I thought today I'd give a collection of various recipes. Some are really tips. All are short and simple. Please note- not all the recipes given are food, and those that aren't food are not meant to be eaten even if they contain food ingredients.
Flea Repellent for Pets
In a spray bottle, mix lavender oil, lemon juice, and witch hazel.
Haven't tried this one, but I can tell you lemon juice kills fleas, witch hazel soothes skin irritations, and lavender repels flies (I do mean flies. I don't know about fleas. It might repel them, too), plus it smells good. There's no measurements given. I would use equal parts juice and witch hazel and start with three or four drops of lavender, only adding more if I wanted a stronger scent.
Homemade Pure Vanilla Extract
good-quality vanilla beans
vodka, rum, or bourbon
Cut vanilla beans in half crosswise and slice again in half lengthwise. Place several pieces (6 pieces or 1 1/2 bean in a 4oz jar) in bottle and fill completely with alcohol. Cover tightly and place in a cool, dark place for 2-3 months.
Another I haven't tried, but vanilla extract is rather expensive so this might be worth doing. I assume the beans would be pricey as well and I'm not entirely sure where to find them. I also assume just dropping a bean into the alcohol wouldn't work very well because the oil in the bean needs to be exposed to the alcohol. I would buy the best/highest proof alcohol I could afford and I would buy brown bottles for the extract to keep out the light. I'd probably keep this under my kitchen sink and I'd occasionally give each bottle a shake.
Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/2 tsp of food coloring. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Nope, haven't tried this either. Not only would be good for decorating cakes and cookies, it would also be good for spells where you don't want plastic bits laying around. Just remember it IS sugar, so it will attract ants. Edible glitter isn't horribly expensive, but this is made from things you already have and it gives you way more color choices. I'd mix it in cupcake liners so I wouldn't have to worry about staining my bakeware. And with food coloring, always work from the lightest color to the darkest. Using the same spoon to measure yellow after measuring red will give you orange.
Homemade Play Dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups of water
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until dough starts to become dry and pulls away from pot. Dough should be more dry than wet. Divide dough into balls and knead. add colors and work each ball until desired color is reached.
This is one I've used. First, add the water slowly because as memory serves me, I didn't need the whole four cups of water. I also had problems with the coloring. You go to work the dough for a LONG time. It is difficult to get the color to stay in the dough and not stain little hands. I recommend coloring the flour first, and then adding color to the water. This way the color gets cooked into the dough, is more likely to take, and the color will be much deeper. Remember to work from light to dark. It also allows you to correct mistakes. The last time I tried it, I wanted red but got dark pink. Another note, allum can be used in place of cream of tartar, this is just to preserve the play dough. You might as well make several batches because no matter how much play dough kids get, they always wish they had more.