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Makers Make Stuff - Make it Yourself at Home

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  • Brian Welch
  • January 06, 2020 02:59:00 PM
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A Little About Us

Makers Make Stuff endeavors to teach people how fun, easy and healthy it is to make stuff yourself. Don't be a slave to pre-packaged and chemically ridden products from the grocery store. It's a lot easier than you might think to make these things yourself and we guarantee you will have fun doing it.

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  • Make Your Own Food
  • Stop buying all of your stuff pre-made and packaged in a box. It's easier than you might think to make some of your favorite foods. This blog is more than just a recipe site, we look at things you can make on your own that you would normally buy in a store already made for you.
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    Flying Model Rockets

    Building and launching model rockets is a hobby that has been around since the late 1950s and early 1960s. Despite what many people may think, model rockets are a statistically safe hobby. Model Rocket building influences many children to become interested in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Rocketry is not only a... Read More The post Flying Model Rockets appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Building and launching model rockets is a hobby that has been around since the late 1950s and early 1960s. Despite what many people may think, model rockets are a statistically safe hobby. Model Rocket building influences many children to become interested in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Rocketry is not only a fun way to get kids outdoors and get their eyes off of screens, but its shown to increase engagement in much-needed science fields.

    Model rocketry is an elaborate hobby with a lot of confusing information. Model engine types and sizes can be intimidating if you’re looking to have some fun with your kids. We’ve done the work for you. Follow along as we break down the basics of model rocketry for you. We will explain the basic model and engine types so you can start your new model rocket hobby today!

    Model Rocket Basics:

    Model rockets are small rockets made to launch from the ground and reach low altitudes. Designed for multiple uses, model rockets use single-use engines that propel them into the air.

    Anatomy of a Model Rocket:

    The structure of model rockets consists of the same basic components. The rockets start with the body tube, which is the main body of the rocket. The nose cone attaches to the body tube. The nose cone helps with the aerodynamics of the rocket and typically houses the recovery system for the model rocket. When a model rocket engine fires its ejection charge, the nose cone blows off of the rocket. A shock cord secures the nose cone to the rocket, which prevents the nose cone from getting lost in recovery. The rocket fins are at the back of the rocket to help stabilize the model rocket in the air. Most model rockets have a launch lug attached to the main body near its center of gravity.

    Inside a model rocket, you will find a recovery system (we will touch base on this below) and the engine mount or engine hook, which keeps the model rocket engine in place.

    Designing Model Rockets:

    When designing a model rocket, most rocket components use numbers and letters to indicate information about those rocket components. When choosing parts for your rocket, those numbers should match. You want to be sure you’re ordering a nose cone that fits your rocket body.

    Model Rocket Engine Types:

    Major model rocket companies began stamping their motors with codes. These codes indicate certain information about the engine. An example engine stamp would look like A10-3T of B6-4.

    First Letter:

    The first letter in that code indicates the total impulse range. In order alphabetically, each letter has two times the impulse range of the letter before it. The impulse is the change in momentum. Impulse range is the impulse or change in momentum per unit of fuel. Most model rocket engines use black powder for propellant or fuel.

    The First Number:

    The first number refers to the average thrust of the model rocket engine. The higher the thrust, the higher the liftoff acceleration. Higher liftoff accelerations help heavier rockets get off the ground. A model rocket engine with higher thrust as liftoff will not burn for as long. Lighter rockets can withstand lower thrust at liftoff, and those engines will burn longer and hopefully reach higher altitudes.

    The Last Number:

    The last number indicates the delay in seconds between the end of the thrust phase and the ignition of the ejection charge. Model rockets with a recovery system will have an ejection charge that ejects that recovery system from the nose of the model rocket. Rockets with a “0” indicate there is no delay or ejection charge. Model Rocket engines with a “p” in this place shows the model rocket is plugged. Plugged means there is no recovery system. Instead, there is a plug or cap in place of the ejection charge.

    Estes Model Rocket Kits:

    Estes is a model rocket company that began in the late 1950s and grew to become one of the most popular model rocket companies in the United States. The company created a machine that was able to produce a model rocket engine start to finish in 5.5 seconds.

    Estes Model Rocket Engines:

    Model Rocket engines are built using a heavy cardboard tube to contain the engine components. Inside the cardboard tube are the ceramic nozzle, propellant, delay charge, ejection charge, and a clay retainer cap.

    Estes model rocket engines are launched or ignited using an electrical charge from a coated wire.

    Model Rocket Engine Color Coding:

    In addition to a number/letter system. Estes also color codes their model rocket engines for ease of use.

    Green:

    These engines are used in single-stage model rockets. Single-stage rockets are lighter models that don’t require an engine booster to allow the heavier rockets to lift off from the ground.

