EASY RUSTIC OLIVE BREAD

SOURCE: https://thewanderlustkitchen.com/easy-rustic-olive-bread/

I love olive bread but either it’s hard to find at stores or it’s almost $10 a loaf! I came across this recipe and wanted to try it out so I could solve my olive bread crisis. It turned out fast, easy, and delicious all the things I was looking for yaaa:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted, chopped Kalamata olives

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the first six ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use a spatula to roughly combine the ingredients. Let rest for 15 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Fold in the olives. Attach the dough hook and knead on medium for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in a bit more flour as needed if the dough won’t release from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the kneaded dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place.
  4. Punch the dough down, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf. Allow to rise for another 60 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a second baking sheet on the bottom rack. Dust the loaf with flour and use a serrated knife to make three shallow cuts across the top.
  6. Place the baking sheet containing the dough on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Toss a half cup of water onto the hot baking sheet on the bottom rack and close the door. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

***Note I actually used a dutch oven to bake my bread so it’s more like using a stone oven. I preheated the oven 475 degrees Fahrenheit, 30 mins before the dough was done rising I put the dutch oven in with the lid. After 30 mins I put the dough in dutch oven lid on baked for 30 mins. Remove the lid and let bake for another 15 mins.

BAKING IN THE DUTCH OVEN

How to Make Sour Cream From Scratch

SOURCE: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-make-sour-cream-from-scratch-4151183

I love sour creams it goes on everything but at the same time I can’t decide between buying the little container or the big one, because I only go thru half? So how excited was I to find a recipe to make my own, so I can make as much as I need at a time:

Ingredient

These measurements will make 1 1/4 cups of sour cream. You can scale the recipe up or down to meet your needs, but use a quart jar if you’re making more than two cups.

Directions

Pour the ingredients into the sterilized jar and seal it. Shake the jar vigorously to combine the cream and the buttermilk. The lactic acid bacteria in the buttermilk will ferment the cream, causing it to sour and thicken. 

That’s it. You’ve just made your own sour cream. Set the mixture aside and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours. This will allow the sour cream to develop.

Give your finished sour cream a good stir when you’re ready to serve it, or store it in the refrigerator if you won’t be using it right away.

How to Make Low-Fat Sour Cream

You can replace some of the cream with whole milk, half-and-half, or light cream if you’d prefer a low-fat version. Just keep in mind that your sour cream won’t turn out quite as thick if you cut the fat.

How to Make Buttermilk

SOURCE: https://www.thespruceeats.com/make-your-own-buttermilk-p2-995500

I am so excited when I find new recipes to try out and when I can recycle my dairy containers! Buttermilk is an ingredient that has many uses not only for desserts. We just used to make homemade sour cream so here are a few different ways to make your own buttermilk for any recipes you have:

What Does Buttermilk Do?

So, what does buttermilk actually do? The main reason a recipe will call for buttermilk—apart from the tart flavor and creamy thickness that the buttermilk provides—is the acid. The acid in buttermilk is a byproduct of the fermentation process and it will activate baking soda or baking powder, causing your bread, muffins, or pancakes to rise.

How to Make Buttermilk With Vinegar or Lemon Juice

This first method is a really easy method. Just add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk and let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes. If you need more than a cup, just keep the ratios the same. For two cups, use two cups of milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and so on.

As we noted, this method will not give you a true cultured buttermilk, but rather, acidified buttermilk. This means you can use it in a recipe for biscuits or pancakes or the like, and the acid will activate the baking powder or baking soda just as it should.

How to Make Buttermilk From Yogurt

Another fast and simple method calls for taking 3/4 cup of yogurt or sour cream and thinning it out with 1/4 cup of milk (or even plain water). This will make a cup of “buttermilk,” although just like the first method, it’s not a true buttermilk, but it will be an adequate substitute in whatever recipe calls for buttermilk.

How to Make Cultured Buttermilk

If you aren’t in a big hurry or if you’re just interested in the process, here’s how you can make your own cultured buttermilk from scratch. Unlike the two methods described above, which simply involve adding an acid to milk and letting it curdle, the methods described below will give you true, cultured buttermilk.

Just take note that If you want to make a true cultured buttermilk, which is what you buy at the store, it will take about 24 hours and you will need to start with either an active buttermilk culture or a cup of actual cultured buttermilk. This is great for if you ever have a little bit of leftover buttermilk from a previous recipe that you don’t need and you don’t want to pour it down the sink. Instead, you can use this method, similarly to how one extends sourdough starter, and create more.

