How to Save Money on Real Food

thrivelargebanner

It’s no secret…

I’m a huge fan of:

a) Growing/raising my own veggies, meat, eggs and dairy products

b) Buying from local producers

c) Bartering with neighbors who may be growing stuff I’m not

But let’s face it… that doesn’t work for everything.

As stubborn as I am, I just can’t figure out a way to grow my own coconuts to make coconut oil here in Wyoming…

Or make my own sea salt…

Or grow my own coffee beans in our blizzard-prone climate…

So when I need those extra ingredients or natural living products, that means my options boil down to:

  • Costco — The nearest Costco is 2+ hours away… (I don’t even have a membership)
  • My local natural food store (45 minutes away) — I buy a few things here, but their inventory is small, and the prices are high
  • Amazon — Honestly, I probably buy from Amazon more than anywhere else… It’s usually a last-resort, but when I can’t find a natural ingredient in a 300 mile radius, they are my only option.

Until now, that is.

I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about this company for a couple months now, and I can finally spill the beans.

What if I told you there was a company that combined the best attributes of Amazon, Whole Foods, and Costco, but with lower prices and a sustainable-minded mission?

Too good to be true?

Nope.

Meet Thrive Market

I’ve been looking at Thrive Market for a couple months now, and I’m completely impressed. Here’s the facts—>

  • Thrive Market is a brand-new online marketplace with a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. You can get everything from GMO-free food, snacks, vitamins, supplements, personal care products, cleaning supplies, beauty products, kitchen staples, pantry essentials, baby food and products and much, much more.
  • You’ll get wholesale prices on more than 3,000 of the highest quality healthy foods and products from more than 400 of the best-selling brands at wholesale prices (these aren’t knock-off or generic brands– they are the same items you’d find at your local health food store).
  • Thrive Market’s prices are 15 – 25% lower compared to other online retailers.
  • Free national shipping on orders over $49 (WIN!)
  • Every paid membership is matched with a free membership for a low-income American family.
  • All packaging, boxes and inserts are made from recycled paper and are recyclable.
  • Customize your shopping experience with the Gluten-Free, Paleo, Raw, Vegan, or Moms categories.

thrivebluesquare

What This Homesteader is Buying from Thrive Market:

So am I ditching my garden and my milk cow and buying all my food online now? NO WAY! :)

But I am using Thrive Market to fill in the gaps for things I can’t grow or find locally for good prices, like:

  • Natural dishwashing gel
  • Grade B maple syrup
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Redmond Real Salt
  • Grassfed gelatin
  • Chia seeds
  • Almonds

I was thrilled to notice they even have lard and tallow! I don’t need to purchase these, since I render my own, but if you don’t have access to high-quality pork or beef fat, this is a perfect option.

Now, I’ll be honest– I won’t be buying everything Thrive Market carries. I don’t buy the “organic” processed foods at my local health food store, and I won’t be buying them here, either. But they definitely have enough of the other natural pantry staples I use on a regular basis to justify my membership.

But is it really cheaper?

Let’s compare:

Up until now, I’ve been using Amazon Prime to order many of my pantry items.

Amazon Prime is $99/year.

Thrive Market is $59.95/year.

Costco memberships are $55/year (if you have a store in your area), but I know for a fact Costco doesn’t carry many of these specialized natural ingredients.

Since Thrive offers free shipping for orders over $49, I plan to make one big order each month, or split an order with a friend.

Here are some side-by-side comparisons of a few products (affiliate links):

thrive728

Free Trial Membership

I’ve been working personally with Thrive Market for the past couple months, and they have generously agree to offer Prairie Homestead readers a free 30-day trial membership, 15% off your first order, AND a chance to win a $250 shopping spree (who wouldn’t love that?)

Click here to sign up for your trial membership and to enter the giveaway.

Giveaway ends 3/22/15 at midnight. No purchase necessary to win.

DISCLAIMER: I am an affiliate of Thrive Market. It’s rare you’ll see me devote an entire post to an affiliate relationship, but I did so here because I like the company THAT MUCH. And yes, I am personally using them on a regular basis, and would continue to do so, even without the affiliate relationship. Many of you live in rural areas, with limited food options, like I do, and that’s the reason I’m sharing Thrive with you today.

