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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

5 Ways to Pare the Cost of Cooking

March 30, 2016 1:48 am

If you try out a new recipe and spend way more than you expected for ingredients, your pantry may need a bit of upgrading.

So says Zoe Bain, the senior food editor at Refinery 29, a home and lifestyle website, who believes a well-stocked pantry should hold enough cooking staples to give you a good start on a variety of family-friendly recipes.

A well-spent 20 dollar bill, Bain says, should help get your pantry up to snuff and save you shopping time, as well:

1. Stock Up on Essentials – Salt, pepper and a good, extra virgin olive oil will roast or sauté most veggies to perfection and get meats and other proteins nicely browned and ready to braise or stew or pan fry as you like.

2. Doctor It Up – Pick two or three acidic liquids, combined with the cooking essentials above, to prepare almost any needed marinade or salad dressing. These could be balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce, whole grain mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Add Some Spice – Start with dried oregano, thyme and basil, then add fresh or powdered garlic and some red chili flakes to give kick to anything you cook.

4. Build a Base – With a few of these basic ingredients on hand at all times, you have the perfect start for dozens of meal favorites: canned tuna, pasta and pasta sauce, canned beans, cream of mushroom soup and fresh or frozen bread.

5. Go for Necessary Extras – As you do your weekly (or bi-weekly) grocery shopping, be sure you keep the refrigerator stocked with milk, eggs, salad greens and veggies and keep a few fresh lemons in the fruit basket.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Up Natural Light Levels in Your Home

March 30, 2016 1:48 am

(Family Features)—Though Frank Lloyd Wright popularized the aesthetic relatively recently, natural light in the home has been coveted for centuries. Lighting design today combines both natural and artificial sources to mimic the appearance of ample natural light.

To achieve the look, adequate lighting is key. Most homes will require a mix of natural lighting with accent lighting, which shines light on architectural or decorative elements; ambient lighting, which provides overall lighting; and task lighting, which focuses light into specific areas.

With the variety of lighting products available on the market, the latter three can be adapted with ease to suit your home’s needs. The level of natural lighting, however, very much depends on your home’s location—a factor that can be limiting.

If your home doesn’t receive as much natural light as you’d like, sky lights may be the answer. Sky lights are a low-cost, high-impact feature that not only increases natural lighting, but also offers energy-saving benefits. ENERGY STAR-qualified, fresh air sky lights, in particular, can help reduce dependence on artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation, which can save you significant expense each month.

Light-filtering, light-blocking or light-controlling solar-powered blinds can also improve energy efficiency in tandem with sky lights, sometimes by as much as 45 percent. Some models are even operable by a programmable remote control, and may be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

Source: Velux Skylights

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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