“But if I had buttermilk, I wouldn’t need to make my own buttermilk!”

Quite right. We hear you. These two methods are more of a way to reduce food waste and create more buttermilk for a later point in time.

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk From Store-Bought

The easiest way to make your own homemade buttermilk that is cultured is if you already have some cultured buttermilk on hand. Here are the steps:

  1. Start with a 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of cultured buttermilk in a very clean glass quart jar. Add 3 cups of whole milk. It does help if the buttermilk is fresh, because the live buttermilk cultures are more active in fresh buttermilk.
  2. Seal up the jar tightly, give it a good shake to blend everything together, and then let it sit at room temperature, like in your kitchen, for 24 hours. The ideal temperature range is 70 to 77 F. Up on top of your fridge can be a good spot.
  3. After 24 hours, the buttermilk will have thickened to where it will coat the inside of a glass, and it should have a pleasantly tart flavor. Refrigerate to chill or use right away, and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for several weeks. Repeat the process as often as you like when you get down to the last 6 to 8 ounces of buttermilk.

The key here is the ratio of 4:1. You could use one cup of buttermilk and four cups of whole milk, but that won’t fit in a quart jar. Even if all you have is two tablespoons of buttermilk left at the bottom of a carton, you can add four ounces of milk and wind up with five ounces of buttermilk, and you can just keep increasing it from there by repeating the process.

Or you could buy a quart of buttermilk and combine it with a gallon of milk to make five quarts of buttermilk.

The nice thing about this method is that you can keep repeating the process and theoretically never run out of buttermilk again. But you’d need to make sure that the buttermilk you use as your starter is always fresh.

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk From Active Culture

You can purchase active buttermilk cultures, usually in freeze-dried form, and use them to make your own buttermilk, basically by combining the culture with whole milk and letting it sit out for 12 to 24 hours, much like when trying to extend your store-bought buttermilk. As with the above method, you can keep repeating this process, using the last little bit of buttermilk to start the next batch.

Other Common Buttermilk Substitutes

If you don’t have any dairy on hand, are allergic to dairy, or are a vegan and choose not to use dairy, but still want a similarly tangy flavor that buttermilk provides and will cause that acidic reaction to occur with baking powder and/or baking soda, don’t worry. You can still create your flavorful recipe by substituting out the dairy portion with either coconut milk or soy milk, and adding either a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Just combine the ingredients as you would have with milk, and allow the mixture to sit for about five minutes before using.

Buttermilk Equivalents and Measures

1 cup buttermilk242 grams
1 cup buttermilk8.5 ounces 
1 cup buttermilk1 cup yogurt
1 cup buttermilk1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk1 cup milk + 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk1 cup water + 4 tablespoons powdered buttermilk
1 cup buttermilk1/4 cup milk + 3/4 cup yogurt
1 cup buttermilk1/4 cup milk + 3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk1 cup coconut milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup buttermilk1 cup coconut milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 cup buttermilk1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Homemade Ginger Bug

SOURCE: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/lacto-fermentation-recipes/ginger-bug/

Here is another great recipe from http://www.cultureforhealth.com ginger bug:

A ginger bug is the start of many natural fermented beverages. The mixture of sugar, ginger, and water captures wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria, which can then be used to add a probiotic boost (and fizz) to herbal sodas like ginger ale or root beer, and fruit sodas like blueberry, raspberry, or rhubarb. Easy to start and continue growing, this “bug” can be ready to make soda whenever you like.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp. organic sugar
  • 3 tsp. diced ginger
  • Additional sugar and ginger for maintenance

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart jar.
  2. Place a tight lid on the jar, give it a shake, and ferment in a warm spot (72-80°F) for 24 hours.
  3. Every day for the next week add 2 teaspoons each of sugar and diced ginger. The liquid will begin to bubble towards the end of the week. If you’re using the classic cap-and-band jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure. Once there are bubbles forming at the top of the mixture, it’s ready to use for soda making.
  4. To keep the bug alive and continue growing it, feed it daily using the proportions above. Or rest it in the refrigerator and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once per week. To reactivate the ginger bug for making soda, bring bug to room temperature and begin feeding it again daily (step 3, above).

Instructions for Making Cultured Sodas:

  1. Mix 1/4 cup ginger bug starter into 1 quart of sweetened and flavored liquid.
  2. Pour into a bottle with a tight seal, such as our Grolsch-style flip-top bottle, and ferment for 2-3 days at a warm room temperature (no more than about 85ºF).

