5 Ways to Preserve Your Excess Eggs

5 Ways to Preserve Eggs

Here’s a Works for Me post with thanks to Jaime from Slightly Steady.

My brother in law and his wife had only ten chickens last year – yet they seemed to be up to their ears in excess eggs. In order to make sure that all of the eggs were used before they spoiled, they wound up giving away dozens upon dozens of eggs to friends and relatives. Being in the latter category, I’m not complaining. We got free eggs all summer – but I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was.

Here they had invested in these chickens for the eggs, and they had more than they could use at the moment – but all winter, when the hens stopped laying, they’d have to buy eggs like everyone else.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way for them to keep the eggs so that they could use them year-round?

At the time, I didn’t think much more about it – until I got chickens myself.

They were slightly more work than I anticipated, and it occurred to me again that it would be a real shame to care for them all year and only be able to use the eggs in the warmer months. Fortunately, it IS possible to save your eggs – it just takes a little planning!

First of all, know that fresh eggs keep in the fridge for around 3 weeks – so if you’re big egg eaters, you might not even need to save that many of them.

If you find yourself with excess eggs (even from the grocery store), there are several options for storage.

Powdered Eggs Method

Ever had those powdered eggs? Maybe on a camping trip (or maybe in the military)?

To make a powdered egg that can be stored in airtight containers for use (no refrigeration):

  • Scramble and cook the eggs you plan to store. DO NOT USE FAT – just scramble them plain.
  • Spread the scramble out on a dehydrator (you may use a low oven temp to dehydrate as well).
  • How long it takes to fully dehydrate them depends on how many eggs you’re making, but plan on at least overnight.
  • Once they’re fully dried, grind them to powder in a food processor and store in an airtight container.

To use the powdered eggs, use 1 Tbsp of the powder with 2 Tbsp of water. This will equal 1 large egg, and can be used to substitute eggs in most recipes (although obviously not to make egg dishes like quiche).

Frozen Whole Eggs Method

Crack open as many eggs as you want to save and whisk them until they’re blended (but not whipped). Add either ½ tsp of sugar or salt per cup of raw egg (this will prevent them from becoming chewy). Freeze in ice cube trays (one cube equals one egg). Once the cubes are frozen, remove them from the trays and keep them frozen in labeled plastic bags.

Egg Yolks Only Method

To freeze just the yolks, separate them from the whites and stir together the yolks. Add 2 tsp of either sugar or salt per cup (again, to prevent chewiness). Freeze in ice cube trays that are filled only 1/3 full (to equal the size of just one yolk).

Egg Whites Only Method

To freeze just the whites, simply pour them into ice cube trays. No additional ingredients or stirring is needed.

Hard Boiled Method

This one is last because, really, it’s probably just me that enjoys these things – but, well, I love pickled hard boiled eggs. You see them a lot in country stores (at least, here in Ohio). I’d never have tried one if it weren’t for a dare when I worked in a grocery store – but they’re good! The salty pickle-flavor is only in the outermost skin of the hard boiled egg, and the rest just tastes like, well, hard boiled eggs! They’re yummy – if you’re willing to give them a shot!

And there you have it – your own homegrown eggs, available all year round! I hope you give this a try, and that you’re able to get the most out of your laying hens this year. Enjoy!

20 Summer Activities for Preschoolers and Kids

We are a little over halfway through summer and your kids have probably said they are bored at least once.

Am I right?

Well, there is no need to hear those words again. I have a list of free and inexpensive summer activities for preschoolers and kids that will keep everyone busy for hours.

What I love about this list is everything is very affordable and nothing will break the bank. And, far too often we overlook and forget about the simple things we did as kids like: skipping rocks, feeding the ducks, playing in the mud, etc. These things can give hours of entertainment.

Ready to get started?

summer activities for preschoolers and kids

Summer Activities for Preschoolers and Kids

  1. Make healthy homemade popsicles.
  2. Have an iced tea party.
  3. Put a puzzle together as a family.
  4. Go to the zoo and have a scavenger hunt.
  5. Play in the sprinkler. Find a fun sprinkler attachment.
  6. Have a summer Olympics in your backyard.
  7. Build a lemonade stand.
  8. Make a bird feeder out of recycled items.
  9. Stay in your pj’s and watch movies all day.
  10. Pick wildflowers.
  11. Learn the alphabet and create letter of the week crafts.
  12. Be creative with water play.
  13. Listen to story time at the library.
  14. Skip rocks.
  15. Find a new playground.
  16. Sort through clothes that everyone has outgrown and make a trip to donate them together as a family.
  17. Have fun with food at snack time.
  18. Go for a car ride. (Keep little ones entertained.)
  19. Make easy homemade pizza as a family.
  20. Make instruments out of recycle items at your home.

What are your go-to summer activities for bored kiddos?

