Pumpkin Bread For Warm Fuzzies

These are the kinds of days when I need need need to surround myself with Warm Fuzzies.  Heating pad.  Cup of tea or coffee.  Nice slumpy afghan, or maybe the fleecy innerds of my bed. 

This morning I’m sporting my bushy sky blue bathrobe, a heavy nordic hat, and a pair of bright red pom pom slippers. Oh, take my picture now.  I’m ready for my photoshoot!

Some days REQUIRE pumpkin bread or its cousin, chocolate chip bread.  Today I’ll share the pumpkin recipe with you, since I just devoured it for the last 48 hours. 

My Sweet Babboo doesn’t like pumpkin.  So I have to be honest and admit that I ate almost the ENTIRE loaf myself.  Riley-boy helped.  A little. 

He certainly helped to make the bread, dumping ingredients into the mixing bowl and mashing play-dough with an old beater.  Quinn was a good helper too, reading and bouncing and making all sorts of noise.

What a couple of cuties, eh?

Chilly days like these, I am sorely tempted to buzz off to a coffee shop and buy a $4 drink and an expensive, heart-stoppingly buttery scone.  But why?  Can’t I make it fresh at home?  Is it really worth the price tag for going out in the weather I’m trying to conquer? 

Homemade bread helped.  I got all warm and fuzzy inside when I slathered my warm slice with butter – and especially when I shared it with my little boy (the one who has teeth).

Pumpkin Bread

(This recipe comes from “Healthy Meals For Less,” by Jonni McCoy.  One slice of Pumpkin Bread costs 9 cents.)

What’s In It

15 oz. can of pumpkin

1/4 C. maple syrup

1 egg

2 TBS oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

1/3 C. raisins or chocolate chips if you like (I used…guesses?… CHOCOLATE)

How To Make It

Place pumpkin, syrup, egg, oil, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and mix to blend.  Don’t over mix.

In a separate mixing bowl, blend together the rest of the ingredietns. 

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and mix until blended.  Add raisins or chocolate chips.

Pour into a gread 9×4 loaf pan. 

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center.  Mine was gooey.  It was divine.

Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.  Then remove the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack.  Slice and serve.

Mouth-Stuffing

And now you may pamper yourself any way you like, served up warm with pumpkin bread on the side.

Enjoy!

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/pumpkin-bread/

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Irresistible Cheese Sticks

This chilly weather has inspired a new blogging place: in bed, next to the crackling heater, under our bright red comforter (what other color would it be, I ask you?).

Here in comforter-land I’ve been pondering…  What are some healthy but slightly indulgent snacks that I can have on hand for our hungry bellies? 

I get so grabby around 2, 2:30, 3, 3:01pm…  That’s about the same time that my Sweet Babboo comes through the door on an early day, tummy rumbling.

There’s got to be something better for us than cookies – and my wretchedly slow digestion of late agrees with that sentiment.  Something I can just grab and toss down but not “pay for” later.

Enter Cheeeeeeeeeeese Sticks.  Oh so yummy.  Oh so easy.  Oh.  Riley is in love with these.  His first toddler crush.  *sniff*

Before you begin, gather your cheering section…

Hoo.  Ray.

…and your Helping Hands.

Irresistible Cheese Sticks

(Credit for this recipe goes to More With Less, as does credit for many of my recipes.  It’s just GOOD STUFF.  If you don’t have the cookbook, get it!!!  It will quietly revolutionize your eating, working positive changes in your budget and your body.)

Ingredients

1 C. grated sharp cheese (I used what I had: a mix of mexi-cheese and mozzarella)

1/2 tsp salt and a dash of pepper

1 1/4 C. flour

1/3 C. margarine (I’m sure butter is fine)

3 TBS milk

sesame seeds (or topping of your choice)

Method

Preheat the oven to 375.  Combine the cheese, salt, pepper, and flour.  Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender.  Sprinkle the dough with the milk.  Toss with a fork and form it into a ball.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it 1/8″ thick.  Sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.  Run the rolling pin over it again.  Prick the dough with a fork all over.  Cut into 1/2″ sticks, 2″ squares and then triangles, etc. 

