Posted in Frugal Recipes, Sustainable Living

Homemade Butter and Strawberry Jam [RECIPE]

I love Costco. I mean, how can you not, right? You wander into this members-only warehouse that is full of everything you can think of. As you meander through the giant aisles you are offered free samples of cooked meats, noodles, and fresh toast. What’s not to love? I am absolutely not getting paid for anything or a spokesperson when I say I have found the. best. sandwich bread on the planet! Y’all I am not even kidding. There I was pushing my cart, going down my grocery list when all of a sudden my family veers off to grab a sample. I think nothing of it and continue shopping. Moments later my husband is shoving a piece of toast in my face saying, “try this!” so reluctantly I did. Wow…. it was absolutely fantastic! I present to you: Alpine Valley Bread. This Super Grains bread has chia seeds, quinoa, Teff, and Kamut in it. Not only is it extremely healthy but all the fibers make you actually feel full without all the sugar. Buy it… I promise you will enjoy it 🙂

 

Needless to say I picked up several loaves and brought them home. Over the past week I have noticed that those leftovers from meals or fruit snacks keep getting pushed farther and farther into the back of my fridge. One of those items was a huge crate of strawberries. Costco sells produce for excellent prices but sometimes I just can’t eat the fruit fast enough before it begins to turn. My strawberries were no exception. So I began to wonder, “What can I do with these strawberries before they go rotten?”. It was then that I decided to make several jars of strawberry jam! I followed this simple recipe for Strawberry Jam and my little and I made a lovely batch of fresh jam. Our PB & J sandwiches are set for quite some time!

Homemade Strawberry Jam
Homemade Strawberry Jam

Then I woke up this morning and peered into my refrigerator. The carton of heavy cream was right there on the top shelf from the Farfalle with Salmon and Leeks recipe I made the other night. This time I knew just what to do. It had been a while since I’d made homemade butter, but I was in the mood… and it would pair perfectly with my Alpine bread! Here is a simplified recipe of how to make homemade butter. I hope you all enjoy these recipes and use up your own leftovers in a fun way. Have a beautiful day everyone! ❤

Ingredients for Homemade Butter
Ingredients for Homemade Butter

Ingredients:

– A stand mixer

– 1 carton of heavy whipping cream

– Sea salt

Directions:

1. Begin by pouring the cream into your stand mixer. If you have a lid for your stand mixer, attach it now. If not, you can always take several pieces of saran wrap or aluminum foil and make a makeshift cover. Both work just fine.

2. Begin whipping the cream on High (7 or 8 on the standard Kitchenaid mixer) and let it whip for 8-10 minutes. After about 5 minutes you will notice your heavy cream has turned into delicious whipped cream. Perfect for a pie topping! But keep going… those stiff peaks will break and begin to separate.

After 10 minutes the butter and milk will separate...
After 10 minutes the butter and milk will separate…

3. After 10 minutes turn off your mixer and strain out the buttermilk from the butter. Using a wire mesh colander works best for this step. 

4. Now here is the fun part. You get to decide what kind of butter you would like to have! I went with a cinnamon and honey butter, but you can also do rosemary butter, garlic butter, or traditional sea salt butter. Sprinkle a bit of salt and any other spices/herbs you desire into the butter. Pour the butter clumps into a mixing bowl and knead into one solid mixture. I used plastic medical gloves for this part. They are amazingly handy to have in the kitchen! 

5. Tada! You have your butter. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. This butter does NOT have preservatives so you should plan to use it quickly.

Yay! Homemade Cinnamon-Honey Butter!
Yay! Homemade Cinnamon-Honey Butter!
Posted in Sustainable Living

Raising a Mensch Takes The “No Impact Week” Challenge!

This is probably the coolest “challenge” out there. If you haven’t heard of it, I encourage you to begin by watching the documentary, “No Impact Man” by Colin Beavan. In his experiment, he and his family (who live in the Upper East side of Manhattan) go on a one year carbon detox to try and live more simply. They begin by reducing their trash output. Slowly they shift from drinking Ice Lattes and riding the Subway to bicycling everywhere. They take advantage of their local farmers market and get involved in a food co-op program. How cool is that?! 😀 In the end, they changed their spending habits dramatically, saved money, and reduced their carbon footprint a lot.

no-impact-man

I was so inspired by this documentary I went onto the No Impact Project website to see what Colin is up to today. It turns out that he and his family are still spreading “Green Awareness” by challenging people to commit to a 1-week No Impact Week. For one week you do the following:

Sunday: Reduce Consumption… all consumption! No frivolous spending or shopping.

Monday: Reduce trash output. Recycle and reuse!

Tuesday: Change your mode of transportation (if possible) or limit your driving methods and take action in your community to walk more and drive less! This helps fight against pollution, global warming, etc.

Wednesday: Food (eat and shop local! This fights against the gas/pollution spent from trucks shipping produce over long distances.)

Thursday: Reduce Energy spending: turn off electrical gadgets, unplug unused devices, and take a walk outside.

Friday: Reduce Water Usage

Saturday: Giving Back (Get involved in a movement that helps protect your local community.)

Sunday: Eco-Sabbath (Savor the day outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.)

Are you excited about the challenge yet? I hope so, because if you register (for FREE) on the No Impact Project website you will get a guide to the challenge sent to your email that has a ton of links to show you other websites to help you achieve a sustainable lifestyle. For a while now my husband and I have been interested in sustainable living, but this challenge seems like a fun way to “get our feet wet”. I can’t wait to write all about it and share my experiences with you all! Have a happy, healthy day everyone! ❤