Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent...Love it!!

In November of 2011, my friend Lauri P. posted on fb about a homemade laundry detergent she was making and it piqued my interest so I asked her to share her experience and to share the recipe.  After finding all the ingredients at Wegman's per her suggestion, I made my first batch and fell in love.  I was certainly skeptical because I thought, "how could such a small amount of non-sudsing detergent get an entire load clean?"  I used the 2 tbsps suggested and was surprised to find that indeed, this detergent had some cleaning power.  I even used the Fels-Naptha soap bar to treat the underarm area of my husband's shirts.  Well about 2 months ago, I ran out and because I wasn't close to the Wegman's I decided to buy the liquid detergent that I used previously and I can honestly say that my clothes were not as fresh and clean as they are/were with the homemade stuff.  Yesterday, I made my way out to Wegman's and bought all the ingredients and my daughter helped me whip up my second batch.  I ran downstairs to the laundry room to use it right away on a comforter and sheet set that I removed from the dryer yesterday and it just didn't scream freshly cleaned to me at all!!  Not only does this stuff work but it wills save you a ton of money because it lasts so long.  I have a family of 6 that includes an 11 month old and a 3 year old boy and so we have at least 6 loads a week and sometimes more.   The first batch lasted just under six months!  I will never go back and now I know that I need to plan ahead when I start running low so I won't have to go back to the overly priced already made stuff.  Try it, you'll like!

Here are all the ingredients. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder, Borax Laundry Booster, A & H Baking Soda, OxiClean and two bars of Fels-Naptha Soap.  I added in about a cup of the Purex Crystals, it's a lavender scented fragrance booster in the form of little beads. I also toss some of the Purex Crystals in the water when I start the wash.  Total costs for all ingredients...$22.43 and if you choose not to use the Purex scented beads, which the original recipe doesn't call for it would cost you $18.44

I put a kitchen sized garbage bag in a bucket and pour the ingredients in in 3 phases.  Add 1/3 of each ingredients mix with gloved hands, and repeat until all ingredients have been used.  I find doing it in 3 parts makes it easier to incorporate all the ingredients evenly. 

I then reuse the OxiClean container and fill it up with the detergent and store the rest in the bag  and inside the bucket until needed.

I also use the scoop that comes with the OxiClean and fill it up to the "2" line for each load.  In this pic, you can see the Fels-Naptha soap that I grated in the in my Cuisinart. Last time I used a box grater because I forgot about my food processor grating attachment, it took less than a minute to grate.  The shreds were kind of long so I then put them back in the processor with the blade and pulse a few time to get smaller bits.  You can also see the purple Purex crystals.  Love this stuff!

These are two of the Scent Boosters that I use.  I love yummy smelling laundry.  And you can see the blue scoop which shows how much of the detergent you use for a large load.  And finally to give credit where credit is due, here is the link to the original blog I got the detergent recipe from

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Darling Ballerinas...beware, proud mama ahead!!

The Apples of my eye...(I had to use some kind of food reference).

  Today's blog entry has absolutely nothing to do with food you eat but with what I will refer to as soul food because looking back at these pictures, truly filled my soul with gladness.  After a trip to the library to do some school work today, we decided to hang out on the AstroTurf lawn out front, enjoy the "Interactive Fountain" and grab some lunch.  At some point my daughter pulled out her Nintendo DSi and began taking pics of her sister doing some ballet moves and trying to capture the perfect picture at just the right time and eventually recruiting me to try to get "the shot" with my iphone.  

  After dozens of leaps and many photo misses, I am posting a few of the best of the bunch but not before I note that as I posted them on facebook, I felt so proud and my heart was just full.  These are my 'babies' and I just love them. So kind, so beautiful, so caring, so strong, so determined and they are my 'little' gifts.  I truly have so much fun with them as we share new experiences together, laugh, joke and just enjoy each others company.  Perfect they are not, but they are my gifts from God to nurture and bring up in a way that pleases Him.  Girls of character who don't have to be the smartest, prettiest, richest, most fashionable or most talented; my desire is that they be kind, loving, respectful, generous, unselfish, polite and beautiful from the inside first and the rest will follow.  I present to you, two precious gifts.

This was the one I got with my iphone after many fails. She was a trooper and kept at it while her slow mama got the shot.

Another shot taken with the Nintendo DSi

Nintendo Shot...notice the ladies in the background looking like, what the?

Recreating Alvin Ailey's "Revelations" that they practiced at home.

More Alvin Ailey...

Daughter 2 who insist I tell you that she could have jumped higher but her denim shorts were too tight. LOL!!

Daughter 2...beautiful!

Daughter 1...fell a few times but took it all in stride.
There you have it, a few moments from our day of laughing, loving and leaping!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sticky Chicken, Donuts and Life....

I will start this blog entry off with the recipe I made tonight because I know it's always best to start an entry off with visual stimulation.  I will hook you with deliciousness and keep you my wit and humor. Ha!  This recipe was inspired by a simple craving for Chinese, and Chinese chicken wings with some oomph!  I simply googled, "Chinese Chicken Wings," came upon a youtube video, watched and went upstairs to the kitchen and got to cooking.  I had to make two changes because I was in no mood to go to the store so I got creative with what I had on hand.  I present to you, finger lickin Chinese Chicken.  Enjoy! And if you are wondering, yes, those are my wings, photo taken with my iphone!

Cripsy Sticky Chinese Chicken....mmmm, mmmm, good!

2 pounds chicken wings
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice flour (I used Tempura Flour)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used 1/4 cup of lite soy sauce, and 1Tbsp of Hoisin sauce and water added to it to make another 1/4 cup because I ran out of soy sauce)
2 Tablespoons vinegar any kind, (I used white but the original guy used black)
6 garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped ginger

Put eggs, salt, water, rice or tempura flour, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl and mix.  Add chicken wings to mixture and prepare the sauce.  Put all the ingredients for the sauce into a saucepan and reduce by half on medium heat.  Deep fry the wings in oil at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes until golden and crispy and set on rack with a towl under it to let excess oil "fall" off.  After wings are done, put about 1/4 of the sauce on the bottom of a clean and dry bowl, add your delicious crispy fried chicken, put a lid or plate over the bowl and shake, shake, shake until your wings are fully covered in the saucy deliciousness.  Serve with jasmine rice (or your favorite rice) and a wonderful hearty salad (so you won't eat too many wings) and I bet you after making these delicious and simple wings you will never order out again!!  Well, maybe not ever again, at least for quite some time.  Lick fingers when done and then go and clean your kitchen.

 French Toast Doughnuts....
My husband made french toast for breakfast and had about a cup full of leftover egg mixture left.  I added flour and cinnamon to it, deep fried it, dusted it with powdered sugar and drizzled with maple syrup. Everyone loved it.  The original dipping mixture for the french toast has heavy whipping cream, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and a splash of regular milk with some vanilla sugar.  I don't have exact measurements because he just throws it all in the bowl with measuring but any standard recipe with do.  I will certainly make these again and try to improve on it.  The mixture before frying should be like a sticky cake batter consistency.  Does that make sense?  Give it a try.  Now click on "read more" and you can get a life update.  Go ahead, you know you want to. :)