Category Archives: non-food

Home Made Ant Bait

(as per Ed Lawrence)

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon boric acid

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water. Add the boric acid and stir until dissolved.

Take any pint-sized plastic container and cut small holes into the sides at the bottom to allow ants access to crawl inside. Dip cotton balls into the solution, and place inside the container. Seal the container with the lid, and place the container on a pathway that the ants are using.
The ants will eat the solution, and take it back to the other ants in the nest, where it will “build up” and eventually destroy the nest. The solution can be refrigerated and stored for a couple of weeks if it is carefully labelled.

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Smooth Play Dough

This was my children’s favourite play dough.  I like it because one doesn’t end up with salty, crusty hands when using it, and it doesn’t need a stovetop to cook it on.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp alum (from bulk store)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp boiling water
  • Food colouring, if desired
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center; add food colouring to water.
  2. Pour the boiling (coloured) water into the well, and mix thoroughly until all the flour is moistened.
  3. When cool enough to handle, knead the dough until it is smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge.


  • to add interest, mix in with the dry ingredients: glitter, strongly scented spices, cake sprinkles, etc
  • use koolaid powder to colour the water, or add it to the dry ingredients prior to adding the water

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Filed under Fun/Kids, non-food

Mrs. McCarthy’s Christmas Decorations

The “kids” made these decorations when they were very small; one batch at school with the creative Mrs. McCarthy, and one batch at home.  They really do retain their scent, and are surprisingly durable.

Mix together:

  • 4 oz/113 grams ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cloves

To the mixed spices, add:

  • 2 Tablespoons PVA glue (white school glue)
  • 1 cup applesauce

Mix until well blended and will form into a dough ball.  Roll out and cut with cookie cutters, as one would do for sugar cookies or gingerbread men.  Using a drinkinkg straw, cut out small holes from each shape to attach ribbon/pipe cleaner/string hangers.  DO NOT BAKE, but instead, let AIR DRY.  Decorations will smell like the spices for years to come!

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Cooked Playdough

This playdough is very smooth in texture, and will not leave a salty, or oily residue on one’s hands.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • Food colouring (optional)

Put flour, salt, and cream of tartar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the liquid ingredients together.

Add the liquid ingredients to the pot, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and forms a sticky ball in the centre of the pot, about 3 to 5 minutes after mixture has warmed.

Let cool, and knead till smooth.

Store covered in fridge.

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Chicken cooking chart

Cut Internal Temperature Maximum Grilling Time (medium heat with lid down) Maximum Skillet Cooking Time (medium-high heat) Maximum Roasting Time (uncovered in 350F oven)
Boneless skinless breast

Small (120g)

Large (170g)

170F 10 minutes per side

15 minutes per side

9 minutes per side

14 minutes per side

approximately 25 minutes, covered
Boneless skinless thigh

Small (120g)

Large (170g)

170 F 9 minutes per side

12 minutes per side

Bone-in breast

Small (170g)

Large (224g)

170F(77C) 11 minutes per side

14 minutes per side

Bone-in leg

Small (170g)

Large (224g)

170F (77C) 28 minutes per side

36 minutes per side

Ground chicken patties (120g) 175F (80C) 9 minutes per side 8 minutes per side
Whole chicken



180F (83C) Not recommended 2 hours & 20 minutes
Whole chicken

(1.5kg), unstuffed

180F (83C) 1 hour 2 hours & 20 minutes

This is from a booklet published by the Chicken Farmers of Canada, in 2000.

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Buying Seafood and Fish – Health and Environment

Fishing at Blenhiem, by Wit at Flickr

Fishing at Blenhiem, by Wit at Flickr

Check out this web site to make smart choices when purchasing seafood and fish:

Seafood Choices Alliance

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Filed under food, non-food


Not food…for making wonderful solution for blowing bubbles (way better than store bought)!

  • 1/2 cup Sunlight liquid dish detergent (honestly, this works the best)
  • 2 + 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon glycerine (buy at a pharmacy)
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons granulated white sugar

Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Makes about 3 cups.

Make bubble wands out of anything:  pipe cleaners, twist ties, coat hangers, electrical wire, your fingers, string…get creative!

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