Posted on January 10, 2011 by therunninggarlic
Grains are delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare and should be included in your daily diet. Grains provide nutrients which are essential for optimal health and well-being. Researching grains on the internet I came across two sites that offer a very nice guide along with some great pictures of the different grains that exist. Culinate has a picture perfect whole-grain glossary with a nice description of each grain and FoodFit also offers a nice Grains Guide with recipes for each grain. Do take some time and browse these sites if you are curious about grains and incorporating more of them into your daily cooking routine.
Most of us are aware of the common grains such as oats, wheat and barley – these along with many others, are easy to grow in your garden. Easy to grow but not very practical if you are looking to supply your pantry for the coming year. I have experimented and grew several new and different grains, millet, amaranth and buckwheat. You will have a harvest if you tend to them regularly, but unless you plant acres and acres … your harvest will be minimal. The millet and amaranth are tiny seeds and plentiful on the plant, whereas, the buckwheat is a bigger grain and my purpose for growing was as a companion crop. They are beneficial in attracting good insects to your garden and offer nutrients for the soil.
With the New Year still ringing in our ears, the healthy eating resolution is still within plain sight. I recently purchased the cookbook, Whole Grain Recipes, by Jean Pare and it has some outstanding recipes to try. Tonight I decided to bake up the Vegetable Barley Manicotti and love the idea of using barley … and it is rather easy to put together.
Complete recipe posted at Vegetable Barley Manicotti – Mixing Bowl — Enjoy and Be Healthy!!!
Filed under: cooking, food, Healthy Living, Post a Day 2011, Recipes | Tagged: cooking with grains, grains, healthy eating, post a day, postaday2011, vegetable manicotti | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 9, 2011 by therunninggarlic
Standing out in a crowd is usually something we don’t strive to do; most times, we just want to blend in and go with the flow. This is fine when standing in line at the bank or sitting in the audience at a movie theater, but not so when running a small business. These days the internet is saturated with business sites, small and large, and standing out in a crowd is a necessity. A small business not only has to grab our attention but also give us reason to return to their site. Our initial contacts over the internet are quick and if our interest is peaked, we will bookmark the site for further research. If this doesn’t happen the site is usually lost in the vast world of the internet.
If we have a name or logo that is easily remembered chances are we can be found again without much effort. A simple, yet unique name along with repetition, will up the odds of our business site being found again. Repetition is key. The more an individual sees or hears your business name the more likely they will be to search you out and make sure to add you to their bookmarks. Make it a point then to become involved in groups and forums, giveaways (have one yourself), challenges such as the Post a Day 2011 currently underway by WordPress, comment on blogs and fan pages and make sure you are real. Don’t just zip through a list of blogs and leave the same comment. Find blogs that interest you and be honest when leaving feedback and remember to stay positive.
Along the lines of a giveaway, you can also offer tips and advice in your field of expertise either as a page on your blog or website or offer to mail a free booklet along with an order or have a downloadable version available. Make it easy to obtain with no requirements or hoops they have to jump through to get the information. I see quite a few individuals using the free ebook format and as you read on you get more and more but you have to do more or pay more. For me that approach doesn’t work and I usually leave the site never to return.
I spotted this article on Twitter this past week and found it loaded with great tips and valuable advice… Creating An Irresistible Brand.
Participating in the WordPress Post a Day 2011 Challenge!
Filed under: Post a Day 2011, Small Business | Tagged: business tips, post a day, postaday2011, small business | 5 Comments »
Posted on January 5, 2011 by therunninggarlic
As I headed out on my walk yesterday, I grabbed my camera remembering my topic for the Post A Day Challenge for Wednesday is Pictures. As I started down the cold and barren trail, I dwelled on the fact that I wasn’t going to find any pretty flowers or singing birds on this frozen tundra of a path I am so familiar with. So why did I choose to take the camera in the first place? I could have taken pretty pictures of anything – something with color, something with shine …
I walked …….. and started to click the camera; hoping for that magical deer to appear or for that cute bunny to hop on by.
Were others out searching as well?