    The Estes Journey is a popular single-stage model rocket that uses the standard green Estes model rocket engine. This model rocket can reach up to 1100 feet in the air and is a great basic model for a beginner hobbyist. This kit includes the rocket, parachute, and launch controller. The green single-use engines are sold separately.

    Purple:

    Purple engines are for very light single-stage rockets, or the final stage of multi-stage rockets.

    The Estes Eggscaliber Model Rocket uses the purple engine. Students can launch an egg up into the sky using this model rocket and watch it safely parachute back down to the ground. With this model, the rocket and egg can reach up to 600 feet in the sky.

    Red:

    Red engines are for all engine boosters or middle stages of multi-stage rockets. Multi-stage rockets are larger and heavier rockets that require a booster engine at liftoff and intermediate or final ignitions to help those rockets reach desired heights.

    The Estes Extreme 12 Model Rocket Kit is a powerful two-stage model rocket that uses the red Estes rocket engine. Using this kit, this tall model rocket can reach just under 2,000 feet in the air. This model rocket uses a 12-inch parachute as a recovery method.

    Blue/Brown:

    Blue rockets are plugged rockets for model rockets with no recovery system or radio-controlled gliders.

    The Estes Baby Bertha Flying Rocket Kit is another beginner model that uses the brown engine type. This rocket is the smaller replica of the Big Bertha for more advanced model rocket users. The Baby Bertha can reach over 575 feet in the sky.

    The Estes Mini Mosquito uses the standard blue/brown engine. This model rocket uses the tumbling method of recovery and given its tiny stature can sore up to 800 feet in the sky. Estes warns that this mosquito is so tiny it can be difficult to recover but very fun to launch!

    It is essential to know what type of rocket you are building to be sure you are using the correct engine type. Second stage engines that ignite after a rocket begins its descent can cause that rocket to become a ballistic projectile that can be dangerous to people and buildings below.

    Model Rocket Recovery Methods:

    When launching model rockets, you can recover the main body of a model rocket. Model rockets use a variety of recovery systems.

    Featherweight Recovery:

    This method is for the smallest types of model rockets. The rocket flutters back to the ground and gets recovered by the user.

    Tumble Recovery:

    This type of recovery uses an ejection charge. When larger or heavier model rockets are allowed to fall back to earth, their stable design can cause them to become a dangerous projectile increasing in speed as they fall. An ejection charge ignites and causes the engine to slide into the back of the model rocket body, changing the center of mass for the rocket. The rocket becomes unstable and tumbles to the ground more slowly than if the model rocket design remained stable.

    Nose Blow Recovery:

    This method recovery was popular during the earlier years of model rocket use. The nose cone blows off the model rocket but stays attached by a cord. The detached nose cone disrupts the aerodynamics of the model rocket causing is to fall slowly to the ground. This method can cause damage to heavier model rockets, and it only suitable for lighter model rockets.

    Parachute/Streamer:

    One of the most popular methods of model rocket recovery, this method is often used with smaller model rockets. With a bigger parachute, model rocket builders can use this method with larger model rockets. The ejection charge of a model rocket engine forces the chute out of the model rocket. The parachute, which connects to the body of the model rocket, allows the rocket to float down to the ground safely. Be aware of any utility lines near your recovery zone as parachutes can get caught on those lines.

    Glide Recovery:

    The ejection charge deploys a wing. The wing causes the model rocket to spiral safely to the ground. In radio control gliders, the model rocket flies back to the user using a remote control.

    Helicopter Recovery:

    This method is similar to glide recovery. Instead of ejecting a wing, the ejection charge deploys helicopter blades, which slow down the rocket’s descent to the ground.

    Starting your Model Rocket Hobby:

    Whether you’re looking to bring back the nostalgia of your childhood hobby or engage your kids in a STEM activity, flying model rockets is a hobby you and your family can enjoy together. Designing, building, and flying model rockets engage your mind in a fun and educational activity.

    Recommended Model Rocket Supplies

    In order to successfully begin a model rocket hobby, you may want to consider the following supplies:

    • Model Rocket Launch Pad: Once you have a launchpad and controller, you can purchase a variety of rockets to build and launch from your launchpad.
    • Recovery Wadding: Fire resistant paper stuffed in between your engine and your recovery system. Protects your parachutes from heat damage during launch.
    • Engine Bulk Packs: Because you will be launching your rockets over and over, you want enough engines for an entire afternoon of fun!

    Introduce yourself to the hobby of model rocketry and you’ll find yourself brushing up on basic science and engineering concepts to improve your hobby. Model Rocketry is a great way to bond with your kids and introduce them to the fun of the STEM fields.

