Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Safe How to Microwave a Potato and Prevent from Exploding in Microwave or Oven

Preventing explosions when baking and cooking potatoes in the microwave or oven, along with microwaving times and recipe toppings suggestions.

How to microwave or otherwise cook non exploding baked potatoes.

Why Do Potatoes Explode?

Whether by oven or microwave, the potato is heated above the boiling point of water. The volume ratio of water to steam is approximately 1:1700. So, when the potato is heated; an unpleasant surprise can sometimes happen. If you are lucky, the explosion occurs in the oven or microwave during cooking; thus only making a ruined potato and a major mess. If you are unlucky; the thing explodes as you are removing it.

How to Prevent Exploding Potatoes

Basically, one must vent the critters; purpose being to give the steam escape routes so there is no pressure buildup.

The method most folks use leaves a lot to be desired. They hold the potato steady with one hand
while repeatedly stabbing it with the other hand using a knife, fork, or ice pick. The statistics are not known as to how many people cut or stab themselves every year using this method. The potato then makes the round trip to the oven or microwave, after which they put on an oven mitt and cut the steaming thing in half, lengthwise. There's a better way...


Safe Way on How to Prepare Your Potato for the Microwave or Oven 

  1. Wash the potato with just water.
  2. Then dry off with paper towels or whatever.
  3. Slice the potato in half, lengthwise.
  4. Place both halves flat side down on a microwave usable dish. If using paper plates, use more than one; otherwise the plate(s) might break through from the moisture when removing from the microwave.
  5. Slicing the potato in half obviously reduces the explosion risk, but putting a couple more holes in each half won't hurt. What with the potato halves laying flat side down, your potato situation is now much more stable. However, you probably still want to steady the potato and keep it from sliding when you poke the holes in it.
  6. When poking the holes, have the sharp side of the knife facing away from your other hand. An ice-pick would probably be safer. Instead of stabbing, just poke/push the knife or ice pick through the potato.
  7. Then, while still holding the potato, pull/wiggle the knife or ice pick out at an angle away from the other hand. Two equally spaced holes in each half should do it.
  8. Your spud is microwave or oven ready.

How Long? Potato Microwave Times, etc.

  1. With the potato halves still flat side down on your plate, put in microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Rotate a quarter turn. Microwave for 3 minutes.
The above microwaving times are for two halves of a baker potato in a 900-watt oven. Microwaving times can vary depending on the wattage and age of the oven. If you are using a 700 or 1100 watt oven, adjust microwaving time accordingly. If you are putting four halves in there, lengthen the microwaving time accordingly.

It is possible to over-microwave a potato, so underestimating is always your best course of action. If it's not perfect on your first attempt, you'll have a pretty good idea of how to make it so on your second. And if you discover when slicing the potatoes they are not completely cooked, not a big deal; back in the microwave they go for another minute or so.

Microwaving Canned Potatoes

Microwaving those little potatoes that come in a can? Those little critters always explode, even when you cut them up beforehand. Always put a cover over them before microwaving the specified 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Otherwise, you will very likely have a major mess to cleanup.

Potato Recipes – Things to Add to Your Potato

A baked potato worthy of the name.
A baked potato worthy of the name.

Keeping in mind the potatoes are hot and depending on how long you want to wait, flip the potatoes flat side up. Make both horizontal and vertical slices in the potatoes, so the condiments and/or toppings will run into the gaps and crevices.

List of Potato Toppings Making It All Worthwhile...


The Basics

  • Regular Salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper 
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Bacon Bits
  • Cheese 
  • Sliced/Diced Olives
  • Sliced/Diced Green Onions 

Other Toppings Folks Have Been Known to Add

  • Chili
  • Other Onion Varieties
  • Gravy
  • Avocados
  • Their favorite Meats
  • Their favorite Vegetables
  • Their favorite Spices
  • Their favorite Herbs
  • Their favorite Seasonings
  • Their favorite Sauces
  • Their favorite Dressings
  • Pretty much their favorite anything.
When your masterpiece is complete, there is certainly nothing wrong with putting it back in the microwave for another 20 to 40 seconds as needed.

May all your potato masterpieces be awesome.  

How to Cook in Microwave Raw Hamburger, Raw Eggs, and Uncooked Rice

Here is a compilation of the most-needed microwave recipes, plus other basic recipe ideas for beginner cooks.

For folks who don't have a stove or don't want to bother with all the extra mess caused by using one. Also for folks who want to get away from those TV dinner diets. I remember my dietary habits from when I was in my 20's, 30's, and even my 40's. I guess one could say this page is for everyone, not just for students, singles, divorced, etc.

Yes, you really can microwave raw hamburger, uncooked rice, and raw eggs. Not only are they all absolutely delicious; microwaving makes a lot less mess than doing it the usual stove way.

