Building an empire on a Polly Pocket sized scale takes more effort than one would think.  But doesn’t everything?


Have a question? You can ask me anything, but keep in mind the following:

1. There’s a good chance I may not know the answer (unless the question can be found in the original edition of Trivial Pursuit, in which case I totally might).

2. I will answer your question as soon as I can, and some days I’m speedier than others.

3. Your question and my answer may be added as an FAQ, so make it a good one.


Want to reach me directly?  Send me a message.  Contact me at


Q: I have recently started a new job. Part of my new job as marketing slave is “social media.” While not completely surprised, I was still alarmed when my new boss friend requested me on Facebook. I pride myself as being a particular Facebooker – not allowing children or immediate family to be my friends. On Facebook, I say whatever I want. I clearly cannot say no to my new boss, I clearly cannot continue with my morally questionable ways, and although I contemplated an alternate Facebook account, my husband says I do not have the time to keep up such a charade. I have friended my boss but labelled him restricted as per my good friend’s advice. What exactly will he see?
A: When it comes to technology and privacy settings, I am no expert.  For topics like this, I rely on Geek Girls Guide to help me understand technology and how to put it to good use in my life.  This podcast covers some info on using Facebook to communicate (or not) with various groups of people.  This article about Facebook and privacy might also be super helpful.  And since your new job includes expanding your social media horizons, I’d also suggest signing up for their podcast.  Meghan and Nancy are smart, funny, technically savvy ladies.  Plus sometimes they break into song.  Highly recommend.

Q: When peeling an onion to add to your delicious chicken soup, what is the appropriate balance between removing the outer layers and not “Wasting” some of the onion.  And, as a follow-up, can you waste onion, as a matter of principle?
A: To prep an onion, here’s what I do: cut off the ends, cut it in half (end to end, not at the onion equator), remove the onion skin and the next layer below it and discard – the rest is ready for use.  Onions are cheap, so even when parts are not put to good use, the waste factor is pretty low.  So in general, I wouldn’t worry too much about onion waste.

Q: You generally recommend cooking all your crock pot recipes for 6 to 8 hours.  Is that  a crock pot standard?  Some of the people in our household believe that cooking recipes in the crock pot with potatoes in them will result in the potatoes being mushy.  Can you please give your opinion to save this domestic dispute from recurring every time we crock?
A: Most crock pot recipes suggest cooking on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4.  The temperature setting and length of time are totally related.  Regardless of which one is used, the actual cooking temperature will be the same, it just determines how quickly it gets there (more details here).  I agree that potatoes do get a little mushy when cooked in the crock pot.  Depending on the recipe, this might be fine (like if you’re going to blend some of the soup, or if mushy potatoes help to thicken the soup).  For those times when mushy potatoes are problematic, you could reduce the cooking time (using either setting), add cooked potatoes at the very end, or add raw potatoes partway through the full cooking time.  It might take a little experimentation to get the perfectly cooked potato, but if it brings about domestic bliss, it would totally be worth it.

One Response to “Ask”

  1. Jane Kalthoff July 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Awesome to see you rely often on the best chicken around! Gold’n Plump and Just BARE.

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