The Rising Spoon

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The KonMari Method: How One Short Book On Tidying & Joy Can Change Your Life

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The KonMari Method: How One Short Book On Tidying & Joy Can Change Your Life


Occasionally you come across something so immediately and profoundly impactful on your life that you're compelled to share it with all your friends and family - if not the whole neighborhood (or the internet in this case). 

In early January, I experienced just that when I bought a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese author Marie Kondo. It's an insanely popular book on decluttering a.k.a. "tidying" (#1 on the New York Times bestseller list and seemingly always checked out at the library), so you've probably already heard of it by now.

So What's All The Hubbub About? 

This book ditches typical organizing advice like "do a little each day" or "focus on one room at a time" and instead teaches you how to tidy your home (not to be confused with cleaning) once and for all by using the KonMari Method. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip

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Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip

Want to feel like the best cook in the world without spending hours in the kitchen? Make all your dressings, dips, and sauces at home! I promise you, it's soooooo easy and if you're serving guests they'll be clamoring for your recipe! 

I now make my own ranch dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, red wine vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing, cranberry saucesour cream and onion dip, gravy, alfredo sauce, queso dip, and basil or kale pesto throughout the year. I can't wait to try more!

Take blue cheese dressing, for example. It only takes a few minutes to stir together a simple batch using five core ingredients: sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice (or vinegar), milk (use any kind you wish), and blue cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste and you're done. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

DIY Breath Spray (Healthy Alternative to Bubble Gum & Mints)

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Did you know most commercial breath sprays, mints, and gums contain artificial sweeteners (like aspartame) and colors? Or that many rely on synthetic

When was the last time you read the ingredients list on a pack of gum or mints? It's likely been awhile. These days pretty much all commercial brands are filled with artificial sweeteners and a hodgepodge of weird ingredients. I used to chew gum all the time, but after ditching fake sugars (like sorbitol and aspartame) several years back, there weren't many options left! 

At first I was pretty sad about giving up gum, but quickly realized I was better off. Aside from all the crappy questionable ingredients in gum (and mints), there are plenty of good reasons to kick your bubble gum habit to the curb.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Greens)

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Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Greens)

Have you ever eaten colcannon? I only heard about it for the first time a few years back, and it's now one of my favorite recipes for fixing mashed potatoes. Colcannon is a traditonal Irish side dish that's often served around Halloween, yet is also popular for celebrating St. Patrick's Day (at least in the states). It's a mixture of mashed potatoes with cooked greens (usually kale or cabbage) and plenty of butter. Basically, the epitome of comfort food!

This is one of those simple dishes that's the sum of all its parts. Historically, (from what I can gather online) Irish folks used to fix this using whatever was in season and readily available (hence the kale or cabbage if it was an autumn/winter dish) and often with homemade butter.