Cheat Code: Reducing Single-Use Plastic in the Home

I got the idea for this post a few weeks ago, and since Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd this seemed like the perfect time to write it up.  The recycling program where we live recently faced some changes and had to revert back to an older, less efficient system.  This has made the topic of recycling come up more than usual lately and it’s really been making me think about our impact on the environment.  As the poor couple, when we first moved in together most of our focus was on getting what we needed at a price we could afford.  As we’ve gotten more established in our home it’s given us a chance to make some changes in what we buy – though price is still almost always first priority!  So let’s take a look at what changes we’ve made over the past couple of years to help reduce our use of plastic in our home and how you can do it too!

RecycleSign

Photo Credit: Gary Chan via Unsplash

Read the rest of this entry

We Can Do It Better – How to Make a Homemade Shamrock Shake!

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and people are gearing up for the one day of the year they can get away with getting drunk at 10:00AM. However, for many others, the season of St. Paddy means something else (and I’m not just talking about non-stop listening to their Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly playlist). Of course, I’m referring to the almighty Shamrock Shake!

Photo Credit: Todd Van Hoosear

Read the rest of this entry

Test the Recipe: Blueberry Muffins

“Test the Recipe” is a recurring column on PCFG where we test vintage (anything published before 1990) recipes and see if they stand the test of time or need updating. In this post we test the recipe as exactly as possible for the most accurate outcomes. Those recipes that need updating will be featured later in a “We Can Do It Better” post.

It’s been a while since my last Test The Recipe post, but I decided I wanted the next edition to be a breakfast one.  After a recent trip to the city, I’ve had blueberry muffins on my mind.  So it was off to the old cookbooks to see if I could find an old blueberry muffin recipe to test.  I found one in the McCall’s Cook Book from 1963.  This book is huge and has pretty much everything in it.  It’s actually kind of two recipes since they first offer a basic recipe and then offer variations, one of which, luckily for me, is blueberry.  I’m a big fan of muffins because they’re easy to make and can then also provide a breakfast option for the rest of the week.

DSCF9129

Read the rest of this entry

Pizza Lab #47: Smokey Autumn Squash Pizza

As the Fall draws to a close and we all curse under our breath about the impending cold, let’s take one dip into the pool of delicious Autumnal foodstuffs. Pizza Lab has experimented with pumpkins before, but to avoid repetitiveness we went for a more alternate take on the edible gourd, and used a butternut squash instead. There was a point where we actually had trouble thinking up an overarching theme besides just “Fall” but we eventually decided to toss in some smokey flavors since it seemed like a nice complement. Oh, and also because we recently bought a food smoker and smoked meats are reeeeeeally good.

dsc03045

 

Read the rest of this entry

Cheat Code: Pizza Dough Pretzels

Pretzels of all kinds are a great snack.  Hard pretzels are yummy, and easy to take on the go, but I think we can all agree that soft pretzels are the superior variety.  If you don’t, then you might want to stop reading this post now, since, spoilers – this post is about soft pretzels.  The main downfall to soft pretzels is that you generally have to put on pants and leave the house to get one, unlike hard pretzels which are usually already there.  You can always make your own those times that you’re craving a soft pretzel but also don’t want to go to the mall or other pretzel selling location, but as we discovered when we made the Pretzel Pizza, making pretzels from scratch is kind of a pain in the ass.  It’s kind of actually less work to just go buy one.

However!  We have come up with a method for making pretzels at home that is not a total pain or a ton of work.  It does require putting pants on temporarily to go get the initial base ingredient, but once that part’s done you can totally have a no-pants pretzel party.

Read the rest of this entry