Cute Alert: Sock Dolls

I checked out the cutest book from the library the other day.  The book is called “Stray sock sewing: making unique, imaginative sock dolls step-by-step”.stray-sock-sewing

I tell you, this is the cutest idea for lonely single socks I’ve ever seen. I wanted to show you a picture of the cute little creature I made.

CUTE!

CUTE!

I’ll be making more of these little creatures for sure! CUTE!

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How to Make Your Own “Ricotta” (soft Paneer) Cheese

A whiiiiiiiile back I did a post bout freezer lasagna. Mmmmm, lasagna! Anyway, I told you that I had made my own ricotta cheese to use in the lasagna. Well, I really make Paneer cheese, which is a cheese curdled with acid rather than with culture, like ricotta cheese is. I can’t tell the difference between the two when I’m putting it in lasagna. Don’t get me wrong, a wonderful creamy ricotta cheese has an absolutely delicious flavor that is very different than paneer. But for the purposes of lasagna (and a bunch of other baking and savory uses) I like paneer cheese just fine!

So anyway, I thought I’d show you how I make it, even though there are a plethora of tutorials online. Gotta give the people choices!

A gallon of whole milk will yield you about 10 ounces of the stuff, just enough for a big pan of lasagna!

Ingredients:

1 gallon whole milk (you can use other milk, but there’s really no point….the more fat, the more cheese. Skim milk will yield about 2 tablespoons of cheese, so please, stick with whole!)

1/2 cup bottled lemon juice (you can use fresh lemons but the acidity of bottled lemon juice is more controlled than fresh juice….stick with bottled)

That’s it! Now, heat your milk up in a big non-reactive pot (like ceramic coated cast iron or stainless steel, NO aluminum) over medium heat until just before boiling, about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Milk, heating in a pot

If you don’t have a thermometer (WHAT?!? Why don’t you have a thermometer?) just wait until it’s all foamy and steaming like crazy. I’ve make cheese with milk that was boiling all over the place (…oops), and I’ve used milk that was 190 degrees, it’s okay it the temp is a bit off. You’re supposed to stir it the whole time so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, but I’ll be the first to admit that I usually just let it go and DON’T scrape the bottom to leave the stuck on stuff for later (like…..when I do the dishes) Really, either way, unless you actually burn the milk, you can do whatever you want. If stirring for 20 minutes makes you feel more productive, go for it!!! TIP: Leave your milk out on the counter for a couple of hours (GASP!) before making the cheese to allow it to come to room temp, it don’t take as long for the milk to heat up!

When the milk is all toasty warm, dump in the lemon juice and stir briefly to incorporate.

after lemon juice is added

after lemon juice is added

Let it sit for 10 minutes. Strain into a cheesecloth lined colander (one or 2 layers will work) or a fine mesh strainer over a big bowl (if you want to save the whey -it’s the liquid left over- and it’s great to use in baked goods!) or the sink. I usually pour a bit, stir to release the whey, pour some more, stir, and repeat until all of the cheese is in the strainer. Allow to sit for about another 10 minutes. Dump the whole mess (it’s messy) into a bowl and you’re ready to go! Oh, and one more tip here: wash your cheesecloth in COLD water in the sink (NOT with other clothes or towels). Trust me.

yay, cheese!

yay, cheese!

© 2014-2016 Bowls Full of Yummy. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bowls Full of Yummy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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That's right, there were only 2 cookies left (quickly devoured by my daughter)!

That’s right, there were only 2 cookies left by the time I got a photo (quickly devoured by my daughter)!

These cookies are amazing. And easy. And cheap. And for GF, don’t require a bunch of strange stuff, which helps with the cheap. In fact, I would bet you have everything to make these right now just sitting around, all lonely, in your pantry, cupboards, and fridge. Poor, poor ingredients. Well, lets make them happy (and the rest of your family!) and get to baking some easy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! Okay?!?!

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes about 3-4 dozen)

1 (4 ounce) stick of butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar (or whey low, coconut sugar, powdered erythritol, date sugar, etc.)

