Category Archives: Tips

DIY : How to make a “Magic Bag” from an Old Sack of Rice

pain killer magic bag

I’m writing this post with my new magic bag on my lower back and I’m beyond happy! It’s good to know that I’m able to compensate my stupidity (I experience back pain right now because yesterday I was too proud to stop a workout that was obviously too hard so I could keep a good form) by a flash of genius!

I was complaining to my boyfriend about the fact that I was in pain, telling him I could not understand why we didn’t own a magic bag, when he suggested to me I should do my own. I have no sewing skills and no fabric (which is a shame because my mommy is the best seamstress IN THE ENTIRE WORLD), but I had the sudden idea of reusing a old sack of rice! Isn’t it cool?! I’ve always kept some of those to put my lunches or other things in them, but now I feel those bags have found their vocation (from rice to rice!)

So, I took the cute sewing kit my mom just gave me and went on the internet to make sure I wasn’t going to blow the house down with my experiment (THIS site confirmed me that I was on right direction). Obviously, I didn’t want the metal zipper to stay on the bag cause it wouldn’t have been fun in the microwave (well, depending of your definition of what is fun). Anyway, the magic bag would have been too big for what I needed.

So, here is what you’ll need :

  • An old sack of rice
  • Some uncooked rice (or other fillings you can find on that previously mentioned website)
  • One needle
  • Some thread
  • Scissors
  • A microwave

I simply put in the bag the amount of rice I felt was optimal and folded the sack in two so I could sew it in the middle. This size felt like the best to me but I could have gone bigger or smaller. Here is how I folded the bag to sew it :

IMG_0978 IMG_0980 IMG_0977Once your bag is folded in two, just sew the thread all along the fold so the sack is close. Of course, this will look handmade and not perfect at all, but it matches with the style of the bag, and I’m obviously giving tips to no experts here! I don’t even know if what I write is understandable, as my english “sewing vocabulary” is all coming from Google Translate… ouch! Anyway, I guess you can all figure it out from the pictures…

When your bag is closed with the thread, cut the excess of fabric, like you can see on the first picture of the post. You now have a heating bag! Put it in the microwave and test it! I went for a minute first, but finally put it in for two minutes and it was perfect for me.

On the next picture, you can see that I filled about half of the bag with rice. You can go from 1/2 to 3/4, depending of how firm you want it to be.

IMG_0982Please stay aware, the first time you heat your bag, so that it does not catch on fire or anything. Just saying. Please do not use a bag made from a weird plastic fabric or anything funky. It’ll be safer if you just stick with cotton bags.

Hope you enjoy the idea!

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Eco Friendly Tip : How To Make Broth From Your Kitchen Scraps

scraps for broth

A few weeks ago, I said that september feels like a huge turning point for a lot of us. Getting back to the routine, trying to be a better self, having some resolutions… I feel like this year is no exception! I’ve been cooking quite a lot, studying, looking for a job, beginning the organization of our second CRAS Comic Forum… and I even managed to get some of my friends in shape! As the Ultimate Frisbee season is over, some of them asked me to be their ” personal trainer “. I’ve no certification whatsoever but I’ve a lot of experience and a good drive (well, I think). We meet once a week in a beautiful park nearby so I can kick their asses! I even leave them homework (I’m such a schoolgirl!)

I feel like there’s a real empowerment for a little woman like me (I’m 5’3”) to kick some tall men butts! 🙂 Hehe! I love them guys, and I really hope I can convince them to keep up with the healthy lifestyle trough the winter… Does anybody knows a website or app. that would look like a calendar where each of us can write the exercises he’s been doing on each workout day? Does dropbox or google doc would do the trick?

Well, well, well, where were we? Oh, yeah : september. Good vibes, good resolutions. Making your own kitchen broth should definitely be one of them! Why? Because it is healthy (I mean, really healthy), eco friendly, easy, delicious and (almost) free! I took the idea from Feed Me Phoebe on last Earth day and never stopped doing it since! I think this idea is simply genius! Since I moved in my new apartment in june, I simply never used store bought broth again (oh my… “store bought broth”, try to repeat that 10 times fast).

