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Monday, September 7, 2015

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha {pronounced come-boo-cha} is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast" (SCOBY).  I know it has a sort of funny name, but Kombucha is an ancient drink that can be traced back to Russian and Chinese roots.  It is a fermented tea.The fermentation loads the tea with natural probiotics, which are good for your digestion, your gut, immunity and aids in nutrient assimilation into your body.  In fact, Kombucha is known as a ‘cure all’ drink, but  it’s not that it cures you, it actually boosts your own immunity so well, your body is healthier and stronger in fighting off everything from infection to cancer.

I am so excited to share how to make your own homemade Kombucha for you and your family to enjoy :} It is really easy and only takes a little of your time about once a week. Here are step by Step instructions with photos. 

What you need: 
1.  1 cup sugar 
2.  A box of  black or green tea. 8 bags per brew  (We think the black tea Kombucha tastes much better)
3. a SCOBY 
4.Glass jar (only glass, so not with a plastic spigot, the fermentation process can eat plastic)
5. 1-2 cups starter liquid 
6. Paper towels
7. A rubber band  
8. Large glass container to hold finished tea {you may need two if you do not plan to do a 2nd fermentation}
 Boil a pot of water
 Right at boiling point remove from heat and add 8 tea bags and let steep 10 minutes ~Do not squeeze tea bags when you remove them, this can cause a bitter taste in all teas
Add your one cup of sugar and stir until dissolved
 Pour your hot tea in the glass jug
 Fill almost to the top with cold water leaving room for SCOBY and starter liquid. Let this tea come to room temperature before continuing
 Add your SCOBY
 She may float, sink or hang in the middle all positions are fine
 Add your starter liquid right on top
 Congratulations, you did it :}
 Now, just add a doubled over paper towel
 and secure with your rubber band
 I always add the date so I don't forget which day I started the brew
Put the jar in a semi-dark spot with no direct sunlight and ideally at 70-85 F temp.
Our house is usually a tad cooler than this, so we just have to wait a bit longer for fermentation as it slows down at cooler temps.  Then your job is DONE for a bit, and the SCOBY takes over.  It eats and ferments the sugar and caffeine while creating a fizzy, probiotic, delicious drink for you as it sits.
  Ferment for 5-7 days. 
To really know if your kombucha is done –> taste it!
Stick a straw in and pull out some to taste. 
  • If it tastes kind of like apple cider (tangy, sweet, and fermenty), it’s finished.
  • If it tastes too sweet, it’s not finished.
  • If it tastes vinegary, you’ve left it too long.
 Mine is ALWAYS done on day 7. So I will ferment Sunday to Sunday or Monday to Monday or whatever day you start. So I never have to taste it anymore. 
 Next steps after a week of fermenting....
Pull out your SCOBY's and place on glass. There should be two because your mother SCOBY had a baby. The baby is what you would give to a friend if they wanted to start brewing also. {also 1-2 cups of your tea you just fermented}
You will also need 1-2 Cups of starter liquid poured out into a glass holding cup. 
Then Pour the tea through a mesh strainer into your glass storage container.

 And this is how much you will have. Put all of this in your fridge and it is ready to drink.

If you plan to do a 2nd fermentation with some tea just fill one container and move to fridge. 
Then fill your 2f bottles with the remaining tea and add any fruit you like to give your tea flavor and extra fizz. I leave my 2f for about 4 days before I drink it :} 
This is how many frozen organic Blueberries I added to my 2f. I will leave this for 4 days and burp the top once a day.


My blueberry infused 2f :} So yummy 
 And as soon as you pour all of your tea out of the large glass jug you begin the process over by brewing your sweet tea and following the same steps again. Its that easy :]
When you go to drink your Kombucha from the fridge I recommend straining through a paper towel into your cup so you do not get any floaters so to speak. :}  

If your fermentation's are brewing too fast and you want to hold off a couple days to begin your next brew you can simply leave your SCOBY's in the starter liquid and begin again when you are ready. She will continue to have babies so make sure you leave enough liquid to cover all the SCOBYs in the jar. This is actually called a SCOBY hotel lol If the liquid is low you will need to feed it with more sweet tea.
 Since this will detox you, if you do not already drink it on a daily basis then you want to start slow with a half glass and work your way to more and more as the days pass. 
Also, never use any soaps on any of the containers. Just simply rinse with water or just rinse out with vinegar. Also make sure your hands are clean when handling the SCOBY but free of soaps as well.
 
