10 Stunning Writing Studios

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:28 am on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here’s a fun read: 10 Stunning Writing Studios.

So jealous…

What To Do With Pickled Jalapeños

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:54 am on Monday, August 25, 2014

I’m getting a bumper crop of jalapeños in my garden, thanks for the pepper experiment I did last year.

I’ve decided to make pickled jalapeños for the first time. But then, I thought, what would I do with pickled jalapeños once I had them?

A lot, it turns out. Here are 9 ways to use up pickled jalapeños–or any pickled pepper, for that matter.

Use Pickled Jalapenos In Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (also quesadillas)

Stick Them In A Bloody Mary

Add Jalapeños To Deviled Eggs

Top A Hot Dog With Jalapeños (or a hamburger.)

Make Jalapeño Cornbread

[Pham Fatale]

Put Jalapeños In Fish Tacos (or other kinds of tacos)

Cook A Chicken Breast With Jalapeños And Cheese

Make Jalapeño Garlic Cheese Bread


Last but not least: Make Some Nachos

The Pretentious Beer Glass Company

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:05 am on Friday, August 22, 2014

If you’ve got some money to burn on beer glasses, I’m quite taken with this set from The Pretentious Beer Glass Company. They are handmade blown glasses, each with a different purpose.

According to the site, the set includes a Hoppy Beer Glass, an Aromatic Beer Glass, a Malty Beer Glass, a Subtle Beer Glass, a “traditional” Ale Glass and a Dual Glass. Each glass holds approximately 12 oz of beer with a 2-3 oz. head. A great (but pricey) gift for the snobby beer aficionado in your life.


Dinosaur Fossil Sugar Cookies

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 6:58 am on Thursday, August 21, 2014

This is a cute idea. Make sugar cookies and then use the foot of a toy dinosaur to imprint the top. Hurrah, you’ve made Dinosaur Fossil Sugar Cookies.

Or use plastic insects to make regular fossil sugar cookies.

Lots of possibilities here!

The second recipe says to use “food safe plastic bugs,” but personally, I would just make sure the toys were clean before using. But then, I’m crazy like that.

Ananas D’Amerique A Chair Verte Melon

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:41 am on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One of the nicest surprises in my garden this year was the Ananas D’Amerique A Chair Verte Melon. I don’t know why it has such a crazy name. I planted it on a whim because I read that Thomas Jefferson planted them in 1794. (Anything that can bring my garden closer to Monticello is fine with me.)

This melon is a cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe. It has green flesh with a yellow/orange tinge on top. It’s incredibly juicy with juice dripping all over your arms when you eat it. My son is crazy about it.

At one time, this melon was popular to grow in the United States, but it fell out of favor because its short shelf life didn’t lend itself to shipping. Now, it’s very rare to get your hands on an Ananas Melon.

But one of the exciting things about gardening is that you can grow out things you’d never eat otherwise.

You can buy the seeds to grow your own Ananas D’Amerique A Chair Verte Melon here.

My 2014 Fall Garden

Filed under: Gardening — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:33 am on Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Can you believe August is half over? I’m busy harvesting. This is today’s haul: kale, tomatoes, four different types of green beans, three different types of peppers, corn, lemons, oranges, baby carrots, and an egg.

And while all this is going on, it’s also time to think about my fall garden!

Here’s my plan for My 2014 Fall Garden:

To plant now:

    Brussels Sprouts

To plant next month:

    Fava Beans
    Turnips or Rutabaga

I’ve never grown Turnips or Rutabagas before, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do. I try to grow something new every season to keep things interesting.

What’s your fall garden plan?

5 Ways To Organize Blankets

Filed under: Cleaning/Decorating — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:24 am on Monday, August 18, 2014

Babies. They sure have a lot of blankets. Am I right?

Here are five ways to organize blankets, baby or no:

Roll Them On A Shelf

Install A Towel Rack On A Door

Put Them In A Organizing Bin Or Basket

Fold Them In A Drawer

Hang Them In The Closet

Water Draining Soap Holder

Filed under: Pretty/Cool — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:13 am on Friday, August 15, 2014

Here’s a nifty gadget: a Water Draining Soap Holder. No more icky standing soap-scum water! $5.

[Oh Gizmodo]

Make Your Own Glow-in-the-Dark Shelves

Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:57 am on Thursday, August 14, 2014

Check out these glow-in-the-dark shelves that Mat Brown made for his kitchen. The shelves are from a piece of chestnut wood. He filled the cracks with resin mixed with powder that glows in the dark, like so:

The shelves were then sanded down and coated in linseed oil. The results are pretty nifty.

How I Made Blackberry Jam For $.69 A Jar

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:31 am on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This year, I took a lunch hour to pick some berries from a patch down the road and got a pretty good haul. Since Savvy Jr. has been eating a lot of toast, I decided to make jam with it the berries. I made the following recipe, which makes eight 8-ounce jars of jam.

Since I got the berries for free and re-used jars, the only things I bought for the jam were the pectin ($3.99) and the sugar ($1.50). That means each jar of jam cost only $.69 to make.

My recipe uses 5 cups of sugar. Most jam recipes call for more than that—7 cups of sugar is common, sometimes you even see 10 cups.

That might be necessary if you have sour berries (which is often the case with frozen berries or store-bought berries), but that’s way too much sugar for good berries, if you ask me. My idea of jam is summer in a jar. You want it to taste like mashed, sweet fruit, not gelled sugar.

I find this recipe works fine with regular pectin, but to make sure it gels nicely, use low-sugar pectin if you have a choice. It acts and tastes like regular pectin—you won’t notice the difference.

Blackberry Jam
(Makes 8 8-ounce jars)


    5 cups blackberries
    4-5 cups sugar
    1 (1 3/4 ounce) package low-sugar pectin
    1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Sanitize your jars, either with a dishwasher’s sanitize mode or by boiling them for 10 minutes. Wash the lids and rings with soap. Put the jars upside down on a clean towel until you’re ready to use them.

Wash the berries and remove any twigs or debris.

Put the berries in a large stainless steel pot. Mash with a potato masher.

Add the pectin a little at a time, stirring as you go. Heat the berries on high heat and bring to a full boil.

Stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Taste the jam. Add more sugar if needed. (The finished jam will taste pretty much like the jam in the pot, so keep that in mind when tasting.)

Bring the mixture back to a full boil. Let boil for one minute.

Remove from the heat. Ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving about 1/4-inch space at the top. Put on the lid and rings on the jars.

Put the jars in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.

Remove the jam from the water and let sit upright on the towel at room temperature for 12 hours.

Ta-da! Jam! You can eat it within a day or two after making it. Enjoy!

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