maple-glazed new potatoes

Heading to a New Years Celebration, here is a great NEW Recipe to bring, NEW Potatoes for the NEW Year!

3 lb.  tiny new potatoes
1/4  cup  butter, melted
Salt and cracked black pepper
3  Tbsp.  white balsamic vinegar
2  Tbsp.  pure maple syrup
3  cloves  garlic, thinly sliced
1/4  cup  chopped green onions
2  Tbsp.  chopped fresh thyme
1  Tbsp.  finely shredded lemon peel
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Halve or quarter any large potatoes. In shallow dish large enough to hold potatoes in a single layer, toss potatoes with butter; season with salt and pepper. Spread in single layer. Roast potatoes, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting.
2. Meanwhile, in small dish, stir together vinegar, maple syrup, and sliced garlic. Drizzle potatoes with vinegar mixture, gently tossing with a spoon or spatula to coat. Continue to roast about 10 to 20 minutes more, until potatoes are fork-tender and glazed, stirring once or twice.
3. To serve, sprinkle potatoes with green onions, thyme, and lemon peel. Makes 6 servings.
nutrition facts
Calories275, Total Fat (g)8, Saturated Fat (g)5, Monounsaturated Fat (g)2, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)0, Cholesterol (mg)20, Sodium (mg)265, Carbohydrate (g)47, Total Sugar (g)8, Fiber (g)5, Protein (g)3, Vitamin A (DV%)0, Vitamin C (DV%)81, Calcium (DV%)5, Iron (DV%)12, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

New Years Safe Driving

Can you believe 2010 is coming to an end?  All of a sudden New Year’s Eve is here and it’s that time to remember all the good things from the past year and ring in the new year with style and celebration. Most of you will be heading out to a favorite restaurant or bar, or even to a friend’s house for festive drinks. All of us here at Garage-Girls want to remind you  this night day can be the most dangerous for drivers due to increased traffic, the potential for bad weather and higher risk of drunk drivers on the road. 

Here are some New Year’s Eve safety tips to consider before driving: 

1. Say “no” to drinking and driving 
Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Be smart and plan ahead if you’re going to be drinking at a holiday gathering. Take a cab, stay at a friend’s house or designate a sober driver. Some bars and restaurants offer safe rides home as a service to patrons during the holidays. 

2. Be a cautious, yet defensive driver 
Even if you’re not drinking at your New Year celebration, you need to be extra aware of what’s going on around you when you drive. If you spot someone whom you suspect of driving under the influence, call the police and give them the license plate number. You might save multiple lives by being proactive and thinking of the safety of yourself and others. 

3. Prepare your vehicle for cold weather 
Want to know important holiday safety tips when hitting the road? Have your car checked to ensure it’s prepared for winter driving. The battery and brakes are two essential things to have checked. Make sure tires are properly inflated so they provide the best traction possible. Also make sure your engine coolant and windshield washer fluid is full. 

4. Check the weather before heading out 
Cold weather can bring snow and rain that is traitorous to drive through, especially on New Year’s Eve. Before you drive, take time to remove any snow and ice from your vehicle, including the mirrors and lights. If the weather is particularly bad, you may want to cancel your plans or simply leave earlier or later. If you do decide to drive during bad weather, make sure you have a charged cell phone handy, and either let people know when, where and how you are traveling, or have a passenger with you for additional safety in numbers. 

5. Make an emergency driving kit. 
Should the worst happen, be prepared by having a winter driving kit in your car. It’s best if the kit includes a small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter), a small snow shovel, a snow brush, traction mats, a flashlight with new batteries, window washer solvent, an ice scraper, a cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, a blanket, warning devices (flares or triangles), drinking water and extra clothes.

