Sourdough Starter: Where to Start

Sourdough Starter: Where to Start

A Website for Demystifying Homemade Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter
Considering my love for all things cultured and fermented, I would be really surprised at myself for not attempting a homemade sourdough starter before now if it weren’t for my dismal failures at bread making in the past. After those catastrophes, I just couldn’t muster up the courage to try again for a long time. I finally did, though. I googled “No Fail Bread” and the recipe I found turned out a few excellent batches… until I went off it during my “morning” sickness phase. 

But now that I’m in my “eat everything” phase, I have been obsessing about a sandwich. The best sandwich in the whole world, in fact. It consists of tomatoes, avocado, brie, salt and pepper on lightly toasted and buttered sourdough. As I write this, I am full to bursting from the stir fry that I gorged on for supper, but I would murder this sandwich if someone put it in front of me right now. Maybe even two of them.

Frikkin’ pregnant cravings. 

The trouble with this sandwich (aside from the semi-costly ingredients) is that sourdough seems to be an extremely rare commodity here in my corner of rural Nova Scotia. I look for it hopefully every time I go to the grocery store and I think I’ve only come across it a time or two. I could probably get it at one of the local bakeries, but that would mean an extra stop in and out of the car with a toddler when I’m already budgeting seconds that count toward nap time.

I will either write off or figure out elaborate detours to get around anything that makes me get in and out of the car with Toby an extra time, and so this time I detoured by just making my own sourdough. Bread-making fears be damned.

What you need to know about sourdough starter:

When I started to do my research, I was super overwhelmed by the crazy amount of information available about making your own sourdough starter. There are a lot of  terms and details that I am still boggled by, and I know that it’s going to take a lot of years of practice before I fully understand it all.  That being said, however, there is absolutely no reason for a beginner to shy away from trying to make sourdough as it can be as simple as it can be complicated… if that makes any sense.

I cruised a lot of different blogs looking for recipes that appealed to my simplistic side, and in my hunt I discovered that good sourdough depends, largely, on patience. All you really need to get started is flour, water, and time.

As an interesting side note, I also discovered that because of the lactic acid that is formed in the fermentation process of sourdough starter (which I talked about in my homemade soda pop post), sourdough bread is potentially easier to digest and does not cause as much of a spike in blood sugar that other breads might cause, making it a better choice, health-wise. I can always get on board with that, especially when I’m eating something delicious.

So where do you start?

The website I settled on in the end is fantastic. Behold: the kitchn. It is easy to read and to follow, very straightforward, and gives you the basics without overwhelming you with too many details. Since I am still a beginner, I can’t improve on anything she posted and so I will just direct you right along to the site.

I made my starter with all-purpose white four and water from my tap (we have our own well and so our water is NOT chlorinated. This is important!), and when I began the process, I used a scale to weigh equal amounts of flour and water. I popped my loosely covered plastic container up on top of my kitchen cupboards where it would theoretically stay at a consistently warm temperature, and every day I added more flour and water. By about day 7, I had a starter that looked and smelled sufficiently fermented. It was ready to try. 

Nothing to it!

Tucked into the instructions for the sourdough starter on the post I’ve linked above is a recipe for a loaf of sourdough itself. This recipe calls for a small amount of commercial yeast to ease you into the leavening process while your starter is still young, and so it works out to be something of a no-fail recipe. There are five ingredients in this bread, and if you are ready to spend a day letting bread rise and do a bit of kneading, then you are ready to have a super yummy loaf of bread at the end of the day.

Homemade Sourdough HeavenThis recipe is the one I used for my starter’s maiden voyage and I can attest that… It. Is. Fantastic. I made my wonderful sandwich out of it. And I made grilled cheeses with fried eggs. And I made toast… a lot of toast with butter and jam, which has incidentally become my newest obsession along with the World’s Best Sandwich. 

Good thing this bread is healthy.

If you want to do some more in-depth reading for tips and tricks on making your own sourdough starter and bread, check out what Cultures for Health has to say. They even offer heirloom sourdough cultures for sale if you don’t feel like playing with the fermentation side of things. However, if you are anxious to try your own sourdough at home and want to keep it simple, I urge you to just have a read through the post at the kitchn to give it a go. It may take some time from flour to loaf, but I promise, it’s easy and entirely worth it.

So now, dear little boozy readers, have you ever made your own sourdough? What kinds of tips and tricks can you pass on to a newb like me?

