Produce bags have been on the market for a while now and yet I still rarely see anyone in the grocery store use them! I am not sure whether it is due to routine or forgetting them (that has happened occasionally to me) or they just don’t know it is an option. Regardless of the reasons it is perplexing that so much plastic is wasted use to transport produce to your home.
I have made two sizes of produce bags one smaller and a medium one that is large enough to fit broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers etc. Using recycled muslin and polyester curtains we fashioned produce bags strong enough to hold even our heavy dry goods such as black beans, rice, lentils etc.
I also have added a draw string closure so you can rest assured that your items are secure in their bag
Most women have used a cotton round at some point in their life some use them daily. what you don’t realize is that in a year of using 2 small cotton rounds a day you have thrown roughly 672 rounds in the garbage. When I realized that i thought why not make larger rounds out of recycled cotton fleece, that way I am not throwing things needlessly into the landfill instead they get tossed in a mesh bag and tossed in the laundry with everything else!
These rounds are about 3″ in diameter.
I have been using mine for about 3 months and am in seriously love with them! They are the perfect size to clean off any and all make up and the dark colours hide any staining that may occur due to mascara, lipstick etc… and unlike other brands the edges are not overlocked rather are topstitched so they can withstand repeated washing better!
When making food there tends to be food waste in my case the ends of lemons while making lemon energy balls.
What I ended up doing with those left over lemon ends was to submerge then in white vinegar. For what most people don’t know is that you can infuse vinegar with flavours or in this case smells. If you shake the jar every day for a week you infuse the vinegar with the lemon scent and can dilute with water to create a natural cleaner.
With Canada Day tomorrow I thought what a perfect time for this post!
One thing I think everyone enjoys is getting mail when you are not expecting it, of course this does not apply to bills…yuck! I personally love creating parcels to surprise family and friends. So when I found out that my cousin who now lives in Germany was expecting his first child, my sisters and I came up with the idea to send him a Canada themed surprise baby parcel. This was so much fun to come up with ideas of what to purchase or create especially knowing that our very proudly Canadian cousin would appreciate everything in it however cliche it was.
What we had come up with was a homemade knit Hudson Bay inspired baby blanket, crochet Moose, anorak jacket and not pictured baby wrap moccasins. We also purchased cute Hudson Bay baby mitts and tea towel, mini moose license plate, baby hat, two of our favourite (non Canadian) authors, Robert Munch mini books and of course the classic Maple Syrup.
Although it reached them a little after he made his early arrival, it was a wonderful surprise for the growing family.
I always found it odd when people would purchase play dough because growing up my mom would always make it. So for this upcoming Easter I decided to make some homemade play dough to give to some friends.
This recipe is not only super easy to make, it also lasts a minimum of 6 weeks, but can last longer if you keep it wrapped up well and in an airtight container.
Will last at least 5-6 weeks and longer if wrapped up well and stored in an air tight container.
You can add glitter or other textural elements in addition to food colouring.
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 cup Salt
- 4 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 2 cups water
- Food Colouring
- If you are wanting to make the entire batch one colour you can add the food colouring to the water before mixing the water and oil with the above mixture.
- You can colour one batch several colours after cooking it by kneading the colour into the dough.
In a medium pot combine flour, salt and cream of tartar.
Mix in the water and oil and cook on medium heat stirring constantly for about 4 minutes or until the dough doesn’t stick to the back of the spoon.
If making play dough into several colours then let the dough cool a little and divide dough into the amount of colours you want to make ( I suggest 3). Knead colour into the dough by either placing the dough and food colouring into a plastic bag and knead until dough is fully coloured or by kneading on a covered surface while wearing plastic gloves.
Once cooled completely place the dough into ziplock bags or wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
Happy creating everyone!
I lived most of the first seven years of my life in New Brunswick where my father was born and raised, and where most of his family as well as himself still resides. If someone was to ask me what I miss most about not living in New Brunswick aside from my family would be this amazing brown bread! Its soooooo good that I eat it without anything at all on it (that should tell you right there how good it is!).
East Coast Brown Bread
A delicious sweet brown bread commonly found on the east coast of Canada.
This is a sticky dough which in turn makes it lighter when baked.
- 3 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup molasses
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 pkg or 4 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
In a pot bring the water and salt to a boil. Reduce heat and add the oatmeal, cooking for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes then add the butter, eggs and molasses. Mix well and set aside to cool for a few more minutes.
In a large bowl combine the flour and the yeast. Once combined add the oatmeal mixture and mix until combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 10 minutes, adding flour as required.
Form into loafs of buns and set in the appropriate greased baking pans. Cover and let rise for an hour minimum to 2 hours.
When ready to bake preheat your oven to 325*F. Brush the top for the dough with an egg wash and bake for about 45 minutes or until dough sounds hollow when you knock on it.
*If you are using yeast that needs to be activated then omit 1 cup of water from the beginning step and use that water to active your yeast. Combine when mixing the wet and dry ingredients together.
Happy cooking everyone!
I like many people LOVE Harry Potter and I was having a friend come and visit me over the weekend and with her also being a big Harry Potter fan I thought I should make her something because… why not! So I happen to have a roughed up copy of the first Harry Potter book and so I decided to create a Harry Potter banner which was inspired by the Archie Comic banner I have having on my wall. So off I go rummaging around my apartment for a ruler, cutting mat, exacto knife, scissor, glue stick and beading thread. Once I was able to find everything which included chasing my cat Newt around trying to get the spool of thread he was playing, I got down to work.
