Works for Me Wednesday: DIY premade cookie dough


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Is there anything easier than ready made cookie dough? You just slice it up and plop it on the pan. But if your a big fan of making your own cookies from scratch, as am I, that might not be your thing. 

But you can have the best of both worlds. Double batch it! I just use this recipe and mix up twice the dough. Then I take half of it, place it in a freezer bag, roll it in to a loaf and stick it the freezer. Then if I have company I can just take it out of the freezer, slice it up and bake it. No need to thaw!

Worth the Read: 31 Days to a Better Budget

31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget

Money Saving Mom is one of my favorite web sites. She is funny and practical and offers some great advice. One of the best things she has written is 31 Days to a Better Budget. I highly recommend it. It will only take you about 30 minutes to read through the entire series and she offers great advice like, plan your meals in advance and don't be brand loyal.

While I do disagree with her on the concept of buying the newspaper (come on, a girl's gotta eat!) it is still a great series.

Works for Me Wednesday: Dinner's in the bag

This isn't a new idea by any means, but it definitely works for me. When I am chopping vegetables for one dinner I just keep chopping. I already have my cutting board, knife and compost container, why not just keep chopping?

Then I go ahead and group the vegetables together for the rest of the week's dinners, if I have my menu planned. Sometimes they go in the freezer, if it's say a Monday and I am not using them til Friday. But sometimes I will go ahead and put them in a large plastic bag with the rest of the meal.

For example I am making this pot roast, I went ahead and put my peppers and onions in the bag with the meat. But I didn't stop there. I added all the seasonings I would be using, like basil, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Then I wrote on the bag and stuck it back in the fridge with the roast. Now all I have to do is dump it in the pot with a little bit of water.

Because I am so cheap there is a good likleyhood that this bag will be wash out and reused.

Peel your own tomatoes! Way better than a can.

Is there anything more gross than a winter tomato? Well, sure, but let's not get in to all that.

We have been trying to eat fewer things from a tin can, and more things grown closer to home. I hope to grow and can my own produce soon, but until then I have fallen in love with my farmers market. The only problem is... tomaotes. No matter how great your local veggie stand is, winter tomatoes are awful.

However, Roma tomatoes remain their wonderful, glorious self.

Here is a quick Tuesday tip on how to peel tomaotes for making sauce (recipe to follow later this week).

What you'll need:


Boiling water

Ice water

Set some water to boil. After it has come to a rolling boil, drop in your tomatoes (CAREFUL!). Let them boil about a minute until the skin begins to split like so:


Then place them immediatly in the ice water for another minute. Remove from icewater and peal. The skin will slide right off and you will have a beautiful tomato.

You're gonna make it after all


As a new mom I worry about exposing my little fella to chemicals in cleaning products. So I hit the internet hard in a search for some non-toxic (or less toxic) cleaning products. But I am cheap, so I learned how to make my own.

This is what I have been using to clean my kitchen and bathroom. It is cheap- around $.15 a bottle- and it works.

What you will need:

An empty spray bottle

Dish soap

Distilled vinegar

I measured out 1 1/2 cups vinegar and then I warmed it up in the microwave for about 1 minute. I am not sure why this step is necessary. It just is. Don't complain. You'll only have to do it once.

Then I poured the warm vinegar into a spray bottle with 1 1/2 cups dish soap.

Shake like your life depends on it. Voila! You have a scum busting, grease fighting, power house cleaner that is super cheap.


Tuesday tip: Just hagin' out

Last week I used a shower curtain as a sheer. But what did I do with the left over shower curtain rings you ask? (I really hope you, whoever you are, are not sitting around asking yourself this.)

I made a neat storage device out of them!

I love scarves, and I am constantly collecting bags as gifts (when you have a kid, people give you a lot of bags). In an effort to both organize and simplify my life I popped those curtain rings around the rod in my closet and called it a day.

Here are the bags.