How to Separate Cream from Milk

how to separate cream from milk

Some of you probably read the title of this post…

…and furrowed your eyebrows, wondering “Why on earth does is she even writing about that? It’s so simple!”

But it’s funny how quickly something can become a lost art….”

Take rendering lard and clabbering milk, for example. Not so long ago, lard and clabber were staples of every kitchen. And now, I’m betting if you were to take a random poll of people walking down the sidewalk, the vast majority of folks would have no idea what they were, or how to use them.

The same goes for cream. It used to be common knowledge how to quickly skim the inches of cream from a ice-cold jar of fresh milk and turn it into homemade sour cream, stiff peaks of whipped cream, or bright yellow homemade butter.

But for those of us who grew up with homogenized milk, seeing a creamline for the first time can be a completely foreign, yet awe-inspiring experience. I know it was for me.

how to separate cream from milk

I’ve received a number of emails from folks who bring home their first jars of fresh, local milk, and discover they aren’t quite sure how to separate cream from milk.

So for the cream-newbies out there–take heart. You’re about to experience one of the most beautiful parts of homesteading (aka fresh cream), and I’ll show you exactly what to do with it.

(Remember: This will only work with non-homogenized milk-– if you’re waiting to see a creamline on your homogenized gallons, it ain’t gonna happen…)

How to Separate Cream from Milk

There’s more than one way to skin a cat (er… skim some cream), so I’ll highlight some four of the most popular methods for separating cream from milk:

1. A Old-Fashioned Ladle

This is my weapon of choice because it’s fool-proof, with no extra equipment required. Here’s how to do it:

a) If you are dealing with very fresh milk, let it sit for at least 24 hours, so the cream has plenty of time to rise to the top.

how to separate cream from milk
The magnificent creamline. This will vary depending on your particular gallon of milk.

b) Identify the creamline, so you know what you’re working with. (You’ll be able to see it by looking at the sides of the jar)

c) Gently dip the ladle into the cream layer and allow it to fill. Make sure you aren’t dipping too deeply and getting into the milk. You’ll be able to see the difference– the cream is thick and yellowish-white, while the milk will appear much thinner and sometimes even blueish.

d) Pour the ladle of cream into a separate jar, and repeat until the majority of the cream layer is gone. (I like to leave about an inch of cream in the jar– it gives the milk a better texture, and also ensures I’m not swiping too much milk into my cream, which can upset the butter-making process.)

e) Use the resulting milk for drinking/cooking, and then turn the cream into a variety of beautiful projects (details below).

how to separate cream from milk

2. A Turkey Baster

If you have a smaller creamline, you can use a turkey baster to slurp it off the top (simply follow the same instructions as you would for the ladle). However, my turkey baster skills are rather clumsy, and I’ve ended up spewing stuff all over my kitchen more than once. Therefore, I tend to only trust myself with a ladle…

3. A Gallon-Sized Ice Tea/Lemonade Container

I haven’t personally used this method, but I know many homesteaders swear by it.

Simply pour the fresh milk into a glass ice tea/lemonade dispenser. (I’ve seen them for sale all over the place lately… In both one and two gallon sizes– like this one (aff link)).

Allow the milk to sit for at least 24 hours, then open the spigot at the bottom– the skimmed milk will come out, leaving the creamline floating at the top. Once you are nearing the end of the milk layer, you can capture the cream layer in a separate container.

I haven’t used this idea yet, mostly because my kitchen is tiny and I have limited room for extra “stuff.” But having a spigot of milk in your fridge does sound kinda handy, especially when it does double-duty as a cream separator.

4. A Cream Separator

And last but not least, we have the good ol’ fashioned cream separator.

I’ve seen more than one of these babies for sale on Craigslist, or hanging out in antique shops… Although I’m always tempted by them, I haven’t ever purchased one because:

  • They aren’t exactly cheap…
  • Some of the models are humongous– I don’t have anywhere to put it!
  • I just haven’t found them necessary, especially when my ladle does such a good job.

