Removing Spots From The Carpet

We all have that time when our neighbor accidentally spills their wine on your carpet or the dog has a mishap. Your first thought is, oh my gosh, how am I going to get that up?

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Let us help you with that:

  1. Do it now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove. Blot up all liquid.
  2. Use the right equipment. Use a wet/dry vacuum or a small carpet spotting machine to extract the liquid portion of the accident before rinsing or adding a spot remover. If you don’t have a wet vacuum standing on thick towels is great for quick absorption.
  3. Use only water and then, only if needed, the proper cleaning agent after the water has been extracted. It is best to only use water. Spotters can set the stain and even a professional can’t remove the spot. Be careful what you use.
  4. Rinse any cleaner you may have used with water (preferably distilled) and extract the water with your wet vac or towel/paper towel.

CAUTION! Some area rugs have a very unstable dye and can be easily ruined. Always pre-test any solution on the rug before attempting spot removal.

Distilled Water is your best spot remover. Remember to only blot up the spots. Do not rub the carpet because this will cause fiber damange.

We have a FREE spotter that you can pick up at our shop that does not set the stain.

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You can also check out our website for more spot removal tips and tricks at: http://www.zimmermancarpetcleaners.com

If you have a spot that you can’t remove with just water, it is best to call a professional certified company.

Easy Blueberry Pastry

One of my friends posted a beautiful, yummy looking blueberry pastry on Facebook that she had made with her son. It looks so beautiful and tasty so I had to try it. The ingredient list was so short that I remembered it all when shopping without writing it down. That is always a good sign of “simple”.

My son came to visit with his children allowing me to have a little help in the kitchen. I am such a fan of the kids being in the kitchen. My personal opinion is, kids helping in the kitchen teaches them about different foods and encourages them to try the food they prepare.

Making this pastry was pretty simple and with my help a almost 4 year old we pulled this off.

We lined a pan with foil and sprayed with PAM. Then we used our crescent sheet to cover the pan. His little hands did a great job!

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While he was pressing the dough out, I mixed the cream cheese and sugar with a wire whip and took the almonds and chopped them in a mini food processor. When you work with kids in the kitchen you have to keep them from getting bored with it but let them see the process.

Next came the cream cheese mixture. Right down the center of the pan. Let me warn you that this pastry is so yummy that you will want to eat it all at once. Make sure you have people to share it with or you could have to go up a pant size!

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After the cream cheese mixture he added the chopped almonds right on top of the cream cheese. At this  point, I decided to cut the sides using clean scissors so that we could braid the dough at the end. And then the blueberries.

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He is the cutest chef with more personality and comments than any 4 year old I know!

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After he layered all the ingredients we braided the dough. Taking turns of course. And being shy!

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Next we sprinkled raw sugar over the top. This gave the pastry texture along with the almonds that we added. File Aug 09, 7 36 40 AM

And voila…there you have it ready for the oven. EASY!

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We hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

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Ingredients

1 (8 oz.) tube, crescent dough sheet

8 oz. cream cheese

1/4 c. granulated sugar, plus 2 TBS

2 c. (1 pint) fresh or frozen blueberries

1 Tbsp. corn starch

1/4 c. sliced almonds

2 Tbsp. turbinado or raw sugar

Glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar

3 Tbsp. cream cheese

1-2 Tbsp. milk

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On parchment paper (I used foil), roll out the crescent dough, and pinch together any holes or perforations.

In a bowl, cream together the 8 oz. of cream cheese and sugar. Spread into the center of the dough, leaving about 4″ on each side. Using kitchen shears or a knife, cut diagonal 1″strips along the sides of the dough.

Rinse and drain the blueberries. In a bowl, add  2 Tbsp of sugar, and the cornstarch, and mix together to coat the berries. Pour the berry mixture over the center cream cheese area of the dough. Sprinkle the berries with the sliced almonds.

Gently fold over each end of the dough on to the berries, and fold in each strip of the dough, until all the berries and almonds are encased. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the turbinado or raw sugar granules. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may have to add cooking time. The pastry should start to turn a pretty golden color when done.

