Homemade Cream Cheese

February 13, 2010

Making your own cream cheese is so easy, super scrumptious, and inexpensive. This is the softest creamiest cream cheese evah!!!
All you have to do is get a quart (or two- because believe me, you are going to love this stuff) of full fat plain yogart. Do not skimp and go for the low fat- and don’t even get me started on the low fat craze. In fact, The Man just told me that he needed to go back on a low fat diet so that he would gain some weight. Ha!!!! This time I am using greek yogart, but regular yogart makes creamy deliciousness as well.
Spread cheese cloth over a bowl, and dump the yogart on top. Allow the liquid to drain out, and voila… what you have left is cream cheese. For certain varieties of yogart, you may need to tie the cheese cloth to a wooden spoon and place it across the top of a deeper bowl to allow more liquid to drain. I have not had to do that yet, but may need to with the greek yogart.
The liquid that is left is whey. It will last in your fridge for 6 months and is perfect for soaking grains with excellent health benefits. Your cream cheese will last in the fridge for 2 months (if you don’t eat it in a week).
After you make your cream cheese, I highly recommend making some caramel popcorn and dipping it into the cheese. I think I’ll go have some now.
In joy, troye
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Favorite Pantry

February 25, 2009

A random Favorite Things Friday post…I realized a couple of months ago, that I have never lived in a house long enough to need to re-organize anything. About the time that we got to the point of needing a little fresh organization in our home, we would move, which allows for re-organization in and of itself.
Since we have lived in this house almost three years now, it is time to make a few adjustments. I started with the pantry…
Since we have wire shelving in our pantry, I started out by having The Man cut very thin pieces of plywood to fit the shelves. I covered them in contact paper, and now small bottles don’t fall over, and the weight is a little more evenly distributed.
I also added baskets to contain things like bags of chips, granola bars, and small baking items.
I also put things like extra flour, sugar, and oats in plastic containers. I want to switch to all glass, but that will take time (and $).
I added a shelf of quart sized glass jars to contain snack items such as raisins, popcorn, nuts and trail mix, and The Man cut a couple of two by fours to give some heighth for the back row. Looks great, huh?
Finally, although my spices are in a different place in my kitchen, I count those as part of pantry organization. I added a couple of tiered lazy susans- one with sweet spices, and one with savory- to be able to see (almost) all spices at a glance. I used to keep them in a bin that I had to pull out every time I needed something.

In total, this project only cost about $20 (for the lazy susans, quart sized mason jars-which I actually already had, plywood and contact paper).

Coconut Oil Benefits

February 5, 2009

I have had a lot of question on FB about coconut oil, so I wanted to add a link to a great youtube expalining the health benefits here. Dr. Mercola promotes a certain brand, but as long as you get extra virgin and it smells like fresh coconuts you are fine. I cook everything with it- including bread- and it offers the best flavor of any oil out there!!!!!! Here’s a little more 411:

Wish Books Work For Me

December 10, 2008

Last year for the boys’ Christmas wish lists, we got them each a poster board to glue cut out pictures of what they wanted for Christmas to. It worked well, but they were rather large and bulky (just in case you hadn’t noticed that about poster board).
This year The Man came up with the great idea to change our format to a composition notebook so that they could carry it around. Because I told them they could not start their wish lists until after Halloween, on November 1, I wrapped two composition in wrapping paper and then wrapped clear contact paper around that. This has been a sufficient covering for J-Man, my oldest.
I will upload a photo after they wake up because they sleep with these books. My youngest carries his with him everywhere! Therefore I have had to re-tape his a couple of times.
They know that the Sunday paper contains the wish papers, and they destroy my house every Sunday cutting out pictures of things to go in their wish book.
And, poor D-Man has things in his wish book like Cheetos, Pop Tarts, and Chips Ahoy. Sad, deprived little child gets homemade treats, and he wants the store bought stuff.
So, that Works For Me. I hope you get some use out of it too. Head on over to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer and check out some other Works For Me Wednesday tips.

Friday, the boys gave each of their teachers a pair of gloves for the second day of Christmas give-a-thon. An extra pair of gloves for them to keep at school so that they always have a pair for the playground is always a fun gift. It doesn’t make for a very exciting blog post though. Sorry!

In joy, Troye!

Laptop Lunches

October 3, 2008

It’s Friday! Woo Hoo! Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!!!!

Wait a second… what am I looking forward to. My days are all the same. In fact now that the boys are in school, the weekend just means that I have to work more. Hmmmm…

Oh well. It does mean that it is time for Favorite Things Friday. If you have a blog, feel free to post one of your favorite things and link below.

This week’s favorite thing is a new thing in our household.. It is a laptop lunchbox. It is an americanized version of the Bento style lunches known in asian cultures. Check out the link above for more info. I love that it reduces waste and gives a really cool way to send a healthy lunch to school. Because…well, don’t get me started on the school lunches!
I have wanted one of these for a long time, and I finally got one the other day. Here was Jonah’s first lunch in it:

Bread and pears that he could spread his own apple butter and almond butter onto, natural white cheddar cheetos (okay so everything isn’t healthy, but I don’t want the other kids to make fun of him too badly), raisins, and apple butter and almond butter in his dipping cups. It has a little place to keep his fork and spoon, and an area for his water bottle. All of the plastic is PBA and lead free. And, the best thing is… it’s so stinking cute!!!
So, now it is your turn. Share your favorite thing and add your link below!

It works!

October 1, 2008

It’s Works for Me Wednesday time over at Rocks in My Dryer, and Shannon wants us to post kitchen organization tips. I feel like my kitchen is pretty organized, but I couldn’t think of any earth shattering tip to offer. So, instead, I will show off my new labeler. I purchase a lot of pantry items in bulk, and transfer them to these handy plastic containers, and now I can appropriately label them. I used to think a labeler was too expensive for me to own personally, and then I realized that you can get a decent one for under $20. It helps with organization in every room.

I have yet to start labeling my children’s underwear, but that is what the embroidery machine is for, right?
Check out Rocks In My Dryer for other Works for Me Wednesday kitchen organization tips…

Exciting News!

September 24, 2008

I just added that title so that y’all would open the post. How much more boring could this tip be?

It might be difficult to tell from this photo, but this is what Works For Me… When I load this dishwasher throughout the day, I like to sort my silverware. I especially like to separate large forks from salad forks and teaspoons from tablespoons. But I also separate the knives and serving utensils as well.

It makes the emptying process so much easier- even my five year old can do it.

Head on over to Shannon’s blog, Rocks in My Dryer to pick up some other useful tips today!

Let me begin by saying that I cannot believe that I am posting a cleaner as one of my favorite things. Anyone who has ever been to my house or spent even a few moments with me knows that cleaning is definitely not one of my favorite things at all. But, with that being said, if I do have to clean, this cleaner is the greatest. It is all natural, safe for anything, green, and most importantly, I can use it in any room and on any surface in my house.

I actually stumbled upon this because Charlie’s also makes my favorite laundry detergent, but it’s packaging is not as fun as this. The disclosure on the back of the bottle is what moved Charlie’s into the spot of my favorite things this week.

Charlie’s prides itself on being all natural and save for kiddos and pets, so the caution reads:

“Do not spray directly on cockroaches, fire ants, fleas, ticks, termites, spiders, scorpions, wasps or hornets. In case of accidental exposure, rinse unlucky creatures with potable water for fifteen minutes and contact your local Humane Society or qualified insect veterinarian for further instructions.”

How great is that? Sarcasm is one of my favorite things as well, so sarcasm on a label wins for me this week.

Now I really do have to recommend Charlie’s Soap products, so check them out here.