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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

McCormick Consumer Testing

   I have been a member of the McCormick Consumer Testing program for several years.  The company sends you a survey occasionally to fill out, generally over their spices and you just give them your opinion.  They often send out samples of new spices they want you to try out also.  I enjoy it because I love trying out new products and they don't overwhelm you with a ton of emails or surveys.  You may get one a month at the most.  Often, they have mini contests and you can win Amazon gift cards and nice prizes.  Last year I won an Apple Ipad Air 2 from them.  I was ecstatic!

McCormick Consumer Testing, samples program,

    If you would like to join, they currently are accepting new members.  Just click on the link McCormick Consumer Testing and please enter my name (Melody Gravitt) where they ask you "How did you hear about us?".

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the program as much as I do.  :-)

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ham Sliders

    Ham sliders is one of my family's favorite snacks.  Any time they can find a reason to celebrate, they request ham sliders as a celebratory snack.  They are a little messy but so worth the mess.

Ham sliders, party food,

Ham Sliders

 one package of hot rolls
1 T. brown mustard
2 sticks of butter
1 envelope ranch dip
sliced ham deli meat
mozzarella shredded cheese

   Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Take the hot rolls and slice each roll in half.

Ham sliders, party food,




   Take the bottom halves of the rolls and place in a 9"x13" cake pan.  Then take the ham and add some to each roll and sprinkle on some cheese.  After they all are loaded up, put the top of the rolls on top.

Ham sliders, party food,




   In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, the melted butter, and the envelope of dry ranch dip.  Stir well and then pour over the top of all the rolls.  Be sure to saturate them good. 


Ham sliders, party food,



   Then cover with foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes.  

   These taste AMAZING! 

Some really good appetizers that I have shared the recipe for include:  PICKLE Sushi & Mocha Tartlets!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eggs from efowl

   We have teamed up with efowl to review their whole process of sending out eggs.  They sent us out 20 fertlie eggs.  They mailed them out and I got them 2 days later.  We received 6 Welsummer eggs, 6 Barred Plymouth Rock eggs, 6 New Hampshire red eggs, and 2 Buff Orpington eggs.  I have ordered eggs in the past from other companies and by far, the packaging of the eggs received by efowl is the best by far. 

efowl, hatch rates of chickens, fertile eggs, online ordering off eggs
The box was taped up well and had stickers on all sides stating "Fragile".

efowl, hatch rates of chickens, fertile eggs, online ordering off eggs
There was sufficient packing material in the box. 

efowl, hatch rates of chickens, fertile eggs, online ordering off eggs
The foam was specifically made to hold the eggs securely. 

efowl, hatch rates of chickens, fertile eggs, online ordering off eggs
Aren't they pretty?!

    Each egg was packed nice and tight and were perfect upon arrival.  After closely inspecting each one, I placed them in my incubator.   That was on the 3rd of April.  I candled the eggs yesterday and all 20 are still alive and progressing nicely.

    The ordering process is wonderful.  I received an email once I placed my order letting me know that the order had been placed.  I got follow up emails about shipping and the whole process.  All representatives that I dealt with were very courteous and knowledgeable.  

  Efowl guarantees their eggs and poultry that they mail out.  In regards to eggs, they guarantee that all eggs will arrive to you safely and you'll get what you ordered.  They also guarantee 80% off the eggs will be alive and fertile at the first candling which is quite generous.  Right now we have a 100% but that does not guarantee they all will hatch.  No one can expect every single egg to hatch.  That is just unrealistic.  Even hatching eggs off of our own farm, we cannot expect every single egg to hatch. 
    I have been very pleased with the whole experience thus far and will update in a week or so when they begin to hatch.  If you are looking into buying fertile eggs, please look at efowl first, they are very reputable and stand by what they sell. 

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dehydrating Peeps

    One of the things I like to do the day after Easter is go to the stores and buy up a bunch of the Easter peeps on clearance.  I really don't like the taste of peeps but once they are dehydrated, they are delicious!


Easter peeps, how to dehydrate, dehydrating Peeps, unusual things to dehydrate


    Just place in your dehydrator and turn it on.  We kept them in for about 10 hours and removed them.  At first the outside is crunchy and the inside is "mushy" but give them about 15 minutes and they become crunchy throughout.  The whole taste changes and they are super delicious this way.


Other interesting things I dehydrate include Watermelon & Making your Own Sun Dried Tomatoes!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Saving Money: Shaving Ham

     This past week, I seen cooked ham on sale for Easter.  I took the opportunity to pick up one and decided to get down our meat grinder (that I picked up at a yard sale for $3) and decided to shave it down for lunch meat.

    The first thing I did was cut off the ends.  I placed them in a baggie and put them into the freezer.  This winter if I'm making a pot of beans, these ends will go into the pot also to flavor them up.  No wasting at this house!

   Next, I set the blade and just began shaving down the ham.

saving money, shaving your own ham, frugal kitchen tips

   When all was said and done, we had 2 3/4 lbs. of shaved hams and a few thick slices for my hubby to fry up for his breakfast.  Not bad, huh?

saving money, shaving your own ham, frugal kitchen tips

    And once your ham is shaved, you should try making Ham Sliders.  So good!

Other ways I save money is by making my own Air Freshener and be sure to read the post on how our family of 4 live off of $1300 a month!


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cozyna Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder Review


Cozyna Coffee grinder, manual coffee grinders
  

     This Cozyna manual burr coffee grinder was easy to put together and a joy to use.  I haven't had freshly ground coffee in about 10 years and had forgotten how remarkable it really was.  It is a HUGE difference than the stuff you get out of a can (no matter the brand).


     The aroma was amazing and the taste was fantastic.  The manual grinder was easy enough to crank, even for me.  I suffer from MS (multiple sclerosis) and I don't have that much strength left in my hands but I was able to grind the coffee with little effort.  My husband also had no problem with taking it apart and cleaning the grinder.


    The grinder is adjustable so you can decide if you want it ground extra fine or left coarse.  If you are in the market for a nice coffee grinder, this is one for you to consider.


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