List and Table of Contents

  1. How to Microwave Raw Hamburger (and turn it into chili if so desired)
  2. How to Microwave Uncooked Rice
  3. How to Microwave Raw Eggs into Scrambled Eggs and Omelets
  4. Making Macaroni and Cheese TV Dinners Much Better
  5. Special Section for Beginner Cooks and a Whole Bunch of Awesome Meals
  6.  How to Microwave Potatoes Without Exploding (separate page/tab)

How to Cook in Microwave Raw Hamburger – Beef or Bison

Alternate title: Can You Cook Raw Hamburger in the Microwave? Yes, You Can.
Alternate title: How to Safely Cook Raw Hamburger in the Microwave


Yes, it can be done. Whether it be beef or bison, here is how to microwave raw hamburger so it is safe, delicious, and even looks good.

Basically, you "boil" the hamburger in Lipton or store brand onion soup. Actually, the water isn't even brought to boiling, but it's plenty hot enough to do a thorough job; not to mention the fact the hamburger itself is being directly microwaved along with the soup.

You will need...

  • 1 packet of Lipton Onion soup mix. Store brand is also fine.
  • 3/4 to 1 pound of beef or bison hamburger, 80% lean seems to be best.
  • A microwavable bowl that can handle the equivalent of 4 cups of water.
  • Gloves, rags, or whatever to remove the hot bowl from the microwave oven.
  • Knife, fork, table spoon. A spatula is optional, but is a nice extra.
  • Paper plates are also optional, but they make things a lot more convenient and make for a lot less clean up afterwards.
  • What, if anything, you intend to add to the hamburger after cooking.

Let us begin...

  1. Empty one packet of onion soup mix into a large bowl or casserole dish.
  2. Add 2 cups water. That's right, 2 cups; not the four cups the packet says. You are not going to be drinking the soup.
  3. Stir it and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. While the soup is microwaving... Flatten out the hamburger on a paper plate (or whatever) so that you have one large, somewhat thin super patty. Slice up the hamburger patty into approximately 1-inch squares or other bite-sized pieces if you are going to eat the hamburger straight or put into a couple sandwiches; if you are going to mix the cooked hamburger with a 15-oz can of blackeyed peas, pinto beans, or whatever; then slice and dice the patty into much smaller pieces.
  5. The soup should be done by now. Remove the hot soup bowl from the microwave. Stir it until soup is thoroughly mixed. Carefully empty the hamburger pieces from the plate into the soup bowl. Stir it up so the hamburger pieces are not sticking together. Back into the microwave.
  6. Microwave 5 minutes.
  7. Stir it so the meat is again separated and moved around. You don't have to remove the bowl or casserole dish from the microwave to do this.
  8. Microwave another 3 minutes.
  9. Your masterpiece is done. Carefully remove from microwave.

Now what...

  1. If you did the large pieces, cut one in half. If you see raw pink, then back into the microwave it goes, etc. Otherwise...

Options for retrieving the meat...

* See cautionary note at end about the drained soup. *
  • A spatula is great for scooping out all the meat onto a plate, or into a larger bowl/pot for adding in the beans or whatever. For the large pieces this is the best method. Can also be done using a fork and spoon, just takes longer. For the large pieces, enjoy your meal.
  • The other option is to drain the soup from the meat. This is usually the best option when dealing with a bowl full of small meat pieces. If the bowl is conveniently shaped, drain it from the bowl. If the bowl is inconveniently shaped, transfer the entire contents into a much larger, more convenient pot or bowl (where you will put in the other food after draining anyway) and then drain it. Do read the cautionary note before draining.
  • If so desired; mix in your other foods, e.g., pinto or kidney beans, Beefaroni or other precooked macaroni, favorite vegetable, etc. Maybe some tomato sauce, garlic salt, half a spice packet.
  • Thoroughly stir and mix.
  • Spoon out a meal's worth.
  • Reheat, enjoy.
  • Freeze or refrigerate the rest.
Cautionary note. That leftover soup now has more fat and grease than you can shake a plumber's bill at.  Pouring it down the sink drain is a very bad idea. You can...
  • Pour it into a throwaway jar with a cap.
  • Gradually poor it into a full bag of trash that happens to have all sorts of paper products to soak it up. Can be risky, could end up with a real mess if not careful.

Beef or Bison Hamburger patties...

Yep, the above method works equally well for hamburger patties. Just rotate the meat a quarter turn at least once during the microwaving and remember to do the cut-in-half test afterwards to be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

This convenient microwave recipe has served me well for years. And it certainly makes a lot less mess than the usual stove top method. May all your hamburger adventures be good ones.


How to Cook in Microwave Uncooked Rice – And What Causes and How to Prevent Crunchy Rice


Interesting how there are no microwaving instructions on rice packages. This is probably because microwave ovens are indeed not all the same. As such I must advise that the following instructions worked perfectly for me (900 watt microwave), but your results may vary. The following recipe is for two servings or one large serving, depending on who you ask.

How to Microwave Uncooked Rice


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 1-and-3/8's cups of water
  • Optionally sprinkle some salt in it
Stir a little bit as needed until floating rice is submerged.

