naturalmom2five's Profile

Display Name: naturalmom2five
Member Since: 7/8/10

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My sister used the ends of pretty wooden wine crates for her backsplash, and it looks great! She coated them with some matte polyurethane or something, so they just wipe right off. Since it's not a food surface, you don't have to be so careful about the stuff used to seal it.


Unusual Wooden Backsplashes
7/30/14 03:40 PM

In Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, waffles are not merely a sweet thing, coated with syrup or topped with strawberries and whipped cream. They form the substrate for many a meat-studded gravy or stew, and they make frequent appearances at the supper table. Keeping this in mind, I have made waffles with grated zucchini and carrots, and they're delicious -- especially if the waffle batter has some hearty cornmeal in it. Try it with some beef stew ladled on top.


Quick Recipe: Healthier Zucchini and Carrot Fritters
7/12/14 10:17 AM

Did anyone make this? How was it? Does the zucchini achieve doneness in 15 minutes?


Recipe: Eight-Ball Zucchini With Eggs Baked Inside Recipes from The Kitchn
7/12/14 10:10 AM

Also -- my pressure cooker is currently the SUPER STAR of my kitchen.


What's the Weirdest Kitchen Tool You've Ever Fallen in Love With? Reader Intelligence Request
7/11/14 01:52 AM

I have a pair of exfoliating gloves in my kitchen tools drawer. I use them ONLY for scrubbing vegetables. They work much faster and better than a brush. When I'm done scrubbing, I just wash my gloved hands with soap and water and hang them up to dry for next time.


What's the Weirdest Kitchen Tool You've Ever Fallen in Love With? Reader Intelligence Request
7/11/14 01:52 AM

I love this post for its many plagiarize-able ideas. Plus, I have had a gallon can of cobalt blue paint sitting in my powder room, waiting for me to have enough time an courage to get it on the walls. Thanks for the little preview of how sharp the blue and white combo can look.


Kitchen Before & After: A White Rental Kitchen Gets a Bold Color Kitchen Remodel
7/2/14 12:27 PM

I am going to try browning the chicken in Ghee! It tastes buttery, since it is made from butter, but has a high smoke point.


Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk Is Probably the Best Chicken Recipe of All Time Recipe Review
4/21/14 12:39 AM

It tastes just like Rapadura/Sucanat, but uses the sap of the coconut tree, which should be going to nourish actual coconuts. The coconut sugar is not healthier than unrefined cane sugar, but it is more expensive, and it takes away from the coconuts. I love coconut milk, coconut flour (made from the flesh of the coconuts), coconut cream, & coconuts. I think we should not provide a market for coconut sugar. https://www.tropicaltraditions.com/coconut_palm_sugar.htm


5 Delightful Ways to Use Coconut Sugar
3/27/14 07:01 PM

Love the move to glass! Now, it's time for Pyrex, Anchor Hocking, etc. to move back to Borosilicate -- or someone else to do that and make it widely available again. Enough with this exploding Pyrex!


5 Trends We Spotted at the 2014 Home + Housewares Show International Home + Housewares Show 2014
3/26/14 11:30 AM

GREAT idea! One could jot down recipes, write little inspirational messages, ie. "I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer . . . ", draw little signs pointing to what various dishes are, when one serves buffet-style, etc.
FYI, they make chalkboard CONTACT PAPER! I have used it on my refrigerator, and am ready to also put it on my dishwasher. I love it! My kids love it, too. It would be way more impervious to splatters, than paint, even, I would bet, because it's plastic. The beauty of it is, you can peel it right off! I think I am about to order some more. It's about $7 a roll.


Backsplash Before & After: A Drab Rental Kitchen Gets a Little Style Reader Kitchen Makeover
3/10/14 01:10 PM

I plagiarized this idea from Houzz: I covered my lame old stainless steel fridge and freezer doors on my French-door fridge with chalkboard contact paper.
The freezer door is for drawing for the kids. On the lefthand fridge door, I keep a running tally of groceries we need. Anyone may add to the list. On the righthand side, I have a list of leftovers and the date we put them in, as well as what food is in there -- to eliminate open-door browsing. It also helps to not forget about stuff shoved to the back.
Also, I keep most of the dishes and such in the lower cabinet drawers, so the kids can unload the dishwasher. When we redid our kitchen, I made it so that anything that could be stored vertically, was. I HATE having to rummage under stuff. Just pulling it out like a file is the best!


