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Spring Thing Pasta

Adapted from Forks over Knives Plan, my words, notations, and variation.

1 lb whole-grain pasta (I didn't have any, so this is regular farfalle pictured)
1 bunch green onion, sliced (white and light green only)
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt
shallot pepper (or regular black pepper)
2 c. peas
1 c. vegetable broth
2 t. lemon zest (I use dried from Penzy)
2 t. lemon juice
1/3 c. chopped fresh chives
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 c. chopped fresh tarragon
(herb mixture is variable - use your own fresh favorites)
1/4 c. pine nuts (toasted almond slivers are a good substitute, if you can't find reasonably priced pine nuts)

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in a few tablespoons of water for 2 minutes, adding more water a tablespoon at a time, as needed.
3. Add asparagus and garlic. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Cook 3 minutes. Add more water as needed.
4. Stir in peas and co…
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Little Things Day 5 - Awesome Tub Cleaner

This weekend, I experimented with a new tub cleaner and I cannot be more impressed. My husband works in manufacturing and he comes home dirty and greasy every night. The bottom of my tub turns nasty gray and that stuff seems to take a chisel to remove. Not anymore.

Awesome Tub Cleaner

Supplies needed:

Measuring cup
Spray Bottle
Microwave

Ingredients:

1/2 c Dawn Dish Soap
1/2 c White Vinegar

Directions:

Heat vinegar in microwave for 90 seconds.
Pour vinegar into spray bottle.
Add dish soap and close bottle
Swish gently to mix.
Spray on tub (and tub walls if desired)
Let sit for 2 hours.
Wipe down tub (and walls).
Rinse.
Admire your shiny tub.

Notes:

I didn't have to scrub the tub but I did have to wipe firmly over the area. It came completely clean with little work. Vast improvement.

The wait time is important. Don't skimp.

Don't breathe while pouring warm vinegar into bottle. It won't hurt you but the smell is sinus clearing.

This is not good at whitening stained caulking…

Little Things Day 4 - Making Your Own Foaming Soap

Today's post is about making hand soap last three times longer and saving money. I'm not advocating not washing your hands. Ew. No, I'm suggesting doing things differently.

I like foaming soap. I don't know about you, but I've noticed it costs more. The refill bottle runs about a dollar more than the regular soap. In the scheme of things, that's not a lot. But what if I told you it's possible to make the regular soap last three times as long as the foaming soap, because you can make your own foaming soap? You can. It's a savings of at least $11 dollars, too. I can think of ways to spend 11 bucks (cough *more books* cough). So here's how (you're not going to believe how easy this is):


Supplies Needed:

Empty foaming soap dispenser
Measuring cup with a spout

Ingredients:

Water
Liquid hand soap

Directions:

1. Rinse dispenser to get rid of any residual soap.

2. Pour 2/3 c water into the soap dispenser. Add 1/3 c of the liquid soap.

3. Secure the pump on…

Lotion Bars

If you don't know what lotion bars are, have I got something for you! Until recently, I had no idea what they were. Then I went to a local artisan's market. One of the vendors was selling these and I picked one up to try. I loved it! I did not love the price. I decided this was probably something else, I could just make. And viola! Lotion bars!

So what are they? They're lotion but less goopy. You rub them on your hands, feet or rough patches of skin, and they melt with your body temperature and moisturize your body.



Supplies you will need:

2-cup or larger glass measuring cup
1/2 c measuring cup
Metal spoon or a wood stirrer
Silicon mold

Ingredients:

1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c pure shea butter
1/2 c beeswax pellets
2 vitamin E gel caps (optional)
30-40 drops essential oil (optional)

Directions:

1. Place oil, shea butter and beeswax in the large measuring cup. Microwave then stir in 20-second intervals until the contents are fully liquid. This takes about 3 minutes, but don't…

Little Things Day 3 - Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade laundry soap? Get out of town! Yep. And even better, it lasts a year and doesn't take up as much space as one might think.

First off, let me admit, you may find "little things" a bad title for making your own laundry soap. It's a bit of a project, but it's not something impossible so don't mark it down as something you can't do. You can. It's pretty easy.

Second, why would I do this? Well, as of late, I'm working to have more control over the products I use. I went vegetarian for entirely environmental reasons. The health benefits are great, but it's important to me that the lives of my family make less of a footprint.

Enter this soap. It is not filled with all-natural ingredients, but that's a concession I'm making as I step away from commercial soap. With this product, you use less than a commercial powder and it works wonderfully. Except for the Oxi-clean containers and the optional scent crystals canisters, all the packag…

Brynn's Disappearing Peanut Butter Cookie

I'll admit it. I didn't used to like peanut butter cookie. I thought they were too dry. My husband loves them though. So I tweaked and played then...oh then...along came these. They are so good, they will be gone before you can--oh! already gone!

Brynn's Disappearing Peanut Butter Cookie

1/2 c butter (I use real butter but you can use margarine)
1/2 c peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 c white granulated sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/4 c flour
about a 1/2 c sugar

Note: I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer. If you don't have one, you can definitely make these without.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together butter and peanut butter. Mix in sugars, egg and vanilla.
The directions always say to sift together the flour, baking soda and salt but I just add them one at a time to the mixer (salt, baking soda then flour).
Once everything is well mixed, form dough into small walnut-size balls then roll in the 1/2 c sugar. P…

Little Things - Day 2

Okay...I'm back with little things day 2. Today, I've been thinking about weeds, specifically those weeds that grow in the cracks in the sidewalks and patio. Last year, I used a commercial weed killer, but I felt really squidgy about it. More and more, I'm leaning toward far more natural and less dangerous methods. I don't want to do anything that could track inside and hurt my family or my dog.

So...what to do? What to do?

A weed killer that's not dangerous right? Maybe one that's cheap and easy to make at home?

Here you go:

Handy-dandy Sidewalk Weed Killer

2 cups white vinegar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon liquid soap
1 spray bottle

All you do is combine everything in the bottle then spray the heck out of those weeds. Be very careful not to get it on your yard. It will kill your grass and keep things from growing back for awhile.

Enjoy making your house into your happy place!

~~Brynn