    The post Flying Model Rockets appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Sourdough Bread

    Sourdough is an ancient method of making bread that dates back thousands of years. Before the development of rapid rising yeasts for breadmaking, people had to capture the natural yeasts in their bread dough. These “wild yeasts” helped to develop enzymes that caused bread to rise. Sourdough bread is not only delicious but its easier... Read More The post How to Make Sourdough Bread appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Sourdough is an ancient method of making bread that dates back thousands of years. Before the development of rapid rising yeasts for breadmaking, people had to capture the natural yeasts in their bread dough. These “wild yeasts” helped to develop enzymes that caused bread to rise. Sourdough bread is not only delicious but its easier to digest and is processed by your body differently than commercially produced breads.

    What is Sourdough?

    Sourdough bread uses a “starter” instead of active yeast.

    Sourdough starter consists of fermented grains (flour) and water. The fermentation of the flour and water allows for wild yeasts to develop in the starter, which causes your bread to rise.

    The natural yeasts also produce the sour flavor for which sourdough bread became famous.

    Much like fermented foods, the lactic acid produced by the yeast and bacteria in the sourdough starter creates the sour of sourdough. The name “sourdough” for the bread became famous in San Fransisco in the late 1800s.

    The natural yeasts captured in San Francisco have a uniquely sour flavor that the area of California became famous for.

    The Benefits of Sourdough Bread:

    Actual sourdough bread, made from a fermented starter, boasts several benefits over commercially produced bread.

    Sourdough bread is higher in vitamins and minerals.

    Sourdough bread contains prebiotics which helps you digest the bread.

    While the probiotics in the starter won’t survive the baking process, the lactic acid present in sourdough bread helps your body to break down and digest sourdough bread much easier than other breads.

    Sourdough bread is higher in protein than commercially produced bread. The higher protein content (gluten) develops during the long fermentation process called “proofing.”

    What is Sourdough Starter?

    A sourdough starter is a basis for sourdough bread.

    The mixture of flour and water fermented on the counter allows the starter to capture the natural or wild yeasts in the air, in the flour, and in your home.

    The process of creating an active and usable sourdough starter can take up to a week or two. I always suggest that you choose a warm spring day to start your sourdough starter.

    The beautiful part about a sourdough starter is once you have one, you can keep it going for years and years. Many lucky breadmakers have been gifted some starter from a friend or family member and kept it going for years.

    Luckily for us, sourdough has become extremely popular and you can now buy a live sourdough starter and avoid the hassle of trying to make one!

    Sourdough starters come live (wet) or dehydrated. The dehydrated starters take a little bit more to activate and use but both kinds of starters are MUCH easier than trying to ferment your own. Especially if you want to start baking in the cold of winter when it’s usually too cold to ferment things on your counters near drafty windows.

    You can purchase a live sourdough starter to help you get the breadmaking process going and be on your way to making beautiful loaves of tangy sourdough bread.

    Buying Sourdough Starter:

    The process of creating a sourdough starter from scratch is tedious. The starter can be finicky. It took me years to perfect my starter, which ended up going bad on me during a cross country move.

    Luckily for me, ready-made starters are available online for those of us to prefer a more instant gratification type of process.

    Live sourdough starters are MUCH easier to revive than dried sourdough starters, but both work. When you purchase a ready-made starter, you’ll be well on your way to baking delicious sourdough bread within a day or two.

    Reviving your sourdough includes “feeding” your sourdough starter until its active, bubbly, and ready for breadmaking.

    How to Feed your Sourdough Starter:

    Feeding your starter requires a kitchen scale.

    Knowing how much your starter weighs in grams allows you to feed your starter correctly.

    Feeding consists of adding half the weight of your starter in lukewarm filtered water, and half the weight in bread flour.

    The formula of half bread flour, half water will lead to an ideally fed sourdough starter. This is called 100% hydration in baking terms.

    Throwing away half your starter:

    When you begin the feeding process, it’s essential to discard half your starter before feeding it. Otherwise, you will end up with an overwhelmingly large batch of sourdough starter that requires a massive container.

    If you don’t plan on using your discarded starter, it can be throw in into your compost pile, those active yeasts and bacteria will help help the compost!

    Each time you feed your starter, within about 6-12 hours, it should double in size, and your container will be filled with bubbles.

    When your starter is bubbly, that is when you know your starter is active and ready to use in bread. A bubbly starter will lead to the rise you need in your basic sourdough bread.

    Storing Sourdough Starter

    If you don’t plan on baking bread in a while, give your starter a double feed (the full weight of flour and the half the weight of water) and stick it in your container in the back of the fridge. This feed is not a 100% hydration. The extra flour will help feed the yeasts and bacteria in your starter for much longer (during storage).

    The cold fridge will slow down the fermentation process but will keep your starter alive until you’re ready to use it again.

    When you’re ready to use your starter again, pull it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Once your starter comes to room temperature, begin feeding it as usual until it becomes active and bubbly. It may take a few days of feeds to get your dormant starter active again.

    You can also try feeding your starter every 12 hours instead of every 24 hours to speed up this process.

