Showing posts with label She Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label She Tips. Show all posts

Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Store Fruits and Veggies

Just stopping by for a quick HELPFUL tip!

I found this website while pinning the other day. It is so helpful. It is a list of TONS of veggies and fruits that you might have in your kitchen at this moment -- and some you don't because frankly you've never even heard of them!

The list gives you specific instructions for how to prep your produce when you bring it home from the store so that it will last as long as possible in the fridge, counter, pantry, etc. until you can get it eaten up!

Here's an example:

Avocados place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening place an apple in the bag with them.

If you scroll all the way down through the list (it's like 5-6 pages long!!!) you will see a link for printing it so you can store it in a binder with your recipe books. I have a binder of all the "homemade" recipes I need and I stuck it in there for easy reference.

Visit My Thirty Spot and get your list today!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

She Has Five Favorites!

Today I am joining in with Moxie Wife and others and writing about a few things I'm loving right now.

1.  Green tea to start my day.  Particularly one that has some kind of fruity flavor added to it.  
I've been a coffee-first-thing-in-the-morning-please-don't-talk-to-me-until-I've-had-my-cup person for decades (pains me to say it) but recently I've replaced that first cup of joe with green tea.  
Makes me happy.
Purple A├žai and Blueberry Green Tea Superfruit
2.  Jillian Michaels on the DVD player.  Yeah, she's kinda annoying, and I guess I wouldn't say that She Personally is a Favorite, but her workout program is.  Surprise surprise, breaking a sweat every day (even only for 20-30 minutes) really really improves my mood and overall feeling of well-being.  Yep, you heard it here.  First probably.

3.  Lest you think I'm so last decade with Favorites #2 and #3 let me add Call the Midwife to the list.  Totally awesome show.  I cry over each and every episode.  Watch it online or get the DVDs from Netflix, whatevs, just Watch This Show.

Learn More About the Show

4.  Peperoncini

Current fave way to consume is in a wrap sandwich -- get yourself a wrap of some sort (edible), spread it with a bit of mayo, layer deli turkey, some kind of cheese if you want, spring mix or other kind of green stuff, and then a bunch o' peperoncini. Sprinkle with black pepper, roll up, and enjoy!

5.  Um, I've owned this little gizmo (Pampered Chef Mini-Whipper) for years -- in fact I own two of them -- and only just realized what it's most especially good for.  Even the company's write-up doesn't tell you that if you pour some milk into a small saucepan and put it over medium heat and use this guy to whisk up the milk for all of maybe 20 seconds that you'll have perfectly frothed milk that you can continue to warm and then use to make an awesome homemade latte!  (Just add a few ounces of hot strong coffee or espresso -- I make mine from instant and it works great!) Why I didn't realize this I have no earthly idea.  So don't bother buying yourself a battery-operated milk frother thingy, just use this, which you probably already have and didn't know what it was good for.  Or maybe you do and I'm just the last person to realize...  yeah probably that's it. 

Head on over to Moxie Wife to read up on more Five Favorites!

Monday, September 24, 2012

What I do with all that Zucchini...

Last Christmas when the parents and in-laws asked my husband and me for Christmas gift ideas we told them we would just like to receive money. We had something very specific in mind to do with it... we wanted to buy one of these:

If you don't have a food processor, get out your Christmas Wish List and add one to it right now, this minute! Seriously, it's one of the best kitchen power tools I have. I think I may even get rid of my small chopper and blender, I love it that much! We use it for any number of things: cutting butter into something I am baking, canning, preparing to freeze veggies, shredding cheese, mixing dough, chopping onions, making salsa, making baby food, blending refried beans, the list goes on and on........... So, I bring this up now because it has become a life saver for dealing with my garden. This week things were a little crazy with our schedule and we couldn't get out there to pick vegetables for several days. There were several baseball bats zucchinis out there for me to use up.

Here is where my food processor comes in ---- I can really quickly chop the zucchinis into large pieces that will fit into the mouth of the processor and run them through the shredder disc to get cup after cup of shredded zucchini!

What am I going to do with it when I am finished?