Now– if you had gallons upon gallons of milk to skim each day, investing in a dedicated cream separator would make sense. Or, if you are trying to capture cream from goat’s milk, a separator is pretty much a necessity. However, for the average homesteader with one or two cows, I just don’t think a separator is a must-have.

So I have my cream… now what?

You lucky duck… Fresh cream is the queen of the homestead, in my opinion. There are so many things you can do with it.

SO. MANY. THINGS.

Here are just a few:

how to separate cream from milk

How to Make Sauerkraut

How to make sauerkraut

There are some parts of homesteading that seem almost magical.

Like when watch the cream you skimmed from yesterday’s milk suddenly turn into golden butter

Or when you are able to make vinegar appear from mere fruit peels.

Or when you pack a bunch of cabbage into a jar and it turns into perfectly tangy sauerkraut a week later.

Speaking of that, I can’t believe I’ve been afraid to learn how to make sauerkraut until now…

I’ve never been a huge fan of storebought sauerkraut… I mean, I tolerated it in some recipes, but didn’t exactly crave it. I had a bit of an underlying fear that my homemade versions would turn into a mutated-cabbage science experiment, so I always pushed it to the bottom of my “to-try” list.

Man oh man, was I ever missing out!

How to make homemade sauerkraut

Since I popped the top of my first jar of homemade kraut several months ago, I’ve been pretty much obsessed with it. I’ve literally started craving it, and found myself sneaking bowlfuls here and there throughout the day. Even four-year old Prairie Girl developed an affinity for it, and she actually had a full melt-down one day at lunch when I announced we were out.

Considering the probiotic prowess of kraut, I have a hunch our bodies are trying to tell us something. And I’m happy to oblige!

Keep in mind that in order to reap the health benefits and amazing probiotics of sauerkraut, it needs to be raw. Unfortunately, the canned, cooked, storebought varies will not have the same benefits, since heat destroys most of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes.

(this post contains affiliate links)

How to Make Sauerkraut

  • 1 head green cabbage*
  • 1.5 tablespoons sea salt (where to buy)
  • Clean glass jar (I usually use one average head of cabbage per quart-sized mason jar)

*I’m writing this recipe for one head of cabbage, BUT, keep in mind it takes nearly the same amount of effort to make a lot of kraut as it does a little… So don’t be afraid to make a BIG batch. And it tastes better the longer it ages, too!

How to make homemade sauerkraut

Wash the cabbage and remove any wilted outer leaves.

How to make homemade sauerkraut

Quarter the cabbage, remove the core, and slice the cabbage into thin strips (I shoot for around 1/4″ wide). Try to make the strips as uniform as possible, but don’t feel like they have to be perfect.

How to make homemade sauerkraut

Place the strips in a large bowl, and sprinkle the sea salt over the top.

Allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so, and then start mashing. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this– just use your hands, a mallet, or whatever blunt object you can find to mash/knead/twist/press/crush the cabbage. The goal is to start the juices flowing. (It helps if you can think of something that makes you mad while you do this–it’s better than therapy, really…)

How to make homemade sauerkraut
Starting to release the juice

I mash/knead for about 8-10 minutes. Hopefully by the end of this process, you’ll have a lovely pool of salty cabbage juice sitting in the bottom of your bowl.

Place a couple handfuls of cabbage into the jar, then thoroughly pack down with a wooden spoon. The goal is to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible.

How to make homemade sauerkraut
Pack it down baby…

Repeat the packing and mashing until the jar is full– just make sure to leave about 2″ at the top.

If there is enough liquid flowing from your cabbage to cover it completely, congrats!

If not, make a 2% brine solution to fill up the rest of the jar. (If you don’t completely submerse the cabbage in liquid, it’s susceptible to mold and other gunk).

To Make a 2% Brine:

Dissolve 1 tablespoon fine sea salt in 4 cups non-chlorinated water. If you don’t use all of the brine for this recipe, it will keep indefinitely in the fridge.

The finer the salt, the less stirring you must to do to dissolve. I particularly like the ultra-fine salt from Fermentools.com, as it dissolves almost immediately.

Cover the exposed cabbage with brine, leaving 1″ of headspace at the top. If you are having troubles with the cabbage floating to the top, you can weigh it down with a glass weight, OR even wedge a piece of the cabbage core on top to hold it down. Any cabbage that is exposed will need to be thrown away, but you were going to toss the core anyway, so it’s no big loss.

