It happens to us all at some point: When we least expect it, our normally reliable toilet lets us down. A few flushes and a poke with the toilet brush often will be enough to get things moving again, but when that isn’t enough, here are some great suggestions to tackle the problem easily with … Continue reading 6 Ways to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger or a Plumber [Infographic]
For my latest article at Kitchen Stewardship, Kitchen Shortcuts for Busy Times, I needed photographs of at least one of the shortcuts, and the one I chose was cooking rice at the beginning of the week to use in three different meals. Naturally, I found myself doing this at a busy time...which got busier...so that … Continue reading Turnips Armored in Self-Defense
Are you good at following recipes but wish you had the knack for just throwing together a meal from ingredients you happen to have? The way I got started on developing that knack was to learn to make a basic sauce from scratch. Over at Kitchen Stewardship, I explain how to learn 4 sauces and … Continue reading 4 Easy Homemade Sauces for Instinctive Cooking
Photographs by Nicholas Efran This is a handy tip I learned as a Girl Scout that I still use in my home today. It's a great project for Girl Scouts (or any group of kids) as a follow-up to soap carving: kids can put their soap scraps in the Soap Saver and then add any … Continue reading Make a Soap Saver: neat, clean bar soap with no waste!
Autumn is here! Time for some nice baked squash! Unfortunately, this tasty side dish can really mess up your baking pan. Here's how my nice Corningware pan looked after my most recent batch of butternut squash. For some reason, this particular squash had an unusually large amount of sugary juice that oozed out the sides … Continue reading How to Clean a Blackened Baking Pan
When life gets hectic, it's tempting to quit spending time on food preparation and just live on junk from the convenience store. The trouble with that approach is that it deprives your body of nutrients and gives it extra fat and salt to process, at just the time when you most need your body to … Continue reading A Really Real-Life Meal Plan
I've written before about hosting church coffee hour. The people in my church are willing to eat packaged coffee-cakes and things of that ilk, but most of them prefer healthier snacks, and so do I--our coffee hour begins just before noon, so my stomach is ready for lunch, not just simple carbs! I try hard … Continue reading Coffee Hour at Midnight (how to host on short notice)
This is a guest post by Maria Ramos, who offered to share her research on these new technologies with my readers. I'm not a smartphone user myself and don't carry any other high-tech device routinely, which is one way to conserve energy...but if you're already carrying a device or you're considering getting one for other … Continue reading Technology to Help You Be Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly This Summer
A household products subscription is an arrangement by which a company mails you certain items--like soap, toilet paper, and laundry detergent--on a regular basis. A number of companies have started offering this service recently. Some of them only sell environmentally preferable products like plant-based detergents and recycled paper. Others offer these items among a wide … Continue reading Will a household products subscription help YOU save the earth?
Back in 2007, I wrote about the little tree Daniel and I, with the help of former housemate Bill, made for our first Christmas together, back in 1996. Made mostly of repurposed materials, this is a great alternative to cutting down a real tree or using a factory-made artificial tree. It's still going strong! I'm finally … Continue reading Our Green Christmas Tree (now with photos!)
...is a Sony Dream Machine with EZ Alarm, made around 1988. You do not want a recent Dream Machine as it is a completely different product. This is an excellent clock: My dad gave it to me for Christmas when I was 15. Its radio reception was far superior to my previous clock-radio; no more … Continue reading The Best Alarm Clock-Radio to Buy Used
I'm not using the term "pesco-vegetarian" in the title like I have for many of my other multi-week meal plans because I think "meatless" is the more common word people are searching for in Lent. My family eats no meat at home except occasional fish--which does not count as "meat" in many fasting plans, for … Continue reading Four Weeks of Mostly Meatless Dinners (February)
Katie at Kitchen Stewardship is asking everyone to share our top 3 kitchen time-savers this week! I work full-time outside the home, and although my partner Daniel has been doing more than half the cooking in the past few years, I do most of the planning, shopping, and preliminary preparations. He works from home and … Continue reading My Top 3 Kitchen Time-Saving Tips
This is a guest post by Ben Stallings (brother of ‘Becca) , who is a permaculture gardener, home energy efficiency auditor, and owner of a curbside recycling business in Kansas. I got an email a few days ago informing me that I'm in the top 5% of users of a service called Pocket -- I've used … Continue reading Pocket: A Handy Tool for Web Browsing
If you are a 40-year-old woman who has never had any symptoms of breast cancer, your doctor or your health insurance company probably will nudge you to get a "baseline mammogram" or "screening mammogram" done. This could detect any tumor that might be lurking, but most likely you won't have a tumor and this procedure … Continue reading Mammograms and Monthly Cycles: A Public Service Announcement
We love cheese! However, with only three of us in the family, a block of cheese in the refrigerator can get moldy before we finish eating it. We came up with a cheese storage method that reduces the risk of mold, but it wasn't good enough for those times when we have either a large … Continue reading Freezing Cheese
This is a project similar to our recipe binder, using reused materials to make something that does not look perfectly polished but is cheerful and works well for our household's specific needs. One difference is that this project started with a purchase of something specifically for the project: I bought this nylon thingy (specifically marketed … Continue reading My Coupon Organizer
This is a simple tip that I can see is familiar to a lot of the natives here in Pittsburgh, but it took me many years to catch on. I grew up in Oklahoma, where winter precipitation tends to involve freezing rain, so a lot of what you have to clear from your sidewalk is … Continue reading Shovel snow with a broom!
My grocery-shopping strategy attempts to maximize the quality of food we get for our money, and one key tactic is shopping at multiple stores. Since I have limited time and don't like to waste gasoline, I want to make sure that in each shopping trip I get all the things we need that are best-priced … Continue reading Multiple Shopping Lists: Key to Grocery-Shopping Sanity!
This is NOT a paid endorsement. This is my unsolicited review of a product I liked. This is an idea that's been around a while (both my mother and Daniel's say they had something like this when we were babies in the early 1970s) but I hardly ever see today's parents doing it or talking … Continue reading EASY Homemade Baby Food!