Category Archives: DIY home

Harvesting Lemongrass

I have a lovely little greenhouse that provides me with lots of Lemongrass. Below you will find a couple of ways to harvest and make your Lemongrass work for you.

Once I removed and wash my stalks I then cut them in various sizes.

I take half of my harvest and place then in freezer safe baggies with coconut milk.  Since most of my recipes require coconut with lemongrass this is a great way to store lemongrass for later use.

I usually use larger pieces for the freezing then I do drying.

Here you can see the various sizes that I play on baking sheets and place in the oven at 200 for several hours.

I don’t bother separating them I wait until their partially dried to pull the shoots apart.

Here’s what your dried lemongrass will look like.  If you struggle with time management and started to late in the evening just throw your oven on proof temp which is around 100 degrees and bring back up to 200 in the morning to continue process.

The dried lemongrass is perfect of herbal unfused teas.

Pokemon Ball Necklace

dsc_0003Who remembers Shrinky Dinks?  Funny how everything comes back around.  They don’t smell toxic any longer.  These necklaces are pretty simple to throw together, and were a big hit with my sons classmates.

What you will need:
Shrinky Dink Sheets (amazon)
Scissors
Computer Print-out of pattern you choose
Ink-Jet Printer
Hole Punch
9mm Jump Rings ( Michaels or JoAnns)
KONMAY 50pcs Black Satin Silk Necklace Cord 2.0mm/20” with 2”
Extension Chain (amazon)
Oven

dsc_0002Print out a sheet of your favorite images.  We chose Pokemon balls.  Simply print onto your shrink-dink sheet in your Ink-Jet printer.  Once you print then out cut your shapes out and use a hole punch to ensure you have holes to run string through.

DSC_0008Place in your oven ours worked best at 325 degrees.  We baked ours for 3 minutes.  They will curl before flattening back out.

dsc_0001-3You will need to twist the J hook open with your pliers in order to connect them together.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-10-33-44-amThen clamp onto your necklace.

dsc_0003-2Total cost of necklaces ran under 1.00 each and were unique.

Candy’s Famous Bread and Butter Pickles

DSC_0021My sister makes the best bread and butter pickles.  I seldom make comments like this, but they are seriously that good.   I’m determined to put up everything coming out of my garden this summer.

Here is the closest variation of her recipe.  I have to say closest as she doesn’t measure and if you turn your back she will throw a few more spices in the pot and giggle. She’s stealthy that way.   She also does ARMY batches so I had to break it down into a more managable ratio.

What you will need

1 Jar Pickling Spices
2 Tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes (if you don’t like it spicy than reduce this)
1 Sweet Onion
4 large Cucumbers
2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar (NO DO NOT USE REGULAR)
2 cups Raw sugar
Salt
Canning Jars and Rims
Oven or pot to sterilize jars

 

IMG_2959First cut up your cucumbers and onions and toss in a couple tablespoons of salt.

IMG_2960Place cheesecloth on top of pickles and onions and cover with ice.  I threw mine in the fridge to chill while I ran errands.

IMG_2962Place your pickling spice and red pepper flakes in a sauce pot. If you wish to add additional spices like Cinnamon and mustard seed now is the time.

IMG_2963You will add your equal parts of sugar and apple cider vinegar to your pan. You can use regular sugar, I prefer raw sugar.

IMG_2964Place pot on stove and bring to boil.

IMG_2971When you removed your pickles and onions from fridge they will have sweat a great deal.  Drain the liquid off and then place them in our pot with your marinade.

DSC_0019Bring to a boil and allow to sit.  This is where you will want to taste your liquid to make sure it’s spicy enough.

IMG_2973You will want to sterilize your jars and rims. You can process them in a hot water bath or rinse them in hot water and place in 200 degree oven for 10 minutes.

DSC_0021Ladle your pickles into jars and then add juice.  Process in water bath for 20 minutes.

DSC_0027The perfect bread and butter pickles.

 

 

 

Beach memory photo jars

DSC_0084There is nothing my son loves more than water.  This is an inexpensive way to capture memories of his vacations.  Oh, he may just love his cousins more than water!

What you will need:

  • Vacation Photos  ( you will need the images to be small enough to fit within your rim)
  • Jar with rimmed lid (available at walmart, grocery stores and ace hardware)
  • Vacation sand and shells
  • Scissors and a Sharpie

IMG_1632I used 2×3 prints at walgreens.  You can see that I was fortunate enough to have the sky blend with the water and fill in the circle. Just take your lid and draw a circle on top of your photo than simply cut it out.

IMG_1633Add your sand and shells to the jar.

DSC_0082Then place the photo facing up followed by your lid cover and screw onto your canning jar.  That’s it, you are finished!

DSC_0087What an inexpensive keepsake to have and share as gifts.

Easy Cold Brew Coffee at home

DSC_0083

I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this!

Ingredients

1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans
2 cups cold water
1 mason jar

Instructions

DSC_0066

DSC_0069Place the coffee grounds and cold water in the mason jar.

DSC_0070 2Shake and seal and steep for 6-12 hours…or overnight.

DSC_0071 2

 

Strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel. Return the concentrate back to the mason jar and discard the grounds.

DSC_0078Pour coffee over ice.

DSC_0083add your creamer.

DSC_0084stir.

DSC_0085and enjoy!

