Recipe: Homemade Bagels

So yesterday, on Facebook, someone posted a recipe for homemade bagels.

Now, I love bagels. Love. Them. And I've always sort of been under the impression that they were very difficult to make.

I'm here to tell you now, that isn't true. Bagels are complicated, but not difficult at all. If you have any experience working with yeast doughs at all, these shouldn't give you a moment of pause, really. I don't have a ton of experience, but I'm learning, and these were fast, easy, and delicious.

Bagel sandwich at a deli or bagel place? $2-5 apiece. Homemade bagels? About $3 for 8. 

Product Review: Pomi Tomatoes

First off, sorry about the lack of posting this week. Things got crazy all at once and I was just so overwhelmed by it all that honestly, even logging in to say I wouldn't be posting felt like a bit too much. But I'm back now, so let's not dwell on the past!

Instead, let's talk about delicious food.

I've discussed my concerns about tomato products here in the past--the quality control issues, and the issues with chemicals in canned tomatoes. So you can imagine how happy Mr. Scrimp and I were to find that our local Whole Foods and our local Italian/import grocery store both carry Pomi tomatoes.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I want to encourage you to check out other blogs around the Internet because everyone else has been posting such neat stuff.

Also, for dinner tonight, how about you try one of these ten recipes to make with Guinness?  Of course, any stout will work for these.

Have fun, be responsible, and don't forget to wear something green!

Pottery Barn Hacking

For those of you not in the loop on the latest slang, "hacking" in this sense just means copying something expensive and making your own for cheap or free. Want a good example? Check out this Pottery Barn hack by Angie of The Country Chic Cotttage.

Inspired by this Pottery Barn banker box storage set, Angie made these out of some left-over Christmas tins and some chalkboard paint:

Instructions here at Someday Crafts.


This week, Mr. Scrimp and I did something new--we signed up for a CSA delivery.

The way this works is that for 22 weeks, we will pay a weekly fee and in exchange, we'll get a big box of local produce from area farms, sometimes even including milk, eggs, and meat! The box is not delivered to our house, but to a pickup location about a 30 minute walk (or 5 minute drive) from here on Friday afternoons.

I would like to recommend looking into a CSA if you are trying to eat more fresh produce. We will be paying the same amount we already pay for groceries, but with an added guarantee that everything we get will be fresh, local, and newly harvested, and that our money is going to support farms and small businesses close to our home. Community supported agriculture, people! It's super!

As an additional plus, because you don't choose what gets delivered to you from week to week in your CSA box, you're pretty much guaranteed to eventually get something you don't usually buy, don't like, or have never cooked. This means you're either going to have to get creative and try something new, or be generous and give food away to your friends and neighbors. Either way, I approve. 

Sadly, because of our local climate, 22 weeks a year is the most we can get for our CSA. If you live in a place with a year-round growing season, however, you can probably find a year-round delivery.

If you are in the Cleveland area, our CSA still has spots available. If you aren't, try looking for a CSA in your neighborhood either just by googling it (which is how I found ours) or checking on Local Harvest. If you follow the link, it will take you to a page with a function where you can enter your ZIP code and they'll find local CSAs. Bear in mind, that website did not find the CSA that we ended up deciding to use, so I'd try several search methods.

Image Credit: "First CSA Delivery of the Season" by Flickr User sharynmorrow

Be back soon..

Mr. Scrimp and I are going to be out of town attending a funeral tonight and tomorrow. Blogging will resume on Saturday.

Spring Cleaning

The spring thaw seems to be here. It's in the high 50's out today, there are birds everywhere and the sun is shining. I feel like I've come out of a cave or something--everything is so beautiful. I'm so excited just to sit out on our front stoop and enjoy the sun!

Today, I spent about two hours scrubbing the baseboards in our living room. I got a trusty spray bottle full of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, an old toothbrush, and a rag, and went to work spraying, brushing, and wiping clean. Dirty baseboards seem like a small thing but having them clean makes such a difference! I don't think the baseboards in this apartment have been cleaned in.. well.. a long time. Definitely years.

I also read the newest issue of Martha Stewart, shopped online for heirloom vegetable seeds (so that we can start container gardening this year!) and washed the windows.

What are you doing to greet the spring?

Handy Tip

So I've posted at least two bread recipes here thus far. By now, I hope you all have tried one or the other of them, or made another bread recipe of your own.

If you've ever tried making a yeast bread, you know how insane it can be to try and clean it up. Bread dough just never seems to come off of anything. If you are like me, you still haven't figured out how to deal with that. Soaking only sort of works. Hot water is a disaster. The stuff eats sponges alive. What to do?

Well, A Year in Bread will answer those questions and tell you the best way to clean up raw bread dough. Go read!