    Once you have an active and bubbly starter, you’re ready to make Sourdough Bread!

    Basic Sourdough Bread Recipe:

    Sourdough bread is a basic bread recipe with very few ingredients required.

    Ingredients for Sourdough Bread:

    • 3 1/2 cups Bread Flour or High-Quality White Flour ( This is my favorite flour for bread making)
    • 1 3/4 teaspoons of salt
    • 1/3 cup of sourdough starter
    • 1 2/3 cups of water (this is the MOST water you will need, you may not use it all)

    **a note on bread dough, a wet dough will make a lighter bread, but dough can be challenging to work with if you’re a beginner bread maker. **

    Steps To A Basic Sourdough Bread:

    • Mix your flour and salt in a large bowl. 
    • Combine starter and 1cup of water and mix thoroughly.
    • Combine your starter mixture with your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add more water if your dough is too dry. You do want a somewhat moist dough. A dry dough will be dense and tough with less airiness to the crumb.
    • Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit out at room temperature for 18 hours. The wait is the hardest part. It takes lots of patience to develop the sour flavor you’re looking for in your bread. Sourdough starter is not a rapid rise starter. 
    • Place your dough on a well-floured surface. 
    • Using the heel of your hand, flatten your dough and fold your dough a few times to create a round shape. *This is a no kneed recipe.*
    • Cover your dough round with plastic and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. 
    • While your dough is resting, oil a boil with about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. 
    • Cover your bowl with a towel or plastic and allow your dough ball to rise for another 1-2 hours. 

    Baking your Sourdough Bread:

    • Preheat your oven to 500 Degrees. 
    • Slash the top of your dough quickly with a very sharp knife. I tend to use a razor blade for the slashing of the dough. You want your slash to be about a 1/4 in deep in your dough. 
    • Sprinkle the bottom of a dutch oven with cornmeal. (Optional)
    • Carefully place your dough into the dutch oven and bake covered for 30 minutes. 
    • Reduce the heat to 450 degrees and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. 

    Sourdough bread has a signature dark crust, don’t be afraid to let your bread get a beautiful dark brown color while baking.

    The covered dutch oven helps to steam your bread, which helps the bread rise in the baking process and also helps to form the crust. Bread baked uncovered usually doesn’t spring up or rise as much in the oven.

    The Dutch Oven helps to keep your bread in a nice round shape and guide your dough up rather than out.

    Recommended Supplies for Baking Sourdough:

    Enjoying your Sourdough Bread:

    Nobody ever said you’re too old for bread and butter for dinner.

    The best partner for your homemade sourdough bread boulle is a salty European style butter.

    But why stop at bread, go ahead and whip up a quick batch of homemade butter!

    Sourdough bread is the perfect partner to homemade soups, thick-cut in sandwiches, or lightly toasted with butter and jam for breakfast.

    Once you master the steps and timing of making sourdough bread, you’ll find yourself wanting to make homemade bread at home often!

    What is your favorite way to enjoy sourdough bread?

    The post How to Make Sourdough Bread appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

    Making ice cream at home is a fun and super easy way to treat yourself and your family to something sweet. Included in this article is a recipe for vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavored ice cream, so no matter what you’re craving, there is a recipe for you. What is great about making ice cream... Read More The post How to Make Homemade Ice Cream appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Making ice cream at home is a fun and super easy way to treat yourself and your family to something sweet. Included in this article is a recipe for vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavored ice cream, so no matter what you’re craving, there is a recipe for you. What is great about making ice cream is that it doesn’t take more than a few hours. Make it after breakfast and you’ll be eating it after dinner that same day.

    But ice cream is so much better when there are toppings to go along with it. Whether you’re a hot fudge and sprinkles kind of person, or a strawberry syrup and fruit toppings person, a cold bowl of ice cream is a comfort no matter what time of year it is. It’s never too cold for ice cream! 

    Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

    Vanilla ice cream is a classic dessert that goes well with just about anything. Serve it with cake, brownies, or cookies to make your meal extra special. Vanilla ice cream also goes well with just about any fruit you can think of. So, sprinkle some berries over the top for a refreshing and healthy (healthier) treat. 

    You Will Need:

    Step 1 – Heat your ingredients. In a pot on the stove, pour in your cream, sugar, milk, and salt. Don’t let the mixture simmer or boil; you want to heat it only until the sugar dissolves and a ring of foam forms around the edge. 

    Step 2 – Chill. Pour your ice cream mixture into a bowl or measuring glass and store it in the fridge for a few hours until chilled. You can keep it in the fridge overnight, too. 

    Step 3 – Churn! You can form your ice cream without an ice cream machine, but it takes a long time and will wear your arm out fast. When using an ice cream machine, all you have to do is pour your chilled mixture into your machine and use it as the machine’s instructions describe.

