Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Liquid Dishwasher Soap

I am going to try this recipe for liquid dishwashing soap from naturemoms.com.
I have tried MANY recipes for natural dishwashing soap, and not had good results.
Hope that this one works!

Natural Dishwasher Soap Recipe

1/2 CUP LIQUID CASTILLE SOAP *do NOT use regular liquid soap!*



I'll let you know!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Okay, two cakes in the making, brain is starting to work...

Cake 1-
Jac wants an Alvin and the Chipmunks birthday (his birthday is Christmas Eve) and the movie comes out on the 23rd. So I reserved a party room at a theater.
Not sure on the cake... Movie cake or Alvin and the Chipmunks cake?

Cake 2-
I'm debating making this one...
A cake for 75 girls (my goddaughter's friend's sweet 16 party)
Three tiered Tim Burton style "Alice in Wonderland" cake
Could be fun, but for Jan. 2nd

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Tree Food!

This is the recipe I use to "feed" my Christmas tree.
I got it online somewhere a long time ago but modified it to not use bleach.

How to Make Your Christmas Tree Fire Resistant
(and keep it living til 3 King's Day!)

• 2 cups of Karo Syrup
• 2 ounces of vinegar
• 2 pinches of Epson Salt
• ½ teaspoon of Borax (some recipes also call for 1 teaspoon of chelated iron which you can get at a pharmacy or garden store- I've never used it though.)
• 2 ground up aspirins
• Hot Water

1. With a saw, make a fresh cut at the base on the tree trunk. Cut off at least an inch and try to make a flat or level cut.
2. Immediately after cutting the base off the tree, mix the fireproofing ingredients listed above. Fill a 2-gallon bucket with hot water to within 1 inch of the top and add the ingredients. Stir thoroughly.
3. Stand the trunk of the tree in this solution and leave for 24 hours.
4. Every day, without exception, fill up the well of the tree-stand with the fireproofing solution.

How this procedure works:
The Karo Syrup provides the sugar necessary to allow the base of the tree to take up water. The tree may take up to 1/5 gallons of water over a two-week period. Boron in the Borax allows the tree to move the water and sugar out to every branch and needle in the tree. Magnesium compounds in the Epson Salt and Iron from the Chelated Iron provide essential components for the production of chlorophyll that will keep the tree green. The vinegar keeps mold from forming in your solution. This fireproofing procedure will also help prevent the needles from dropping and will increase the natural fragrance of the tree.

They say you can try to light a branch once it's sat for 24 hrs and it won't catch on fire! I love that it does keep my tree nice and green until I want to take it down after New Year's.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Change in the form of chocolate?

Recipes and Ruts-
Seems we all seem to get in them, don't we?
I know I have my favorite recipe for something and don't vary from it- mainly where baking is concerned. (Honestly I'm not one to actually follow a recipe otherwise- such the rebel, eh?)

For example:


I adore chocolate, and brownies... can you get any better than one straight out of the oven with a cool glass of milk? (Chocolate chip cookies come in a close second in my book.) The ultimate comfort food.

I use two recipes for brownies normally. The "Fudge Brownie" recipe that makes a small glass square pan (so I won't eat more) from BHG's "New Cook Book" from 1989,

The old time Betty Crocker's "Cooky Book" recipe from the 1963 edition (mom uses this one.)
It makes a 9x13" glass pan so I only do that one when I know the kids will devour most of them before I do.

Last night I had a brownie craving and made the BC recipe in (gasp) my Pampered Chef jelly roll stone pan! And... I iced them! The kids were in shock this morning when I revealed them.

"But these don't look like brownies, mom."
"These are different."

Sometimes change is good I think. The pan is a third gone already!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What's in Your....?

Thought that it would be fun to see what staples you keep in your fridge, freezer, pantry, spice cabinet, baking cabinet...

Today I'll start with pantry and see what items you always keep in stock.
(Things you think are wonderful and can't go without for long, etc.)

Here is my PANTRY:
(I'm giving you a condensed list of course, but these are some things we love)

Nutella (Jac has to have his "chocolate sandwiches" for snacks daily)
Local Honey
Molasses for making yummy stuff

Muir Glen canned tomatoes and tomato sauce
(I like fresh but these are pretty durn good for canned)

Coconut Milk
(for arroz con guandules or curries)

Brown Rice
(I use DHC Japanese Germinated Brown Rice because I like the texture
but sometimes have Arkansas Brown Rice if I can find it local.)

White Rice
(I like a local brand, Par Excellence Premium Long Grain White Rice)

Herdez Salsa Verde
(This is awesome on anything, and for a quick taco/burrito/salad try it mixed with a broccoli slaw mix and lime juice and tomatoes!)

Black beans,
lentil beans of several varieties,
wheat germ

So what's in yours?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

My tomato crop has been SLOW going. Still growing but still green.
Made my mouth water thinking about FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!

Step 1-
Wash tomatoes and cut into THIN slices (this is a key factor!) Make sure to use a SHARP knife or you could cut yourself. Dull knives make the blade slip and you get cut much easier.

Step 2-
Put cut tomatoes in milk or buttermilk.
In another bowl mix cornmeal, a bit of flour, salt & pepper, and I like to put some True Lemon powder to give it a tangy taste. Roll milky tomatoes in the cornmeal mixture and then place in hot oil.
*Make sure your oil is hot in an iron skillet preferably. Fry on both sides til done and drain on paper towels.

