Zucchini ‘pasta’

If you are or have been on Pinterest at some point, I’m sure that you have seen this. I was a little hesitant at first. Because… well its a vegetable. I don’t want to over power my food with another flavor. But, it is almost zucchini seson and they are getting cheap again, so I figured why not. There is already a mandolin in the kitchen. I grabbed a few zucchinis when we went grocery shopping and finally got around to trying it.
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I got out the mandolin, grabbed a zucchini out of the bag, rinsed it and trimmed the stem of. With a deep breath and a little hesitation (because I am really good at cutting myself), I set it on there and started slicing. A couple slices in, I stopped to check on it. It worked. YAY! [A very excited exclamation. Also, I am glad that I am basically home alone during the day because y’all would think I’m crazy]. This time, working a little faster, I sliced up the rest of the zucchini, breaking to move the pile of strands to a bowl to make room for more.

Once it was done, I got one of my always trusty cast iron pans nice and hot and added a little butter. Once the butter melted, I dumped the zucchini in with some minced garlic (btw, I had chopped some garlic before all the fun started) and sautéed away. I didn’t want it to be soft and soggy so I didn’t let it cook for too long. When it was done, I pit it back in the bowl and stared for a minute. Using any sauces didn’t seem like too good of an idea. After all, I was only trying to see how it would taste. Knowing that it has a really light flavor, it should be fine. But still. I finally picked up the fork and took a bite. *Happy dance*. It is so good!! Like, really good. There is no heaviness that you get from the starchy pasta. It was light and yummy and made me happy. Thankfully because I had just been fighting with my printer right before all this.
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I am really looking forward to trying this as spaghetti. And macaroni and cheese….
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This is kind of a before and after. The bowl of zucchini before it was cooked and how much it softened after.

You need to make this. Eat, indulge and be healthy!

So you think your water bottle is clean

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As reusable water bottles become more popular, people don’t think about cleaning them because it’s ‘just water’, right? Yah… not so much. just because you can’t see the stains that other liquids leave, doesn’t mean that germs and bacteria still don’t grow. Especially if you frequently leave your water bottle in warm places. The obvious answer is to clean it. But a lot of water bottles have narrow openings. Then what? Here is where your kitchen cabinets come in. You’ll need:

•A funnel
•Uncooked rice
•Baking soda
•A drop of dish soap
•Really hot water

Put the funnel into an empty water bottle. Add a heaping tablespoon (measuring, not silverware) of rice, a couple teaspoons of baking soda and a tiny bit of dish soap. Remove the funnel and fill with water. As hot as your faucet will get. Replace the lid and shake it like it owes you money. Or like a Polaroid picture. Your choice. If you have a sport top or a pop top, you will need to hold this closed. The heat causes the plastic and the air inside to expand and it will open up. Then you will have a mess. So, let’s just prevent that. The rice and baking soda scrub the inside of the bottle for you, while you shake. You also burn calories. Get to shakin’! Feel free to add in random work out moves or to start dancing. No one can see you. Don’t worry about it. Once your picture has developed or you have gotten your moneys worth, remove the lid and pour out. If you have one of the previously mentioned tops, squeeze through the top. Scrub the screw on part and any ridges with dish soap and baking soda on an old tooth brush. Rinse until it is all gone. When you think it’s clean fill half way with cold water and shake. If you have large bubbles that dissipate qiuickly, you have a fresh, clean water bottle and are ready to go. If you have a pile of little bubbles that don’t go away, then you still have a little soap left. Just rinse a little more.
Do this weekly if you only drink water out of your water bottle. More often if it is other things. Daily if you are sick. A dirty water bottle will keep germs around and keep you sick, longer.

Go clean your bottles and enjoy being healthy and saving money!

Cooking with vintage things

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Yes, it is a uni-tasker. No, I don’t like uni-taskers. But this thing is just cool. I have no clue what it is actually called but it is perfect for the job. What makes it even cooler is that I found it buried in some dirt. I was wandering around a relatives property, looking for some lichen on trees and see something shiny sticking out of the dirt. After a little digging, I pulled a much dirtier version of this out. The relative didn’t even know it was there of where it came from and told me to take it. Naturally, I brought it home. Because why would you leave something awesome that you just dug up? A bit of washing and it was clean, shiny and ready to retrieve eggs out of boiling water for me.

Moral of the story, great things are everywhere if you just look.

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Lemon shortbread cookies

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Shortbread cookies are always great. They are such a simple cookie, they go with everything and it is the perfect base recipe for anything that you want to add to it. I make these all the time. I have made a few different things with it. Peanut butter and jelly, honey and almond, walnut, ground chocolate chips in the dough… a few other things. I have been wanting to try adding lemon for awhile now. I used a giant one from a friends tree.

When I try something new, I make a full recipe of cookie dough. Then put half in another bowl and mix things in by hand. This will make about 12 sample cookies with my recipe. Which is perfect. If they come out really good, there’s more to eat. If they’re gross, you aren’t wasting much of anything.

I zested the whole thing and used juice from almost half of it. They are amazing!! They taste like happy and sunshine and are melt in your mouth wonderfulness. These were definitely a really good idea. You need to make some for yourself. Trust me on this one and just do it.

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Lemons, extracted (part 1)

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During one of my insomnia filled nights, I was browsing Pinterest, as I usually do when that happens. I scrolled across how to make your own extracts. I stared at the picture for a minute, convinced that it would be somewhat complicated, before I finally opened the link. Her pictures were far prettier than mine are. But she is lucky enough to have a window in her kitchen. I don’t. Yes, it sucks. All these pretty little jars with colorful things inside was instant ‘I need this’. After scrolling through and seeing just how easy it is to do, it was time to find something to make an extract out of.

Luckily, soon after that, a friend gave me a -ton- of lemons. Ok, more like an overflowing grocery bag. But these things are huge! I quickly grabbed one of these huge lemons, washed, dried and proceeded to zest. Out of all the things that I have in my kitchen, I don’t have a lemon zester. Can you believe that? I couldn’t. Anyway, I used a knife instead. That’s kind of a lot of work. Thinking back, a potato peeler probably would have been a better option. But it needed to be done! Lemon extract had to be made! After successfully zesting and not cutting myself, I put all the pieces in this vintage milk bottle and covered with some good quality vodka. I don’t have a lid for this, so a little folded square of plastic wrap had to be used in it’s place.

Now, comes the hard part. I have to wait 5-6 weeks!! That is a long time. I’ll let you know how it turns out whenever 5-6 weeks is finally up. It feels like forever.

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