My Yummy Local Life

{May 13, 2013}   Make Your Own- It’s Fun!

So I just thought I would share a few things that I have been making instead of buying these days. Some are still in progress so I don’t know if they will be successful or not. I generally will try to make anything at least once. Most things end up being easier than they look and it’s fun- and also healthier- knowing how your food is made and what is in it.


One Gallon of organic humanely raised whole milk yields about one pound of mozzarella cheese. The kit I bought will make up to 30 batches of mozzarella this size so I should be getting plenty of practice. Regular fresh mozzarella (milk source unknown) usually runs us about $6 for half this amount. $6 is what I paid for the top quality milk.


The growler is fermenting some homemade root beer (from extract). It started to explode in the house and is now living in the garage. The mason jar is home to wild fermenting strawberry vinegar. Currently it’s still in the wild yeast (wine) phase, but in a couple weeks it should start to turn to vinegar. My guess is this process may be shortened a bit by the heat.



I got a kit to grow mushrooms from a box. It says it will take 10 days. The first picture is about 3 days in. The second is about 6 days in. We plan to harvest some starting on Thursday. The box was $22- if we get about a pound of oyster mushrooms I think we’ll break even, anything over that and it will be free mushrooms.

A while back I posted how we make the Perfect White Rice every time we need rice. One of our favorite things to go with all that rice is a simple batch of black beans.

Once again we use the slow cooker so we don’t have to be home while the beans are doing their thing.

Here’s what to do:

1. Soak a couple of cups of beans in water overnight. *unless you want to wait forever or possibly have crunchy beans- don’t skip this step!*

2. Pour your strained, soaked beans into your slow cooker.


3. Add one small onion and a clove or two of garlic. I make the onion small enough to be bite size but big enough to pick around since hubby wants to eat it with his beans and I do not.


4. Add a healthy dose of salt, seasonings of your choice (I used a chili seasoning blend this time), and a dash of cider vinegar. These are going to give your beans some flavor.


5. Cover the beans with water so there is about an inch or so above the beans.


6. Cook on low all day (6-10hrs). They will look like this when they are done, and be soft all the way through but not dissolving into mush.


We typically serve the beans over rice with an array of toppings to choose from. Some of these include: green onions, avocado, sour cream, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and salsa. Sometimes we will add spinach or another leafy green to the bowl for that “burrito bowl” effect.

This post is linked up on frugally sustainable’s blog hop.

I had a loaf of homemade challah bread on the counter and noticed this morning that is was just starting to mold on the cut side.

I did not throw the whole thing away. Instead I cut about and inch thick piece of bread off where the mold was, checked the rest over and found no other signs of mold, and turned the rest into croutons.

Cut the bread into even sized cubes, mine are about 1/2 inch.


In a cast iron in medium heat, add the oil of your choice- I used mostly EVOO this time around. Add about 2-3 cloves of smashed garlic to the oil.


When the garlic is browned and crispy, remove it from the pan. (Save this garlic to use later in sauce or salad dressing.) Add your cubes of old bread to the oil and toss to coat with a wooden spoon.


Toast on medium low for about 5-10 minutes until they are the brownness and crispiness that you prefer. Let cool completely and then store in an air right container. In the refrigerator these should keep for a couple weeks (if they last that long). For longer storage, you could freeze them for several months.


{January 23, 2013}   TIP: Always Contact the Company

When you have a problem with a product, always contact the manufacturer or company. We recently got our heated blanket repaired for free (just paid about $15 to ship it to Sunbeam), because we had only had it for a year. It was only heating on one side- it came back with entirely updated *new* heating coils and works better than ever.


Also the scrubbing bubbles shower cleaner we had (was left in the house) for free…stopped working even with new batteries. I called S C Johnson, and they sent a full value coupon for a new starter kit as well as a free refill ($25+) value. I just had to pay about $2.50 in tax (since taxes are ridiculous here!)

My only complaint is that the actual refills are scented which kind of irritate me. I’ll be going back to my scent free, homemade, cheap refills once these two are used up!


Moral of the story: don’t repurchase a product that has stopped working before contacting the company. Most companies aim to keep you as a happy customer 🙂

Here’s an easy way to recycle: dryer lint, old candles and paper egg cartons. Make them into homemade fire starters.

1. Fill the egg cartons with lint from your dryer.

Egg carton with dryer lint

2. Using a wide mouth mason jar and boiling water, melt the wax from old candles.

Use a double boiler method to melt wax

3. Pour melted wax over the lint and let set.

Wax meet Lint

4. Tear off one or two cups and light the paper to start your fire.


Just in time for fall/winter. AKA Fireplace season 🙂

Finished Fire Starters

{August 30, 2012}   Yummy Basics: Perfect White Rice

Starting a new section called Basics. My plan is to put some of the simple recipes that are those things “everyone can do” because I figure that everyone maybe doesn’t know how to do these things. The first one is rice because I am always reading Stewardship‘s blog about her beautiful homemade food with not homemade rice. So I figured I’d put my step by step out there so hopefully some people will give it a try.


1) Measure out the amount of rice you want to cook, in this case I used a 3/4 measuring cup (the quantity will approximately double when cooked). Pour the rice into a medium sauce pan.

ONE unit of rice.

2) Using the same measuring cup, add 2 “units” of water (in this case 1 1/2 cups) but just make sure you use the same exact cup to measure. It can be a coffee mug or a small tupperware, as long as you are consistent.

TWO units of water.

3) Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon or two of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to the pot. Swirl the pot a little just to make sure the rice is all wet and everything is happy together in the pot.

Pinch of salt.
EVOO (I go around the pan twice)

4) Cover the pot and put it on HIGH heat to bring to a boil.

Put on HIGH heat.

5) When it comes to a boil and starts to “foam up”, turn the heat to low/simmer.

Reduce heat to low

6) Simmer, covered on low for 20 minutes. It might look like all the water is gone before that, no worries, just let it go the whole 20 minutes.

20 Minutes!

7) After 20 minutes, turn off and remove from heat. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes (still covered).

Cooked Rice!

8) Remove the lid and use a fork to “fluff” the rice, sometimes a small amount will stick to the bottom of the pan, but mostly it will be fluffy, tasty rice!

Fluff rice with a fork.


Now that you can make beautiful rice, you are ready to serve it with stir fry, or curry, or meatballs or anything else that suits your taste buds, just make sure to keep it yummy!


This post is linked up on frugally sustainable’s blog hop.

et cetera