Cooking

  1. Microwave for 10 minutes.
  2. Let the microwave rest for a minute.
  3. Then use the defrost mode for 7 minutes. The intermittency of the defrost mode is one of the things that prevents the rice from becoming crunchy. 
  4. Move some rice aside to see if there is still any water at the bottom of the bowl. If just a little, stir the rice for a minute to absorb it. If a lot, stir it all up and do another 1 or 2 minutes defrost mode.
  5. When finished, optionally add 2 or 3 pats butter and stir until nicely melted and mixed.

What Causes and How to Prevent Crunchy Rice

There are three things that can cause crunchy rice. It can be caused by both overcooking and under cooking.  And it can be caused by too little water.

When I began my quest to create the perfect recipe for microwaving rice, I began with the usual 2:1 water to rice ratio. In this case, one cup water and a half-cup rice. As for the cooking; I did 10 minutes at full power, a minute's rest, and then followed by 10 minutes defrost mode. This first attempt ended up with some of the rice being crunchy.

So for my succeeding attempts, I gradually increased the water and varied the cooking methodology and times. I eventually ended up with the recipe stated above. It was delicious and crunch free.

If this recipe doesn't work perfectly with your microwave, it should hopefully get you close enough so you will know what to adjust for next time.

Food to Add to Rice

As for things to add to the rice after the rice has been cooked, they are just like what you would add to beans. In other words, almost anything you like:
  • Pretty much any meat
  • Pretty much any vegetable
  • Sliced olives
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Garlic salt or whatever spice packet
  • And pretty much any beans as a matter of fact
I'd recommend going sparse to moderate on any and all additions the first time around, especially the garlic salt and/or spices.

If you want to keep it quick and simple, butter and a couple of already microwaved, sliced-up hot dogs mixed in isn't bad at all. May all your rice recipes be awesome!


How to Cook in Microwave Raw Eggs – Zero Mess Scrambled Eggs

This method does indeed make scrambled eggs so much easier...

Alternate title: How to Make and Cook Real Scrambled Eggs and Omelets in Microwave Without the Mess – Yes, a microwave is used, but that's just the start.

This is a nice, pretty, USDA stock photo. You can do that. Or you can
throw in cheese, precooked meat, and whatever else you think you might like.
Needless to say, the serving portion will be considerably larger.

Let's face it. When it comes to cooking and eating scrambled eggs and omelets, it creates a royal mess to clean up afterwards. But omelets and even just plain scrambled eggs are so delicious... This recipe completely gets rid of the mess problem. Perfect for singles, college students in dorms, etc.

1. Paper Plates

Place a paper plate face-up on top of a microwavable bowl. Push the paper plate into the bowl so that it conforms to the shape of the bowl. When doing so you will notice the paper plate forms vertical crimps along the edges of the plate. This is a good thing. Go ahead and pinch and push those crimps flat against the side of the bowl and pushing the plate into the bowl until you have a nice, proper, stable fit. If plate isn't perfectly flat against the bowl, that's OK. The weight of the eggs will finish the job.

2. Butter and Eggs

 Place a small pat of butter on the paper plate. Microwave for 20-30 seconds. Smear the butter all around. This will keep the scrambled eggs from sticking to the paper plate. Crack open two or three eggs against the side of the sink and empty the contents into the paper plate which is in the bowl.

3. Scramble It

Mash and stir the eggs with a fork until it is a a nice, mostly even mixture. Do slowly so as to avoid spilling and splattering. Takes less than a minute.

4. Add Other Ingredients

Here's the optional fun part. This is where you add and mix in your other favorite foods to it. The primary favorite is bits and pieces of as much cheese as you want; stir it all together. The second usual favorite is meat that has already been cooked; bits and pieces lunch meat, a cut-up hot dog, etc. Other things you can add to scrambled eggs include:
  • Pieces of cooked ham
  • Cut-up cooked sausage
  • Crumbled up bacon or bacon bits.
  • Crumbled up cooked hamburger
  • Bits and pieces of cooked chicken
  • Most varieties of cheese
  • Onion and green onion bits
  • Salt or garlic salt
  • Mushrooms
  • Sliced olives
  • Green peppers
  • Pieces of Tomato
  • Parsley
  • Various diced vegetables are not unheard of
  • Pretty much any other food you think you would like

5. Microwave It

Microwave for 2 minutes. The perimeter will be cooked, the center will still be liquid. Take it out and stir it up. Rotate a quarter turn. Depending on how many eggs you used, microwave an additional 1 to 2 minutes. If you like the way it looks, you're done. If there is still too much liquid to your liking, stir it up again and microwave a little more.

* Enjoy Your Meal

 Leave the paper plate in the bowl and enjoy your meal.

* 30-Second Cleanup

Remove and throw out the paper plate. There will be some moisture in the bottom of the bowl. Wipe dry with paper towel or Kleenex. Return bowl to it's for-scrambled-eggs-only spot in the cupboard. No pots, pans, skillets, bowls, or dishes to clean up.


