Home Ec 101 Retro Round Up

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Heather says:

Wow, this week flew by and I’m going to blame the mid-week holiday. I hope you and yours had a wonderful Fourth and for those of you across the pond and elsewhere, I simply hope you had a pleasant week. (I was going to say summer, but I know some of you are from Australia and New Zealand. This is really starting to mess with my mind, I really just can’t generalize, can I?)

Those tomatoes I thought I’d use for a fearless Friday are still sitting on my counter and I need to get moving with them before heading in to work.

Suggestions? I do have everything on hand to go with the old standby tomato pie, but I think I’m in the mood for something a little different. I’m thinking tomato soup would be good, despite it being approximately 8 million degrees. I think to go with it, I’d like to make grilled cheese with jalapenos a la Closet Cooking. (OMGoodness the nom)

Here’s a look at what we were doing this first week of July in the Home Ec 101 past:

2007 – I introduced readers to the tried and true standby of oven-fried chicken fingers.

2008 – We talked about how hard water spots are pretty much an annoying fact of life and Ivy -remember Ivy?- shared a granny square tutorial that, to this day, remains one of this site’s most popular posts.

2009 – I learned, the hard way, that if you’re allergic to ragweed, chamomile tea may be a very bad idea and on the Home Ec front we talked about why thawing chicken in a water bath is safer than on the counter.

2010- Speaking of chicken, in 2010 I was on  roll and shared a tutorial on how to cut up a whole chicken and we talked about how to keep stainless steel shiny. On the food front I learned about dry roux and used it to make shrimp etouffee and shared how to set up an emergency pantry.

2011 – Have you had chipotle mayonnaise? No? Why not? I hate mayonnaise and could drink this stuff and we also explored why sometimes a gas grill won’t get hot.

Enjoy your weekend!




Home Ec Round Up and Retro Saturday All in One

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Heather says:

Know what’s riveting? Not hearing about how I spent last night in fever dreams in which I ran from alligators (anyone feel like analyzing that?) and a random little girl stole my favorite dress. No, riveting is checking out this interesting graph that compares the leading causes of death from 1900 vs. 2010. Yeah, so I’m a little weird, but if you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you knew that. Look at the graph to see what modern medicine and access to clean water has and has not done for us. Additionally, I also wonder how much of the current causes of death are caused by lifestyle and how many just show up because people lived long enough to succumb to the other causes.

That said, I still invite you to check out my old post on Why I Try to Cook from Scratch.  I openly admit that since I started my second job in March that I haven’t been nearly as on top of things, but as I settle into the routine things are getting more “normal.” Just remember, that’s my “normal” not society’s.

Here’s a round up of things that caught my eye this week that are at least tangentially related to Home-Ec101.com’s topics and a round up of what happened this week in a quick blast from the Home-Ec101 past.

Painted fanSince Saturday is also project day (look at the chore chart) I thought I’d include a couple of  project ideas.

Since it’s only June and breaking 100°F here, I could use fans in every room. There’s just no way the AC is going to keep up. This project looks simple enough to actually do. Thank you Before and After for this simple, yet great idea. How nice will it be to not look at a white and grimy fan? Quite.

Lunch in a Box has advice those of you looking to freeze ground beef in small portions. I look at it, shake my head and say, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that” and yes, this advice is perfect for those of you with only a small freezer.

Crafter Neftolak has a brilliant project for storing small items. You certainly don’t have to get this fancy -you know me, put down the glue gun and back away- unless that’s what floats your boat. I believe the concept would be great for the garage, too -nuts, bolts, washers, etc. I occasionally can, so I’ve always got mason jars around.

Home-Ec 101 has been around for five (gasp!) years. Here’s what we’ve done the last week of June:

2007 – How to Dice a Tomato -Remember you’ll want to have a sharp knife for this tut.

2008- Take a Crockpot on Vacation?

Spring Roll Tutorial2009- Spring Rolls! Nom! And while I’m looking at this old post, do you think I should bring back Fearless Fridays?

Frogmore Stew2010- Lowcountry Boil

and finally 2011 – How to Clean Window Sills -they are a frigging pain in the butt and mine are in sore need of revisiting. Bleh.

