Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How to Make Zucchini Chips

These are my zucchini plants - I planted four this year. I am now starting to get zucchinis that I've been patiently waiting for.


One of the things I've decided to make is zucchini chips. I've never tried them before and have several recipes in my Pinterest. I decided to use this beauty - over 15" long.


The trick to making chips of any kind is the size and cutting it. I used my Benriner - worked great. 


This is the thickness I was going for - about 1/8".


I managed to get three trays cut.


To start, I tried this recipe, but not exactly - I was just going to follow her baking time and temperature, but it didn't work out. I didn't bread my zucchini - I just put some granulated garlic and onion in a small bowl with salt and pepper and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). I brushed all the zucchini on both sides and put it in that really hot oven. Within eight minutes, some of the chips were charring and my oven was smoking - not good. I guess my zucchini was too naked (no coating).


I took off what was charred and lowered the temp to about 225 and put the trays back in the oven for another hours. It came out a darker color and the center was really thin - these were delicate and would break easy. Flavor is really good, almost nutty.
These were about gone after the third day they were baked - they are that good.


I tried again yesterday. This time I sliced it about 1/4" thick - enough for two trays. I preheated my oven to 225. I mixed 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of onion and garlic granules mixed together, and a few grinds of black pepper. I coated all that in some EVOO and brushed it on each zucchini. I ended up running out of EVOO, so I just dunked my brush in the mix and brushed on what was on the brush.
I put the pans in the not so hot oven and baked it for a total of two and a half hours. I kept checking after the first hour and baked it at 30 minute intervals - two and a half hours did the trick, longer than I thought, but that's what it needed.


Finished chip. Still on the dark side, but it's crisp and really good.



This is how thick/thin they came out.



I had some of the coating left over in the bowl, but that didn't go to waste - I put it in some soup I made for dinner.


So, if you have a huge zucchini, and you know you're going to be home most of the day, plan to make some zucchini chips - they are seriously good. These are great crushed up and used as a topping for popcorn - crushed kale chips are yummy too.

Thanks for reading!


I always welcome friendly critiques and comments or questions. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Please feel free to leave a message here or email if you prefer. If you leave a message here, please be sure that your email address is sited so you can receive my response. Thanks!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Water Bottle Holder with a Shorter Strap

This is my new water bottle holder design. The concept is not new - I've made these a lot! It's just the strap that's new. I've been making these for years now.


Here's an earlier design:


Here is a more modern design:


I even designed one with a pocket:


Here's one for a 1 liter bottle (currently for sale at my Etsy shop):


I digress - back to the new one. I designed this one to have shorter and articulated strap so you can drink with ease and not have the strap get in the way.


It's quilted on the inside (like the others), and there is Insul Brite in between the lining and the main fabric to keep your beverage cool.


Rounded bottom, 


and side seam:


I'm all about detail too. I first put the button on with green embroidery floss - didn't like it, too much green.


I ripped it out and attached it with pink embroidery floss - much better, and the knot shows.


Action shot!


I designed this new one because there are many times that I need my water bottle, but just carrying  it by the little hole in the cap wasn't cutting it, plus I don't always need the long straps. This one is compact and ready to go. I really love the articulated strap, it will make carrying water so much easier.

I have custom made these to customers request worldwide - yes, a couple of my holders are even in other countries!

Read more about keeping hydrated and about my water bottle holders. With summer still in full swing, I hope you all are keeping hydrated!  

Thanks for reading . . . and stay thirsty my friends!!

I always welcome friendly critiques and comments or questions. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Please feel free to leave a message here or email if you prefer. If you leave a message here, please be sure that your email address is sited so you can receive my response. Thanks!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Herbal Salves


Last Friday, I sliced my finger while cutting a mushroom - I know, a mushroom? Well, if you know me, you know that I hate cuts on my fingers and I cut often. After getting the bleeding to stop, I put on a little bit of my comfrey salve and bandaided it. I had a bandaid, and salve, on till Sunday (changing it, of course) - and by Sunday, the physical cut was still there, but the sensitive pain was gone. I have gone without a bandaid and salve since. 

I make all kinds of salves, this comfrey one, lavender, and calendula. I also make blends.

My most popular is my Healing Salve = has comfrey, slippery elm, calendula, and turmeric. Great for cuts, minor skin irritations - can be used on private body parts.

I have a Baby's salve = has calendula and slippery elm - both safe for babies babies skin (cradle cap, diaper rash, etc.).  This is really good for eczema, rashes, itchy skin and those with sensitive skin.

I can turn any of my salves into lotions too.

The cost of my salves are = $9 for single herbs, and $11 for any of the blends. I use organic extra virgin olive oil for infusing.

I wrote about my salves last year and you can read more about them here. You can see some of my salves at my Etsy shop. If there is something you would like that is not in my shop, please message me - either through my Etsy shop or here and we will talk.

