Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Natural Living Tips and Tricks

Adapted from Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, by Alex Wilson, Jennifer Thorne, and John Morrill. There are a number of easy ways to save energy with laundry, whether you're buying new appliances or not.

Follow these suggestions whenever possible to keep energy use to a minimum.

  1. Use lower temperature settings. Use warm or cold water for the wash cycle instead of hot (except for greasy stains), and only use cold for rinses. By presoaking heavily soiled clothes, a cooler wash temperature may be fine. The temperature of the rinse water does not affect cleaning, so always set the washing machine on cold water rinse.

  2. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. A setting of 120°F is adequate for most home needs. By reducing your hot water temperature, you will save energy with either hot or warm wash cycles.

  3. Load the washing machine to capacity when possible. Most people tend to underload rather than overload their washers. Check your machine's load capacity in pounds, then weigh out a few loads of laundry to get a sense of how much laundry 10 or 18 to 20 pounds represents. Then use your eye to judge the volume of clothes for a load. Washing one large load will take less energy than washing two loads on a low or medium setting.

  4. If washing lightly soiled clothes, use the suds-saving feature if it's available on your washing machine. This saves the wash water to be reused in the next load. Only use this feature, though, if the second load is to be washed right away.

  5. When drying, separate your clothes and dry similar types of clothes together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than bath towels and natural fiber clothes.

  6. Don't overdry clothes. Take clothes out while they are still slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing — another big energy user. If your dryer has a setting for auto-dry, be sure to use it instead of the timer to avoid wasting energy.

  7. Don't add wet items to a load that is already partially dried.

  8. Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.

  9. Clean the dryer filter after each use. A clogged filter will restrict flow and reduce dryer performance.

  10. Dry full loads when possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer. Drying small loads wastes energy. Air should be able to circulate freely around the drying clothes.

  11. Check the outside dryer exhaust vent. Make sure it is clean and that the flapper on the outside hood opens and closes freely.

  12. In good weather, consider hanging clothes outside and using totally free solar energy to do the drying.

  13. Eleisia Whitney
    Independent Watkins Manager
    Business Opportunity

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We are extremely excited to announce a new product to the Watkins family — Watkins ImmunergyTM. This physician formulated powder drink mix provides natural immune support plus a caffeine free energy boost using 100% natural ingredients, colors and flavors. Not to mention it tastes great! It's a blend of eight fruit and herb seed powers (900 mg) and a D-Ribose (600 mg) which supports your natural defenses and helps maintain energy levels so you can be your best and feel your best every day!

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Moms & Dads
Daycare providers
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School teachers
Gym facilitators/trainers
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Watkins delicious blend of eight fruit and herb seeds contains 900 mg of our exclusive blend.
Chardonnay Grape seed (Vitis vinifera)
Blueberry seed (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Cranberry seed (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Red Raspberry seed (Rubus idaeus)
Black Raspberry seed (Rubus occidentalis)
Pomegranate seed (Punica granatum)
Black Cumin (Nigella sativa)
Milk Thistle seed (Silybum marianum)

It's an antioxidant powerhouse and is 9x more potent than Acai berries — much more potent than competitor blends available on the market. What makes Watkins stand out against others on the market? Our ingredients retain their natural power and goodness by using the Cold-Press process which gently presses and separates the seeds into oils and powders without the use of heat or chemicals. Results is a product that is exceptionally pure, potent and nutritionally rich.

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Eleisia Whitney
Independent Watkins Manager 335001
Place Order
Business Opportunity

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Five Most Common Mistakes That People Make With Biscuits

What are the five most common mistakes that people make with biscuits?

Patting the dough too thin.
Everyone loves big tall, flaky biscuits. The dough should be about 3/4-inch thick. The biscuits should double in height.

Handling the dough too much.
Gently form a dough ball handling no more than necessary. Kneading will develop the gluten and you'll have "hockey pucks" for biscuits.

Letting the butter get too warm.
tart with ice cold butter, work quickly, and don't let the butter melt. If it melts, it will soak into the flour and ruin the texture.

Not getting the oven hot enough.
The hot oven quickly turns the water to steam and creates flaky layered biscuits. Give your oven an extra five minutes to warm up and don't rely simply on the temperature register.

Making too dry of dough.
You want the dough as wet as you can handle, even a little sticky. A wet dough rises easier.

Buttermilk Biscuits
3 cups pastry flour
4 teaspoons Watkins Baking Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup cold butter
1 1/3 cup fresh buttermilk or reconstituted from buttermilk powder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms coarse pieces.

Add the buttermilk and stir the mixture with a fork until most of the dry ingredients have been moistened. Turn the ingredients onto the counter and knead and fold until the dough is formed. Do not knead longer than necessary.

Roll or pat the dough to about 3/4-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet with the edges touching.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are just golden brown and biscuits sound hollow when gently tapped. Serve warm. Yield: 15 large biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits
2 cups/500 mL sifted all-purpose flour
1 tbsp/15 mL Watkins Baking Powder
1/2 tsp/2.5 mL salt
5 tbsp/75 mL cold butter
3/4 cup/180 mL milk

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and cut into dry ingredients with two knives or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in center and gradually add milk, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead lightly for 30 seconds. Roll out 1/2 to 3/4-inch/1 to 2-cm thick. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter. Arrange on greased baking sheet. Bake at 450ºF/235ºC for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12 biscuits, one per serving.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

Whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds give these maple syrup-sweetened blueberry muffins a delicious, nutty flavor. Compared to a traditional version of the recipe, they have four times the dietary fiber and substitute healthful monounsaturated fat (canola oil) for saturated fat (butter).

Blueberry-Maple Muffins
1/5 cup whole flaxseeds
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Watkins Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Watkins Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon Watkins Double Strength Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. Grind flaxseeds in a spice mill (such as a clean coffee grinder) or dry blender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; whisk to blend. Whisk eggs and maple syrup in a medium bowl until smooth. Add buttermilk, oil, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla; whisk until blended.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with sugar.

4. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn

No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Saucy Aloha Chicken Wings

These aloha chicken wings bring Hawaiian flavor straight to your table. The spicy seasoning mixes with the sweetness of the pineapple for a delicious sauce that can't be beat. These are great as a party appetizer or as a quick meal.

Saucy Aloha Chicken Wings
25 chicken wings
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Watkins Garlic Salt
1 tablespoon Watkins Organic Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Watkins Ginger
1 teaspoon Watkins Paprika
20 ounces can crushed pineapple
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup soy sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut wings at joints into 3 pieces. Discard bony end of wing tip or reserve for soup.

2. Arrange remaining chicken pieces in single layer in well-oiled baking pans. Prick skin with fork.

3. Combine vinegar, garlic salt, onion powder, ginger and paprika to make a baste; brush over chicken. Bake 30 minutes. Turn once.

4. Combine pineapple and juice with ketchup, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Spoon sauce over wings. Continue roasting 15 minutes more, or until done. Remove wings to serving platter. Serve immediately or until serving time. Wings may be reheated in oven or over hot coals on a grill.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mini Apple Pizzas

Children enjoy snacking on these sweet little pizzas. The warm cinnamon flavor and light crust make them delicious! Your kids will love helping in the kitchen when they get to eat their creations.

Mini Apple Pizzas
1 tube refrigerator biscuits (about 10 biscuits)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Watkins Ground Cinnamon
2 medium tart apples, peeled and shredded

Roll or pat biscuits into 3-1/2-in. circles; place on a lightly greased baking sheet. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add apples and mix well; spoon rounded tablespoonfuls onto biscuits.

Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Serve warm. Yield: 10 servings.