Thursday, April 23, 2015

QUICK TIP: Turn Leftover Pickled Jalapeno Juice into a Tasty New Condiment

I make salsa a gallon at a time, so I typically need a full can of jalapeno peppers as one of the ingredients. A can of pickled jalapenos usually includes some carrots and onions, so I dice up all of these solids (in the Mexican aisle of the market this condiment is called escabeche). After removing the solids, there is quite a bit of juice left behind. I add a portion of this juice to the salsa because it adds some zip. And in an effort to be thrifty, I save the rest of the juice. I put it in a clean Mexican beer bottle (for effect) and use a shaker top that I removed off of an old vinegar bottle. 

The plastic shaker top fits into a standard beer bottle opening perfectly and it allows you to shake out just the amount you prefer. Use this jalapeno juice in place of a hot sauce. Having had the additional veggies in it, this juice is a bit more flavorful than just plain jalapeno juice. It adds a good zip to your dish.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DIY Repurpose Condiment Bottle Tops

Save the tops from all of your condiment bottles and discover the myriad ways you can re-purpose them. I keep a container of varying sized lids and squeeze bottle tops in a cabinet. Many of the tops are simple screw tops, but a few of them (like those on shaker salad dressing bottles) will need to be pried off. This kind typically can be just as easily popped back into the opening of the new bottle.

So where can you re-purpose these tops?

  • Barbecue sauce bottles typically have a wide, round opening that allow the sauce to pour out rather quickly. I suppose this is less of a problem in a household of adults, but around here over-pouring condiments are a regular issue. I replace our BBQ sauce lids with tops from squeezable bottles which allow the kids better portion control.

  • The plastic screw tops from mayonnaise jars fit nicely on small mason jars. Obviously, these tops won't work for canning, but they are great for storing and you never have to contend with an old rusty lid again.

How can you re-purpose a bottle top?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Feeding Fido Nutritious Whole Food: Making the Most Out of Chicken Legs

Most store bought pet foods are just as junky as the processed foods sold to humans. Read the ingredients. If the first ingredient is not meat, it's trash. Most list the first ingredient as corn meal. Also beware if the meat ingredient is something other than MEAT. Some key words to look for are animal digest (which is what was in the animal's stomach when it was slaughtered), meat byproducts (which can be organs and sinew) or bone meal (which increases the protein content of the food but provides little nutritional value to the food).

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Saving Money By Making Your Own Fermented Milk Kefir: part 1

This post contains affiliate links.
Have you ever tried kefir? It is like a thin yogurt. Sometimes twangy. Usually effervescent. Definitely good for you. I had heard and read about it before and then I bought a quart bottle from the store. Somewhere in the area of $3 for a quart. I liked it. My kids liked it. So the light bulb moment happened. How can I make this myself and save money on it because at $3 a quart, there is no way I can continue to buy this. I discovered that kefir is made from "grains". Not grains from a plant, but "grains" made up from a symbiotic relationship of over 20 bacteria, molds and yeasts. That may not sound appealing at first, but consider that many very enjoyable foods are made from naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts- like beer, wine, yogurt, bread and many others.