Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Homemade Recipe

Today I decided to post our recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent. We've only been using it a week and I'm convinced it does the same job as the Cascade packs we were using. Keep in mind that when you try a recipe like this in your dishwasher, there are a lot of factors involved: hard water, soft water, dishwasher. We have soft water and a fairly new dishwasher and this recipe works fine for us. So here it is:

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1 squirt Dawn dish soap
White Vinegar

Mix the washing soda and Borax. Use 2 tablespoons of mix and one squirt of Dawn (it fights grease!). Use the white vinegar as a rinse agent (like Jet Dry). I just put the vinegar in my rinse agent compartment and fill it when needed. Some people may prefer to put a teaspoon or two in every time they run their dishwasher, depending on how well the dishwasher drys the dishes.

The first time I used this recipe we put too much Dawn in and the plastic dishes came out with some spots....not dirt, just water spots. Since then I've decreased the amount of Dawn and they've been looking pretty good. Let me know if you try this and how it works for you. Also, if you have your own recipe, please feel free to share:)

Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, these are some of the same ingredients used in the laundry detergent. They're very versatile and this means more money saved! I originally purchased a box of Borax, a box of Baking soda, and a box of washing soda. I've made two recipes of laundry soap and one of dishwashing detergent and I still have some left....and my cupboard is no longer stuffed with every cleaning supply known to man!

Happy Cleaning!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Rambling on....

Okay, so I don't really have any recipes for today. I'm trying to get our house back in some kind of order. I spent a majority of my day Monday and Tuesday studying for a test. Actually, when Kevin got home yesterday after work the lunch dishes were still on the table. So now I'm playing catch up. Grace has been a HUGE help today. She's been making sure all of her toys and any that her sister drags out are put away. That alone helps so much. Maryann has been taking 3 steps here and 2 or 3 steps there. She just started this today. Usually we have to bribe her and try to make her walk to us by offering her a piece of cheese or the remote. Today she's just standing up and walking a few steps, getting down and grabbing what she wants, then back up and walking a few more steps. It's kind of sad....our last little Walker will be walking soon:)

Our new laptop just arrived about an hour ago. I really want to open it and get everything set up, but I know how much Kevin loves that sort of thing. He'll be disappointed if I don't wait for him.

It is sooooo very cold outside today. I've decided I might just have to move to Georgia next winter. And spend my days with Krista enjoying the nice warm climate. I'd have to bring the girls. Grace would throw a fit if she knew I was going to Uncle Jason's house without her! That's enough rambling for now.....I need something to ramble about to Kevin when he gets home!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie

Today I'm posting a healthy version of an old favorite recipe. Kevin actually dug this particular recipe off the Weight Watchers website. It was so good and I've had several people ask me for it, so I decided to post it here.

Cooking Spray
1 small Onion, chopped
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
2 cups Frozen Vegetables
1 cup Chicken Broth
3 cups Chicken Breast, cooked and chopped
2 Tbsp Flour
1/2 cup Fat-free Evaporated Milk, divided
1/2 roll Reduced-fat Crescent Rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 10-inch round shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook chicken and onion over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Add Paprika, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, Vegetables and Chicken Broth. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
In a small cup, combine flour and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk; stir into chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of evaporated milk and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 or 3 more minutes.

Spoon chicken mixture into prepared baking dish. Unroll 4 Crescent rolls and arrange dough around inside edge of baking dish to form a border (there should be a hole in the middle). Bake until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Note: You can use just about any variety of frozen vegetables. We used a country blend with carrots, green beans and corn....mainly because we don't care for peas. You could also add mushrooms to the recipe.

With the rest of the crescent rolls, I unrolled them and then put a little cinnamon and sugar in the middle and rolled them back up. I baked them according to the instructions on the roll and fed them to the girls for breakfast the next morning (reheated).

Maryann ate an adult-sized portion of the meal two nights in a row! Grace also liked it, and she's a pretty hard person to please! If you try this and add something new, let me know. It might be something we'll try the next time we make it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Okay, so I've started off rough with only one blog entry. I do have a good excuse though....I've been studying for a grad school test, while taking care of two little ones! Anyway, I thought I would start off by telling you a little about how we have been saving money at our house. It was kind of a New Years resolution to find new ways to save money around here. We're pretty careful about what we spend our money on, but this year I thought we could be creative! I was browsing our receipts and noticed we were spending A LOT of money on household cleaning supplies. Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, dust spray, bathroom cleaner, you get the picture. After seeing this, I went straight to the internet and began looking up recipes to try and make our own cleaning supplies. I was pleasantly surprised at the results! Not only am I saving money by making some of our own cleaning supplies, but I'm also helping the environment at the same time. Keep in mind that we are still trying some of these recipes out as we use the rest of our old store-bought supplies up. Here is the first recipe for laundry detergent:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar bath soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Grind together in your food processor (I used a blender). Use 2 Tablespoons of mixture for each full load of laundry. In place of the bath soap you can use a laundry pre-treating soap called Fels Naptha. It works great for getting stains out!

I think all of these ingredients together cost less than what I was paying for the Tide I was using. I was paying around 32 cents per load, no I'm down to about 6 cents per load! I found most of them at our local HyVee grocery store. Wal-Mart here doesn't carry much in the way of selection when it comes to cleaning supplies. It took me roughly 10 minutes to make and I store it in an old Rubbermaid container (with lid). I love this stuff because it actually works better than the store-bought detergent! My husband had a lot of old work shirts that smelt like sweat in the arm pit area. That smell is now gone! We've also noticed that more untreated stains are coming out of the girls' clothing. I couldn't be happier with the results. I'm saving tons of money on something that works better and is better for the environment! If you decide to try this let me know how it works for you!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just a Bloggin'

I've been wanting to start up a blog for awhile....just hadn't done it yet, but a good friend inspired me to do so. So, what can you expect to get from my blog? I'll be sharing tidbits about life and love and mommy hood in my blogs. I'll also be sharing recipes, craft ideas, ways to save money, and pretty much anything else that interests me. I hope all who read this enjoy a little taste of my world.