If there are some oddly shaped edges, you may have to suffer through and eat them now.

Poor you. 

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes, or until golden.

(Note: The process I just described will become second nature if you start making your own crackers.  Make a dough, roll it out.  Top it, roll it.  Prick it, cut it.  Bake and eat.  Oh yeah – cool them, if you have the self control.)

Results

Prepare your tastebuds for a trip to Disneyland.  Cheese sticks are so tangy and tasty… 

Serve them with an apple for a snack, on top of chili, with burgers, in place of bread at a fancy meal (you’ll get some eyebrows up, but what’s not to love about that?) – enjoy!  🙂

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/irresistable-cheese-sticks/

Maple Syrup Muffins

When I was a blushing bride, my family and friends contributed their favorite recipes to help me begin a collection.  Thank you, Mom, for surprising me and putting together such a special gift! 

This recipe is from my grandmother’s collection, so I treasure it and think of her when I make these muffins. 

Maple Syrup Muffins

Ingredients

1/4 C. margarine

1/2 C. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 1/4 C. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 C. oats

1/2 C. milk

1/2 C. maple syrup

Method

Soften the margarine if needed; blend in the sugar and salt. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, and oats, and add it to the first mixture.

Combine the milk and maple syrup, and add it to the mix.  Stir only to moisten.  Fill muffin tins.  Makes 6 large or 12 regular-sized muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.  Cool on a rack.  Eat.  Yum.

Results

These are sweet, moist, and satisfying, and very easy to make.  My sweet tooth is satiated without my thighs getting larger.  Hope you enjoy them!

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/maple-syrup-muffins/

Decadent By Design

I love food.  Unabashedly, I state the truth.

People talk about evolving, about slowly becoming what we are versus what we were…  But why do I have taste buds?  Why do chocolate chips make me swoon?  Why does this photo make me want a tall glass of milk NOW?

I believe life is decadent by design.  Some may call that “hogwash.”  But how come I just typed “hog” and now I have the mysterious urge to wolf down a BLT?

Power of association, pure and simple?  I don’t think so.  I could be digesting sunlight like plants do; but I’m not.  I could be tearing apart raw fish – wait – some people do that voluntarily.  Raw antelope.  That’s better…  But I’m not. 

Believe what you will…  I give props to the Maker of Taste Buds.

Better-Than-Starbucks Scones

I’d already consumed a full pot of tea yesterday when these scones came out of the oven.  Still, a fresh pot of coffee HAD to be brewed to go along with these treasures. 

I’ve never had the reportedly delicious Christmas scones at Starbucks; but after tasting these, I don’t really care if ever do. 

That’s half a scone.  The other half was in my mouth when I took the picture.

Thank you to Kimberly, my awesome sister, who found this recipe at http://www.sustainableeats.com/2009/12/09/better-than-starbucks-pumpkin-scones/ and passed it on to me.

I cannot get away with making pumpkin anything in our house.  But I’ve been told that these do not taste like pumpkin.  I don’t have any pumpkin goods in the pantry, so I used applesauce.  I cannot get away with applesauce much either, and it didn’t make these taste appley.  Sold!

The first ingredient is whole wheat flour.  Chalk?  Cardboard?  Chewing on a shoe?  Not at all!  Without it, these scones would actually be boring and tasteless.  I don’t plan on ever trying it out with white flour. 

I was also concerned that they’d be too “spice-y” for my Sweet Babboo, who is not a spice guy.  The flavor blend in these bad boys is so subtle, you’ve GOT to try it.  Toss in a handful of dried fruit or chocolate chips to make them your own.