I love to put my zucchini into bags by the 2-cupful so that when I am ready to prepare a recipe that calls for it, I can grab one bag per 2-cups and let it thaw on my counter ahead of time. I usually put them in smaller bags and then put those into a large gallon size bag in the freezer, labeled and dated. Zucchini will be good for 9 months in the freezer or 14 months in a deep freezer. Do your very best to get all the air out of the bags.

TIP: Use a soda straw, insert it into the bag and zip it all the way closed up to the straw. Suck out the air and then pinch the straw closed and continue sealing the zip as you pull the straw out. You can do that or you can invest in one of those fancy vacuum sealing machines... but that might have to wait for next year's Christmas Wish List...

We make a lot of casseroles and soups in our house. Adding a cup or two of shredded zucchini will totally fool the kids (even the hubby sometimes) and can be a great way to add more veggies to your diet without affecting the flavor or texture of the dish.

We also love to eat Zucchini Bread. I prefer to make it in muffins these days so that my little people can just reach into the refrigerator and pull one out of the container. I use this recipe, which makes 2 regular sized loaves of bread, or in my case--24 muffins.

Several summers ago, a mother of some of my piano students shared this recipe with me and I give it to you now:

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbs cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 (12oz) bag chocolate chips
Brown Sugar
Cream butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and buttermilk and mix well. Add zucchini, flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Stir in one cup of the chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Top with remaining chips and some brown sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Fall...First Day Back to Blogging!

We're back! To kick things off right, how about a way to celebrate Fall on its very first official day?! I was over visiting Imparting Grace and found this extremely simple way to fill the house with the Aroma of Autumn. [Sidebar: I didn't know how to spell 'aroma' and my 8 year old helped me! Yay for him!] You will need one apple, some cinnamon sticks, some cloves, vanilla extract and a small pot filled with water. That's it! So grab those things and cut your apple into quarters, drop it in a pot with some water and the spices, finishing it off with 1 tsp of vanilla and let it simmer on the stove. Just keep adding water throughout the day so it doesn't boil away. Mm-hmm... I can smell pumpkin pie and apple cider right now.........

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sleep Training Your Baby

For any of you out there that may be thinking about sleep training your baby, I found the videos on this website to be extremely helpful!

Based on the recommendations from this coach, I created my own Baby's Daily Log for keeping track of my daughter's sleeping and eating patterns. I did this for 5 days and then averaged what she did into a schedule that was going to work for her.

Her schedule looks like this: (she is 10 1/2 months old)

Wake/Nurse (whenever she wants--still working on this)
Breakfast at 9:00am
Nurse at 10:30am -- Nap
Wake/Lunch around 12:00pm
Nurse at 1:30pm -- Nap
Wake/Snack around 4:00pm
Dinner/Nurse 7:00pm
Bedtime/Nurse at 8:30pm

Please view my Baby's Daily Log by clicking on this link. You can choose to download and print it if it would be helpful for your experience sleep training as well!

Monday, March 19, 2012

She Tips: Pre-Schooler Sweeper

Here's a great way to help your pre-schooler help you! If you have a sweeper/duster/mop with sections that snap together to make one long handle, take one-two of the sections out and then put it back together. You now have a mini-one just the right size for little helpers! If you don't have one, go get one! I especially find these to be a great choice because of the dry pads and the wet pads. My guy feels like he is helping right alongside Mommy and in reality he is because he is picking up whatever I didn't get when I went over it the first time with my regular mop or broom. :-) Everybody's happy and the floors are getting clean!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Make Your Own Dishwasher Soap

A batch of homemade dishwasher soap will wash between 86-90 loads of dishes. The ingredients cost roughly $6 which makes this soap $0.06-0.07 per load.

What I used to purchase cost me
$0.18-0.20 per load.

WOW! Coolness.

Making your own dishwasher soap is actually really easy and as stated before, super inexpensive!

Here's what you need to pick-up at the store:
Borax, Super Washing Soda, LemiShine, Kosher Salt and Distilled White Vinegar (to use as a rinse agent if desired)

Combine 2 cups each of the Borax, Washing Soda and LemiShine in a bowl with 1 cup of the kosher salt. Mix this together. You may have to use a knife or your fingers to break up some of the chunks that will form. A few chunks is okay, though!

