Saturday, May 26, 2012

Waffles for any meal

I'm not much of a breakfast person.  I am not 100% sure why, but I'm sure it is partly because I'm so lazy in the mornings on the weekends and I don't really want to make anything until at least 2pm.

I do love waffles though, and for a while now I have been wanting to get a waffle iron, so I did.  I was at Target the other day and they had a pretty good iron on sale.

Knowing myself I couldn't wait to try it out, but it was dinner time.  Who says you can't have waffles for dinner??  I whipped up these cheese waffles and threw a tasty over easy egg on top.  They were pretty good!

This morning I was thinking about breakfast, and how easy those cheese waffles were to make.  I looked in the refrigerator and remembered that I had tons of strawberries.  I decided on strawberry waffles with strawberry syrup.

I did a quick search online and found some good looking recipes.

First I made the syrup.  It called for a lot of sugar, but this is a treat, so I was ok with that.


After cooking the sauce for about 10 minutes I had a very tasty looking topping for the waffles I was about to make.

The waffles themselves were very easy to whip up.  I also liked that there wasn't a lot of sugar involved, especially since I used so much in the sauce.

I added a good amount to the waffle iron

A few minutes later I had a golden waffle with strawberries running all though.

Now let's top it :)

If you like strawberries and waffles, please try this.  They were the fluffiest waffles I've ever had, and they didn't take that long to cook.  Also, they are much easier to make than pancakes...and they are prettier :) 

Homemade Strawberry Syrup from here.

2 cups strawberries
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Wash the strawberries and remove the stalks
Mash the strawberries to the consistency you want. I threw them in the food processor for about 30 seconds.
In a pot place the strawberries, sugar and 3/4 cup of water.
Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring every now and then for 10 minutes
When you have 5 minutes left in the cooking time, dissolve the corn starch in the 1/4 cup of water and add it to the syrup while stirring. This will thicken the sauce and give it a beautiful consistency.
Strawberry Waffles adapted from here.
(this recipe made about 9 large waffles, I froze half.)
2 ½ c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs sugar
2 eggs
2 ½ c milk (I used almond)
½ c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c chopped strawberries.

Heat the waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. When the waffle iron is ready to use, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Stir in the strawberries. Do not overbeat.

Pour batter into center of the waffle iron (amount will depend on the size of your waffle iron). Bake until lightly browned. Serve with powdered sugar , syrup and/or sliced strawberries.

I hope you all have a great weekend!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I finally ran out of my store bought laundry detergent.  After many washes, my large tub is empty.  Normally I would be upset because I knew I would have to shell out anywhere from $10-13 for more detergent, but not today.

I was very excited.  Why, you might ask?!? Well, because I can finally make my own HOMEMADE detergent.  The recipe is simple:

Grind up a bar of soap.  I used Dr. Bronner's Peppermint bar soap.  I just chopped it up a bit and used my food processor to grind it down pretty fine.  I know $4 seems a bit steep for a bar of soap, but I do believe in the brand.  Also, in the end, you get a lot of soap!

1 cup each of washing soda and borax.  I found them both in the laundry aisle.  Please note that washing soda is NOT baking soda, it's this stuff.

Mix all together and use 1 tablespoon per load.  I have used it for 2 loads already, and it smells wonderful.

I'm guessing I'll get about 60 loads out of this, for a cost of about $4.50.  That's .075 a load.  Tide will run you $12 for the about the same amount of washes.  Also, you know what's going in your detergent!

I put my detergent in a liter size mason jar.

I haven't run out of fabric softener, but when I do I have some orange infused vinegar that I am going to start using in the rinse cycle.

I hope that if you try this out you like it.  It's nice to save a little cash for the savings account.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Molasses cookies

I love to read, I really do.  I tend to read several books at a time. For instance, at the moment I'm reading New York, a novelThe Knife ManPride and Prejudice and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  I'm also usually re-reading one of the Harry Potter books as well.

Years ago I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books, and enjoyed them very much.  I love history, I love homemade things and I love the simplicity of life.

I saw a recipe for Laura Ingalls Wilder's molasses cookies and I had to make them.

I think molasses is amazing.  You can use it in sweets then use it in your favorite BBQ sauce (which I have.) 

The cookie recipe is pretty simple, we take our ingredients, cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and molasses, mix the dry ingredients, mix everything together and we are good to go!

The ingredients, minus the tasty coconut (don't you love the different measuring cups I have??):

Mix it all up and get it on a pre-greased cookie sheet:

Cook for 8 minutes, turn, and cook for another 5.  What you get is a tasty treat.  Believe me!

This cookie is slightly sweet, and you will feel good because it's "healthy".  Come on, it has oatmeal and coconut!  We all know how much I love coconut.

