Tammy's Kitchen

Frugal Fridays: Baby Washcloths

Baby wash cloth from burp rag!

Homemade baby wash cloths the easy way...

Homemade baby washcloths

Here is a quick and frugal way to "recycle" baby bath towels into baby washcloths! These washcloths make the best cloth baby wipes, because they're small/thin and remove soil easily.* They also make great bath time washcloths!

To start, you will need at least one baby bath towel, preferably a terry cloth towel made of at least 80% cotton. You can use an old towel or any towel you don't want to keep for a bath towel. I was given a number of used baby bath towels, and some were rather thin, or small, and so I used those to make washcloths and saved the nice baby bath towels to use for drying.

1. Lay your towel out flat and decide how many squares you wish to cut from it. I prefer thin baby wash cloths that are about 8 inches square. This is usually about 9-12 washcloths per towel, depending on the size of the towel.

2. Using a sharp scissors, cut your towel into squares. You can leave the edging on the towel, but I do prefer to remove the hood part. I usually try to cut a triangular piece from the front of the hood for an extra "free" washcloth. ;)

Homemade baby washcloths!

If you used a towel that was a polyester/cotton blend, there should be no need to hem your washcloths. The first time they are laundered, they will shed a bit of lint from the edges. After that, they won't fray or shed hardly at all. I do have some that I have been using frequently for a couple years now, and the edges have worn a little. Hemming will extend the lifetime by a little bit, but if you are using old towels and want a quick "recycle", you needn't bother hemming them.

Baby wash cloth from burp rag!

Update a few years later:

I have also found terry cloth burp cloths at garage sales or thrift stores. Cut in half and hem the raw edge for a wonderful baby wash cloth! If you pay 10-25 cents for the burp cloth, you've just gotten 2 nice wash cloths for a great price! :)

*If you're already using cloth diapers, it's a breeze to use cloth wipes, too! Just wet the wash cloth with warm water and you're all set! The used wipes can be laundered with your regular loads of diapers. These cloth wipes work MUCH better than the standard disposable baby wipes! 

Be sure to visit Crystal's blog for lots of other great Frugal Fridays tips!

Frugal Fridays at BiblicalWomanhood.com

Autumn weather encourages garage-cleaning

If you've never seen our garage before (and most of you probably haven't ;D) You'll just have to imagine what it looked like before it was cleaned, since I forgot to take pictures. ;) Just think of lots of fallen leaves, little twigs (from the trees), and some junk.

Clean garage!

Here's the first side, where we park the car. I swept the whole garage out and scooped up lots of dirt, leaves, and twigs.

It's clean! Yay!

Then I organised our stuff. There wasn't much to toss, since we aren't junk collectors. ;) I cleaned the grill cart and the strollers, too. I took off the cup holders and snack trays (basically anything removable from the strollers!) and washed them. I also washed the canvas parts of the strollers with a soapy washcloth. They look so nice and clean that I decided to drape an old sheet over the strollers when they're sitting in the garage, so they don't get so dusty again. :D

Exciting, huh? ;) It's not especially thrilling (after all, there are still some spiderwebs out there!) but it's so much cleaner than it was, I just can't help peeking out there every now and then. ;) And now I won't need to clean the garage for another year! ;) (Don't worry... I clean my house more frequently than the garage ;D)

So what's next? Will I finally get motivated to vacuum out the car? I sure hope so! It's been even longer since that's been properly cleaned!

Apples, apples, apples!

Fancy Springform Apple Cake recipe

Today's apple recipe is this Fancy Springform Apple Cake! It was fun to make, and didn't last long at our house when I made it last week. :D I really love having apples on hand to bake with!

Since this week was mostly about apples, I decided to make a poll about everyone's favorite variety of apple. You get 10 different choices, so be sure to cast your vote for your most favorite apple. ;)

I'm not sure what I have planned for next week, but I'm thinking of posting more potato recipes. I also need to catch up on blogging about what we've been doing lately! I always have so many ideas of things to post about :)

About Whole Grains -- from Elizabeth

Did you know that whole wheat flour goes rancid within 72 hours of being ground, unless refrigerated? Why, then, do we see it sitting on the shelf right next to the [dead] white flour in most grocery stores?

Did you know that whole grain bread products made without preservatives will go bad within a week, unless frozen or refrigerated? Why, then, do the loaves of bread we buy from the supermarket seem to last for several weeks?

