Monday, July 29, 2013

Laundry Soap

I'm sure you've heard all about making your own laundry soap.

It's a novelty.

Well, a novelty these days!

Normally you think of tree-hugging, nut-eating, broom-stick skirt wearing, Birkenstock shoe wearing people as the only ones who would be interested in such.

Not that trees, nuts, broom stick skirts and Birkenstock shoes are bad .  . . but sometimes when they're all put together; well, you know!

Back to the laundry soap making . . .

it's kind of coming back in style to be "in control" of things!
That's probably because the things we need to be in control of  we aren't, so we're choosing random things to "take control of" so that we feel better about being out of control.


I think that might be a deep thought to contemplate!

Do I hear rhythmic snapping and "cool man" in the background?

I have been making  my own laundry soap for several months now.

It is cheaper.

But I'm not so sure that it's a huge savings that I'm really able to see in my pocket book.

I've been making it for two; count them . . .two reasons!

  1. The homemade stuff really does clean.  Truth!  My first try out was on stained baseball uniforms . . . and it got the dirt out; untreated!  Now, for true confession:  I still pre-treat because you know my laundry neurosis and I can't stand baseball pants to not be stark white.
  2. It's not hard to do!  I was already adding some of these ingredients to my pre-made, store-bought laundry detergent to "boost" it's power -- so I decided since I'm adding it, why don't I just make my own with it in it.  Made sense to me!
There you go . . .that's my reasons!

Once I got my big batch made, I just bought the ingredients for one batch to have on hand.  When I use about half of my detergent, I add to it with the ingredients I have on hand, then I resupply my stash and it works like clockwork.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 box Borax

1 box Washing Soda

1-2 bars Zote, grated

1 bar Fels-Naptha, grated

In a large container (I actually line a bathroom trashcan with a trash bag pour the ingredients into it so that I can tie it shut and shake it up to mix it around before pouring it into my box).  Pour the borax and washing soda together and stir around.  Add the grated bars and begin to mix (or shake).  Pour into storage container.

Use 2 TBSP to 4 TBSP per load, depending on size and amount of soil.

You can add essential oil to the wash water when adding the detergent, if you prefer. 

Also, this laundry soap does not make suds, as you might expect, but do not let that scare you.  It's really cleaning!

**HINT:  to grate the bars, I warm them in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds to soften just a bit before grating.  I also grate on the large and small hole side of the grater as well as the "slicer" because I like some larger pieces of soap in my mix.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fruit Cocktail Cake

Fruit Cocktail!  What's it possibly good for?  Not much except Jell-O cups and this cake!

This is an old recipe . . .been around for years!

You can find it in countless church cookbooks from "back in the day!"

Back when, the recipe would call for "oleo" - - which is the old way of saying "butter!" 

Today, I'm not sure that you'd find it in a newly published cookbook, but that's OK -- it's still good!

Matter of fact, when you make it, there will be somebody that asks for the recipe because they've never had it before and they'll think it's something new!

Don't you love that?

This cake throws together in a flash and is easy enough for your cherubs to jump in and help you!

Fruit Cocktail Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 can fruit cocktail (I used "in it's own juice")


1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
5 oz evaporated milk (no substitutions)  (this is just a smidge over 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup coconut (I omitted this and doubled the chopped nuts)
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

For the cake:  mix all cake ingredients at low speed. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 in pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For the sauce:  bring all of the sauce ingredients to a boil in a saucepan for one to two minutes. The sauce is thin, which is great for pouring.  I poke holes in my warm cake and pour over hot cake.
Serve cake warm or cooled; either way, enjoy!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gooey Butter Cookies

Image from Betty Crocker
This recipe is from a librarian friend of mine. 

I've not made these cookies yet, but I may  just make them today!
I'm posting this because:
  1. I trust her; she says they're yummy!
  2. The recipe is easy!  You don't have to measure anything!
  3. These are easy, on-hand ingredients
  4. You can make these cookies cheaper than you can buy some from the store
With the Summer here, and kids home, and company coming, and vacations, this recipe should be an easy, go-to cookie with little effort and great results!
Speaking of vacation, if you pack a goodie basket to carry in the car with you, then you could bake up these treats and store them in a clean, but empty Pringles container as you travel!  Isn't that a novel idea?  They'll be keep safe, won't break, and when you're done, you can toss the can in the nearest trash bin!

If you really want to be creative, you can decorate the outside of the Pringles can with a decoupage road map, or contact paper, or scrapbook paper to make your can more impressive!

But onto the real reason we're here; the recipe!

Gooey Butter Cookies

1 stick butter, softened, but not melted
1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all of the ingredients together and roll into desired size ball and dredge through powdered sugar.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until soft golden on the edges without over-baking them!

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Red, White, and Blueberry Chex Mix Treat

It's a 4th of July Celebration!

My girl cherub has been making plans for a week now of things to make; both food and decorations!
She's made the spread sheet, gathered ingredients, secured craft supplies and borrowed some much needed accessories and d├ęcor from a friend of hers.

That would be a grown up friend of hers who knows how to throw a party!

Last night, it was like a party company delivery at our house!

The patriotic bunting, baskets, and other goodies were dropped off to help my cherub achieve the best 4th of July party ever!

My cherub found a sweet snack treat on the internet and used the recipe as a guide for her own snack mix.  The jar she is serving it in is one of her entertaining creations too; thank goodness for google!  It's an endless supply of ideas!  She modified that too, and it's worked well!

For the jar, that she's using to serve a patriotic drink in, she dipped the rim in white dipping chocolate then rolled it in red and blue sugar and sprinkles and allowed it to dry.  She has the cutest red and white straws to serve with the drinks!

Now, for the sweet crunchy treat:

Red, White, and Blueberry Chex Mix Treat

1/2 bag of Chex cereal (she used the vanilla corn chex; you can use your favorite)
1  bag of dried blueberries (it was from walmart and it was a small bag)
1/2 bag of white chocolate chips
2 big scoops of craisins (she just used her hands and went by "looks!")
1/2 package of white chocolate coating, melted**

In a large bowl, place the cereal, blueberries, white chips, and craisins.  Stir it around and see if you like the ratio.  If not, add what you want!  That's what she did!

Pour the white chocolate coating over the cereal mix and stir until well coated.  Pour out onto wax paper or foil and allow the mixture to dry.  Break apart and place in serving dish.


**My cherub didn't want a lot of melting chocolate in her mix . . .. just enough to hold it together without it being too much. If you want more, then by all means, use more!  This is your treat!  Make it how you like it!