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DIY recipes/methods

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM
  • 2 Replies

Seems more and more people are home making formerly purchased things. From cleaners to toothpaste, breads, soup stocks, etc.

Here are some DIY'ers that I have found, please feel free to add your own!

by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM
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by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM


Especially for our folks in Europe, please note that prices can vary greatly according to region, and also that, while sometimes making your own condiments can save you money, it's really all about better quality fixings and knowing what is actually in your food.

Equipment needed: * Bowls * Whip * Fine-mesh cheesecloth * Large sieve * Food processor or blender * Double boiler or microwave * Tupperware or Mason jars

MAYO * 2 egg yolks * 1 to 2 tablespoons mustard * Dash salt and pepper * Squirt of lemon juice * 1 to 1 1/2 cups olive oil Add it all together and whisk until you get the desired consistency. I made this with 2 tablespoons mustard, although I would recommend starting with one and doing a taste-test.

DIY yield & cost: Makes approximately 16 oz., average cost between $2.05 and $2.59

Store-bought comparison: Kroger Mayo, 32 oz., $2.07; 11.25 oz., $1.39.


MUSTARD * 1/2 cup Colman's dry mustard * 1/2 cup white vinegar Mix together and let set overnight. Next day, beat: * 1 egg * 1/2 c. sugar * Pinch of salt to taste Combine everything and cook in top of double boiler until thick. (Can also be done in the microwave.) Let cool.

DIY yield & cost: Makes approximately 16 oz., average cost $3.27

Store-bought comparison: Kroger, 10.5 oz., $0.99; Organic mustard, 9 oz., $1.99.


KETCHUP * 1/2 cup tomato sauce * 1/4 cup sugar * 1 tablespoon vinegar * Dash of salt Blend well. Add more tomato sauce or salt, if needed to balance taste.

DIY yield & cost: Makes approximately 8 oz., average cost $0.87

Store-bought comparison: Kroger, 32 oz., $1.99; Heinz Organic Ketchup, 15 oz., $2.39.



1 cup dry roasted peanuts 2 tablespoons oil 1/2 teaspoon salt

Put everything in a blender and whip it up. If you want chunky peanut butter, remove 1/4 cup peanuts before blending the peanuts and oil. When the mixture is almost blended, add the nuts. Puree it a few more times, to break up the nuts and finish the blending. Optional additions: honey, macadamia nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips. If the oil starts to separate and rise to the top, just turn the jar upside down or mix it up with a knife.

DIY yield & cost: Makes approximately 8 oz., average cost $1.74

Store-bought comparison: Kroger Natural Crunchy, 16 oz., $2.39.


HUMMUS * 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves * 2 strips lemon zest, 2 1/2 inches (bitter white pith removed) * 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt * 2 large garlic cloves * 2 15.5 oz. cans chickpeas (garbanzos), drained, rinsed and drained again * 1/4 cup tahini paste * 3 tablespoons lemon juice * 1/4 cups water * 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin * 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Chop the parsley in food processor, set aside. Pulse lemon zest and salt. Keep machine running and add garlic. Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water and cumin. Pulse to chop, then process 1 minute. Scrape the bowl and process again. With machine running, pour olive oil in slowly. Process 3 minutes. Add half the parsley and pulse to incorporate. Let the hummus sit for 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.

DIY yield & cost: Makes approximately 22 oz., average cost $4.74

Store-bought comparison: Athenos, 7 oz., $3.49.


RICOTTA CHEESE 2 quarts whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Line a large sieve with a layer of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.

DIY yield & cost: Makes approximately 13 oz., average cost $5.73

Store-bought comparison: Kroger, 15 oz., $2.29.


SUPER EASY EXTRAS EVERYTHING SAUCE * Buncha mayo * Squirts of lemon juice * Dill Mix well. Serve with salmon or other fish. Also makes a great salad dressing and dip for sweet potato fries.


NOT-SO-SECRET SAUCE * Mayo * Relish * Ketchup Mix well. Serve on burgers or whatever. FRUIT DIP * Sour cream * Sugar Mix until you've reached desired taste.

by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 1:56 PM


Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease.

Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.

Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. It's easy!

Window Cleaning
White Vinegar, Water and Newspaper: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
If you're out of vinegar or don't like its smell, you can substitute undiluted lemon juice or club soda.
Carpet and Rugs
Beat Those Rugs: Take any removable rugs outside and beat the dust and hair out with a broom.

Club Soda: You've probably heard the old adage that club soda works well on carpet stains. But you have to attack the mess right away. Lift off any solids, then liberally pour on club soda. Blot with an old rag. The soda's carbonation brings the spill to the surface, and the salts in the soda thwart staining.

Cornmeal: For big spills, dump cornmeal on the mess, wait 5 to 15 minutes, and vacuum up the gunk.

Spot Cleaner: Make your own by mixing: 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3 cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.

To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.
Wood Floors
Vinegar: Whip up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a recycled spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime.
Safer Oven Cleaning
Baking Soda and Water: Coat the inside of your dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.
Clogged Drains
Baking Soda and Boiling Water: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that isn't doing it for you, chase the baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the vigorous fizzing of the chemical reaction to break up the gunk. Then flush that with one gallon of boiling water.
Antique Linens
Sunlight: What could be easier than sanitizing and removing stains... with sunlight! (Just don't do it too often with fragile pieces, because they can start to break down). Simply lay your old lace, curtains and other fine linens on the grass in the sun for a few hours. Dirtier pieces can be dampened first.
Boiling: If that doesn't do the trick, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil on your stovetop. Drop in linens and let steep until stains lift.
Detergent and Borax: Mix dishwasher detergent and borax together until you get a thick rubbing paste. Rub into soiled linens, then rinse clean.
Peroxide: If you have stubborn stains, try spraying them with peroxide, then rinsing with water.


Aluminum Foil, Boiling Water, Baking Soda and Salt: Keep your sterling shined with this seemingly magic method. Line your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.
Toothpaste: If you can't immerse your items or are otherwise inclined to polish by hand, rub tarnished silver with toothpaste and a soft cloth. Rinse with warm water and dry. Instead of toothpaste you can substitute a concoction made of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.

Ketchup: To keep your copper pots, pans and accents looking bright and shiny, try rubbing with  ketchup

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