 

 

 

Deceptively Sinless Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Deceptively Sinless Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado PuddingI’ve always liked sweets, but pregnancy really amplifies this wicked taste of mine and I have been shamefully shoving junk food into my face like it’s the only thing that will keep me alive.

My lack of willpower and the attitude of “you deserve it, you’re pregnant!” have been a horrible combination. It has totally enabled me to satisfy this craving with whatever crap is handy (including but not limited to lots of chocolate bars) but I’ve started feeling guilty. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging in moderation, but I guess I should probably be making sure I’m getting the right nutrients and all that blah blah blah.

My flawless logic also tells me that if I eat sweets that are more wholesome and nutritious, I can eat MORE of them.

I’m sticking to that theory, so don’t even try to talk me out of it. 

The easiest way to be healthier when in the clutches of a sugar jones is to stay away from packaged, processed sweets and eat things like fruit and yogurt, of course. When that doesn’t do the trick (i.e. most of the time, in my case), I can move on to sweets that are cut with nutritious ingredients, like a honey sweetened apple crisp, say, or chocolate quinoa brownies. Controlling these kinds of ingredients means making my own treats as much as I can, and now that I don’t feel like a hangover on a roadtrip in a stuffy car, I’m much more likely to do this.

However, I could have all the extra energy I’m capable of possessing and still not feel like putting in the effort to bake, so my credo (as always) is that simple is best. I want as few ingredients as possible with as few dishes as possible with as few steps as possible. That’s really not so much to ask, is it?

My ultimate go-to simple and healthy dessert, then, is chocolate avocado pudding.  It’s a bit of a no-brainer, really: avocados are really good for everyone, but as it turns out, they are extra good for us pregnant lassies. Avocados are high in potassium (which helps keep all that extra fluid in your swollen self at the right chemical balance), high in fibre (lowers blood pressure thereby reducing the risk of preeclampsia and also keeps you… you know, moving), and they are also a good source of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. They are sometimes thought to be very fattening but the fat content we are looking at is unsaturated. The good kind. Unsaturated fat is crucial in brain and nervous system development, giving you another good reason to dig in while you’re growing a whole human (and also a good reason to feed avocados to your kids).

Chocolate, of course, has gotten a lot of positive attention in recent years as it is now thought to be a healthy choice when you are looking for something to file the edge off your sweet tooth. If you select a good quality dark chocolate (meaning at least 70% cocoa content, but the higher the better), you are enjoying a treat that is a source of antioxidant flavonoids which will not only help your body repair cell damage but can also help protect your cardiovascular system. It does have to be dark chocolate, though: milk chocolate and Dutch processed cocoa are both processed to remove some of the bitterness that raw cacao holds which strips them of much of their flavonoids. 

This being noted, I’m sure you’ve realized that this chocolate avocado pudding is on the dark side. If you’re not a huge dark chocolate fan, you can serve this dessert with whipped cream which cuts some of the bitterness. It may not keep the fat content down, but lemme tell ya, it definitely jacks up the delicious factor.

I have to give Tracy full credit for this chocolate avocado pudding recipe — she practically lived off the stuff when she was pregnant and introduced it to me then. I will give you two versions of this pudding: one uses mainly whole ingredients and is a little bit healthier than the second which uses chocolate chips. Both versions are smooth and silky beyond what you would have possibly imagined, and both are rich and chocolatey and decadent. The major difference between these two recipes is that the chocolate chip version sets into a ganache-like texture while the cocoa version stays a little softer and more like pudding. I usually make the chocolate chip version because it has less ingredients (see credo above) and because I like the firmer texture, but if you want to go guilt-free, you can make the cocoa version — which incidentally fits in with vegan and raw food diets, if that’s something you’re observing.

So now that I have you convinced that you should make it (and I do, don’t I??), here are the two recipes for…

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

 ~Angelic Version~

 Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to large avocado, ripe
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey, agave syrup OR maple syrup (this depends entirely on your tastes. You can even go for raw sugar, if you want.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • optional: 1-2 Tbsp milk (coconut, almond, cow… whatever you have. This is only used as needed to thin the pudding should it be too thick to blend nicely)  

 Directions

  1. Peel avocado and remove pit. Place in food processor and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides as needed. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until completely incorporated, again scraping sides as necessary. 
  3. Divide pudding into individual dishes and chill for at least an hour. 