What's Your Genius Kitchen Organizing Tip? Tell Us What Makes You Proud! Reader Intelligence Request
2/27/14 12:48 PM

@ShabbyDiva -- Try this trick for peeling your garlic -- Go outside and get a nice smooth river rock that fits your hand comfortably. Wash it thoroughly; boil it, if you feel the need to sterilize it. Keep it in your drawer. Whenever you need to peel your garlic, just press it gently under the garlic rock. The peel will crack and you can just pull it off by the pointy party.
Next tip is to get yourself a good garlic press. Kuhn Rikon makes a great one. Oxo makes a good one. You don't even have to peel the clove, or deal with the stickiness.

My favorite convenience splurge is Trader Joe's Carnitas. It's already cooked. We sometimes have "homemade" Chipotle night, where we use the Carnitas, TJ's Chimmichurri rice, a can of refried beans, and "homemade" salsa (tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime + one jar of TJ's organic tomatillo salsa -- makes it taste just like Mexican restaurant salsa), and whatever other Mexican stuff I can scrounge. This is to be distinguished from Taco Tuesday. Any occasion for Mexican food, around here.


What's Your Favorite Convenience Food from the Grocery Store?
2/26/14 09:53 AM

I have a question. What is the distance between the bottom/canopy, and the next bed surface? In other words, if the bed is in loft-mode, what is the height of the surface upon which the mattress sits? Also, what is the height of the surface upon which the bed sits, in canopy-mode?

I'm trying to decide whether to get a Kura or hack an Ikea Mydal bunk bed frame, so it will function like a Kura. I have the Mydal bunk beds already.


10 Ways to Customize the Kura Loft Bed
2/14/14 01:19 PM

What a great idea! I am brimming with "Oooh, you could also . . ." thoughts. For instance, one could put shelves, surrounding all sides of the bed, effectively building out three of the "walls" of the bed, and have little alcoves for each of the children, where they could put their stuff, play, etc.and still decorate the exterior of the bed.


Olivia & Emma's Customized IKEA Castle Bed
2/14/14 07:08 AM

Ghee, which is butter oil, that has had all of the milk solids and water removed by boiling for a long time, is shelf stable and great for high-heat cooking. I love it for popping corn, and for frying chicken! Commence drooling.


Can You Make Stovetop Popcorn With Water Instead of Oil? Putting Tips to the Test in The Kitchn
2/14/14 05:47 AM

Thank you so much! I inherited a beautiful, beehive-shaped blender from my great-aunt, and the glass cracked. I put it aside, hoping to find a replacement on E-bay. Now, I can fire it up again!


The Mason Jar Blender Trick: Do You Know About This?
1/14/14 09:36 PM

Instead of using any kind of sweetener in salad dressings, my husband and I have found that adding fruit to salads gives you the sweet taste you want, plus the fiber and micronutrients you need. The fiber offsets the sugar naturally present in the fruit. You can't get that fiber if your puree your fruit or veggies into juices, etc. Fruit, in juice form, might as well be soda, for all the good/bad it's doing you.
We toss pomegranate seeds into our salad, blueberries, chopped up tangerines, figs, etc. Our salad dressing of choice is usually a variation of oil and vinegar, depending on what type of salad. If it's a Mediterranean type salad, we might do olive oil and lemon juice or red wine vinegar, with some herbs. If it's an Asian salad, we might do sesame oil, lime juice, possibly peanut butter, ginger, and miso. My real-quick all-purpose salad dressing is olive oil with red wine vinegar, and Costco's Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning blend. It is similar in flavor to Good Seasons Italian dressing, without the sugar and thickeners.
You are right to avoid sweet in salad dressings. Honey, though it has minerals, is extremely high in fructose. Even Balsamic Vinegar has fructose, which is actually worse for you than the sucrose, the form of sugar in cane sugar. Check out the work of Robert Lustig, a doctor who works with obese children, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM


