Finding True Serenity

discover. learn. dream. love. share.

Homemade Pineapple Zucchini Bread September 27, 2009

100_5553

Our sweet neighbor is a gardening extraordinaire! She had zucchini pouring out of her ears and was sweet enough to share some with us! Thanks Donna! After reading through some blogs, I was fortunate enough to stuble across a recipe posted by Jen at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven for zucchini bread. It looked absolutely delish so we decided to give it a try it! We had to drop a few ingredients due to not having them on hand, but this is a yummy way to use up some extra zucchini!

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

100_5550

Ingredients:
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 C. sugar
3 eggs (farm fresh is best! Thanks Jen!) (vegan alt: 3 T. ground flaxseed + 9 T. water)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 C. oil (we used coconut oil)
2 C. grated zucchini
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Directions:
In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt) Add to the flour mix the following wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, oil and zucchini). Once mixed well, stir in the raisins and pineapple until just blended.

mixed

Pour into 2-9x5x3 inch loaf pans.

pour in pans

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F for one hour, or until browned.

***Oh, and most importantly. If you are grating fresh zucchini, don’t, and I do mean DON’T, under any circumstances, let any fall on the floor where you are working or the following scavengers might be found lurking nearby!*** ūüėČ Of course, I’m a sucker for cute little beady eyes…so I had to share! They love the fresh fruits and veggies, too! ūüôā
my scavengers
ūüôā
Jes
Please visit my newly created blog for fun giveaways! I just got my first one and it is sooo adorable for halloween! Stop by:
http://serenitysgivaways.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-first-giveaway-four-halloween.html for a chance to win something perfect for the holidays! ūüôā

If you like my blog and would like to join me here on a regular basis via email or other reader, please… click subscribe or Entries RSS on the right side bar! Thank you so very much!

Subscribe in a reader

I am pleased to share this with:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday is hosted by Blessed With Grace.
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by Balancing Beauty & Bedlam.

frugalfriday[2]
thriftthursday[1]

 

Artfire Giveaway

Filed under: Cloth,Contentment,Environmentalism,Giveaway,Green Living,Reusable,Thrifty — findingtrueserenity @ 1:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

I just honestly stumbled across Heather’s blog which just happens to be doing a September 2009 giveaway!

All she asks is that you go to her store to pick out your favorite item and then let her know in her comments section.

I try to avoid disposables as much as I can, you can read about that here, so I naturally LOVED the 5 Reusable Pads Hemp Organic Bamboo Fair Trade Menstrual Pads!!!
artfire

Here’s what Heather had to say about them:

These particular pads are made from organic hemp fleece, bamboo and organic cotton that is fair trade.

The pads that I make are unique because you get 2 inserts for the pad:

The first insert is for light days

The second one is for medium days
then if you double them up, it is perfect for the beginning of your menses!!!

They close by a little metal snap!

These reusable pads are earth friendly and body friendly! Tampons and regular maxi pads contain dioxins, which can be VERY harmful to your body! Not to mention the dumps we are filling up with disposable menstrual products…think of all those applicators too!

Go green, keep the earth clean…and keep your most precious parts happy!

Hurry and check out her blog and her store! I LOVE that she promotes products that are as ethical toward animals, humans and the planet as she possibly can! That’s great girl!!!

Have a beautiful day!

Jes

If you like my blog and would like to join me here on a regular basis via email or other reader, please… click subscribe or Entries RSS on the right side bar! Thank you so very much!

 

Family Size Yogurt Maker September 18, 2009

Filed under: Frugal Friday,Recipes,Thrifty,Thrifty Thursday — findingtrueserenity @ 5:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

yogurt maker

I scored this brand new, never used beauty at a local church garage sale for a whopping $2.00!!!¬†¬† I can’t tell you the excitement that was shared when I told the kids we were going to be able to try making our very own homemade yogurt¬†(I’ve¬†tried this in the past with the oven method, but didn’t have consistent results)!¬†

The kids and I anxiously ran home and began washing everything up.  ***This is very important, whenever you are making yogurt make sure all of the equipment is clean!!!***  Below is the instructions we followed that came with it.

