Friday, May 21, 2010

These are adorable...

I just love these pinwheel hair clips on eighteen25. Head on over there to get instructions on how to make them!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

Before Ava was born I read that you must use hypoalergenic laundry detergent on baby clothes but when I saw the price for Dreft I decided to do something a little more cost effective. I found this wonderful homemade laundtry soap recipe and in 6 months I have spent about 7 dollars on laundtry soap and I use some of the ingredients for dish detergent too. This recipe is for liquid soap the consistency is not as nice as store bought but it works great! I don't add the essential oils because the soap already has a lemony scent.

1-bar Fels-Naptha soap

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA!)

Hot tap water

5 gallon bucket with lid

2 gallon plastic beverage dispenser

Light colored essential oils (optional)

Grate bar of soap with a cheese grater. Fill the 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot tap water. Melt the grated soap slowly over med-low heat in a large saucepan with 2.5 cups of water. Once the soap is completely melted, add this to the water in the five gallon bucket. Now add the Borax and the Super Washing Soda and stir. Now top the bucket off with more hot tap water. Loosely put the lid on the bucket and leave over night to thicken.

You can add 15 – 20 drops of essential oils to this if you like. (Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, etc.)

I use about 3/4 cup per load if you have an energy efficient loader you can use less.

I have a friend that makes dry laundry soap from equal parts fels naptha, borax, and washing soda. That seems to work pretty good too! If you make it dry you must grate the fels naptha very fine though since it dissolves slowly and you don't want it left in your clothes. Happy Soap making!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bacon and Wild Mushroom Risotto with Baby Spinach

I came across this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine. It is so delicious, I just had to share!!

4 cups chicken stock (not broth)
6 bacon slices
1 cup chopped shallots
1 tbs olive oil
1 tps chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 oz oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 cup uncooked medium-grain rice
1/3 cup Madeira wine (I just used 1/3 cup of extra chicken stock)
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp pepper
1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil); keep ward over low heat.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to pan. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon fro pan, leaving drippings. Add shallots, oil, thyme, and garlic to drippings and cook about 6 minutes, or until tender. Stir in mushrooms and cook 8 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine (or extra stock); cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup stock; cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock ,1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in the spinach and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bacon.
Yield: 6 1/4 cups