Saturday, January 28, 2012

Homemade Cheese-its

I came across this awesome homemade cheese-its recipe.  They are so cute, and if you are going to eat junk food, making it yourself is one sure what to make sure you are not getting awful ingredients you can't even pronounce.
The ingredient list is so short and simple....Here is all you need.

(adapted from “Ready Made” and a few other sources)
8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
½ stick unsalted butter,  room temperature
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c flour
2 T water, iced
See the full recipe with picture details on A Golden Afternoon.

Recycled Wine Bottle Torch.

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I am always in search of ways to reuse all of the wine bottles that appear in my recycling container (must be my darn wino neighbors hehe)
Here is a really cool garden use for them.
For the website I found this on, with full directions, click here
Here are some pics from the site to give you an idea of how easy it is...
Click on the picture to take you to the details and sizes of the parts. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homemade Modge Podge

Homemade Modge Podge

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Modge Podge is simple to make, and the homemade version costs a fraction of the cost of the store bought stuff.

All it is, is 50-50 white elmers type glue and water. This will give you a modge  podge with a matte finish...If you want a shiny finish, add a T of clear Varnish to your jar.

Fill a jar halfway with Elmers type glue and the other half with water.  Add your varnish (optional)  and you are ready to go.

Here are some ideas to use your modge podge

Modge Podge Rocks

Monday, January 23, 2012

Homemade Nutella !

Okay Nutella fanatics..I know there are tons of you out there...I personally do not care for it, but my kids and sisters are huge fans.  Here is a healthier version of it, you can make at home...There are a few variations to this recipe, so if you don't have the ingredients for this one, see links below. 

The original recipe instructs to strain the spread at the very end, but I don’t mind a little nut texture in mine. Adapted from the Encyclopédie du Chocolat, by way of David Lebovitz.
1 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup powdered milk
1 Tbsp. mild-flavored honey
pinch salt
1 heaping cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, or chips
1 scant cup chopped milk chocolate, or chips
See the rest of the recipe on Babble

Another version...
adapted from the LA Times
2 cups raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil, more as needed

Full Recipe

And one more version..this one looks the best, but not real healthy....but then again, ya can't always eat healthy.
The Eccentric Cook 
Homemade Nutella
makes for 3 jars

200 g Hazelnuts
1 can Condensed Milk
255 g Chocolate - the darker the better
1/2 cup hot Milk
Full Recipe with detailed pics

And while you are at it...make some Nutella Pudding.

How To Cut A Glass Bottle Using A String

This is really cool.  Great for if you are recycling your wine make candle holders out of them for the garden.

great idea from smashgamr

String Ball Ornament Tutorial from Wild Olive

You are probably thinking..Christmas?  Who wants to think about that already, but if you are into handmade gifts, its never too early to start thinking about your next project.  I came across this and had to post, for you, and for myself..sort of a bookmark to myself for next years project. 

I love this idea!  So simple, yet elegant.  I remember making stuff like this as a child.  Thanks to Wild Olive for the step by step directions.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bean Soup Basics: How to make the best bean soup you ever had

You can make almost any bean soup the same way. Having a pressure cooker not only saves time, but saves you from having to do much can throw it in and leave!  It will still be warm when you come home.

Really there isn't much to it, and you want to make it your own.  Following someone else's exact recipe is not going to give you the results you will get by adding YOUR favorite beans, meats and herbs/spices.  
Pressure Cookers on Amazon

1.  Pressure cook the dried beans in water (see your pressure cooker book or here is an online guide,most take from 15-20 mins)   I NEVER soak my beans.  Honestly, I see no difference in any form when they are soaked overnight.  I skip the soaking process altogether and just dump from the bag into the water and hit cook.

2.  Drain and rinse.

3.  Add a meat if you want meat (chicken, pork, beef) If not adding meat, skip to step five.

4.  If adding meat, pressure cook the meat now in water or broth  (time depends on what you are cooking) ...if its cooked, skip this step and move on.

5.  Add vegetables (this can by anything, onions, celery, peppers, potatoes, kale, collard greens, tomatoes,  etc etc, whatever veggies your family likes) You can also add cooked and crumbled bacon here if you wish.

6.  Add the beans back in to the pressure cooker.

7.  Add water to pressure cooker (you can use chicken broth also, but this adds sodium...and the vegetables WILL flavor the water very well, so there is no need to waste chicken broth here, but do what ya like)

8.  Season (salt, pepper, herbs of your liking)

9.  Cook for about five minutes in the pressure cooker.

Its done!

This is one kitchen gadget that I can honestly say for at least the last three years I have used twice a week, if not more often and has saved many nights of calling for food delivery.  You can cook healthy too and the vegetable soup (just veggies and water and herbs) you can make in this is the best you ever had...and so healthy!  (add some garbanzos too for protein).

Here is a search of the pressure cookers on amazon, great prices, and cheap if not free shipping!
Pressure Cookers on Amazon

Organize your life...easily!

I LOVE this iPhone app. (Its available for Android too).

First of all, let me start by saying...IT'S FREE!!!

Cozi let's you type your lists up on the computer, and when out and about, pull them up on your phone.  No more forgetting your list.  Also, calanders and journals too..and you can sych to your whole family's phones easily so that when you make an appt, they can view it, or you can alert their phone's that it was made.

If you have a smart phone, I know you will love this app as much as I do.

Online calendar and family organizer.

Family calendar

Centralized online calendar the whole family can access. Send appointment reminders by text or email and get an agenda for the upcoming week sent direct to your inbox.
Grocery shopping lists.

Shopping lists

Cozi remembers your grocery lists and shopping lists so you don't have to. Send a list by text message or email. Never be without your list again.
To do lists, task list, chore list.

To do lists

Track and manage the things that need to get done. Assign a member of the family to a list, or keep a shared to do list everyone can access. You can even send a list by email or text to anyone in the family.
Mobile access, mobile application, send to phone.


Get your family calendar and lists on the go with the CoziiPhone appAndroid app, orBlackBerry app. From any mobile browser visit
Family blog, family journal, family website.

Family journal

Keep memories you don’t want to forget in a journal made especially for busy families. It’s kinda like a family blog but without features you don't need.
Meal Planning Made Easy.


Plan dinners for the week, store recipes and easily add ingredients to your shopping list. We even have Cozi Picks – family-friendly dinner ideas to jumpstart your meal plan.
Appointment reminders, email and text reminders.

Reminders and messages

Set up appointment reminders by text or email. Get a weekly agenda email sent direct to your inbox. Or send a quick email or text right from your Cozi family homepage.
Sync Cozi online calendar with Outlook.

Use with other calendars

Sync Cozi with Microsoft Outlook, import an Internet calendar, or export a read-only view of a family member's calendar. 
Photo screensaver to enjoy family photos.

Photo screensaver

The no-work way to enjoy all those digital photos piling up on your PC. Also displays your appointments for the day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Another great fun food blog...check it out.

I have no had much chance to post lately, as my  husband is always on the computer..just last year, he was complaining how dumb it was..I created him a page and showed him the ropes and I can't seem tog et on my PC to post recipes.
I promise to drug him once a week and try to post more..if you are bored waiting friend has a fun food blog..check it out.
Waste Not, Why not?

I hope you will support her and follow her.  She is a great gal and a great cook!

I will be posting recipes this weekend of some things I have been cooking while my computer hog husband has been on the pc.

Love you all and thanks for being patient.  Hope you enjoy my friend's blog!