Ingredients:

Two quarts of milk—made from non-fat dry milk (following instructions per package) but use 1/3 Cup more than directed per quart.

Yogurt starter—2 heaping Tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures

Directions:

Pour the milk into a pot and place on the stove.  Heat the milk on a low-medium flame stirring occassionally until it reaches approximately 110-120 degrees F

Heating Milk

Add the yogurt starter to one of the yogurt jars.  To this, add some of the heated milk and stir well.

mix well

Pour this mixture back into the pot of heated milk and stir well.

Pour the milk into the 5 serving hars, put the lids on securely and place in the yogurt maker.

wait 10 hours

Put the unit cover on the heater base and plug in.  In ten hours remove the hars and place them in the refrigerator.  Allow yogurt to cool for 3-4 hours BEFORE serving.  At that time you may add flavoring.

I followed this recipe to a T, and after about 14 hours of incubating it was still terribly runny.  I drained one jar into some cheesecloth in hopes of removing most of the whey to get some custard like yogurt, but perhaps I need to let it drain overnight?!  Aside from drinking our homemade yogurt, we absolutely loved the way it tasted!  We added 2 T Agave with 1 t Vanilla, and oh my goodness was it good.  We also added 4 t limeade concentrate to another one with some agave to sweeten and that was really good as well!  Oh the possibilities!  If only I could figure out how to get it to become more custard like.

Anyone out there make their own yogurt with success?¬† I’d love to hear about some tips to making ours thicker, or oh, using alternative milks.¬† We’ve tried soymilk and ricemilk in the past.¬† Soy kinda set up and rice did not.¬† ūüė¶

Have a wonderful day!!!

Jes

If you like my blog and would like to join me here on a regular basis via email or other reader, please… click subscribe or Entries RSS on the right side bar! Thank you so very much!

I am pleased to share this with:

thriftthursday[1] frugalfriday[2]Eleventh_Heaven_Page_803[1]

 

Almost Wordless Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday: Planting takes Teamwork! June 24, 2009

planting takes teamwork

(I accidentally cut¬†the whole top off the clematis our neighbor gave us¬†while clearing out¬†last year’s¬†dead parts…Ooops!¬† But the kids done a wonderful job digging a large hole for the root ball we ended up with!¬† hehehee!¬† Thanks guys!!!¬† I never said Mommy was perfect!¬† ūüôā¬† Again…do as I say, not as I do!

Hopefully it will¬†bloom next year!¬† If so, this will be a thrifty addition to our “landscaping”!!!)

Thanks for stopping by for another Wordless Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday!

I was pleased to share this post with

http://www.wordlesswednesday.com/   AND

 

Thrifty Thursday: Homemade Grapevine Trellis June 18, 2009

Okay, I can officially say I have¬†two of the greatest men in my life who I truly adore!¬† My husband and son noticed our neighbors throwing last years fancy gazebo with the metal scrolled corners out on the curb and a light bulb went off…”Didn’t mom want to make a trellis for the grapevine?”¬† Our neighbors were greatful we were taking their eye sore away and we quickly went to work.¬†

Here’s what it looked like before:

grapevine before

And after unbolting a few things and a little rearranging here is the final product!

grapevine after

And look, what do we see?

grape investigators

Oh wait…I know!¬† It’s baby grapes!

Baby grapes

So in the end this is thrifty and economical in a few ways…

1.  We gathered the items needed for the trellis curbside, while helping our neighbors, so there was no initial cost.

2.  The grapevine that we are training to climb this trellis will provide us with grapes this fall saving us even more on our food budget.

3.  We were able to repurpose something that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.

4.¬† And last but not least, the remaining posts and corners that we removed will be used to stake up our garden and the peas shall climb up the corner metal scrolls!¬†¬† (Don’t worry, I will post about this later after my garden has matured a bit for another Thrifty Thursday!!!!)

I love being thrifty when you can create such a beautiful addition while helping others and Mother Nature!!!  And that is how we have it on Thrifty Thursday!   Thank you so very much for stopping by my first post on TT!!!