Ingredients

2 c. whole wheat flour

5 T. sugar 

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ginger (I used 1/16-1/8 tsp)

6 T. cold butter

1/2 c. pumpkin puree (I used 1/2 C. applesauce)

3 T. cream (I used half-and-half)

1 egg

 Glaze: 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 1/2 T (or more) milk

 Method

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Put parchment paper on baking sheet.  Combine dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Stir in chocolate chips or other additions.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in another bowl.  Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Do not over mix. Put dough onto baking sheet and form into large (but not too flat) circle.  Cut into 6 wedges and separate them.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool, glaze, enjoy!

Result

As Riley says, “nummynummynummynummynummynummynummynummy!”

I’m surprised any of these were left to photograph.  Hope you like them too!

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/better-than-starbucks-scones/

Make Your Own Wheat Thins

Oatmeal cream pies.  Cheez-its.  Triscuits.  Wheat Thins.  Yodels.  Ring-dings.

I have a slight weakness for things I should not be buying at the store.  Or at all.

Not that Wheat Thins are all that bad for you, especially in comparison with the streusel coffee cakes I can’t help drooling on.  But there’s nothing like passing on a mouthful of preservatives and instead making a good ol’ favorite in the good ol’ home oven.

During this busy Christmas season, I thought I’d share a recipe for a very fast snack in the middle of the noise.  If you decide to make Wheat Thins as a gift or a party treat, make sure you give/serve them right away.  They don’t stay fresh as long as store-bought crackers. 

This hasn’t mattered in our house, since they don’t stay in existence outside our tummies very long.  Yum.

(Note: This is another outstanding recipe from the Mennonite cookbook “More With Less.”)

Wheat Thins

Ingredients

whole wheat flour = 2 C.

wheat germ = 2 TBS

salt = 1 tsp

baking powder = 1 tsp

brown sugar = 2 TBS

dry milk solids = 2 TBS

margarine = 6 TBS

water = 1/2 C.

molasses = 1 TBS

cornmeal and spices

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the first 6 ingredients.  Cut in the margarine.  Combine the water and molasses separately and then add them to the mix.

Knead it a little until it’s smooth.  Grease two cookie sheets or get two baking stones preheated.  Sprinkle either option lightly with cornmeal.

Divide the dough in half.  Roll out half of the dough dime-thin, directly onto the sheet or stone.  Repeat with the other half.  (Flouring the rolling pin should help.)  Sprinkle lightly with paprika, garlic, onion, or seasoned salt.  I use paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, coarse salt, and Butt Rub (a BBQ seasoning – isn’t that an appetizing name?).

Run the rolling pin over the dough one more time and then prick the dough here and there with a fork.  Cut into squares or triangles. 

Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Result

If you can resist eating half the batch immediately, I salute you with a Wheat Thin!  What a great snack to hand off to your kiddos – or yourself!  Guilt-free, junk-free, and incredibly yummy.  Enjoy!

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/wheat-thins/

Sweet Rice Muffins

The thought of rice in a muffin was sort of like the thought of going on vacation to the desert wearing tan, taupe, and vanilla clothing, going sand-watching, and breathing for enjoyment.  Bland.

These surprised my socks right off! 

They have just the right sweetness for a little somethin’ when you need it, and the rice (contrary to my expectations) was just the thing to give it that touch.

Sort of like going on vacation to Switzerland in the summertime, and having a bellboy bring you an afternoon muffin with tea on the veranda. 

I must need a vacation.

Kudos to The Hillbilly Housewife for the recipe.  I simply took her suggestion for adding leftover rice, and sprinkled sugar on top of them to satisfy my loudly demanding sweet tooth.  Gotta do whatchya gotta do, folks.  Here’s a link to the original recipe:

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/muffins.htm

(Best part?  They’re cheap as dirt.  So easy to make.  And a great place for dumping your extras and leftovers.  You can tweak, wrestle, and wrangle this recipe to make it yours any way you choose and you’ll most likely come up with something amazing!)

Sweet Rice Muffins

Ingredients

(Note: This recipe easily doubles to make 24 muffins.  This version makes 12.)

