Hawaii, it is Discoverer’s Day, combining Christopher Columbus’s explorations with those of Captain James Cook, who charted the Hawaiian Islands and celebrated the ancient people and their culture. In most states in the U.S., Columbus Day is met with parades and salutes to Italian American Culture.

    The teachers told us: “In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America.” That is, of course politically and technically incorrect, as native cultures had already been thriving for centuries by the time Columbus's three ships arrived from Europe. A more accurate way of explaining it to children would be to say that "In 1492, Christopher Columbus had his first encounter with the Americas."

    What exactly is the point of Columbus day and why is it stil a national holiday when it has become increasingly refocused on a celebration of Italian American culture?

    Columbus Day is also met with great protest throughout the Americas. Those opposing the day take the opportunity to reveal the unpleasant treatment that some European settlers subjected upon the indigenous people, including mass religious conversions and genocide.

    For many in the United States, the celebration been refocused as a celebration of Italian American culture, particularly in areas with a high concentration of people with Italian lineage. This transition officially began in New York in 1866 and San Francisco in 1869, and has spread to Boston and other large cities. This has resulted in Italian-American themed celebrations, parades, and events.

    Some have argued that the responsibility of contemporary governments and their citizens for allegedly ongoing acts of genocide against Native Americans are masked by positive Columbus myths and celebrations.

    It is a day in which we celebrated Christopher Columbus' trip from Spain to Hispaniola, North America in 1492