1/2 cup brown sugar (or…..)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups oat flour (I just put oats into my coffee grinder a little bit at a time and grind them up, a fine grind is NOT necessary)

1 cup quick oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together the butter and sugars until fluffy and well incorporated (2-3 minutes). Add all other ingredients except chocolate chips and mix well. Now you can add the chocolate chips and mix until just incorporated. At this point you can scoop your cookie dough into a zip top bag and refrigerate for up to several days or you can get to baking right away. Scoop well rounded tablespoons of dough 1-2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 8-12 minutes, depending on whether your dough was refrigerated. When the cookies are done they will be light brown around the edges and still look wet on top. DO NOT bake until the cookies look “done” and are dry on top, they will be very over-baked by then! Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack (or dish towel or whatever) to finish cooling. Don’t wait too long to try one though, they are best warm, with yummy-melty chocolate chips and a glass of cold milk. Mmmmm. Your welcome!

© 2014-2015 Bowls Full of Yummy. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bowls Full of Yummy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

Hello hello hello. So how does everyone feel about homemade beauty products? I used to not really feel anything at all about them until I started to research the ingredients listed on their bottles and I kept getting more and more concerned the more I learned. I really never thought I’d be so crunchy as to make my own deodorant but hey, cancer and Alzheimer’s suck and I’m not about to keep encouraging their arrival. Among the TONS of other carcinogens you can find in health care and beauty products, aluminum is a pretty nasty one (look it up people). Aluminum is in virtually every antiperspirant, it’s what plugs up your arm pit so you don’t sweat. No, I’m not making antiperspirant. Your body sweats for a reason. I wouldn’t plug up my bum because what comes out of it is stinky, so I decided it was time to stop doing that to my arm pits. We sweat to rid ourselves of nasty. I don’t want that nasty inside me! Okay, so anyway, I’m getting off the soap box and into my kitchen to whip up a batch of deodorant!

I’ve been researching the topic for months. MONTHS. What spurred me to get my butt in gear and actually make some of my own deodorant? I ran out of my store bought stuff. Told you I can be lazy! I have looked up so many recipes online for homemade deodorant I really didn’t know which one to use or which one I would like. So I ended making up my own recipe, based off of the many wonderful ones already out there. I’ll share my concoction with you. I’ve used grams to measure everything here as using teaspoons and such would have been much more difficult because the ingredients are used in such small amounts, plus, when the oils are solid they are very difficult to accurately measure. If you don’t already have one then shame on you (I’m so mean but haven’t we already been over this?), go get yourself a nice little digital kitchen scale already and you’ll be glad you did (then you can make this recipe).

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

25 grams beeswax (got mine here)

60 grams organic virgin coconut oil (I use Tropical Traditions, but any will do as long as it’s unrefined)

5-10 drops vitamin E oil (I just punctured a vitamin E capsule and used that)

40 grams organic unrefined shea butter (I got mine here)

20 grams avocado oil (or almond, olive, jojoba, etc., minimally processed/refined is best; I got mine here about 2 years ago)

15 grams arrowroot powder (or corn starch, organic is better, I used Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot powder)

15 grams bentonite clay (or diatomaceous  earth, I got my clay at a local store)

5 grams baking soda (or more, I used only 5g because baking soda can be irritating)

10 drops tea tree (melaluca) essential oil (you can use many other essential oils but I didn’t have any other ones and tea tree oil has lots of health benefits, I used NOW brand tea tree oil in a little bottle I bought over a decade ago)

Combine all oils and waxes (except the essential oil) together in a glass bowl and microwave (or melt over a double boiler-microwave is quicker) until melted. Add all other ingredients and stir well until all lumps are gone and mixture is smooth and combined. Pour into your containers. Allow to cool and use.

A pile of the oils, waxes, and powders I used

I got these awesome empty deodorant tubes from Elements Bath and Body (and no, I’m not an affiliate of any of the companies I’ve mentioned and do not make a single cent from mentioning them, I just wanted to share them with you) They twist up just like the store bought ones do (I made sure they are BPA free, of course)! You could recycle your old deodorant tubes as well, which is what I would have done if I had saved any….shame on me. Sorry the pics are bad.

tubetube2

 

The finished product! I’m SO excited to try my new homemade deodorant. Again, pretty crappy pics here, sorry! I only made a half batch so I could test it out and it filled 1 1/2 of my cool containers.

filled tubes

 

Let me know if you have ever attempted anything like this and share your experiences and recipes! Don’t want to go through all of the trouble of making deodorant yourself? I’m starting a line of all natural body products and I would love to sell some to you! You can leave a post here or contact me on the website and we can talk. I will be custom making many products. What am I making next? Homemade all natural cocoa butter lip balm! Exciting!

