The County of Simcoe is collecting used disposable batteries next week as part of the regular curb side collection. They mailed out battery collection bags a few weeks ago, and all we have to do is fill them with dead batteries and put them out at the side of the road. I love when they make it easy for people to do the right thing.
Battery Collection Bag
The waste management program in Simcoe County is already really good at diverting materials out of the landfill, as there are lots of items that can be dropped off at the local dump for free. Last year we did a big clean out of our garage and dropped off a few carloads of old paint cans, half full cans of various chemicals, car batteries, and scrap metal, all for free. It makes me feel good that I can help the environment and still get rid of the things I need to dispose of.

So I have happily filled my battery bag and I'm glad this new program is here to keep these items out of the landfill.
Batteries ready for pick up
Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 3 comments
Over the weekend I made some homemade chicken soup and some homemade buns for soup and sandwich night. I've posted about the soup here, and I thought it was about time I posted my bun recipe. Using my hand-me-down and awesome bread maker, these buns are so easy to make and a weekly staple in our house. I've also used this bun recipe many times for dinner rolls, making 24 rolls instead of 12 buns.

Home Made Buns (adapted from Sanyo's The Home Bakery Book, 1988)

4 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
2 tbs milk
2 eggs, each added with water to measure 3/4 cups (or use yolk only, if desired)
2 tsp active dry yeast

1. Place ingredients in bread machine pot in order listed. Let stand 5 minutes. Use DOUGH setting and press start. Dough will be complete in 1 hour 15 minutes.

2. Remove dough from bread maker and place in a greased bowl, turning to coat.

3. Let rise 20-30 minutes.

4. Punch down dough and shape into 12 buns. I like to use a scale to get them all about the same size.

5. Let rise 20-30 minutes.

6. Bake at 375°F for 10-13 minutes.

Enjoy as part of a soup and sandwich combo for maximum enjoyment.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, October 27, 2014 7 comments
The past few weeks have been very rainy, cloudy, and miserable outside. It got to the point where I was starting to feel rainy, cloudy, and miserable too. It reached a head on Monday, when I realized I was having a "case of the Mondays". I knew baking wasn't going to cure it, so I went and got my favourite order of take out sushi to wash away my Monday blues.

This take out meal consists of Spicy Tuna Rolls, Avocado Rolls, and Yam Tempura. This is the same order I get almost every time, and whenever I'm done eating it, I always wonder why I didn't order twice as much. Yum!

Posted by Jen B On Friday, October 24, 2014 9 comments
As of last week, the Ontario Fire Code changed to make Carbon Monoxide Detectors mandatory in Ontario homes that have a fuel burning appliance (furnace, wood stove, etc), or an attached garage. We didn't have any CO detectors in our home, and I'm glad the Fire Code changed, otherwise I never would have thought to install them. Better safe than sorry.

But this blog post isn't really about the fire code or carbon monoxide. It's about the Amazon box that the detectors came in that Gary decided was her new hang out (even though the box was clearly too small for her to be comfortable).

My cat is the best!

Posted by Jen B On Thursday, October 23, 2014 8 comments
We started adding dried chives to our meals earlier this year, enhancing mac n' cheese, dressing up baked potatoes, and seasoning many other dishes. We realized we loved them in anything and everything and added them to our weekly grocery list.

We bought the store brand bag of chives, which were only $0.79 per bag and so easy to just throw into the cart. We'd pick up two or three bags at a time, as it seemed like a good deal.

I was at Bulk Barn a few weeks ago and decided to see how much bulk chives cost. They were $5.29 for 100g, which I initially thought was expensive because I'd been getting a whole bag of them for only $0.79. When I got home, I was surprised to realize that the bags I'd been buying were only 5.5g. Which meant that 100g of those chives actually worked out to $14.36! I'm so happy I looked into it, because it turns out I've been overspending on chives.

So I went back to the Bulk Barn and picked up 100g (...I got exactly 100g too, because my bulk measuring skills are awesome, apparently).

My giant bag of chives is equivalent to 18 bags of the ones I used to get. So we currently have ALL the chives and can now have as many fancy baked potatoes as we want.

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 10 comments
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