Thursday, August 19, 2010

Amazing Space Saving Furniture

This furniture is unbelievable. The photos and video on the importer's site ("Resource Furniture") don't do it justice, but the video below does give you a sense of it. When you consider that you can essentially create an extra room by using space efficient furniture, even if it's expensive (I'm assuming it costs a lot - it's well made and comes with a great warranty), it's worth the cost if you're strapped for space. I definitely want to keep this in mind if we stay in our small home much longer.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ultimate Space-Efficient Apartment


Efficiency is always thrifty. This space is AMAZING!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No More Leaky Liquid Laundry Detergent


Ever notice that after you've poured your liquid laundry detergent and recapped the bottle, sometimes the detergent leaks out from what's leftover in the cap? It's scary - this stuff, undiluted by the wash water, can literally peel paint off of shelves if it sits around.


This is brilliant-but-obvious. No idea why it never occurred to me before I saw someone else do it. Simply take the last piece of clothing you're tossing in the washer and use it to wipe the inside of the cap clean and dry. Simple.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Square Foot Gardening, part 2

So, the jury's still out on this Square Foot Gardening thing... or really, just this "gardening" thing.

Since I last posted about SFG, we built a little 4x4 SFG according to the book. We planted several peppers,basil, lots of lettuce, one square of corn and two of pole beans. We also started 15 heirloom tomato plants in containers (the free nursery kind). We really wanted tomatoes, hence all the plants. The rest of the garden is based in part of expenditure (soooo much money spent each week on greens that usually go to waste!), partially on the timing of the season (a little late to plant, missed spinach season, etc) and also in part an experiment to see what would do best in our little homestead project.

Sadly, no sooner was the garden set when a deer strolled on by and munched its way haphazardly through. Most offensive was the fact that the deer ate some of our tomato plants!!! I thought those were poisonous!??!? We lost about 15% of the original planting. I bought some string and tin foil and used it to bolster the height of the fence around our yard. A week later, the deer returned, finished off the pole beans and peppers, took out two more tomatoes. :-(

I guess gardening is about learning and experimentation. The start-up costs have been significant and grossly outweigh any potential costs of buying fresh vegetables at the farmer's market. I'm hoping that by next year, it will be more equitable, since we won't have to re-purchase materials to make a box, add soil or deer abatement.

Thusfar, we're in the hole $265 in this endeavor.

$75 materials for box

$75 for soil mix ("Mel's Mix" of 16 square feet of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculit, 1/3 compost)

$75 for new deer fencing

$35 for plant starts (next year will have time to grow from seed)


$260 --- that would be TONS of vegetables

Also, the hidden costs in this project is our time and all the water we're going to use to grow these vegetables.

We'll see how it all pans out by the end of this growing season... One of the advantages of the SFG method is that you can swap out mini-crops and therefore, grow through three seasons.

Even Yet Still More Broke-Ass Gourmet: Black Bean Soup

Have I mentioned my new obsession with BrokeAss Gourmet yet? ;-)

The third recipe I've tried so far was the Black Bean Soup. This is a very, very simple recipe that is so pure (and inexpensive!).

I swapped out the canned beans for dried. I triple-washed the beans after they'd soaked, so we haven't been living in a fartastic household. (There's a little tip for ya - wash, wash, wash your beans after soaking and they won't be so much of the "magical fruit.")

Also, on a wild hair, I whipped up this Cilantro Chile Cream notion I came across at Recipezaar. Finally, I added a little curry to the cream. The flavor combinations is outstanding.

More Broke Ass Gourmet - Kale and Cannellini Soup

Another recipe I'll endorse, so far, from Broke Ass Gourmet:

Kale-Cannellini Soup with Garlic Toast

I doubled the recipe, mixed in some Swiss Chard (from a pre-mixed, pre-washed, pre-cut bag of kale / chard from Trader Joe's) and added chicken for my sick hubby - he's already requesting I make it again! The second night, instead of having it with garlic toast, I ate it over a baked potato. Delish!!!

Even doubling the recipe, the dish cost less than $20 ($18). It was super nutritious and made two complete meals for us - that's $5 dinner / head!

Broke Ass Gourmet - Hearty Quinoa Salad = Yum!

I recently discovered "Broke Ass Gourmet" and have road tested a few of the recipes. So far, I'm impressed! They're inexpensive, simple and very tasty. They also require very little time.

I tried the Hearty Quinoa Salad today. There are no tricks up this recipe's sleeve, everything is so straightforward that I assumed it would be fairly bland, but it was fantastic! Such a fun mix to flavors! The simplicity of the recipes is great because it's teaching me about some basic combinations that work very well together.

I altered the recipe a bit by tossing the garlic into the pan for the last few minutes of cooking the sausage, instead of using the garlic raw. Also, the recipe seems to be missing the information about what to do with the sausage. Fortunately, while I'm fairly new to the ways of the kitchen, I'm not a complete idiot.

I don't eat pork, and it's nearly impossible to find a sausage that doesn't use pork casing, so I substituted the Italian Sausage flavored Tofurky. Also, I forgot to add the olive oil at the end, but the salad was more than succulant enough without it.