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Homemade by Jade

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  • Tracey Boyer
  • January 17, 2015 07:23:21 AM
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A Little About Us

A blog about homesteading and getting back to a simpler lifestyle. Posts include subjects such as cooking from scratch, backyard gardening, canning, cooking, crafts, sewing and household DIY.

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How to Freeze Eggs

​Sometimes you find yourself with too many eggs to use before they spoil. Maybe there was a great sale, or your hens have been overly prolific in laying or you bought a dozen forgetting that you already had a couple dozen. Regardless of how it happened, it does happen. What do you do ?​​Freezing eggs is really quite simple, but you cannot freeze them in the shell. The best method I have found is to crack them and beat them with a fork or whisk, and then pour them into an ice tray and...

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Sometimes you find yourself with too many eggs to use before they spoil. Maybe there was a great sale, or your hens have been overly prolific in laying or you bought a dozen forgetting that you already had a couple dozen. Regardless of how it happened, it does happen. What do you do ?
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​Freezing eggs is really quite simple, but you cannot freeze them in the shell. The best method I have found is to crack them and beat them with a fork or whisk, and then pour them into an ice tray and freeze. When you get ready to use them, two cubes equal one whole egg, just let them thaw naturally in the refrigerator and then use as usual.
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If you want to freeze just the yolks, you will need to know what you are using them for. If you plan to use them for baking sweets, then you will need to add 3/4 teaspoon of sugar for every 1/2 cup of yolks. If you are going to cook them savory, then 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every 1/2 cup of yolks. If you try to freeze yolks without salt or sugar added, theyn come out really thick and yucky. One frozen cube equals two yolks.

Freezing egg whites is the simplest. Just pour them into the ice tray and freeze. One cube equals one white.

Eggs keep in the freezer for up to a year, but I prefer to use mine within 3 or 4 months. I think they taste the same, so freeze eggs a lot because our hens lay alot!

Have a great weekend,

​Jade    :)


Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/brown-eggs-breakfast-nutrition-food-3217675/
https://pixabay.com/photos/egg-basket-food-kitchen-1686641/
https://pixabay.com/photos/egg-yolk-raw-liquid-beat-up-351469/


The Barnwood Look Made Simple

The barnwood look is so popular right now, it is used in crafts, in home decor in furniture and much more!  The only problem is that now that everyone wants it, of course, the price has skyrocketed!  Even the people with barns that are falling down want big money for the wood, even if you remove it yourself!  However, there is a very easy way to make new wook look gray and weathered like barnwood.  You won't believe how easy it is!​ A few months ago, I decided that I...

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The barnwood look is so popular right now, it is used in crafts, in home decor in furniture and much more!  The only problem is that now that everyone wants it, of course, the price has skyrocketed!  Even the people with barns that are falling down want big money for the wood, even if you remove it yourself!  However, there is a very easy way to make new wook look gray and weathered like barnwood.  You won't believe how easy it is!

 A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to make a wood wall in my home.  Since the decor in my house is basically farmhouse, I wanted to make the wood of the wall weathered gray.  I did a lot of research on the internet on how to make new wood look weathered.  Many of the processes were complicated and or expensive.  None of them were something I wanted to undertake for the amount of wood that I was going to need for an entire wall.  

I started checking out real barn wood, thinking maybe I would just bite the bullet and buy the wood I needed.  Hah!  Real barnwood on eBay would have been over $500, plus heaven knows how much for shipping.  So that was out, and I really did not know what to do.  I finally decided to just buy new wood and stain it gray.  It was not really what I wanted, but I could not think of anything else to do.
I stained a couple pieces of wood and it was too light, so I let it dry and put on another layer of stain.  I still did not like the look, so I put another layer and it really was not getting any darker.  Since I wanted the pieces to be all different shades of gray (light, medium, dark, etc) I knew that just using the stain was not going to work.  I was stumped!

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​​Then I had a thought!  Maybe I could put a darker undercoat on the wood and that would help to give me the different shades that I wanted and then put the stain on top.  But what to use for the undercoat?  I needed something that would dry quickly, faster than stain, so I decided to try black craft paint.  I figured if I watered it down, it would be gray, and I could make it as light or dark as I wanted by adjusting the amount of water I added.  
I put one coat on and I could not believe how nice it looked!  I put a bit more black paint in the mix and tried making a darker board.  It looked great!  The watered down paint gave the wood a whole different look than the stain.  It was rougher and less shiny.  The grain of the wood was more pronounced and it looked a lot like barnwood!  I showed it to my husband and he was really impressed, he said he liked it much better than the wood that was stained.  So we decided to use it as is, with no more stain.
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The wall turned out awesome!  It looks so good, I can't believe it.  The weathered barnwood color turned out to be so easy to attain, just black craft paint and water.  Who would have thought it would have been so simple?
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So there you have it.......my wood wall!  
Have a great week!

