Hot and Smokey Tuesday, Jun 12 2018 

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Cinnamon, cumin, sumac, and cardamom. One of my attractions to different cultures is their cuisine. Tai, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese, or Italian. I love them all! I thrive on the spices of ethnic foods and am excited when I discover a new one.

My newest seasoning of choice is chipotle powder. Chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeno that has just enough heat and smoke to pack a great punch on everything from eggs and green beans to chicken and fish. Or try a few shakes over popped corn or even corn on the cop. 

For a quick, healthy snack, sprinkle chipotle powder on a mashed avocado. Add a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of sea salt. Top it off with a bit of fresh cilantro and you have a special snack to enjoy with tortilla chips.

Venture out to your grocery store’s spice aisle and be brave! Pick up some chipotle powder or another spice that you haven’t tried before. Purchase the smallest amount possible and experiment. You may find that you are drawn to more vegetables and proteins when you literally spice up your life.

(Follow me on Facebook and see my other blog, Mary K Doyle Books.)

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Spicy Pest Control Monday, Aug 6 2012 

You have the food, the guests, and the games, but who invited the ants? Summer fun typically includes unwelcome pests that enjoy the day right alongside you.

Pesticides are effective but also pose dangers to our health, so I consulted my old copy of Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley (3H Productions, Inc. 1995) and searched online to offer you some alternatives. I found several natural items that are said to be affective.

Following is a list of herbs, spices, and oils and the pest most annoyed by them. Give them a try, and let me know how they work for you. Sprinkle the spices and herbs around affected areas, in cupboards, point of entry, and the perimeter of your rooms. Or add a few drops of the oils and extracts to water and spray the areas.

Here’s the list beginning with the pest and then the remedy:

  • Ants: Sage, bay leaves, cloves, white or cayenne pepper, cinnamon, peppermint oil
  • Earwigs: Crushed bay leaves
  • Flies: Dish of molasses and black pepper, lavender oil
  • Meal worms: Fresh mint or mint flavored chewing gum
  • Mosquitoes: Oranges and onions
  • Mice: Peppermint extract, lavender oil

©Mary K. Doyle

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