Hello friends. Last week, I redeemed swagbucks points for a $25 amazon gift card. I did some holiday baking with pantry items. One was a new recipe, which used some of the coconut flour I bought a few months ago, but hadn't figured out how to use. The recipe also called for almond flour, which I didn't have, so I blanched and peeled raw almonds before grinding into flour. I will say I used to make a banana almond breakfast drink, where I soaked the almonds overnight. They would slip right out of the skins. This time, I followed a tutorial on making almond flour, and it ended up being quite a time consuming task. If I do it again, I'll go with the overnight soaking. It was my first attempt at a from scratch gluten free recipe, and though they tasted good, they ended up flat rather than a ball shape. I'll try less oil next time. I ground wheat for my favorite chocolate chip cookies, and made them. Salad was made using our lettuce, with homemade salad dressing. I checked the marked down plants at Lowe's, and got two six packs of pansies for $1 ea.
My niece suggested playdoh as a gift for my great nephew. I'd seen some diy recipes on Pinterest, and used this one. I used various brands for coloring. I first tried a beet based natural color I'd originally bought for some body care items, but I'd had it too long, and the color had degraded. I had already open containers of McCormick and Kroger food color, so started with them. If I wasn't totally happy with the result, I added some Watkins food color, which I learned about and bought this year. I'm pretty happy with the colors I got. I bought several cookie cutters to include with the playdough. Another niece asked for a squirrel buster bird feeder. I bought that, and J made a lovely shepherd's hook pole for it.
On the Winter Solstice, I gathered greenery and made bouquets for the house. On walks, I did more meandering off the path, and was rewarded with a few more clumps of usnea, which were added to the tincture jar. I pulled four gallon bags of vegi scraps from the freezer, and put them in two large pots on the woodstove to thaw and simmer overnight. This time and the last, I also added pieces of dried reishi mushroom, for its powerful medicine. I'm not sure why I chose right before Christmas to do this, with everything else on my plate, other than we really needed the room in the freezer and I tend to think I can do more than I can in a day. Besides reishi, I try to incorporate other super/ healthier foods in my diet as I can. Sometimes I make maca hot chocolate (this one, though I use local whole milk & sometimes maple syrup instead of dates), other times this bulletproof coffee. If you can use a nutritional boost too, in this season of sweets and excess, consider giving one or both a try.
I colored my hair at home, with J's help. This is my third time using Hairprints, and I got the best results so far. It is quite a time consuming endeavor, taking just about 3 hours, and requiring 6 different applications. Ah, the price of vanity! I potted an amaryllis bulb purchased a few weeks ago, for cheer in the dark days of winter, and happened to notice on a walk that a critter had dug up several nice pieces of moss, so I brought them home and placed them around the bulb. Before my family's Christmas dinner this evening, I canned up the vegetable broth. I got 17 pints in the canner, with an extra put in the fridge. After leaving my brother's house tonight, we drove to a neighborhood known for hanging balls of holiday lights from the trees. It is spread over many blocks, and was a fun and festive addition to the day. I'm joining in with Brandy's Frugal Accomplishments today. Wishing you fun and festivities in the days ahead!