 

A lovely day of homemade goodness… January 16, 2009

Today was one of those days when I felt really good about what I’ve accomplished.¬† Here here, be easy on me!¬† I have pretty low standards!¬† ūüôā

This morning I woke up, hung up a load of laundry to dry, fixed the kids some breakfast, got my son out the door for school and started working with my daughter on the alphabet and identifying objects/animals. 

Hanging Clothes

I had received a recipe, from a lovely blogger who inspires me¬†everytime she posts,¬†for Easy Oatmeal bread.¬† Today was the day I worked up enough nerve to try making homemade bread for the very first time!¬† I followed the recipe to a “T” and waited the longest 2.5 hours of my life!¬† It was amazing torture!¬† Smelling the dough, drooling and praying it turned out¬†as good as it smelled!¬†

 The dough has risen to double it's size

Prepared dough is ready to be baked

)

We pulled the first loaf out of the oven and it was all we could do to wait for it to cool down enough to pull it out of the pan!¬† We all lined up and enjoyed the first warm slices.¬† It was perfect.¬† Miranda, I can’t thank you enough…my husband adored it, and that is saying something!¬† ūüôā

Going back for seconds and thirds!!!

For lunch today we ate some homemade tomato soup I had canned this last summer while one of our amazing neighbors was teaching me the art of preserving!  My husband filled up on more bread!

I washed a load of dishes and began working on supper, we threw some things together from an idea of another fellow blogger, Sara.¬† She’s quite clever!¬† We started with Ramen noodles, some pork, brocolli, ginger, garlic, orange juice, and nama shoyu stir fried together…. and oh it was yummy.¬† After supper, my husband leaned over and kissed me while whispering sweetly “…good job honey”….

I feel quite accomplished with all the baby steps I’ve been learning to become more self sufficient.¬†¬† I am humbled¬†but I also realize¬†I need to keep an open mind because there are so many more things I have to learn!¬† For now though, I’m going to¬†savor this¬†lovely day of homemade goodness….

 

Natural Home October 9, 2008

 

Well, after giving up many disposables and replacing them with reusable items we then gradually went to cleaning supplies.  I grabbed a crate and filled it up with all the cleaning supplies and gave them away.

I have to admit this wasn’t a hard one for me to do.¬† I was one of those people that would get migraines from using bleach, would need to have the¬†windows open and ventilation fans on whenever I was trying to clean and could feel the chemicals burning my skin as I scrubbed away the germs.¬†

I still to this day can’t believe how¬†many cleaners¬†I had.¬† We had one for every job and needless to say that cleared up alot of¬†space under the sinks!¬† We now truly only use¬†a few¬†natural cleaning ingredients.¬† You can learn more about¬†their uses¬†here, and an even more lengthy list of natural cleaners here.¬† Vinegar is our standard cleaner that has replaced everything!¬†For windows,¬†we use straight white vinegar and wipe with newspapers. For scrubbing the counter, sinks, tubs, and toilet, I use vinegar with a washcloth.¬† You could also use baking soda and play with essential oils.¬†¬†Tea tree oil is known for it‚Äôs natural anti-bacterial power and lavender for it‚Äôs¬†calming scent.¬† For a multipurpose cleaner we just¬†fill a spray bottle 1/4 way with white vinegar and then top it off with water.¬† This is a very¬†simple, basic, and highly effective¬†concoction!

I use a natural soap for washing dishes and I also make a homemade laundry detergent using natural cleaners.  There are lots of recipes out there, but this is one that seems to work for us. 

Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
(For light load, use 1 tablespoon.  For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.)
I love how simple this has made our lives.¬† We’re not out buying¬†all sorts of different¬†products¬†to “clean” our home. ¬†I love the fact that I feel completely comfortable having Jonathan and Shian help me with cleaning.¬† And by using natural ingredients you will not only¬†be making inexpensive cleaners (I’m saving an estimated $185 annually), you will also realize they are¬†just as effective without the light headed, sick to your stomach, migraine side effects!¬† ūüôā