What are you doing this weekend?

Retro Saturday: April 16, 2011

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Heather says:

Before I dive into the archives and unearth the best of  Home-Ec 101, I’d like to say hi to all the people stopping by from SimpleMom.net. Thank you for taking a moment to check out the site. If you look in the upper right corner there are several ways to subscribe: RSS, via email, Twitter updates, and of course by being a Facebook fan. The email subscription is available in two formats both daily and a weekly digest. The second one isn’t as timely, but if your inbox is anything like mine, it’s a nice option.

If you look in the menu bar ↑ up there, you’ll see a category called “Read It.” That category has its own feed and is for random articles and items I think Home Ec Readers may enjoy. These posts are not shared on the home page or in the main feed, to reduce the amount of visual clutter. Sometimes interesting conversations happen over there, too.

If you have a household question you’d like answered, just send it to helpme@home-ec101.com.

This year Home-Ec 101 is growing and since Home Ec is a topic far bigger than Heather Solos, I’m bringing on authors. Brian, Bran, Bobbie have begun to contribute. Don’t worry, their whole name thing is just an interesting coincidence. Soon Vera will be giving tutorials on crocheting and knitting, since I’m rather hopeless in the whole crafting department. My husband Tim also contributes from time to time, usually talking about electricity.

If you have any other questions, they may be answered on the About page or in the FAQ.

Now on to Retro Saturday.

Retro Saturday is my chance to highlight my favorite posts from this week in previous years.

In 2010:

Seasonal Recipes for April – As an aside, I need to touch base with Cameron and see if we can’t relaunch this project. I enjoyed finding recipes to share and loved the results. Things just got a bit crazy and I dropped the ball.

A year ago I also answered possibly my favorite reader question ever: Dear Home-Ec 101, I’m Overwhelmed.

In 2009:

Have you ever made donuts from biscuit dough? I suppose I could make my own biscuit dough for these donuts, but for something deep fried, I think really improving the health aspect is sort of pointless: How to Make Simple Donuts.

Herb Crusted Steaks with Grilled Tomatoes

Back in 2008:

Readers shared their best cleaning tips.

And all the way back in 2007, when the site was rough, unpolished and brand spanking new:

The Curse of Builders Grade Carpet and Mystery Spots

Potluck Etiquette (Who is responsible for the return of a dish?)


Retro Saturday March 26, 2011

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Heather says:

Each week I dive into the archives to share the best of the Home-Ec 101 past.

In 2007:

How to Prevent Mildew in a Front Loading Washing Machine

2008 brought:

How to Clean Stainless Cookware – What is it about March and people wanting to know how to get rid of polymerized fat?

Ivy explained how she does Spring Cleaning in a Bedroom.


Ivy wrote How to Go Back to Frugality After the Budget has been Blown.

I was in Myrtle Beach and shared some safety tips for vacationing with kids.


I shared one of my favorite recipes – Marinated Fried Chicken and I added to the Meal Planning Primer with Part IV Choosing Sides.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Retro Saturday 3/19/2011

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Heather says:

I hope everyone has had a great week. Personally it’s been a very emotional one with lots of news of the good, the bad (not unexpected, but still not fun), and the stress of the book’s release. Throw in a little visit from out of town relatives -they arrive in a few hours- and you’ve got a recipe for hectic. I know the posting was a little off-kilter last week, I’ll do my best to get everything back on track for the coming week.

For now, let’s dive back into Home  Ec 101 history and see what was covered in years past.

All the way back in 2007 I shared my recipe for Albondigas, a Mexican Meatball Soup and explained How to Fix a Smelly Garbage Disposal.

In 2008 Ivy explained The Catbox Rule and shared Spring Cleaning Tips for Disastrously Messy Homes.

2009 brought 25 Babysteps to Frugality and Tightwad Tips. Do you think maybe the recession was on our minds?

Finally in 2010 we Dished on High Fructose Corn Syrup and then explained How to Clean up After Potty Training Accidents.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Home Ec 101 Skills for Everyday Living is now in stock on Amazon, order today. If you already have it, please take a moment to review it. Thank you.