How to Make Microwave Macaroni and Cheese TV Dinners Taste Better

Basically, add a whole bunch more real cheese and other stuff.

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – Making It Better

It is easy to do. Here's how to do it so you don't burn it. And incidentally, by adding real cheese one actually gives the meal some nutritional value.

The Better Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Meal

Macaroni-and-cheese TV dinners and similar ilk are one of the better frozen food concoctions the frozen food industry has come up with. However, it is still the usual, bland TV dinner. But it makes an excellent starting point for creating your own macaroni and cheese masterpiece. No boiling the macaroni and trying to get it just right. No dealing with the other ingredients. Instead, you use the basic frozen TV dinner as the starting point, and then you make it better.

Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Microwave the Stouffer's TV dinner for two minutes less than what the box instructions say. After microwaving, remove the plastic film.

Now here is the how to make microwave macaroni and cheese better part... When you bought the macaroni and cheese TV dinner, you also went to the store's deli section and got yourself a one pound block of mild or medium cheddar cheese. Cut off however many pieces you want and put them on top of the TV dinner, the smaller the pieces the better and by all means add lots of them.

It is not necessary to replace the plastic film back on top of the TV dinner. Microwave it for the additional two minutes. Cheese should be completely melted. Stir it all together. If the cheddar cheese still isn't thoroughly melted and mixed, maybe give it another 40 seconds in the microwave; stir some more as needed. You now have a much better macaroni and cheese dinner that will taste as good as any made from scratch.

A side note: As to the remaining three-quarters of cheddar cheese you didn't use, re-wrap in original wrapper and then thoroughly wrap and fold in one of the store's plastic bags. The cheese will stay fresh in the refrigerator for quite some time. Good for lots more meals.

And as to the meal you just made... If you added enough cheese to it, you probably changed it into two meals. Totally fine; empty into a plate if need be.. When done eating, return the remainder to the tray and put back into the box, wrap and fold with another store plastic bag. Should be good in the refrigerator for three days or so.

Regarding the Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Cup Meals...

 Simply prepare as one usually does. Then gradually add and stir in as many small chunks of cheddar cheese as desired. It will all mix and blend in quite nicely. Maybe a 30-second additional microwaving may be required. Maybe not.

And that's all there is to it. May all your macaroni and cheese masterpieces be awesome and nutritious.
But wait! There's more!
Adding cooked, sliced-up hot dogs to your macaroni and cheese meal.

Did Someone Say Hot Dogs...?

Put two wieners on a paper towel placed over a paper plate; fold paper towel over top of wieners to reduce greasy film from covering the interior of the microwave oven.

Place, flattened out, one of the store plastic bags on the counter.

Put the paper towel covered hot dogs in the microwave oven. If you like them mutated (many folks, including me, do), microwave them for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. If you are a non-mutated person, then probably an even 2 minutes is best. Times vary, depending on the microwave oven. But these times are probably a good starting point.

When removing from microwave oven, place the plate on top of the grocery store plastic bag that you had laid flat on the counter.

Let them cool for a minute. Then cut each one lengthwise. Then, holding all 4 lengths together, side-by-side, cut them up into pieces.

For greater efficiency, cook the hot dogs first. Then you can be doing the slicing and dicing while the TV dinner is cooking.

Once the TV dinner is cooked and the extra cheese is all melted and mixed, add the sliced up hot dogs and stir it all together. You definitely now have the two full meals. Not only that, it no longer fits in the TV tray. So, somewhere during all this, you've transferred the whole thing to a separate plate. If you are a true single, it is now sitting on a 3-thick paper plate on top of a regular plate.

Throw out the hot dog paper plate and the plastic bag that you had put them on. Because of the plastic bag, the counter won't have to be cleaned.

At this point, you may want to microwave it another minute, with or without the regular plate underneath the paper plates, depending on its microwaveability.

When done eating what you want, put a fourth paper plate upside-down on top, and then do the plastic bag wrap and refrigerator thing. When you get around to that second meal, it will taste as good as the first.

About Buying Hot Dogs

Get the ones that say "no by-products" on the label and are not mechanically separated. Yes, they are more expensive; but it is still the wise thing to do.


About Other, Quick, Easy, and Much More Healthy Meals...



Skip the TV dinner section. Instead go to the beans, vegetables, and international foods section; the international foods section usually has all the precooked, canned meats.

Then simply mix:

  • One can of favorite, sliced/diced vegetables,
  • One can of favorite, sliced/diced meat,
  • Stir.
  • One can of favorite beans,
  • Thoroughly stir.

