How to microwave a baked potato

Seriously, this morning I’m just reacting** (see below) to the “we need directions for everything” craze out there. I saw several posts over on Pinterest with “how to bake a potato in your microwave oven” type headlines. With pretty pictures, which admittedly I don’t have today. (If you want to see one, send me a note!)

But really. Would you like directions? Okay, here goes. Scrub your potato, just in case there’s dirt on there that’ll wash off. Then poke it with a knife. This part’s important – there’s enough liquid in the potato that it could kind of explode if the heat builds up enough while it’s cooking. Very messy.

Anyway, you washed your potato and poked a couple holes in it. Then put it in your microwave, set the timer for 6 or 8 minutes, depending on how strong your microwave, how big the potato, and the phase of the moon (yes, I’m kidding about the moon part). Hit START.

When the timer goes off, grab a potholder because this potato’s going to be hot. See if it’s kind of squishy when you push at it. If it’s still hard(ish), give it a couple more minutes. If it’s soft, it’s done.

Honestly, if there’s more we need to know, I will revisit this post. If not, treat “how to microwave a potato” in the same vein as “how to boil water”.

** Okay, maybe “overreacting”…

Thoughts on photo lighting

Just a quick note here – I did a comparison to see what the Curves function in photoshop would do for a “quick fix” on a photo. Brian, thanks for letting me play with this!

photo comparison using Curves in photoshop

Going to try a few more examples later, just playing with ideas 🙂

How to freeze green beans – without blanching!

Talk about a useful Tip of the Day ! I just got a lovely big supply of garden fresh green beans from a dear friend (somehow my garden didn’t happen this year). I was getting ready to blanch most of them, because much as we love green beans we can’t eat them all up in a few days.

Then I had an attack of brains and thought, I ought to doublecheck the best method – you know that’s one of the reasons we love the web. And I found this most wonderful article on how to freeze fresh green beans, without having to blanch them first.

how to freeze green beans without blanching first

I am trying this TODAY.

A huge thank you to Jami, of An Oregon Cottage, who kindly gave permission to share her idea with a link to her blog. She has some wonderful advice – and project articles there – you are going to have so much fun!

And I’ll share pronto, how the beans turned out 🙂

PS! Edited (days later) to add this: the beans turned out to be very tasty. I did need to spend a little longer cooking them (they were chewier than usual) – but they really were good. And easy to prepare: I tried two different ways. First time, I steamed them for several minutes. Second time, I microwaved them with just a smidge of butter, for about 2-3 minutes. Both methods worked. Save yourself time – freeze those wonderful fresh green beans!

DIY Product Photography Tips!

I recently found a simple, easy to follow post about doing your own product photography. It’s cheap, it’s easy to understand – not only what she does but WHY she does it – and the tips really do help! I found it over at Apartment Therapy which you know I think is pretty wonderful anyway.

And talk about wonderful – the article will help you make your product photos can look like this:

how to take great productg shots - tips from Apartment Therapy

By starting with this:

how to take great productg shots - tips from Apartment Therapy

Obviously there’s a lot more detail when you read the article. I think you’ll find it as useful as I did 🙂

Tip of the Day – Don’t Lick Your Fingers

Okay, that sounds silly, but it’s not. I got this tip from a rhinestone vendor, and once he mentioned it, it made total sense.

Rhinestones are beautiful and sparkly and the precise, faceted ones are just gorgeous – take a look at these two-jewel charms, aren’t they pretty?

Sapphire Vintage Pear Jewel and Crystal Rhinestone Two Jewel Charms
Rhinestones (and vintage glass jewels) are beautiful. Just remember to use sensible care and caution when you work with them all the time.

Quality rhinestones – whether Swarovski (yum!), or vintage glass, are usually made of leaded glass or crystal. The relevant word here is “leaded”. Lead is bad for you. You don’t want to ingest it. You definitely don’t want your kids to ingest it (and please note, now and in future, that jewelry supplies are NOT TOYS. They aren’t meant for small children. They can scratch and be swallowed).

But right now, we’re talking about us, the women and men who design and build jewelry. It’s easy, when you’re working with small components, and trying to do six things at once, and you really need three hands anyway, to lick your finger and pick up the pretty sparkly rhinestone, to steady it and secure it and get ready to use it.

Don’t do it. Get in the habit of keeping a moistened paper or cloth towel at your workspace. When you need to moisten your finger so you can pick up that tiny little rhinestone and have it stay on your finger – touch the moist towelette. Don’t lick your finger.

No, nothing terrible will happen from touching a rhinestone! Don’t get me wrong, they are not dangerous. But they come from a factory where there is dust, and the dust probably contained lead. And they contain lead. You don’t want to get any of that inside you.

So – use them with love, and admire their beauty, and share them with your friends – and customers! Just clean them well, and polish them to make them even more beautiful – and stop licking your fingers.