I hope I made Laura proud.  Someday I'll have a farm with a garden a chickens... someday.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Molasses cookies (adapted slightly from here,)


  • 1 cup unsweetened grated or flaked coconut dried
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease two cookie sheets. Pour the coconut into a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let the coconut soak to rehydrate while you're working with the other ingredients.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and molasses.

Drain the coconut.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the coconut and vanilla. Stir together till a batter forms. 

Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet. The cookies spread quite a bit, so make sure you leave enough space between them. I was able to fit 12 cookies per sheet.

Cook for 8 minutes, rotate and cook for another 5.  Cool on  rack and enjoy right away.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The many uses of coconut oil

If you've been reading the blog you will know that I've been researching and trying a lot of new recipes for household and beauty items.

The one thing I have been using a lot is coconut oil.  I have found many ways to use it, and have had a while to try them out.  I would like to share my recipes and reviews with you now.  Keep reading if you want to save money and chemicals in your body.  It's just true, remember, I'm a bad lair ;)

The most simple things I have been using coconut oil for are for cooking and moisturizer.

In cooking in place of butter, mostly:

In cooking I have been very pleased.  I have used it to fry up veggies, in bread in place of butter and to fry up eggs.  Now I have read some reviews online where people don't like it to fry eggs, but I haven't noticed a bad flavor.  They didn't taste like coconut eggs, but I felt more healthy!  In bread I didn't notice the difference not using butter.

All in all I'm very pleased.  Pleased enough to purchase a 54 oz jar from  If you are interested in getting a $10 off coupon, click here.  I am not getting paid to endorse them, I am just very happy with the product and love to share!  Also, who wouldn't like 10 bucks off??


I really like it for  a face moisturizer.  I won't lie, I haven't been pimple free, like I usually am, but I've maybe gotten 2 or 3 since I started using it.  I can live with that.  I do know that your body does go through a detox period when changing any beauty product, so it might be that.   If you are wondering, I have combo skin.

It could also be because I stopped using traditional shampoo/conditioner for 3 weeks now, and my body's adjusting to that as well.  People call it no poo, but I think that's silly.  Maybe one day I'll will write about my experience, but if you are at all interested, it's going well!

All in all I do like it as a moisturizer, and my skin feels much more smooth.  I use it on my body too, no more store bought lotion!


I have read a lot about aluminum in deodorant, and I'm not terribly happy about that.  I decided to do some research, and what do you know, you can use coconut oil to make deodorant!

Below is the recipe I've been using.  They claim it's just a deodorant and not an antiperspirant, but for me I notice it works for both.  Just in case, I keep a tiny jar of it in my purse, but I have yet to use it.  I'm doing ok, unless my co-workers are nice and not telling me!

6 TB coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch

I just warm up the coconut oil and mix everything together.  I leave it in a small jar and just use it with my fingers.  The coconut oil is very moisturizing and it will kill any bacteria or odor.  It's antibacterial and anti fungal.  I'm not a scientist, but I believe the cornstarch is what makes the sweat stay away!  Do be careful though, in the summer it will liquefy due to the oil, but it won't affect the way it works.  I've read of people putting it in empty deodorant containers and keeping it in the fridge in the summer, it's up to you.


We all know that baking soda is good in toothpaste, it whitens teeth, but did you know coconut oil is good for them as well?  As I mentioned before, coconut oil is antibacterial, it's also great for your gums.  When combining the 2 ingredients, it gets exciting!  I haven't used this long, but since I have my teeth and gums feel great and I'm liking the results so far.  I will try to update a few months down the line to let you know how it's going.

Equal parts coconut oil and baking soda (I started out with 4 TB each)
25-30 drops of peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients together, dip your toothbrush and brush away!

Well, so far that's all I've tried, but I do intend to try more.  If you are interested in trying any of these, please do, and please comment and let me know what you think.

I hope that I have helped some of you to save a little money and your health!

Until next time...


Saturday, May 5, 2012


If you have been reading my blog, you might know that I am in the process of trying to make anything I can homemade (see here for an example.)  Not only do I want to try to save some cash, but I really want to know what I'm putting in/on my body.

Recently my husband told me about a conversation he had with a friend of ours about canned goods.  I won't go into detail, but needless to say, I will no longer purchasing them (I may be a bit over-dramatic, but if you read my last post, you know I like being a grown-up and I can do what I want!) :P

Anyway, I have been wanting to get into canning for some time now, and it seems to be the best time.  I have been all over the Internet learning about it, and it seems I am very close to starting.

I bought a couple cases of jars today and ordered this pressure canner (and got 5% off as well as free shipping using my Target red debit card.  Get one, seriously.) I am SO excited to get this and start canning.

Since we joined the CSA, I am looking forward to trying new things and canning what I like so we can enjoy it when it's out of season.

I think the first thing I will try is canned tomatoes, since we use that most.  I will probably process some seasonal fruit as well.  Let's not forget pickles!  I do love pickles.