 

Menus, Recipes and Grocery List

When we were on Kiawah Island a few years ago, we ate at a cute little Italian restaurant in between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island. I had a Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza that was wonderful so of course I had to try my hand at making one. Here is what I came up with:

Arugula & Prosciutto Pizza

1 cup each mozzarella cheese and fontina cheese

4 to 5 oz. of thin sliced prosciutto ~Ask the deli person to put paper in between slices if you get fresh so it won’t stick together.

2 cups fresh arugula

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar and more for a few extra splashes on the pizza

pizza crust~ store bought is fine. If you live near an Italian market or Italian pizza place you may be able to buy fresh dough there. You could live wildly and make your own!

flour for dusting the counter

Dust a surface with flour that is big enough to roll out your pizza dough. Also dust the rolling pin with flour so the dough does not stick to your rolling pin.

Preheat oven to 400* Spray your pan with PAM. Put dough on pizza pan and put on toppings

Spread the two cheese evenly on your pizza dough, then lay the prosciutto out flat on your pizza.

Sprinkle a few drops of balsamic vinegar around on your pizza (optional)

Place in the oven for 10 minutes or so. This depends on how thick your crust is. Just watch it carefully.

In a bowl mix arugula, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

After the pizza comes out of the oven spread arugula over the top evenly and you are done!

Grocery List:

Fresh: Arugula

Meat: 4 oz thin sliced prosciutto

Dry Goods: flour

Dairy: pizza dough, 8 oz Mozzarella cheese,

8 oz Fontina cheese both shredded

Other: balsamic vinegar, olive oil and pan spray

Kabobs: 

4 boneless, skinlees chicken breast

1 container cherry tomatoes

1 container mushrooms

1 red pepper cut into 1 inch pieces

1 green pepper cut into 1 inch pieces

2 yellow squash cut into bit size pieces

Wooden sticks

Cut up meat into cube sizes (try to cut even so they cook evenly)

I marinate my meat for a few hours before making kabobs but over night is best. Then I boil the marinate and brush over kabobs while cooking and you could even use it for dipping at the table.

Marinate:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp fresh minced ginger

4 garlic cloves minced

1 TBS sesame seed oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

After chopping everything and marinating the meat start building your kabobs. I mix it up. My kabobs never look the same. take a stick and start shuving the meat and veggies on. If I have leftover veggies I keep making kabobs but just with veggies. Serve with rice and a salad.

Grocery List:

Fresh: 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, container of mushrooms, container of grape tomatoes, 2 yellow squash, 1 inch piece of ginger, 1 garlic, lettuce for salad and tomatoes, cukes

Meat: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Canned or Boxed: soy sauce, light brown sugar, sesame seed oil, red pepper flakes, rice

Other: Kabob sticks

Gormet Salad:

I make this all the time for dinner and it is awesome! I can’t find a picture of it but we all know what salad looks like.

4 bonelss skinless chicken breast (If you want to stretch your dollar, you could butterfly the chicken breast and only need 2)

Italian seasning

Garlic salt

Mix spring greens

1 cup crasins

2 cups Gorgonzola cheese crumbled

1/2 cup sliced almonds

The salad dressing I use is:

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I buy it at the Fresh Market or Harris Tetter. This dressing really makes the salad!

Take the chicken and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Put on a hot grill for 7 minutes per side.

In the mean while put about 3 cups of salad greens on each plate, then 1/4 cup crasins and sprinkle with almonds. Then cooked chicken breast. I slice my chicken breast before placing it on the lettuce. Top with 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese. You can cut back or add more of each of the ingredients. This is just how I do it. Enjoy!

Grocery List:

Fresh: Spring mix salad lettuce

Meat: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Dairy: Gorgonzola cheese crumbles or whole and you can crumble

Other: Crasins, sliced almonds and ginger mandarin dressing

Italian seasoning

garlic salt

I absolutely love this salad! I hope you enjoy it too!

I really want to help you get dinner on the table so please make comments of what you like or dislike or what you would like to try and make but have no idea how. I love to cook so this is all fun for me!

Lunch Boxes-Meal Prep

For about a month now I have been making breakfast, lunch and dinner boxes up for someone that had a health issue. Trying to learn to eat better and smaller portions when you have not really paid attention to that is difficult. With his job and their schedules it is hard to eat good. I had a few ideas of what to put in the boxes and with the help of Pinterest it has been a success.

