Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Several Baking Tips

It's baking season, so here are a few tips....

Baking Products that Last:  If you don't use all of your baking products or you are the type that buys in bulk, did you know you can preserve a lot of them in the freezer?  Baking Chocolate, Baking Chips, Flour, Nuts, Dried Fruit, Butter, Marshmallow and Cream Cheese!!!
Dust Your Pan with Cocoa:  Instead of dustinng your pan with flour and it leaving your cake with a white residue, try dusting your chocolate dessert with cocoa instead.
Quick Cookies:  When making drop cookies, make a double batch.  Form cookies into balls and freeze.  Once frozen, move them to individual freezer bags.  Later, you can bring out as many cookies as you need to bake, and no need for thawing.  This is great for those moments when you have unexpected guests.
Dough Sticking to Your Rolling Pin:  Do you have problems with moist dough sticking to your rolling pen?  Take a pair of clean, never-worn knee-high stockings and cut a hole in the toe.  Slide the nylon over the rolling pin.  The nylon will help keep the dough from sticking because it makes an even layer of flour on the pin so you can easily flatten your dough.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cleaning Copper

I always heard that tomato sauce or ketchup would clean copper, but I needed to try it for myself.  My poor pots are over 8 years old and I obviously haven't taken great care of them.  I have so many baked on stains, it's not funny.

Well, I smeared ketchup all over the bottom of the copper skillet and let it sit there for about ten minutes.  I could tell an immediate change. 

The copper looked fresh and newer than before.  I think I like this trick!  Now, I just need to do the rest of my pots and pans.  Plus, I need to find a good way to clean the years of burned stains off the bottoms.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homemade Version of 'Clorox Anywhere Spray'

With school starting back, the kiddos will be bringing more germs in the house, not to mention the germs that invade during the up and coming cold/flu season. Therefore, why not start a daily disinfecting routine in your home…for LESS than a penny a week…yes, LESS than a penny!
Make your own version on Clorox Anywhere Spray!

Where can it be used?
Anywhere Hard Surface daily sanitizing spray can be used in every room of the house, on hard, nonporous surfaces including: highchairs, changing tables, sinks, plastic or glass cutting boards, refrigerators, countertops, doorknobs and lunch boxes.
There are surfaces you will want to sanitize more often—like plastic cutting boards and other food contact surfaces to help reduce the spread of harmful bacteria, like E. Coli and Salmonella choleraesuis. Bacteria from the kitchen and bathroom can quickly spread throughout the home by traveling on our hands from one surface to another, so it is important to manage the spread of bacteria on frequently touched surfaces. Bacteria can survive on the bathroom doorknob or the kids’ toys for up to 72 hours, leaving plenty of time for them to be picked up by another family member.

Will it damage clothing/fabric?
This daily sanitizing spray should not whiten or bleach surfaces, nor should it damage fabrics or clothing, due to its low bleach concentration. That said, it is intended for use on hard, nonporous surfaces.
This is the part that I had the most questions about. I have had clothes spotted by bleach and ruined. Therefore , I did my own investigation with this recipe and sprayed it on an old dark gray piece of t-shirt to see how it would effect it. 
I didn't just spray it on, but I pretty much soaked it.

I am a little disappointed to see what I found.  After letting it dry outside in the heat for over an hour, it looked fine except for a slight orange tinted spot on the edge which proved to be a result of the bleach.  Therefore, I will not be spraying this solution near my good dish towels or rags, but I will use it!  Note, again...I soaked it in the solution, not just a spritz.  I will, also, make sure to shake the bottle before using.

How long should you let it sit?
The product takes two minutes to kill 99.9% of common household bacteria on hard, nonporous surfaces. After that time, you can wipe up or let the liquid evaporate.

 Let’s talk money!
An average bottle of Clorox Anywhere Spray (22 oz.) costs between $2.75-$3.25.
I paid $1.64 (Walmart brand bleach: 3 qts.) +.97 (8 oz. bottle)= 2.61
(You can find larger bottles for about a dollar. This is just the size I preferred).
Here comes the WHOPPER!
If I were to use a 22 oz. bottle (equal to the Anywhere Spray), I could get 384 full bottles out of my 3 qts. of bleach!!!! All for only $2.61!!!  Therefore, I am paying less than a PENNY for each 22 oz. bottle of my own version on Clorox Anywhere Spray! AMAZING!
If I were crazy and bought 384 bottles of Clorox Anywhere Spray at $3/bottle, I would be paying $1,152!

8 oz. bottle= 5/8 tsp. bleach + water
10 oz. bottle= 2/3 tsp. bleach + water
12 oz. bottle= 7/8 tsp. bleach + water
16 oz. bottle= 1 and 1/8 tsp. bleach + water
20 oz. bottle= 1 and 3/8 tsp. bleach + water
22 oz. bottle = 1 and ½ tsp. bleach + water (Clorox Anywhere Spray Bottle size)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

I am always trying to find a way to save money, but keep our quality of life the same or better.  I found this recipe for Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent and decided to take a try.  Here is what you do:
~1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (baking soda does not work; it must be sodium carbonate)
~1 bar of Fels-Naptha
~1 box of Borax
(All found at Walmart around the laundry detergents).
~5 Gallon Bucket (Found at Home Depot)

1 bar of Fels-Naptha
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
Hot tap water

Start by grating the soap

This is the most time consuming part, but only takes 5-10 minutes.

Add soap shavings to a saucepan with water.  Stir continually over low-medium heat until soap dissolves and is completely melted.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water (2.5 gallons = 10 quarts).  Add melted soap, washing soda, and Borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to the top with more hot water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

For top loading machines, the detergent will take 5/8 cup per load.  5/8 cup= 5 oz. or 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup.  Also, if you have a Tide liquid jug, the top cup equal 5 oz. to the very top.  I took all of my empty detergent bottles and measured the caps of each bottle to figure what makes 5/8 oz.  Example: Purex bottle takes 1 cap full + fill to the 2nd line = 5/8 oz.  I wrote each measurement on each bottle, since each measures different.
For front loading machines, the detergent takes 1/4 cup per load.

Next Day
Stir, but know that it is normal to have a gel like consistency.

Fill used but clean laundry soap dispenser half full with soap.
Then, fill the jug to the top with additional water.

Shake well before each use.
Tip:  I tend to start my load with hot water for only a few seconds so that the soap will quickly dissolve.
Yields: 10 Gallons

My Opinion: I have washed all clothes and towels using this recipe and it seems to have worked great.  The scent is light but clean when just using soap.  I do, however, use drier sheets and that adds a stronger scent to the clothes.  I noticed the soap does not make suds, but I had read this before I made it.  I would recommend trying this recipe.  It's super cheap and worth the try.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Getting Started

I have been contemplating creating a blog of ideas and tips that I have found that help me out around the house. There are so many things I want to try, so why not just share them with others, too. Having two small kids, I need things to make my life easier. Being a stay-at-home mom, I am always looking for ways to save money. I hope to model my life and encourage others to strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman.

Proverbs 31:10-31
The Message (MSG)

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!