Friday, December 29, 2006

Now Seeking Advice

The last few months here on this blog have, admittedly, been a little dry. I think I've lost a few readers. I haven't been reading or commenting much on others' blogs, which doesn't exactly help maintain readership either.

But some of you are still out there. And for that, I do thank you.

So, Kirkland, Reston, Herndon, Dublin, Seattle, Dayton, Roanoke, Dallas, Birmingham, Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Danbury, Spartanburg, Franklin, Camden, Norwalk, Cherry Hill, San Diego, and all you Blogliners - I need you. Cuz you are all I've got out here.

I am now seeking advice in the following areas:
1. Food prep:
- looking for a tasty way to fix kale (okay, that was a bad one to start with. I promise they won't all be that hard.)
- looking for a sugar free cake recipe that is moist as well as tasty (the cake, not the recipe.)
- wondering what I have to do to keep the center of the yolk from getting rubbery when I make hard-boiled eggs

2. Technology:
- need a recommendation for a decent (not loaded with bells and whistles, but decent) digital camera that can capture action shots (meaning: it can snap a candid of three wiggly children before the "moment" is lost.)
- need help figuring out what command I am accidentally activating (in my web browser?) whereby I can't use the apostrophe or slash keys without opening up a "search" feature. I use Yahoo! e-mail and my browser is Mozilla Firefox. (Though I think it is Firefox b/c it happens when I am composing both e-mails and blog posts.) If you know what this is, could you also tell me how to UNdo this command?
- wanting to hear more about the merits of Blogger beta (which isn't beta anymore.)
- I want to use "Quick Editing" on my blog, but for some reason, I can't. It is on, it just isn't working. Is it a problem with the code for my blog? My browser?
- can anyone recommend a freeware for photo editing?

3. Health and Hygeine:
- need a product recommendation for dry, itchy scalp that is safe enough to be used on a child.
- need a recommendation for a good aerobic workout DVD. No Denise Austin. No boot camp instructors. Just a good 30-40 minute keep-your-heart-pumping workout that I don't need a degree in dance to accomplish (and is readily available for purchase.)

And that is all I can think of, for now. I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks in advance for making my life a little bit easier.

16 Comments:

Blogger Diane J. said...

I think I can help with the kale and the eggs.

Kale--wash and either tear or cut into manageable pieces. Brown good smoky bacon and drain on paper towels. If you like the bacon cooked in with the greens, crumble and add bacon to the pot or skillet along with the greens. Add a little water, cover and cook till it's done to your taste. Salt and pepper, etc. Add water if needed along the way.

If you like your greens less soggy and wilted, reserve the bacon. Add the greens to the bacon grease and stir, cooking until done to your taste. You can add a little water and cover with a lid for a few minutes if you like. Just before serving, crumble the bacon and scatter over greens. Salt and pepper, etc.

Eggs--Cover with cold water and add tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let set for 15 minutes. Put the pot in the sink and pour off the hot water. Turn on the cold water and cool eggs until you can peel them.

This always makes good boiled eggs, without that funky green line around them, and they're not rubbery.

The salt makes them easier to peel, and the vinegar helps keep the white from blowing out and spreading if one happens to crack in cooking.

Looking over your list, I think that's about all I can really help you with. Sorry...

Happy New Year, Lori!

Fri Dec 29, 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger smhgrace said...

I'm a blogliner. Always enjoy your posts. I don't find them dry at all.
For your kale, don't laugh at this recipe. Kale is really almost an afterthought in it but this THE. BEST. SOUP. EVER. It's a copycat of Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana. You can really stretch the recipe by increasing the potatoes and the kale, which I do often since this is such a hit with my family.
http://www.tuscanrecipes.com/recipes/olive-garden-zuppa-toscana.html
Eggs: one of the best investments I ever made was in an egg cooker. It really does work. I get almost no breakage. The eggs are always just right. I know-it's an expense but you really will get your money's worth, even if you just use it at Easter :)
Camera--I have a Nikon Cool Pix that was around $150. It has about eight pre-programmed settings, including action shots and video. I am a die hard film camera lover but I have enjoyed the convenience of the digital for "everyday" pic's.
Workout video: This one will be hard to find, probably, but it was one I really liked. You could adjust the intensity to your level.
http://www.amazon.com/Start-Up-Jane-Fonda/dp/B00021O6O8/ref=pd_sim_v_5/002-9770143-1302444
You might want to check your local library and try some out. Or check out the ones on tv, maybe record one you like.
Well, that's all I have for you :) Hope some of it helps!
God Bless!

Fri Dec 29, 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Arrgh! I just typed this long ol comment and lost it. I'll redo it later. It's past my bedtime now.

Fri Dec 29, 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous sarahgrace said...

Okay...I can't help you with the food prep stuff...honestly, I have never tried kale, I don't even know what it looks like!

However, a good camera to catch action shot's before the moment is gone- You need a digital camera that has SLR (single lense reflex), that means in understandable terms, that the camera will snap the picture when you push the button, not two seconds later! I recommend and use a Nikon D50, which I absolutely love. It's a little pricey, but it is easy to use, and if you feel like getting into all the bells and whistles you can.

For a workout DVD...there are usually a good selection of $10-$14 ones at Wal-Mart or Target that seem to be pretty do-able, just choose one with basic stuff like crunches and cardio.

Hope that helps at all!

Sat Dec 30, 12:01:00 AM  
Anonymous mom a said...

This is my second try at getting a comment in on this entry; why do my comments keep disolving in cyberspace? How about kale soup with a hambone and some white beans or diced potatoes. I'm going to try it since I did a ham this Christmas; I'll let you know and, if I can remember, I'll even let you know the order I added ingredients and approximate cookng times.

