Saturday, November 30, 2013

Switching Fruit Puree for Sugar

Reducing the amount of sugar you use in baking and replacing it with fruit puree will reduce your calorie intake. Fruits already have natural sugars and, according to the USDA, are a part of the fruit's total nutrient package. Added sugars, such as white sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrup, contribute an average of 16 percent of the calories in American diets. You can reduce unnecessary sugars by substituting health fruit purees.

Fruit Purees Used For Baking

Applesauce is a common fruit puree used as a sugar substitute in baking. Other fruit purees that are suitable for baking include pear, peach, prune, and apricot puree. Berries, with the exception of cranberries, do not make a good puree to use in baking. This is because the strong flavor and coloring of most berries will negatively alter the taste and appearance of the baked goods.

Sweet Vegetable Purees

Vegetables that are naturally sweet can be used to replace the sugar in some recipes. Sweet vegetable purees include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash.

Replacing Sugar With Puree

As a general rule when making desserts and breads, you can substitute 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup fruit puree and 1/2 cup sugar. If you are just beginning to cut back on sugar, you can replace a smaller amount of sugar with fruit or vegetable puree. As you experiment with your recipes and slowly decrease your sugar consumption, you can increase the amount of puree that you use.

Homemade Fruit Puree

To make your own fruit puree for use in baking, remove skins and seeds. Cut fruit into chunks and simmer in water until it is soft. You can then puree the fruit in a blender or food processor. Soft fruits, such as peaches and pears do not need to be cooked beforehand. You can throw skinned and cut soft fruits directly into the blender or food processor and puree.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to Make a Small Batch of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Every autumn, I have a need for pumpkin pie spice, but I never have any on hand. Instead, I've started to make my own in small batches - just enough for the autumn season when I am busy making homemade pumpkin pies and pumpkin breads. This recipe makes 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.

What you need:
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground mace

Mix ingredients in a small bowl and store in a small, clean container.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Can You Make money Writing a Book?

No, you can't make money writing a book, BUT you can make money by publishing a book. Who you publish with will determine you possibilities. Right now, many people believe that traditional publishing is on its way out. By being able to cut out the middleman (traditional publishers), writers are discovering they can make more money and get higher royalties by publishing with one of the online ebook publishers.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Can You Make Money While You Sleep?

Making money while you sleep can be very exciting. However, when you are just starting out, you will probably only be making pennies. Unless you build up a quick following and work full-time on creating new content, it will take time to start earning anything substantial overnight.

From my personal experience of trying out just about every method for bring in passive income, most methods will probably not work. What does work, however, is being able to write and/or produce videos on popular topics or for you to get lucky and have something trend. Even then, you will need to continue producing more and more content because after something trends, it also has a fast decay rate.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Swapping Light and Dark Brown Sugar

Light and dark brown sugar have different amounts of molasses in them. Molasses is a by-product of the sugar making process. When brown sugar is made, it is first refined into white sugar and then a small amount of the molasses is added back into the sugar to give it a soft or strong molasses flavor.

You can swap light brown sugar for dark brown sugar, and vice versa. The only change will be in the flavor of the item your are baking.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Shelf Life of Cornstarch

Cornstarch is used as a thickener. People use it to thicken meat juices and turn it into gravy. Cornstarch is also used to thicken pies. After the box is open, the shelf life of cornstarch is 18 months. To prevent cornstarch from moisture, transfer the cornstarch to a clean, dry jar after the box is open.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shelf Life of Honey

After opening, the shelf life of honey is one year. Honey should be kept at room temperature. Cold temperatures will make the honey crystallize. If this happens, set the jar of honey in a pan of hot tap water until the crystals are gone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to Make Soft Biscuits

For many years, I made biscuits with all-purpose flour. Then, I read about making biscuits with cake flour and I tried it out by simply replacing the all-purpose flour with cake flour in my normal recipe. What a difference! The biscuits made with cake flour were much softer than the ones I have been making all these years with all-purpose flour.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shelf Life of Baking Soda

After a box of baking soda is opened, it is only good for up to 6 months. Baking soda has the tendency to absorb odors and moisture. To prevent this from happening, store the baking soda in a clean, dry jar.

To test the potency of an opened box of baking soda, add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to 1 tablespoon of vinegar. If it bubbles, it is still good to use for baking.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reasons to Take Garlic Supplements

Eating raw garlic cloves can be a mouth burning adventure, especially for people who are use to eating bland foods. Eating raw garlic can also cause burping, bad breath, and a bad body odor. For these and other reasons, people turn to taking garlic supplements.

Types of Garlic Supplements

Odorless garlic supplements - These pills give you all the benefits of garlic without the powerful odor. Odorless supplements should not cause any bad body odors.

Garlic oil soft gels - Taking garlic oil in a soft gel eliminates the need to chew a garlic clove, but it also has the garlic smell.

Allicin tabs - Allicin is extracted from garlic. These tablets are generally odorless and provide users with a main nutrient in garlic.

Why Take Garlic Pills

  1. To avoid having to eat raw garlic. Eating garlic is healthy. Taking supplements helps you make garlic a part of your everyday life.
  2. As a diuretic, to help increase the flow of urine.
  3. Expectorant. It helps clear out mucus from the throat and lungs.
  4. To protect yourself against colds.
  5. To help fight off bronchial infections.
  6. To help lower blood pressure.
  7. Reduce cholesterol.
  8. Gives you protection against heart disease.
  9. Many believe that garlic helps fight cancer.
  10. A natural antibiotic.

