Pull up a chair, get a cup of tea, and enjoy reading the recipes and tidbits of my journey through Life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To Be or Not to Be...Laundry Detergent

Today I took a leap into making my own laundry detergent.  I have been wanting to do this for a while and finally went for it.  The original recipe called for Fels Naptha soap, which, of course, I could not find.  I bought Zote soap instead and an glad I did because it has a gently lemon scent.  I grated the soap and added it to the water in a saucepan, melted it and then added the Borax and Washing Soda.  Then added it to the 5 gallon bucket and poured in the rest of the water...only I didn't calculate correctly and didn't add enough water.  Four hours later I have a solid crust over watery soap.  Ugh!  I added the REST of the water and stirred it well.  I can only hope it works out overnight like it is supposed to.  Supposedly it is a fool proof recipe...well, in this case they created a better fool (ME). 

The only way I can understand my miscalculation is being tired as hell.  My daughter woke me up at 5:30am having to go potty.  By the time she was finished I was wide awake.  So I had been up almost 12 hours by the time I started making the detergent.  Plus, I have spent the last week preparing the house for my Mom's two week visit, which starts tomorrow.  I am sooo excited!!!  We're planning to clear the back yard of the small saplings that have sprung up in the last year or two, painting the porches, the wrought iron around the outside of the house, and create a craft room sanctuary for me.  There are a few other little painting projects as well.  We are kinda over-achievers. 

I will post progress as it happens, with pictures if I can remember to take them.  And if the recipe for detergent pans out, I will post that as well in the coming days.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

While at the In-Laws

Last night we were over at my in-laws' house (it seems odd to call them that since I think of them as my own parents -- anyway...).  They recently built a coop and bought seven chickens, each a different breed.  We have been watching them grow for a little over a month, and my daughter, has been enjoying them emensely.  Well, last night I notice a new magazine laying on the kitchen table, Countryside & Small Stock Journal.  I was intrigued so I opened it up and glanced through it.  Wow!  The wealth of knowledge is amazing!  They touch on just about every subject imaginable.  The recipes alone have made me want the magazine.  Baba, my father-in-law, has canceled his subscription because he does not have enough time to read it all before the next one comes (it is a bi-monthly magazine).  Does that tell you how much is in it?  And the newstand price is $3.99, the subscription price is $18 for a year.  If you are interested in checking it out, go to http://www.countrysidemag.com/.  They also have back issues you can buy and list the articles of interest for each.  I will definitely be subscribing to this little jewel!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Intro...and a recipe!

This is my second go at blogging.  I didn't really post much to my old blog, but hopefully this one will be peppered with posts since it is something near and dear to my heart...food.  I have been trying to be more frugal and self-sufficient in my homemaking, thus this new blog. I will be posting recipes and frugal ideas frequently and hope to have a fair few followers.  I will start off with a recipe I created with inspiration from a recipe I found in an old freezer cookbook.  I took their technique and the cheese mixture I created for my lasagna recipe and came up with this recipe.  Hope you enjoy it.

Stuffed Manicotti
32 ounces ricotta cheese
16 ounces sour cream
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups shredded Mozzarella
3 boxes manicotti shells

Mix ingredients together.  Drain noodles when they are finished cooking; stuff them with cheese mixture.  Put them in the freezer individually to flash freeze.  When they are frozen, put them in ziplock bags and back into the freezer.

To fix the manicotti, remove 12 shells and place them in a 9x13-inch pan.  Brown a pound of ground beef, drain off the grease.  Add a jar of spaghetti sauce and 1/2 cup water to the meat.  Pour over the frozen shells.  Top with 2 cups mozzarella cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for roughly 50 minutes, or until the shells are soft.