 ~Slightly More Devilish Version~

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to large avocado, ripe
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk (or cream if you want to amp up the indulgence)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Directions

  1. Combine chocolate chips and milk over medium heat and stir until chocolate begins to melt. Remove from heat and continue stir until smooth. Set aside. (Alternatively you can microwave the chocolate chips and milk together for 1 minute at a medium high power setting. I use 7 on my microwave if I’m using it for this purpose.)
  2. Peel avocado and remove pit. Place in food processor and blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides as needed. 
  3. Add vanilla, salt and chocolate mixture to food processor and blend until fully incorporated. 
  4. Divide pudding into individual dishes and chill for at least an hour.

When chilling is complete, you can serve either version with fresh fruit and whipped cream or you can top it with a sprinkling of your favorite kind of nuts. I like it best with bananas or strawberries and whipped cream. 

This is an enormous hit at our house –to the point that if Toby sees the food processor and an avocado on the counter at the same time, he does a little dance — and it’s also a great way to use up that avocado you forgot about in the fridge which needs to get eaten NOW. All things considered, this is definitely a dish you can eat time and again and enjoy without tarnishing your conscience at all.

Have you tried this before? What is your favorite wholesome (or, as I like to call them, sneaky) dessert? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and field any questions! 

– Joc

Ottoman Makeover: A Weekend Project

Ottoman Makeover: A Weekend Project

How to Reupholster a Storage Ottoman

Reupholster an Ottoman
My parents in-law gave us this ottoman.

It came with their bedding set as packaging and I think they’ve discovered by now that I hate to throw things out so they figured I would want it. They were right, of course.

It was in our living room for a while as extra seating but then our little Bubbs started sleeping in her own room. This meant I would be spending a lot more time in the super comfy armchair (turned rocking chair, a DIY post for another day all on its own) and I needed a footrest. I used the chair solo while I searched on Kijiji for a cute little foot stool but when nothing turned up I decided the boxy brown thing would do. As it turns out it’s the perfect height to rest your legs on while rocking/nursing a baby to sleep and it’s also a great place to store all those baby blankets we rarely use.

The problem: the color is so dark that when you go in the room when the lights are out you are almost guaranteed to knock your shins on it. I’ve done it about a hundred times. 

The solution: recover the top in a light colored fabric!

I promise you, it’s very, very easy. I did this in about an hour and again it could’ve been done with a little more love but I’m happy enough with it. You could also cover the whole thing if you wanted to but I didn’t feel like I needed to. I guess I really just didn’t want to use all that much fabric.

Ok. Less talky talky, more do-y do-y.

What you will need to recover your ottoman:

  • Foam or cotton stuffing
  • Quilt batting
  • Fabric (home decor, preferably)
  • Staple gun and staples

What to do:

  1. Cut a piece of foam just the size of the top of your ottoman cover. Lay it on top. (I used some cotton stuffing I had and just laid out enough to cover the top.)
  2. Cut a piece of batting big enough to cover the whole top and wrap down around and underneath the edges. (If you want to cover a whole ottoman, just apply this step to the whole ottoman and wrap the batting under the edges of the bottom.)
  3. Fasten the batting to the bottom with a few staples starting with the center of the edges and working out to the corners.
  4.  photo 20140506_125248_zpssiqvc276.jpg

  5. Cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover the top (or whole ottoman) and wrap underneath the edges. This piece of fabric will be a bit bigger than the batting. You may want to play it on the safe side and cut more than you need. You can always trim the extra after.
  6. Reupholster an ottoman
    Yes, that is a baby foot at the bottom of the photo. She likes to “help”.
  7. Wrap the fabric around the lid, pulling taut but not so tight that it stretches or twists the pattern, and fasten to the underside at the center points of each edge.
  8. Now this is where it gets a bit tricky: play around with the fabric until you get a neat pleat at each corner. I find it helps to push down on the center of the corner then pull the flaps that are created in toward it, sort of like gift wrap. Make sense?
  9. Reupholster an Ottoman

  10. Staple the whole mess to the underside with as many staples as you need to keep it in place.

 photo 20140506_130802_zpsa0ajuxnc.jpg

If you want it to be fully finished you can cut a piece of fabric to staple to the underside of the lid with the edges folded under but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Optional: Add one centered or two evenly spaced staples to the top to give a tufted look. You could even do a fabric covered button and glue or sew it over the staple as well, if you’re feeling fancy.

And you’re done! Put it back together so your baby can use it to stand up.

Reupholster an ottoman
Reupholster an Ottoman
Did you find this tutorial helpful? We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions and to see your finished projects!