I grew up with a grain mill and I must confess I am spoiled. Whole wheat flour from the store tastes like saw dust to me, and is probably about as nutritious. Even the ‘healthy, organic’ bread products I buy do not even come close to what I remember bread tasting like. And the fact that they do not go bad when they are supposed to just bothers me. I look forward to the day when I can buy my own grain mill [in the not-so-distant future].

It is an investment, yes, of both money and time—but one we would all do well to think seriously about. A grain mill is able to more than pay for itself within the first year when one considers the high cost of bread products these days. And the time invested… well, it just might be years of quality health for you and your children that you end up reaping. Grinding your own grains and making your own breads, muffins, pastas, and desserts certainly requires planning ahead and perhaps a slower-paced life style, but from all the studies and articles that have come out recently about the typical American’s “life on the go”, that actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea health-wise, either.

Whole grains are good for more than just grinding into flour, however. Almost any grain or seed can be sprouted for added nutrients and flavor and mixed right into your bread dough, or sprinkled over salads and sandwiches. Read more about sprouts!

But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; and I will fulfill the number of your days. – Exodus 23:25-26

-- From my friend Elizabeth. Many thanks to her for allowing me to re-post it here!

Cooking Tips: How to obtain superior results when cooking

1. Use a good recipe.

You could be the world's best cook, but if you are using a faulty (or simply disgusting!) recipe, you won't like the results. I find that the best recipes are ones that have become family favorites. Few people possess the absolute best recipe for everything, but most people do have a few really great recipes that have become everyone's favorites.

Ask people for their favorites. When retrieving recipes online, look for recipes that have been reviewed by other people and are highly rated. If you eat something that someone else made and you really love it, ask them if you can have their recipe! Most people are delighted to be asked for their recipe! I know I personally consider it to be a high compliment. ;)

2. Use good ingredients.

Always try to use the freshest and highest-quality ingredients possible. (And preferably, the exact ingredients that your recipe calls for!) Sometimes good-quality ingredients are more expensive. Often, if you know what you're looking for, you can purchase something that's better for less money. How?

Well, for example, freshly ground black pepper is much more flavorful than the pre-ground black pepper, and peppercorns are usually the same price as ground pepper (per pound), so all you need is a pepper grinder, and you can have high-quality freshly ground black pepper at the same price.

Hurry, hurry, hurry! ;) 

3. Allow plenty of time.

The "preparation time" listed for recipes tends to be the time required under ideal circumstances (e.g. you have made the recipe before, you know where all the ingredients are and can locate and measure them quickly, etc.). Whenever you are making a new recipe for the first time, start early so you can take the time to follow your recipe accurately and not miss anything. Even if you are a quick and experienced cook, it never hurts to allow extra time.

You also don't want to be rushing through the preparation of your foods, having to turn up the heat to boil things quickly or cook them faster. Some things can be hurried, yes, but many meals are ruined from haste. "Quick cooking" should be the result of either a simple recipe or experience in the kitchen, and not result in burned foods. ;)

4. Think ahead.

If you're making a new recipe, be sure to read through the recipe to see if you have all the ingredients. Your recipe might also call for something at room temperature that you need to thaw or set out ahead of time. If you have a microwave, you might be able to soften cream cheese at the last minute, but it saves time and hassle (and produces better results overall!) if you just think ahead and just set it on the counter to soften.

5. Use enough salt or other seasonings.

If your mexican foods are tasting bland, try adding some hot sauce; even if you don't like extremely hot foods, a little hot sauce (we like Tapatio!) will add some flavor. If your gravy needs some more flavor, try adding black pepper or some (MGS-free, hopefully!) bouillon. For heavy tomato-based foods like chili or tomato soup, we like a little white or brown sugar added.

However, the main "seasoning" that is sometimes overlooked (or simply forgotten!) is salt. Having the perfect amount of salt is essential to producing great-tasting meals. It's best if you are able to actually sample your food as you are cooking to determine what the perfect amount of salt is. If you have had a lot of experience in the kitchen, you might know how to estimate how much salt various things need. For example, we tend to like extra salt in things like gravies or white sauces and potato soups. Still, it's good to taste your food to be sure it's seasoned correctly.

If you taste your soup or gravy and it seems to be missing something, try adding a little salt and tasting again. Often an "only okay" meal can be transformed into a "great" meal with a little table salt!

6. Follow recipes exactly.

Yes, I know, I don't do this. But my food doesn't always turn out great. My lasagna gets watery, or my bread dough is too sticky (since I use the bread machine to knead it ;D). My food might still taste good, but when I take the time to follow a recipe accurately, the results are even better.