1/4 C. oil

1 medium egg

1 C. milk

1/4-1/2 C. sugar

extra sugar for the top

1/2 tsp. salt

1 TBS (3 tsp) baking powder

2 C. flour

a good 3/4 – 1 C. wet, soft-cooked, left-over rice (I used long grain brown rice)

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Mix well with a fork or wire whisk. 

Measure in the baking powder and flour.  Mix again until all dough particles are moistened (20-30 strokes). 

Spoon the batter into a dozen well-oiled muffin cups and top with a good sprinkling of sugar. 

Bake for about 20 minutes.  Remove the muffins from the oven and cool them slightly before transferring them to a wire rack.

Result

A genuinely tasty muffin!  

A great compliment to breakfast, lunch, or dinner…  A sweet, warm snack in the middle of the afternoon or at night while nursing a baby.  🙂  Your wallet won’t shrink, your waistline won’t expand, and your tastebuds won’t be dissapointed. 

Enjoy!

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/sweet-rice-muffins/

Chocolate Snack Cake

Guess what’s sitting in a pan on our stove?  With only two pieces left? 

CHOCOLATE SNACK CAKE!

By the time I’m done writing this recipe down, all the rest of it will be gone.  We must have mice or something.  Pfff.  I looked for a snacky chocolate cake like this for a while, and thank you Betty Crocker – yours is perfect! 

I love the lack of milk and eggs.  If it’s shopping day tomorrow, you can still make this – and lick the bowl!

Ingredients

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour

1 C. sugar

1/4 C. baking cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 C. vegetable oil

1 tsp. white or cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 C. cold water

Ice cream, whipped cream, or any topping you like (I like to sprinkle on chocolate chips and a couple tablespoons of sugar – makes it nice and crunchy)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round pan or an 8-inch square pan with shortening; lightly flour.

If you have a sleepy toddler who needs something to do…

(note the chocolate all the way up his arm)

…lay out all the ingredients ahead…

…and let him dump them in one at a time. 

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, stir oil, vinegar, and vanilla until well mixed.  Vigorously stir oil mixture and water into flour mixture for about 1 minute or until well blended, utilising the unbridled energy of the toddler’s spasmodic stirring.

Immediately pour into the pan, and top with chocolate chips and sugar.

It won’t look like much, but the chips will sink into the cake and make little surprise pockets of chocolate.

The top will look similar to the picture below if you use 2-3 TBS of sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Serve warm or cool with ice cream.  Or grab a handful out of the pan later while you’re making dinner.  That’s my favorite method.

Result

A spongy cake, moist and perfectly chocolatey.

A bowl for licking.

And a very happy toddler.

For a picture-free, easy-to-print version of this recipe, please click on the following link:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/chocolate-snack-cake/

Homemade Pizza

Has the 11 year-old inside you (or the one in your kitchen) been begging for pizza? 

Yup, mine too. 

Before you shell out $20+ to the local pizza joint, consider this:

  • Homemade pizza dough and sauce does not have any added chemicals or preservatives.
  • Your own version can be made to suit your tastes and diet to a T.
  • Making this meal yourself can save some serious moolah, especially if the tomatoes for the sauce come from your garden.  YUUUUUUUM!
  • Making this meal yourself is some serious fun!
  • You may be given a hero’s welcome to the dinner table if you cut your dough into fun shapes – what pizza place would do THAT for you?
  • If you can get a delicious pizza pie on the table without having to debate over a takeout menu or having to tip a delivery guy, hooray.

I hope you’re salivating.

Obviously you’ll top your pizza with the things you like most.  Cheese (or not!), tomatoes, peppers, onions, olives, bacon, chicken, hamburg, potatoes, garlic, the sky’s the limit!

This recipe will be for the dough and the sauce only.  I consider those to be the foundation and framework of the Pizza House.  Enjoy!

(This will be a longer recipe than usual, with LOTS of pictures.  When you make something like this for the first time, it can be very helpful to hear lots of details and see them in picture form.  If it IS your first time, don’t be intimidated by what seems like a lot of steps.  It’s basically: mix and knead a dough, chop it into pieces, and let it sit around until you’re ready to use it.

