Potato Scoop (Hydraecia Micacea) — Follow the Fighter

Potato Scoop (Hydraecia Micacea)

Pest Type: Potato Pest

The most numerous in woodland and forest-steppe. It damages potatoes, tomatoes, hops, rhubarb, corn, raspberries, wild strawberries, sugar beets, sorrel, onions, cabbage, sometimes barley, rye, and also feeds on weeds, especially iris, water sorrel.

Butterfly 28-40 mm in size, front wings from grayish-yellow to grayish-brown in color with a reddish tinge, transverse lines are brown, the round spot is the same color as the background of the wings, hind wings are grayish or reddish yellow with a dark stripe in the upper thirds of the wing. An egg of 0.7-0.8 mm in size, changing color, from yellowish-white to black-yellow. The caterpillar is 40-50 mm long, from light yellow to saturated black, a reddish stripe along the back, chest and anal scutes are brown, setae are located on brown scutes, spiracles are black. Pupa-17-25 mm, yellow-brown, cremaster two growths, club-shaped extensions at the ends and six bristles.

Eggs hibernate over the sheath of the leaves of perennial grasses, creeping wheatgrass, timothy grass, hedgehogs of the team, they are placed in groups, usually 20-60 eggs, in one or two rows. Caterpillars are born in May, feed first on the leaves, and then in the stalks of cereals, at the II-III age they turn into the stems of the plant. They have six, rarely five periods. Pupate in early July in the soil of damaged plants at a depth of 5-15 cm. The development of the pupa lasts 13-30 days. Butterflies fly from late July to mid-October, lay eggs behind leaves in groups of 20-60, sometimes up to 200 pieces. The fertility of the female is 260-480 eggs. One generation develops per year.

Protective measures. Destruction of weeds, removal of post-harvest residues. Spraying with insecticides in two periods: during the appearance of caterpillars on cereal grasses and during the transition from cereals to plant stems to their penetration into the stems.


Don’t like those grey hairs? Try this trick with potato peels

Grey hair – we all have to deal with it at some point in our lives. Some people get their first grey hairs in their early twenties, while others go without them for a very long time. Once you’ve spotted your very first grey hair, however, you know there’s no turning back. They’re definitely here to stay! You can accept it and rock those grey hairs, or if you’re not comfortable with that yet, you can also do all kinds of things to get rid of them.

This trick with potato peels can help you to reduce those grey hairs before you know it!

Dying your hair is quite an intensive activity. You can do it at home or go to a salon to let someone else do it for you, but either way, it takes up a lot of time and money. Plus, you have to keep doing it if you want your hair to keep looking good. Luckily, there’s now a new trick out there that’s much less expensive and at least as effective as hair dye. All you need for this trick is a bag of potatoes! Potato peels contain an enzyme called catecholase. This enzyme is used in cosmetic products aimed at evening out skin tones. However, while it evens out your skin this enzyme can also add a little colour to your hair! The potato peels won’t damage your hair, which can’t be said about most of the chemical hair dyes, so it’s worth a try, right?

Go to the next page to read about the instructions for this amazing trick!

DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee of specific results and each person’s results may vary.


Sweet Potato Casserole


This super easy Sweet Potato Casserole is one my favorite side dishes for the holidays. It is a family favorite for Thanksgiving and I love to serve it along with Green Bean Bundles with Bacon and Easy Sweet Maple Dinner Rolls

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It will be here before you know it so you had better have your ducks in a row. I like to try out new recipes before the big day so I am sure my guests will be pleased with the results. I have tested this one many times so there is no need to make a trial run. However if you decide you must this casserole is absolutely scrumptious with baked chicken or roasted pork loin. This recipes makes about twelve servings so plan accordingly.

How do you make Sweet Potato Casserole?

First scrub, dry and prick those sweet potatoes with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about one hour or until they are fork tender turning the sheet halfway through the baking process. Let the potatoes cool long enough to handle. Scoop the contents out with a spoon or peel the skins away with your fingers. Either process works so just do whichever process seems to be working the best.