Important Side Notes

  • Drain, refill can with water, and drain a second time all canned, precooked fish before using. Not necessary to drain other items more than once. Drain the ham. Don't drain canned beef, chicken, stews; that's gravy.
  • Drain lima beans always. Partially drain pinto and some other beans when the top third of the can is nothing but water.
  • Drain peas, string beans, and corn, possibly some other vegetables; not spinach.
  • Drain canned mushrooms and olives.
  • Do not drain canned potatoes, liquid needed for the microwaving. Drain afterwards, before adding pats of butter and/or sour cream.
This list is not complete, I'll add to it as I remember. Your own experience and judgement will take over fairly quickly anyway.

All of the above canned goods are already precooked. Don't forget the caveat of using a microwaveable bowl or casserole dish. Cover, otherwise the microwave will probably become a mess.

Cook in microwave for around four to five minutes, depending on amount of food and microwave oven wattage. Maybe add garlic salt (just a little), and any other spices you might like (a similarly small amount). Again thoroughly stir.

You now have two, three, or even four perfectly healthy and delicious meals. Unused, covered portion will last just fine for three or four days in the refrigerator. If you happen to have gone overboard on the amount of ingredients, the freezer will save the day.

The whole process is incredibly quick and easy. And so much more healthy. And there is very large variety: a dozen different beans to try; a dozen different vegetables to try; a dozen different meats to try. That calculates out to over 1000 different combinations, some being much better than others. And do explore other parts of the store, you really do want to get away from those exclusively TV dinner diets.

About the only thing this page has missed are dairy, grains, and fruits. Shouldn't be a problem, even my dog knows where the cereal, dairy, carbs, and fruit juice sections are. The premade deli food section is also worth a visit, though can be expensive; speaking of saving money on food, these money saving tips are also worthwhile.



Just for the heck of it, I thought I'd toss in this federal link about microwave ovens. Turns out the information contained therein is not entirely useless. For that matter, the FDA site in general has proven useful to me in the past.

Beware Bad Green Potatoes - Can Be Poisonous or Safe - Urban Legend Not

Safe or poisonous? It all depends. Here is how to tell the difference, plus a government resource with even more information.

Can green potatoes make you sick? Yes, they can. And the more green you see, the more poisonous they are.

The green is just chlorophyll, but it is an indicator that another chemical is present; which is indeed a toxin. And it is a nerve toxin at that. It is present throughout the entire plant. The toxin is known as solanine and is dangerous even in small amounts.

I've been seeing a lot of false information out there on the subject, so I thought I would point people towards a legitimate source.The National Institute of Health federal website, MedlinePlus, will tell you everything you need to know.

The whole poisonous green potato thing is not exactly a national epidemic. In fact, deaths are quite rare.The key sentence in the Medline website is:

Never eat potatoes that are spoiled or green below the skin.

Note the key parameter about "below the skin".

My personal philosophy on the subject...
  • If the store potatoes have even the slightest tinge of green, I'm not buying.
  • But if I cut one in half at home that has developed a slight green tinge on the outside after I bought it and there is absolutely no hint of green on the inside, then I'm fine with it.

May all your potato adventures be of the healthy kind. Do drop by the aforementioned Medline website, they have additional information.

Worthy non-green potatoes

Grocery Store Food Discrimination

Grocery store and supermarket chains discriminate against single people, divorced people, senior citizens, and anyone else who happens to live alone. Unless we are buying groceries for a family, the national chain grocery stores apparently don't want to bother with us. Or if they do, it looks like they want to charge us extra for the privilege.

Grocery store discrimination against senior citizens, singles, divorced, and anyone else who lives alone.

Having to buy four or five units of the same food item in order to get a decent unit price really does discriminate against singles, senior citizens, and other people who live alone. Only families can benefit from the use of this particular sales and marketing practice.

I’ve noticed this sales tactic is becoming more and more prevalent lately. Figured it was time to say something about it.

There really are very few people living alone who can make use of four boxes of crackers, five bottles of soda, four cans of tuna, and so forth.

And this buy-4-items and buy-5-items requirement to get various discounts is spreading to staple items. It is no longer limited to the more “frivolous” purchases.

In all fairness, it should be noted the grocery stores and supermarket chains doing this are not doing it to deliberately discriminate against singles, senior citizens, etc. They are doing this for the same reason they do all their other sales tactics; the purpose being to increase sales and maximize profits. Nothing wrong with that; that is capitalism.

The resulting discrimination against certain classes of people is simply the unintended consequence.  Basically, what we are known as is collateral damage. Oh well, such is life.

Sardines as Food – Canned sardines are another super food, wonder food, and nutrition bonanza.

Well, well. Turns out sardines are another super, wonder food. They really are.

All about sardines as food.

Sardine Health Benefits

  • They’ve got all the B-complex vitamins we all need.
  • They’re loaded with vitamin D.
  • They’ve got a decent amount of vitamin E and some vitamin K.
  • As for minerals, it’s a veritable bonanza. Lots of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium.

Sardines are also surprisingly inexpensive for their value. A big, red, flat can of them costs around $2 (your prices may vary). Usually, they will already be in a tomato sauce. Just microwave and enjoy. As a side note, be sure to cover before microwaving; otherwise, you will have a nice microwave cleaning project to look forward to.