Ideas for Salad Dressings Without Added Sugar? Good Questions
1/13/14 11:17 AM

One more thing, there should be tissues for nose blowing, extra rolls of toilet paper within reach of the toilet. Also, if possible, a cabinet should some tampons and/or pads for female guests caught short. I don't use them anymore since I found the Diva cup, but I keep them on hand, easily found, to be considerate.
I don't wear perfume, but if I did, I wouldn't keep it in the bathroom, because a friend told me she always uses the perfume she finds in the medicine cabinet. I figure other people do that, too.


Strong Feelings about Bathroom Decor
7/21/13 10:39 AM

The most considerate bathroom solution I have ever seen was in a Bed and Breakfast on Maryland's Eastern Shore, The Robert Morris Inn. They had a basket of rolled up wash cloths on the counter, with a little wicker hamper on the floor right next to it. The lovely convenience of a cloth hand towel, but no wiping hands on a damp hand towel someone else has used. Of course, there should always be a trashcan with a lid, preferably with a step-opening.
My bathroom pet peeves:
1) Hand towels adorned with satin, embroidery, or other non-absorbent decoration. Damp hand towels.
2) Antibacterial hand soap -- if you don't already know, this evil stuff causes many health problems, not the least of which is the proliferation of potentially deadly anti-biotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA.
3) Hand soap that leaves my hands smelling like Lavender Vanilla or Peach Mint or whatever other perfume. Please, please, please, make some unscented soap at least available for those of us who hate scents. Usually, whether those soaps smell good is entirely subjective. My sisters-in-law and I had a tipsy session of truth-telling one night, consisting of "I hate the smell of your bathroom hand soap." Some people are allergic to the artificial fragrances, and even "normal" people's endocrine systems are adversely affected by them. Also, usually those liquid soaps dry out one's hands. Have mercy. My sister has a soap pump for those who like those, and a bar of Ivory for the scent-eschewers. I use those foaming pumps, that I refill with 1/5 Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap, the rest of the way water, and shake it up. It kills germs (Castille soap), lathers nicely, and doesn't dry out your hands -- best -- no SMELL! If there's a bug going around, I might put a couple of drops of some anti-viral essential oil in it, but not enough to make a cloud of stink around your hands.
4) Lack of soap, hand towels. There should also be a trash can, with a lid!
5) EVERYONE should put the lid DOWN, habitually, after EVERY use, BEFORE every flush.
6) Bathroom rugs that can't be washed are gross.
7) Bathmats should be terry cloth, draped on the side of the toilet, or hung on a bar inside the tub or shower, where guests won't accidentally mistake it for a hand towel.
8) Every bathroom should have a candle, or a deodorizing spray made with natural essential oils (not artificial fragrances), or at least a box of matches available, for getting rid of the odors that can occur there.
9) I agree that bathrooms ought to have windows, if at all possible. Someday, I hope to get some solartubes to provide natural daylight to my bathrooms that don't have exterior walls.


Strong Feelings about Bathroom Decor
7/21/13 10:36 AM

You know, brushed and satin nickel are SO PLAYED! Nothing will scream "early 2000's" like these finishes. I roll my eyes whenever I see someone putting it in a new kitchen or bathroom. Oil-rubbed bronze is only slightly less lame and played. It is as "old-fashioned" as those "antiqued brass" finishes of the 1980's. On the other hand, polished nickel is gorgeous and its sheen and color evoke sterling silver. Polished copper is also lovely, as long as it isn't too fakely glossy looking. I look forward to these gleaming finishes becoming mainstream enough to be able to purchase it at big box store prices. Brass is a classic, and if used right, can be very attractive, as is evident in many photos featured on this Apartment Therapy website. Any metal finish, if used stupidly, will look stupid and dated.


Gold and Brass Fixtures and Faucets: Promising or Passe?
1/14/13 10:03 PM