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Dry Your Own Herbs

Dry Your Own HerbsFresh herbs are great, and it is good to have some dried ones to preserve your summer bounty, or to prevent fresh ones from spoiling before they can be used up. Some people freeze herbs, but they may be ruined with a power outage. Dried herbs stay good for longer.

 

How to Make Sushi Cakes - serving tray with sushi cakes and condiments

How to Make Sushi CakesYou don't have to be a professional baker to make professional looking decorative cakes. I made these sushi cakes using regular cake batter, frosting, and candies you can find at any shop. It cost me 1/10th of the price that I would have paid had I ordered them from a custom bakery and they were absolutely delicious!

 

A container full of watermelon chunks.

Cutting Whole WatermelonFresh watermelon is so delicious this time of year; with a little planning and these easy tips, it'll be faster, with less mess.

 

UFO Cow Abduction Cake - finished cake photo shot against a black backdrop

UFO Cow Abduction CakeThis UFO cake is just out of this world! The saucer and grassy ground area are two different cakes, so there is plenty for a big party. I saved a couple hundred dollars making this cake from scratch instead of calling up the local cake artistry. Plus, it was super fun. Here are the steps on how to make your own!

 

Instant Pot Vanilla Extract - ready to use in 2 weeks

Instant Pot Vanilla ExtractVanilla extract is a welcome gift any time of the year, and especially during the holidays. The instant pot decreases the waiting time to use the vanilla extract from 2 months to about 2 weeks. Homemade extract is significantly cheaper than store-bought.

 

Making Pancakes On a Tin Can - pancake on can top

Making Pancakes On a Tin CanThis is a fun camping and summertime cooking project. You don't need a pan and a stovetop to make pancakes. Try using a tin can and tealight candles. Electricity-free and delicious fun for all!

 

Blanching Veggies - slices of zucchini and yellow squash

Blanching VeggiesOur garden is producing very well this year! To keep up with production we decided to make our own frozen veggies. This is a great way to get fresh and frozen at the same time, with just a few steps.

 

Fondant Sushi Cupcake Toppers - finished toppers prior to being placed on cupcakes

Fondant Sushi Cupcake ToppersBuying handmade edible cake and cupcake toppers is incredibly expensive! My friend wanted some for a party and saw they were $40 for a small set. I jumped in and made a bunch for a fraction of the price. If you can handle making shapes with Play Doh, you can totally make these. Follow along with my sushi ideas, or try your own favourites!

 

Use a Colander for Dust Free Final Serving of Cheerios - bowl of Cheerios with banana slices

Use a Colander for Dust Free Final Serving of CheeriosWhen I get down to the last bit of Cheerios in the bag, there is a lot of meal that has settled to the bottom of the bag. I figured out an easier way for me to get the Cheerios separated from the meal so the last serving from the box is just as good as the 1st serving.

 

DIY Turntable Cake - finished cake

DIY Turntable CakeI'm not a professional baker or cake decorator, but I do love making personalized desserts for my friends and family. I made this cake for my band bassist who adores collecting vinyl records (and playing them on his turntable all day). I've made it so the tunearm can be moved on and off the record, while staying 100% edible.

 

Two onion halves with the skin removed.

Easy Way to Peel an OnionI like to keep an onion on hand to use when needed for a recipe. This is an easy way to remove the peeling.

 

Decorative Baskets from Oranges - handled basket ready to serve

Decorative Baskets from OrangesThis is a fun food craft where you can turn oranges into baskets that hold your fruit. It's fun and easy and you can really get creative with your designs! I've added two styles in this how-to.

 

Using a recycled bottle and cap to seal powdered sugar.

Storing Powdered SugarWhen you open your bag of icing sugar bag or any bag, it makes a mess. This tip will help you.

 

An empty can of corn with both the top and bottom removed.

Using a Can to Fill Zipper BagsDoing my 'cook for a day and eat for a month', I knew I was going to have some goopy messes. So today, I did something about it.

 

Deboning Chicken Thighs  - deboned thighs

Deboning Chicken ThighsWe love chicken thighs because they are always moist and flavorful. Boneless thighs are at least $1 more a pound than bone-in. I wait until the bone-in thighs are on sale and bone them myself.

 

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Meal Planning Pocket Chart - in use finished chart

Meal Planning Pocket ChartLike many people, I have struggled with my weight all of my life. The extra pounds didn't start affecting my overall health until the past couple of years. But I am a food addict. When I'm not eating, I'm thinking about my next meal. Food is comforting and I reach for it to celebrate and to feel better.

 

Making Loose Leaf Tea - clear tea cup of herbal tea with sprig next to saucer

Making Loose Leaf Herbal TeaI adore loose leaf tea. Most of the relaxation teas I drink at night, my family and I grow and make from scratch. This way, we handle what's going in it, and save tons of money. Here, we've made a big batch of tea leaves from a lemon verbena plant.