And the usual seafood mercury poisoning fears are not a concern here. The larger and more long-lived the fish, the higher the mercury concentration levels. Sardines are short-lived and small. Mercury contamination is not a problem.

And when you are looking at your sardines, do not feel guilty about eating them. They are incredibly stupid and won’t even notice. Besides, they’re already dead.

Benefits of Kelp Supplements. No Energy? Kelp (also known as seaweed) supplements may be the answer.


Kelp Ocean Forest

This page is premised on you are healthy, practicing good nutrition, physically active, and are already doing everything else to naturally feel good. If still suffering from lack of energy, then kelp supplements may be the answer.

Why so? Kelp is loaded with the mineral iodine. The iodine will go directly to your thyroid and kick-start it. A fully active thyroid makes one become fully energetic.

Kelp and certain other seaweed also have minute traces of every other mineral known to man. So if you happen to be lacking in any of those, kelp supplements will take care of that, too.

Suggested use is one kelp supplement per day; frankly, I think that is excessive. Too much of anything is not a good idea. Personally, I only take one once in awhile when I seem to have no energy.

So next time you have no energy for no discernible reason, chew a kelp supplement with food. Do take early in the morning. If taken later in the day, you might not be able to fall asleep come bedtime.

Kelp Supplements

Kelp and other seaweed supplements may or may not be available at your local or national chain drugstore; some have it, some don't. Worst case scenario, you will have to work up the energy to go to your local health food store; they will definitely have it.

A warning note. Some people are allergic to shellfish (high iodine) the same way some people are allergic to peanuts for example. So maybe just nibble a very small piece of one tablet the first time around?

Low Potassium and Muscle Spasms or Cramps in Elderly - Potassium Foods and NSAIDs


Muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps, are painful indeed. Do you suffer from occasional or even not so occasional muscle spasms, foot cramps, leg cramps, etc.? The cure might be as simple as eating a meal rich in the mineral potassium.

There could be a couple dozen medical reasons for muscle spasms. If you go to the doctor or a medical clinic, they will be more than happy to help you. They will arrange for you to be given all sorts of medical tests. They will call in a few specialists along the way. There will be lots and lots of appointments for you to keep. Yes, they will do all this for you.Why? Because they really care. The several thousand dollars they will bill you is entirely incidental and will never even have entered their thoughts during the entire process.

Did you know low potassium in your diet is the most common cause of frequent muscle spasms and cramps? Maybe, just maybe, you would like to eliminate that possibility first before embarking on the above adventure.

Everyone knows bananas have potassium. But it turns out hey are actually number 10 on the high-potassium nutrition food list. What’s number one? I was pleased to discover lima beans graced that spot. And there are more ways to cook and prepare them than you can shake a banana at. And they are all delicious.

Foods Rich in Potassium

  • Lima Beans (as mentioned)
  • Spinach
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
All of them are more potassium-enriched than bananas.

So give yourself a diet rich in potassium (don’t go overboard) for a few days and see how it goes. The muscle spasms and cramps just might go away and your problem is solved. It worked for me, foot and leg muscle spasms in my case.

And do be careful about too much potassium. Too much potassium is even worse than too little potassium. Your heart muscle, for one, will not take kindly to it. I've found when I start to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms, a single potassium-rich meal solves the problem.

Here is a page from the National Institute of Health which has more information about potassium and includes an expanded food list. It also has some very necessary warnings.

Beware NSAIDs

If you happen to know your muscle spasms, cramps, or other muscle pains were caused by too much muscle strain or other physical activity; ibuprofen actually works. You can buy Advil or you can buy the store generic brand with the exact same dosage for half the price. It should be mentioned ibuprofen is part of a class of drugs known as NSAIDs. In addition to general warnings about NSAIDs, NSAIDs don't get along well with a lot of other medicines and prescription medications. If you are taking other medicines or prescription medications, be sure to read what those medications have to say about being mixed with NSAIDs. I also found out recently doctors won't do elective surgery if the patient has recently been taking ibuprofen; turns out ibuprofen thins the blood and surgeons don't like that when it comes to surgery.

Also, the FDA is now saying NSAIDs increases one's chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Moderate doses for a few days are fine, but high doses or usage for more than a few weeks is not a good idea. My doctor also informed me recently that the kidneys are not very thrilled about NSAIDs either.

List of Foods Rich in Vitamin D

Vitamin D Deficiency, a Growing Health Concern.


Fortified milk is a good source of vitamin D.

If you are out in the sun all day everyday, then you need not be concerned. Your body will manufacture all the vitamin D it needs from the ultraviolet light you absorb. However, as you get older, one loses this ability.

Also, if yours is an indoor life; you may not be getting enough of this vitamin.