5 Tips for Easing into Your Exercise Program and Sticking with It

The New Year is upon us and it is now time to really get serious about an exercise program. The parties will be over and most of us will be settling back into a more normal schedule and routine. Some of you may be starting an exercise program for the first time while others are getting back into it after a break over the holidays. Here are some ways you can ease into your program and make sure you stick with it.
1.Don’t do too much too soon. One of the quickest ways to sidetrack your workout plan is to do too much too soon. Most people decide they are going to start a workout program and GO FOR IT! They hit the treadmill every day the first week and lift weights 3 of those days as well. Soreness sets in, as well as some fatigue and the next thing you know, you are right back to sleeping in rather than completing your workouts. To stay on track, don’t go for the gold right off the bat.
2.Set reasonable goals for yourself. As mentioned in #1, set goals that are reasonable. Work out 3 days the first week with a day off in between each workout session. This will allow your body time to adjust to the new activity.
3. Avoid injuries. Nothing gets your new workout sidetracked faster than an injury. Doing too much too soon puts you at higher risk for injuries. By taking it slowly at first and gradually adding more activity each week, you will allow your body time to adjust and you will avoid overuse injuries while possibly saving yourself a bad case of shin splints!
4. Create a workout environment you enjoy. No one wants to workout in a dark basement with no music. Or who wants to run on a treadmill facing a wall rather than a television? Make sure that whether you join a gym or are working out at home that you create an environment that you enjoy so that you will look forward to your workouts rather than dread them.
5. Plan short term but think long term. Set weekly and monthly goals so that you are able to experience success often. However, keep the final destination in mind. Chart out your small successes so that you can see how each one rolls up into your final goal.
By easing into your workouts, whether they are brand new to you or you are getting back into your routine, you will keep yourself motivated, injury free and on the road to reaching your long term goals. Remember maintaining our bodies is always priority number one!

chopped holiday salad

It’s time to toss out all those Holiday sugary treats and start getting back on track, here is a great FRESH, healthy Holiday recipe that you can take along to a New Years party!
•1  15- to 19-ounce can  cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
•2  small  green sweet peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks (1-1/2 cups)
•1  medium  cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks (3 cups)
•1/2  head  radicchio or 1/4 head red cabbage, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
•1/2  of a 16-ounce package  radishes, halved or quartered (1-1/2 cups)
•1/4  cup  olive oil
•1/4  cup  lemon juice
•Honey (1 Tbsp.)
•Coarse Salt (1/2 tsp.)
•Cracked black pepper (1/4 tsp.)
•8  ounces  feta cheese, cubed
• Coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or mint
1. Place beans, sweet peppers, cucumber, radicchio, and radishes in separate self-sealing plastic bags. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine oil and lemon juice. Cover and shake well. Add honey, salt, and cracked pepper to taste, covering and shaking well after each addition. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons dressing into each bag. Seal bags. Chill 2 to 4 hours, turning bags occasionally (beans, green peppers, and cucumber may be chilled up to 24 hours).
2. To serve, arrange vegetables and dressing along with feta cheese in strips on a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or mint. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
nutrition facts
•Servings Per Recipe 8 to 10 servings Calories191, Total Fat (g)13, Saturated Fat (g)5, Monounsaturated Fat (g)6, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1, Cholesterol (mg)25, Sodium (mg)528, Carbohydrate (g)15, Total Sugar (g)5, Fiber (g)4, Protein (g)8, Vitamin C (DV%)53, Calcium (DV%)17, Iron (DV%)6, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Dealing with the dreaded Road Salt………