 

DIY Organic Food Colouring - containers of food colors next to a swirled cake

DIY Organic Food ColouringI was chatting with a friend recently about how his kids are allergic to red food dye. It made me do some research, where I found that it contains plenty of chemicals, including petroleum. I decided to make my own food colouring from organic fruits and vegetables, and it was a total success!

 

Freezing Green Beans Using the Instant Pot

Freezing Green Beans Using the Instant PotYou don't have to stand over a pot of boiling water to blanch green beans anymore. The instant pot makes it easy.

 

How to Brew Coffee in a Percolator - glass of iced coffee

How to Brew Coffee in a PercolatorOne of my cooking groups kept talking about how the best coffee is brewed in a percolator. They were popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but not today. I found one at a thrift store and took it home.

 

Juicing and Growing Your Own Pomegranates - container and glass of fresh juice

Juicing and Growing Your Own PomegranatesMy family and I are known as the Pomegranate People because we've been growing them ever since I was a little one. In fact, the first thing I ever grew on my own was a pomegranate tree at age four. This is one method of juicing pomegranates at home, then planting the leftover seeds in order to grow more of the fruit.

 

Freezing Green Onions - bag and freeze

Freezing Green OnionsI grow my own green onions in my garden. They come back the next year. This hint is also useful if you cannot use all the green onions you purchased. Here is how to have green onions all year long:

 

Flower Pot for Making Tabletop Mini S'mores - charcoal pot and s'mores

Flower Pot for Making Tabletop Mini S'moresI love making s'mores all year round, especially during the summer when there's lots of fun outdoor time. However, it's not always convenient to get a huge fire going to make s'mores. Here is how to make them over a little terra cotta pot filled with charcoal.

 

DIY Weekly Meal Planner -finished blank planner

DIY Weekly Meal PlannerI have struggled with being overweight all of my life. For me, the hardest part of dieting and eating healthy has been meal planning. My brother and I recently started working together to become healthy and lose those pounds.

 

'Sharky' Goldfish Birthday Cake - finished sharky goldfish cake

'Sharky' Goldfish Birthday CakeWe had a "sharky" goldfish themed birthday cake for our son's 3rd birthday. I made him this cake using fondant. He loved it!

 

Freezing Food Without a Vacuum Sealer

Freezing Food Without a Vacuum SealerVacuum sealers and their bags are really expensive. Here is how to seal food without one. Not only do you save money by not buying a sealer, but this method pushes out all the air, which eliminates freezer burn, and lets you store frozen goods longer.

 

Spice Drop Roses

Spice Drop RosesI used these roses for many years. I cannot tell you just how many times I bought a bag of spice drops to put this together and take pictures, and I cannot tell you how many times my husband and I ate all the spice drops. This time I finally made the roses and then immediately ate them.

 

Making Fresh Coconut Milk

Making Fresh Coconut MilkFresh coconut milk is delicious and used in cooking a number of different dishes. You can use coconut milk in cakes, coffee, to make a curry sauce, or over the top of raw, marinated fish. It's easy to make fresh coconut milk.

 

bowl of shredded coconut

How To Make Fresh Shredded CoconutEveryone loves fresh coconut to eat, for making cakes, and to use for a topping on different desserts. However, most people just buy packages of coconut to use at home. I personally find that making your own fresh shredded coconut is so much better than buying it in the store.

 

Shaped Sugar Cubes

Shaped Sugar CubesMy kids love having tea parties. We dress up and make it special. Well, I discovered a while back that you can make shaped sugar cubes. How fancy is that? They also make a nice gift.

 

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Dump Truck and Mountain Cake

Dump Truck and Mountain CakeMy son loves vehicles of all kinds, so I decided to make him a cake with a dump truck on it. I created a road going up to the top of the cake and there is a truck dumping a load of chocolate chips over the side.

 

cake with candle

Ombré Smash CakeFor my son's first birthday, I made him a blue ombré smash cake. It was a bit challenging to make, but well worth the time.

 

marker on cup

Clothespin Cup MarkersWe have a huge dilemma in our house! The kids misplaces their cups throughout the day, which means there are at least 8 cups scattered about by the end of the day!

 

R2D2 Cake

Character CakesCharacter cakes are so fun and impressive, and any character can be done. I always make a character cake to match the theme of our boys' birthday parties. It isn't as hard as it looks and the "oohs and ahhhs" will be well worth the time put into it!

 

close up of a pink gumpaste flower with a rhinestone center on a teal cake siting on a cake stand

Gumpaste FlowersLearn how to make beautiful flowers to decorate a cake, made from store bought gumpaste.

 

Canning jars of preserved vegetables

Planning A Canning And Preserve GardenCanning and preserving fruits and vegetables is an economical way to enjoy the foods you love, and a great way to fill your pantry. With a little forethought and planning, you can move from a "weekly produce" to a garden that yields enough food to eat in season, and to get you through the winter.

 

Edible Turkey

Edible TurkeySimple, but cute, this edible turkey craft is sure to please the turkey enthusiasts as we celebrate Thanksgiving.

 

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