I used the ruler to help me get a nice straight cut with the exacto knife and took out 20 pages to use for my banner. From there I measured the width of the page on the bottom and marked a tick the the centre. From there I used my ruler to act as guide for my knife lining up the ruler from the centre tick to the top edge and cut out my triangular pieces. I also being the weirdo that I am decided to use some of my gold ink to underline any Harry Potter-esq words that were on the page i.e. Harry Potter, Dudley, Uncle Vernon etc. Once dry I folded the top quarter inch of the triangle down to create the flap that I will glue down.
Once I had my stack of triangles with the tops folded I grabbed a scrap piece of paper and my beading thread. I knotted a loop at the start of the thread and just worked off the of spool. Using a glue stick a glued the folded flap and inserted the beading thread along the width of the inside folded edge of the triangle. Pressed down well to make sure the glue flap is secured well and did the same to the other 19 triangles, ending with another tied loop at the end to make it a bit easier to put up.
Keep in mind the way you are gluing down the flaps as you want them all on the same side!
Once all the glue is dry and hang enjoy!
Happy crafting everyone!
I LOVE winter… second to autumn, partly because I tend to run hot so I am far more comfortable in colder weather. Also because I adore wearing layers, sweaters, colourful scarves, mitts, and hats are amazing. But I think what I love the most is the feeling of winter, cozying up with a mug of something warm and crafting.
What I have been working on for the past few weeks is an afghan. I have been teaching myself to crochet so thought why not go big and attempt to crochet an afghan for my mom. What I have been using for reference ( stitching techniques as well as pattern ideas) is the Crochet: The Complete Guide . I found the instructions clear and concise and love that in addition to the written instructions for the pattern they also have the pattern in a chart form, which I find far easier to understand. The Pattern I choose was 42 Ocean Swells on pg. 92, a pattern that seemed to have more detail then then other patterns featured in the book before it.
In the final afghan I used almost 2 balls of Red Heart yarn in 16oz. balls, and it took about 3 weeks to make (very dedicated weeks). The final result measures about 40×60″.
You can find the pattern online on Ravelry or this exact pattern through Pinterest .
Happy Crafting everyone!
Although I am fully embracing the new season with the warmer temperatures and brighter days, there are still gloomy days and what better to do then to knit or crochet.
My Gramma was a wonderful knitter and tired to teach me to knit which proved rather difficult as she was right handed and I am left handed however, I did end up picking up crocheting leaving the knitting lessons to for my sisters.
My older sister Sandy got my Grammas knitting genes because she has become a wonderful knitter as well. I always saw her rummaging around to find something to use as a knitting marker that’s when I figured I could easily make one!
I picked up some earring clasps, I choose to use them because with crocheting the marker doesn’t move as your go along it stays put. So you have to have a way to remove the markers so a earring clasp made total sense.
While I was at the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart picking up the earring clasps I grabbed some headpins, jump rings, small pliers and an assortment of beads.
Starting with the headpin I slipped the chosen beads in the order I wanted them then made a loop, cutting the excess metal. Using the spring ring attach the beaded section with the earring clasp.
I ended up making quite a lot of markers some in sets of 4 some in sets of 3 just depending on the beads I had on hand.
Using birch bark from some logs in the woodpile I used a leather hole punch to create holes in the bark and wove a strand of yarn through, doubling it back and tying the end to the beginning strand in the back.
Attaching the markers to the front yarn loops to create a nice display/ tag when giving them as a gift.
Happy creating everyone!
There is an amazing Mexican food restaurant in Whitehorse called Sanchez Cantina and it serves the best black beans you will ever taste! So for a few years people in the village that like the restaurant have been trying to make beans that are similar to its since the only thing they will tell you is that the beans are made with love.
Well I just happen to have a friend that is Guatemalan and her mom is a fantastic cook so I got her recipe for black beans and after about 6 tries I finally got very close to the Sanchez Cantina black beans and now I’m going to share it with all of you!
Rodriguez Black Beans
A must have for your Mexican themed dinner!
A very freezer friendly meal!
1 Bag Black Beans
Mushroom Bullion Cubes
Herb Bullion Cubes
1 Head of Garlic, Finely Chopped
1-2 Onions, Finely Chopped
Place full bag of raw beans in a large pot and cover well with water. Add one mushroom and one herb bullion cube. Boil for one hour, you will have to keep adding water, every time you add water add one of either herb or mushroom bullion.
Add one head of finely chopped garlic and continue boiling for 2 hours more, adding water and bullion cubes when needed.
Once boiled for 3 hours turn off heat and leave on the stove top until the next step
In a large frying pan place a fair amount of oil and add diced onions to the pan. Caramelize onions do NOT caramelize them so much that they are a dark brown it will give the beans a bitter flavor. You want them transparent and just starting to turn a light brown.
Once onions are done add a portion of the beans and water to the frying pan and fry them with the onions. Will have to fry several times to get all the beans done, placing the finished beans in a different pot or bowl. Once all beans are fried stir well to get the onions evenly distributed though out the beans.
Enjoy with rice, bean salad, nachos and more!
Because this recipe takes about 4 hours to make and also makes a large amount I tend to freeze a large portion of the beans in different size freezer bags to use later. They freeze amazingly and then you have homemade black beans ready anytime you have a craving!