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Homemade Hot Cocoa

Homemade hot cocoa is so absurdly easy to make, it amazes me that store bought packets dominate the market.  The homemade variety is fast, easy and gives you complete control of the ingredients.  So say goodbye to unnecessary preservatives and excess sugar and say hello to pure chocolate delight!  Below is my personal favorite recipe, it makes a rich and creamy, semi-sweet brew.  But this recipe can be effortlessly...

Top Posts of 2013

At the close of each year I like to do a Young Mother Hubbard year in review.  This includes ranking my posts by the number of hits they receive and I’m often surprised by which ones top the list.  This year’s most popular posts include: How to Get the Meat Out of a Coconut – Tips and tricks for cracking the elusive coconut: http://youngmotherhubbard.com/http:/3466/how-to-get-the-meat-out-of-a-coconut/ How to Treat...

Creamy Tomato Soup

This creamy tomato soup is flavorful and satisfying without being heavy or overly rich.  The trick is to use milk instead of cream and to thicken it with a simple roux.  This produces a wonderful creamy texture without actually using cream.  It also increases the soup’s yield without sacrificing quality or flavor.  Roux (pronounced roo) sounds fancy but it’s actually really easy and a valuable tool for thickening all...

How to Make Pizza Dough

Most pizza dough recipes are pretty standard – flour, water, salt, yeast, oil and perhaps a bit of sugar.  The trick to consistently great dough is to use a kitchen scale.  For years I balked at the thought of a kitchen scale – it seemed unnecessary, gimmicky and frankly annoying.  When I finally gave it a try, it made a huge improvement in both the quality of my breads and my enjoyment of the process.  I kicked...

Mommy, What Is That For? – Book Review

Mommy, What Is That For? is the debut children’s book written by Carolyn Powell. This book is particularly dear to me as Carolyn is a personal friend and it’s illustrated by yours truly! The book stems from Carolyn’s extraordinary life experiences and I’d like to share her-story before launching into the review. To begin, Carolyn is a fighter. Four years ago, her heart stopped due to a genetic condition called Long QT...

How to Make a Watermelon Keg

In less time than it takes to carve a pumpkin, you can make the cutest little keg you’ve ever seen.  A watermelon keg is easy to make, looks awesome and impresses both kids and adults alike.  Bring one of these bad boys to your next summer party and you’re guaranteed to feel happy every time you look at it:) How to Make a Watermelon Keg Supplies: One whole watermelon Spigot (see note below) Knife and spoon Pen or...

5 Great Summer Popsicle Recipes

In anticipation of the first day of summer, I wanted to post Young Mother Hubbard’s top 5 popsicle recipes (based on reader popularity).  All 5 are easy to make, use wholesome ingredients and of course taste delicious.  So break out your popsicle molds and enjoy these refreshing summer treats! Fruit Salad Popsicles: The most popular popsicle on this blog and always a hit with the kiddos – it’s literally...

Puddle Jumper Review

The Puddle Jumper by Stearns might be my new best friend.  I seriously love this thing.  I have an active 3 year old who’s in the pool almost every day of the summer.  I want him to be a confident swimmer but I constantly worry about his safety and this is the first floatation device that’s really worked for us.  Prior to the Puddle Jumper we tried regular swimmies, life vests and a floatsuit (looks like a body...

Wholesome No Cook Chocolate Pudding

This pudding is rich and creamy and chocolaty sweet.  It’s also the healthiest pudding you will ever eat and you’ll never guess what it’s made of!  I made it on a whim one night when I made the mistake of scheduling dental work over dinnertime.  My stomach was rumbling but I wasn’t supposed to chew for several hours so I scoured the kitchen for something satisfying that I could puree.  This crazy recipe is the...

Pectin Free Strawberry Jam

This recipe makes a rustic strawberry jam so rich it almost verges on strawberry butter (Marshall says it tastes like a strawberry fruit roll up).   I specifically wanted a recipe using common ingredients that could be made anytime without a trip to a specialty store.  For this reason I omitted pectin, a common gelling ingredient.  I don’t actually have a problem with pectin, it’s just not something that people keep...

