Sunday, May 13, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

The label and container above were from  my previous detergent.  I just saved the container to use for the homemade mixture.

***UPDATE:  We are about to use our last cap full of this homemade mixture this week.  This one batch has lasted us almost exactly one year to the day!  Well worth the 30 minutes and <$10 start of fee***

Don't you worry, we are not going all granola on you.  Just thought you might be interested in my newest endeavor that could save you a penny or two.

This is not hard so don't be scared!

I had an awesome patient who's wife brought me a bag with all the ingredients to make a batch of liquid laundry detergent.  I decided I would give it a try after I ran out of my current kind.

I was also amazed when I got home and saw how cheap it is to do it yourself!  Once you buy a box of Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda you only have to buy one bar of soap each time you make a bucket. So your total start up costs are under $10 and under $2 for each additional bucket made.  We aren't talking about just making one container, but a 5 gallon bucket of concentrated laundry detergent.  When you mix it with one part water to use in your laundry you ultimately have 10 gallons of laundry detergent.

We filled up an old laundry detergent container and barely made a dent in the bucket.  This is going to last us well over a year!

Here is how it is done:

Ingredients:


  • 1 bar of Zote soap or Fels-Naptha which I found at my local Publix on the shelf right above the washing soda.


  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 5 gallon bucket
Directions:

Use a grater to grate the soap in a large heat safe bowl.  While grating soap, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Once soap is grated pour boiling water over soap and cover.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Remove cover and stir.  Add more water until soap is melted.  

All grated and ready for boiling water

The soap sitting in boiling water with a plate as a cover to keep all the heat in.  Wooden spoon ready to stir (most of my soap melted with two batches of hot water).

While soap is melting, pour borax and washing soda into the 5 gallon bucket.  Add 2 gallons (approximately) of hot tap water to bucket, stir until dissolved.  

Use a thin strainer to pour the melted soap through into the 5 gallon bucket.  If a lot of soap is still unmelted (or caught in the strainer) then repeat the first step and then add it to the bucket.  Stir well.

Fill the remaining part of the bucket with cold water (we took this project outside and used the hose).  Stir well.  

When you are ready to use mix 1 part of this solution with 1 part water in a smaller container.  (I saved my last store bought container to use in the laundry room.  We store the 5 gallon bucket in the garage.)

When doing laundry use 5/8 cup with each normal load.  For me this came out to a full cap that is on the container.

This has a very neutral smell.  If you like more fragrance then you can add an essential oil to the mix.  We put 30 drops of lavender oil in the 5 gallon bucket.  Use any flavor that you would like!

See you are all done in under 30 minutes.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Roasted chicken breast and veggies


Here are some LONG overdue pictures from the holidays:

My sweet husband took me to the mountains for a weekend away!

View of our cabin.

We got some apple cider at The Apple Barn after dinner...yum!

Neighborhood we stayed in.

Co-workers

Hubby and me before my 10 year HS reunion!

This is my SIL helping to decorate our Christmas tree

This is less of a recipe and more of an inspiration for all you guys who throw out all those unused veggies at the end of the week.  I threw this together when I looked in our fridge and had a ton of left overs.  Be creative and use whatever you have!

Roasted Chicken Breast and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2.5 lbs. red potatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • all purpose seasoning
  • garlic powder
Bake at 375-400.  Cut all your veggies and coat in olive oil.  Spread out on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, all purpose seasoning, and garlic powder to your liking.  Top with chicken breasts that are also covered in olive and oil and the same seasonings.  Finally sprinkle fresh garlic on top of it all.  Bake until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quinoa Burger


Here are a few more pics from Mexico!  Wish I was there now!

Lakeside High School Girls
(Ali, Maureen, Ashley, Me, and Molly)

My best friend and I are pregnant at the same time!  She literally found out the Sunday before we left for the trip!

My five month pic. I thought I was so big then:)  HA!

LOVE these girls!!!!

These "burgers" were awesome!  Yet another great addition to meatless Monday.  My picky husband loved them, even though he had doubts while I was cooking.  This was my first time cooking with quinoa and I am sold!  Here is a little clip about the nutritional value that I found on Wikipedia.

Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance bymaize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (18%). Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.[14][15] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high inmagnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.[16]

So there you go!  You can find it at your local grocery store! Enjoy!

Quinoa Burger
Source: Modified from http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com

Ingredients:


  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. corn starch (original called for flour)
  • 2 green onions chopped including the white parts
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • olive oil for frying
  • Top with:  Tzatziki sauce, avocado, tomato, and shredded white cheddar cheese
Tzatziki sauce:
  • 3/4 cup thick plain Greek-style yogurt such as Fage’ 
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated – squeezed of excess water
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoon fresh dill weed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

.
In a small mixing bowl blend together the yogurt, sour cream, grated cucumber, garlic powder, sugar, dill weed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill. This is best if made a couple hours in advance.
Bring the 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan over high heat.  Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 18-20 mins or until water is absorbed.

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, zucchini, eggs, corn starch, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.  Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.   Makes approx. 10 burgers.