Hope you all found this useful. Please comment with any questions you may have. :}
Live, Laugh, Love,
Lana 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

HOMEMADE PLAY-DOH

HOMEMADE PLAY DOH 

It is so simple mommas and the kiddos love to be big helpers when making it. So not only do you get awesome vibrant fresh play doh but you also get the bonding experience and the measuring lesson that comes along with it. 
HERE IS HOW :} 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon oil 
  • food coloring of choice 
  • {optional} 2 drops of your favorite Essential oil {found here}
Mix all ingredients except your food coloring and EO in a pot on the stove. Stir continuously until it forms a ball. Remove from heat and divide into how many different colors you want to make. Kneed colors and EO into each part. If you only want one color it is actually easier to just add it into the pot while forming the ball.  











So simple and easy and the kids love it even more since they had a hand in making it :} 

Live, Laugh and Love,
Lana 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Homemade Powder Laundry Soap

 So I use to make this liquid laundry detergent and I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it. So now I make this powder version and I LOVE it :} It last about 2-4 months and is much easier to make. Plus the next few times you make it you will only have to buy the soap bars since you will still have plenty borax and washing soda leftover.

2 Shredded bars FELS-NAPTHA
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
10 drops EACH of Purification and Lemon Young Living Essential oil {FOUND HERE}

SHRED YOUR BARS
ADD YOUR BORAX AND WASHING SODA

ADD YOUR OILS
HAVE YOUR 3 YEAR OLD SHAKE THE MESS OUT OF IT

AND SHAKE


SHE LOVED THIS PART :}


AND YOU ARE DONE :}

THAT EASY 
YOU COULD ALSO USE LAVENDER IF YOU LIKE THAT SMELL BETTER. PURIFICATION IS AWESOME IN LAUNDRY SOAP BECAUSE IT GETS STINKY SMELLS OUT OF ANYTHING SO I USUALLY JUST USE THE PURIFICATION AND LEMON COMBO :}

You only need to use one tablespoon per load

Hope y'all love this cost cutting tip :} 

Live, Laugh, and Love,
With Lana 

Friday, February 27, 2015

She Crab Soup


She crab soup is one of my all time favorite soups. I grew up in the South part of Virginia and this was actually a soup served in many restaurants. When I moved to Florida I use to ask people where I could get some because lets face it, she crab soup is one of those foods you get a major craving for. Well, NO ONE knew what the hell I was talking about. She what? I'm confused, are you saying SHE? What is it?...... Lord, I knew I was never going to find a restaurant who served it. :-/ SO I have made a few different versions while living in FL but never loved enough to share the recipe or make again. Well, this one right here is amazing. It is a little more fancy and flavorful than most she crab soups I have had but if that's all you are having for dinner you want it be GOOD :}

Ingredients
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups crab stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 2 bay leaves
  •  lump crab meat  cans of lump crab meat
  • 10 oz. roux
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

To make roux:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup butter


In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter is completely melted, slowly whisk in the flour until combined. Cook roux for 1 minute, stirring constantly; it will smell nutty. Set the roux aside until ready to be added to the soup. You may need to heat the roux up a little to get it back to pouring consistency. 




In a large pot over medium heat, sweat shallots and celery until tender; about 8 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and Old Bay; cook for 1 minute. Next add white wine, sherry and crab stock. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
When the liquid is simmering, add the heavy cream and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a simmer and slowly whisk in the prepared roux. If you prefer your she crab soup to be less thick, just add less roux! Once thickened, add crab and salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a splash of sherry. 

I hope ya'll enjoy this as much as we did. It is a little rich so a small cup may be enough to satisfy your taste :}




Live, Laugh and Love,
With Lana

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kombucha Kandy



I chopped up my SCOBY into bite sized pieces using a very sharp knife (they can be tough to cut so I used a pizza cutter!)


 Then I mixed the kombucha pieces with some sugar and frozen blueberries


 Next, I put the kombucha scoby pieces, blueberries and sugar on the stove and simmered them for about 10 minutes. The will even pop at you a little :]

 Then, I put each kombucha piece out to dry on a piece of wax paper.



 They taste like a sweet and sour candy! If I didn’t know it was a Kombucha SCOBY, I think the texture might be a bit more appealing. My dughter LOVED them. I gave her one and she said " thats good mommy" then I bagged them up and put them in the fridge and she came back and asked where her gummies went. So I gave her a few to take with her to play!