Hummingbird Nectar

SOURCE: https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/pdp/perky-pet-mason-jar-glass-hummingbird-feeder-jsn1229.html

I love looking at all the different bird that hang out in the yard but one of my favorites is the hummingbird. They really are beautiful birds that zip around the yard all day. I decided to get a closer look so what better idea than to put out a birdfeeder. Hummingbirds have a high metabolism so to supply energy needs, hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers. I wanted to find the perfect mix to make nectar for my feeder:

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Hummingbird-Food

  1. Make a rich sugar solution to attract hummingbirds to your yard. The sugary sweet mixture will encourage visiting hummingbirds to stay in the area. High-energy food is also important for hummingbirds in the spring because it helps to replenish the energy reserves that hummingbirds use up during migration.
  2. Mix a solution of 1 part white, granulated sugar, and 4 parts warm water. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cane sugar is sucrose that falls into the carbohydrate family. Carbs are easily digested and give the hummingbirds the immediate energy they need to keep those little wings flapping. Organic and “raw” sugars contain iron and brown sugar, agave, artificial sweeteners, honey, should not be used either.
  3. Boil the sugar water for 1 to 2 minutes. Boiling the mixture will slow down any bacterial growth that may occur. Boiling the water will also get rid of any extra chlorine that might be in your tap water (which in turn could harm the little hummers.)[2] It is not necessary to boil the solution if you are only making a small amount of food for immediate use.
    • If you do not boil the mixture, you will need to change the food every 1 to 2 days, or else bacteria may grow in the mixture that could harm the hummingbirds.
  4. Do not add any dye to the food. Though hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, red dyes have been known to harm hummingbirds. Natural hummingbird food (nectar) is odorless and clear–there is no need to add dye to your homemade hummer food.
  5. Store the hummingbird food until you are ready to use it. Keep the food in the refrigerator. If you make a large batch of the food, you can keep the extra amount in the fridge until your feeder is empty. This will save you time when refilling your feeder.
  6. Pick the right feeder. Red feeders are the best because the color red attracts hummingbirds. You should hang your feeder in a shady spot if possible because the nectar will stay fresh longer when it is in the shade. Hang your feeder in your garden if you have one. Hang your feeder near a window (but far out of the reach of cats) to be able to enjoy these beautiful little birds.
    • Some hummingbird enthusiasts say that you should only hang a feeder near a window if you have cut-outs of birds on the glass to keep the hummingbirds from flying into the glass and potentially injuring themselves.[4]

There are lots of places to get a great feeder and they range in price from $1 up to $$. Dollartree, Biglots, Target, Wayfair, Amazon, the list goes on. As soon as I put my feeder out the little magic birds came to enjoy!

The Benefits of Using Flowers in Homemade Skin Care Recipes

SOURCE: https://willowandsage.com/the-benefits-of-using-flowers-in-homemade-skin-care-recipes

I love smelling lotions and soaps that have a fresh flowery scent. From a relaxing lavender to an invigorating mint or eucalyptus. Let’s check out what other flowers are good for making beauty products from http://www.willowandsage.com:

1. Rose

Rose petals and oil have been used for ages in bath and body recipes. A quick, refreshing way to incorporate this flower into your day is by spraying rosewater on your face when in need of a pick-me-up. It can also be used in perfume and all-natural cleaning.

2. Lavender

Adding lavender to recipes, such as bath salts or body butter, can provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere. The soothing smell alone helps refresh the mind, and the properties help reduce scars and wrinkles.

3. Hibiscus

This flower adds a bright pop of color and a summery scent. It’s the perfect ingredient for a scrub or a facial steam. It helps firm the skin and is rich in antioxidants.

4. Calendula

The calendula flower is known for its golden hue and healing properties. Not only is it antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, but it also helps regenerate the skin. Calendula-infused oil is great to keep on hand for a number of ailments.

5. Chamomile

Dried chamomile flowers are beautiful as well as beneficial for skin care and mental health. It can help soothe and relax, and can be added to soaps, scrubs, and more. It can also help ease puffiness around the eyes.

VEGAN MAYO

SOURCE: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-mayo/

Have you ever started working on a new recipe and realized you have no mayo? Usually I don’t stock up on mayo because I never finish the bottle, so now that I found a recipe it’s one less thing I am missing:

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cane sugar
  • Scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil*

Instructions

  • In a blender, place the chickpea liquid, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine.
  • With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the sunflower oil and blend until thickened.

