That’s a spicy…spice rack!

I’m happy to introduce Jackie, my first guest blogger! I work with her and she is loads of fun and when she mentioned her latest home project to me, I thought it would be a great addition to my blog. (PS: Jackie is also a fellow Vitamix owner!)

Welcome Jackie!

So, this is my first foray into guest-blogging, and the pressure is on not to let PY down. My husband, Ross, and I are notorious weekend DIY-ers; this weekend was no exception: projects included installing new floors in the basement and finding a solution for our cluttered countertops. After seeing several cute magnetic spice racks on Etsy, we decided to try our hand at making our own. The process was surprisingly simple, and cost under $50.  Naturally, the first step is getting all of the necessary supplies. Fortunately, for this project supplies are easy to come by and relatively inexpensive. You can find a variety of food-grade spice tins at Specialty Bottle. (http://www.specialtybottle.com) For this project, we ordered a mixture of 2.5 oz clear-top round tins and 4 oz clear-top square tins, figuring the mixture would accommodate our varied collection of spices. 

Next, we ordered a pack of 50 1/4″ x 1/16” neodymium magnetic discs from Emovendo magnets. (http://www.emovendo.net/magnets/discs/) This size is great for putting 2 magnets on each tin, but if you prefer single magnets, I would recommend going the next size up. You can hang your spice tins on any magnetic surface; we had a $5 magnetic wipe-off board hanging in our kitchen already which turned out to be the perfect size for a small spice rack (don’t have one of those? Head to Target or Michael’s to pick up your own). Continue reading

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Love Thin Mints? Then, you’ll love this even better.

Lately, I’ve been reading Facebook status updates from my girlfriends who are practically cursing the Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies. I, too used to have  a love/hate relationship with Girl Scout cookies. Love to eat them. Hate yourself after you’ve eaten the whole box in one sitting. Thin. Mints. Are. Addicting. Then, I found this recipe from Rachel Ray years ago. I’m happy to share this recipe with you as a solution to your Thin Mint addiction. Well… come to think of it– I’m not sure if you thank me or curse me (because this recipe is delish).

So, every year when cookie sales come around, I buy a box of Thin Mints, eat half and save the other half to make  this Thin Mints Dessert Pizza.  Make it and take it to work. You will definitely win “Co-worker of the Week” for sharing this with them (and you’ll have only devoured half the box by yourself instead of the entire thing).

Thin Mints Dessert Pizza

Continue reading

Open sesame: How to make roasted sesame milk

For all of you looking for milk alternatives and are wanting to try something besides soy or almond milk, give this a try. Sesame milk (contains no milk) tastes wonderful and is almost reminiscent of a “peanut-buttery milk”.

Roasted sesame milk

Ingredients:

2 cups of water

3/4 cups of sesame seeds

Directions:

1. Toast sesame seeds in oven @ 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.

2. Place all ingredients in Vitamix blender and secure lid.

3. Start machine at Variable 1 and quickly increase to Variable 10. Then, switch to high.

4. Blend for about 2 minutes or until desired consistency.

5. Strain using cheesecloth or nut milk bag (shown below) and/or add sweetener if desired.

After I strained the milk, I only had a tiny bit of nut pulp left. You could add this to a bread dough (e.g., banana bread). I added mine to my compost pile. (Click here for post on how to compost apartment-style.)

6. Store in the refrigerator or enjoy immediately! (I store mine in an “upcycled” glass peanut butter jar.)

Notes:

I used my toaster oven to toast the seeds, so it was pretty quick. Actually, the sesame seeds that I had were already labeled as “roasted”, but the recipe I used said that toasting seeds improves the slight bitter flavor of the “milk”, so I wasn’t taking any chances.

The recipe makes 2 cups, but the batch that I made in the pictures is only 1/2 of the recipe.

I made this using my Vitamix. I’m sure you could make it in a regular blender, but because it does require that you blend for about 2 minutes, I would be afraid that a regular blender couldn’t handle it. (It was when I tried to make things like this, that I burnt out several “regular” blenders and decided to get a Vitamix. Click here for more information on how to purchase a Vitamix (30-day money back guarantee–so if you don’t like it, you can always send it back–although I doubt you will). Using this link will provide free shipping (a $25 value).