If it isn’t your first time, I hope you enjoy viewing the process anyway.  As always, there is a link at the end of this post to a picture-free and easy-to-print version of the recipe.)

Homemade Pizza Dough (Makes 4 doughs)

Credit: Women’s Health Magazine

Ingredients

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

3 C. warm water (77-81°F)

6 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

(Notice any weird, non-pronouncable ingredients up there?  Didn’t think so.)

Method

Proof the yeast…

…in the water…

…by pouring the water into a bowl and sprinkling the yeast on top.

Basically, you’re “looking for proof” that the yeast is still “alive.”  It should look a little frothy and bubbly by about 5 minutes. 

That’s not a ton of evidence, but it was enough.

The amount of bubble and foam will depend on how warm the water is and how old the yeast is.  If absolutely nothing happens, your yeast may be too old.

Before you start making a giant mess, take off your valued jewels and stash them someplace safe.  Pizza dough will gunk up your rings and dry like cement.

Add the flour and salt to the yeasty water and combine it all into a rough dough.

Dump the dough onto a board and knead it by hand for 7-8 minutes.  Or dump it into a stand mixer (you could really do the whole process right up through the kneading part in a stand mixer) and knead it with a dough hook on the lowest setting for several minutes.

If you’ve never kneaded dough by hand, here is what the process looks like:

Pull on the dough off to one side.

Fold the dough over on itself…

If the dough is so wet and sticky that you can’t handle it without most of it sticking to the board or counter, you can sprinkle on a little extra flour.  On very humid or rainy days, this is often the case.

Here’s another shot of the stretching:

and folding over:

If the dough is holding together enough, you should be able to push down and forward with the heel of your hand after each fold.

You can really get into a rhythm with this and get out some aggressions from, say, not getting enough sleep the night before, or having to discipline your child to within a centimeter of the end of your patience, or running out of chocolate right before you really really need some.

Your dough should begin to look like this:

…sort of holding its own shape and coming together into a ball.  Not a perfect one, so don’t freak out if it’s looking rather blobbish.

By the end of 7 or 8 minutes of solid kneading, the dough will have this appearance:

And your hands will be wonderfully messy.  Savor it.  Cuz later you have to clean up.

Let the dough rest at room temp (not too chilly or drafty) for about 2 hours.  You’ll do this by oiling the inside of a bowl and plopping the dough in it.  Turn the dough over to coat the top, and oil or spray the underside of a piece of plastic wrap.  Stretch that over the top of the bowl.

I had to dimple the top of mine with my fingertips halfway through…

…because it rose SO much, it was overflowing the bowl.  The yeast was good.  🙂

(Note: If it’s the dead of winter and your kitchen is impossibly cold, turn the oven on low for a few minutes, just to warm it up a bit, and then shut it off.  Don’t leave it on like I’ve done and bake your bread or pizza dough while it’s still in lump form and covered in plastic.  Place the bowl in the oven and close the door.  If it’s too warm in there, crack the oven door open.)

After 2 hours, divide the dough into 4 pieces of equal size.  A bench scraper or knife will help with this unless you want to go all Hulk and just RIP it apart.

Here’s my bench scraper, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal:

Shape the 4 pieces into 4 balls by repeating the stretching and folding process from earlier.  You’ll want to stretch and fold each piece to the North, South, East, and West – four different directions, and end by pinching together the folds.

Flip each ball over so that the seam is underneath.  Here’s four:

Put the balls of dough into the fridge for another 2 hours.  At this point I usually only put one or two in, depending on what I’m making (one can be a flatbread or garlic breadsticks, etc in addition to a pizza).  The other two are frozen at this stage for later use. 

Do whatever you like with yours.  I thought I’d show you how I store mine during this last resting phase:

Each storage bag is sprayed inside with PAM.  Olive oil would work too.  You just don’t want the dough sticking to the bag.

