Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fresh Cilantro Salsa

Image found here.

Just in time for summer!  This salsa recipe is a wonderful addition any recipe collection!  Chopping all those veggies can be a little time consuming but, trust me, it's worth it in the end.

This fresh condiment has a the feel of the pico de gallo you would get at a Mexican restaurant.  Definitely good!  It also involves fermenting, a flavor boosting and health-promoting process.  The fermenting process takes two days, so give yourself time before you plan on serving it.

Recipe by: Sally Fallon
Recipe can be found on page 103 of the book: Nourishing Traditions


4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 small onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped chili pepper, hot or mild
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional but I definitely include)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of two lemons
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey* (if not available, use additional tablespoon salt - I have not tried with the extra salt)
1/4 cup filtered water

Peel tomatoes (check out this video for how to peel tomatoes).  Mix all ingredients and place in a quart-sized wide-mouth jar.  Press down lightly with a wooden pounder or meat hammer, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables.  The top of the vegetables should be at least one inch below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about two days before transferring to refrigerator.

*Here is an article on how to separate yogurt and whey.  Basically you just line a strainer with paper towels and let the whey drip into a bowl, but this article has a more thorough explanation.  Sounds like a fancy step, but really it's quite easy.

If you want to see Sally Fallon's recipe using canned tomatoes check this out: Eat Fat Lose Fat
Cilantro Salsa.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Simple Crochet Beanie

Ok, I know the warm weather is here, but I don't stop crocheting just because it's hot!  So, after making two of the Granny Stitch Slouch Hats (with one failed attempt thrown in for good measure!), I wanted to mix it up a bit.  I checked my stash and grabbed a ball of yarn that my sister-in-law had sent me a couple years ago.  The colors were earthy and it was a nice soft blend.  I once again checked Pinterest for any good ideas and landed on a super simple beanie-style hat.  After I made it I realized how much the quality of yarn really does make a difference in the quality of your final product.  Check out this child sized hat below.

Here's the pattern for what's called "The Perfect Winter Beanie".

Close-up of the single crochet stitch used to make this hat

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Granny Stitch Slouch Hats

Green, peach and white Granny Stitch Slouch Hat

After finishing two blankets, I was ready to tackle something smaller and more immediately rewarding. So, like any modern crafter, I opened Pinterest and got to searching.  I came upon this free pattern and gave it a go.  The pattern was relatively easy.  The ribbing might be challenging for a beginner, but it was not impossibly difficult.

On my head, the hats wear like a slouch hats.  If you have a larger head they might fit more like classic winter hats.  I think they turned out cute.  Now to decide if I keep them or give them away!  They work up so quick that maybe I can just make a bunch.

Just a photo of me to show how it fits

I got my pattern from a link on Pinterest. Here's the link again.  The original pattern called for more colors, but I liked the look of three.  Also the more colors you add, the more ends you have to sew in when you're finished.

Blue, yellow and white Granny Stitch Slouch Hat

The first hat I tried with this pattern (not pictured) was a total fail.  It was a very cute pink, white and green one, but I didn't carry the yarn up through the pattern properly, and when I cut the yarn to sew it at the end, I picked the wrong spot and it all just unraveled.  Talk about FRUSTRATING!  Oh well, I decided to give it another go and I'm glad I did.  

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Buy It, Make It, Maybe

Sometimes you might wonder if it's worth it to make everything from scratch.  You can find recipes online for basically anything in your house, but in the end is it worth it?  Here are some things I think are worth buying, and others worth making.  The last section is a list of things that you'll have to make the call on!

Buy It

  • toothpaste - I've tried homemade and for me nothing beats basic Crest Cavity Protection.
  • mouthwash  - I've also tried homemade for this, but for me store bought is the way to go.
  • dish soap - The homemade ones tend to leave a filmy residue.

Make It

  • deodorant
  • all purpose cleaner - Just mix 1 part vinegar 1 part water with a couple drops of dish detergent and put in a spray bottle.
  • frosting - The best buttercream for decorating.  Coming soon, my favorite frosting ever!
  • lotion bars - Try these.
  • bread crumbs - If you have some stale bread lying around it's worth it not to waste!
  • spice mixes such as italian seasoning, taco seasoning, seasoned salt Budget is a great place to find any homemade mix you might be looking for
  • ketchup - Try this delicious recipe that tastes just like store-bought.
  • cookies - Try these. 
  • pancakes - Skip the mix and make a batch of these.
  • pancake syrup - If you don't splurge for the real thing, try this.  It's delicious and a budget saver!


  • cake mix - Many found here.
  • brownies - I love Ina's recipe, but it's time consuming and compared to a box mix, quite expensive.
  • disinfectant - This can be made with 1 cup water and 10 drops tea tree oil (or 1 tsp tea tree oil if you're trying to remove mold).  Hydrogen peroxide and 70% alcohol are also great.
  • laundry soap - The recipe I use is found here.
  • cream of anything soup - Try this one.

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