​Jade    :)


How to Make a Laundry Scent Booster (like Unstoppables)

If you really love laundry that smells great, you have probably already tried store bought laundry scent boosters like Unstoppables. While they don't do anything towards making your clothes cleaner, they do make your laundry smell wonderful!   The downside is they are pretty expensive and I have often wondered exactly what is in them.  Most all commercially made laundry products are usually full of all kinds of chemicals and artificial scents.  Manufacturers are not...


If you really love laundry that smells great, you have probably already tried store bought laundry scent boosters like Unstoppables. While they don't do anything towards making your clothes cleaner, they do make your laundry smell wonderful!   The downside is they are pretty expensive and I have often wondered exactly what is in them.  Most all commercially made laundry products are usually full of all kinds of chemicals and artificial scents.  Manufacturers are not required to put all the ingredients on the label, reading labels will not help you.  The best way to deal with this problem is to make your own.....it is so easy you will not believe it!!


​Just a couple of common ingredients and you are good to go.

Ingredients:

​Directions:

Measure epsom salt into a bowl
Add 20-30 drops essential oil 
Stir thoroughly to combine
Pour onto a cookie sheet and spread out to dry 

Pour the dried mixture into a Mason jar 

Instructions for Use: 

​Add 1 tablespoon of the Laundry Scent Booster directly to the washer while it is filling and wash as usual.

The Epsom salt will dissolve in the water, transferring the scent to the clothing and drying will intensify it.  If you want a stronger scent, just add more oil to the Epsom salt.  Your clothes will come out smelling fabulous and for much less than buying the chemical laden 
store bought variety. 
You can use any essential oil fragrance you like.  I prefer to use a combined scent, mixing two different oils.  Pine Needle and Lemongrass is my favorite.  If you want to try mixed scents and you are wondering which oil scent are good together, here are a few combinations that go well together:
If you like this recipe, please share it with friends and on Pinterest!

Have a great week,

Jade    :)



Images:
By author and Amazon products
https://www.flickr.com/photos/147374674@N04/29787022785/sizes/l



How to Make Homemade Flour Tortillas

​Over the last few years, I have found myself using tortillas more and more.  I use them instead of bread for sandwiches. (otherwise known as "wraps")  I toast them in a bowl shape and put salad in them.  Of course there are tons of Mexican food applications like soft tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, etc.  I have also toasted them in triangles for a crunchy snack, either with salt or with cinnamon sugar.  Their uses are endless!  But, as always with stuff that is...

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​Over the last few years, I have found myself using tortillas more and more.  I use them instead of bread for sandwiches. (otherwise known as "wraps")  I toast them in a bowl shape and put salad in them.  Of course there are tons of Mexican food applications like soft tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, etc.  I have also toasted them in triangles for a crunchy snack, either with salt or with cinnamon sugar.  Their uses are endless!  But, as always with stuff that is good, they are not that cheap, so I decided to learn to make my own.  I was shocked at how simple it was. 


​Ingredients:

  • 4 cups white flour (you can use ground wheat flour if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter  (can use shortening but its not as flavorful)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (lukewarm, not hot!)
​​
Directions​ :
  1. Turn on your oven to its lowest setting
  2. Stir together the baking powder, salt and flour 
  3. Cut butter into pieces and drop into the flour mixture and mix with your hands until you get a crumble consistency 
  4. Slowly add the water, stirring until you have smooth dough
  5. Flour your counter and place the dough on it and kneed with your hands, briefly.  Do not over kneed as it will add too much flour to the dough
  6. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough and cut into 24 pieces
  7. Spray your skillet with cooking spray or use a teaspoon of oil and turn on the heat medium-high 
  8. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten to a circular tortilla thickness with a rolling pin
  9. Place the tortilla in the skillet and cook until golden and toasty, then flip and do the same to the other side
  10. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels in a warm oven
  11. Do the same with the rest of the pieces  
  12. When you are done, serve or put them in a container with a tight fitting lid, trying to get out as much air as possible



Since these tortillas don't have any preservatives, they must be kept in the refrigerator, and eaten within a few days or a week.  Mine rarely make it that long!