    While the ice cream is being churned, you can add in any extra ingredients you want, like chocolate chips, bits of strawberries or raspberries, etc.

    Step 4 – Freeze. Now that your ice cream is formed, you’ll want to put it in the freezer for another couple hours just to give it that real ice cream consistency. 

    Step 5 – Enjoy! Finally, your ice cream is finished and you can sit down and enjoy it. Ice cream does take some time to make, but you have to admit that making it is an easy process. 

    What’s great about vanilla ice cream is that it is a blank slate for add-ins. You can mix in cookies, brownies, chocolate, fruit, oatmeal, cookie crumbs, and whatever else you can think of. If you’re having a party, vanilla ice cream can be your go-to homemade dessert. With add-ins, you can turn a plain vanilla ice cream into something for everyone. 

    Vanilla Extract Substitutes 

    If you want to try something different, but don’t want to stray too far from plain vanilla-flavored ice cream, there are a few ingredients you can use to substitute for a vanilla extract that will give your ice cream a subtle new flavor.

    So, instead of vanilla extract for the above ice cream recipe, you can use:

    Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

    Chocolate ice cream is a bit harder to make than plain vanilla, but if that isn’t a problem for you, then keep reading. 

    You Will Need…

    Step 1 – Heat your ingredients. In a pot on the stove, pour in your heavy whipping cream, your milk, and your cocoa powder. Bring the mixture to a light boil, then turn off the heat and let it sit. 

    Step 2 – Mix your eggs and sugar. In a mixing bowl, beat your egg yolks and sugar together until it thickens. Then, pour in your milk mixture about ½ cup at a time and mix thoroughly. 

    Step 3 – Reheat. Pour the mixture back into the pot on the stove and heat. Stir it every minute or so. When the mixture gets thicker and coats the back of the mixing spoon, take it off the heat. 

    Step 4 – Add in the other ingredients. Take the mixture off the heat, and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before adding in the vanilla and salt. Mix well.

    Step 5 – Cool. Put the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Then, move the bowl to the freezer and let it freeze for about 6 hours. 

    Step 6 – Take out your ice cream maker. Put your ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the machine’s instructions. While you let the ice cream churn, you can add in any extra ingredients you have, like chocolate chips or fruit. 

    Step 7 – Freeze again. Put your ice cream back into the freezer for a few hours until it is the right consistency. 

    Step 8 – Enjoy! Chocolate ice cream is a bit time consuming, but if you’re having a dinner party or evening get together, taking some time throughout your day to mix and freeze your ice cream can bring a smile to your guests’ faces. If you have no get-togethers planned, then you can let your ice cream sit in the freezer overnight and enjoy it for days to come. 

    Now, last but not least, let’s talk about strawberry ice cream. Strawberry is, according to a YouGov survey, the 7th most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States. Strawberry ice cream, however, is my favorite flavor of ice cream, and can add a natural sweet and sour flavor when paired with chocolate or vanilla. So, I think rather than talking about another super sweet and sugary ice cream flavor, having a fruit ice cream recipe under your belt is necessary.

    Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

    Strawberry Ice Cream is surprisingly easy to make, and takes just as long as making chocolate or vanilla ice cream, but the flavor is just a tad bit more sophisticated. For this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen strawberries. Remember to keep a few un-cut so that you can use them as a garnish at the end. 

    You Will Need…

    Step 1 – Mix strawberries into your other ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine your strawberries, sugar, salt, and lemon juice. 

    Step 2 – Meanwhile… While the strawberry mixture sits, pour the heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and milk into a pot and put it over medium heat on the stove. Let this mixture heat up until it is just about to boil. If the mixture sticks to the back of a mixing spoon, it’s ready to be taken off the heat. 

    Step 3 – Combine the two mixtures. Pour your milk mixture into the strawberry mixture and mix it well. Then, place the bowl into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After that, move the bowl to the freezer and leave it there for about 6 hours. 

    Step 4 – Take out your ice cream machine. Read your ice cream machine’s instructions to make your creamy strawberry mixture into delicious ice cream. 

    Step 5 – Freeze again. After putting your mixture through the machine, put it back into the freezer for a few hours until it is the right consistency.

    Step 6 – Enjoy! 

    So there you have it; you now know how to make chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. You can make a perfect homemade bowl of Neapolitan ice cream!

    Don’t forget to think about ice cream toppings. Toppings can completely change the ice cream eating experience! Whether you decide to use sprinkles, fruit, candies, or hot fudge, toppings can be a great party surprise and a nice way to add a ‘sprinkle’ of happiness to your day. 

    So, have fun and enjoy making your own homemade ice cream. If you don’t like vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream, you can always add in your own extra flavors and ingredients while the ice cream is churning in your ice cream machine. There are hundreds of ice cream flavors to explore and discover! So get to it. 

