Recipe developer Ivy Manning is something of a do-it-yourself queen. Her book Better From Scratch features recipes for homemade hot sauce, homemade marshmallows — even homemade bacon. She’s also an evangelist for making your own crackers — which she swears are no harder than a batch of cookies. “I like tinkering and messing around until I get it right,” Manning admits. “And in most cases, I’m absolutely amazed at a how much better my homemade stuff tastes than the store-bought.”

And she swears these home hacks aren’t just for those with hours upon hours of free time or professional-grade equipment. “Really, you don’t need huge devices. Mostly a rolling pin and chef’s knife is all you really need to make almost anything at home,” Manning says. So, of course, when it comes to making smoked fish, she looks no further than her own kitchen.

Put That Wok To Work: A Trick For Smoking Fish Indoors

Photo credit: Photo Illustration by Ryan Kellman and Emily Bogle/NPR

DIY Stamped Clay Bowls

These cute stamped clay bowls are perfect to store all your trinkets in.


  • Air Dry Clay
  • A selection of stamps or anything else you could use to make an impression
  • Ink pad
  • Set of small bowls
  • Rolling pin, 
  • Knife S
  • Sandpaper

1.  Take your air dry clay and knead until soft. Roll your clay out to about 5mm thick.

2. Ink up your stamp and press firmly onto the clay. Repeat until you have covered the clay with your stamped design.

Try not to press too hard as you want to be able to lift the clay away from the table easily and not stretch out the design.

3. Take your bowl and place it upside down on your clay. Use your knife to cut around the edge of the bowl.

4. Peel away the remaining clay to leave the circle of clay behind that will form your bowl.

5. Lift your clay circle carefully and place it inside your bowl. Using your thumbs press the clay down gently into the bowl.

I found it works best if you try and apply even pressure as you work your way around the bowl. Where I pressed too hard the clay bunched up and creased and the pattern became warped.

6. Repeat until you have as many bowls as required and leave to dry overnight. By the next day the printed side of the clay should be hard enough for you to remove it from the bowl. You may find the clay is still damp where it’s been touching the glass bowl. Place your bowls upside down on a baking cooler rack to allow both sides to dry fully.

7. When your bowls are dry, sand away any rough edges.

If you want you could add a gold or silver edge to your bowls or maybe even varnish them for a glossy finish. 

*** A special Thank You to Gathering Beauty for sharing this fun tutorial with us.


FRIDAY FRENZY | etsyfindoftheday 1 | 5.15.15

laser-engraved, embossed wooden rolling pin in folk floral by boonhomeware

a northern polish embroidery design called ‘kashubian’ embroidery is laser-engraved onto a heavy-duty birchwood rolling pin for lightly-embossed cookies and dessert treats that are sure to delight.

etsyfindoftheday | GIFT BLITZ | 12.12.14

gift recipient: for the traditionalist
featured item: embossing engraved rolling pin in ‘reindeer’ by valekrollingpins

add a special printed look to your rolled christmas cookies year-round with a super-special engraved rolling pin! this holiday-perfect version features a nordic-inspired deer-and-star pattern that embosses your cookies with a rustic, christmas-y pattern. also works on pie dough, fondant or clay – be sure to click through to view all of valekrollingpins’ options.