March 23, 2011

Cleaning products

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Posted by Ryan 4 comments
I don't use a lot of commercial cleaning products and totally jumped on the hippie bandwagon of cleaning primarily with vinegar and baking soda. I've tried the no-poo thing for a month, but it didn't work for me. Recently I've decided to try an make my own hair conditioner and lip balm and peppermint foot lotion. I haven't actually made any yet, but I have rounded up some of the harder to find ingredients. Now I just have to make a batch.

I haven't completely abandoned the cleaning isle at the grocery store however. I did discover that you can refill the foaming hand soap dispensers with any soap you like. Just dilute the soap with water. It really cuts down on how much soap you use, especially if you have anyone in your house that likes to double or triple pump. I've been using Dr. Bronner's Peppermint castile soap in the kitchen and a lavender castile soap made by Seattle Organics. It seems that you're supposed to use a 3:1 or 4:1 water to soap ratio, but I just eyeball it and probably err on the side of more water.

I saw today that Method has a new dish washing soap pump bottle. I buy the big jug of Kirkland dishwashing soap and refill an old grocery store sized bottle to keep on the counter. But the Method bottle is pretty, and the pump controls how much soap comes out. It seems crazy to pay 3.99 for a bottle of dish washing soap, but I only have to buy it once to get the pretty bottle and refill it with what ever i want. The reviews are mixed on the pump bottle, but I really want it to work. We'll see.

March 17, 2011

Lemon Cookies

Thursday, March 17, 2011 Posted by Ryan , 7 comments

I saw a picture of these cookies today on Pinterest and when I tracked down the original blog post it had the recipe, in Russian.

Not in Swedish or something.

I figured between the power of Google and me, I could figure out the recipe. I haven't made these yet, but they look easy.

Warning: I used Google to translate from Russian, made some corrections and then retyped the instructions to make more sense. Use at your own risk. Many of the ingredients are still measured in grams because there is no accurate way to translate that into cups. Use a kitchen scale, it's better to bake that way anyway.

Russian Lemon Wedge Cookies (from, translated by me)

150g softened butter
1 egg
1 tbsp lemon zest
200g ground almonds
100g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
200g flour
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 egg yolk
3-4 Lemons
sugar for sprinkling

Beat butter with an egg.
Add almonds, sugar, flour and lemon juice and stir.
Shape into two rolls, about 5cm (2") each in diameter and put into the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Heat oven to 180C (350F).

Slice each log into cookies about 4 mm (1/8") and place on a baking sheet. Brush the top of each cookie with the beaten egg yolk.
Wash the lemons thoroughly under hot water and wipe with a towel. Cut into very thin slices of 1-2 mm and put one slice on the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cool and optionally sprinkle with powdered sugar.

If you like the tops of the cookies browned, the last 5 minutes of baking, put under the broiler.

March 15, 2011

Nothing to show for it

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Posted by Ryan No comments

I’ve been trying to take some pictures, if only to document that I do accomplish some things outside my desk job. However even those pictures languish on my camera. There is something terrible about a camera that can take hundreds of photos without a recharge or need new film. Even though I have nothing to show for it yet, I did finish a few things lately:

Rewired the antique light fixture for my sister’s house

Made homemade Nutella

Made granola

Made mustard

Made soft pretzels to go with the mustard.

The pretzels were not as awesome as I wanted them to be. The dough seems rather tough, it was difficult to knead and maybe didn’t have enough liquid. I’ll try again.

Sewed my first t-shirt with some fun gold mylar knit fabric.

I haven't finished yet (tonight - I promise) but I'm almost done sewing a khaki skirt to wear during the tradeshow in 3 weeks.