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Now in a large bowl mix together the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, beaten eggs, salt, softened butter, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg. Spread the mixture in 9×13 inch or equivalent size baking dish. In a medium bowl combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry knife cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbled. Finally stir in the chopped pecans and then spread the mixture over the sweet potatoes in the casserole dish. Bake for about thirty minutes turning the broiler on low for the last couple minutes of baking.

Helpful tips for making this Sweet Potato Casserole

  • The recipe is best with baked sweet potatoes as it brings out the natural sweetness in the potatoes. However in a pinch you can boil them or use canned sweet potatoes.
  • Chop your pecans fairly fine so they blend well with the topping and spread nicely over the sweet potatoes.
  • I like to turn the broiler on for the last couple minutes of baking to lightly brown the top. But stay very close by and keep an eye on it as I have always found broilers very unpredictable.
  • This recipe can be prepared in advance however hold the pecan topping in a separate air tight container and sprinkle on right before baking.

Well what are you waiting for? Put the ingredients for this delectable casserole on your shopping list today and make you and yours a magnificent treat. Happy holidays everyone and I hope that you have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Other delicious holiday sides you will love!

Sweet Potato Casserole

5 from 7 reviews

A super easy family friendly casserole of sweet creamy mashed sweet potatoes topped with a scrumptious crunchy brown sugar pecan topping. This is the perfect Thanksgiving holiday side dish.

  • Author: Beth Pierce
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1 x
  • Category: side
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoon s butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crunchy Pecan Topping

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoon s butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cup s chopped pecans


  1. Scrub, dry and prick sweet potatoes with a fork. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 425 degrees or until fork tender turning the sheet halfway through the baking process. Let cool long enough to handle easily.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Scoop sweet potatoes out of skin with a spoon and place in large bowl. Add sugar, beaten eggs, salt, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix well with a spoon or on low with a hand held mixer. Spread the mixture in the greased baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry knife cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbled. Stir in pecans; sprinkle mixture over sweet potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes; turn the broiler on low for the last 1 1/2-2 minutes of baking just to lightly brown the top.


  • Broilers can be unpredictable so stay close by and keep an eye on it.

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How to Cook Breadfruit

Starchy breadfruit has a texture similar to a potato and a yeasty scent like freshly baked bread when it’s cooked. While you can cook breadfruit in a variety of ways, roasting it in the oven keeps the spongy fruit from becoming mushy, as it would with boiling. Oven roasting is a helpful step when you want to fry breadfruit, which grows in the Caribbean, Pacific islands and Southeast Asia. Roasting makes it easy to peel and core breadfruit without having to deal with its sticky latex sap, which can make slicing it difficult.

Choose mature fruit that has a smooth surface, greenish-yellow color and a dappling of brown crusty patches between the segments on its skin. Immature fruit, which is spiky and bright green in color, tends to be rubbery when cooked, warns the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Soak the breadfruit in a bowl of cold water for two minutes to remove much of the sticky latex sap from its skin.

Coat a knife with vegetable oil and cut out the stem of the fruit. Turn it upside-down to allow sap to flow out of the fruit and into a bowl.

Scoop out the core of the breadfruit with the oiled knife to stuff it with either sweet or savory ingredients, such as herbs, seasonings, butter cheese, meats, coconut or sugar. Skip the stuffing if you plan to season the breadfruit after cooking it or you plan to fry it in strips.

Cut an «X» into the skin at the bottom of the breadfruit to allow steam to escape while cooking.

Coat the breadfruit in vegetable oil and wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it moist. Place it on a baking sheet.

Bake the breadfruit in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. The breadfruit is ready when you can easily poke it with a knife and the knife comes out clean.

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Allow the breadfruit to cool slightly and peel off the skin with a knife.

Cut the breadfruit in half and remove any remaining core pieces.

