Do It Yourself
I’ve always been a DIYer in the kitchen. I don’t sew, I don’t do crafty projects around my home, I don’t fix my own car, but I DO D.I.Y. where food is concerned. Not only does doing it yourself save a bunch of money, often times (more often than not, I’d wager) the from-scratch items taste hands-down better than the store-bought versions. I didn’t change much in my habits this week, but simply having this do-it-yourself challenge has made me think about some of the things that I love to DIY. And thinking about those things makes me want to get out my recipe book and make more of those yummy recipes. I figured that I’d share a few of the homemade goodies that we prefer around our house.
Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
Mix together in large bowl:
¼ cup oil
¼ cup honey
2 ½ cups hot water
1 Tbs. Salt
Add 5 cups wheat flour and mix well.
Then add the yeast mixture and 2-3 cups flour.
Knead or mix in a stand mixer.
Let rise in a warm place (in a greased bowl, covered with plastic wrap and a towel)–1 hour or until doubled.
Split the dough in half and form into two loaves. Place into two greased bread pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the top of the pans.
Bake (uncovered) at 375° for 30-35 minutes. Cool on a rack…but be sure to eat a piece while it’s hot!
VARIATION:(how we make this a meal) I make half of the dough into a loaf and then use the second half of the dough to make thick whole wheat tortillas. All you do is take a small handful of dough and roll it out into a flat circle (you want it to be thin!). Place the circle of dough onto a heated (medium-high) DRY skillet (no oil needed). Heat on each side for appx. 2 minutes (time may vary with your stove–just watch for the bubbles and golden brown color).Fill heated tortillas with tuna, lunch meat, chicken salad, or anything else you might put into a sandwich. They are a family favorite!!
Buttercream To-Die-For Frosting
- Fruit– Your jam will only be as good as the fruit you put into it. Make sure that your fruit or berries are ripe. I purchase (or pick my own) berries during the Summer and then freeze them in quart-sized ziploc freezer bags. That way, I have recipe-ready berries for jam all year long. Another benefit I’ve found from freezing berries is that they tend to mush up a bit during the defrosting process, which actually works in your favor when you’re making jam.
- Pectin– Used to thicken the jam. I’ve used both liquid and dry pectin. They are both easy to use and I’ve had good luck with either.
- Sugar – Sugar is essential in freezer jam. Not only does it sweeten the jam, but it also helps the jam set up and prevents bacteria growth. See? Sugar is good! You can buy special pectin to use with low or no sugar freezer jam recipes.
- Jars– I use simple wide mouth glass jars to store my freezer jam, and make sure that there is plenty of space at the top of the jar to give the jam breathing/expanding room while it freezes. Plastic containers also work well (that’s what my mom always used).
Homemade Play Dough
This may not be good to eat, but it’s a perfect recipe to keep on hand when you’ve got little ones around. My kids adore play dough, and go through it way too fast. I love making my own because you can make a bunch of it (and I mean a bunch!!) for not much money. You can knead in food coloring or a packet of dry jello mix to give your play dough color AND a sweet smell.
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon powdered alum
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients in a medium pan. Add oil and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove dough from heat and add vanilla and food coloring. Divide into manageable balls and work the color in by kneading the play dough. Your hands might get colored during the kneading process, but the color should not continue to come off during play time. You might want to be careful, though, around nice clothes and furniture.
What are some of your favorite things to DIY? I’d love to hear some of your recipes and tricks!
Play dough image from blog.makezine.com
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