Tres Leches Cake

Delicious for any occasion

Homemade Watercolors

For homeschoolers, or just fun at home

DIY Toothpaste

Great for good health, and a happy pocketbook

Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

Even picky kids will love these meat-less dishes

Sewing Projects and Tips

Even more tutorials to come soon

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homemade Ricotta

Ricotta is a delicious staple for many kitchens. Ricotta can turn any pasta dish or casserole into something spectacular, as well as become a quick, yet tasty dessert. But, at almost $4.00 a tub- the price is CRAZY.

I've started making ricotta myself after reading how simple it was. This is an activity my children love helping with...what's more fun then watching milk & vinegar sour into something so delicious? Well, tons of things- but making your own ricotta seems magical.

There are as many ways of making this easy cheese as there are people who make it. This is my way:

You will need:
  • 1 quart milk, preferably whole.
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • about 3 tablespoons plain white vinegar
  • a wooden spoon
  • a bowl big enough to hold the milk, plus room to gently stir
  • cheese cloth, or a clean tea-towel
  • a strainer
  • pinch of salt
  • a container with a lid, should hold about a cup
Begin by GENTLY heating the milk to a bare simmer over medium-low to medium heat. Be prepared to yank it off the heat if you are using an electric stove.

Transfer the hot milk to the bowl, and stir in the vinegar. It will start to look funky. Think baby bottle left in the car while grocery shopping... Stir very, VERY gently on occasion.

Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. There should be a clear separation of liquid (whey) & the soft curds of cheese. It may also still smell vinegar-ish, no worries, it will rinse out.

Strain off liquid in a towel or cheesecloth lined strainer. Or, if you wish- you can pour into a bowl & squeeze the liquid out like I do- to show the kids how much whey is left. Some people also like to save this liquid for various dietary reasons. Not me...

Rinse VERY GENTLY under cold running water & squeeze out moisture again. Mix in a pinch of salt- even if you are using the cheese for a dessert- this brings out the flavors of the ricotta.

You can now press your cheese in a mold, or just pack it into a lidded container and pop in the fridge. It can be used right away, but we like to makes ours a day ahead, and the cheese has a bit more flavor.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 & Scrubbing Bubbles

So, as some of my pals may know I am a member of a really cool site called which helps spread word of mouth advertising and opinions on brands of products. As moms, we know that peers are really who we listen to when we're deciding what to buy, so I really think this site is a great idea. Number two reason why- in my mind... the "BzzCampaigns"! They let members try out, and report on new or newly improved products. Anything from beauty to cleaning, to food.
I was super stoked to get the chance to review the new Scrubbing Bubbles Automated Shower Cleaner. I am about a week in, but already I know it has greatly improved. Word of mouth & seeing a peer's is why I didn't get one when they first came out a few years ago, but I am (for now) liking this new one. The old ones were cheap feeling, sprayed badly or not at all, and the cleaning solution- let's be frank- sucked. Hard. Let's see how the rest of the month goes! =-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beautiful Mothering

Just because you a mom, you're super busy. BUT- just because you're a mom, you don't have to not look great!

Here are some easy tips for staying glamorous while your running around the park, or washing sippy cups:

1- MINERAL MAKEUP- Mineral foundation is the easiest way to flawless looking skin. It can be put on in a jiffy. Mineral shadows are also great for busy moms because they can be used quickly for a subtle day-time look, or vamped up in the evenings for dates with daddy. My favorite brand can be found here.
2- SPEND THE TIME TO FIND THE PERFECT CUT- Whether it's easiest for you to have it long, and wear it up, or chop it off and blow-n-go- spending the time to find the perfect hairstyle for you in both ease and looks will save you so much more time in the end.
3- MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS DO DOUBLE DUTY- Grab products that work for you- TWICE! :) Leave-in conditioners with anti-frizz serums, facial moisturizers with SPF, any thing that can shave time off your daily routine without taking away from your pampering. :)
4- LIP GLOSS/MASCARA- If you HAVE to leave the house with a naked face, make time for these two items! Mascara will help you to look like you did get more than 2 hours of sleep last night, and lip gloss always makes a gal feel pretty.
5- "SNEAK IN" SOME PAMPERING- Washing dishes? Slather on some body butter under those gloves for a warm treat. Giving the little one a bath? Wash your face and let a facial mask sit while you bathe them. Quickly rinse off after you lay the little darling down. Apply lotion and heavy socks while you clean up. You'll be surprised how many ways you can "sneak in" a little mommy indulgence. :) Any other ideas?
6- EYEBROWS!- Any look, even a makeup-less one, is never complete with unruly brows. Add a couple plucks to your nightly regime to keep them tamed between waxings, and spend the time to keep the waxings up. Can't wax your own? This is the time to SPLURGE and have it done for you. MUCH cheaper than other treatments!
7- WATER WATER WATER- Staying hydrated will not only keep your skin looking great, and less tired, you will feel better too!

Remove Grass Stains Easily

Spring has sprung, and with spring comes grass stains.
Vinegar is the trick to removing grass stain effortlessly. Simply soak the stain in vinegar for 30-60 minutes, then rinse. Launder as usual, or if the stain is persistent- rub a paste of vinegar and baking soda on the spot with a sponge or old toothbrush. Rinse, then launder.