Serve the roasted breadfruit with butter, salt and pepper. For a dessert-like dish, flavor it with sweet ingredients like sugar, coconut milk or cinnamon. Or slice the roasted breadfruit into wedges and fry them in a pan of vegetable oil until brown, about two to three minutes per side. Sprinkle them with salt or cinnamon and sugar and serve them while hot.

Serve breadfruit with spicy dishes like curry, because the blandness of the breadfruit meshes well with strong flavors.

The more ripe and soft a breadfruit, the sweeter its flavor will be.


Use caution when handling a roasted breadfruit, because the steam from a freshly cooked breadfruit is very hot.

Breadfruit sap is sticky and can stain your clothing.


Potato Skins Recipe

One of my very favorite appetizers to order at a restaurant is Potato Skins.

I love the fact that they are considered a finger food. This is the one time that it is socially acceptable to pick up a potato and eat it with your hands.

Plus who can resist the taste of cheese and bacon on a crispy potato skin?

But almost every time I prepare appetizers for a party, I rarely think about making potato skins.

Instead, there are plenty of dips and spreads, such as buffalo chicken and spinach artichoke dip, on the counter.

And don’t forget the ever popular chicken wings that are a must have for a game day party.

Because I make most of my appetizers in my Instant Pot, slow cooker or in the air fryer, my oven rarely gets used.

Which means that I have no excuse not to make potato skins!

Baked Potatoes

The first thing that has to be done is to bake the potatoes.

I know that there are several ways to bake a potato. And the oven isn’t necessarily the quickest method.

But although it is much faster to make baked potatoes in the microwave or Instant Pot, I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe.

The skins of the potatoes need to be firm and crisp. And it is difficult to achieve that in the microwave or pressure cooker.

However, the oven does just that. And it is even better when you rub oil on the potatoes prior to baking.

The oil penetrates the skin which allows them to become firm and crisp as they bake.

Yes, it takes longer, but it is well worth the time involved.

But we have also found a way around this time consuming task on party day.

A week or two before the party, when we have plenty of time on our hands, we will bake several potatoes.

After they cool a bit, we will scoop out the insides (which we use for our twice baked potato or potato soup recipes) and freeze the skins.

Then on the morning of the party, we pull them out of the freezer to thaw.

All that is left to do is to add the toppings and bake them!

In less than 20 minutes, the potato skins are ready to be served! When you are hosting a party, every minute that you can save is precious.

Keys To Making Perfect Potato Skins

There are a few tips that we have learned over the years that will help you make perfect potato skins.

We already discussed the best way to bake the potatoes. And be sure to add the oil to the outsides of the skins before baking.

Once the potatoes are out of the oven, be sure to wait until you are able to handle them before cutting them.

But don’t wait too long!

You want to make sure that the insides are still tender and warm enough to scoop out easily.

And speaking of removing the insides, we have found the perfect utensil for the job!

A medium size cookie scoop works really well for this task!

Not only is it easy to remove the potato innards, it is also just as easy to release it into a bowl.

Save the discarded potatoes for other recipes. We use them to thicken potato soup and we also add them to the mixture when making mashed potatoes.

Another key to making perfect potato skins is to add a little flavor to them.

Potatoes are very bland and need to be seasoned well.

We do this by not only adding a little salt to the potato. But we also coat the skins in a butter and Italian seasoning mixture prior to baking them.

Why Italian seasoning? We find that the blend of spices found in dried Italian seasoning gives the potato a great flavor that isn’t masked by the cheese and bacon.

It really does make a huge difference in the taste of the potato skins.

And finally, be sure to bake your potato skins skin side down first.

This not only allows the skin to be exposed to the oven and become crisp. It also allows the heat to be trapped in the cove of the hollowed out potato, making sure that it remains tender.

Then turning them over to crisp up the potato edges is all that is left before it is time to add the toppings.

The Toppings

Quite honestly, you can add whatever toppings that you prefer.

However, for this recipe, I stuck with the basics: cheese and bacon. And of course, with the option of adding green onions and sour cream when served.