Thanks for reading!



I always welcome friendly critiques and comments or questions. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Please feel free to leave a message here or email if you prefer. If you leave a message here, please be sure that your email address is sited so you can receive my response. Thanks!!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Sharing to Groups on Facebook

If you're on Facebook a lot, I'm sure you belong to at least one group. Well, did you know that you can share stuff to that group? It's fun to share things that your other friends on that group would like to read. 

There are two ways to do it. I think we've all done this method. You go to the page you want to share, highlight the address bar, right click, select copy. Then you open your destination page, right click where you want the address, and paste it. Did you know that there is another way? I recently learned how to this, and will show how. The yellow arrows below shows you what you should see.

First, you click on the Share button as if you would normally share. You will see 3 options - choose the middle one "Share . . ."


Click on "On your own Timeline"


Next, click on "In a group".


Now, type the name of your group where it says "Group name" - just type over those words. You have to type in the exact name of your group - once you do this often enough, just clicking on the first letter will bring up a list, then you can select your group.


Right under that, you can comment as normal, if you like, then you click on "Share Link" or "Share Photo" at the bottom.


You should see the Success bar when done.


If you should forget to select your group and start typing your comment, you will see the "No Recipient" message. No biggie, just go back and cut and copy your comment to the right spot, then type in your group name. If you start typing your group, before cutting your comment, you will have to start all over again with your comments. This can be frustrating, especially if you wrote a long comment. Trust me, I have done it more times than I'd like to.


That's it - it's really not hard at all. This seems like a lot of steps, but it's not. It may be confusing in the beginning, but just refer to my instructions and you'll get it. This is so handy if you share all the time, like I do. Practice, once you get the hang of it, it'll be second nature to you. I often share things twice - once to my group and again on my page. I love to share, as it spreads the knowledge and interest to my friends. Any problems, ask me and I'll be glad to help you.

Thanks for reading and I'll be looking forward to seeing your shares!


I always welcome friendly critiques and comments or questions. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Please feel free to leave a message here or email if you prefer. If you leave a message here, please be sure that your email address is sited so you can receive my response. Thanks!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

DIY Mason Jar Sippy Cup Lid

This is my favorite cup I drink out of - a simple Tupperware cup.


Lately, I don't know if I'm being clumsy or that I put my cup in an awkward place, but I've been knocking it over when I'm sitting and watch TV. My cup is right next to me on an end table, and I reach for stuff, then blam! I have a big, watery mess. It's only water, but whatever is on that table gets wet - so annoying.

Last night I spilled my water again! After cleaning it up and getting more water, Jim asked me if he should buy me a sippy cup and we both started laughing. Well that got me thinking.

I've seen people use mason jars as drinking vessels and I've been thinking of trying it. They use sippy covers like this or this. Upon researching, I also see that people are using actual sippy cups from toddlers cups to make covers like this. Here's a great how to from a different kind of sippy cup lid.

So I went to the store to see what they had, and I did find sippy cups with lids, but they were all packaged up in multiples of more than one - there was no was to check for sizing unless the package was opened. I had to come up with another strategy and was thinking, "What is the purpose of a sippy cup lid?" The main answer is to make it easier to drink out of without spilling. This is for me, I didn't need it to look fancy, it just needs to function like I want. I then thought of taking a regular plastic mason jar lid, drilling a hole (or two), and trying that. 

So I experimented . . .

All I used was a white plastic mason jar lid and a drill press. You can use a drill, but a drill press is very handy in this case, because you can drill hands free (more details below).

I took my lid, turned it upside down and drilled a smallish hole just past the lines on the inside of the lid. It's important to turn it upside down or you may drill a hole to close to the edge and it won't work.



After getting the hole right where I wanted it, I turned the lid right side up and started drilling again. This time, I elongated the hole by moving the cover back and forth. I even drilled a couple more over lapping holes until I felt I got the right size - I wanted a small oblong hole. I actually left the press in its stationary position and moved the cover all around the hole - like I was tracing the hole.If using an actual drill, use control and go slow.



Here's my finished lid. I did have bits of plastic that stuck out from the top and bottom of the lid, so I took my exacto knife and scraped it smooth (a sand paper would've scratched and made the cover look unsightly). I did get some scratches, but it's ok, this is for me. Also, the hole is skewed - if I do this again, I will probably mark exactly where I want to drill the holes so it will not look crooked.



Here's the lid on my jar.


Now came the real test. I wanted to see how much water would come out if it was turned upside down. Watch below as I experimented:
video


I think it came out great, don't you think?

Thanks for reading!


I always welcome friendly critiques and comments or questions. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Please feel free to leave a message here or email if you prefer. If you leave a message here, please be sure that your email address is sited so you can receive my response. Thanks!