Trying to eat fresh and low or no processed food is a challenge. Coming from eating mostly processed food and going “cold turkey” would be difficult.  These boxes are healthy but not 100% non processed but we are headed in that direction.

Needing a good box with compartments I headed to Amazon. This is what I found:

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There are twenty in a pack for $16.99. I bought 2 packs to make sure I would have enough with the transferring of boxes back and forth.

After thinking and looking at Pinterest, a pen and papper came in handy for my notes.

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And off to the store I go! It took me a few hours to get everything done but it was well worth it! This week I made homemade chicken salad. To try and be a little more healthy, I cut the mayo in half and add greek yogurt to replace what I left out in the mayo.

Recipe:

Chicken Salad

4 good size chicken breast cooked and chopped (boiled or grilled)

1 1/2 cup seedless red grapes (cut in half)

3 celery stalkes (diced)

1/4 to 1/2 red onion small diced

1/2 cup mayo (Dukes)

1/2 plain greek yogurt

pepper to taste

garlic salt to taste

1/2 cup Walnuts (chopped) Optional

Mix cooked chicken and all other ingredients together i

 

In a good size bowl. You may need to add more mayo/greek yogurt to get the chicken salad the consistency you like. Just remember to use equal parts. Serve with good crackers.

This time I made egg muffins also. These are easy and bake while you are doing other thing. What goes better with eggs than bacon? I baked the bacon in the oven so that can also be cooking while I was doing other things. When I fry bacon it has to be watched closely.

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In the eggs I crumbled a few peices of bacon, added a small amount of cheese, milk and salt and pepper. Put in muffin pans and into the oven on 350* for anout 25-30 minutes. Until they were solid to touch.

While shopping I found some KIND bars that were small that I could add for that little bit of sweet after you eat. I also always add something fresh. This week was organic cherries, cucumbers, red peppers and grapes. For the cucumbers and peppers I found a good dressing for dip. You can use it on your salads too.

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This food prep thing is actually pretty easy and you love it when you become hungry and there is something already there. You don’t have to think about it! Food prep helps you to not eat the bad things because it is convenient. Now your boxes are convenient!

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I hope this helps you with your food boxes and gives you good ideas on how to put your favorite things together.

Here are a few more pictures of boxes that I have made:

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Steak & Shrimp Dinner

This past weekend I wanted to do a nice date night at home because it was so hot out and it is expensive to eat “well” out. I decided to make steak and shrimp and not on the grill. My sides were a baked sweet potato, zucchini cakes and salad of course.  I headed over to the Fresh Market for wild caught shrimp and filet mignon. The filets were so big that I bought one and we shared it. I purchased a half pound of the shrimp. That gave us plenty to eat. We couldn’t even eat our potatoes because we were so full.

I like pretty tablescapes so I used a few candles and yard flowers to set the stage:

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For the steak I made a very flavorable cooking oil/butter and pan seared it on both sides for approximatley 5-7 minutes. With the butter /oil concoction I used:

the same parts of butter and oil (I used 1 TBS of each)

2 garlic cloves sliced

1 stem of rosemary

Heat the butter and oil. Then add the garlic and rosemary. I let it cook for a few minutes and then turned it off to so the flavors would infuse the oil and butter.

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Now prepare the meat by salt and peppering each side.

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Heat up your infused butter and oil. Watch it careful because it will burn! When the butter/oil is sizzling add the meat and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. In the mean while turn your oven on to 400*.

After the meat has cooked on both sides add crumbled gorgonzola cheese and sage.

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Now place the entire pan in the oven and leave for 5-7 minutes. Depending on how well done you like your meat.

For the shrimp, I washed, deveined and sprinkled Old Bay on them. I had a pan with butter and garlic awaiting the shrimp.

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Cook the shrimp until they turn pink.

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The flavors of these two meats was amazing! I mean amazing!! You can’t buy steak and shrimp out that taste that good.

Our stay at home date night was a success! You should try this at home yourself. Make sure you have your sweet potatoes almost done in the oven and any other sides you are making ready.  The actual cooking of the steak is about 10-15 minutes and the shrimps cooking time is even shorter. Enjoy!

