Time to Soup Up
There’s just something about this season that brings out the cravings for a warm spoonful of yumminess. To satisfy your appetite for steaming sensations, why not build your soup-making skills with these three delicious varieties:
Garden Minestrone: This classic Italian loaded with vegetables such as tomatoes, corn, peeled acorn squash, carrots and Swiss chard. Typically, a pot of garden minestrone is made with pasta for a hearty addition.
French Onion Soup: This simple soup is made with onions, broth, salt, butter, Parmesan cheese and a crusty slice of French bread on top.
Butternut Squash: This rich, creamy soup includes a medium butternut squash, two medium potatoes, a medium carrot, a stalk of celery, a small onion, two tablespoons of butter and low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth.
Lit candles add flattering lighting and sweet scents to winter evenings, but an unfortunate wax spill is almost guaranteed at some point during the season:
To remove clumps of dried wax on hard surfaces like tabletops or wood floors, use a hair dryer to reheat the wax. Then wipe it away with a paper towel or disposable rag. Use a spray cleaner to remove residue.
For softer surfaces like carpet or upholstery, simply place a paper towel over the dried wax, then a cloth towel over the paper towel. Use a hot iron to run over the cloth towel and let the paper towel absorb the wax.
Five Tips to Save Money Each Week
Setting aside money for savings can seem so impossible it’s like pushing a boulder up a steep hill. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. Get started with these quick tips:
• Enroll in a retirement savings program. This is an ideal way to save money, because programs such as a 401(k) remove money from paychecks before taxes. In addition, many employers match 401(k) contributions up to a certain level, meaning you get “free” money you’d otherwise skip.
• Cook and prepare your own meals. Instead of buying a muffin or bagel each morning on the go, buy them in bulk at the grocery store and spare the few minutes of preparation for a lot of savings in the long run. Also, make your lunch at home and take it with you.
• Drink lots of water. Drinking recommended amounts of water actually can decrease hunger, saving on the cost of cravings for pricey mid-afternoon snacks.
• Avoid hidden fees. If your credit card or bank accounts have minimum balance requirements, know what the minimum is and keep enough in the account to avoid the charges.
• Use only ATMs from your actual bank. Are you paying double the fees to access your own money? Stop now.
At the start of the heating season, a homeowner took the inspection cover off his gas furnace and saw rust inside the cabinet. The furnace was working fine, and he was comfortable in the home. From that perspective, there was nothing wrong. But should that rust really be there?
Sure, it could be normal signs of an aging system – or perhaps something worse. If it’s a rusty heat exchanger, that’s a sign of a problem. If the heat exchanger has leaks or cracks, that could allow carbon monoxide to leak.
A professional contractor can take a look and make your seasonal tune up both energy-saving and life-saving.