    The post How to Make Homemade Ice Cream appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut is a versatile side dish or condiment that boasts a tangy flavor with a crunchy texture. In addition to being delicious, sauerkraut also comes with a robust set of gut-healthy probiotics that will make you more regular and boost your immune system.  Store-bought fermented sauerkraut comes with a hefty price tag of $8-10 per... Read More The post How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Sauerkraut is a versatile side dish or condiment that boasts a tangy flavor with a crunchy texture. In addition to being delicious, sauerkraut also comes with a robust set of gut-healthy probiotics that will make you more regular and boost your immune system. 

    Store-bought fermented sauerkraut comes with a hefty price tag of $8-10 per jar! While it’s convenient to run to the specialty store and purchase a jar of Bubbie’s fermented sauerkraut, it’s also very inexpensive and super easy to ferment cabbage into jars of your very own homemade sauerkraut.

    Even if you are new to fermenting foods, sauerkraut is the perfect starter recipe for the most novice of home chefs. Grab a head of cabbage and some salt, and we will show you how to make a delicious batch of homemade sauerkraut! 

     What is Fermentation? 

    Fermentation occurs when naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria consume the sugars in a food product and give off lactic acid as a byproduct of that process. During fermentation, food becomes more nutritious and easier to digest. Fermented foods are high in probiotics which are the microorganisms that inhabit our digestive tracks making it easier for us to process the foods we eat. 

    How to Make Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut is a relatively simple condiment to make with only two ingredients required. Sauerkraut is typically made with green cabbage but also delicious when made using purple cabbage. 

    The second ingredient required to make homemade sauerkraut is s high-quality sea salt. 

    Supplies Needed to Ferment Sauerkraut: 

    A few simple supplies are needed to facilitate the fermentation process. 

    Ingredients Needed for Making Sauerkraut: 

    Steps to Making Homemade Sauerkraut:

    • Wash your cabbage in cold water and remove the dirty outer leaves. (Keep one clean cabbage leaf to use later) 
    • Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the hard cabbage core. 
    • Shred or finely chop your head of cabbage. Place cabbage in a large bowl. 
    • Sprinkle your head of cabbage with sea salt. You need approximately 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound of shredded cabbage. 
    • Mix the salt into the cabbage. You want your cabbage to taste salty. 
    • Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage for 5 minutes. Massaging the salt into the cabbage helps to draw the water out of the cabbage, creating a brine for fermentation. 
    • Let your cabbage sit in the bowl for five minutes. 
    • Check your cabbage. You may need to massage your cabbage for five more minutes. You want the cabbage to start to soften, and you will hopefully have enough liquid brine to cover the cabbage in the jar. 
    • Reserve the salty brine and place your shredded cabbage into your mason jar/s. Using your fist or a tamper, firmly push the cabbage down, packing your shredded cabbage tightly into the jar. Be sure to leave 1-2 inches of headspace in your jar. 
    • Pour the brine over the cabbage. If your brine does not cover your cabbage by 1/2 to 1 inch of liquid, you can make more brine by mixing 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt with one cup of water. 
    • Using the cabbage leaf you saved earlier, cut out a circle of cabbage slightly smaller than the mouth of the jar.
    • Place this over the top of your cabbage to help the cabbage stay below the brine. 

    Fermentation Process

    • Lightly close your jar with a lid, don’t close the jar too tight as you will want to let gas bubbles to escape during the fermentation process.
    • Let your jar sit on the counter out of direct sunlight for up to four weeks. 
    • After the first week, begin tasting your sauerkraut, put the jar in the fridge when it comes to your desired level of tangy flavor. Be sure that your sauerkraut remains covered in the brine during the fermentation process. A fermentation weight can be helpful to keep the cabbage below the top of the brine. 

    **During fermentation, your brine may take on a cloudy appearance, this is ok. If any fuzzy mold begins to grow on your jar, discard your sauerkraut and start over. **

    The hardest part about making sauerkraut from scratch is waiting for it to be ready!

    Enjoying your Sauerkraut:

    Your sauerkraut will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. 

    Enjoy your sauerkraut as a side to many dishes, including: 

    • Hotdogs
    • Kielbasa
    • Pierogi
    • Homemade Reubens
    • Sausage Casserole with Sauerkraut
    • German Meatballs
    • Spareribs and Sauerkraut
    • Stuffed Cabbage
    • Pork Tenderloin with Apple Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut is healthy and delicious served warm or cold! 

    If you’re interested in getting started with fermenting foods, this kit is a great starter kit with all the supplies needed to start you on your journey toward fermented foods. I was gifted this kit for Christmas one year by my mother-in-law and I’ve put it to good use!

    How do YOU like to enjoy sauerkraut? 