Five Dollar Decor - Child's Room

I've been remiss lately with the Five Dollar Decor posts, I admit. You'd be surprised how tough it can be to come up with ideas when there's nothing that I find immediately inspiring.

I still wasn't terribly inspired when I chose this theme, but I got more and more excited as I went, and now I'm really sad that it hasn't got any applicability for Mr. Scrimp and I at this time.

We don't have kids of our own yet, but I started working in childcare around the same time I started high school and have been doing it ever since. Babysitting, nannying, teaching preschool--you name it, I've done it. If I ever teach preschool again, I'll use these ideas in my classroom. If not, I'll use them when Mr. Scrimp and I manage to successfully make a Tiny Scrimp. Scrimpette? Mini-Scrimp? Well, the point is, someday we'll have one, and I will be ready.

Product Review: Yogi Tea Cold Season

This morning, when the alarm went off and Mr. Scrimp shook me awake, there was only one thought in my head:


That is what I groaned into my pillow as I shoved my face in it and tried to hike the covers up over my head even as Mr. Scrimp insisted that I had to get up and start getting ready for the day. I whimpered. I pouted. I whined. I coughed pathetic little coughs. When the lights went on, I clutched my poor aching head and winced in pain like a hungover vampire.

I has the sick.

There is some illness that has been making the rounds amongst our friends. Mr. Scrimp was the most recent one to have it, and so it was only a matter of time before I, too, fell prey to it. I feel miserable. I'm still dragging myself to work, but I admit that I am doing it with bad grace, because my head hurts.

I started feeling sick yesterday morning, and so I made myself a cup of the tea that I'd bought for Mr. Scrimp when he got sick--Cold Season, by Yogi Tea.

First of all, this stuff is delicious. Delicious. It has a great blend of herbs and spices in it, including just enough black pepper to warm it up and give it a little kick without actually being spicy.

Second, it actually works. I am a big believer in medicinal herbs and this tea combines all the ones I otherwise would have had to take separately into one delicious beverage. I found it, mixed with a little honey, to be very soothing on the throat, and very relaxing to drink.

I recommend this stuff without caveat. It's excellent. I will warn you, though, that the Cold Season formula has valerian root in it, which is an herbal sedative. Some people are fine drinking that throughout the day, but some aren't. I drank some with my lunch yesterday and it knocked me right out. I fell asleep at work, in spite of my best efforts to stay awake.

That can also work to your benefit, though. Mr. Scrimp and I each drank some right before bed last night and both fell asleep almost as soon as our heads hit our pillows. No being kept awake by coughing, no lying awake feeling uncomfortable. Just warm, delicious sleep.

Drink some. I promise, it'll be great.. until the alarm goes off and you have to get out of your nice warm bed again.

Note: This is an unsolicited and unsponsored review, reflecting my opinion and experience only. I was not compensated in any way for providing it.

Sanctified Space

Sanctification. It means "setting something apart."

We all have things in our lives that we sanctify, whether it's that one outfit that you only wear for extra-special occasions, or something more abstract, like the exact way you feel about your significant other when they give you that one look that makes your knees go a little weak. You know exactly what that feeling is like, but you don't share it. Those things are set apart somehow, to a greater or lesser degree, and their set-apartness gives them a kind of reverence, a kind of holiness.

But what about an actual place? Have you ever thought about sanctifying a space?


"Federal agents descended on Kraft’s offices near Chicago and confronted Mr. Watson. He admitted his role in a bribery scheme that has laid bare a startling vein of corruption in the food industry. And because the scheme also involved millions of pounds of tomato products with high levels of mold or other defects, the case has raised serious questions about how well food manufacturers safeguard the quality of their ingredients."

If you haven't yet made the switch away from processed foods, I urge you to read this article in the New York Times and reconsider.

Mr. Scrimp and I do believe that, by and large, our food is well monitored and safe. We do eat some processed foods now and then, and Mr. Scrimp has yet to totally break his Taco Bell habit.

Still, I have to be honest and say that this is going to make it easier to break myself of those last few food habits that I haven't changed yet. I want to grow tomatoes this summer and can my own so that I can eat pasta sauces and soups without wondering exactly what I'm eating. I am angry and I am sick and tired of not knowing where my food is really coming from and how.

The peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything I eat and feed to my family is safe and fresh is well worth the extra effort and minimal expense involved.

via Accidental Hedonist

Product Review:

Well, I'm back. Mr. Scrimp and I had a great weekend in Pittsburgh, eating, playing games, hanging out with great friends, and sleeping on an air mattress--I'm really glad to be back home and able to sleep in our own bed!

Sometimes I start to get really burned out on life in general and these mini-vacations are a really good way for me to step back and recharge my batteries. I'm feeling ready to to face the world again.

Today I'd like to recommend you visit my new favorite


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