© 2014 Bowls Full of Yummy. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bowls Full of Yummy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Sharing frugal websites

Sorry. I really should post more often if I ever want anyone to come to my blog! The truth is I’ve just been doing things like I normally do, cooking, cleaning (as well as being lazy watching my favorite shows)….but I forget that I can share these normal what-I-do-everyday things with you. Just because I’ve cooked something 20 times doesn’t mean I can’t share it with you! So I’m going to try really hard to post more stuff. Really.

Okay, new topic. Like saving money? Duh, who doesn’t? Well, I’m going to share a couple of my favorite frugal websites with you today. I like cookbooks. I’ve had hundreds upon hundreds of them throughout my life, no joke. But as my tastes, skill level, and food needs have changed I’ve had to get rid of ones I can no longer need and get new ones I can use. My absolute favorite way do to this is with paperbackswap.com. If you have never heard of them I suggest you go check them out immediately (well, you could finish reading this post first, but I’ll wait)! I have used several book swapping sites but paperbackswap.com is by far my favorite and has always been the safest and easiest way to exchange books. The great thing about paperbackswap.com is that they have any and every type of book imaginable. I’ve got great cookbooks and DIY books, books for my husband (he’s a big novel reader), educational/text books, and tons of great kids books for my daughter at several different age levels. The deal with this site is that you list all of the books you no longer want from your collection and then browse for books you do want from their collection of thousands upon thousands of books listed; when someone requests a book from you, you print out the handy pre-filled mailing label, add postage (they even have an option for buying postage from their site but they charge a small fee so I usually use my own stamps or buy a shipping label from PayPal), and send the book along, when the person receives their book in the mail they mark it “received” on the site and you get a book credit you can then use to request your own book. Nifty!

Oh, and guess what? Paperbackswap.com has a sister site for DVDs (and Blu-ray too!), it’s swapadvd.com! That means you can get not just books, but DVDs for just the cost of postage! I have used this site a lot and have gotten (doesn’t it seem like “gotten” is improper English? It’s not, I looked it up) hard to find and rare TV series and anime from swapadvd.com. I have saved so much money with swapadvd.com and I think it’s an even better deal than the books. Where can you find a DVD or Blu-ray for $3.00? Even Goodwill charges more than that! Goodwill is such a rip off these days…..$8.99 for a pair of ugly 80’s jeans, REALLY? Sorry, I know they do a lot of good for the communities they are in and that many of the people they employ are differently-abled (which I truly think is wonderful) and not able to get jobs at other places; but those wonderful things aside, Goodwill has become so expensive and department store-like, they even sell a great deal of brand new items. They over price most of their goods; I can usually find a brand new equivalent at Wal-Mart or the dollar store. One can argue that buying used is the way to go in terms of reducing waste and such and I totally agree, but I’m poor…..and sometimes, sadly, needing to save money trumps saving the earth. It makes me feel bad saying that but it’s true. There are a lot more earth friendly things I could be doing, but contrary to popular belief, many of them are quite costly and therefore prohibitive to people on a tight budget. ANYWAY, I was talking about saving money on DVDs so let’s get back to that. The premise is basically the same as the book site, but some DVDs are more than just one credit. Each disk is valued at one credit so if you want that special edition with the extras disk that’ll be 2 credits. Want a DVD set? How ever many disks there are in the set is how many credits it will cost. Now, you have to be careful here because sometimes a set with a lot of disks will end up costing more than just going and buying the set new. I figure each credit is worth $3-$4 (although my average price to send a DVD has been closer to $2, maybe $3 but I have my own scale and use PayPal shipping whenever I can) I’ve always gotten a great deal and like I said, I have found very rare and expensive DVD sets and anime on the site (I’ve even received brand new still-in-the-shrink wrap DVDs before!) that have made it possible for me to keep my family entertained for very little money. I encourage you to go and check out these sites as soon as you can! I believe both sites even offer a free first-time credit for creating a listing of the books/DVDs you want to swap when you first join. Happy swapping!

P.S. PayPal shipping is great, they charge absolutely no additional fees, you don’t need someone to order something from you in order to print a label, you get FREE (or very inexpensive, like .18) tracking, and they even let you print media mail postage! I use this link: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

 

Oh and by the way, I am not being compensated for this post in any way, paperbackswap.com, swapadvd.com, and paypal.com have no idea I’m writing this post about them. All opinions are my own, I just love these sites and wanted to share them with you.

© 2014 Bowls Full of Yummy. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bowls Full of Yummy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.