-Tracy

Quinoa Part II: Only the Good

Quinoa Part II: Only the Good

Three of My Favorite Quinoa Recipes

You know what’s really, really good for you? Quinoa. You know what I buy in bulk and add to just about everything? Quinoa!

I’m here to come to the defense of quinoa since poor Joc has had some bad luck with it. And that’s not to say that everything I’ve ever done with it has been great, because it hasn’t, but I have found a few recipes that I really like and I’d love to share them.

These three recipes are some that I make over and over and which have become “go-tos” in our house. The first of these recipes my husband frequently requests. This is a man they have nicknamed “Meat”, by the way. Just sayin’. The second one I love but Josh could take it or leave it. The third? We both love!

Before we get cooking with quinoa here are a few tips, tricks, and other uses for it:

  • Always rinse your quinoa under cool water before cooking.
  • Toss a small handful into soups and stews for added interest and a nutritional boost.
  • Toast quinoa in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes before cooking for extra flavor.
  • Grind toasted and cooled quinoa in a food processor or coffee grinder to make a gluten-free flour.
  • Use in place of oats with milk to make a delicious, protein-packed porridge for breakfast.
  • Top your salads with a 1/4 cup cooked quinoa and make them a little heartier.

Fun, right?

Now. On to the actual cooking.

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 Meat-Lover’s Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Adapted from Eating Well
Quinoa Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa (red or white)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped cremini, portobello or white button mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans, toasted then finely chopped (See tip below)
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 8 small whole-wheat burger buns or buns of your choice

Preparation

  1. Combine water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and spices; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  5. Beat egg in a medium bowl. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, pecans, oats and soy sauce; stir to combine. Scoop scant 1/2-cup portions of the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into 8 patties, about 3 inches wide, leaving about 1 inch of space between each patty. (The mixture will be crumbly; patting it into burgers on the baking sheet makes it easier to work with. The patties hold together very well once baked.)
  6. Bake the burgers until crispy, 28 to 30 minutes. Serve on buns with your favorite garnishes.

Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap and freeze cooked burgers for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a skillet with a little oil.
  • For the best flavor, toast nuts before adding to recipes. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. For chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

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Lasagna-Style Quinoa Casserole

Adapted from Eating Well
Quinoa Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water, salted
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced portobello mushrooms (or any kind of fresh mushrooms you have on hand)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, thyme or Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini (approximately one medium zucchini)
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preparation

  1. Lightly grease a 9 x 13″ casserole dish with olive oil.
  2. Combine water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan. (You can also add seasoning to the water or use chicken or vegetable broth instead for more flavor.) Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cook covered for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the quinoa in the prepared dish. You can also cook the quinoa before hand to cut down on prep time.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Wipe out the saucepan, then add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until transparent and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and very little moisture is left in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and tomato sauce. Stir until hot. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in Parmesan, basil and oregano.
  6. Spread one-third of the sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then half the remaining sauce, then all the spinach. Finish with the remaining sauce and spread mozzarella on top.
  7. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly browned around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Baked Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

Adapted from She Knows

Turkey Quinoa meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 handful baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (or less for a milder spice)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or oregano, thyme, basil… whatever you have)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (You can use regular breadcrumbs as well)
  • 1 egg

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl add ground turkey, cooked quinoa, spinach, red onion, garlic, Sriracha, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs and egg. Stir until combined. You can also mix these with an electric mixer to speed things up.
  3. Roll into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls and add to prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until firm and cooked throughout.
  5. Serve with tomato sauce over pasta or on sub buns with cheese as a meatball sandwich.

I hope these recipes inspire you to  step outside your comfort zone a bit and do some experimenting with this funny, versatile, little seed that is all the craze right now. There are so many possibilities.

Now go make some quinoa!

Did you enjoy these recipes? Were they a flop for your family or did they gobble them right up? Let us know!

-Tracy

The Swiffer Cheat: A Weekend Project

The Swiffer Cheat: A Weekend Project

The Easiest Way to Make Your Own “Swiffer Cheat”

When the Swiffer first came out, I was dazzled by the commercials. They looked wonderful! They looked magical! I would tell anyone who would listen that I HAD to have a Swiffer.  I rhapsodized about it so much that my sister’s boyfriend gave me one for Christmas and I was beside myself with excitement.

I’m extremely prone to marketing. (And also a huge dork.)