More Summer Activities for Preschooler and Kids

Swing by and check out Crystal, a Dallas Mom Blogger, who runs the mommy resource and solution site Crystal & Co.!  She loves to share activities for kids, teach busy families how to meal plan and share real easy recipes. She is a fast-paced mom of all boys, five to be exact (including twins), who is in the trenches of homeschooling. Are you tired yet?

7 Food Documentaries to Watch Now

7 Food Documentaries You Must Watch.jpg

This past weekend, my husband and I had a strange conversation. He was reading the paper and asked me if I’d heard of this company ‘Monsanto’.

Huh?

Of course I have! Monsanto is one of the main reasons I elect to purchase organic food. If you’ve never heard of Monsanto, it is time to get educated!

In the course of our discussion, we realized since I was the one buying and preparing the food, I was the only one educating myself and making decisions for my family. I wasn’t including my husband in the discoveries I’ve made about our food system.

We had a great discussion about our food supply and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing with him some of my favorite food documentaries.

If you are looking to educate yourself on the food we eat, I’d recommend watching these 7 food documentaries:

Hungry for Change – Are we being manipulated by the diet, weight loss and food industry? This is a smart movie starring Jamie Oliver sets out to prove healthy eating leads to better living.

Food Inc – This movie is an expose about the food industry. Questions about feedlots? Questions about GMO crops? This is one to watch. This is a great introduction to ‘Monsanto’ and how they are completely altering our food supply.

Food Matters – If this film sets out to prove the saying, “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food” – Hippocrates. We are what we eat. Watch this and see if you agree.

Fresh – Are you interested in reforming our food supply? Fresh gives good, basic information about what is happening with our food supply.

King Corn – It is mind boggling how many products contain corn. Not corn-on-the-cob, but corn that has been processed and used to make so much of our food. Learn how corn is the basis of our entire American diet.

Forks Over Knives – This movie poses the question: If we eliminate or limit refined, processed and animal based foods, can we eliminate or reverse disease? What happens when we follow a plant based diet?

If you have Amazon Prime, you can watch these movies FREE!

What movies would you add?

Make Easy Berry Flower Straws with Cut Fruit

Berry Flower Straws

These berry flower straws are so easy to make. There are no fancy knife skills required to cut the fruit. In fact, I can’t even give you an exact pattern to follow. It’s just not that complicated.

That said, even though these are super simple to make, it looks like you really spent a lot of time and effort. Which you didn’t, which is why you should make these.

Easter morning is a great time to make these. All you need are: Strawberries, Blackberries and paper straws.

Cut the top off the strawberry. Then cut the top so it looks jagged by cutting out small v-shapes. Poke the straw through the bottom of the strawberry and top with a blackberry.

Berry Flowers Cut Fruit

Ta-da! You are ta-done and everyone will love the extra effort you went to, and only you will know the extra effort really wasn’t much effort at all.

 Wouldn’t you love to be served a drink with a berry flower straw?

The GBG It Works for Me

“The GBG: It Works for Me” is a weekly series. It’s all about that thing you’ve started doing that you’d wish you’d known you should be doing all along.

Solutions, quick tips, and shortcuts. Time savers and sanity savers. It’ll all be right here.

Have a solution, tip, or time saver of your own? Let me know by filling out this form, I’ll try then share!

Personalize Your Phone Chargers

Personalize Your Phone Chargers

Are you the type that knows exactly where your phone charger is? Me too! Are you the only one in your family who knows where their phone charger is? Me too!

Personally, it drives me batty when someone takes my charger and I can’t find it.

I recognize this idea is not rocket science, but since I had this problem in my house, I thought maybe it might be a problem in your house too.

Here’s the lightbulb idea:

Use washi tape to decorate your phone charger. When someone in your family steals it borrows it, you’ll know who to blame!

This problem is so endemic in my house, when I gathered up all the chargers and laid them down with the tape, my daughter said, “Oh. Is that so we will stop taking your charger?”

Why yes, little grasshopper, it is.

Why washi tape? ‘Cuz it’s stinkin’ cute!

Actually, I use Washi tape because it is basically a decorated masking tape. It comes off easily without leaving behind any sticky residue and it comes in a range of darling patterns. Of course, if you already have colorful duct tape already in your house, you can use that. But be prepared to deal with stuck-on adhesive should you want to remove it.

What do you think? Will it work in your house?

The GBG It Works for Me

“The GBG: It Works for Me” is a weekly series. It’s all about that thing you’ve started doing that you’d wish you’d known you should be doing all along.

Solutions, quick tips, and shortcuts. Time savers and sanity savers. It’ll all be right here.

Have a solution, tip, or time saver of your own? Let me know by filling out this form, I’ll try then share!

Create Your Own Warming Spices Fragrant Simmering Pot

Warming Spices Simmering Pot

During the winter I buy the big boxes of oranges from Costco. Citrus is in season in the winter so it is plentiful and cheap.

