Sugar Snap Peas – A Quick & Easy Side Dish

4 ingredients and 15 minutes from start to finish is all you need for this tasty sugar snap peas side dish. Modeled off Ina Garten’s mildly more involved dish (she uses 5 ingredients) we cut down the ingredients slightly but still get to a similarly tasty place.

What You’ll Need:
Other than the peas you should have all of these kitchen basics on hand
1.) Sugar snap peas – as many of them as you want, (figure a pound serves 6-8 people as a small side dish).
2.) Decent quality Olive Oil
3.) Kosher Salt
4.) Fresh ground pepper

What You’ll Do:
1.) As with all produce first Wash thoroughly & Dry the peas.
2.) Then trim off the end pieces of them especially the part that used to be the flower.
3.) Once you have trimmed off the end we are ready to start cooking, place several table spoons of olive oil in the pan. This amount will vary by pan size but make sure it is enough to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
4.) Heat the pan on medium high until the oil begins to shimmer but not smoke.
5.) Toss in the peas into the pan and begin to blister them
6.) Grind in some pepper now (not all of it though, doing this will cook some of the peper and give the dish a peth of flavor).
7.) Continue to stir the peas in the pan until the are well coasted with oil and pepper and the skins are blistering and browned in spots.
8.) Take the peas off the heat and drop them into a serving bowl.
9.) Salt and pepper the sugar snap peas to taste, and serve immediately.

Please leave us any thoughts you have on this side dish (or any of our others) in the comments.

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10 Step Home Dishwasher Tune Up

The dishwasher – the workhorses of our kitchens, more than any other appliances they are relied on to save us time and in my case keep me sane (I hate doing dishes by hand). To many of us though they are an afterthought – something we always expect to work perfectly time and time again. Unfortunately that constant use over time leads to wear and tear, build-ups, and in turn degraded performance. Dishes that once came out consistently clean, glasses sparkling, flatware spotless; over time give way to films, water spots, and clouding. Replacing a dishwasher is expensive and onerous, so what can you do?

Well before anything drastic try a home tune up! Or more correctly a clean up.

Follow these steps:
1.) Check & clean the food traps, these clog up with food that results in your dishwasher draining poorly and are a common cause of foul odors.
2.) If you have a light or rinse cycle run it through this cycle with nothing in the dishwasher including detergent.
3.) Now that food is removed and the dishwasher has been rinsed inside let it air out and dry for several hours (potentially over night if you live somewhere humid).
4.) Once you are rinsed and thoroughly dried its is time to descale and clean the insides (what sounds like a grimy job is actually quite simple).
5.) Fill two plastic cups or measuring cups half way with White Vinegar, place one each in the top and bottom racks.
6.) Fill the detergent drawer with vinegar as well.
7.) Now run the hot water tap in your sink until good consistent hot water flows through it, this will ensure what comes enters the dishwasher is also hot from the start
8.) Set the dishwasher to the longest hottest cycle you have – and run it.
9.) Once the cycle is complete send it through again on the lightest cycle and open it up to air out.
10.) You are done!

In Praise of a Simple Natural Cleaner: White Vinegar

Few products around the house are as green and versatile as vinegar. In its most innocuous form (distilled white vinegar), it can be used to remove hard water spots, decalcify a kettle, clean the floor, or to make salad dressing! Today we’ll look past the obvious cooking applications for vinegar and instead look at some of the lesser known uses.

Replacing Rinse Aides
Many modern dishwashers come with or suggest some form of rinse aide. Most of these are rather expensive per ounce. Plus these aides are one more man-made chemical that is introduced unnecessarily into our lives. Many people are unaware that white vinegar is cheaper, just as effective, and a natural alterative to products like Jet Dry. At less than 5% of the cost on a per ounce basis, this is a chance to replace a man-made chemical with a natural alternative, and also saving money.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher
Wait. What? It isn’t self cleaning? Unfortunately not.

Over time a significant amount of residue from things like: hard water, low quality detergent, and slow water heating, build up in your dishwasher. This build up eventually leads to reduced performance. In other words it leaves you with a scaly, scummy dishwasher. One cup or two of white vinegar is a simple way to clean this up. Put a lightweight plastic cup three quarters full in the top rack and do the same in the bottom rack. Fill the soap drawer with vinegar and turn the dishwasher on to its longest, hottest cycle. The vinegar will remove hard water, break up the soap, and clean your dishwasher.

A Soft Solution to Hard Water
The build up of calcium and mineral deposits is something many of us experience in our kitchens and homes in general. This is often found around taps, in kettles, and appliances like humidifiers. Hard water is murder on humidifiers! Fortunately, a little time and a solution of warm water and vinegar will work wonders on these build ups. You can return kettles to like new inside or get taps to flow properly by letting them soak in solution for a few hours.

So there you have it, a whole list of exciting uses for vinegar. Give it a shot and tell us what you think. Do you have any additional unique uses for vinegar?