Were they searching – like me - for the beauty in nature? Were we searching so hard we missed the obvious? You be the judge.
Participating in the WordPress Post a Day 2011 Challenge!
Filed under: Nature, Pictures, Post a Day 2011 | Tagged: Nature, pics, pictures, post a day, postaday2011 | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 4, 2011 by therunninggarlic
My passion for gardening began long ago when I was young. Memories of planning and planting a garden still ring fresh in my mind – my garden at the back end of the yard I grew up in, the garden in my first home, the HUGE garden in our second home and all my garden adventures since. The last few years I have been experimenting more with different varieties and different methods not only out of my own curiousity but it seems more and more people are realizing the importance of gardening in our daily lives. Harvesting food for our table, sharing with others our plentiful bounty and teaching others the knowledge we acquire along the way are real benefits that can motivate us to learn more and do more! There are also the unspoken benefits of the satisfaction we find in carrying on as our ancestors did by learning basic survival skills such as planting that one seed and harvesting a crop of lettuce throughout the spring season or canning up our tomatoes and relishing in the garden taste during those long winter months.
With the whirlwind of activity and pressures of our society the basics of simple gardening are almost forgotten. Even at times the gardening world themselves put on the pressure to have the best looking tomato or the best weedfree garden on the block. It can be intimidating at times especially for those who have never gardened before since seeds don’t always sprout as we hoped and plants don’t always produce as we planned. There is no competition in growing your own garden – what works for one may not for another, what brings a smile and peace to you may not be the same for your neighbor.
My passion for gardening is an inner drive that brings me contentment and a closer understanding of the works of Mother Nature and all her wonders.
This past garden season I participated in the GROW project created by MrBrownThumb which connected garden bloggers across the country by comparing their growing progress with the same planted seed – the Nasturtium. It was very interesting and enabled us to visit different places and meet other gardeners. As a spinoff, I suggested that gardeners not only grow but also cook what they grow and share that with each other and others across the internet. With that idea in mind I set up a blog and named it Garden Dish, a Flickr group to share pictures and a group at MixingBowl where we can easily add recipes to share.
Although I set up all this a few months back, I was working on the Garden Dish blog recently trying to find the WordPress theme that would make this an easy interactive project for all of us. The current theme follows the Twitter pattern and may or may not work (inserting links was confusing). Feel free to add something to any of the above sites; recipes, pictures, links.
Any and all suggestions on a theme or an easy way to share our recipes created from the garden?
Filed under: Garden Dish project, Gardening, GROW project, Post a Day 2011 | Tagged: Garden Dish, Gardening, post a day, postaday2011, recipe sharing | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 3, 2011 by therunninggarlic
Good Monday Morning! Let’s start the first week of the New Year with my Monday topic pick which is “Food”! You would think I had enough food over the holidays, especially sweets, to tide me over for at least a month…but nooooo. I was going to start with the healthy route since I am a huge fan of eating healthy except for the fact that I had these two recipes which I never “got to” over the holidays – so I baked them up yesterday.
Cranberry Orange Biscotti
Lemon Lavender Cookies
I have to mention once again Chef Paul over at The Pantry Blogger and the fantastic giveaway he held recently which I won! I used several of the great goodies making the above cookies and I am now blessed to have a food grater that I can successfully use without grating my fingers!
My fingers will be forever grateful (nice play on words….I know, I know…corny!)
Thank you and I look forward to many more of Chef Paul’s wonderful recipes in the coming year!
Over the holiday season I discovered The Spice House which is right in my own neck of the woods. I was searching on the internet for orris root to use in the potpourri I am making and found them listed.
I found the shop stocked with all types of herbs and spices, gift sets and even recipes – the above Lemon Lavender Cookies I picked up from them. I received personal attention as each purchase I made was taken from the jar and bottled up for me. I can’t wait to head on back there!
I can honestly say that since I have been baking with the fresh chicken eggs there is a definite difference in taste. The chicks are still laying eggs even in this brutal cold weather but not as many as during the warmer months.