If you're like me, and you hate measuring everything and following every little instruction, then you may just have to go through some trial and error to discover what's okay to "fudge" and what's not. ;) When you've done a lot of cooking, eventually you learn that melted butter won't always work when a recipe says "softened butter", and that it's not always okay to just mix the ingredients in whatever order you feel like mixing them. And if it doesn't say to use an electric mixer, yet you beat it on HI for 5 minutes (because you hate stirring ;D), depending on what you're making, it just might not turn out like it should. ;)

7. And lastly, good technique.

I put this one last, because it really isn't essential to cooking. We all started out as beginners at some time, and learning good technique is a result of years of practice.

Being experienced at, say, rolling out pie crust, will produce better pies. But don't ever be discouraged by your inexperience. If you need some cooking help, find someone who has had experience at making bread, canning, making pies, or whatever you wish to learn, and spend an afternoon learning from them. There are some great online videos and tutorials, if you have the time to study them, but I think the easiest way to learn cooking techniques is from hands-on, in-person help. If you're learning by yourself, start small (bake homemade muffins rather than homemade pies!) and gradually learn to make new things!

Another great apple recipe: Apple Brownies!

  Here's another wonderful autumn dessert: Apple Brownies. Now, before you start imagining chewy chocolate brownies with apples inside, relax! These aren't chocolate at all, but they have a wonderful brownie-like texture! You can see a picture of them at the recipe. They taste even better than they look!

My mom has made these apple brownies for years, and often gets asked for her recipe. They're a great lunchbox treat or afternoon snack. We like ours well-browned, so they're not extremely chewy, but you can bake them to whatever texture you like. If you want an easy and delicious apple dessert recipe, try Apple Brownies!

First apple recipe of the week: Quick Apple Coffee Cake!

Quick Apple Coffee Cake recipe

Today's apple recipe is a delicious quick apple coffee cake! I made this a couple weeks ago, and we all really enjoyed it. It's a soft, cinnamon-y quick-cake with apples on top, and it's easy to make, too! We were given some flavorful cooking apples and this was one of the things I made which used them. If you want a fast dessert or an afternoon snack, this coffee cake is great served warm or cold!

I love apples. I think most people do! They're so fun to cook with. Perfect Homemade Apple Pie is probably my favorite way to eat apples, followed by apple crisp. We also like to add fresh chopped apples to our morning oatmeal. There are so many ways to serve apples. If I had more time I'd make more apple recipes and take pictures to share with everyone! ;)

New Ebook from Crystal at BiblicalWomanhood.com!

Simply Centsible Breakfasts ebook by Crystal Paine 

 My friend Crystal just released a new ebook of easy and inexpensive breakfast recipes and tips! This ebook includes 14 pages of all their family favorites, and she even has two recipes in there that I gave her before she was married! :D 

Currently this ebook is available for just $2.97! You can read more details and purchase a copy at Crystal's website, Biblical Womanhood!

If you link to Tammysrecipes.com

Okay friends, I need your help! I'm terribly behind in many different things, and one of them is getting my links page set up. I figured out how to do it, and I'm all excited about getting it filled out! I can't believe it's taken me so long!

I know a number of you link to this website on the sidebars of your blogs, or on your journals. If you link to me, will you please contact me with your blog or website's address so I can link back to you? Thank you so much!!


We took a walk a few days ago, and Yehoshua insisted on pushing the stroller. They went in the ditch a couple times before I took over. 

Yehoshua and Eliyahu try to escape during our walk...

Yehoshua is his same old mischievous self these days, and more and more we catch him involving Eliyahu in his mischief. Yesterday we caught them BOTH going up the stairs. Eliyahu was only on the second step, thankfully! I guess our baby gates aren't going down anytime soon!!

Eliyahu wanted to drive their getaway vehicle, but had to taste the steering wheel first.

Yehoshua talked to Eliyahu and explained that drivers can't eat the steering wheel. Eliyahu decided to eat his drawstring pants instead.

Eliyahu figured out how to eat while driving, and Yehoshua kindly allowed him to keep one hand on the steering wheel.

This is as far as the door would go shut with them both inside there. Eliyahu sure does have a blast with Yehoshua. Thinks he's one of the "big boys" now. :D


User login

Subscribe to RSS - Tammy's Kitchen
Subscribe for free recipes, menu plans, and kitchen tips!