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Archive for February 2011

Joanne Camas wrote in Epicurious, "Just saw my first barbecue article of the year, and it seemed odd, since I can barely make out the outline of my grill under the snow piles in my yard. I guess I'm a fair-weather griller. I know people barbecue in stadium a lot during football season, and icy weather doesn't stop a couple of my friends dashing out the backdoor to throw steaks on the grill." More

It's usually during winter that we find ourselves craving and creating those old comfort food standbys - macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, soup, mashed potatoes and gravy. Not LaWanda Tucker. The Bells, Tenn., resident craves anything and everything grilled, even if it is freezing outside. Asked how often she grills out, Tucker said, "Oh, just whenever we take a notion." More

The Comox Regional District's wood stove exchange program is so hot right now. That's the message CVRD sustainability and transit manager Michael Zbarsky brought to Comox Council recently. More

Energy efficiency improvements are great for lowering electric bills. But sometimes the up-front cost can be a drawback. Since 2005, Congress has enacted a series of tax breaks for consumers who take steps to make their homes more energy efficient. In December, the outgoing 111th Congress approved extending some popular efficiency tax credits through Dec. 31, 2011, although at greatly reduced levels. More

John Rumery wrote in Rapid Growth, "I took advantage of the snow days to prep an 8-pound pork butt, shovel a path to the grill and ponder the important things in life: The merits of gas versus charcoal grills, the use of marinades and dry rubs, and whether to serve ribs with sauce, or leave them dry." More

Architects of modern homes appreciate the importance of outdoor living and include superb areas in the design of new suburban homes or townhouses near the beach. Also remember that the family evolves. You may need a garden patio for an odd Sunday braai beside a children's sandpit now, but be aware that the sandpit may need to be converted into a water feature or flower bed in time. The best place to put a patio is where people gather naturally. Look carefully at the style of your house before designing a patio. A patio should be a focal point that draws people towards it. More

A propane gas barbecue could be the ideal solution for families who are planning on doing some outdoor grilling this year. This is the advice of Recipes For Picky Eaters, who believes that this type of barbecue is the best kind of grill on the market. More

If you're burning wood for heat, make sure it's dry. That's the word from Fran McNair, Executive Director of the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, a regional air pollution control agency in Washington state, who says her office is working to educate homeowners on reducing harmful emissions from their wood-burning stoves. She recommended keeping the wood stacked under a waterproof cover for least six months before burning. More

The author of this Chicago Tribune article wrote, "A number of questions lately have centered on wood-burning fireplaces and just about any problem that arises with their use. A recent one concerned using a fireplace with a heat pump. I knew I'd answered the question once before, and when I checked, this is the solution I offered in a previous column." More

The ambiance of a burning blaze may be romantic, but an older fireplace can suck the warm air out a room, leaving a chill that can dissuade even the most determined Don Juan. But candy and flowers aside, today's new energy efficient fireplaces can cut heating costs, warming the heart of a homeowner when the bill shows up. More

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