The problem with buying the big boxes is you can’t pick over your fruit. Every once in a while I find a rotten orange. Instead of tossing the rotten orange straight on the compost heap, I use it to make a fragrant simmering pot first.

Rotting Orange

Of course, you could always just use orange peels if you don’t happen to have a rotten orange. 🙂

Not only does this warming spices fragrant simmering pot make your home smell amazing, it has the added benefit of adding humidity to the room. Colorado is incredibly dry in the winter, so having extra humidity can help keep skin healthy.

The instructions I included are for a simmering pot on the store. I actually have a small crockpot that I use. Because I have a natural gas stove, it is far more energy efficient to use my crockpot.

Warming Spices Fragrant Simmering Pot

Ingredients:
1 fresh orange, sliced
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole star anise
1 teaspoon allspice
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops sweet orange essential oil
5 drops clove bud essential oil
Directions: Bring 1 quart of water to a steaming simmer on stove. Add whole spices and oil. Simmer to fill house with warm, pleasant aroma.

The GBG It Works for Me

“The GBG: It Works for Me” is a weekly series. It’s all about that thing you’ve started doing that you’d wish you’d known you should be doing all along.

Solutions, quick tips, and shortcuts. Time savers and sanity savers. It’ll all be right here.

Have a solution, tip, or time saver of your own? Let me know by filling out this form, I’ll try then share!

35 No Candy Valentine’s Day Ideas

Ideas for Valentines that don't include candy

I love Valentine’s Day. How can you not love a holiday all about love?

What I don’t love about Valentine’s Day? The significant amount of candy that gets passed around. That’s why I’ve come up with 35 No Candy Valentine’s Day Ideas.

You can find lots of inexpensive items for creating Valentines with your kids. Some of these are perfect for handing out to the whole class, while other ideas might be something you’d like to craft yourself to surprise your kids with on Valentine’s Day.

Most of these items can be purchased inexpensively at the dollar store or the dollar section of your Target. However, if I found a few unique items you may want to consider {the stick-on mustaches and solar grasshoppers are my favorite!}

Get out the construction paper, markers and glue and create something together. “Handmade and thoughtful” beats “manufactured and mass produced” any day. For each Valentine idea, I made sure to include a sentiment that you can integrate into your Valentines.

35 No Candy Valentine's Day Ideas.jpg

Here are 35 No Candy Valentine’s Day Card and Gift Ideas:

1. Cutie Clementines – “You sure are a cutie” Print out labels and stick to rind. {it will be peeled off anyway.}
2. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm“Bee Mine”
3.  Buttons – “You are cute as a button”
4. Coloring Books – “You color my world”
5. Crayons“You color my world”
6. Glow Sticks“You make my heart glow”
7. Stickers“Stuck on You”
8. Solar Cars“You make my heart race”

Bubbles
9. Bubbles“You blow me away”
10. Straws – “You’re Str-awesome!”
11. Ruler“You Rule!”
12. Bookmark – “How did you know I want you as my Valentine? Did you READ my mind?”
13. Colored Pens – “You are ALL WRITE!”
14. Toy Planes – “You are just PLANE awesome!”
15. Magnifying Glass“I’ve had my eye on you”
16. Highlighters – “You are the HIGHLIGHT of my life”
17. Magnets – “You have magnetic attraction”
18. Glitter – “You make the world sparkle”
19. Hair bows – “Life without you would be hair raising!”
20. Rubber balls “You put the bounce in my step!”
21. Toothbrush – “You make me smile”

Solar Powered Grasshopper Kit

Solar Powered Grasshoppers

22. Solar Grasshopper“You make my heart leap”
23. Erasers – “Make no mistake: I want you for my Valentine.”
24. Friendship Bracelet – “Our class would knot be the same without you”
25. Books 
26. Plastic Shovel – “I dig you”
27. Jump Rope – “You make my heart jump for joy”
28. Notebook – “Take note: I want you to be my Valentine”
29. Puzzles – “It’s not hard to figure out: I want you as my Valentine”
30. Paint Sample – “We love hue”
31. Burn a CD – “You Rock Valentine”
32. Apples – “You are the apple of my eye” Choose apples with stems so you can attach the message with ribbon
33. Packet of Flower Seeds – “Pick Me!”

Fake stick-on MustachesStick on Mustaches

34. Stick-on Mustaches“I mustache you to be my Valentine”
35. Card Games – “You are such a card, Valentine!” 

What ideas do you have that you would include on this list?

The GBG It Works for Me

“The GBG: It Works for Me” is a weekly series. It’s all about that thing you’ve started doing that you’d wish you’d known you should be doing all along.

Solutions, quick tips, and shortcuts. Time savers and sanity savers. It’ll all be right here.

Have a solution, tip, or time saver of your own? Let me know by filling out this form, I’ll try then share!