How to make homemade sauerkraut
Adding a glass weight to hold the cabbage under the brine

Affix a lid to the jar (fingertight only), and set aside in a room-temperature location, out of direct sunlight, for at least one week.

You’ll probably want to place a small dish or tray under the jar, as they have the tendency to leak a bit and spill over. Also, removing the lid after a day or so to “burp” the jar and release any pent-up gasses is also a smart idea.

Taste and smell your kraut after one week. If it’s tangy enough, move to the refrigerator for storage. If you like a bit more tang, simply allow to ferment for a bit longer.

Should I Use an Air Lock Fermentation System?

For my first few batches of kraut, I simply used a regular mason jar and lid. However, I was excited when Fermentools sent me a 6-pack starter kit to try. Are air locks an absolute requirement for making homemade fermented vegetables? Nope. However, they can reduce the amount of mold on a ferment, and allow the gasses to escape without you having to “burp” the jar. Basically, if you’re new to fermenting, an airlock makes the whole process pretty much fool-proof.

How to make homemade sauerkraut
Using an air lock from Fermentools

The air locks were simple to use with the widemouth mason jars I had on hand, and the glass weights that came in the set were especially handy for keeping the cabbage from floating to the top (and a little easier than trying to wedge a core down in there…)

How to make homemade sauerkraut

Bottom line– you don’t *have* to use a air lock, but they are pretty handy, and often produce a higher quality product in the end. And if you’re making a big batch of homemade sauerkraut, half-gallon mason jars a easier to handle (and less expensive) than one of those big ol’ fermenting crocks. (I got one of the 6-packs, which will handle around three gallons of kraut…)

How to make homemade sauerkraut

Kitchen Notes

  • There are lots of ways to flavor your kraut, such as caraway seeds, juniper berries, dill seeds, or celery seeds. However, I’ve been happy with just the plain version.
  • If there is exposed kraut at the top of the jar, it will turn brown, or a scum can develop. Just scrape it off and you’ll be good to go. Even a little mold is OK, as long as it hasn’t contaminated the entire batch. Remember, lacto-fermented foods have a host of friendly bacteria keeping them safe. However, if at any point your sauerkraut smells rancid or nasty, and beyond the point of that pleasantly sour tang, toss it.
  • Although I used a swingtop jar in my photos (because it’s cute), I used a regular mason jar for the fermentation process.
  • Avoid iodized salt in this recipe, and stick to high quality sea salt instead, like this one.
  • If you’re wanting a good beginner’s kit of fermenting tools, I recommend Fermentools.com

How to make homemade sauerkraut

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
How to Make Sauerkraut
Author: 
Recipe type: Fermented Foods
Cuisine: German
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head green cabbage*
  • 1.5 tablespoons sea salt
  • Clean glass jar (I usually use one average head of cabbage per quart-sized mason jar)
  • *I'm writing this recipe for one head of cabbage, BUT, keep in mind it takes nearly the same amount of effort to make a lot of kraut as it does a little... So don't be afraid to make a BIG batch.
Instructions
  1. Wash the cabbage and remove any wilted outer leaves.
  2. Quarter the cabbage, remove the core, and slice the cabbage into thin strips (I shoot for around ¼" wide). Try to make the strips as uniform as possible, but don't feel like they have to be perfect.
  3. Place the strips in a large bowl, and sprinkle the sea salt over the top.
  4. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so, and then start mashing. There isn't a right or wrong way to do this-- just use your hands, a mallet, or whatever blunt object you can find to mash/knead/twist/press/crush the cabbage. The goal is to start the juices flowing. (It helps if you can think of something that makes you mad while you do this--it's better than therapy, really...)
  5. I mash/knead for about 8-10 minutes. Hopefully by the end of this process, you'll have a lovely pool of salty cabbage juice sitting in the bottom of your bowl.
  6. Place a couple handfuls of cabbage into the jar, then thoroughly pack down with a wooden spoon. The goal is to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible.
  7. Repeat the packing and mashing until the jar is full-- just make sure to leave about 2" at the top.
  8. If you there is enough liquid flowing from your cabbage to cover it completely, congrats!
  9. If not, make a 2% brine solution to fill up the rest of the jar. (If you don't completely submerse the cabbage in liquid, it's susceptible to mold and other gunk).
  10. To Make a 2% Brine:
  11. Dissolve 1 tablespoon fine sea salt in 4 cups non-chlorinated water. If you don't use all of the brine for this recipe, it will keep indefinitely in the fridge.
  12. Cover the exposed cabbage with brine, leaving 1" of headspace at the top. If you are having troubles with the cabbage floating to the top, you can weigh it down with a glass weight, OR even wedge a piece of the cabbage core on top to hold it down. Any cabbage that is exposed will need to be thrown away, but you were going to toss the core anyway, so it's no big loss.
  13. Affix a lid to the jar (fingertight only), and set aside in a room-temperature location, out of direct sunlight, for at least one week.
  14. You'll probably want to place a small dish or tray under the jar, as they have the tendency to leak a bit and spill over. Also, removing the lid after a day or so to "burp" the jar and release any pent-up gasses is also a smart idea.
  15. Taste and smell your kraut after one week. If it's tangy enough, move to the refrigerator for storage. If you like a bit more tang, simply allow to ferment for a bit longer.