I must also mention a spectacular email I received yesterday from Sea Willow Herbs informing me that I had won their giveaway! Thank YOU Jennifer …… I await my gifts with much excitement!! I am feeling quite fortunate and happy as I bring in the Year 2011 ….
Filed under: Baking, food, Herbs, Post a Day 2011 | Tagged: Baking, biscotti, food, herbs, post a day, postaday2011 | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 2, 2011 by therunninggarlic
I created a page Post a Day Challenge on my blog and a tab appears above. This is a breakdown of the topics I will be posting about each day of the week. I also created a Facebook group for those of us participating so we can share our posts with each other via Facebook. Others can join us in our daily or weekly challenge and I am sure we will meet some great fellow bloggers and learn some fun new things along the way!
Today (according to my daily breakdown for Sunday) the topic is “small business”. I am no expert on small business but I do have some experience in this area since we have owned a small business in the restaurant industry for almost 15 years now. We came to a point along the way where we made the decision to stay small instead of expanding and we do hope to retire in the next few years. I have also dabbled in a few direct selling lines, real estate and most recently have opened an online shop at Zibbet selling some of my handmade creations.
I am always on the lookout for social sites to network with others and I love the concept of marketing. At the end of the year and beginning of a new year alot of companies will create recaps of “the best of the year” and this is a Great resource to find a list of small business sites that come highly recommended. Here are a few small business sites that offer wonderful advice and tips for those interested in learning more about small business or who already run a small business of their own.
Inc.com Entrepreneur.com SmallBizTrends.com Mashable.com
Business Done Now has a great writeup and video on Social media websites for 2011 to keep on eye on … it’s worth checking out!
There is a wealth of information at each of these sites and you may spend many hours reading and learning. If you are thinking about starting a blog for your small business, I highly recommend WordPress . I have created several blogs over the years and find WordPress to have that sophisticated look I want for my writing and sharing. Earlier today I posted a recap of my blog stats they emailed to me so I can see how I did and this is just one of the great ways they motivate and stay connected with their users. Give WordPress a try; definitely a great business tool!
Filed under: blogging, Post a Day 2011, Small Business | Tagged: blogging, post a day, postaday2011, small business | 7 Comments »
Posted on January 1, 2011 by therunninggarlic
Back and forth – measuring the pros and cons – the time involved and the rewards ….. and what did I decide? I’ll do IT! WordPress has initiated the Daily Post where those who choose to participate will create and publish a post for their blogs on a daily basis. There is the option also to post once a week but since I more or less do that already I decided to go with the daily challenge and see what happens! They will be joining in the fun and posting tips and encouragement and ideas on a daily basis also, so we won’t be alone! I mentioned this challenge to my son, who is the expert writer in the family, and he suggested I just write what I am thinking and then in the same breath he said….well, maybe not. There is the real challenge … “what” I will blog about – not writing it up, since once I get an idea I can write … it’s the “what” part for me that I need to focus on. Since I am a big list writer, I thought I would make a list
There it is …… blank. I think how I plan to approach this is to dedicate certain days for specific topics. My interests are varied so instead of just rambling on about topics I can keep some type of organization with the day format. This challenge will definitely help me focus on content and different tools that are available, such as, the “Press This” feature I just added to my toolbar which I read about here —> Tips for a new year of blogging — Blog — WordPress.com.
Also shown in the photo above is my new Mac Pro I received as a Christmas gift and since I have always been a Dell gal (3 of them currently) learning the Mac system will be something I can post about AND that little AT&T gadget is what they call an “air card” and this will enable me to connect to the internet anywhere! Now when I am at our remote home in the country I can connect and blog daily ……. yippee!
Basically, I am pretty excited about this Post a Day Challenge and I figure those reading my blog will either get tired of hearing from me every day OR as I am hoping ….. tune in daily in eager anticipation to see what I am up to! Of course if you have suggestions for a blog post or can give me any type of direction, I am all ears … seems we have alot to discuss and discover in the next 364 blog posts I will be creating! One down and more to come!
Filed under: blogging, Motivation | Tagged: blogging, post a day, postaday2011 | 2 Comments »