If there is anything that drives a car enthusiast crazy during the winter months it’s road salt….  It’s so nasty, does terrible things to our vechicles and looks so disgusting when it dries and leaves that gross white film all over.  Road salt is something that needs to be removed from your vehicle as often as possible and if you live in an area where salt is frequently used to improve road conditions, you know how difficult it can be to keep your car clean. Unfortunately, this is not something that is done regularly, and vehicle owners are constantly surprised when spring rolls around and suddenly they see spots of rust or other damage where a pristine paint job appeared only a few months earlier. The reason for this is fairly simple. Salt—particularly the salt that is used on roadways—is a caustic substance that can eat away at other substances over time. If salt is left on a car, or even on the upholstery of a car, there is going to be noticeable damage.
Though cleaning is not something that anyone really looks forward to, removing road salt is important and anyone can do it with just a little time. Properly removing all the road salt that seems to accumulate on your car during the winter months is easy if you simply use these guidelines.
•Exterior. Probably the single easiest task when it comes to cleaning your car. During the winter months you want to keep an eye out for ways to work smarter, not harder. Take advantage of those automatic car washes. They will remove a vast majority of the road salt from your exterior. The best part of this is that you won’t run the risk of hypothermia when cleaning! On average you should get your car washed within three days of any salting to cut down the risk of rust and paint damage. Doing this is also going to help protect your undercarriage and wheels, since many automatic car washes also get these portions of the vehicle at the same time. Be sure to do this when the weather is abve freezing temps though, washing and letting the left over water freeze on the vechicle can do it’s own amount of damage. If you have a garage you can piull into after a wash, that is the best scenerio.
•Leather Upholstery. If you have leather upholstery, you’ll want to clean them regularly during the winter months to remove any road salt that has come in contact with the seats. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose salt and grime. Use some leather cleaning solution (similar to the kind used for soft leather boots and shoes) and a soft white cloth to apply it. Rub gently but firmly until any stains are removed. Apply a leather protectant similar to the ones used for leather boots or shoes. Allow your leather upholstery to dry, keeping it warm enough to dry and not freeze.
•Fabric Upholstery. The best way to clean road salt from fabric upholstery is similar to what you do for leather. Dry brush all the loose gunk off the seats. Simply lift the floor mats up and out. For the ground-in junk, use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Apply it to your upholstery with a sponge and wipe away. The vinegar is going to simply dissolve the ground-in junk and clean the stain at the same time.
So take a few extra minutes every now and then during these winter months to keep your driver  looking it’s best, and will protect your investment for years down the road!

Holiday ham and cheese quiches

So easy to make and perfect for Holiday gatherings!
•1  15-ounce package  rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust (2 crusts)
•1/2  cup  shredded Italian cheese blend
•1/2  cup  finely chopped sweet red pepper
•1/4  cup  finely chopped peppered or smoked cooked ham
•1  tablespoon  thinly sliced green onion or 1-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives
•1-1/2  teaspoons  all-purpose flour
•1/4  teaspoon  Italian seasoning, crushed
•1/8  teaspoon  salt
•1/8  teaspoon  ground black pepper
•3    eggs, slightly beaten
•1/2  cup  half-and-half, light cream, or milk
• Fresh herb springs, such as basil, oregano or thyme (optional)
1. Let piecrusts stand at room temperature according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut each piecrust into four equal sections (eight sections total). Press sections of piecrust onto the bottom and up the sides of eight, 4-inch fluted individual tart pans* with removable bottoms. Trim excess dough from top of pans.
2. Line each pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Place pans on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 2 to 3 minutes more or until pastry is set and dry. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
3. In a medium bowl combine shredded Italian cheese blend, red sweet pepper, ham, green onion, flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among pastry shells.
4. In the same bowl beat together eggs and half-and-half. Pour egg mixture over filling mixture in each pastry shell. Bake for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. If desired, top with a fresh herb sprig.
5. Makes 8 individual servings
6. To make one large quiche: Line a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom with one piecrust (reserve remaining piecrust for another use). Line with double thickness of foil. Bake in 400 degrees F. oven for 7 minutes. Remove foil; bake 8 to 9 minutes longer or until pastry is set, dry and lightly browned. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly in shell. Pour egg mixture over cheese. Bake in 325 degrees F oven for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
nutrition facts
•Calories317, Total Fat (g)20, Saturated Fat (g)9, Cholesterol (mg)102, Sodium (mg)391, Carbohydrate (g)28, Protein (g)6, Vitamin C (DV%)20, Calcium (DV%)8, Iron (DV%)3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


I recently arrived from another shelter At first I was shy and scared and not a bit happy about my new surrondings. Over time I adjusted and I recently moved into one of the free roam rooms where I live with 9 other cats. I think I would prefer to be an only cat because I tend to be jealous and want all the visitor attention for myself. I love laser pointers and I hope that my new family has one at their house and maybe a couple of treats. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and see me at Animal Friends. I would love to make your house a home.


