Free “Love Your Leftovers” Guide

Tasty browned roast turkey

The salad is shot. The turkey is toast. The dressing is done. Now what does the resourceful chef do with this carcass on the countertop?

What if I told you that long ago, they figured out the best way to handle turkey, and I do it today and love it? Come learn the secrets of our grandparents (and probably the pilgrims!) to make the most of your Thanksgiving feast!

LauriFree “Love Your Leftovers” Guide

Simple Beautiful Handmade Cards

Leaf Pic2

It’s so fun to send a beautiful handmade card. And it’s even more fun to make them yourself and to know that you are also being resourceful! My stationery stash was getting low, so I made a mental note to make some cards when I had a minute and a touch of inspiration. The plan is to make cards at the very beginning of each season, so that I will have autumn cards to enjoy from September until Thanksgiving. Then, of course, Christmas Cards until January. I don’t usually make very many winter cards, because come February, it’s more fun to make Valentines, and then March is spring in my head (even though it’s 2/3 winter!). All you need is card stock invitation size (4 3/8 x 5 3/4”) envelopes leftover crafting supplies seasonal beauty: autumn leaves, pressed flowers One of the few craft supplies that I buy these days is card stock. If I have a ream of card stock, everything else can be recycled, created, invented, reused. But it helps to have white (or ivory) card stock as a base. Just cut them in half and fold into a card. For years, I’d take my stack of card stock to an office store (Office Depot, FedEx Office) and use the paper cutter there. Then someone gave me a paper cutter, which I use regularly. Realizing that seasonal cards are delightful, I purged and sorted my cache of collaging papers into seasons. Each gallon ziploc bag has the colors …

LauriSimple Beautiful Handmade Cards

How to Make Amazing Vegetables Every Time


I am thrilled to have found a new favorite way to cook veggies. Roasting them in a hot oven brings out a lovely caramelized flavor, slightly crisp on the edges and creamy in the middle. Even vegetables I’ve never really cared about, like cauliflower or acorn squash, are suddenly amazing. Roasting vegetables is easy and rewarding: Cut your vegetables into manageable pieces: cubes, slices florets (peel if appropriate) Toss with a bit of olive oil and salt. Roast in a hot oven 400-500 degrees F for 15-40 min (It depends on how hard the veggie is, so squash takes longer than cauliflower). Delightful flavor. Why haven’t I been doing this for the past 15 years? Here are some more specifics if you want them. Try tossing just olive oil & salt with: Acorn squash, peeled & cubed 1/2” (425* for 40 min, flip halfway) Butternut or buttercup squash, peeled & sliced 1/8” (425* for 20 min) Sweet Potatoes, peeled & sliced 1/4″ Asparagus Parsnips, peeled & sliced Try cauliflower (cut into florets) tossed with: 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice preferably fresh 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 tsp onion powder a pinch of salt Roast 15 min @ 500* (stir halfway) Here’s how I did our acorn squash tonight Cut your standard acorn squash in half lengthwise Scoop out the seeds Before you cut any further, peel off all that you can Then cut in the grooves between the wedges Peel the rest (it really is so much easier if you’ve already peeled what …

LauriHow to Make Amazing Vegetables Every Time

What to do when your washing machine smells like death.


There is really no better way to describe it. It just smells like death. Is there a rat in there or something? Gross. And this machine is supposed to be getting my clothes clean? Hmmm. Questionable at best. For a top-loading machine, the quick answer is: Run a hot empty wash load with laundry soap and a quart (or so) of bleach. Then comes the trick: after the washer is full of water, add a bucket of boiling water so that it will slosh out a bit and splash down and around those grimy undersides that are breeding the bacteria that smells like death. The bleachy water kills the offenders and you’re done. So easy! Go do it right now. I did put some towels on the floor around the washer, just in case there was any leakage. None. When it doesn’t absolutely reek (or maybe it didn’t in the first place), you can fight odors and soap residue with a regular maintenance routine using vinegar and baking soda. I try to do this about once a month: Grab a quart of vinegar and a cup of baking soda. Start your hottest cycle and add a quart of vinegar, which dissolves soap scum. Add 1 cup of baking soda, which fights odors. While the washer runs, scrub the nooks and crannies with an old toothbrush, microfiber cloth (the purple rags from the FlyLady are my favorite), and a pipe cleaner to clean around the lid. It’s amazing how much grime and junk accumulates …

LauriWhat to do when your washing machine smells like death.

Brilliant Gift Idea: World for Lego


We were recently invited to a Lego themed birthday party, fun! What’s a good gift for a kid who is really into Lego? My oldest invented a land for Lego. We’re always needing space to play with the completed sets. So we set out to make some land for our friend’s Lego world. We started with a small pizza box. Cut the lid into a 10″ square (using a cutting mat to protect both table and sharp edge). Then we covered the logo with plain white paper, and wrapped grassy-looking fabric around the whole thing gluing it securely on the back side. (Shown here on our infamous “art board”, which regularly protects our table from the brunt of creative attacks.) I cut the corner to be a mitered edge, so it would lay flat and clean. Matte ModPodge is usually my glue of choice for paper and fabric projects, applied with an old paint brush. Once I’ve glued down the edge, I also paint glue over the top of the edge to seal it and prevent fraying. I didn’t glue under the front, because I didn’t want the “grass” to buckle. Then we began to add various elements. Here we have sand (mottled tan fabric), and we’re about to add water (blue felt). We considered having a river run all the way through it, but felt it took up too much real estate unless one had a lego boat. So we settled on more beach and less water. Lego Friends’ Olivia is trying out the beach. …

LauriBrilliant Gift Idea: World for Lego