The one I put in the fridge last time was in a bowl, where it sat for the two hours.  For each dough you’ll be using, flour the board or counter and the top of the dough, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Stretch the dough onto your choice of baking surface and top with Pizza Sauce.  My favorite is a preheated baking stone.  Second choice: metal pizza sheet with holes, greased with Crisco to keep the dough in place.  That works like a charm!

The Good Sauce

This sauce got its name by being Jon’s favorite!  I have made a few different versions of red sauce since being married, but this one stomps all over the others.  Any time Jon asks “What sauce are you making?”, whether it’s for pizza or pasta or chicken parm, he’s secretly hoping for this one: The GOOD Sauce.

Credit: Rose Levy Beranbaum, “The Bread Bible.”

Ingredients

1 C. peeled, seeded, chopped ripe tomatoes with the juices (I leave the skin on mine)

OR

1 C. canned crushed tomatoes with juices

1 TBS olive oil

1 large clove of garlic, shopped

1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes

2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried (fresh is better!)

1/4 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and simmer, stirring frequently until reduced to about 3/4 C., 10-12 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and cool.  Use chunky or process for a few seconds in a food processor.

How easy is THAT?!

I’ve been picking tomatoes out back and making huge batches of this sauce to freeze for winter.  My amounts become generalizations and I saunter by the stove now and then to slurp some and see how I like it. 

That’s all there is to it.

Result

Gorgeous, flavorFULL ingredients come together to create the building blocks for an unforgettable pizza.

Top with whatever makes your tongue sing!

I like to keep it simple.  The left side of this one is garlic and cheese; the right side is cheese alone.  With a little extra cheese.  Have I mentioned I love cheese?

Bake for 10-14 minutes at 500°F.  The baking stone will give you a nice crispy crust. 

Oh man… 

Chow down!

Note: Dough left in ball form is good in the fridge for 3 days. 

For a picture-free, easy-to-print of these recipes, please click on the following links:

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/homemade-pizza-dough/

https://thefullvine.wordpress.com/the-good-sauce/

Household Heroes: Baking Soda

Very often I find myself musing, “I use this thing ALL THE TIME…” about some object in our home.  Things that make life easier, or more fun, or cheaper.  For the next few Mondays, I’ll be spotlighting these household heroes and inviting them to take a bow – before they get back to work!

Household Heroes: Baking Soda

There are few things cheaper and more versatile for anything around-the-house than baking soda.  It cracks me up how marketing campaigns jump through such ridiculous hoops, trying to scare us, lure us, demoralize us into thinking we need what they sell…  And here is a frugal, green, simple tool everyone probably has at home that many people don’t realize trumps all those fancy wallet-robbers.

I keep finding more uses for it!  (Finally a product that lives up to the advertising on the package!)  I’m going to list a few uses that come to mind and invite you to chime in by commenting on this post. 

Here’s how I use baking soda:

  • baking (a little obvious)
  • disinfecting and whitening our porcelain kitchen sink

(Jon and I agree: the sink is whiter now than it was when we moved in.)

  • deodorizing our wooden cutting board
  • cleaning our toilets by mixing with vinegar
  • in homemade deoderant, paired with corn starch
  • as a stomach-settler, mixed with water
  • to absorb bad odors in the fridge and keep things fresh
  • as a paste (with water) to ease the pain of bee stings
  • mixed in with bath water, as a personal healing soak
  • cleaning flip flops and other stinky, soiled things

Here’s evidence of that last one:

The soles of these things were BLACK.  I will not subject you to the image.  They smelled about like they should at that point.  I got them wet and sprinkled a thick coating of baking soda all over them. 

For a nice sizzle and some help with the smell, I poured lemon juice over the soda.  I let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrubbed the daylights out of it.  Rinse…  Off to the line they went, and PRESTO!

Good as new and much less likely to kill house plants or small animals with their stench.  This, to me, is much better than going on an exasperating shoe hunt and forking over $20-$30 every time my sandals are too raunchy to be worn in public.

I’ve heard of others using baking soda for homemade toothpaste and dry shampoo.

How do you use baking soda in your home?