Sunday, June 30, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent: Update

I have been making Homemade Laundry Detergent for quite some time now. It saves a ton of money. It is easy to make and I am happy with the cleaning results. I posted the recipe for it here: . Since that post I have made one change to my detergent that I really like and so I wanted to update everyone in case you wanted to try it out.
Fels-Naptha great for Homemade Detergents

Here is my original recipe:
1 Bar Grated Soap (Ivory or Zote)
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda

Instead of Ivory which is what I was using I decided to try out Fels-Naptha. Well I love it. I think it is far superior to Ivory (sorry Ivory, better for the shower I think). The Fels-Naptha grates up nicely (looks like cheddar cheese) and has a great scent to it.

Grating up my Fels-Naptha for Homemade Laundry Detergent
The great thing about the Fels-Naptha is you only have to use 1/3 bar to equal 1 bar of Ivory. So I always make a triple batch of detergent.  Here is the new recipe:

1 Bar Grated Fels-Naptha Soap
3 Cups Borax
3 Cups Washing Soda
Mix Thoroughly. Use 1 TB. per load.

I have not tried Zote out yet but I will give it a shot in the future and let you know where I think it ranks. As for now, I am loving the Fels-Naptha and the cost is pretty much the same. If you are interested in a break down of how much homemade detergents and cleaners can save you check out this post:

You can find Fels-Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda in the laundry isle at your grocery store.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One Pot Wonder Pasta

So I know I promised more posts and my intentions were sincere and honest, but life has a way of changing things unexpectedly for most of us and that is what it did to our family. We got news a few weeks ago that we are moving to Arkansas. In fact, Jacob has already started a new job there, leaving Shaun-ta' behind to wrap up things in Texas and sell our home. (This is nothing new for me.) One thing I am truly grateful for this time is that I have a new home and so there will be no long nights of peeling wallpaper, endless painting, texturing walls and ceilings, etc. Yes, I am definitely grateful for that. But I have been super busy and I am 7 months pregnant, so by the end of the day I am beat, and I honestly have no desire to cook dinner by this point. But I still want to eat something delicious. It is such a dilemma. I ran across this recipe today, just by chance, or maybe by fate, because I really wasn't looking for a recipe. It was already 5:30 and I hadn't gotten anything out for dinner yet and I was thinking, "Oh, no cold cereal again." But then I came across this recipe for One Pot Pasta over at Apron Strings and dinner was saved. Dinner was done 20 minutes later and I mean done and it was delicious and healthy. I made a few changes from the recipe on Apron Strings but only to accommodate what I had in the pantry and garden.

Here is the original recipe:

Serves 4 to 6 as an entree

12 ounces linguine pasta
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
One Pot Wonder Pasta

My changes:

I used 13 oz. of Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta
I used about 15 oz. of fresh tomatoes from the garden. Yum!
I chopped up my onion and garlic. - The kids don't do big chunks.
I skipped the red pepper flakes, cause the kids don't do heat.
I only used 4 cups of Home Canned Chicken broth, because I used angel hair pasta I knew it would require a bit less liquid and cooking time.
I also added some fresh portabella mushrooms that I had on hand - a very yummy addition!

It turned out delicious and it was so fast and easy!

20 Minute Meal - One Pot Pasta