    The post How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    How to Make Homemade Red Hot Sauce

    Being able to make a delicious hot sauce is a great thing to have in your back pocket. It’s a great addition to so many different foods and stays in season all year round. However, buying hot sauce can be a challenge, since, at most grocery stores or supermarkets, you can’t taste the hot sauce... Read More The post How to Make Homemade Red Hot Sauce appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    Being able to make a delicious hot sauce is a great thing to have in your back pocket. It’s a great addition to so many different foods and stays in season all year round. However, buying hot sauce can be a challenge, since, at most grocery stores or supermarkets, you can’t taste the hot sauce before bringing it home with you. Who knows if it’ll have enough spice or will be too spicy for you? Being able to make it yourself will give you the opportunity to fully control the sauce’s spice level, as well as any additional flavors in it. 

    Keep reading for a simple red hot sauce recipe, then scroll down for some hot sauce meal ideas. 

    Red Hot Sauce Recipe

    There are two different kinds of hot sauce: green and red. Green hot sauces are usually less hot than red sauces, however, with the following recipe, you can control how many peppers you put into your hot sauce, so don’t worry about whether or not it’ll be too spicy for you. 

    You Will Need…

    • Hot peppers of your choice (depending on how large the peppers are, you will probably need about a dozen or more peppers.)
    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 1-2 tablespoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

    Step 1 – Prepare your peppers. Take off the stem of all your peppers and cut off the ends. 

    Step 2 – Combine your ingredients. In a pot over medium heat, pour all your ingredients. Don’t add your peppers in all at once, though. Make sure you add the peppers in a few at a time. That way you can test the sauce’s spice level as it forms. 

    Step 3 – Let the sauce simmer. Keep your sauce over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Make sure you stir it occasionally so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. 

    Step 4 – Puree the sauce. In a food processor or blender, puree your sauce to get rid of any chunks. It’s okay for salsa to be chunky, but when it comes to hot sauce, smooth is better. 

    Step 5 – Pour back into the pot. Now that your sauce is smooth, let it simmer for about 10 more minutes. 

    Step 6 – Let cool, then enjoy! 

    You can keep your hot sauce for about a month after you make it as long as you keep it refrigerated. If you decide to can and preserve it, it’ll last much longer (about 1 year). 

    If you want to create a hot sauce with a more unique flavor, go back to step 2 and add in some extra ingredients. Some hot sauces incorporate fruit juices from organic foods like strawberries, pears, star-fruits, and even carrots. The peppers you use will also come with their own distinct flavors, so make sure you taste test different hot peppers to find the one that speaks to you.

    Now that you have your own hot sauce, what’s next? Well, there are a ton of delicious recipes that involve hot sauce, but if you aren’t into cooking, you can add hot sauce to practically any food you eat throughout the day. You can use it to add a flavor boost to things like tartar sauce, your morning eggs, hamburgers, and you can even put a few drops into your ketchup too. 

    Great Meals to Make With Hot Sauce

    Hot sauce is not an average cooking ingredient, but if you have a craving for spicy foods, here are some recipe ideas that’ll let you put your hot sauce to use. 

    • Glazed chicken or turkey legs: Use your hot sauce to make a spicy BBQ sauce to coat your chicken or turkey in. This makes a great summer backyard grill meal. If you’d rather have this in the colder months, use your hot sauce and some spices to make a marinade.
    • Buffalo chicken wings: Use your hot sauce to make a homemade buffalo sauce. Buffalo sauce is incredibly easy to make, and it’s sure to taste great when it’s made with your own homemade hot sauce. Once you have buffalo sauce, you can make all sorts of buffalo sauce flavored foods.
    • Spicy New Orleans gumbo: Add a bit of hot sauce to your gumbo for a special flavorful kick.
    • Tomato salsa: Hot sauce isn’t usually added into salsa, but there’s no rule that says it can’t be. If you’re looking to make your salsa hotter without having to cut up more peppers, adding in a few dashes of homemade hot sauce should do it for you. 

    There you have it, a handful of great uses for your homemade hot sauce. These are just a few of the hundreds of meals you can make or alter with your hot sauce, and I hope that you’ll feel inspired to get cooking! Hot sauce is super easy to make and doesn’t even take much time. And, you’re sure to raise some eyebrows when you show up to a party or barbecue with a bottle of your own hot sauce ready to share. 

    The post How to Make Homemade Red Hot Sauce appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


    The Best Cricut to Make Your Own T-Shirts

    When it comes to precision cutting, plotting and crafting, Cricut Machines will make any project easy. Cricut Machines gives you the freedom to create all kinds of projects, from paper crafts to vinyl decals. Simply connect your tablet, smartphone or PC to a Cricut and it’s a guarantee that your project is off to a... Read More The post The Best Cricut to Make Your Own T-Shirts appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY...

