Sunday, January 30, 2011



  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (as in REAL maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

(This recipe comes from Alton Brown, minus the coconut)

Thrifty Idea for children's clothing

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Large Quantity of Bread


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 cups bread flour


  1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup bread flour, and yeast. Let grow for about 5 minutes. It will bubble almost immediately.
  2. Measure oats, 4 1/2 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup oil into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin adding bread flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Humidity determines how much flour you need before the bread pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It is normal for the dough to be sticky.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Shape loaves, and place in greased 8 x 4 inch pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until tops are browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Salt and Flour Finger paint

2 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
3 c. cold water
2 c. hot water
Food coloring

Add the salt to the flour in a saucepan. Pour in cold water gradually and beat the mixture with an egg beater until smooth. Add the hot water and boil the mixture until it becomes glossy. Beat it until it is smooth. Mix in food

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Play Dough

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Mix all ingredients in saucepan and heat on medium until the play dough has a mashed potato consistency. Take off heat and mix until dough pulls from sides of pan. Add food coloring and essential oils. Optional: add glitter. Dough will last several months if kept in a sealed container. If dough begins to dry out add a little more essential oil or vegetable oil

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why we do what we do

For a little over a year I have been making many of my family's necessities. We started out with what we clean our house with, because I was concerned about the chemicals and the smells around my new little one. Eventually I started making laundry detergent, and body washes for us as well.

We are still adapting to some of my creations. Some of our homemade items were easier to adapt to than others. Things like toothpaste has been on and off again as we try to attune our taste buds to new flavors.

We started this change for several reasons.
1) First and foremost we wanted to make sure we were surrounding ourselves with higher quality ingredients and fewer unneeded additives.
2) We want to reduce our waste. By making our own things we buy products in bulk so there is less packaging. We also reuse things like spray bottles rather than filling landfills with them.
3) We think things should be in their purest form when we consume them. That's the way they were intended to be used.
4) We feel it is important to be good stewards. God gave us this earth to take care of. That means using our resources wisely. We love the book, Serve God Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth. It is a great book that shows that Christians can and should be concerned with environmental issues.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lip Balm

Small tins can be purchased from
Boil a small pan of water.
put a few pellets of beeswax or some small shavings of beeswax in the tin
Pour in about 1 part Jojoba oil per 3 parts beeswax.
Close the tin, and place in boiling water. In 2-3 minutes the wax will melt. Remove tin from the boiling water and stir in any preferred essential oil with a toothpick. Allow to cool.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Baking Soda
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
¼ cup Shea Butter
10-20 drops Tea Tree Oil
various essential oils

Melt shea butter and coconut oil.  Add cornstarch and baking soda to liquid mixing thoroughly.  Add essential oils.  This amount fits pretty well in a 1/2 pint mason jar.

From what I have read:
Baking Soda absorbs odor
Cornstarch/Arrowroot absorbs wetness
Coconut oil is anti-fungal/anti-bacterial
Shea butter softens skin
Tea Tree Oil is anti-fungal
*Also whatever other essential oils you use, I would stay away from the citrus family.  I have heard that they cause problems with the deodorant.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Body Wash

½ cup Dr. Bronners

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

¾ tablespoons Tea Tree Oil and/or Vitamin E

2 tablespoons Glycerin

3 ½ cups water

Various Aromatherapy oils (ylang ylang, orange, eucalyptus, etc)

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

In a saucepan melt glycerin, and then combine all ingredients in an old shampoo bottle and shake well. The xanthan gum thickens the soap, so more or less may be used to reach preferred consistency

**This is meant to be a starting recipe, which adapts and grows to individual and family needs. It's not a science. Try different amounts of the ingredients to reach personal preference

Friday, January 21, 2011


Laundry Detergent

1 Box of Borax

1 Box of Washing Soda

1 Box of Baking Soda

2 Bars of Fels Naptha

Grate the bars of Fels Naptha and combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 2 tablespoons per load.

*Fels Naptha can be found at Marsh, Meijer, and Rural King.

*Washing soda can be found at Rural King

As far as my guess-timation goes it cost about $.10 per load. I store the detergent in a 12 quart container and it last me about 9 months

Fabric Softner

Use ½ cup distilled white vinegar

Thursday, January 20, 2011


2 teaspoons natural liquid soap (Dr. Bronners, peppermint works well)

4 tablespoons Coconut Oil

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon stevia powder or 2 tablespoons xylitol

10-20 drops peppermind oil

5-10 drops spearmint or orange oil

Baking Soda

Boil small pan of water. Pull out 1 tablespoon, and stir in stevia/xylitol. Melt coconut oil and add. Blend well. Add essential oils. Pour in enough baking soda to thicken to toothpaste consistency. Fill a squeeze bottle (think of those picnic ketchup/mustard bottle)

All-Purpose Cleaners

2 cups Distilled White Vinegar

½ cup Hydrogen Peroxide

1 cup water

Use this cleaner for things like tile grout, or low contamination areas

For full strength omit the water (areas like the kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, doorknobs, etc.)

For scrubbing tubs or kitchen sinks sprinkle baking soda on the area and then spray with vinegar/peroxide. Let fizz and then scrub clean.

Table salt can also be added to the above for extra scrubbing power.