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Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Mexican Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing Recipe
Everyone will love this Mexican-inspired pasta salad recipe. We lighten up the creamy dressing with avocado for a healthier version of a picnic favorite.

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FlipFlic – An Innovative Energy Saving KickStarter Project

The developers of a new KickStarter project called FlipFlic gave me a heads up about their idea.  I was impressed with their design’s simplicity, cleanness, low price and its potential to save energy and increase convenience and decided to pass the idea on here.

FlipFlic is a Smartphone controlled device that automatically opens or closes blinds based on the time of day, or temperature, or light level.

Some of the nice features:

  • Easy to install.
  • Smartphone controlled.
  • Blind open/close can be based on time of day, temperature, or light levels.
  • Solar powered.
  • Low price.
The FlipFlic compact motor unit replaces the existing wand on the blinds.
It is solar powered, so no batteries to replace or wires to run.
Use your Smartphone to set up the times, temperatures, or light levels
that control the opening and closing of the blinds.
The initial offering works with either horizontal or vertical slat style blinds.  Kseniia tells me that the team has it in their plans to develop version that will also work with cellular shades, which,  I think, offers an even greater potential for energy saving due to the greater insulating value of these blinds.
Our house uses lots cellular shades with side tracks to reduce winter heat loss and reduce summer heat gain.  They work great and have a large energy saving and short payback period.  But, the twice a day ritual of raising and lowering the shades can get to be a hassle.  I’m really looking forward to this device to have more control with less hassle.
Gary
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Chicken Tacos with Tangerine-Lime Crema

Chicken Tacos with Tangerine-Lime Crema Recipe
This spicy chicken taco recipe gets fresh orange flavor from both the crema and crunchy slaw toppings. Serve with tortilla chips and ice-cold beer.

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Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms

Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach & Mushrooms Recipe
Loaded with veggies, this spiralized sweet potato vegetable noodles recipe—our healthy take on a traditional carbonara recipe—achieves superfood status with the addition of spinach and mushrooms. Look for large, straight sweet potatoes to make the longest veggie noodles.

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Late Season Waterfowl

BLOG POST - 2015 - DUCK FATI’ve been waterfowl hunting the wrong season my whole life. Was always eager come early September to chase the birds that found the first cereal crops knocked down. Error. I did that this year, as always. I spent some special time butchering geese with my buddy Blair, tossing the odd super-lean carcass 20′ away or so to give the swarm of wasps something to chew on so that they didn’t chew on us. One of my kids literally entered the back yard, and asked why it smelled like slough. The carcass waste bags festered in the September heat.

The solution, LATE SEASON BIRDS. News flash, animals finished on grain for weeks are tasty. News flash, fat is tasty. No more slough smell. Oh, and no more wasps while breaking the birds down – the cold weather sorted them out. Waste bags could store well until garbage day. All is well in the world of late season waterfowl. It’d known this for some time, but this season I hunted frequently enough to observe the dramatic change, come to some conclusions, and make some personal commitments to myself.

Of all of those things, the most astounding piece, the big game changer is the fat. Having just hung out with and filmed Hank Shaw plucking ducks, geese, and grouse, plucking was on the agenda. Partly because of the skin, but even more so to keep the fat in place. It’s the perfect medium to moisten the very lean meat during cooking. And it’s delicious.

BLOG POST - 2015 - DUCK FAT COLOURSomething odd, it being my first really heavy season of waterfowl plucking, was the difference in colour between two birds of the same species. An addition to the ever growing evidence of animal variability. Photo on the left is two mallard breasts, one yellow as if it’d been feeding on corn, another white like pig lard. Both shot on the same hunt, in the same field. Animal variability of wild meat at its finest. Worth noting that I chose to dry pluck all season, including our Christmas Turkey, opting out of exploring another method, and without any regrets. I did a lot of birds, the vast majority with the hybrid approach of plucking the breast and legs then carving them out. It’s not hard to harvest a possession limit of geese (currently 24 per hunter) and ducks (also, 24 per hunter), and there’s no way I can freeze that many birds whole even if I wanted to.

Below: a good day for greenheads. I’ve eaten duck for a lot of years, but will admit that Hank Shaw prepared some duck and goose in bush camp this year that changed how I see both. Nothing fancy, but two critical waterfowl cookery elements on point:  1] proper doneness execution,  and 2] proper quality wild poultry fat. More on this in the coming episodes of From The Wild – you get to hear it right from Hank himself.

BLOG POST - 2015 - GREENHEADS