Enjoy! Nothing better....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Granola Girl

I love granola. I love making my own. I haven't quite found a recipe that I can go by all the time, but here's sort of the ones I follow (combined.) I do improvise with whatever I have in my cabinet at the time.

6 cups of oats or more (I use what's on sale, but Bob's Red Mill are my faves)
1 cup coconut (today I didn't have any)
2 cups wheat germ (sometimes I do flax seeds ground up or half and half)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package of sunflower seeds (didn't have these today)
1 cup of baby oats or wheat flour
1 cup dried fruit (more or less to taste, I'm allergic to most fruit so I use dates, cherries, or apricots)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup molasses
1 cup honey
1 stick or less of butter melted
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, (or whatever floats your boat)

Put all dried ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Then take a microwavable measuring cup and place wet ingredients in there plus butter. Cook til butter melts. You can use juice if you don't want the honey/molasses, or part juice. Pour over dried ingredients in bowl and mix.
Bake at 350, checking every 5 minutes to stir, until lightly browned. (About 20 minutes or so total.) Just depends on how brown you like it. (I like my crispy to stand up in the milk!)
Store in the oatmeal containers!
*I'd love your input on granola. Here is a post to my friend's recipe. She is a fantastic cook!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Liquid Laundry Detergent
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
a bit of tea tree oil (to cut the mildew smell front loaders can have!)
1/4 cup or so of Dr. Bronner's Baby Castile liquid soap
4 cups hot water (first) then added about 8 more cups
**My mom pointed out that this makes a VERY concentrated soap.  It does!  If you use this recipe you'll only need a tablespoon or so for each load.  She uses quarts instead of cups of water in her recipe (same amounts of everything else)  and it makes a not-as-concentrated recipe that you'd use a capful of a normal washing bottle. I am using the quart method now myself because the other was overflowing!

I mixed it in a bowl with a whisk because the washing soda (soda ash) gets hot when it gets wet. (Luckily I knew this from my pool or I'd have probably burned my hands trying to get the clumps out.) I did put the end of it in the blender and mixed it there to try and get all the clumps out. Here are more recipes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chili for what ails ya

(I really need to find my camera! My cell phone doesn't take the best pics.)

ground turkey 1 1/2 lbs or so (you could use another meat or sub more beans for this if you wanted)
1 onion (chopped finely)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
Olive Oil
Chili powder (I used Penzey's Chili 3000) add as much as you'd like
1 can of Bush's Chili Starter
1 can of Bush's Chili Beans (or any beans)
1 bottle of Corona beer
1 28 oz can of Muir Glen diced tomatoes
about 1/2 cup of Herdez Salsa Taquera

Brown onions in olive oil in large pot. Add garlic and meat and brown with spices.
Add chili beans, starter, tomatoes, beer, salsa, and cook til it's done!

Best served with homemade cornbread, hot from the oven! (Fritos will do in a pinch though!)
I like mine with cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pizza Crust

New York Pizza Crust

(Makes 2 12” pies)

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 cup warm water

1 envelope (¼ oz.) active dry yeast (I use the quick rising)

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

7 Tablespoons olive oil

If using a pizza stone, set it on lowest rack of oven. Preheat oven to 550 degrees.

In a small bowl dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and stir. Let sit 5 minutes or until a layer of frothy bubbles appears.

In food processor (or bowl) combine salt and flour. Add frothy yeast mixture and 2 Tablespoons of oil. Mix until dough is smooth and pliable. Remove dough and knead on a floured surface for about 10 minute.

Oil inside of a bowl with olive oil and place dough in bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let dough rise until double in size (30 minutes to 1 hour)

When dough has doubled punch it down and knead 10 times. Form into a ball and cut in half. Roll each half out into a 12” circle.

Transfer each pie to a pan or a peel if using a stone. I dust the bottoms with a bit of cornmeal so they slide better when removing.

Spread tomato sauce (or sauce of choice) on pie, put desired toppings on pizza and top with cheese. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Bake on lowest rack of oven for 6- minutes or until it looks yummy!

*We love this recipe. I think we make pizza about once a week! It is so fast if you use a stand up mixer or food processor and quick rising yeast. Probably faster than delivery.

Cinnamon Crispy Hearts

"Cinnamon Crispy Hearts"
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
3/4 c flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt (I used salted butter and leave this out)
2/3 c butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tblsp. melted butter
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used the fresh, strong stuff so only used 1 tsp.)

Sprinkle yeast over warm water, stir until dissolved and set aside.
In large bowl stir flour and salt. Mix in butter with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
Stir in yeast mixture and egg yolk until well blended. Cover tightly with wrap and
refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth, folding over at each
turn, about ten times or so. Roll out into a 12" x 10" rectangle.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Starting with a long side
roll dough up "jelly roll" style to center of the rectangle. Then on other long end roll up that side
to center mark also. Cut into 12 slices.
Sprinkle some of remaining cinnamon sugar on waxed paper and place a slice on the paper.
Flatten slightly with hand, pinching into more of a heart shape as you flatten, then roll with a
rolling pin to 1/8" thick. (Turn slice as you go to sugar both sides.) Repeat with other slices.
Place hearts on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

*This recipe is not my original (although I made a few minor changes.) It is from "Farm Journal's- Homemade Breads"

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I decided to try and start a blog just for recipes from my blog and musings about food! Stay tuned for more...


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