Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

May you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

or Happy Turkey Day!

Rice Pot Mama

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Tips - Amazon Lightening Deals

Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day. 

Today's Deals.

New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

With Black Friday approaching I'll be joining the throngs shopping for Christmas. Though I choose to not be jostled by the crowds and will instead be fighting it out online. One of my favorite online retailers to shop is Amazon. Their Lightening Deals in particular are typically awesome. In fact, Jim just bought me my birthday present with one of these deals yesterday (an awesome coral colored hybrid commuter bike. Love it!) For each deal there are a limited number of items available so you have to act fast. Here are some tips I've learned from winning and losing some deals:
  1. Check out the deals in advance by going to the Deals page.
  2. When you find a deal you are interested in pursuing, note the time the deal is going to start. Be sure to be back on the page 10 minutes before the deal goes live.
  3. As soon as the time for the deal starts (to the second if possible), click on "add to cart" from the Lightening Deal page. If you were quick enough to get the deal added to your cart be sure to complete your transaction. If you are waffling whether or not you want the deal, go to your cart and click on the item. A new page with the item details will appear, it will have a countdown clock for how long the item will stay in your cart (typically 15 minutes).
  4. If you miss the item, don't despair! From the Lightening Deal page click on "Join Waitlist" for that item. If someone doesn't complete the purchase of the item within the allotted time it will be returned to the Lightening Deals for purchase. When you join the waitlist a pop up window will tell you that you have been added to the list and what number you are on the waitlist. Be sure to stay on main deal page, should the item become available a new pop up window will tell you that you can now add the item to your cart. Note, you will only have 2 minutes to add it to your cart before the window disappears.
Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chalkboard Labels

In my forever effort to try to organize I made chalkboard labels for canisters in our pantry this week. They were so simple and fun I am trying to come up with of other things I can label!

First I found some sample labels online in a shape I liked and printed them out. This was the trickiest part of the whole process. There are so many samples in so many shapes it was hard to choose!

I cut one label out, covered the back with painters tape to stiffen it to use as a stencil then cut out the label.

Next I took a piece of contact paper and...

sprayed it with black chalkboard paint.

Once it was dry I took my stencil and traced the shape on the back of the contact paper.

I cut the label out, peeled the backing off and stuck it on the canisters.

Instead of chalk I used chalk markers. The look is clean and everything is clearly labeled. I love it!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sweet Cheeks

We got to babysit this sweet little guy last night. He is so cuddly and has that sweet baby smell. He made me almost want to have another baby. Instead I think I'll just persuade his mama to leave him with me every so often so I can get my baby fix!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Tips - Sprinkling Powdered Sugar

Cakes that call for a dusting of powdered sugar are always so beautiful. They make me think of snow. Actually dusting a cake, however, can be a mess. Somehow the sifter always seems to sift more onto the counter than onto the cake.

A couple of years ago I was making a cake and making a cup of tea for myself when the brilliant thought of using the tea strainer as a sifter hit me. It works like a clamp and picks up the powdered sugar, contains it to the strainer and makes very little mess.
Best of all it makes a perfectly even dusting without any lumps.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


On Friday we went with Nate's preschool to visit the Canby Fire Department. The firefighters were sweet and let the kids crawl all over them. They literally let them crawl over them. See the young fireman with the big mustache? He suited up in all of the fire gear and crawled on the floor with the kids crawling on him, patting his back and tapping on his face mask. He's got to either love kids or have more patience than I ever would!

They got to tour the fire engines, an ambulance and the fire station. Nate was sad to note that the fire station was only one level so there was no pole for the firemen to slide down.

Gabs even participated and practiced "Stay low and go" if there is smoke. What a fun field trip!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Tips - Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are one of the creatures of the world where I am sure there is a point for them but I can't see it. I can't stand the pesky pests. Jim's cousin Kathy taught me this quick and easy trick to capture and kill those nuisances. Take a glass and put some wine in it. Nothing expensive. Cheap and sweet is best. Cover the glass tightly with plastic wrap and poke several holes through the top. The fruit flies will figure out how to get into the glass but then are trapped.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a food that was a luxury when I was growing up. Our family friend Myrt would make it for us a couple of times each Summer. The chicken sizzling in her electric skillet was always so tantalizing. I loved to sneak bits of fried "grits" out of the hot oil to eat. I never got her recipe for chicken so decided to make my own based on what I remembered. The end result tasted similar to her chicken but lacked the perfection that years of experience brought to her chicken. This is a good start and I think I'll keep tweaking the recipe until it seems just right.

Start by soaking the chicken in buttermilk and hot sauce for 24 hours or overnight. Mix the flour with cayenne and salt. Drain the chicken then dredge through the flour mixture.

Gently place the chicken in the piping hot skillet with oil. Cook for about 12 minutes per side or until done. Place chicken on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease.

Isn't that skin gorgeous? Nate ate two whole pieces of chicken and Gabby the skin of two pieces! It was sure tasty but I think I'll keep working on it until I can get it closer to Myrt's. If I have success I will post the updated recipe.
Fried Chicken

1 (3 pound) fryer or 6 bone-in skin-on thighs
2 c. buttermilk
2 T. hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2 cups canola oil
Refrigerate chicken overnight (at least 8 hours and up to two days) in mixture of buttermilk with hot sauce. (I've heard you can substitute plain yogurt instead of buttermilk but have yet to try this.)
Drain the chicken. In a large plastic bag, mix flour with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces in bag with flour and shake until thoroughly coated. 
Heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium high heat. To test if the oil is ready take a pinch of flour and drop it into the pan. If it immediately sizzles when dropped in the oil is ready. Add chicken to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry for another 10-12 minutes, again until golden brown. 
Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ninja Training

In September Nate started Taekwondo. He thinks he's really training to be a Ninja. Or a Jedi. It's the perfect activity for a boy; he gets to yell, run, kick, and compete to his hearts content and it is all encouraged.

Though it isn't just an outlet for energy, he is also learning discipline and respect. Unlike some dojos he had to earn his first belt, the white belt. For a week he had to complete 8 homework assignments a day; make his bed, brush his teeth, share well with his sister, etc. Then before he could receive the belt he had to answer before the entire class how he respects his parents, teacher and himself. The concepts are probably a bit over his head but I love the strong principals of the sport.