 

You can refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
To serve, stir one cup of concentrate with 1/2 a  cup of water and serve over ice. I personally didn’t add water as the ice will melt and provide a decent balance:-)

Plantable Paper Seed Hearts

DSC_0016My fathers favorite holiday was Valentine’s Day.  He always went out of his way to make it special for my mother and me.  Nearly a decade after he passed away I found out that his mom had passed away on Valentine’s Day during childbirth.  Both her and his baby sister were placed on ice  (over 3 months) until the ice melted in northern Minnesota. He was just 9 years old.   He never shared this sad event with me or sulked during Valentines Day.  Instead he made certain that the people he loved felt loved!

These hearts are so simple to make.  I hope you will give them a try, and when you see the flowers growing think of this story.

What you will need:

Construction paper
Blender
Water
Seeds
Cookie Cutter

DSC_0005Rip up some paper.

DSC_0006I tore up enough to loosely fill this blender then I added 2 cups of water.

DSC_0009I continued to add water until it was pulp like.

DSC_0010Then I laid out some cookie cutters on parchment paper.

DSC_0012I began scooping the pulp into the heart cookie cutters.

DSC_0011I used poppy seeds as we live in the SW and these will propagate easily.

DSC_0014Next I placed the seeds on top of the pulp and lifted the cutters off of the pulp.

DSC_0016 They didn’t stick at all. Then I simply waited for them to dry over the next couple of days on my kitchen counter.  You could place them outside and speed this process up but we have lost of wind here.

 

Dehydrated Orange Slices

DSC_0004A couple lifetimes ago I worked for Ron Popeil.  When I worked for him Dehydrators were all the rage. I can honestly say my dehydrator has lasted me over two decades.

Last week one of my neighbors dropped some orange slices by.  I honestly don’t know why I haven’t dried them out prior to this.   I decided to use regular and blood oranges to add some color.

DSC_0057First wash your oranges and then begin to slice them.  I first used our mandolin but felt it was doing more harm than good.  Then I simply started cutting them by hand. You can add spices if you would like.

DSC_0059Next I placed them on the drying racks and walked away for a few hours.  Around hour 4, I rotated my racks.

DSC_0062And continued to dehydrate the oranges.

DSC_0065They took around 10-12 hours.  It will depend on how juicy your oranges are and how thin you slice them. Your house will smell amazing after these have been drying out for a few hours.

DSC_0013You can eat them rind and all,  if you’re ok with the bitter rind.  I actually like orange rinds as they provide a ton of natural fiber.

They really are beautiful and quite helpful when it comes to snacking in the mommy pick-up line.  I also like to hang them in trees when we go on nature hikes for the birds.

 

Glitter Sparkling Cider New Years Bottles

DSC_0139I’m sure you have seen these sparkling New Years bottles all over craft blogs this year.  In our neighborhood we have a few people that don’t drink, so I thought why not give them a bottle of sparkling cider vs. a champagne bottle for New Years.

Heres what you will need:

Sparkling Cider
Mod Podge or Medium
Paintbrush
Glitter (my glitter is fine you can find it at walmart)
Glossy Paper for note
Ribbon

DSC_0058

 

DSC_0055The first thing I did was soak off the labels.  I noticed that some bloggers skipped this step but I was concerned I would need to much glitter to hide the label.

DSC_0059Once my bottles were somewhat label free and dry I spread my medium on with a paint brush.

DSC_0061Then I placed my wet bottle over a dinner plate to catch the glitter that didn’t stick.

DSC_0063I did the bottom of the bottle first. Doing the bottle in two stages bottom then the top allows you have to a dry part to hang on to during the process.

DSC_0138Once the glitter on the bottom dried I took the bottles outside and sprayed them with a  clear paint.  This helps adhere more of the glitter to your bottles.

DSC_0129Then I came back and did the tops and sprayed them again with the clear spray paint.

DSC_0135Then I simply printed out some tags on glossy paper and added some curling ribbon.  Nothing Fancy just a nice item to leave on your neighbors porch to ring in the new year.

DSC_0147This project was inexpensive and easy to do.

 

Holiday Wine Bucket

IMG_7438This holiday bucket was super easy to make. I think I will keep some on hand and just throw them in our deep freeze for special occasions.

What you will need:

A plastic tub, bowl or bucket ( this one was a biscotti container from costco)
A bottle of vodka to place in center
Herbs
Cranberries
Flowers
Holiday Ornaments

DSC_0117Rosemary twigs from our greenhouse.

DSC_0119The first thing I did was have my husband cut the top of the biscotti container off. Once he did this I places the vodka bottle in the center and added some rosemary and cranberries around the edge.

DSC_0120You will notice the twine around the lid of the bottle this was to prevent the bottle from falling over to the side.  I just twisted the twine around the top of the bottle a few times and taped it to the sides.  Now place it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

DSC_0123Once the bottom portion has frozen your going to repeat your rosemary, cranberry and ornaments and place it back in the freezer.

IMG_7432Once you pull it out of the freezer you will want to remove the vodka bottle.  How we did this was removed the vodka and poured room temperature water in the vodka bottle and the started twisting the bottle.

IMG_7433Now you will fun your frozen ice container under running warm water until it releases.

IMG_7434It helps to roll it around on its sides to help warm all sides of the container.

IMG_7438Here’s your released ice block.  Although it’s sitting a bit high now we know it will melt down.

IMG_7435It really adds to just swinging by with a bottle of wine.  I also look forward to making some with Rosemary and Lemon for summer lemonade or iced tea bottles.