Yeah, making your own veggie broth requires more motivation than simply buy broth in stores… But most of these commercial broths are so salty and unhealthy! I wouldn’t want to go back to this! Besides, making your own broth just become an habit after a few times… I don’t even think about it anymore.

But hey, if you think you won’t have enough motivation to do this on a regular basis, please, at least, invest in a good quality broth. I personally recommend “Better than bouillon” vegetable base. It’s saltier that what I do at home, for sure, but at least it is mostly made from real vegetables and ingredients you can actually pronounce.

Now, let’s talk about the real thing, our homemade veggie broth. Here’s what you’ll need :

Ingredients :

  • Veggie scraps (this means : parts of the vegetables you don’t use : the top and bottom of them, the skins… even the onion and garlic skins)
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • About 10 peppercorns
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)

How To :

I feel like the most efficient way to collect kitchen scraps is, like Phoebe suggests, to collect them from time to time by adding them in a freezer bag each time you cook. When your freezer bag is full, it’s time to make some broth! Put the content of the bag in a big cauldron and put the empty bag back in the freezer.

scraps in a bag for broth

Fill the cauldron with some water until it reaches the top of the vegetables. Add the pepper and the bay leaves. Bring to a bowl, then lower the heath and let the broth simmer for at least 1 hour and a half (you can let it there a lot longer if you want to). Take a look at your broth once in a while and add some water if necessary, cause some of it will evaporate.

You can add salt to your taste if you want to, but I personally don’t. I feel like it is healthier this way. I adjust my recipes when necessary and add a little salt then, but I prefer to have a clean, neutral base to work with.

When you feel like the broth has been there long enough, stop the heat. Most of the time I let it stand on the oven for an hour so it can cool a little. Drain the broth with a sieve or a mesh over a bowl to recuperate all the liquid. Then, put the broth in some small containers you’ll put in the freezer, so you can just take the amount of broth you need when you need it (heating it in a cauldron or in the microwave).

broth in cauldron

If you have some extra motivation, or if you simply want to have an idea of the quantity you can put in each of your container, measure the quantity of broth you put in every one of them and note it on a post-it. If you feel lazier, freeze it directly. You’ll measure it when you’ll need it. Don’t fill your containers to much of it’s going to overflow when it freeze!

I measured my last batch of this recipe it gave me seventeen cups and a half  of broth.

I usually do some broth every 10 to 15 days.

broth with measures

broth ready to freeze

So, I hoope I gave you the desire to try to do your own broth! You don’t have to do it on a regular basis like I do… Just once in a while will be better than noting at all!

Enjoy autumn, everybody! The breeze is amazing and I’ll bring you my favourite soup recipe really soon! 🙂

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Food Sculpture : How to cut “Apple Arrows”

apple arrows

This is a VERY SPECIAL post for my BIRTHDAY! Yeah, I got a little crazy and convinced myself that I had to beat my fear of seeing (and earring!) myself on video. I was just so enthusiast with the feeling that this sculpture skill was one of the only original thing I could put out there on the Internet that I just jumped into it : removed my old nail polish with the last bit of remover I had, took the only apple left in the fridge, and got it front of my computer like it was now or never!

Here you can see the result :

Hope I’ve said enough to make you a pro with apple cutting!

***

And now that I’ve finally put my face on the blog, I can also show you the FANTASTIC tank top I got just in time for my birthday!

jpeg peanut

It’s from Blogilates. I simply love to encouraged creator Cassey Ho caus she really helped me get stronger during the last year with her amazing fitness videos! Just like Cassey,  I can completely binge into peanut butter. This is the only food that I crave that much! I just don’t get why… I don’t eat peanut butter everyday, but when I feel the urge, it really is something!

So, now it’s time for me to enjoy my birthday! It will be terrific, as I’ll go to raw vegan restaurant Crudessence with my boyfriend and then… sing KARAOKE with my friends till no sound can come out of my mouth anymore!!!

Hope you have a nice day too! 17th of july should always be wonderful… I mean, it’s my birthday!

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