Snow Ice Cream

Since snow has slammed the Midwest and the East coast I thought I’d do something a little different for our weekly blog.  Snow Ice Cream is one of my family’s favorite treats when winter rolls around.  Once the snow falls it’s one of the first things we do.  So here is the recipe for yummy snow-tastic goodness, but word to the wise don’t use the yellow snow.

Snow Ice Cream Recipe:

– 1 Can of Evaporated Milk

– 1 Cup of Sugar

– 1 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract

– Fresh Snow (No yellow)

Mix the condensed milk, sugar and vanilla extract together till blended well.  Then add snow till you get the desired consistency you want.  Enjoy!

Fireplace Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

For a safe and efficient fire, it is important to regularly maintain and clean you fireplace. There are certain steps you, as a homeowner, can take to ensure a clean fireplace and eliminate an accumulation of soot, ashes, and creosote tars. These tips below vary on the type of fireplace: wood burning, gas, electric, etc.

– Wood burning: Burn only seasoned, well-dried wood to minimize dangerous creosote buildup Creosote is a flammable tar-like substance that accumulates in the chimney and flue.

– Wood burning: Creosote should be removed by a professional, extinguishing the worry of at least one potential fire hazard.

– Wood burning: Inspect the firebox, flue, and chimney annually for creosote accumulation.

– Wood burning: Do not use water to extinguish a fire unless there is an emergency because it will make the ashes a paste making it difficult to remove.

– DO NOT use an abrasive cleaner inside the fireplace.  Many leave a flammable residue.  You’re fireplace company should be able to recommend a cleaner or may even have some on hand.

– Vacuum or dust the hearth area to prevent soot and dust build-up.  IMPORTANT: DO NOT sweep or vacuum until all the embers have been extinguished for at least 12 hours.

– Clean and polish the glass doors.

– There are other steps that may need to be taken so it is important that you contact you local fireplace dealer and ask them what additional cleaning and maintenance you need to do.  Fireplace dealers also can do the maintenance for you.  Ask them if they have a special discount or maintenance program.


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Fireplace Safety

Think twice when you cuddle up to your significant other by the fireplace this Valentine’s Day. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireplace and chimneys cause more than 25,000 house fires every year, resulting in at least 10 deaths annually.  Hazards of fireplace operations include:

– Chimney fires
– Harmful particles in smoke
– CO2 seeping into the house
– Sparks setting fire to rugs or furniture
– flammable materials placed too close to the fireplace

Routine maintenance and careful use of the fireplace can decrease these dangers and allow you to use your fireplace in safer conditions. (NOTE: More about fireplace cleaning and maintenance tips next week)

More ways you can lower your risk when using your fireplace is to:

– Have a spark arrester installed at the top of the flue guard against roof fires
– Have a fire extinguisher near by
– Place smoke detectors on every level of your home
– Install a carbon monoxide detector
– Keep all combustibles a safe distance away from the fireplace
– Prevent sparks by using a fire screen

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!