Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day: Saturday Morning Recap

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I have an Irish heritage, as I am sure many of you do.  Even if you aren't Irish, feel free to celebrate with the rest of us with some hearty Irish food.  Here are a couple of recipes you may enjoy.

Irish Stew
Champ (Mashed Potatoes)

Reconnect... with Social Media
Many of us have used at least one if not more social networking sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc) on a regular basis.  If you've used one or more of these sites, you know how addicting they can be and how tempted it is to be constantly connected.  I mentioned this morning that I found a really great idea on how to use the sites but as a fun way to spend more time with our family and friends.
Pinterest Potluck:  If you are always pinning recipes to Pinterest, but never actually trying them.  Have a Pinterest Potluck and invite your family and friends to bring their favorite Pinterest Inspired Dish.  Not a cook?  Crafty instead? Have a Pinterest or Etsy inspired craft night with a few of your closest friends.
Facebook Fundraiser: Facebook is great for organizing events and fundraisers.  Have a clothing swap, a food tasting, or a fundraiser for your favorite non-profit.
Twitter Topics:  If you love a great conversation, use Twitter as a topic generator.  The next time you and your pals are together ask them about what interesting topics they've found while tweeting and discuss them together.
Hulu, Netflix, & Youtube:  Instead of keeping all of your great movie finds to yourself, have a monthly movie party with your friends and family.
Amazon & GoodReads: If you love reading and are always looking for new finds, start a book club.  Instead of always browsing online, visit local bookstores or even better used bookstores.  It will be more of an adventure.

Fooducate App:
I mentioned this morning that I came across an app that is suppose to help you make healthier choices at the grocery store.  If you’re making an effort to eat healthier, the new app Fooducate can come in handy.  We all know that not all foods that are marketed as being healthy are actually not good for us at all. Here's how it works, use the camera on your phone to scan a product’s UPC code from within the app. (I've not been able to get this part to work so far.) If that item is in their database it will open up a report on the product complete with a letter grade for how healthy it is. It will also give you consumer reviews and information on specific ingredients.  This app is available to both Apple and Android users or you can use online.  I tried it out on my Android yesterday, and I'm having a bit of trouble scanning items with the camera.  This could be an issue with my phone.  Let me know if you try this out.  I think it could be a very nice app addition.

Foods & Shelf Lives:
If you are planning some Spring Cleaning, don't forget your pantry.  I'm not the best at keeping up with the shelf life of everything in my pantry.  So here's the run down on how long you are actually suppose to keep your supplies.  PS... these times refer to unopened products.

Baking powder and soda: 1 year
Cake, frosting, and cookie mixes: 1 year
Canned meats, vegetables, fruits, soups, milks, gravies: 1 year (unopened); refrigerate after opening and use promptly
Cereals: 6 months
Chocolate (chips and baking): 1 year
Coffee: 1 year; refrigerate after opening
Flour: 1 year
Frosting (canned): 8 months
Fruit (dried): 6 months
Gelatin (unflavored): 18 months
Herbs and spices (ground) : 1 year; keep in a cool place; refrigerate red spices such as paprika
Honey, molasses, syrups: 1 year
Jelly and jam: 1 year; refrigerate after opening
Milk (nonfat dry): 6 months
Oils: 3 months; refrigerate if not using promptly after opening
Packaged crackers, cookies, bread crumbs: 2 to 4 months
Pancake and piecrust mixes: 6 months
Pasta and macaroni: 1 year; store airtight after opening
Peanut butter: 6 months
Pickles and olives: 1 year; refrigerate after opening
Puddings and gelatin mixes: 6 months
Rice (white): 2 years
Root vegetables such as white and sweet potatoes, onions, squash: 1 week at room temperature; store with plenty of air circulation in a dry, dark place
Shortening (solid): 8 months
Spices (whole): 1 year
Sugar (granulated): 2 years
Tea (instant): 1 year
Tea (loose and bags): 6 months
Vinegars: 1 year
Yeast (active dry): follow package date; for longer shelf date, refrigerate

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