Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laundry Soap

A couple of years ago me and my sister were cleaning out my grandmas house and came across over 100 bars of Fels-Naptha. We were not sure what to do with it but we hated to just throw it out. She had a friend who was making their own laundry soap and it had Fels-Naptha in the recipe. This is an easy recipe and it makes good soap with no dyes or perfumes. It also makes me feel better about not using those huge plastic containers that the soap usually comes in. I make it in liquid form in a 5 gallon bucket, I use one cup for a load of clothes but you can experiment to see how much you want to use. It does NOT sud up so you might think you need to add more, but it will never make suds. You can add essential oils if you want it to smell good but I don't.

2 bars fels-naptha, chopped or grated

2 cups borax

2 cups arm and hammer washing soda (not baking soda)

You can find the borax and soda in the laundry aisle.

Dissolve the grated fels-naptha in about 6-8 cups water. I cook it on the stove on low and use a whisk to help it dissolve faster.

Boil enough water to fill your 5 gallon bucket about half way.

Add borax and washing soda powder to bucket, add boiling water and dissovled fels-naptha. Stir well. At this point I like to move the bucket to the laundry room before it is too heavy and then add enough hot water to fill to the top. Let it cool off, the next day it will gel up, that is normal.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chili Powder

Chili Powder
I seem to use chili powder a lot. It never seems to have much flavor so I end up using half the bottle to get the flavor I want. I read a few recipes and came up with this one. You could use different chili's and make it as mild or hot as you want. Of course I had to use dried chipotles because I put them in everything lately.
This made it pretty spicy, next time I might use more ancho's and less of the arobols.
5 dried chipotles
2 dried ancho chili's
5 dried arobol chili's
2 T whole cumin seed, I toasted these for a few minutes in a dry pan, just until they smell good
2 T dried oregano
2 T garlic powder, not garlic salt
Blend in blender until powdered. THIS IS IMPORTANT, do NOT remove lid until dust has settled, just leave it alone for a few minutes or you will breathe chili dust in and it can be hot!
Here is an easy crock pot chicken recipe that I use chili powder in.
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic chopped or crushed
1 T chili powder, or to taste
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce, you can also add some of the sauce from the can
salt and pepper to taste
Cook on high for 4 hours or until shreds easily
This recipe is from martha, she adds salsa to it also but we like it just like this.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili

2 cups cooked chicken
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 chipotle chopped or more to taste
1 T chili powder
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 cans white beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic until softened. Add about 6 cups water and the rest of ingredients. You could simmer on the stove for an hour or so but I just put it in the crock pot.

Garnish options, sour cream, green onions, green chili's, cheese, tortilla chips

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1/2 pound of Italian sausage

1 small yellow onion chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

4 potatoes sliced thin,

1 bunch kale, tear leaves from stems

1 12 oz can evap. milk

2 chicken bouillon cubes

Brown sausage, add onion and garlic and cook until onion has softened. Add 8-10 cups water and bring to a simmer. Add bouillon cubes, potatoes, milk and kale. Cook until potatoes are getting tender. Check seasoning, you might need salt and pepper. I use a teaspoon or two of Cajun seasoning to give it a little kick. This is kind of a rip off from Olive Gardens soup but I think it is healthier because I dont use the bacon and cream and there is a lot more kale. I really love kale, if you can't get it you could use collard greens instead.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Roasted Vegetables
1 Butternut squash peeled seeded and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Onion peeled and cut into wedges
2 cloves of garlic smashed
8-10 Red potatoes halved
2 Sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
5 Carrots peeled and cut in half
1-2 T oil (I used Canola)
1 T coarse salt
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425
Toss vegetables with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes to an hour stirring every 15 minutes.
These really are delicious, I first read a similar recipe on Martha. You could use different vegetables or more or less of each to your own taste. Ben usually only eats the potatoes and squash so the rest I cook because I like different stuff and with a salad it is a great meal for me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 T. instant yeast
3 cups warm water
mix together and let sit 5 minutes
1 T. Dough enhancer
1 T. Salt
1/4 cup Wheat gluten
7-8 cups whole wheat flour

Mix together, add flour until sides of the bowl are clean.
Grease 2 loaf pans, spray your hands with cooking spray or oil and shape into loaves. Let rise until doubled in size. Bake at 350 until dark brown 30-40 minutes

Dough enhancer and gluten are what makes this recipe so easy, no kneading or letting rise a few times. You can find both items in the baking aisle.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Squash Season

It is squash season and we went to a great pumpkin patch yesterday. They had over 30 different varieties of squash, from ornamental to edible. Usually I like to roast squash in the oven, I cut it in half, scoop the seeds out and put the cut side down on a greased cookie sheet. 400 degrees for about an hour usually does it, check it with a fork to make sure it is tender. Sometimes if I am in a rush I will microwave it but it has a better flavor when roasted.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I am not sure how I found out about these but they are my favorite and I use them a lot lately. A chipotle is simply a smoked jalapeno pepper. I use the ones packed in adobo sauce but you can also get them dried or in a seasoning cube. Most of my recipes call for 2 or 3 peppers from a can so I have found if I puree the whole can and keep it in the fridge I have some already to use without cutting them up. They can be a little messy in the sauce. I will post an easy crock pot shredded chicken I use them in but you could use them in anything. They give a great smoky flavor and a little kick.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

1 large (29 oz) can pumpkin
1 small can applesauce
6 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water
1 teas. baking powder
3 teas. baking soda
2 teas. salt
1 T. cinnamon
5 cups flour

Mix in order given, bake at 350 45 minutes to an hour.

This makes 4 large loaves
If you like more spices you could reduce the cinnamon and add cloves, allspice or nutmeg

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce

1 medium onion diced

3 carrots peeled and diced

3 stalks celery diced

Water to cover

Simmer until vegetables are very tender.

4 cups tomato juice

1 small can tomato paste

2 T. prepared pesto

Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.

Season with salt and pepper to taste

Great on pasta.

I didn't post a picture because we all know what tomato sauce looks like. The carrots give it a really good texture.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Crock Pot Chipotle Beans

1 medium onion, diced

3 cans assorted beans, drained
I used kidney pinto and white

1 chipotle bouillon cube

Water to cover beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion before adding the rest of ingredients to crock pot.

Let cook on high 4 hours or low 6
This turned out yummy and the leftovers were a great lunch.