Baking Soda VS Baking Powder

May 19th, 2017

alt_plastic-measuring-spoons_3

Baking soda and baking powder are easily confused – not only do they have similar names and appearance, but they’re often used in the same recipe. In order to not end up with a minor baking disaster knowing the purpose of both is important.

Let’s start with baking soda. Baking soda can do magical things like create the awesome volcano you see at kids science fair,  it’s also typically used in recipes that feature an acidic component such as lemon juice, pumpkin and more. Baking soda helps dough rise, which makes it a critical element in chocolate chip cookie recipes. Classically recipes using baking soda will bake up more crisp and darker – giving you the pretty presentable look.

Baking Powder is a combination of baking soda and another acid – usually cornstarch. The purpose of baking powder is to hold everything motionless in whatever you are baking/cooking until the liquid is added. Baking powder is what lifts biscuits, cookies and more.

Both baking powder and baking soda are critical in a variety of recipes, so just be sure you use the exact one that you need and don’t substitute one for the other – it definitely makes a difference.

Picnic Packing List

April 21st, 2017

waterproof-picnic-blanket-salsa-stripe

Waterproof Picnic Blanket – wide variety of colors available

Who doesn’t love a picnic? Whether you’re having one at a roadside stop, at the park or on the beach there is nothing worse than unpacking your basket and realizing you forget an essential.

What to bring:

Casual Foods: Sandwiches and other things that do not require utensils are great.
Avoid foods with mayonnaise as they will spoil quickly.

Icepacks: Food can quickly spoil and harbor bacteria when not stored at the right temperature. Using icepacks will help keep everything cold until you are ready to serve it.

Drinks: Bottled water, juices and drinks in cans are the easiest to travel with.

Condiments: Sometimes you can find mustard and ketchup in small jars that you can refill every time you head out for a picnic. Otherwise use small Tupperware containers.

Salt and Pepper: Lets everyone season their food to their liking.

Tableware
Cups and Plates: Paper or plastic provide lightweight options that can be thrown out.

Utensils: Cutting knife and serving utensils may be needed.

Small Cutting Board: Just in case any meat, cheese or bread needs to be sliced.

Napkins: Lets be honest even if we say we aren’t going to make a mess we’re totally going to make a mess.

Bottle Opener: You never know when you’ll want to pop a bottle of bubbly.

Cleanup
Trash Bags: Easy way to dispose of everything you bring to the picnic site.

Paper Towels: Great for mopping up spills.

Moist Towelettes: Great if running water is not available.

Miscellaneous
Blanket: Large enough to accommodate all your picnic-goers and the food.

Picnic Basket: Convenient place to keep everything stowed away until you’re ready for it.

Products We Love: 
Portable Picnic Cooler
Portable Picnic Table
Picnic Basket – Service for Two
Insulated Wine Tote
Hot Dog Container

DIY Cleaning Products

March 23rd, 2017

natural cleaning

It’s almost that time of year where we get to open our windows, and enjoy a spring breeze. For many of us we want to give our homes a deep cleaning before spring arrives. This spring say goodbye to expensive cleaners, and use simple ingredients from your pantry to create cleaning products that are better for the environment, and a fraction of the cost of name brand products.

Diluted White Vinegar
White vinegar is a natural deodorizer, and actually absorbs dreadful odors instead of covering them up. It’s great for getting rid of soap scum, hard water deposits and so much more. Mix white vinegar with water and use in the kitchen to clean counter tops or in the bathroom to clean the floor and exterior of the toilet.

Undiluted White Vinegar
Place ¼ to ½ cup of undiluted vinegar in a plastic bag, and secure the bag over a shower-head – allow to stand overnight – this helps get rid of mineral deposits. Undiluted white vinegar is also great for cleaning the inside of a toilet bowl.

Lemons
When life gives you lemons, use the outer rind to polish porcelain surfaces or grind the rind in a garbage disposal while running cool water to freshen the smell of your sink and sharpen the disposal blades.

Baking Soda
Baking soda isn’t just an ingredient for cookies anymore; it’s great for removing food deposits left in a sink.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

February 13th, 2017

chocolate dipped strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries may look like they’re hard to make but they’re actually super easy. This Valentine’s Day why not melt someone’s heart and make them chocolate covered strawberries. All you need is chocolate and strawberries. Place your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between each interval until the chocolate is melted. Hold the strawberry by the stem and dip the berry into the melted chocolate, allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place the dipped berry onto a baking sheet that has been covered in parchment paper. Repeat the process for the remaining berries. One finished place the berries in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set. Secret tip: if you want your berries to look like a professional made them when you set the chocolate covered strawberry onto the parchment lined baking sheet slide the berry about a half inch to the side, this helps prevent the chocolate “foot” formation.

chocolate dipped strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries freshly prepared.

Products We Love: 
Glass Batter Bowl with Lid
Strawberry Huller
Produce Keeper
Berry Keeper

How to: Use Spice Racks Outside the Kitchen

February 8th, 2017

1

The main use of spice racks is to organize and store all your spices in the kitchen, but have you ever thought of using them for something other than spices? Spice racks come in a wide variety of different styles which offers versatile possibilities. There are spice racks that mount onto the wall, sit on your counter and even fit inside of drawers. With so many options available they make the perfect solution to getting various items in your home neatly organized so you can always find what you’re looking for.

The birch spice rack mounts directly to the wall, offering you a wide variety of storage solutions. Add this rack to a children’s bedroom so they’re favorite bedtime stories are readily accessible. Use the spice rack in a craft room to hold anything from ribbons and glitter to paint and glue.

2

If you love painting, why not utilize the 20 bottle spice organizer as a convenient storage solution for all your bottles of paint or glitter. This organizer will sit right on a desk or shelf so you can always see what colors of paint are available, instead of spending time digging around a box to find what you are looking for. This organizer not only provides you with convenience, but it’s a lot cheaper than most paint bottle organizers.

3

The bamboo spice rack is one of our favorites. This organizer mounts directly to the wall and features two shelves offering you ample storage. Use the organizer to store all your nail polish so you can always find the color that you need. You can also use this organizer to keep your K-Cups accessible, to store craft supplies and so much more.

One of our favorite things about using spice racks for something other than spices is the fact that so many are made of bamboo or wood. Bamboo and wood options give you the ability to paint the racks to match your décor or personality.

How will you use a spice rack outside of the kitchen?