Notes

*Note: if you use another type of oil, your mayo might not be as thick. See suggestions in the text of the post.

VEGAN BACON

SOURCE: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-bacon/

Have you ever wondered what is vegan bacon well here you go! http://www.loveandlemons.com solved the mystery for you with these 3 recipes:

Ingredients

Tempeh Bacon
  • 8 ounces tempeh, sliced crosswise into thin strips, steamed according to this recipe
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Make tempeh bacon: Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the steamed tempeh in an 8×8 or similarly sized baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, cumin, paprika, and sprinkles of pepper. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and set aside for 15 minutes. Layer the tempeh strips onto the baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and charred around the edges. Remove and let cool on the pan for 10 minutes. If desired, make “bacon bits” by using your hands to crumble the crispy tempeh into bits.
Shiitake Bacon
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Instructions

  • Make shiitake bacon: Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a damp cloth to wipe the mushrooms clean (if you wash them in water, they will not become crisp in the oven). Stem and slice the mushrooms, place on the baking sheet, and toss with the olive oil and tamari until well coated. Spread in an even layer on the pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the mushrooms are shriveled up and crispy.
Coconut Bacon
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¾ tablespoon tamari
  • Scant ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Make coconut bacon: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes, tamari, maple syrup, and smoked paprika on the pan and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer on the pan and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, about 6 to 10 minute. Watch carefully, oven temperatures may vary and the coconut flakes can burn quickly.

16 Tips for Reducing Food Waste

SOURCE: https://i0.wp.com/www.stickertalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/D-80-488-FRIDAY-IS-CLEAN-THE-FRIDGE-DAY-1.jpg

Have you ever gone to the market and started just putting things in the cart because you are not sure if it’s in your fridge or pantry? Let’s face it keeping track of everything in either of the two is not easy. Buying lettuce to only find you already have some not fun! Check out the following 16 tips on how to reduce food waste:

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/save-money/how-to-reduce-food-waste/?aff_sub2=california-money-management

1. Make a Grocery List and Stick to It

Overbuying leads to food waste. Planning your meals for the week, making a list and sticking to it can prevent impulse buys and limit the vegetable carcasses not even good intentions could revive. Gunders suggests thinking double duty. If you need fresh cilantro for a meal, can you plan a second meal that will use it, too? This not only saves your budget, but it eliminates casual food waste.

2. Buy Frozen Instead of Fresh

The bright, beautiful colors of fresh fruits and veggies tempt me every week. Then I remember how quickly fresh produce can spoil. Now, I’ve turned to stocking my freezer with produce. I call this the Too Many Avocados Left Behind Act. I don’t freeze my avocados, but I do buy most fruits and veggies frozen now. I can thaw them in a flash and count on having a random assortment of ingredients on a whim.

3. Plan for Surprises

It’s so easy to get tempted by the events of the week, from an unscheduled lunch to a surprise happy hour. Leftovers get abandoned as you nosh on an unplanned (and unbudgeted) meal out. You can plan your meals for the week and allot some wiggle room for spontaneous outings.  By having a backup recipe or frozen meal you will always have on hand, you can accept a last-minute invitation and not fritter away a thing.

4. Rethink Expiration Dates

Sell-by, use-by and expiration dates all mean different things. Most often, the dates serve as a freshness, quality or display indicator, not a marker for when the food will actually go bad. Many people throw out perfectly good food because of date stamps. Use common sense, and research what the date on your packaged or canned food really means before you toss it.

5. Make Your Freezer Great Again

Good intentions can’t reverse rotten tomatoes or spoiled meat. That steak you meant to eat on Sunday looks questionable by Tuesday. You can extend the life of your meats, bread and vegetables by freezing them. Gunders said almost anything can be frozen: Milk, shredded cheese, sliced bread and even raw eggs (out of the shell) can go in the freezer. It’ll all be there when you’re ready, so it will save you future cooking time, money and food waste. Don’t you feel better?

6. Store Items Where You Can See Them

Some produce slips into the crisper abyss. Out of sight, out of mind. Keep items where you can see them. You’re more likely to use items that you can physically see. Additionally, learn how to store each type of produce. Some ripen faster and can speed up others nearby. Consider investing in special airtight containers that keep produce firm and fresh longer. Washing the pieces of fruit or vegetables you plan on using will keep the whole bag from going bad before you get a chance to enjoy their deliciousness.