Homemade Dijon Mustard

I’ve been experimenting with Dijon mustard for a while using different types of vinegar, sweeteners and fresh vs. powdered onion and garlic.  I’ve made several that I liked but none that I loved… until now!  This recipe makes a delicious classic Dijon.  It’s smooth and savory with a nice tang.  I added just a bit of sweetness and spice to balance the flavor without taking away its bite.  Enjoy it on sausage,...

Smelly Spot Spray

Anyone with animals or children knows how often smelly stains pop up around the house.  Dog pee on the carpet?  Food spill on the couch?  Mysterious unnamed substance on the rug?  This spray neutralizes odors and has some stain fighting ability as a nice bonus.  It can also be used on hard surfaces such as stinky trashcans or litter boxes.  It uses ingredients that most people keep on hand and it works really, really...

Homemade Easter Egg Dye

I’m a geek at heart and this project involves 3 of my favorite things: playing with food, a natural alternative to a commercial product and a fun science experiment!  I used beets, red cabbage and turmeric to make red, blue and yellow dye.  Then I combined these dyes in different proportions to also make green, orange and purple.  Your kids (and/or your inner kid) will feel cool making their own dye and the eggs turn out...

No Work Chicken Stock

Homemade stock is the trick behind many of our favorite meals.  It adds noticeable flavor and nutrition to countless savory dishes.  When I first started making stock I followed a recipe (included in notes).  It’s a good recipe that makes tasty stock.   But even though it’s not hard, it requires just a bit too much thought.  As our life gets progressively busier I found myself making it less and less.  But store...

My 10 Favorite Posts

In the past year Young Mother Hubbard has grown from a tiny fledgling blog to a collection of over 150 posts and recipes.   The start of the new year seemed like a good time to look back over my collection and share some of the gems that may have slipped under the radar.   I recently posted my 10 most popular blog posts (see link at bottom of page) and decided to follow it up with my 10 personal favorite posts.  These are...

10 Most Popular Posts of 2012

Recipes on this blog span a wide range of topics including healthy cooking, skincare, cleaning, gardening and plenty of DIY goodies in between.  I’m always amused by which posts generate the most traffic and thought it would be fun to share the list with my readers.  So without further ado, here are the 10 most popular posts of 2012: Deodorant Spray – A simple and inexpensive recipe for aluminum free spray...

Homemade Yellow Mustard

I recently discovered how easy it is to make mustard and have been trying recipes like a crazy person.  Just combine mustard seeds and/or powder with an acid (typically vinegar) and customize however your taste buds please.  I’ve experimented with brown mustard seeds (hotter flavor), yellow mustard seeds (milder) and ground mustard powder.  I’ve soaked them in liquor, beer, wine and several types of vinegar.  I’ve...

Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Latte

A steaming, pumpkin latte is an irresistible treat during these first cold days of fall.  However, they are not cheap!  I have better things to spend $5 on so I set out to make my own recipe.  The result is rich, creamy, very nicely spiced and WAY less expensive.  I make enough spice blend for a week’s worth of lattes (or a large batch to share with friends).  Here’s my take on this toasty seasonal brew: Spiced...

How to Make Aluminum Free Deodorant

I have serious concerns with commercial deodorant and this is one of the products I feel most strongly about making myself.  Deodorants, or more accurately – antiperspirants, use aluminum to plug your sweat ducts and prevent sweating.  Aluminum is easily absorbed by the skin and has been linked to nasty stuff like increased risk of Alzheimer’s and breast cancer.  Furthermore, your armpits are a sensitive area....

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween rocks!  I love any excuse to dress up and now that kids are on the scene we have twice the fun.  Every year Marshall and I rack our brains for the perfect costume.  We usually make them ourselves and we start brainstorming months ahead of time.  Last year I stumbled upon a serious gem – a website called Coolest Homemade Costumes that’s devoted entirely to homemade Halloween costumes.  JACKPOT!  It...