Homemade, Real Food, Cheesey Crackers

I love crackers. Plain and simple. Super crappy crackers from the grocery store made out of chemicals and ‘food’ have my name all over them. ‘Eat me, Courtney, eat me!! I promise you won’t regret it!!’ It’s pretty tempting. But aside from the ridiculous prices of a store cracker, the ingredients are just so obnoxious it keeps me from buying them. So what do I eat instead??

Homemade crackers!! Once you start to realize you can actually make anything you want yourself, you suddenly want to try and make everything yourself!

Crackers are way easier then you ever thought. These cheese crackers taste like the popular ‘Cheez-it’ cracker. Only better, and good for you!!

Homemade, real food, Cheesey Crackers

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4 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese
(buy a block and shred it yourself to avoid eating the sawdust they put on pre-shredded cheese! And purchase white cheese to avoid artificial colors and dyes!!)
2 tbsp. of pastured pork lard
(you can sub in butter if you don’t use lard, but I highly suggest lard!!)
3/4 organic whole wheat flour or unbleached white
2.5 tablespoons of grass-fed raw milk
(Plus extra to brush on the crackers)
Himalayan Pink Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine everything except the salt in a food processor until it forms a soft dough. You can add a little extra flour if it’s too sticky. Roll the dough out as thin as you can and cut it into small squares with a pizza cutter. Place the crackers on a cookie sheet and brush them with milk. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on each cracker and bake them for 14- 20 minutes, or until they are brown on the edges and getting crunchy.

Bam! Healthy ‘cheez-its’. Not to mention they taste way better and they are way cheaper!! My daughter loves these crackers.

Please note, unless you use artificial dyes/colors, these crackers will be a brown/tan not bright orange like the original cracker!!

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Epic Healing Salve

Hey guys! Don’t forget to ‘like’ me on Facebook!! I only need 100 total likes by August 11th likes to do a giveaway of 6 half gallon mason jars!!

I’ve been debating weather or not I should share this recipe. I adjusted another bloggers recipe to make mine, so its kind of from another blogger (which you should go read so you can decide which way works best for you!). But in the end, its just the most amazing salve ever so I decided you all needed to see how to make some!!

Epic Healing Salve

(Salve is pronounced sav, in case you didn’t know ….)

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This particular salve is made from the leaves of the plantain leaf. (Not the starchy banana looking fruit plant). Plantain (broad leaf or narrow leaf) can almost certainly be found in your yard or a nearby field. I used broad leaf plantain for my recipe but you could use narrow leaf plantain if that’s what you find.

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This is what the leaves look like. They are easy to identify by the thick veins that run through them in one direction and the flower stems are thick, green spikes out of the middle.

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The plant in its natural environment

This plant is really an amazing plant. You may think its a weed but its pretty awesome. Its edible (just like salad greens or cooked in a recipe in place of any greens) and medicinal. If you get stung by a bee just pick a leaf of this, chew it up and rub the poultice on the sting. It removes the stinger, stops the swelling, eases the pain and eases the itchiness.

How to make the salve-

You will need:

A mason jar loosely pack with plantain leaves* Organic Olive Oil Beeswax (Buy here) Coconut Oil (Buy here)

(*I didn’t put amounts because its how much you want to make. I used a quart jar 3/4 full of leaves and got a pint and a half of salve and half a pint of leftover infused oil. As far as beeswax and coconut oil go, use 2 tablespoons of each per 1/2 cup of oil.)

Process:

The leaves in the oil

The leaves in the oil

Add enough olive oil to your mason jar to cover your leaves (I used about 2 cups for my quart jar). Here’s where I do my own thing. Put the jar of oil in a cool, dark place. Take it out and shake it twice a day (or more) for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks strain the leaves out. Squeeze them in your fingers to get all of the oil out. You don’t want to waste any. Get rid of the leaves however you see fit (or save them and use them as a poultice). Put the oil in a sauce pan and melt the coconut oil ad beeswax into it over as low of heat as you can. You heat it on low heat so you don’t disrupt the nature of the beeswax.

Pour it into sterilized mason jars and let it cool. Its ready to use immediately. It lasts for a year stored in a cool, dark place.

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So what do you use it on??

Everything!!

Ok, not quite, but almost!

It stops bug bites from itching along with making them go away quicker, it helps stings, scratches, small cuts, bruises and poison ivy. It also really helps new tattoos and piercings. I recently got a new tattoo and its healing up very nicely. It was one of the most painful tattoos I’ve gotten and the salve really helps when it starts burning and itching.

Just because I mentioned it, this is the tattoo I got. It was a horrible, crappy, scratcher tattoo (just thick, black letters) that my favorite artist over at Inner Vision Body Art fixed for me =)

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Anyways, back to the salve, I’ve been rubbing it on everything. Its fantastic!!