Store in an airtight container and use 1 Tbsp in each load of dishes.

If you want a cheap alternative to buying a rinse agent, just pour some vinegar in your dispenser!

I think that the next time I make this, I will grab 2 containers of the Lemi Shine so that I can fill my container of soap up to the top. I didn't know how much it would make at first. I keep the other ingredients around all the time for making my other homemade cleaning supplies so overall, this was really easy for me to add to my routine of creating my own cleaning products!!!

Thank you, Simply Designing for the instructions!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Homemade Baby Wipes

I was reading an article that Heather on Want What You Have wrote about making your own homemade baby wipes and decided to give it a try! As you can see from other posts that I have been writing, I am very "into" making as much from scratch as I possibly can. It's been really fun researching online and looking for more ideas on how I can be self-sufficient in the home. This recipe for baby wipes was the one I decided to try because it didn't require me to go to the store at all! I had everything available to me in my pantry/bathroom! Good thing, because I am about to run out of baby wipes and I don't have any coupons this month to get them cheap! The best things about this recipe are how inexpensive it is as well as the fact that you know what you're wiping your babe's bum-bum with!

I will share the recipe with you, but please visit her website to read about the discoveries she has made regarding different paper towel choices, containers, etc.  At this point, being new to this idea--I of course am no expert, but will definitely let you know how it goes and if I make any changes to my baby-wipe-making!

You will need:
  • 1 large paper towel roll
  • 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Baby Wash
  • 2 1/2 cups Hot Water
  • Large Knife/Cutting Board
  • Container for Wipes
Cut the paper towels in half. Place half roll in container. Mix up oil, baby wash, hot water and pour over the wipes. Pour slowly at the beginning because it will splatter! Put the lid on, turn it upside-down and wait a few minutes. Open it back up and pull out the cardboard tube. Start the wipes from the center of the roll. I put some baby "bath" stickers on my container just like Heather... mostly so my husband doesn't get confused since he's used to me keeping this kind of container in the kitchen!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family Organization Station

Some of you may remember my Chores Chart that used to reside on the front of my refrigerator... well now that my younger son has reached the phase I like to call  
"I'll Do It Myself and/or Exactly Like My Brother"
I needed to come up with something slightly different to accommodate his shortness. So I came up with this idea after visiting several sites on Pinterest that included photos of people's message centers/calendars/offices, etc. Here is what I came up with! Sorry the picture isn't great... once again the lack of natural light in this part of my house is so frustrating!

This picture is of the side of my kitchen cabinet that ends the kitchen area and begins the hallway/living room. This is a central location in our home which works great! The top/left frame is scrapbook paper and a blank calendar behind the frame's glass. I use fine-tip dry erase markers to write on the dates and events. The top/right frame is the same thing, except I just used a blank area with the title "Notes" on the top of the page where I can write reminders, phone numbers, notes for my family. ~ Underneath the frames I mounted a cookie sheet to the cabinet with some scrapbook papers glued to the front. Makes a great ledge for my markers as well as the perfect spot for our chore magnets! The boys can view the magnets that are placed on the "Chores" side each day and when they complete them, they move them to the other side to show that the jobs are completed.

No help from Mama needed, not to mention that my little guy gets to copy big brother in the process!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

She Tips: Couch by the Window

I really love having my couch in front of our living room windows, but the kids constantly push it backwards when they "sit" on it. Because we all know that little boys can't just sit down. They have to do a cannonball.

I have a fabulous tip for how to make this work!

Put short pieces of wood (e.g. 2x4s) behind the leg of each end of the couch. This will keep the couch from sliding back either into your window, or as in our case, the curtains when we want to have them closed!

So easy, right?!
I pulled it out a bit so you can see what I have back there.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Simple Solutions for Everyday Organic" (#3)

"7 Ways to 'GREEN' Your Spring Cleaning"
Tips from an article in Mary Janes Farm magazine...

1. Love Your Laundry -- Use half of a dryer sheet each time you run your dryer. It will still help your clothes smell nice and prevent static cling and you'll have less garbage!

2. Seek Out Simple Tools -- Use traditional cleaning tools like lamb's wool dusters, metal dustpans, straw brooms and don't use the more modern cleaning products that require throw away pads and dusters. [I personally still use some of these because it is easier--but there are a few kinds out there that you can wash and reuse.]