Sat Dec 30, 02:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Oh wow. Advice. I LOVE giving advice. Let's see:

Kale--I use it in salad mixes, make wilted lettuce with it (fry some bacan, add vinegar then add th ekale. It will get all squishy, but tastes pretty good.)

For sugar free cake check here: Cooks.com . The cakes with applesauce are very moist. Banana also makes for a moist cake. I often use splenda when making our cakes and add a little extra water/milk to the recipe. (My kids and I have to keep sugar to a minimum and we use LOTS of low sugar recipes.) Splenda also has a great site full of recipes. Generally I just use a regular recipe, change 3/4 of the sugar to Splenda and add a little extra moisture.

Hubby got me a Ganon Power shot which does pretty well for action shots, as long as there is decent light.

You probably have sticky alt/shift/ or ctrl key, or a stuck mouse button. Hit each of them several times and see if the problem goes away. My shift key sticks and I end up in all caps occasionally plus all kinds of other Firefox extras popping up. I can't remember which key does which but that is likely your problem.

For free image editing I recommend Picasa for basic stuff, and Gimp for the extras. Picasa is simple and easy to learn, gimp takes more work to get but is very effective--much like Adobe.

For the dry itchy child scalp--Gentle Natural's Eczema cleanser is awesome.

As far as teh DVD goes I like Jazzercise but then I spent years in dance so I am not sure that would be good.

Sat Dec 30, 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Cup-a-Joe said...

Technology is wonderful... when it works.

Rather than bore you with details about cameras (however much I want to) I will simply say that to catch one, two, three, or more squirmy children you need a camera with what I "rapid fire."

Rapid fire is when you change one setting and then press the button and it takes pictures until it runs out of processer power and has to pause. I discovered it on our Fuji camera and it is all I will use to capture the 'quick-like-mongoose' little cup-a-baby on digital film.

This is a feature on almost all new digital cameras, so just make the salesperson prove that it can do it and show you how. If it seems too dificult to do on your own, make them show you another camera.

On the subject of buying a camera, come prepared with what quality you want, or they will talk you into a much fancier version than you need. I cornered the salesperson and made him admit that you don't need anything larger than a 3-4 megapixel camera unless you are printing posters!!

Sat Dec 30, 02:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Cup-a-Joe said...

By-the-way,

On the browser thing...

I think Heather nailed it on the head. I know firefox pretty well, and I can tell you that there is no shortcut that turns off the apostrophe and slash keys. To verify, try using Internet Explorer, or Netscape and see if you have the same problem at the same time, or compose your posts on a word processing program. If it is the keyboard, you will have the same problems sooner or later.

Oh also, any camera will come bundled with some sort of lightweight digital editing software. If you want a heavy duty version, you can always go and learn Adobe's Photoshop... in a year or two!

Sat Dec 30, 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger ShaggaBear said...

I have a Kodak Easy Share digital camera. We love it. And like the name suggests, it's easy!! And it comes with software you can use to crop, get rid of red-eye, etc. You just can't use it to make it look like you're on the Great Wall or anything like that. For that you need PhotoShop.

We also use a free download called IrfanView to crop and re-size pictures for my blog. Hubby says it isn't the most intuitive tool, but it is simple and free.

For workout videos, try www.CollageVideo.com They have hundreds of work-out videos and they give reviews and details about the intensity and type of workout on all of them. Every video they have has been done by their employees so they can tell you if it is good or not, etc. It is a very helpful site.

Hope this helps!

Mon Jan 01, 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Becky said...

Thought I chime in on a "work out" video. Leslie Sansone puts out "walking" exercise video. I have her 1 mile, 2 mile, and 3 mile ones. They are really good. She is a Christian too. She has about 4 different steps she will do with you and before you know it, you have walked (or stepped) 1 - 3 miles right in your own living room. I don't like to exercise, but these tapes are pretty fun.

Tue Jan 02, 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I can't help in any of those except the NOT blogger beta. I really like it. I was afraid to switch, just because. But you would like it, I promise. It has tags (which I don't use yet) and moving your template around is much easier!

Tue Jan 02, 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Still here. Still reading. And I was going to tell you the secret to perfect boiled eggs buy my friend Diane beat me to it.

Tue Jan 02, 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Shalee said...

Ummm, Can't help you with kale because I don't even know what it is.

The eggs: not sure. Most the time I slather my eggs with mayo, mustard and relish, so the green tent never bothers me.

Camera: I'm using a very old hand-me-down camera. I'm no help there.

Beta blogger: Won't let me switch when I tried. Hmph. Maybe it didn't want to deal with all my pictures and junk. It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Exercise Video: I suggest the library first to find a program you like.

That's it. Basically I've got nothing for you except this: I like coming here and knowing that you're real, you're you. You're charming that way.

Thu Jan 04, 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

In the last couple of months, I haven't been reading many blogs on a daily basis, but I like catching up.

I skimmed the comments. I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but I recently started my daughter on Head and Shoulders. Her scalp was very flaky, and this works great. I buy the Fresh Scent, which smells really great. She was probably 7 when we started, and she hasn't complained (about that specifically--she still complains about having her hair washed), and her hair hasn't fallen out. . . .

Thu Jan 04, 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

I would highly recommend Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVDs, as well! They are perfect for beginners, low impact, plus still give you a great workout! She even adds in some weights - good stuff!

Sat Jan 06, 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

If you are still interested, the secret to non-bitter, non-chewy kale is to blanch it for 3 minutes in boiling water, then drain it and 'shock' it in cold water. Drain it again. At this point you can either: saute it with some garlic, butter, and salt; or roast it at 425 for about 5 minutes, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

If you like, I'll email you a good sugar free cake recipe. Just let me know.

Mon Apr 02, 09:48:00 AM  

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