And to compound the problem, there are not that many foods that have it.
  • Fortified milk seems to be America's primary source for vitamin D.
  • Other dairy products also have a smattering of it.
  • Fish foods have vitamin D. Swordfish and and especially sockeye salmon are the big two. Tuna comes in third. And if you want to give yourself a mega-dose, a tablespoon of cod liver oil will give you over 300% of the body’s daily requirement.
  • Liver has it.
  • Fortified orange juice has a decent amount.
  • Multivitamins generally have 100% to 200% of the recommended daily dosage. Needless to say, check the label.

Sockeye salmon is a good vitamin D source.

For more than you could ever possibly want to know about vitamin D, here is the relevant federal  National Institutes of Health page about vitamin D.

As a side note,  I am an older person. My doc says I should take vitamin D3 supplements (4,000 IU's (international units), daily). Apparently, us older folks don't manufacture vitamin D from sunshine as well as we used to. Vitamin D supplements are available at any drugstore.

Lists of Vinegar and Baking Soda Uses for Cleaning and Other Purposes

Reference lists for cleaning and other uses for baking soda and vinegar.

Vinegar aka Weak Acetic Acid

Cleaning uses for vinegar.

The chemical name for vinegar is diluted acetic acid. As a mild acid it chemically reacts with many other compounds. The result is the removal of those compounds from places we want them removed, otherwise known as cleaning.

List of Vinegar Cleaning Uses

  • Windows
  • Mirrors
  • Do NOT use for TV’s, computer monitors, etc.
  • Shower heads
  • Kitchen counter tops
  • Coffee pots
  • Tea kettles
  • Wood floors (I’d test this on on a small spot first)
  • Toilet bowls
  • Sinks
  • Refrigerator
Non-cleaning uses for vinegar include cooking (of course), mixed with salt for killing weeds, mixed with baking soda for keeping drains clear.

Baking Soda aka Sodium bicarbonate

Cleaning and other uses for baking soda.

The chemical name for baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. As a mild, generally non-chemically-reactive abrasive, it can be used accordingly. It also absorbs odors.

List of Baking Soda Cleaning Uses

  • Teeth brightening
  • Absorbs and neutralizes heartburn acid
  • Putting box in refrigerator to absorb odors
  • Mixing into litter box absorbs odors
  • Keeping drains fresh
  • Removing grease from stove
  • Laundry spot cleaning
  • Adding to laundry as brightener
  • Sprinkling over carpets some time before vacuuming
  •  Other cleaning uses might be listed right on the box
  • And then naturally there’s the cooking thing.

I hope the above lists and information proves useful for folks.

And here's some worthy information on dusting.

List of Ways on How to Save Money on Groceries

Saving Money on Grocery Shopping Is Easier Than One Thinks.

Also a note about food government benefits.


  • Yes, do use those coupons; the Sunday paper and your junk mail will give you all you need. Also drop by your main grocery store’s website and see what they have to say for themselves; more often than not, they will have additional digital coupons you can use where you simply enter your phone number at the checkout register to collect.
  • Yes, do buy the generic store brands. It is common knowledge they cost less. What isn’t so well known is that more often than not they are made by the same manufacturer as the nationally labeled brands that cost up to twice as much.
  • Make it a point to look at the top and bottom shelves. The middle shelves are where the high markup items are.
  • Do make it a habit to routinely check the unit pricing. No rocket surgeon degree required; the unit price is right below the sale price. There will be at least one occasion every trip where it will affect your decision as to what to buy. Does your store not conveniently display the unit pricing? If so, then find another store. Also, you may be surprised to learn the larger sizes do not always represent the better unit pricing buy. Stores are sneaky that way, knowing that consumers automatically assume the larger size is the better deal.
  • Never buy anything displayed at the register and checkout line. Those are what is known as spontaneous purchases and impulse items and always have the highest markup.
  • Always bring a shopping list. It will cut down on your spontaneous impulse buying immensely.
  • Never shop hungry.
  • Never buy premade sandwiches or other items requiring extra preparation in the deli section. The prices are highway robbery and are for people who are taking their lunch break from work, etc. If the sandwich looks delicious, then just buy the same filling from that same deli instead. This assumes you are willing enough to take the contents from the container and put between two slices of bread yourself. Chicken salad and egg salad are good examples. Doing this will usually save you between $2 to $3 per sandwich. And save the containers, they can repeatedly be used for storing leftovers.
  • Stock up on the sale items. Prices can vary by as much as 50% from week to week. Tissues are  an excellent example of this. Canned goods are another excellent example.
  • Check your receipt for double billing. It happens a lot more often than you think. It usually happens because either the cashier doesn’t like you or the scanner sensor is dirty. And checking the receipt really is easier than you think; even a long receipt takes less than a minute to quickly glance through. When you find something (and you inevitably will), simply return to the same register and tell them. They will refund your money on the spot.
  • Never set your wallet on the little counter at the checkout. It won't always still be there when you forget and then go back for it.
  • Every trip you make to the store probably costs you between $2 to $5 in gas. Try to organize to make fewer trips.


Frankly, I'm expecting more major food and grocery inflation costs in 2018.

