Monday, April 28, 2014

The Frugal Kitchen: Crockpot Cashew Chicken

A flavorful Chinese dinner that can be prepared in advance, then cooked in the crockpot.


2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
3-4 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce or Bragg's Aminos
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar or more to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews

Combine flour and pepper and use to coat chicken pieces.  Heat skillet to medium high.  Brown chicken in hot oil on both sides.  Place chicken in crockpot.  Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in a bowl; pour over chicken.  Add chicken broth or water until liquid is at least halfway up the sides of the chicken.  Cook on low for at least 4 hours.  Add more liquid if needed.  Serve over rice with green onion slices or cilantro for garnish.

Enjoy!  This should serve four people.

God bless,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Good Reads: Whack Job

Whack JobWhack Job by Kendel Lynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Whack Job is the second book in the Elliot Lisbon mystery series. It is a well written and edited novel.

El is tasked with another "discreet Inquiry" through her job as director of the Ballantine foundation. She is supposed to help one of their donors find a Faberge egg that his estranged wife has stolen during a contentious divorce. When that wife shows up dead El finds herself investigating a murder.

This was a fast paced and interesting novel, but there was too much happening at once. At times it felt chaotic.

The love triangle between El, Nick and Matty had sort of pooped out in this novel. Neither man seemed particularly interested in her and there were definitely no sparks flying.

Overall this was a fun read with a HEA. It can be read as a stand alone, but I would suggest reading Board Stiff first.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Frugal Home: Termite Treatment

After having a great deal of construction work done on our house we had a week of enjoying the results, then a wood cabinet in the garage collapsed.  A week after that we had a large swarm of termites in the garage and a smaller swarm in a hallway.

Termites were swarming out of the electrical socket

My pest control company came out to do an inspection.  Once again we have subterranean termites.  They had weakened the wood cabinet that collapsed and had started in on the other cabinet in the garage.

Partially eaten wood shelf

The termites had entered the house in two different ways.  In the garage they entered through an expansion joint in the concrete foundation and in the hallway they entered through the gap in the foundation that allows the water pipes to enter the house.

The pest control company treated the perimeter of the house with Thermidor and pumped it into the ground via holes drilled through the foundation at the points of  infestation.  They also drilled into the wall in the hallway to pump Thermidor foam into the wall.  They patched the holes in the wall and concrete so well I can't see any sign of their work.

The worst damage to the shelves was where cardboard boxes or paper were touching the wood.  Apparently, termites love soft food made from wood paste.  The pest control company suggested storing everything in well sealed plastic containers and using metal shelving.

We used a pest control company, but you can treat your house against termites yourself.  Thermidor can be purchased from Do My Own Pest Control.  They also have good information on termites, pests and the correct method to apply the Thermidor.

So, Lord willing, we are back to normal and I hope to have a quiet spring and summer before I have to deal with more home improvement.

God bless,