The thing about the Swiffer, though, is although it’s a handy thing to have, it’s not some sort of miracle tool. Not the way I wanted it to be, anyway. I wanted it to be a light-weight, non-electric vacuum and mop combined, but… it just isn’t. You can’t replicate the results of a vacuum cleaner and a good old fashioned hands-and-knees floor scrubbing without actually doing all the work. However, I positively LOATHE vacuuming and washing the floors, which is a thing that needs to be done constantly at my house with a toddler, a dog, and an outdoorsy, renovation-doing husband, but I am also abhorrently lazy and will settle for a “lick and a promise” in between the days. It is for this reason that I will keep my little Swiffer on hand.

The Swiffer Cheat #1My original Swiffer was left behind when we moved back to the east coast …and it had broken a few times and been mended, in any case. I didn’t actually have any plans to replace it, but I was at the dollar store one day and realized you could buy them in pieces for a buck a part and Frankenstein them together. This, incidentally, is the first part of your Swiffer Cheat: buy the whole contraption for $2! You can go on from there, if you like, and buy the dollar store cloths for equally cheap, since the Swiffer brand cloths are jarringly expensive (a random google tells me that you can buy 16 Swiffer dry cloths online for $6.29, and 12 wet cloths for $7.99), but my tightfisted soul refuses to fork over that kind of cash for something that is going in the garbage after one or two uses. My original Swiffer collected dust in the closet, completely incorrectly, when I ran out of the initial cloth stash, and I went back to vacuuming and mopping irregularly and scowling at the dirty floors on the off days because I was cheap.

But then one day, when I was wearing a pair of microfiber socks and lamenting the dog hair magically and liberally scattered over the just cleaned floor once again, I realized my irritated stomping was adhering the offending hair to my socks. So I started to shuffle around. And I shuffled all over the house until I had “swept” up all the tumbleweeds (tumblefurs), and then changed my socks. Easier than sweeping! (Also kind of fun, if not dancing on the edge of insanity.) Did you know you can get those socks at the dollar store? And did you know that you can slip one OVER YOUR SWIFFER SWEEPER BASE?? It doesn’t fit like a glove, or anything, but it gets the job done. (Well, to the lick and promise standards, anyway.)Swiffer Cheat #2: Sock it Up

So, that’s Part Two of your Swiffer Cheat: cheap, reusable swiffer cloths, $1 for a pair of socks. Sorted. You can also wrap a normal cleaning rag around your Swiffer and tuck it into the little holes, just like you would a disposable cloth, but I don’t like how it rides over the floor. You get a lot of skipping and bumping which is completely annoying when you are trying to just whip up the mess. The microfibre is nice and zippy, so you can go ahead and dance around your kitchen with it. (Told you I was a dork.)

Swiffer Cheat #3: Spray and KnitWhen it comes to wet cleaning, however, I don’t like the microfiber as much. If I want to do a little spot cleaning where the dog/kid has dropped food, or where I find one of those random coffee/milk/beer splashes that have managed to be missed until they dried onto the floor, I still use my Frankenswiffer — I just also grab that spray bottle of All-Purpose Cleaner that I told you how to make on Monday — and a knitted cover. The knitted cloths are the best thing for this kind of job because if you use cotton yarn, like I always do (and like most of the patterns out there call for), you get a good scrubby texture that will absorb any excess moisture from the spray bottle.  The fitted shape of most of these patterns also means that you just tuck it around your Swiffer for a good fit and a smooth ride, like the socks. Then you just spray, then scrub. No bending down, no wringing out cloths, no mop and bucket. Chuck your knitted cover in the wash when you’re done.

I was working on designing a Swiffer cover knitting pattern myself to post here this week, but alas our house was struck with a horrible epidemic and I wasn’t feeling the knitting (read: we all had colds and I got useless).  Fortunately, there are about a million and two free knitting patterns out there on the web which you can find by googling “knitted Swiffer cover”. My favorite pattern is Zoom by Erica Brembos. It’s really easy so any of you knitting newbies need not be afraid to give it a go. Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn
is available in almost every dollar store and certainly at Michael’s, and you don’t need to pay more than $2 for a ball of it.  You can definitely knit it up in a weekend. And there you have Part Final of your Swiffer Cheat: knitted covers and a spray bottle!

So there it is, your Swiffer Cheat in three pretty simple steps and for less than $10! Still with me? Not bored to death yet?

Wow. It’s good to know I’m not alone in Dorkville.

Have you already created your own Swiffer cheat or floor cleaning shortcuts? We’d love to hear about it!

– Joc