Have a great weekend!

​Jade    :)



Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

​If you use hand sanitizer on a regular basis, it can get to be rather expensive. Why buy it, when you can easily make it?Have you ever looked at the ingredients on store bought hand sanitizer? Do you have any idea what most of the ingredients are? I don't! Do you really want to put that stuff on your skin on a regular basis, not knowing what chemicals and preservatives they throw in with the goal of a long shelf life being more important to them than the health and safety of your family's...

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If you use hand sanitizer on a regular basis, it can get to be rather expensive. Why buy it, when you can easily make it?

Have you ever looked at the ingredients on store bought hand sanitizer? Do you have any idea what most of the ingredients are? I don't! Do you really want to put that stuff on your skin on a regular basis, not knowing what chemicals and preservatives they throw in with the goal of a long shelf life being more important to them than the health and safety of your family's skin ? Not to mention that some companies still test sanitizer on animals, a practice I would never want to support. Make your own, it's better in every way.
I use two recipes, one with alcohol and one without. I usually use the one without, but sometimes, like visiting a hospital, I will use the alcohol based one, since I feel it probably kills germs more thoroughly. (but at the cost of drying out your skin, if used every day)
Alcohol Based Sanitizer Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of 91% or higher rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops of lavender oil (optional for a nicer smell)


Alcohol Free Sanitizer Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 2 teaspoons of witch hazel
  • 3 drops of lavender oil (optional for a nicer smell)

I prefer to mix the ingredients in a blender, I feel you get a better end product, but you can mix them by hand. Then you just pour them into a small bottle and keep in your purse or pocket. I get the empty travel size bottles at the dollar store.

There you go! Do it yourself hand sanitizer that you know is safe and is much, much cheaper than the store bought variety. Enjoy!

Jade    :)
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​If you liked this post, here are some others you may want to check out:

How to Make Liquid Hand Soap
How to Make a Magic Eraser Type Sponge
How to Make Reusable Dryer Sheets


Zesty Mexican Corn Dip

Today​ I want to share with you one of my favorite Mexican dips.  Many of you will be attending or giving a Super Bowl party soon and you will want to include this dip in your menu.  Trust me, it will be a huge hit with the spicy crowd!​​Ingredients:​​4 cups whole kernel corn1/2 cup diced celery1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined then chopped 3 tbsp. mayonnaise1/4 cup sour cream (optional, I like my dip creamier so I use it)1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or if you like more...

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Today​ I want to share with you one of my favorite Mexican dips.  Many of you will be attending or giving a Super Bowl party soon and you will want to include this dip in your menu.  Trust me, it will be a huge hit with the spicy crowd!


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​Ingredients:
  • 4 cups whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined then chopped 
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional, I like my dip creamier so I use it)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or if you like more spice, pepper jack)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, chopped or 2/3 teaspoon dried 
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin (can use regular onion about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt to taste
​Directions:

Mix all ingrdients except the corn and lime juice in a bowl.  
When it is well mixed add corn and lime juice and mix gently
Chill at least 3 hours before serving.  I prefer to make it the day before so the flavors can come together and mix more fully


You can use any kind of corn you like, canned, frozen, or fresh sliced off the cob.  I usually chop my corn, but you don't have to.  I just prefer my dip to have a smaller profile and not be full of whole corn kernels, which makes it kind of large on a chip.  I also use mayonnaise with olive oil because it is less fattening and creamier.  The sour cream I use is also reduced fat.  This is how I make it, you can use whatever type of mayo and sour cream you prefer.

A lot of this recipe is made "to taste."  Any of the spices can be adjusted up or down, depending on what you like.  You can also use whatever cheese you like from pepper jack to mozzarella.  If you like creamier dips, add the sour cream, but you don't have to.  You can also add more or less jalepeno or skip it altogether if you don't like that much heat.

Most of the time I serve this as a dip with tortilla chips, but it can be eaten many different ways.  I have eaten it in soft taco shells with shredded lettuce, mixed it in with a cold rice salad and I have even stuffed it in tortillas like a burrito and baked them!  It really is a 

wonderful flavor, hot or cold.
This dip is always a hit, wherever I take it, so try it at your next gathering....but be prepared to have people ask for the recipe!  

Jade    :)

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