 

This post is happily sponsored by Fermentools.com, because I love being able to share quality homestead tools with my readers, especially when they make our homestead lives just a little bit easier!

Basic Homemade Pasta Recipe

homemade pasta recipe

Rocket science has no place in my kitchen.

As much as I love to cook, I sometimes run across certain tutorials/techniques that make my no-fuss brain want to explode.

Take fresh pasta for example.

Many of the “basic” fresh pasta recipes you find floating around Google make homemade pasta seem all but attainable with their complicated formulas, detailed instructions, and mind-numbing array of ingredient options.

No thanks.

But today I’m here to let you in on a little secret the homemade-pasta-gods probably don’t want you to know:

It’s entirely possible to make very delicious, perfectly textured, from-scratch pasta without the fuss. And only three ingredients. You’re welcome.

homemade fresh pasta recipe

Homemade Pasta Recipe

Yield: approximately one pound

  • 2 cups flour (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs

Combine the flour and salt.

homemade pasta recipe

Make a well in the center of the flour, and add the eggs.

Gently begin to mix the eggs, gradually drawing in flour with each stroke. Eventually a stiff dough will form.

Knead the pasta dough for 8-10 minutes.

If the dough is too dry and won’t stick together, add a 1/2 teaspoon of water. If it is too sticky, sprinkle in a bit more flour.

Keep in mind this dough will be much stiffer than traditional bread doughs. However, the longer you work it, the smoother and more pliable it will become.

homemade pasta recipe
You’re looking for a smooth texture. If your dough is still rough, keep kneading.

We are looking for a smooth, satiny consistency, which will develop the longer you knead.

Cover the well-kneaded dough tightly with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for around 45 minutes. (This resting phase is super important, as it gives the dough time to relax. Otherwise, you’ll fight it the whole time you are rolling it out.)

homemade pasta recipe

After the resting period, divide the dough into four portions and roll into a small, flat circle. Now comes the cool part!

How to Use a Pasta Machine

I’m really picky with my kitchen gadgets, and generally only keep the necessities. However, I’m very loyal to my pasta machine (affiliate link) and it has earned its place in my crowded cupboards.

homemade pasta recipe
Ready to roll

Rolling the dough is a process– you need to make several passes, throughout each thickness setting for the best results. I start with the biggest setting (usually 5 or 6), run it through once or twice there, then gradually adjust the settings to be thinner and thinner until I have the perfect sheet of golden pasta.

homemade pasta recipe
Folding into thirds before the next pass through the roller

 

Between each pass, I fold the strip into thirds. This helps square up the edges and keeps things even. Then simply roll it through the cutting side of the machine to slice into spaghetti or fettuccine.

homemade pasta recipe

Rolling Pin Instructions:

If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin and knife (or pizza cutter) instead. Keep in mind you’ll want to roll it out as thin as humanly possible, as it will plump up considerably once you cook it.