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But I have also had some delicious variations of potato skins.

One of my favorites was when barbecue sauce was spread on the potato before the cheese was added.

It gave the potato a surprisingly unique flavor. We actually have replicated that flavor in our Loaded Baked Potato Rounds Recipe.

But I have also seen potato skins served with diced jalapenos, diced banana peppers, red onions and shredded pork.

Whatever toppings that you prefer, I am sure that you will enjoy them!

Check out the printable recipe below and let me know what you think!

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How Should the Project Manager Deal with Scope Creep?

By Kuntal Thakore

Every project has (or should have) a set of deliverables, an assigned budget, and an expected closure time. There are agreed upon requirements and tasks to complete prior to the closure of project. These constitute the scope of the project. Any amount of variation in the scope of project can affect the schedule, budget and in turn the success of project.

Scoping is the separation between what is included in and what is excluded from project. Scope creep occurs when the line is moved, usually outwards. Thus what was excluded is now included, making a project in most cases larger.

In the past, I have participated (not as a project lead or a project manager) in a number of projects that failed due to scope creep. I could not find any formal statistics to refer to, however, I’ve noted that majority of those projects failed due some form of scope creep. Note that the PMBOK considers a project as failed anytime it is over budget or does not meet the predetermined schedule deadline.

Scope creep can originate from:

  • Poor implementation of change control
  • Incomplete gathering of requirements before the beginning of project execution
  • Insufficient involvement of critical stakeholders (including the customer)
  • Lack of support from the executive sponsor

Scope creep can be classified as:

  • Technical Scope Creep
  • Business Scope Creep

The technical scope creep can show up when the project team wants to please the customer and is not able to reject the customer’s request for a change in the requirements during project execution. Gold-plating is another reason which can cause technical scope creep. In this case, the project team (or development/design team) adds additional features and functionality that are not part of original requirements in order to please the customer.

The business scope creep occurs due to external forces that may be beyond the control of project manager. An example might be the continual changes in market trends, which makes previously defined requirements now obsolete.

One can avoid scope creep by managing the scope of project effectively. There are a number of ways to control or avoid scope creep:

  • Involve the customer and/or the end users early in the project
  • Thoroughly analyse and gather requirements during the initial stages of the project
  • Introduce a Change Control Board (CCB) team that would evaluate the risk of implementing the changes
  • Make sure to involve critical stakeholders throughout the project phases (especially during the planning phase)
  • Avoid gold-plating and gain the ability to refuse changes in requirements with proper reasons and support
  • In extreme cases, stop the project so that new additional requirements can be properly scoped and integrated rather than tacked on

Two additional points need to be made here:

We need to be careful not to confuse scope creep with progressive elaboration. According to the PMBOK Version 3, progressive elaboration means developing the product in steps, and continuing by increments. For example, during early strategic planning, when information is less defined, work packages may be decomposed to the milestone level. As more is known about the upcoming events in the near term they can be decomposed into activities

Secondly, note that the idea of scope creep has evolved in SCRUM. The product catalogue (scope) is dynamic and it changes throughout the software product development life cycle as long as the customer feels that those changes add value to the project and accepts the responsibility for them. At the same time, every attempt is made to make sure that scope within each SCRUM sprint is strictly enforced. This evolution of scope creep in SCRUM does represent some interesting problems, which are beyond the scope of this article.

Kuntal Thakore, PMP, CSM has 15 years of experience working on projects in the Software Industry covering areas of Customer Service, Quality Assurance, IT Administration and Software Development. Kuntal is Co-Director of PMI Silicon Valley CM chapter. Kuntal has managed and participated in IT and Software Development projects ranging in size of a small team to large corporate-wide projects. He is able to build cross-functional teams, negotiate various levels of hierarchy, and apply his experience to small and large businesses alike. He has strong project management and customer centric skills with strong technical background to work cross functionally to resolve customer issues. You can catch him discussing topics on project management at Kuntal Thakore’s Blog


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