Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy Homemade

So I conquered another homemade quest. Homemade bodywash. WHOO HOO! There are a certain number of things that I detest paying for at the grocery store. The list includes (but is not limited to) toilet paper, paper towels, body wash, shampoo (not necessarily conditioner bc for me it lasts F-O-R-E-V-E-R) and cleaning products. I'm taking each one on, a little at a time so that I can try to recreate something that's a little cleaner all around; for us, for our home and the earth. My family seems to think I'm a hippie at heart. I'm okay with that. As I run out of one of my grocery list violaters, I see if I can come up with something to take it's place. Pinterest is fabulous for these kinds of things and you can check out my HAPPY list of things that I'm planning to or have already tried under these two boards. Cleanting and Homemade Spa. So last night my DH helped me along with my current project. Here's what you'll need...thank you to a great gal over at Living, Loving & Laughing for sharing her experience and her superfantastically easy recipe.

I doubled her recipe for one batch-this is what I did...

1 gallon distilled water
2 bars of soap, all natural of course
2 T Vegetable glycerin, I found mine at Natural Grocers and easily found online here

First I grated the soap. Luckily I used the lavender soap for the photo op because after I finished grating the orange vanilla flavored soap, it looked like a poor pile of gloppy shredded cheese and NOT appealing whatsoever.

I poured the distilled water in a large stockpot. Then I added the vegetable glycerin and shredded soap. I heated it just enough to melt the soap and then I poured it into my jars. I was worried since it had such a watery consistency but this morning it was much more congealed. I'm so excited because me and my kiddos have such sensitive skin so it will be great peace of mind knowing that its simple, clean and earth friendly.

I did a little breakdown for price comparison
2 bars soap (3.44 each) $6.88
2 gallons distilled water (2.00 each) $4.00
Vegetable glycerin (only 2 T per batch) $3.24 for 4oz

I made two batches and each made 5 quarts each. So I spent roughly $14.12 for supplies and the vegetable glyerin will probably last 3-4 batches. So for $14.20 I made a little more than 320 ounces making my body wash about .044 per ouce. WHOO HOO! That's versus .248 cents for a typical store brand. I'll take that!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My tex mex chicken conglomeration

My goal for the summer is to compound and condense my pantry. I am forever running to the store for my bi-weekly trip only to pick up something that I bypassed in my prelist checking or simply finding it buried among other things. So I'm cooking to the pantry. I pull out things and I'm throwing things together bad and good and seeing what works out. Today it was a breezy 90 degree day so we trekked over to the zoo for a quick trip. I knew cooking would be out since the heat always zaps us so I threw something in the crockpot. LIterally. I pulled out stuff from the fridge and my pantry and whipped up 'somethin' good'. Good enough for us to want to make again so I wanted to post about it. I had some chicken breast in the fridge that were thawed so I for sure, wanted to use them up. Plus I have an abundance of black beans (why- I'm clueless) and I've been on a corn kick, salsa kick and spicy kick. Glad that all worked out when I threw all of the team together. We all know that's not always the case. Being that I've been on a salsa, spicy kick, I had to make my 3 ingredient salsa to go along with! I went to a picnic at my cousins's new house last weekend and his wife, SO WONDERFUL, made this INCREDIBLY easy and super delish salsa (my one food vice-HA LOL! Yeah right!) I figured it was a good day for easy, fast and convenient. That being said, I didn't want to give up on flavor, health and family either. Check it out! This lends itself to being very adaptable to what you have on hand too! Try it out!

Tex Mex Crock Pot Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast

3/4 c Fat free sour cream

1 can rotel

1 can black beans

1 can corn, drained

1/2 jar salsa

Cheese for topping, opt.

Stir in sour cream and rotel together. Layer in crock pot chicken, sour cream mixture, black beans, corn, onion slices and top with salsa. I cooked on low for 4-5 hours and on high for 1 hour.

3 Ingredient Salsa

3 cans Rotel

1 large bunch cilantro

1 T minced garlic

Blend or process until desired consistency,


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Points-Yes I keep track

Thinking about this post I recall a conversation I overheard. My husband is listening while the friend is sharing the following..."well I don't understand why they don't keep score anymore. I want my kids to know who won and who had the bigger score." While I don't necessarily agree it came to mind when I sat down to post. I recently joined the weight watcher bandwagon and I have to read every label (already do anyway) so that I can figure the total points value per serving of everything I put into my mouth. Now I have to track and log my points which are in essence the food I take in, boiled down to a point target that I can reach but not cross at the end of every day. So today after our monthly Costco trip and grocery get we are well stocked and I can finally craft up a storm in my favorite art of cooking. Whenever the fridge is stocked and full of goodies I have to admit that this MUST be what an artist feels like when they have a palette full of paint and a brand new, fresh white canvas in their midst. I get this childish giddiness that nearly resembles the night before Christmas and I quickly rub my hands together so I can snatch up the first foodie idea I can while the ideas roll around my head knocking into one another. The idea didn't quite seem "mona lisa" more like a palette practice of the color wheel but we made crock pot Chicken tacos and they were simply amazing. And when it's as easy as this it (almost) makes me feel guilty-but not quite

Crock pot Chicken Tacos

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of taco seasoning (I make my own-see below)
1/2-1 c salsa
1/4 c water

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours

For dessert I was craving lemony goodness. I'm sure you have all heard of the weight watcher diet soda cakes. IF not check this out or this.