Roll each portion of dough out on a well-flour surface and then cut into thin strips. Your noodles will be more rustic, but they’ll still taste amazing.

From here, you can either cook your pasta right away (3-4 minutes in boiling water) or dry it for later.

fresh homemade pasta recipe

It also freezes well– just make sure you don’t throw it into the freezer in a big lump, because then you’ll end up with a pasta dumpling when you go to cook it.

Serve your perfect homemade pasta with homemade sauce, or olive oil, Parmesan, and fresh herbs.

homemade pasta recipe

Kitchen Notes:

  • There are a variety of opinions when it comes to flour for making homemade pasta, and some people get all fancy with specialty flours (traditionally, pasta is made with semolina flour). However, I’ve had wonderful results just using regular unbleached all-purpose flour. If you like, you can use a mix of whole wheat flour, combined with the all-purpose. Keep in mind the more whole wheat you use, the more the consistency of the finished noodles will change.
  • If at any point, your fresh pasta is wanting to stick to the surface, the machine, your rolling pin, or other pieces of pasta, add more flour. I’m usually very generous with my flour-sprinkling. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a sticky blob.
  • I’ve not tried this recipe with gluten-free flours, sorry!
  • You can easily make flavored fresh pastas by adding fresh or dried herbs to the dough, or spice it up with garlic or onion powder.

homemade pasta recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Basic Homemade Pasta Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 lb pasta
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour and salt.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour, and add the eggs.
  3. Gently begin to mix the eggs, gradually drawing in flour with each stroke. Eventually a stiff dough will form.
  4. Knead the pasta dough for 8-10 minutes.
  5. If the dough is too dry and won't stick together, add a ½ teaspoon of water. If it is too sticky, sprinkle in a bit more flour.
  6. Keep in mind this dough will be much stiffer than your traditional bread doughs. However, the longer you work it, the smoother and more pliable it will become.
  7. We are looking for a smooth, satiny consistency, which will begin to develop the more you knead.
  8. Cover the well-kneaded dough tightly with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for around 45 minutes. (This resting phase is super important, as it gives the dough time to relax. Otherwise, you'll fight it the whole time you are rolling it out.)
  9. After the resting period, divide the dough into four portions. Now comes the cool part!
  10. Pasta Machine Instructions:
  11. I'm really picky with my kitchen gadgets, and generally only keep the necessities. However, I'm very loyal to my pasta machine and it has earned it's place in my crowded cupboards.
  12. Rolling the dough is a process-- you need to make several passes, throughout each thickness setting for the best results. I start with the biggest setting (usually 5 or 6), run it through once or twice there, and then start gradually adjust the settings to be thinner and thinner until I have the perfect sheet of golden pasta.
  13. Between each pass, I like to fold the strip into thirds. This helps square up the edges and keeps things even. Then simply roll it through the cutting side of the machine to slice into spaghetti or fettucine.
  14. Rolling Pin Instructions:
  15. If you don't have a pasta machine, you can simply use a rolling pin and knife (or pizza cutter). Keep in mind you'll want to roll it out as thin as humanly possible, as it will plumb up considerably once you cook it.
  16. Roll each portion of dough out on a well-flour surface and then cut into thin strips. Your noodles will be more rustic, but they'll still taste amazing.
  17. From here, you can either cook your pasta right away (3-4 minutes in boiling water) or dry it.
  18. It also freezes well-- just make sure you don't throw it into the freezer in a big lump, because then you'll end up with a pasta dumpling when you go to cook it.
  19. Serve your perfect homemade pasta with homemade sauces, or olive oil, Parmesan, and fresh herbs.
Notes
Kitchen Notes:

There are a variety of opinions when it comes to pasta flour... Some people get all fancy with specialty flours (traditionally, pasta is made with semolina flour). However, I've had wonderful results just using regular unbleached all-purpose flour. If you like you can use a mix of whole wheat flour, combined with the all-purpose. Just keep in mind the more whole wheat you use, the more the consistency of the finished noodles will change.
I've not tried this recipe with gluten-free flours, sorry!
You can easily make flavored pastas by adding fresh or dried herbs to the dough, or spice it up with garlic or onion powder.