    When it comes to precision cutting, plotting and crafting, Cricut Machines will make any project easy. Cricut Machines gives you the freedom to create all kinds of projects, from paper crafts to vinyl decals. Simply connect your tablet, smartphone or PC to a Cricut and it’s a guarantee that your project is off to a good start.

    There are a number of Cricut models to choose from though. If you are planning on purchasing a Cricut to use at home to create t-shirts, which is the best one? We have three favorites that we want to share with you today. Hopefully, this will help you find a machine that will work the best for your needs and budget.

    Cricut Maker

    This machine literally does it all. You will be able to make everything with the Cricut Maker. It works with all types of materials from paper and vinyl to things as thick as balsa wood. It’s got an expandable set of tools. It comes out of the box with a blade, pen and scoring tool. Simply upload your t-shirt design and this machine will easily cut your design out of iron-on vinyl. Even more, if you are into sewing and quilting, the Cricut Maker makes that work easy, easily handling cutting of those materials.

    While this model is far and away the most popular one, there are a couple of disadvantages you need to take into account. The blade that allows you to cut extra thick materials is sold separately. So if your plan is to use the machine for more than making t-shirts, you are going to have to make some additional purchases. Secondly, some users complain that not all the images in their image library are free. This can make the cost of producing t-shirts climb as you make more and more t-shirt projects.

    Features At A Glance

    • With expandable tools: rotary blade, knife blade and pens
    • Rotary blade can cut fast and accurately
    • Knife blade can handle thin and thick materials
    • With fine point pen, 12 x 12 inches cutting mats
    • Comes with hundreds of digital sewing patterns
    • With simple design app; load projects on a computer or mobile device
    • You can use your own designs
    • With a device docking slot
    • With Bluetooth wireless technology
    • With a USB port to charge your device while in use

    Cricut Explore Air 2

    If you don’t have a need to cut extra thick materials and want to focus strictly on t-shirts, you can do a lot with this personal DIY cutting machine. It will handle t-shirt transfer vinyl and much more. This machine will let you upload our own designs or you can use any design from their huge library of pre-made designs. If you make your designs on your personal computer, simply import it to Cricut Design Space. The Design Space app works on Android devices as well as iOS devices. This machine can connect to your PC or device and it also works via Bluetooth to cut materials wirelessly.

    Features At A Glance

    • Cut intricate details with ultimate precision
    • With Cricut Pens to create “handwritten” cards and other projects
    • With more than 370 fonts to choose from
    • With Scoring Stylus to fold cards, boxes, envelopes, acetate and to make 3D paper crafts
    • With Fast Mode for 2X faster cutting
    • You can work with more than 100+ kinds of materials
    • Uses Design Space to work on files from any device
    • Works with an Android or iOS device
    • Wireless cutting with Bluetooth
    • Come with Cricut Image Library

    Cricut Mini

    If you are going to be using your Cricut to make t-shirts in multiple locations, the Cricut Mini is just what you need. You will appreciate the Cricut Mini because even though it’s small, it can cut up to 8.5’’ x 12’’ materials and can cut shapes and fonts 1/4’’ to 11.5’’. You get precise cuts all the time. From its name you know that it is portable and light, you can take it anywhere you want to go. You do need a laptop or a desktop that is connected to the internet to use the Cricut Mini so you can connect to the Gypsy

    Features At A Glance

    • Can cut up to 8.5’’ x 12’’ materials
    • Can cut shapes and fonts from 1/4’’ to larger cuts up to 11.5’’
    • Must be connected to a laptop or computer to run the Cricut Gypsy
    • Works with the free Cricut Craft Room online design software
    • You can use numerous images from the Cricut Image Library
    • Edit designs with size, slant, rotate or flip features
    • Can work with all kinds of materials from thick vinyl to a fragile thin foil
    • Small and portable
    • Lightweight
    • Quiet to use
    • Comes with free 4 sheets of cardstock 8.5’’ x 11’’

    BONUS TIP: Cricut Easy Press 2

    If you are going to be making lots of t-shirts, transferring your vinyl designs to t-shirts is a very important step. While there are lots of ways to do this, by far the easiest way is using the Cricut Easy Press 2 Heat Press. This simple to use device will make applying your vinyl heat transfer designs a snap.

    Features At A Glance

    • 9 inches x 9 inches (22. 5 inches x 22. 5 inches) size ideal for basic T-shirts, tote bags, pillows, aprons, and more
    • Professional iron-on results in 60 seconds or less
    • Advanced heat plate design with a ceramic coated surface
    • Precise temperature control up to 400 degrees F (205 C). Just enter the recommended time and temperature settings for your HTV or Infusible Ink project
    • Easy to learn, simple to use. Lightweight, portable, easy to store, and compatible with most major brands of heat transfer vinyl (HTV); Requires maximum input 120V outlet

    The post The Best Cricut to Make Your Own T-Shirts appeared first on Makers Make Stuff - The DIY Blog.


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