7. Clean Your Fridge and Organize Your Pantry

Expired items hide, and mold lurks on the edges you can’t quite see. Having a tidy fridge helps you see exactly what you have and inspires you to use it. Same goes for the pantry: Keeping it tidy allows you to see what you have at a glance and prevents items from getting lost behind the castles of steel cans.

8. Try Composting

Skip the landfill, and start composting. Everything from your coffee grounds to celery ends can find their way into your bin. In turn, you can eventually use it toward your next home gardening adventure. 

9. Learn to Preserve or Can Foods

Pickle? Preserve? Can? They’re all options gaining popularity. But these practices have been around for centuries and have helped folks survive harsh winters and economic downturns. With a little upfront investment of time and money, you can acquire the tools necessary to preserve your excess food. This can prolong their shelf life and reduce food waste and costs. 

10. Donate Extra Food 

If you know your family won’t eat something, donate it. Many local pantries and food banks welcome donations, but consider friends or families in your community who might appreciate a little extra food. There are restrictions and rules at some charities about what can be donated, so check before making any contributions.

11. Eat What You Have

Plan recipes around what’s been sitting around for a while or what needs to get used before it expires. Keeping your fridge and pantry clean and organized helps you see exactly what you have and what you should cook before adding more supplies to the mix. 

12. Mix It Up

Leftovers you’re tired of eating can be repurposed into new recipes. Some fruits and vegetables that are a little too ripe can be baked or mashed into a casserole. Ripe bananas make great banana bread, and soft strawberries can be added to smoothies. Other scraps can be made into stocks or added to a compost. I’ve put coffee grounds in my soil, and a friend of mine makes corn silk tea. There’s a practical use for almost any piece of food you might throw away.

13. Host a Potluck

I’m a picky eater, yet I love to cook. Sometimes I acquire ingredients for recipes that I don’t end up using again, or I try something and end up not liking it. So, I’ve hosted potlucks to use said ingredients. Invite friends over, and have leftover lunches for days. You’ll help everyone else also clean their cabinets. Win-win.

14. Get an App

There are a few apps on the market that try to put a dent in the global food waste problem. Here are a few to consider:

  • The USDA FoodKeeper app teaches best practices of food and beverage storage to maximize quality and freshness.
  • Too Good to Go makes surplus restaurant food available for pickup before it gets thrown out. 
  • Waste No Food helps food-based establishments, from farms to restaurants, donate excess food to charities and shelters.

15. Channel Bob Ross

Ever wish you could make art with your food outside of Instagram posts? Let the bright colors of your leftovers become the colors of your clothes or the paint on your canvas. Yup, your peels and ends from scraps of everything from beets, spinach and lemons can be made into permanent fabric dye that could double as watercolor paint.

16. Life’s a Garden… Dig It!

Even the brownest thumbs can turn green. Try regrowing your food scraps, and see what happens. Put seeds in the backyard, or try sprouting them over a cup of water.

#STASHSTOCKPARTY

SOURCE: https://party.stash.com/

So if you have not tried the Stash app yet chances are you are not aware of the Stash party every Thursday! So Stash is an app where you can buy stock, save money, and also pay bills to get stock back rewards. I started on the app over a year ago and I love it. Unlike Acorn another great app, you can buy stock on a schedule or one time buy. I pay my bills with spend card and I get stock back rewards for some of the companies. So if that was enough now they have the Stash party that happens every Thursday, you get free stock just see below to get the scoop:

What’s Stash?

We’re a do-it-all home for your money used by 4+ million Americans. Unlike a lot of financial companies, we’re here to help you build strong habits and hit financial goals.

From budgeting your paycheck to saving for retirement, Stash can give you the tools and guidance to change your financial future—all in one app. Try us out.

Sign up for Stash

So now what is the stash party:

How #StashStockParty works

Work together to go SUPER.

Recruit friends for each #StashStockParty to boost the PARTY POWER and your award. Hit 15,000 partiers to unlock a Super Stock Party and a monster $15,000 pot to split up.

Set a weekly alarm.

Parties are at 4 p.m. ET every Thursday for 30 minutes. Follow @Stash to stay in the know.

Vote on Twitter.

Vote for each party stock on the Twitter only. Voting closes at 3 p.m. ET on party days. Follow @Stash to stay in the know.