Update. Yep, I'm already seeing examples. And the tariff wars are going to make things even worse.

Government Food Benefits

Btw, Food Stamps aka CalFresh aka SNAP benefits are used by millions of Americans and residents. If your financial situation is less than stellar, it is worth investigating.

Government Websites to Get Started

https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/apply
https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap
https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligibility

The Pizza and Other Fast Food Delivery Ad and Leaflet Scam

Scam Alert

Yes, the credit card thieves are still doing this. Do you live in an apartment complex or are planning on staying in a hotel, motel, or resort soon? Well, there's a not-so-new scam in town. It has to do with when you find a pizza menu or other food delivery leaflet or ad slid under your door or placed on your porch. Just where did that ad really come from?

The Front Door Menu Con

It works quite simply really.

You find a pizza menu or other fast food leaflet or ad slid under your door or on your porch.

Feeling inspired, you call and place your order, giving them the requested credit or debit card info.

Alas, the phone number on that menu did not go to a pizza place or any other fast food or restaurant business. It went to a thief and your credit line or checking account will be maxed out or emptied within the hour.

And now you are going to have to deal with your credit card company or bank and get those $5000 worth of new charges all straightened out. Even worse, in many states debit cards do not have the same consumer protections that credit cards have; you might actually be liable for the charges.

So next time you find a leaflet or other ad outside your door or on your porch, check the Yellow Pages or internet to verify the validity of the phone number first.

May all your pizza and other food order experiences be of the benign kind.

Mercury Contamination Info for Fish and Other Seafood - Safe and Unsafe

Fish - Seafood - Mercury Contamination Lists

Fish and Mercury Contamination – A General Rule of Thumb

The larger the particular seafood species and the longer that species normally lives, the higher that species' mercury content and levels.

This is the result of two factors:
  • Larger fish consume more food, and therefor consume more mercury.
  • Longer-living species consume more food than shorter-lived species, thus again consuming more mercury. 

Basic Ranking List of Fish and Seafood Species And Their Mercury Content Levels

List of Fish and Seafood Having the Highest Mercury Concentrations

The following list of fish species having the worst mercury content contamination. The mercury levels are so high, the EPA flatly states that pregnant women (and women trying to become pregnant) and young children should not eat them at all.
  • King Mackerel
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark 

List of Seafood and Fish That Are Lower in Mercury Content

Considered safe to eat by pregnant women and young children in moderation, two 6-ounce portions spread out over the course of a week.
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Pacific oysters
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Pollock
  • Trout
  • Catfish
  • Anchovies
  • Atlantic and Pacific mackerel
  • Fish sticks, other fast-food fish, etc.
  • Canned, light tuna. Note. Albacore tuna has more mercury than light tuna. The EPA recommendation for albacore tuna is only one 6-ounce can a week. 

Basic List of Nutrition Information for Fish and Other Seafood

Generally rich in:
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Protein 
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Red sockeye salmon is especially rich in vitamin D. Most people do not get enough of this vitamin.
  • Shellfish is loaded with iodine. It turns out that some people can have major allergic reactions to this particular mineral.

How to Grow a Potato in Water

Important Poison Warning!!!

The green sprouts growing from the potato are extremely poisonous. They contain a toxic nerve agent that can kill you. As any parent will tell you, kids eat plants. If you have any children in your household, it is strongly recommended that you:
  1. Read this page at the federal website, MedlinePlus.
  2. Abort this project.
And if you have a kid who already happens to be engaged in this project, you need to decide what to do about it. See final paragraph.

How to Grow a Potato in Water


First, find yourself a nice, fresh, large potato at your grocery store.

Position the potato on end halfway into a container at least as tall as the potato. If it looks like a nice fit with lots of room under the potato and some room around the sides of the potato, take potato out and stick some toothpicks (or whatever) around the middle of the potato. The objective of the toothpicks is to extend beyond the container rim and support the potato above the bottom of the container. Reinsert the potato.

Add water. Treat as you would most indoor houseplants.

White roots will start to grow in the water. Green sprouts or vines will start to grow in the air. Keep the potato watered as needed. Eventually you will have a full-blown plant to deal with. You will see vines or leaves.  Vines like to cling to things, so position your potato adventure accordingly. As an example, you don't want the vines and your kitchen curtains to become new, best friends.

When the potato plant is on the verge of outgrowing the container, it's time to plant it in a regular plant pot with your favorite mulch. Treat the roots as delicately as possible when making the transfer. The container must be large enough to bury the entire potato on end with all of the green leaves/vines above ground.

If your potato has gone the vine route, come up with something you can place next to the container for the vines to cling to. Continue to regularly water and watch the plant continue to grow.

You've got yourself a new houseplant. As long as the thing doesn't turn into a Triffid, you should be ok.

Share This Page with Every Parent You know!

Growing a potato in water also happens to be a very common and popular kid project. Seems like most of them get around to trying it sooner or later. Parents need to be aware of the very real potential danger.