Erin Fife


Recent Posts

Foam up that soap!

June 17, 2017

My husband, many years ago, introduced me to the joys of foaming handsoap. Pre-foamed and ready to wash, it makes handwashing quick and fun for the kids, and, let's face it, adults too! However, foaming handsoap is not always easy to find in the store, especially if you're not into seriously strong smelling soap (ahem, Bath and Body Works). So how about making your own? It's incredibly easy.

What You Need

To make your own foaming soap, you..

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What is tahini and what can you do with it?

June 11, 2017

Tahini is best known in this part of the world as simply an ingredient in hummus. But it is so much more! A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds. In regular tahini, the seeds are hulled and toasted first, but tahini can be made with any kind of sesame seeds, including unhulled, sprouted, white or black!

Where do you buy tahini?

Tahini is often found in the international section of your local grocery..

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Don't buy hummus. Make it yourself!

June 11, 2017

Hummus is often found at our social gatherings, served with pita chips or cut up vegetables. It's a healthier alternative to spinach and artichoke dip or queso and tortilla chips. Each brand of hummus has its own texture and flavors. (I prefer Sabra over Cedar's, but haven't tried Tribe yet.) And, like many things processed, store-bought hummus tastes quite different than homemade hummus.

With just a few ingredients, you can whip up your own..

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Why you should buy a scale and bake with it

June 10, 2017

My mother has never baked with a scale, and consequently, neither did I... until a few years ago. Our preferred baking method was always to throw ingredients in until it looked about right. It worked, but mainly because we baked the same recipes over and over again, so we knew what was right for each recipe. This method sadly does not translate to new recipes. If you've never made something before, how do you know what it's supposed to look like?

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What is pearl barley and what can you do with it?

June 4, 2017

Barley is a grain that, like other grains, must be processed to be edible. Hulled barley or barley groats are the most minimally processed — the inedible outer husk is removed and that's about it. Hulled barley takes a long time to cook (say, two hours), and even then can still be pretty chewy. Process the barley one step further, removing the inner husk/bran, and you get pearl barley. You've lost a bit of nutritional value but gained a..

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Baked donuts: all the deliciousness, none of the mess

June 4, 2017

June 2nd was apparently National Donut Day, and I can't believe I missed it. I never pass up a chance to enjoy a doughnut! So make up for it, here's my favorite recipe for baked pumpkin doughnuts from King Arthur Flour. All the doughnut goodness, without the mess of frying. My in-laws gifted me a doughnut pan and pancake pen last year for my birthday, which are both helpful to have when making doughnuts at home. But if you don't have doughnut..

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How to prep veggies so your kids might actually eat them

June 4, 2017

I am blessed with having kids who eat most of their veggies, most of the time. But even so, I'm always looking for new ways to serve vegetables that might inspire my kids to try the veggies they don't think they like. Here are a few things I've tried over the years with some success.

Frozen

Strange, yes, but my kids love eating frozen corn. I pour the corn into a bowl straight from the freezer, given them a spoon and off they go. Other veggies..

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A tale of two pancakes

June 4, 2017

Light and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Pancakes have always been one of my favorite breakfast foods. My mother's recipe originated during the back-to-the-earth movement in the 1970s, so it has no added sugar and a hefty dose of wheat flour, but that makes them all the more delightful. However, the recipe also requires separating the eggs, beating the whites separately, then folding them back in.

While this doesn't seem like a lot of..

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A family-favorite, easy dessert: Congo Bars

May 28, 2017

Growing up, my mother baked all the time. We always had cookies or bars or some other sweet treat in the house. When you ask my friends from home what they remember about me, they say, "Congo Bars!" which was our favorite treat, and most likely to be served at any and all gatherings. Today, my kids request Congo Bars just as often as I did, and their grandmother never says no.

The term "congo bar" means different things to different people; to..

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Amazon's Adorable Aprons

May 28, 2017

I'll be honest, I rarely wear aprons. But when I'm cooking with my kids, they often insist we all wear aprons, and I'm happy to oblige. It is, in fact, much easier to cook when you can wipe your hards on your apron in between chopping ingredients. It keeps your pants clean and your hands cleaner!

If you don't have an apron of your own, or if you're looking to add one to your (or your kid's) collection, here are a few aprons available on Amazon..

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