So go make some!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger Award

This post was shared on Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Natural Living Monday, Party Wave Wednesday, The Blog Strut and Wildcrafting Wednesday!

DIY 5 Gallon Water Filter for $30!

Yup, you read right. A 5 gallon water gravity water filter for $30.

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I have always wanted a Berkey water filter. Tall, shiny, silver, water purifying happiness. But the price tag?? Waaaay out of my budget. The 3.25 gallon Berkey is $283.00. Almost half one month’s rent. And twice the cost of monthly utilities. Now, don’t get me wrong, Berkey’s are awesome and I would still like to get one. But its a big purchase and would require saving a lot of money and a lot of time. I need clean, good drinking water now.

So about a month ago I entered a giveaway to win a royal Berkey (which I didn’t win). One of the entries was earned by commenting on the blog post. A few days later I got a Facebook message on the blogs Facebook. A really nice guy messaged me and told me you can make your own for around $30!! It had never even crossed my mind. So he showed me his, and I researched it more online to see what I could find. Turns out, tons of people make their own!

So, without further ado, I’d love to share a tutorial on making your own =)

*Disclaimer- Not my original idea!! I’m simply sharing with you what I have learned in a (hopefully) helpful, easy to follow tutorial so more people can have clean drinking water!!*

You will need:

  • 2 food grade, five gallon buckets with at least one lid. You have to be able to stack the top bucket on top of the bottom bucket’s lid.

(I got mine from the pickle stand at my local farmer’s market, they sell the pickles out of 5 gal. buckets and were selling used ones for a dollar a piece, which they donated to the ASPCA. You can also ask nicely at a grocery store near you that has a bakery, they get icing in them.)

(if you order those two together on amazon it ends up being $28.29 and you get free shipping!)

  • A drill and drill bits

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First off, start by rinsing/washing out your buckets.

You will have to drill holes for the water filter’s bottom and the spigot. Figure out how big of a drill bit you need to drill that sized hole. I just used the biggest bit we had then used a cardboard knife to make the hole the correct size, since we didn’t have a big enough bit. Once you have that down, let’s put in the filter!

Stack the buckets on top of each other with a lid in between (picture labeled 1). You will want a hole through both the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket at the same place (pictures number 2 and 3). This is where the filter gets attached.

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Then, put the bottom of the filter through both holes with the rubber seal inside the bucket and the wing nut outside under the lid:

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Top left- this portion goes inside the top of the bucket, top right- this is was should stick out into the bottom bucket once you put the lid on, bottom left- same thing just with the wing nut screwed on, bottom right- what the filter will look like from inside the top bucket once its attached. I put my filter off to the side because I eventually want to add another filter on the other side.

More filters = water cleans faster

Which means, with 2 filters, it would take half as long to filter all the water.

Now your filter’s installed!!

Let’s install the spigot =)

On the bottom of the bottom bucket, mark where you want you spigot to go. You want it close to the bottom, but not so close that you can’t tighten the nut to keep it on. Drill a hole where you marked and push the spigot through. The spigot will have 2 rubber seals/washers and a nut. One seal goes on either side of the bucket and the nut gets tightened on the inside of the bucket. Make sure its really tight so there’s no leaking going on when you fill it with water.

Where the hole should be located

Where the hole should be located

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That’s it!!

Test everywhere you drilled holes to make sure no water leaks out before you fill it with 5 gallons of water. Trust me, you don’t want to clean up/waste that much water if there’s a leak!!

If its all good, place the bucket with the filter on top of the bucket with the spigot. Do not snap the lid completely closed, as it will prevent water from coming out of the spigot properly, leave a section open or just rest everything and be careful around it. Mine has sections on the lid and I leave 2 or three sections unsnapped. Then fill the top bucket with water. The water will drip through the filter and out the bottom hole into the bottom bucket. The filter I used said to fill your filter and let it run through twice before drinking it. You could use that water for dishes, watering your plants, etc.

Then you can enjoy your fresh clean water!!

These filters are so good, you can set your filter out in the rain and collect rain water. It will filter out into perfectly clean, drinkable water.

I know its made of plastic, not metal like the Berkey, but its still exponentially better then tap water! Plus, its $253.00 cheaper then a Berkey filter =) I do suggest cleaning it out with a little hot water/baking soda or some vinegar every other week.

Now go make your own and drink some deliciously refreshing, better for you water!! Your half an hour and $30 away from it!

Like what your read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Tuned in Tuesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday and LHITS DIY Linky!

How to clean your tub with baking soda and vinegar!!

Or, it could also say, ‘How I cleaned my insanely filthy, dirty, 10 months of grime, tub with just baking soda and vinegar.  Be amazed!!’