So, if you are interested in learning what I am, stay tuned and you can learn with me.

Until then...


Grown-up Grilled Cheese

I like being a grown-up for a few reasons.  I like living on my own and doing what I want.  I like cooking what I want made from things I bought (I just joined a CSA and I'm super excited!!!). I like working on my budget (hey, I love Excel).  I like working (sometimes), and I like that I can make a normally kid's dinner more adult like.

I have made mac and cheese (not very grown-up style yet) that melts in my mouth, so now I wanted to try a good 'ol grilled cheese.

I frequent this site, and everything I've made from her site I have loved.  I thought I would take her advice and make this killer sandwich.

The idea is pretty easy.  Grill some onions until your mouth waters, throw them on some tasty bread, add a couple pieces of cheese and a top piece of bread and you are ready to go!

The only different think I did with this grilled cheese (besides the super tasty onions) was to use my homemade bread and my new cast iron skillet.  

Let's talk about this cast iron skillet for a moment.  I have been wanting one of these for a long time, and last weekend I was at Bed Bath and Beyond with a $5 off coupon in hand and got one for $15.  I don't know if it was the skillet, or the fact I had sheer luck, but this was the best grilling of a grilled cheese I have ever seen in my kitchen.  Even if it's not the skillet, I'm not changing it up in the future.

Now on the visuals.  This is a whole (yes, I mean whole) yellow onion ready to become heaven:

After about 20-25 LONG minutes (I'm impatient) you end up with golden goodness (I think I might have a problem here)

Take some real butter and throw it in your cast iron skillet for a few seconds before you put a slice of homemade heaven on it then add the cheese onions:

Look at that beautiful butter... add another piece of bread and grill!

Once done, cut it in half so you can see how pretty it is and enjoy!

If you are looking for a great dinner splurge, please try this sandwich.  Maybe you can pair it with a nice soup, or a cocktail.  Your choice, I won't judge!

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions (adapted from here)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Splash of dry white wine (you can use broth)

4 bread slices
Cheese slices (I used provolone and mozzarella) 

(To make the caramelized onions, melt 1½ tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions to the pan with the sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir well.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and fully caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium-high.  Pour in the splash of wine and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has cooked off.  Remove from the heat and set aside.)

Assemble and grill sandwiches.  Enjoy immediately.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lasagne and Cookies

One thing you must know about me is that when I want something I make it happen.  I don't mean to sound impatient (even though I am, a bit) or spoiled, but I usually find a way.  I've gotten more patient in the years though (I promise, Mom.)

This past weekend I wanted something, so my wonderful husband took me to the store to get sugar, butter and eggs.  Don't ask me how I didn't have these on hand, but if you did, I would tell you that I ran out of them at the same time.  That would be true, honest, I'm a bad liar!

This particular time I had to have chocolate chip cookies.  I blame Pinterest.

I wanted to try a recipe I hadn't made before, so I found one that had some good reviews.  For some reason since becoming a "baker" I have felt that if I did the bare minimum I would feel less of a "baker" (makes no sense, right?) Unfortunately this is the truth, so I had to make 2 kinds of cookies.  Don't worry, I didn't eat them all, but my co-workers like me ;)

I decided on Lemon Crinkle cookies.  They were light, chewy and delicious.

I had never rolled cookies in powdered sugar before baking before, but they gave these cookies the best texture.  I will make them again, maybe with more lemon zest though.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen


½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.


The Chocolate Chip cookies I made were very good, but not as chewy as I would have liked. I may actually make some more tonight with a different recipe.  I like them nice and soft.  If you are in the mood for a slightly crispy/chewy cookie, this is the right recipe for you.  Don't get me wrong, they were delicious, but a bit too crunchy for me.

The interesting thing about these cookies is the idea of breaking the dough apart before baking.  I'm not sure if they really made them anymore textured, but it was fun to do!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 C plus 2 T flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled until warm
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
*If for some reason your dough is too soft to form balls at this point, don’t add more flour.  Just cover and place bowl in the fridge until dough firms.
Take about 1/4 C dough and form into a ball.  Break ball in half and place dough on cookie sheet with broken edge facing up.  (Or just use a standard sized cookie scoop). Bake until cookies are set around outer edges start to hardenyet centers are still soft and puffy, 10-13 minutes.  Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store inairtight container.
I also made a tasty lasagna for dinner.  It's no real recipe. I made the sauce from this recipe, however I halved it and used canned tomatoes. I then added lasagna noodles, carrots, broccoli, celery, squash, cottage cheese and colby jack cheese.  I basically put whatever I had in the house in it.  TASTY STUFF!
Here was dinner, jealous???

All in all it was a good night, and I'm pretty happy with myself.  I think I'll make tortillas tonight...

Stay tuned!