Wreath Making

Who knew a front door wreath could be so expensive? After looking on line at all the popular sites I decided to make my own. Let me just say, artificial flowers are expensive! I was very surprised that one stem cost $9.99! It takes several stems to make a wreath and I need two wreaths for my front doors.

My mission is to make two beautiful summer themed wreaths with class. The idea of classy in my mind might be different than yours, but, being from the South a hydrangea is a must! They were $9.99 each and I wanted three x’s two wreaths! Yikes! This caused me to search for a sale. After a little on line research I found my flowers for 50% off at Hobby Lobby and went to the local store.

While walking around and talking to myself I made several bunches of flowers until I weeded it down to the exact stems that I thought would give me the classy but traditional look.  Then, I headed over to buy a grapevine wreath. The sizes and shapes were all different and I am making two so I really wanted them to match. Well, they didn’t! There are no two grapevine wreaths alike! This little issue really didn’t matter. You can’t even tell after decorating the wreath.

When I finished gathering all my items to complete my task I headed to our shop to make the wreaths. I also had to cover the phone because our office manager went home sick. But hey, at least I had a project to do.  Boredom is not for me!

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Mike, (the cleaner in this blog) came to see what was happening at the shop and found me there working on my project. He came in the front door with his video rolling:

When making a wreath you have to decide where to put your flowers. To the side, on the bottom centered, on the top centered, cover the whole thing? I decided the side would work for me. The only problem I had was that I did two wreaths exactly the same 😦 ! But, thank goodness I was able to change it around. If you are making two wreaths and you choose the side to add your flowers, you need one that has flowers on the right and one that has flowers on the left.

Now, you need to trim your stems so they fit on your wreath without the leftover stem showing.

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Take the flower stems and just play around with them against the grapevine wreath trying different ways until you get it just the way you like it. Next you just start layering your flowers and attaching them. I used mostly wire. My doors are wood and glass at home so I tied the wire off on the front and covered it with other flowers and the bow so the wreath doesn’t scratch my door.

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Layering in my opinion is what works for all decor making.

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I used six stems on each wreath and then added a bow and some moss. Make sure to buy wired ribbon for your bow. It is much easier to handle and it stays in place.

My total cost was $47.00 per wreath with everything which is still pricey but I got exactly what I wanted, I knew the quality of the flowers, I knew the size of everything and it didn’t cost me $120.00 each.

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The homemade wreaths came out beautifully!

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Front porches are hard to decorate but this added alot of warmth and feeling of invited to ours.

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I still have a ways to go but I am working on it. Now I need to figure out furniture.

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Any ideas? I have thought about rocking chairs.

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Homemade Butter

The 4th of July here in North Carolina was a beautiful day but a little muggy. I can handle the hot but the muggy makes eveyone uncomfortable, make my hair fuzzy and make me sweat. By the end of the day I have no make-up on and my hair looks like I just woke up.   We decided to have a simple little cookout with burgers and hot dogs, corn on the cob and a tomato cucumber salad. No outside activities happened which is so unlike us but a ninty-five year old grandma does not handle the heat as well.

I still wanted to have fun and make the food very tasty even if we were inside all day. My burgers have a secret ingredient….heavy whipping cream. Crazy, I know but it makes them so juicy! I made a cucumber and onion salad with feta cheese and we grilled the corn in its husk.  And, you have to have watermelon! Very simple lunch.  I decided to make homemade garlic, cilantro lime butter for our grilled corn. This was a simple thing to do that had a lot of punch to it and made our simple lunch a little nicer.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 garlic cloves chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime

Pour whipping cream in food processor and blend until the butter starts to thicken. It slowly thickens and ends up looking like a butter spread.

Add all other ingredients and blend until blended well. Serve in a cute bowl with cilantro leaves as a garnish. See below.

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The butter was a hit!  The flavor was so amazing that my 13 year old granddaughter wanted to eat the butter with a spoon.

So, if you are making dinner for someone and you want to make it a little more special, make the butter! You will be a hit and making butter is so easy!

Happy 4th week! Enjoy!