Friday, September 9, 2011

Make A Wall Mounted Spice Rack From Canning Jars - I LOVE THIS IDEA!

Make A Wall Mounted Spice Rack From Canning Jars
Not Just A Housewife

090511-masonjars1.jpgRemember awhile back when we mentioned this idea that utilized bits from the hardware store to create garage or bathroom storage? This idea is similar, but this time it's put to use as a planter! Clear your kitchen counters and keep your fresh herbs in the air!

Having fresh herbs in the kitchen is a good idea, especially if your garden space is small. That said, many folks don't really have a place to keep such a thing. Even small pots can clutter countertops and you might not have the table space elsewhere in the house to spare.
This idea from Not Just A Housewife takes an idea we've seen before and puts it to use brilliantly. It's a great way to bring some warmth to your rooms (even if it's not in the kitchen) with very little overhead in a way that will always be in style.
• Read More: Mason Jar Wall Planter 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homemade Egg Noodle Recipe w/ A Vegan Option

NOTE: Vegans can replace eggs with mashed potatoes mixed with a couple tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast ( adds eggy color, vitamins & flavor)

Credit to:

Making Noodles

Making noodles is so easy that I don't understand why anyone would ever BUY noodles. Egg noodles are tasty and quick to make and quick to cook as well. This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my family. I remember watching my mother and my grandmother making these when I was small. They are quick, easy and inexpensive to make, and can help stretch your food budget further. Give homemade noodles a try, you'll be amazed how easy it is.

Making Noodles - The Ingredients
Egg noodles only have three ingredients:-Eggs

Making Noodles - Making the Dough

Break eggs in a bowl. Figure that one egg makes 2 servings.Using a fork, mix eggs until fully blended.
Add salt (about 1/8 tsp per egg).

Slowly mix in flour - add about 1/4 cup at a time and mix it in before adding more.

Keep adding until you have a stiff dough that is very difficult to mix.

Making Noodles - Rolling out the Dough

Dump your dough out on a floured counter, and knead more flour until it is no longer sticky.

Using a rolling pin, start rolling out the dough.

Depending on the size of batch you are making you may have to cut the dough into pieces to make it manageable.

Continue rolling the dough out until it is between 1/16" - 1/32" thick. The thinner the better.
Continue lightly flouring the dough anytime you see it starting to stick to the counter or rolling pin.

Making Noodles - Cutting and Drying the Noodles

When you have the desired thickness, start cutting the sheet of dough into wide strips. The width of the strips should be the length you want your noodles to be.

Stack the strips neatly on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, slice off thin strips to make the actual noodles. Keep doing this until all of the sheets are cut into noodles.

Spread the noodles out evenly on the counter to dry. Depending on the thickness of your noodles this could take from an hour up to several hours.

Storing and Cooking Homemade Noodles

Homemade egg noodles can be preserved indefinitely by freezing. They're a bit fragile so a solid container like a freezer box works best. I've frozen them in bags, but they don't stand up very well to normal handling in the freezer.Cook noodles by preparing a broth (my favorite is chicken, but beef is pretty good too). Bring the broth to a boil. and gradually add the noodles (fresh or frozen) a few at a time so they won't stick together. How thick you made your noodles determines how long to cook them. Simmer thin ones for at least 20-30 minutes. Thicker ones 30-40 minutes or more.
Add chunked meat, carrots, celery, onions, etc. to make an awesome and hearty noodle soup.

Learning how to make noodles from scratch is an easy skill that almost anyone can master. It can help stretch your food budget further, while feeding your family a healthier diet (no unwanted preservatives or additives). Working the dough is surprisingly relaxing, and making homemade noodles is just another small step on your path to self sufficiency.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Recipes: Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Muffin, Vegan Icing, whipped Cream

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a Vegetarian.  Essentially I am the the family 'Eccentric', yeah, every family has one of their very own.....but I digress...

Anyway, here's a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe that I tweaked to make it Vegan friendly: Now I realize that Organic Canned Coconut Milk is a bit pricey (or as my Scottish Husband would have said:  Aye, that's 'dear') but since I don't buy meat I'm still ahead of the game as far as 'cost' is concerned.  Also I sometimes find my Roland Coconut Milk cheaper on and usually shipping is free after you've hit the $25.00 mark.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings
2 cups Soy -or-  Coconut -or-  Almond milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute ( I like Agave Syrup) - you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee (I've used Instant Coffee)

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it - just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.
Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the coffee on top.

***If you like whipped cream on your Latte:

 Vegan Whipped Cream Recipe

1 Pack Silken Tofu
2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/4 Can Organic Coconut Milk (I like the Roland Brand, Organic full fat)

When you open a can of coconut milk ( best if you chill the can in the fridge for an hour or so before opening) you will find thick creamed milk at the top of the can,  scoop off the 1/4 of thick milk cream that you need for this recipe.

In a blender mix the sugar and silken tofu together.

Add the coconut cream and vanilla and blend into a smooth thick cream.

Now...what to do with the leftover canned pumpkin?  Why...Make Muffins of course!

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut milk  <-- another way to use up extra 'canned' coconut milk but I prefere reserving it for more Latte
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses


Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil,
and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes,
until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

What's a muffin without a decadent icing ?

Tofu Cream Frosting

Makes 1 1/3 cups (enough to frost one 9"x9" cake)
1 cup firm silken tofu (1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 - 4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. Scrape the sides of blender often with a rubber spatula to get the frosting completely smooth.
Per 2 1/2-tablespoon serving Calories: 65