Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rainy February garden

Here are some savory and sweet photos of all the little details happening in our garden right now, after a long windy day of rain yesterday and a day of sun showers today. 


Blueberry flowers (hummingbirds were pollinating them this morning)


Daffodils (I am trying to force pollinate them.... more on that later)





A winter sunflower, almost blooming!



volunteer lavender





And finally, some pumpkin seeds to save for spring. I saved lots of pumpkin seeds this fall of myriad varieties and am super excited to see if I can have a full squash garden over the summer. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Soap / toothpaste recipe!

I can never remember to buy toothpaste, shampoo, hair products, cosmetics, etc. It's one of those things where I forget all day until I go to brush my teeth and bam! the tube is empty. Or bam! my shampoo is gone and I have to borrow yours (sorry). 

So I decided to just make my own, in bulk, with only natural ingredients. It's probably one of the best choices I have made in a while. Not only am I using products that I feel good about, having made them myself, but they don't contain any preservatives, sulfites, or other weird chemicals.

Here is the easiest recipe in the world (arguable maybe) for making toothpaste which doubles as body wash:

1. baking soda
2. coconut oil
3. essential oils

I looked at a ton of recipes which contain other speciality ingredients but just these three are working pretty well for me. I have been using the coconut oil toothpaste at night and Tom's during the day, because I'm not sure if my recipe is totally successful yet. (Breath / cavities results pending).


Mix baking soda with coconut oil (I heated my oil for easier mixing. Funny aside - there was some foil seal left on the plastic bottle and it sparked my microwave. Exciting!) Add 10-20 drops of oils to start. 


Then, test it out. Too salty? Dilute with more coconut oil. Or add more oil. 


To turn this sucker into body wash, I added more and different oils (like orange, which I want on my body but NOT in my mouth). Then I mixed in some coarse sea salt to act as a scrubbing agent. You can do so many different things, just be creative with the key ingredients. 

Mariah Carey

Why have I never seen this video?


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Blueberries for Sal

Hey, guess what? I made this video for one of my classes. I want to show it to my students next year (or any other years in the future). 

Just click through with your arrows until you get to the youtube video and you can watch me read you a book out loud. This is one of my favorites from when I was a kid. :) 

Blueberries for Sal


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tuscan Bread

This recipe comes from someone's More Bread Machine Magic book, but works just as well self-risen and baked in the oven. I learned this one day when the machine inexplicably decided to stop working. 


Tuscan Bread

Dissolve 1 packet of dry yeast in 1.5 cups of warm water
Mix in: 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar
3 cups flour

I also mixed in a jalapeƱo, and a half of a zucchini, both diced finely. 
(You could do shredded veggies of all types). 

Rise ~2 hours, beat once in between if that's your style. Roll into a luscious log, or a toad stool, or a regular looking baguette. I cut a star into the top of mine too and the veggies peaked out.

Baked at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Use a knife test to see if yours is done. 


And just for fun, here is a real toad stool (Amanita Muscaria) seen the other day at Sibley Volcanic Preserve when some friends and I climbed the top of a volcano. There were bright red mushrooms everywhere after the long rainy days we have had.