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Tag Archive: Do-It-Yourself Experiments

My Homemade Poptart Experiment

I was really excited to try the Homemade Poptart idea. It’s been one of those things I’ve long wanted to experiment with.

I used a different crust recipe because I’d already tried the recipe Laura uses and we weren’t big fans of it. So I used my own {yes, I’m a rebel like that! ;)}.

One of my readers had recommended that I put lots of filling on the poptarts because, otherwise, she said they’d be really bland. However, I think I went a little overboard and when I put the tops on, there was jelly spilling out — and it only got worse once I crimped the edges with a fork!

I decided to be more conservative with the jelly the next time around and it worked better.

The end result wasn’t all that pretty — and most of them crumbled when I tried to take them off the baking sheet. They tasted pretty good, but weren’t very sweet at all. If your family is used to storebought poptarts, you’d probably need to drizzle glaze on them to make them sweet enough.

My conclusion on the homemade poptart experiment is that it’s not something our family will be regularly making. They seemed very time-consuming to make and they didn’t wow us at all. In fact, it kind of reminded me of my Homemade Uncrustables experiment.

That said, there is some kind of coolness factor to being able to say that you made homemade poptarts. It seems almost on par with the novelty of making homemade marshmallows. 🙂

Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Making Homemade Naan

So, after months of wanting to try making it, I finally made Homemade Naan yesterday. And it was so, so simple.

I used this recipe from Food For My Family. It worked just exactly like she outlined. I don’t have a baking stone, so I just used a cookie sheet. The texture might have been a little better with a baking stone, but they still turned out well.

I decided to just make a single batch instead of trying to double or triple it. And I think that’s probably what made it such a cinch. Of course, it only made five, but hey, at least I can now say that I made Homemade Naan. 🙂

The result was beautiful and yummy, though I think the Greek yogurt gives it a bit of an interesting taste (However, believe it or not, I’ve never had Naan before, so I’m guessing that’s just probably how it’s supposed to taste?!).

At any rate, I will definitely be making homemade naan again–especially now that I know how easy it is to make!

In case you missed it, here’s my list of 12 DIY projects I plan to attempt in 2012:

12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Attempt in 2012

January: Homemade Hair Detangler

February: Homemade Naan

March: Homemade Facewash

April: Homemade Pop-Tarts

May: Homemade English Muffins

June: Homemade Wheat Thins

July: Homemade Bagels in the Bread Machine

August: Homemade Moisturizing Kitchen Hand Scrub

September: Homemade Whole-Wheat Pretzel Bites

October: Homemade Hand Lotion

November: Homemade Vick’s Vapor Rub

December: Homemade Bubble Bath

Have you tried any new DIY projects recently?

Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Making Homemade Rice Milk

After Adrienne posted about how to make homemade rice milk, I’ve been wanting to try it. I mean, who couldn’t find it fascinating that you could basically blend rice and water together and turn it into milk?

Personally, I was a bit skeptical that it would really work that well. It seemed too good to be true.

I cooked the rice and then put it in the Vita-Mix with water, a dash of salt, vanilla, and honey (see the recipe measurements and instructions here).

And then turned on the Vita-Mix and let it run for two minutes.

The result? Beautiful rice milk that tasted identical to rice milk we’ve bought at the health food store.

It was delicious in Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Waffles–and it took all of five minutes to make!

Note: I did try keeping some of the rice milk in the refrigerator and it didn’t taste all that great after a few days. So I’d recommend making it fresh or using it up within a day or two.

Have any of you tried making rice milk or other non-dairy milks? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Homemade Hair Detangler

Both of my daughters have wavy hair. I love it, but it’s taken some getting used to–especially since I have pretty near straw straight hair. We’ve purchased numerous products over the years: curl spray, frizz spray, gels, and lots of detangling spray.

Because of this, I was quite excited when I saw that you could make your own homemade hair detangler with just conditioner and water. I don’t know why the thought never crossed my mind before, but I’m grateful to have stumbled upon this blog post describing how to make it.

And after reading the simple instructions, I wondered why on earth I’d ever let myself actually pay for hair detangler when I could be making my own for pennies?! It’s kind of like the light-bulb moment I had when I discovered how simple it was to make homemade foaming soap.

At any rate, now that I know how easy it is, I’ll never go back to buying hair detangler again.

Here’s how to make it:

And that’s it, folks. See? I told you it was super simple!

Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Hundreds of you have raved about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I bought the book months ago, read it in Spring, and have since been trying out making the bread recipes.

The concept is simple: you take a few minutes to mix up some ingredients. You don’t knead the bread and instead let it rest for at least a few hours and then you can refrigerate it for up to two weeks to have fresh Artisan Bread with less than five minutes’ worth of work at any given time.

Truthfully, I was confused over the directions when I read the book the first time. I read and re-read the first chapter to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do with the dough once I made it.

I finally came across Mandy’s video (above) on how to make artisan bread and it all became much more clear. {Yes, I’m a visual learner if there ever was one!}

The bread was extremely easy to make, just like you all have been telling me. However, the first batch was way, way too salty. I followed the directions carefully and was quite disappointed in how it turned out. {Edit: I did use table salt instead of kosher salt the first time around and I’m guessing that could have been much of the issue.}

It looked beautiful, but it tasted gross. So gross, in fact, that I threw out the baked bread and the rest of the dough. And I was rather discouraged about the whole thing. This bread was supposed to revolutionize my baking. Instead, I threw it out. Um, that’s not exactly what I was envisioning with this recipe.

But then I read online where someone suggested cutting the salt in half. I did that and it was a lot better.

(Note: I didn’t use a baking stone (I don’t have one) or the steam method on these loaves. I think that’s why they look undercooked, even though I baked them the full amount of time. I’m going to keep experimenting and am hoping I can land on the perfect amazing bread you all keep talking about!)

I have yet to dub Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day as the next best thing to sliced bread and I won’t be making it exclusively as I have a number of other bread recipes I really love, but I think the concept is fascinating, the bread is undeniably easy to make, and it’s definitely a recipe I’ll be adding to our regular bread recipes line-up.

Have you tried the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Recipe? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! (And feel feel to chime in on suggestions for me on what I’m doing wrong and how I can improve! I really want to make the beautiful loaves that the book pictures!)

Coming up tomorrow: My Homemade Detangler experiment.

Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Homemade Marshmallows

Ever since watching Carrie’s video on making Homemade Marshmallows, I’ve wanted to give it a try myself.

And I finally did in December.

I used this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and found the step-by-step photos extremely helpful. I also found that my KitchenAid from my grandma was a huge help, too. In fact, I thought the recipe was quite easy to make, but I think it would have been a lot more time-consuming without the KitchenAid.

The end result was delicious homemade marshmallows that my whole family oohed and ahhed over.

They weren’t necessarily money-saving or time-saving to make, but I think they’d make a very fun and unique gift–especially when paired with a homemade hot cocoa mix.

Next time, I want to try making these Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows.

Up tomorrow: The long-awaited details on my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day experiment.