But that would be too long.

However, that’s what I did.

Let me start by saying I hate absolutely, positively despise more then anything else on earth cleaning.

I’d much rather do anything else. Hence the reason my tub got so dirty…..

But, we’re moving this weekend/week (Yay!!) and it needed cleaned.

Imagine the music from a slasher film when the murder is behind the main character for some dramatic effect....

Imagine the music from a slasher film when the murder is behind the main character for some dramatic effect….

Yes. I’m ashamed to admit my tub was really that bad…. But, you need to see how well this works.

So you wanna see how to clean it??

Gather up some supplies (I thought about getting some grenades, it seemed easier, but I’m renting and decided against it).

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
I add orange peels to my vinegar so it smells better when I clean.

I add orange peels to my vinegar so it smells better when I clean.

Spray the tub with the vinegar and cover it with baking soda. Make sure the worst spots have plenty of baking soda. Then leave and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Just.... Ew.

Just…. Ew. The clumps are orange peel from the vinegar by the way. I realize they look like something dead.

Once its set for a while, scrub away the grime with a damp sponge. The grime will come off super easy. If something is harder to get off, add extra baking soda to the sponge. Then rinse the dirty water/vinegar/baking soda down the drain and…

Bam.

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The little black mark on the left is where the tubs cracked, not dirty.

Yep. Its that clean. No grime. No dirt. No gunk. Just shiny. Very, very shiny.

I feel so accomplished.

And I solemnly swear to myself to clean my tub ever single week for the rest of my life, so it never gets that bad again.

(I promise my toilet and sink are clean! I clean them once a week. The tub just gets to me. Its so big. Too much surface to clean.)

This method of cleaning works for TONS of stuff. I use it on the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet bowl, floors, window sills, pretty much anything you want shiny.

*I did edit my photos, but I just brightened them because my bathroom is so dark you could hardly see the pictures even with the flash on.*

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I especially love that its cheap, chemical free and I can clean with my baby in the bathroom =) If I were using harsh chemicals, she would have to be outside so she didn’t breathe it in.

So go clean something!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Like what your read? Follow me on Facebook!

This post was shared on Thank Your Body Thursday, and Little House in The Suburbs DIY Linky!

Adventures in Glass Cutting

Just for the record- I’ll be back to blogging regularly on Monday, I’ve been crazy busy this weekend with my grandparents visiting and my nieces and nephew’s birthday parties and getting ready to move and looking at houses…. Busy busy.

But anyways, I figured I’d at least show you what I did today =)

Every glass bottle I ever get (like if my fiance gets a beer or I get peanut butter in a glass jar or something) I hoard them.

I’m a glass bottle hoarder.

I just can’t bring myself to throw them in the recycling because in the back of my mind I know there has to be something I can do with it myself.

It is glass after all. And glass is great.

I saw a fancy picture of a beer bottle planter and decided to test out making one on my bottle stash.

So here’s how to (and how not to) make your own!

You’ll need:

A glass bottle

Cotton yarn

Acetone finger nail polish remover (I got mine for a dollar at the grocery store, I’m sure some of you may have some at home already but I don’t use the stuff)

First rinse out your bottle and remove the labels (if you want, its not really necessary to remove the labels). Take your yarn and wrap it around the bottle 6 times and tie and trim the ends. Like so

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Next, remove the string and soak it in the nail polish remover. (while its soaking up fill your sink with cool water) Make sure the string is super soaked, the first time I tried this, it was only damp it didn’t cut through the glass. Place it about 3/4 of the way up the bottle. Close to the neck, but not too close as you will be holding the neck while its on fire and you don’t want to burn yourself.

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About here, maybe a little higher up even.

Now, hold the bottle over the sink and set the string on fire. Slowly twirl the bottle (with the mouth facing you) until the flame is almost out. Right before it goes out (the flame will be small and just blue) dunk it in the water. (I will upload a video of this later on tonight, I’m still trying to figure out how =P)

I had tons of troubles with this. The first time I hit the bottle off the sink faucet and it cracked. The second time the top half was good and the bottom half was cracked. The this time the top was cracked and the bottom wasn’t. All in all I managed to get one whole planter out of it =)

Once its cut through, use sand paper to soften the edges and put the top upside down in the bottom to create the planter.

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This one obviously didn’t turn out so great.

Way to sharp and cracky =P

Just a note- Be SUPER careful. Glass is crazy sharp when cut like this and will cut you. Don’t do it with your little kids and don’t blame me if you cut yourself lol.

Here’s my final product with one of my aloe plants in it-

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Put soil in the upside down portion with your plant and fill the bottom with water. The water will pull up into the soil as needed.

Self watering planter!

Have fun with your adventures!

X’s and O’s

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent