finished table with cutting and ironing tools

Fabric cutting and ironing station (Ikea Hack)

I’ve been reading lots of sewing books lately, and one common theme is to have a cutting station that’s counter-height to ease back strain. This makes sense — my back has been pretty achy from leaning over my desk to cut fabric. And my ironing board is rather wobbly and really un-fun to use, so I wanted to incorporate a pressing station into the cutting station. A quick search online for ideas led me to craft room Ikea hacks and lots of promise. Since we already had two Expedit (now Kallax) 2×2 cubes, that sounded like a good direction. I particularly liked this…

Strawberry freezer jam

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I’ve been craving strawberry jam these days, and although they’re aren’t any crazy good deals on fresh strawberries right now I did find a decent enough price to pick up 2 pounds (2 lb/$5 at Sprouts). After pureeing the strawberries in the food processor, I was left with 3 1/2 cups of crushed strawberries. The Ball Pectin Calculator didn’t have a conversion for that exact amount, so I upped their quantities a tiny bit to compensate. After mixing together 1 1/3 heaping cups of sugar and 4 slightly rounded tablespoons of RealFruit Instant Pectin, I stirred in the strawberries for 3 minutes. Then…

Basil and oregano in pots

Indoor herb garden

I’m starting my indoor herb garden with basil and oregano. I love fresh basil on Italian dishes but hate paying the high cost of a little clamshell of fresh basil at the store. And while I’ve never cooked with fresh oregano, I find myself reaching for the dried oregano often for salad dressings and sandwiches. We already enjoyed a few leaves of each on last night’s pizza. They’re situated near a south-facing window that’s been letting lots of light in as we get into autumn. I just hope I can keep these little guys alive despite my lack of a…

Apricot freezer jam

Apricot freezer jam

Ever since making apricot crisp, I’ve been obsessed with apricots. There not something I had purchased in the past but they were so delicious in the crisp. They’re in season right now, and one of the local grocery stores had them at a great price. I had instant pectin on hand from my raspberry freezer jam project, and just needed to pick up some smaller jars. We had a tough time finishing the large jars of jam last time, plus the curved sides of the jars aren’t good for the freezer anyway. So I settled on the little 4-ounce size that will just…

Raspberry freezer jam

Raspberry freezer jam

I love jam, but holy cow is good jam expensive! I’ve been researching what it takes to start canning fruits and vegetables, and at this point it’s still a little overwhelming and I’m not sure if the payoff would be there since I’m not currently growing my own garden. This week raspberries are marked way down at the grocery store, and they were on my shopping list but I didn’t actually know what I’d do with them. Coincidentally, I’ve also been planning the meals for an upcoming camping trip. PB & J is on the menu, and I remembered that we actually don’t…