Thursday, May 8, 2014

Practical Sewing: Nut Milk Bags

Sometimes it's nice to a do a quick project that helps you hone your skills, makes your life easier and helps you to feel accomplished. Ever heard of a nut milk bag? They're pretty amazing. It allows you to make homemade nut milk really easily.  Also, for those of you without juicers, you can easily use this to make juice as well, I know one of my friends' mothers makes carrot juice by blending carrots with water and then separating it using a mesh sieve.  It seemed tedious, having to press down with a spoon or your fingers to strain out all the water.  Using a nut milk bag to separate the water from the pulp would make her job (or rather her children's job) a lot easier. She was actually the inspiration for me making these, they're a gift to her and for all she's done for me.

I made the bags out of drill fabric.  I'm not really sure what exactly drill is, but it seems to be unbleached and made from natural cotton which is what I wanted for something that would be used for making food. I bought the two different types I found at JoAnn's, figuring that she could use the one she likes best.  The difference between the two is the amount of spacing between the weave, so one might work better on certain juices than others. Using my nut milk bag (yes, I know, it sounds funny), as a guideline, i cut each bag on the fold and only serged the vertical sides. that's one less seam for the solids to get cleaned out of. I also omitted the drawstring that was in my bag. I never use it for making milks, however, while writing this, I just realized that I use it to dry my bag by hanging it on my cupboard knobs after I've washed it. Drat!!  I'm sure she can figure out another way to dry them. But all in all, this was simple, allowed me to use my serger (for the second time) and help out someone who works extremely hard for everything.

I've been talking about these nut milk bags, but I figure I should share with you a recipe so you can use them! This is the simple recipe that I use for my almond milk.

Almond Milk Recipe:
1 cup Almonds
4 cups water or coconut water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Soak the almonds for 2-8 hours. 
  • After they've soaked, place the almonds and the 4 cups of water in the blender. Blend on high power until it seems thoroughly mixed.  
  • Place the nut milk bag in a bowl and pour the mixture into the bag, being careful not to overfill.  Squeeze the bag, letting all the liquids into the bowl and keeping the almond pulp in the bag. 
  • Store your new almond milk in a jar or container, add the vanilla and shake it up!
  • The remaining pulp can be used as to bulk up cakes or pastries, or dehydrate it to make almond meal. 

Note: If you prefer your almond milk to be sweetened, just soak 2 or 3 dried dates with the almonds and add them to the blender at the same time as the almonds.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Community is important. It's what helps to shape us and who we are.  It influences our decisions, gives us support and allows us to feel at home whether things are good or bad.  I have many different communities in my life, be it work, sports, family, NSBE or just life.  What I was missing and what I found yesterday was my sewing community.

So to sum it up, yesterday was a freakin fantastic great day!  I went to a class put on by Jennifer from Workroom Social for sewing a Dolman Sleeve Blouse that was being taught by Marcy of OonaBalloona.  I've followed her blog for a while now and I've always been impressed by her style, skill and confidence.  So of course when i heard there was a class being taught by Marcy in NYC, i hopped on that train (literally) and used it as a great excuse to go fabric shopping, learn some stuff and make some new friends.

The ladies from our Blouse class. Fiona, me, Aspen, Jen and Marcy

So yeah, the whole making new friends part, that ties into the sewing community she-bang.  After the class, Jennifer hosted a fabulous sewing party/meetup/swap thing and I must say, I've never met so many great creative women in one place at one time. With over 30 people in one place and me feeling as though I've known a handful through semi-cyber stalking them through my Feedly account (fyi, i inspire myself every day by reading what people have created and showcased on their blogs, and then i feel like a "failure" for not spending enough time to create things myself), I truly had an amazing time.  WanettCarolyn, Devra, Gail, Aspen, Marcy, Fiona, Jennifer, plus the many more that my terrible memory is failing to remember. It feels good to meet the people that you read about, that you hear about and that you admire, for all they create in addition to the things that they do in "real" life.  I'm hoping that we all keep in touch (that I blog a lil more so people know I'm alive) and that I have reasons to jump on the train and get to NY more (and hopefully not spend the $$$ that I spend every time I go).

The attendees of the Social

Thanks to Jennifer and Workroom Social for putting the event on and making this possible, Thanks to everyone that came out and I'm especially thankful that I was able to meet a great bunch of people who will continue to inspire me and that have helped me to feel a sense of community for the creative side of my life!
Marcy and I

Update: Jennifer posted pics up from the party on her site. Check em out!