Thursday, December 31, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

My Friend Tyece sent me this recipe. Not the best for whites but great for all the other loads and SO much cheaper!

4 cups hot tap water
1 fels-naptha soap bar
1 cup Arm and Hammer laundry soda
½ cup borax

Grate (I use my food processor) bar of soap and add to saucepan of water. Stir continually over med – low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half way with very hot tap water. Add melted soap washing soda and borax. Stir until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more very hot tap water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. *optional: you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons, add once soap has cooled.

Top- loading machine: 5/8 cup per load
Front - loader: ¼ c per load (approx 400 loads)… and you just spent $2

From the

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pepper Jelly

This is a delicious appetizer. I like to buy red peppers when I see them for less than a dollar and then bottle a couple of batches. Each batch makes about 17-18 half pints. We like it served best over cream cheese and eaten with Ritz crackers. The recipe comes from the cookbook Putting Up by Stephen Dowdney although I have changed it a little bit.

*I have changed this since first putting it up because I always do a double batch

2 1/2 c very small diced red peppers, seeds removed
2 1/2 c very small diced green peppers, seeds removed
1/2 c fine diced jalapeno peppers, seeds removed
3 c cider vinegar
13 c sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1/2-1 Tbsp red pepper flakes depending on how hot you want it
2 pack liquid pectin Certo brand, found in the canning section or by the Jell-O

Bring all ingredients except pectin to a rolling boil. Add pectin and return to a boil. Time for 1 1/2 minutes and take off burner. Hot pack in warm jars for 15 minutes. Remove from canner and allow to cool for 24 hours. The jelly will set up as it cools.

I'm not going to go into all of the details of how to bottle but it you have any questions please just ask in the comments section. You can also find some helpful canning hints in this post on peaches.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spinach, Chicken, & Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette

This recipe comes from the My Kitchen Cafe blog with a few changes for our tastes. It was so yummy and was perfect for brunch. I do think it is best made the day before.


1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup bottled teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

16 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked al dente, drained and cooled
1 bag fresh spinach (9 - 10 oz)
6 oz. craisins
2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and slivered
4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 oz. honey roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked chicken, tossed with 2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients and blend until well combined and smooth. I think this recipe is best to make the day before and add everything but the spinach and peanuts. Let it sit overnight and then toss the spinach in an hour or so before serving and the peanuts right at serving time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I finally found one I love!!!! Found it on All recipes and adjusted it a little bit because I don't love mayonnaise. Serve on rolls or croissants. Perfect for showers, parties, and pretty much any other time because its so stinking yummy!

4 c chicken, cubed
3/4 c mayo
1/2-3/4 c sour cream depending on how saucy you want it)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 c diced celery
3 green onions, diced
1 c chopped pecans
1 1/2 c craisins
1 c diced apple

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, paprika, and seasoning salt. Add remaining ingredients and allow to sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors have time to combine. You can also wait and add the pecans right before serving so they have more crunch.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Its hard to gauge how many apples to a batch because apples differ so much in size. So for me I just took my big colander and filled it to the top and that was one batch.

You need to first get a large bowl filled with cold water and treat it with something that will make is so the apples wont change color. I used Fruit Fresh (found at my Walmart in the canning section) but I know some people use lemon juice.

Then I put the stopper in one side of my sink and place a cutting board right next to that. Meanwhile on the stove I get a large Saute pan (really large diameter but short with a lid...does that make any sense!?!) ready with 3-4 cups of water, depending on how runny you want your applesauce. Also have your deep bath canner full of water starting to warm up and a small sauce pan with your lids on simmer to stay warm. Also be running your jars through the dishwasher and set it for heated dry.

Peel...Peel...Peel. Some people cook the apples first and then use a strainer to squeeze the apples through but I like it chunky and also I think you get a lot more when you do it this way. Throw the apples into the big bowl of water until the whole batch is peeled. I just peel them straight into the sink that is clogged. Its easier on your back than doing it into a trash can and I just let it fill up all day and empty at the end of the day.

Take and rinse out your strainer and put that in the open part of the sink when you have peeled all of the apples. Take the apples one at a time and quarter and cut out seeds and then throw them into the stainer and discard the rest into your peeling pile in the sink.

When the strainer is about half full rinse apples well and put them into the saute pan. Do this with all of your apples. Your saute pan should be really full.

Cook on med-hi covered for about 50 minutes. Take lid off and add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 c sugar and mash with a potato masher. You can adjust the cinnamon and sugar to fit your tastes and depending on the type of apple you are canning.

