Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shred cheese

My family loves shredded cheese. We use cheddar & mozzarella mostly. I usually buy the bag kind when it is on sale. But sometimes, the bag stuff will start getting moldy before we can use it all. It is nearly impossible to seperate it to be used. I recently found block cheese cheaper than the pre-shredded cheese. So, I broke out the cheese grater and got to work. I shredded into a large bowl, then divided the cheese into smaller portions to freeze. This way I can not waste cheese, and I don't eat the added cellulose- whatever that comes in the pre-shredded kind to keep it from sticking. I find that my frozen doesn't stick together, even without additives!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Homemade Febreeze

Homemade Febreeze

1 - spray bottle (usually about 22oz)
water to fill bottle to about 90% capacity
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 oz liquid poppouri (sp?)

Mix in spray bottle and enjoy!

**You may be able to add more baking soda, but I haven't tried this yet and I want to make sure it doesn't leave a powdery residue. 1 tbsp won't, but I'll try 2 next time. I want the additional odor absorbing power but not the residue. You could also use less or even no fragrance if you wish, depending on your preference. let me know how it goes

****Don't forget to write on your bottle what it contains******

Monday, July 20, 2009


I'm going to assume that we are all familiar with the distinctive taste and smell of nutmeg. In the winter it reminds us of pumpkin pie, sweet potatoe pie (in the south anyway) and cinnamon buns. I personally don't use it very often, but I've found other wonderful uses for it such as homemade cake doughnuts, cream sauces, spice cakes and fruit based breads (ie banana, zucchini, etc) and muffins.

Ground nutmeg can be purchased at the dollar tree for $1, and it's fine for awhile, then you have to replace it because it does lose it's flavor. Well, I do something a little different that is worth it in both taste and money.

First of all, I have a nutmeg grater - these tools can be purchased anywhere from $1 to $40 depending on how fancy you want to get. I personally have a Microplane nutmeg grater that I got for about $5. And I buy whole nutmeg. Whole nutmeg is literally the whole nut - dried. You get about 10 in a little glass jar for about $3.50.

I have had my nutmeg for 2 years now and I'm still grating on the first nut (I'm about halfway through it). You see, when you grind your own nutmeg, you don't get the flavor loss issue because your whole nuts don't expire and each time you use it it's a fresh grate. It also takes less because fresh grated has more explosive flavor than powdered. The smell is also phenomenal, and has a subtle sweetness to it.

Come to think of it, I bet if most of you checked your kitchens, you probably have a nutmeg grater, or some variation of it in your home already, maybe as just a plain old box grater - one side of it has very tiny compacted protrusions that most people don't have a clue what to use it for - so use it for nutmeg.

But please don't tell me you've paid $40 for a nutmeg grater - that's just not a 'money saving mommies' thing to do :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Homemade Pancake Syrup

A few months ago I posted "Homemade Pancakes", well, now I'm posting the syrup recipe to go along with it. I actually just finished making this for my family and they gobbled it up.

1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup or 1/8 tsp maple extract
other flavoring as desired

Put the water, sugar and vanilla (and any other additive you chose) in a pot and boil rapidly while you make your pancakes. When your pancakes are done, so is the syrup (about 5 minutes of rapid boiling). It will be a little thin while hot, but will thicken when cooled. We actually prefer it hot though since the butter on the pancakes tends to cool them down. If you want it cooled - do the syrup before you do the pancakes so it has a couple of minutes to cool down before using.

Makes about a 1 1/2 cups syrup


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Make your own deodorant

This is taken from an online article in Health in High Heels.

I've been looking for good, healthy deodorant for a while now, but came to the conclusion I wasn't going to find one that I like for a good price and with a great smell that didn't let me!

I have to say I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I definitely will be.

Here is what the woman wrote:

"Ok, the super simple recipe: Get out a little container. Mix in equal parts (I use about 1/3 cup each) cornstarch, baking soda, and coconut oil. Drop in two drops essential oil. Let it sit outside in the sun, on your heater, or melt it on the stove (gasp) by placing the container in a little hot water.

Stir it up, and if your coconut oil was solid at your room temperature, let it harden up and just scoop a little out to use it. If your coconut oil was liquid at your room temperature, you can put it in the frig and try to scoop a little out each day. If refrigerated, it tends to get too hard for my liking so I devised a Dixie cup applicator. Go to your mother's house and borrow a little Dixie cup from her bathroom dispenser. Then fill it with the mixed up liquid deodorant and let it harden in the frig. Tear the paper down and apply just like your stick deodorant. You'll likely have to store it in the frig during the summer. Play around with it to see what works best. If it melts and separates, just stir it up and refrigerate again."

If you try this please post a comment and let us know how it turned out and if you have any tips or hints for the everyone else. Can't wait to hear! Have fun & happy "cooking"!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Homemade Bagels

This is one of my very favorite recipes, and if you're really crafty, you can also make your own pizza bagel bites out of these (just make them much smaller). You could also wrap the dough around a hotdog prior to boiling for bagel dogs.

Bagels: Boil:
6 ½ cups bread flour 2 tablespoons baking soda
2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons yeast Topping:
2 tablespoons oil (I use olive) 1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar (I use honey) Other: poppy seed, sesame seed, salt
1 tablespoon salt (I use kosher)

*Combine bagel ingredients but only 4 cups of the flour in a bowl and stir until well combined
*Add in another cup of flour and stir (this should get pretty difficult, that’s normal)
*Turn dough out onto kneading surface (table, cutting board, etc)
*Knead dough while adding the last flour about ¼ cup at the time until the dough feels “as soft as a baby’s bottom” and is not sticky at all (it may take a little more or a little less flour, that’s okay)
*Oil a large bowl and put dough ball into it and roll it around to coat it. Cover with a warm damp towel and put in a corner to rise until doubled (about an hour). Then punch down
*Knead dough ball for just a couple of minutes to get the air bubbles out
*Cut or pull apart into 4oz sections (about the size of a small yellow onion)
*Working quickly, and doing one section to completion at a time . . . . .
*Roll under your palm on a kneading surface until the ball is smooth, then Poke a hole in the middle with your thumb and work the dough from the hole until it is the size of a small bagel with a slightly large hole then immediately place on a cookie sheet
*Boil Water in a pot with 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt
*Boil each bagel for 30 seconds on each side then remove promptly
*When all bagels are done boiling, brush them lightly (starting with the coldest first) with a raw egg that has been beaten in a bowl. (This will help the bagel get a brown chewy crust)
*If you care to add toppings such as kosher salt, poppy seed or sesame seed, do it now
*Bake at 400F until done (about 15-20 minutes)
*Allow to cool before cutting into

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Olive Oil

I am always in the pursuit of personal care items that are more natural, and less, well, chemically-concocted. So, I was doing a little 'green' reading and came across an interesting idea - olive oil as a body moisturizer after bath instead of lotions (which are a myriad of chemicals anyway). So I tried it, and I love it (and no, I don't smell like and italian restaurant all day).

So, what you do is take a shower or bath, then, while your skin is wet (or in other words, before you towel off) rub a little olive oil in your wet skin. That's easy. How much? I use a dime sized amount for each arm and a quarter sized amount for each leg and my torso. Just rub it in well before you towel off and that's it.

I don't have to continuously remoisturize, there are no ashy elbows or knees, and the 'heavy' oily feeling (not really heavy, feels about the same as if I just slathered on lotion) only lasts about 5 minutes, then it's gone.

And yes, I use plain old olive oil like for cooking.