Hello! I am one of the cats known around Animal Friends as the “M” cats. I am one of 59 cats who Animal Friends’ Humane Officers rescued from a situation of neglect. Upon arrival I received medical care and now I am healthy and ready for adoption. I’ve had a rough start to life and although I may seem timid, I crave human attention and I also enjoy the company of most other cats. With some patience and a lot of TLC, I know that I will bloom in to a sweet loving companion. I would love to meet with you if you think you can give me the second chance at life that I have been dreaming of!  
I would love to go home with my “roomie” Mademoiselle or to a home with another friendly cat! Won’t you stop by Animal Friends to meet us?

Keepin’ it together during the Holidays!

This time of year is great, the running around, the last minute gifts, putting up with family, lots of drinking, eating and trying to keep everyone happy!  If you find yourself getting just a little too caught up take a step back and try to make it through using these simple steps, why let everyone else have all the fun! Take a deep breath and ENJOY the days ahead!
1. Keep lists.
We suggest checking them more than twice – think twice daily!    Don’t make the list on the go, but sit down, and focus solely on what you need to do to make your holidays enjoyable and memorable.  Write it all out.  You will be energized, and ready to conquer!  Just don’t forgot to keep your list with you at all times so you can check, modify, update, and congratulate.
2. Consciously exercise daily.
This is one of the first things to get thrown out the door during the holiday season for people, because there is no time!  What we often forget is that we waste way more time when we feel sluggish and cranky, the feeling we get when we stop exercising and start eating a lot of stuff.  We need to be in our best mood, and what better mood booster than the endorphins released during and after exercise?!  Try to do at least a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day if you can’t get to a class or the gym.  It also helps release the guilt from eating those extra few cookies.
3. Meditate for ten minutes a day.
You can call it whatever you want- meditate, relax, pray, sit, lie, bathe, etc.  The concept is to stop the world for ten minutes each day, and just breathe.  Let your thoughts simply go through you.  Focus on the feelings we should associate with holidays – thanks for the blessings we have.  Make a conscious effort to feel that warm, generous feeling of gratitude in every inch of your body.  Let it wander through your fingertips, arms, neck, and travel all around until your whole being is at peace.
4. Focus on giving thanks.
Every Day.  All Day.  Sure, move on your lists, but don’t do it like a bull in a china shop.  We often forget what the holidays are all about because of the to do’s.  We live in a time of economic hardship, where a lot of people in the U.S. can’t even put food on their tables.  We need to consciously remember to be thankful to ourselves and to others throughout the season – as that is what it truly is all about.
5. Forgive yourself and others.
This is especially true during the holidays.  We may have the best of intentions, but ultimately forget to thank this person, don’t send a card, buy a wrong size, etc. etc.  We need to realize that the holidays are an especially harried time for the brain.  Every day intend to do the best you can, and work to let the rest go.

Last Minute Motorcycle gifts

Hey all you procrastinators, just today we have received over 7 emails from people asking what to get for their husband/BF for their motorcycle.  While this is a great idea ( a little last minute) but still great, our best advise is go for the gift card. Sure we know it’s not as personal as picking something out, BUT with so many different model motorcycles out you risk getting the wrong part, such as an exhaust or shock for the wrong model bike or wrong year. This will only leave you with a hassle when it comes to returning for the right one. Most shops will charge you a restocking fee or worse they might not even take it back.  Save yourself from frustration or picking out something that isn’t even going to fit to begin with and grab the gift card. Just get creative with the wrapping!