When you have mashed the apples to the consistency you would like use a rag to get a hot jar from the dishwasher and spoon applesauce into jar. Its really helpful to have the canning funnel so that you don't get the edges of your jars dirty. Place jar on counter on a dishtowel and run a clean wet rag around the lip of the jar to be sure its clean. Place a warm lid from the simmering water on the jar and screw a ring on.

Repeat for the whole batch. Process in deep bath canner for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and make sure they have popped by the next morning and that they have sealed properly.

Play Dough

Quick, easy, and most importantly soft!

1 c water
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 c salt
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup flour
food coloring
essential oils (optional)

Mix water, oil, salt, food coloring in a pan and mix. Turn on low and add flour and cream of tarter. Mix with wooden spoon for a few minutes, it will get thick fast. When nice and thick, add to mixer (at least I did cause Im lazy) and let kneed for about 5 minutes. I added 3 drops of lemon essential oil to one batch and 3 drops of orange to a second color to make them smell good while it was mixing. Remove from mixer and let cool for a few minutes.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Teriyaki Meatballs

I don't remember where I got this recipe but we really like it!

1- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3/4 dry oatmeal
2 eggs beaten
2/3 c diced onion
1/2 c milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

I put this all in my kitchen aid and let it mix it so I don't have to use my hands. Place a large skillet on the stove and turn it on med-high. Make meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place them in the saucepan and brown them really good on the outside. I do it until they are even starting to look a little burnt. When they are browned place them in a 9 x 13 pan and do this until all the meatballs are browned.

1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 c BBQ sauce (for this recipe I prefer a sweeter BBQ sauce)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Stir up sauce and it should be slightly thick. Pour over browned meatballs and gently turn meatballs over to coat them.

Bake in oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked all the way through. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cheese Polenta

I found this recipe on All recipes and did adjust it a little for our tastes but its so yummy. We had it with grilled chicken, homemade salsa, and slices of avocado! Yummy! Seriously you should try polenta its one of my favorite sides and is great instead of potatoes.
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
Add milk, chicken stock, salt, pepper in a lg sauce pan. Turn heat to high and slowly start stirring in the cornmeal while using a whisk to mix it well. I do this while the liquids are still cold so that way you don't get lumps. Once all of the cornmeal is in continue to stir constantly until the polenta starts to boil and gets thick. Remove from heat and add butter and cheese. Stir every minute or so until they are melted.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pizza Sauce

With all the Friday night Pizza we have been having I haven't really been satisfied with canned Pizza sauce. I got a recipe off of All recipes for Exquisite pizza sauce and then changed it for our tastes and this is what we came up with and its really good!

1 (6oz) can tomato paste
6 oz of warm water
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 med garlic cloves, minced
1Tbsp honey
! Tbsp Marsala cooking wine
3/4 tsp chopped onion flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and make sure to break up any clumps of cheese. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to let flavors blend. This was enough to do 2 full pizzas. Next time I make it I think I will double it and split into 4 and freeze 3 of the containers of sauce.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pizza Dough

So its been 3 months and no new recipes posted...our little baby is also 3 months old so that probably explains things!

We do Pizza every Friday night with our movie night and we have wanted a thicker crust. On the web site Being Frugal is Fabulous she posted her pizza crust and we tried it and loved it. It makes 8 small personal pizzas or 2 big crusts. We make the recipe and then wrap half of the dough in saran wrap and place in a freezer bag and freeze for the next Friday. Or if we want bread sticks you can quickly make bread sticks out of the second half.

Place in kitchenaid:
1 1/2 c warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
pinch sugar

Let proof until its foamy and then add:
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp salt
~4 cups flour or until dough pulls away from the bowl and looks smooth.

I let it rise for about 30 mins and then I roll it out. Be sure to bake for about 8-10 minutes at about 425 BEFORE you add your sauce and toppings. Pull it out of the oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings. This makes sure the dough is cooked all the way through.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Leslie's Slush

This is a really unique and yummy recipe. You mix all the ingredients into a big Tupperware (one of the big tubs of ice cream containers is perfect) and then freeze. You then take it out and let is sit on the counter to let it get a little bit soft. Then you take a fork and break it up into small pieces until it gets to a slush consistency. Then you scoop and eat. Its such a refreshing treat. The best part is that you just refreeze it and repeat. My friend Leslie who gave me the recipe said that they just set it out for the day for people to scoop out of all day and if it gets to soft you can just stick it in the freezer for a little bit. You can also do it in 3 or 4 smaller containers if you just want to do it for your family not a big crowd.

1 large Orange Juice concentrate
1 large lemonade concentrate (of you cant find the large just use 1 1/2 small)
20 cups of water
2 1/2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract