How to Make Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, and Skyr

yogurt-small-jarsThere’s almost nothing easier than making your own yogurt! With the back to school and back-to-serious season now in swing, you may be tempted to stock up on the Go-gurt style tubes for kids or even some of those new, beautiful little artisan yogurt tubs for you, to appease your healthy-slash-convenient sensibilities.  But nay nay!  Here’s a fun project for your weekend.

You can make your very own super delicious and wholesome regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, and even Icelandic-style Skyr Scandinavian yogurt right at home.  It’s not only less expensive and more holistic, but good for the environment, too, producing far less waste.  Let me walk you through the traditional stovetop method for making your very own homemade yogurt.   Continue reading

Homemade Holiday Gifting: Vanilla Brown Sugar Moisturizing All-Natural Body Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub WrappedI love homemade gifts.  There’s nothing that says love and care better than something you create with your own two hands, whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, or just because.  I’m always creating something, or 10 things (more likely ;)… whether it’s big home projects or small crafts, though most often it’s for my home, family, or sometimes to sell – and not as often as I’d like for something to give.  So when the time comes, I really enjoy making gifts – and I like to keep it pretty simple, too.  During the holidays, it’s especially helpful if a project is quick and easy , for you or even the kids to create.  This one is great for last minute gifts, too – since you probably already have everything you need to make it. Continue reading

Easiest Thing Ever: Homemade Coffee Creamer

Homemade Coffee Creamer Ball JarWhen I first heard about making your own coffee creamer (beyond plain ol’ half and half ;), I figured it would be complicated and possibly time-consuming. Turns out, it is literally one of the quickest, easiest things you can make at home – and one of the healthiest switches from an otherwise highly processed, preservative-laden product.   Not to mention, the homemade version is just SUPER delicious!!!  You’ll never go back to that store stuff once you try this.

So here goes- let’s do this thing. Continue reading

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Dishwasher Detergent Result GlassDishwasher detergent seems to be one of those items where we always seem to be looking for something better.  Especially as someone who prefers the more natural route, though still wanting exceptionally clean dishes , believe me, I have tried them ALL!

With my recent efforts to change over to as many homemade cleaning products as possible, it seemed like I was starting all over again.  I had a favorite big-name brand of dishwasher detergent that I became loyal to over the years – and though the “natural” products never quite measured up to that degree of commercial-grade sparkle, I always felt much better using them.  Unfortunately, they do get spendy – and are harder to find.   Continue reading

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent BucketOne of my latest obsessions is making homemade cleaning products.  My mom initially turned me on to the idea of homemade laundry detergent when she reported making 5 GALLONS of laundry detergent – that worked well! – for just a couple of dollars.  Whaat?!  This appealed to me on so many levels.
There are so many good reasons to make your own laundry detergent.  To live more naturally, consume fewer products with less packaging, reduce chemicals in our homes and on our bodies, and to stem the pollution going into the waste stream and waterways – and last but certainly not least, to save money.  Laundry detergent has always been one of the most expensive items on my grocery list, especially since liquid detergent is pretty much all we can use in our HE machine – so this is an awesome way to conserve in the household budget.   Continue reading

Green Tomato Lime Cilantro Salsa

Green Tomatoes Pig Plate

My son, Mighty O, will be starting at a very cool, very small school this Fall. We’ve had lots of interesting experiences with education already in his young life (perhaps more on that later…), though we are very excited about this one!  This school follows an outdoor-oriented program that is similar to the forest schools of Scandinavia and the American Pacific Northwest, with a very hands-on learning approach that also includes lots of music and performing arts.  If I were the type to ever say, “Squeeeee!” – well, it might be now.

At any rate, the school maintains a wonderful garden, which is tended by the students during the school year and once a week through the summer months.  A very nicely-producing young tomato plant was uprooted by a well-meaning child at our last visit, and the green tomatoes on the bush were begging for a use. I grabbed them to make a tomatillo-style salsa or chutney, which could come in use for the school’s Fall festival, where they serve food from the garden’s bounty.   Continue reading