Pan Substitutions

Have a recipe that calls for a pan size you don’t have? No problem. Just use these charts to find other pans that you can use instead:

Pan Substitutions - Rectangular Pans

Print Rectangular Pan Substitutions Chart

Pan Substitutions - Round

Print Round Pan Substitutions Chart

Pan Conversion - Square

Print Square Pan Substitutions Chart

Baking Times:

If the substituted pan is the same depth as the one called for in the recipe, you shouldn’t have to adjust the baking time. However, if the substituted pan depth is shallower, (a 1″ pan, instead of a 2″), you’ll need to shorten the baking time. If the substituted pan depth is deeper (a 2″ pan, instead of a 1″, you’ll need to increase the baking time.

It’s also worth noting that foods cooked in a glass pan may take 5-10 minutes longer than those cooked in a metal pan.

Get Hens to Lay in Their Nest Boxes

Fake Egg

Easter egg hunts are fun, but you probably don’t want to hunt for eggs every day. Show your hens that you want them to lay in their nest boxes by sticking a fake egg in each nest box.

When our chickens were approaching laying age (5-6 months), I picked up two marble eggs from a flea market, and stuck one in each nest box. It worked like a charm. When we go out to collect eggs, they’re right where they should be.

And don’t feel like you have to have marble eggs. Use a ceramic egg, a wooden egg or even a golf ball. Anything remotely egg shaped should do the trick.

More Tips to Get Hens to Use Their Nest Boxes:

  • Make them private – Position your nest boxes in a dark, quiet spot in the coop
  • Make sure you have enough nest boxes – One box for every five hens is about right.
  • Make them cozy – Fill your nest boxes with a good amount of shavings or straw. Replenish them whenever they get low
  • Keep your hens inside until they lay – If you let your hens free range, wait until after they’ve laid to let them out for the day. Once they understand that eggs go in their nest boxes, you can go back to letting them out first thing in the morning. Ours are good about heading back to the coop to lay

How to Build a Ladybug House

How to Build a Ladybug House

We built mason bee houses to attract pollinators for our fruit trees. Now, that that’s worked, we’re working to attract more beneficial bugs to help with the pest control.

Since this is the first year that our apricot bushes have fruited, making sure they’re well protected is top priority. I did some research to figure out which pests we were likely to be up against, and learned that aphids are one of the biggest threats. Knowing that ladybugs have a voracious appetite for aphids, I decided it was time for us to finally build that ladybug house that’s been sitting on my to-do list for ages.

We already have a good ladybug population in our yard, but by building them a house, we hope to encourage them to overwinter in our yard, so they’ll be ready to go to work for us as soon as the warm weather arrives each spring. And since we’ll be placing our new ladybug house next to our apricot bushes, that should mean our bushes will be well protected from aphids all season long.

Ladybugs also eat mites, white flies and scale, so we may just have to build another one for our vegetable garden.

Want to build your own ladybug house? Here’s how we made ours: [Read more...]

Coupons for Real Food

Coupons for Real Food

People say you can only find coupons for processed foods, but that just isn’t true. Check out this list of coupons for real foods and real ingredients, and see for yourself:


  • $1 off any two Brother’s-All-Natural Disney 5-packs
  • $1 off any two Brother’s-All-Natural 6-packs
  • $1 off any two Brother’s-All-Natural 1 oz. resealable bags



  • $1 off three Dole canned fruits
  • $.50 off Star vinegar
  • $1 off any Wholesome Sweeteners brand Organic Sugar, Agave or Honey
  • $.55 off any one C&H Quick Dissolve or Pourable Brown Flip Top package


  • $1.50 off one Tate + Lyle Fairtrade Certified Sugar product
  • $.55 off on one Domino Sugar Quick Dissolve Superfine or Pourable Brown in a Flip Top Dispenser
  • $.55 off any Florida Crystals Natural or Organic Sugar Product
  • $.75 off on one on bottle of Domino Organic Blue Agave Nectar
  • $.75 off on any two Domino Sugar products, 2 lbs. or larger

Common Kindness

  • $1 off Alter Eco Unrefined Mascabado Cane Sugar
  • $1 off Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice
  • $.75 off any Clover Stornetta Farms product
  • $.75 off any Country Choice organic canister oats
  • $.50 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 12 oz. juice
  • $.75 off any Uncle Matt’s organic 59 oz. juice
  • $1 off any Woodstock Frozen Fruit or Veggies

  • Click “Sign Up Now.” Register for a free account, and print a coupon for $1 off any fresh pork product

Like this list? I’ll be updating it weekly, so be sure to check back.


Curb Find: Closet Organizers

Curb Mart was running a special on closet organizers last night. We rescued all of these things from a single curb pile:

Plastic Shoe Boxes

11 plastic storage bins. 9 with lids. 2 without …

Shelf Organizers

2 large shelf organizers …

Box of Hangers

and a bunch of hangers. I’ll keep the white ones for my closet, and save the rest for the next consignment sale.

Did you have any good curb finds this weekend? I’d love to hear about them.