3. Clean without Chemicals -- This is also safer for children! A lot of the cleaning products out there "have been linked to allergies, skin irritations, breathing problems, and even nerve damage."

4. Pass the Vinegar, Please -- Vinegar can kill a lot of the mold, bacteria and viruses that are out there. Use it in a spray bottle. Add 1-cup of vinegar to your load of towels in the washer. Suggested website for vinegar tips:

5. Get a Baking Soda Boost -- Pair baking soda with your vinegar and together they will give you a great scrub! Deodorize drains and disposals with 1 cup soda followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar.

6. Put Peroxide to Work -- Removes stains in carpets!!! Pour on some, from the brown bottle under your bathroom sink, and let it dry.

7. Mix Your Own Furniture Polish --
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp jojoba oil
Mix together and apply to furniture with a soft cloth!

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Simple Solutions for Everyday Organic" (#2)

These seven ideas for ways to lower your grocery bill were taken from an article I read in Mary Janes Farm magazine...

1. Buy outside the box. Shop the outer rim of the grocery store. All those center aisles are filled with boxed items that are expensive and processed and not good for you!

2. Think big. Buy items in bulk and divide them up into your own smaller containers to be reused. Check the store tags for price per unit and buy the cheapest packaging size. [We reuse many containers--for example my homemade laundry soap is currently in an old yogurt tub!]

3. Freeze it. Once you've bought those bigger items and divided them up, freeze them! It will be so fun to go grab that meat or cheese from the garage instead of the store!

4. Heads up. Don't buy those pre-packaged salads. Buy the items fresh and make it yourself. The cut ends of the produce spoil quicker since more of the leaf is exposed to oxygen.

5. Weighty issues. Weigh bags of potatoes, onions and fruit before you choose which one to get. Since they are packaged as 3, 5 or more lbs, you can possibly find up to 3/4 lb. larger bag and get that for the same price as a lighter one!

6. Herbal magic. Like to buy fresh herbs but can't use them up before they spoil? Take some away and hang it upside down to dry for later!

7. Tote it with you. Use a reusable shopping tote (some shops will give you a refund for using them!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Simple Solutions for Everyday Organic" (#1)

These seven ideas for ways to improve your own life were taken from an article I read in Mary Janes Farm magazine...

1. Take a walk outdoors. Sometimes even just walking down the street and back can pick up your spirits and give you energy to finish out your day.

2. Create a collage. Find a picture that speaks to you in some way? Start collecting them and turn them into an art project that displays what you love in life.

3. Find a few minutes for free writing. Find a beautiful journal just for you and write your thoughts in it. Track the path of your life by reading former entries.

4. Dance. Just do it. It's fun. Who cares whether you can or not.

5. Meditate. Even just five minutes of stillness can make all the difference in a busy day.

6. Create a meal, slowly. Make something just for you. Enjoy the cooking process as much as the eating of it.

7. Practice praise. Admire others and tell them.

Doesn't that make you feel better?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

She Tips: Foil Pie Crust Cover

I've had it up to here [hand to forehead] with attempting to cover the edges of pie crust while baking... My mother always tells me to get some little strips of foil and wrap them around the edges for the last 15 minutes or so... but you know what, that is pretty much an impossible assignment! I can't tell you how many times I have burnt my fingers trying to accomplish this. And I am too cheap frugal to go buy one of those tin ring thingys because let's face it, I don't really bake pie all that much anyway!

So here's my tip: cut a foil star! I have done this several times now and it has worked every time!!! I am so excited about it. Maybe you already thought of this and if so, good for you!!!
For everyone else, seriously you have to do this. Don't ever cut those silly little strips of foil again.

Take a piece of used foil [see, I'm cheap frugal] and smooth it out. Fold it in half and cut 3 cuts one straight up and down, one diagonally to the left and one to the right. Like this:  \ I / 
Then unfold the piece of foil and bend down the corners so that it's got four little "legs." Bend up the star points that you created with your cuts and there you go! Stick that on top of your pie (or in the case of this photo example: a quiche) and bake away!

Cool, huh?
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