The Complete Book of Natural and Medicinal Cures by The Editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books.
Modern Encyclopedia of Herbs by Joseph M. Kadans, N.D., Ph.D.

Also check out the 10 reasons why I use coconut oil.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Resources for Starting Your Own Campground

Starting a campground is something I have thought of doing for nearly 3 decades - ever since my mom started taking me camping. Now, at age 40, I am looking into the idea more seriously. Some questions I have had to ask myself include:

  1. Do you live in an area that attracts tourists?
  2. Are you willing to move to an area that attracts tourists?
  3. Is the campground going to be a place where people stay to sleep and visit local attractions or will you be designing family activities to keep people busy during the day at your campground (ex. swimming pool, boating and rentals, nature trails)?
  4. What is the cost of land in the areas you are willing to move to?
  5. Will the park be open during the summer season or all year round?
  6. Can you afford to buy a campground that has already been built and established?
  7. Will you be joining a campground franchise, such as KOA?
After choosing areas that I am willing to move to and doing further internet research, it was time to purchase books that would further help me on my path to living one of my longtime dreams. Unfortunately, there are few books on the subject, but I managed to cobble a small reference library to help me gain more knowledge on starting a campground.

Starting Your Own Primitive Campground

Saturday, November 2, 2013

10 Houseplants You Can Grow From Seed

Growing houseplants from seed is a fun activity. As a hobby, it can even earn you a bit of cash on the side as you sell the plants you have carefully started and grew.

There are many houseplants you can grow from seeds and the seeds are easily ordered from online nurseries.

African Violets - I am told that it is tricky to grow african violets from seeds and, truth be told, I have only ever started african violets from cuttings. There are some online nurseries that sell african violet seeds for the adventurous.

Aloe Seeds - You can get a packet of different aloe seeds online at places like 20 Aloe Seeds Mix.

Begonia Seeds - You can grow a number of begonias from seeds. The best place to find the seeds is at online nurseries.

Cactus Seeds - I have always had good luck growing cacti from seeds. The trick with these babies is to not over water and to use the proper soil. Many places carry cactus seeds. 50 FINEST MIXED CACTUS Flower Seeds.

Coffee Bean Seeds - Yes, you can grow a coffee bean tree inside your home. There are seeds, books, and kits available online.

Coleus Seeds - A great beginners seed growing project. If I remember correctly, these were the first houseplant seeds I grew when I was in my pre-teens. Very easy.

Hens and Chicks - My mother would always grow these plants on her windowsills when I was growing up. They are such wonderfully neat plants that can be grown from seeds. The seeds are widely available. Hens & Chicks 200 Seeds.

Living Stones - These odd looking plants are difficult to grow from seeds, but are well worth the effort. Living Stones 10 Seeds.

Ornamental Pepper Seeds - These seeds aren't as popular as cactus or aloe seeds, but some people have the green thumb for growing these plants from seeds.

Polka Dot Seeds - These are popular summer plants that can be grown indoors and out. They are not difficult, from my experience, to start from seed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

List of 15 Cat and Dog Safe Houseplants

I love my kitties, but sometimes they like to get into things, such as my houseplants. It is important to know what houseplants are safe to grow in the main areas of your home.

African Violet - Saintpaulia spp. A common and popular houseplant, African Violets are safe to have in homes where there are cats and dogs.

Bamboo Palm - Chamaedorea elegant. Sometimes called a Good Luck Palm, this houseplant is non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Bold Sword Fern - Nephrolepis biserrata. A fern commonly grown in hanging baskets. It is not poisonous to cats and dogs.

Boston Fern - Nephrolepis exalt bostoniensis. A common hanging fern, this houseplant is non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Button Fern - Pellaea rotundifolia. A precious fern you can easily and comfortably grow in your home. Safe for cats and dogs.

Chickens and Hens - Echeveria elegans. This plant is so much fun to grow and it is safe for cats and dogs.

Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera bridgesii. I have always loved these plants and was given one almost every year, but I never had any luck with them. This plant is not poisonous to cats and dogs.

Christmas Dagger Fern - Polystichum acrostichoides. This wonderful fern stays green all year and is a great houseplant. What's more, it isn't poisonous to cats and dogs.

Collinia Elegans - Chamaedorea elegans. Sometimes called a good luck palm, this plant is safe for cats and dogs.

Dinteranthus Vanzylii - A beautiful flowering houseplant that is safe for cats and dogs.

Earth Star - Cryptanthus bivattus minor. This neat little houseplant is safe to grow in homes with cats and dogs.

Lace Flower Vine - Episcia dianthiflora. This flowering houseplant is not toxic to cats and dogs.

Parlor Palm - Chamaedorea elegans. This lovely houseplant is thankfully not poisonous to cats and dogs.

Pink Splash - Hypoestes phyllostachya. These pretty houseplants are generally non-toxic to cats and dogs. However, with ingestion, they can cause mild vomiting or diarrhea in pets.

Saint Bernard's Lily - Chlorophytum bichetti. A pretty houseplant, it is not toxic to cats and dogs.