Tonight I made these lemon cupcakes using the following recipe:

Lemon WW cupcakes

1 pkg Lemon Cake mix
1 can diet 7-up

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Bake according to package directions. (Mine were about 17 minutes at 350 degrees.) For icing if you're trying to keep points low, I top mine with Fat free cool whip (2 T) for zippo points. Whoo hooo yummmmmmmmMMM! Just the right amount of sweet and lemon. You won't believe how terrific these are. You've gotta try them! I think I might try these in the summer and keep them in the fridge for a fresh and cool sweet treat!

Homemade Taco Seasoning
(I usually quadruple this so that I can have plenty on hand. I hate buying the packets!)
1 T chili powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t oregano
1/2 t paprika (I sometimes use smoked for flavor)
1 1/2 t cumin
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper

Mix all together. I use about 2 T per pound when cooking. Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm not afraid of the big Green Monster

So we're off to a good start in 2012. I'm at home with kiddos today because our daycare gal is down with the flu. NO good. I'm PRAYING the kids don't get it. Part of my news years continuum (didn't feel fair calling it a resolution since it's not new) is continuing the healthier diet and lifestyle and the resolution is to fully declutter the household. When you have kids, it's like secret elves frequent your house when you're sleeping and after you leave and they add new piles to the ones you already have and then all of a sudden !POOF! you have clutter. I feel like it's everywhere and beginning to take over. OUT YOU GO CLUTTER! OUT! I've taken on the kitchen, dining room and I'm not off to the kids' rooms. Those will take longer. Plus I've been through nearly half the storage bins in the garage. YUCK. By far not my favorite activity but very fulfilling when I can put only half back and know that it's downsized, cleaned and ORGANIZED. Can I get a WOOT WOOT!?! So on to the yummy part, I tried the Green monster smoothie the other day and I wasn't just pleasantly surprised. I was BLOWN away at how good it was. Keep telling yourself GREEN milkshake, GREEN milkshake! If you can get past the green, it's by far one of the best smoothies I've ever made. It's very filling, healthy and my kids will drink it so it's definitely a keeper in our kitch!

To begin you will need
Two large handfuls of organic spinach
1 frozen banana
1- 1 1/2 c almond milk (or your choice of milk)
2 T nut butter
1-2 T Flax seed
1 T Agave syrup (optional)
handful of ice

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend that bad boy UP!

After blending pour into cups and serve. I've been putting these in my insultated starbucks to-go cups and drinking my breakfast on my way to work. If I can get my kids and DH to drink this you've seriously got to give it a try! Drink up!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Kitchen Toy

Ok so we officially started the Christmas shopping extravaganza this past Sunday. You should of seen me and the DH, we were practically skipping through Target. We definitely felt like the Clauses for sure but part of the reason (a big part) of going to Target was because of this little beauty. In this week's ad they were only 16.99. EEEEK HALF price for a drool-worthy cutie tootie crock pot! I had to have it. Luckily I had the great luck of having a crock pot that was in good need of replacing so I had reasonable ammunition for the purchase of this one!!!

Of course since I bought it Sunday I had to use it right away! Here's what I tried and it was so creamy and scrumptious! MUST TRY!

Crock POt Italian Chicken

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup (98% less sodium)
1 block cream cheese
1 envelope packet good seasons italian dressing mix

Place chicken in bottom of crock. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours and serve over pasta. YUM! Oh so yummy!

With this dish I felt the need for some major veggies to coincide with the load of carbs

Sweet Succotash

1 T grapeseed oil
2 bunches green onions

Saute the onion in oil until just brown. Add

1 bag cascadian farms organic frozen corn
1 bag cascadian farms organic frozen edamama (shelled)
1 large orange or red bell pepper roughly chopped
shake of salt
couple shakes of black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 c broth 1 t cornstarch

Add in veggies to onions. Stir broth and veggies together and pour over mixture. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes until broth thickens.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leave it and LOVE it

I love my crock pot more than words can express. IT's like a magic little pot of cooking goodness. I just throw some things inside and it works its wonders while I'm away. Sounds like a little bit of magic to me. I tossed this in this morning and LOVED the way this turned out. My MIL recommended this recipe from Kraft the other day and I just obsess about anything with A1 in it. I could *almost* drink the stuff. I love the tanginess, a little peppery and zing. It should be called SHAzAAM sauce or something. A1 is good but I bet SHAzAAM was their second choice. So try this out. It's really yummy. I served it over plain whole grain penne but I think next time I might try it over egg noodles just to see.

A1 stew & sauce

1 package of stew meat
1/4 c A1 sauce
1/4 c water
1 small onion chopped
1 regular can diced tomatoes in juice
2 T flour

Combine all in crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve over noodles of choice.