Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

Melting the bar of soap

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

       Being a family of 8, plus my parents, and I do the office laundry for our chiropractor, we go through a lot of laundry soap. I had been buying the Ecos laundry soap from Sam's Club. It is about 2 gallons and is around $14. A friend of mine mentioned on Facebook one day that she was enjoying looking at recipes on the Duggar Family's website. That got me thinking that I really needed to check out their recipe for the homemade liquid laundry soap. I had thought about it on and off for several years. I finally got on the computer (I had sworn to myself that I wasn't going to get on that day, hee hee) and looked up the recipe. I clicked on the link they had to a store that sold the Arm & Hammer Washing soap, but they were out of it. So I went to to check it out.

      Well, it seems that many other people have done the same search because they had clumped all three items together for me, how convenient! I thought it was a great deal at $16 for all three items; the bar of soap, the Borax, and the Arm & Hammer Washing Soap. Not too bad and I didn't have to go anywhere to find it. Duh, I forgot to check the individual prices for shipping. Once I figured that out, it was too late, and my $16 was now $33 because of shipping. Darn it! My best friend has made this same recipe. She tells me after I purchased these items that she spent around $6 for all the ingredients. Ahhh.... Talk about rubbing salt on an open wound! ;-) But now I know better.

      Next time I make it, all I need is the bar of soap because I have plenty of Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing soap left. I still am going to save a lot of money by making this laundry soap!

Here are a few pictures of our adventure and I am going to include our recipe, I tweaked mine some. Enjoy!!

A. with the final product, so proud!
S.A. grating the bar of soap
S.M. grating the bar of soap

1 bar of Fels-Naptha (grated)
1/2 c. 20 Mule Team Borax
1 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (only this one)
3 scoops of Oxi-Clean powder
4 c. boiling water
40-50 drops of Essential Oil of Orange (any scented oil that you like)
3 gallons of warm water

1. Grate the whole bar of soap- I used the Fels-Naptha. Put on 4 c. water in a sauce pan to boil. Once it is boiling, turn it down to half the heat. Start adding the grated soap slowly til it is all added and melted. I used a bamboo spoon that I can put in the dishwasher, so it wouldn't take on the soap taste afterwards.

2. Fill up a 5-gallon bucket with around 3 gallons of warm water. (I purchased the bucket and lid-yes you have to purchase them seperately, for $3.50 at Lowe's)

3. Pour the Borax and Washing Soda in the 5-gallon bucket and stir til it is dissolved. Add the oxi-clean and stir again til it is dissolved.

4. Pour in the melted bar of soap into the 5-gallon bucket. Stir it. 

5. Add the drops of essential oil of Orange or any scent that you like, ie. Lavender and stir again.

6. Place the lid on the bucket and let it set up overnight.

7. Fill an old liquid laundry soap container half full with the homemade soap.

8. Fill the rest with water. (this was what was suggested in the Duggar's recipe. My best-friend just uses it straight, that part is up to you.)

Now you have laundry soap for a long time, even longer if you aren't washing laundry for 10 people and an office! Still, either way, you save lots of money, and you can control what goes into your laundry.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gluten-free Cripsy Brown Rice Treats

Gluten-Free Crispy Brown Rice Treats
Rice Krispie Treats is one of my favorite desserts. My mother used to make a batch for my younger brother and I, so when we got home from school, we had a sweet treat. 

My older brother was deployed in Desert Storm while I was in middle school. He was stationed in Bahrain. I knew he loved them too, so I made a batch to send to him. Then I ate that batch, so I made another batch, and once again ate that batch. (Bad sister!) It took about 4 months to finally get a batch I didn't eat and send it to him! 

So you can tell, I LOVE these sweet, crunchy treats. Here's the kicker; Rice Krispies have barley malt on them as a sweetener. Barley has gluten in it, so I no longer could make and eat one of my favorite treats. Til I found Erewhon's Organic Crispy Brown Rice- it is GLUTEN-FREE!! I was thrilled! You can't buy it from the regular grocery store, so I have to get them from our local health food store or Whole Foods. Here is a delicious picture of my favorite dessert that I am getting to eat tonight. My husband and I are going to watch the pre-season Colts game that we DVR'd and eat my dessert! I LOVE that I can find the products I have always loved and now can still eat!

P.S. I love my Pampered Chef flower plate! Isn't it pretty!

Homemade Fries and a gluten-free Burger

Fries with Colby cheese, Ranch dip, and a gf burger with cheese
Ok, my picture taking abilities need some work! This was taken from my cell phone. Lunch at my house on a Sunday afternoon; homemade fries with Colby cheese melted on them- like the ones they make at Outback with the Ranch french fry dipping sauce (found the recipe online) and a burger with Colby cheese melted over the top.

There is no bun on my burger. Many times I really miss the bun. I have not experimented enough with making a gf bun. One day! For now, I am saving the carbs for my fries! 

This burger was so good even without the bun. I used A-1 sauce, ketchup, 1 egg, herb-a-mare, and Ranch dressing powder. I usually add the cheese into the burger, but I am avoiding that for my 2nd daughter who seems to not tolerate milk well. 

While I was in Chicago at my Pampered Chef conference, my favorite restaurant to eat at was the Grand Lux. I would order a burger with no bun. It came with cheese and avocado. It was so good! I forgot the avocado this time. Oh well, next time!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

It is hard to find foods for my mother to eat. Unfortunately, she had to have her teeth removed because they were so infected. She had had 14 root canals. What they don't tell you is that the infection never really goes away, they can't get it all out, but they remove the nerve ending so you can't feel the pain from the infection anymore. The infections ate away at her jaw bone so bad that the dentist told her to be very careful, not to chew on anything hard like nuts and to tell the kids to be very careful and not bump her jaw or it could break, yikes! She had a denture it is wasn't working right. Its been a long struggle with her denture and chewing challenge. 

So we have to find soft, healthy foods for her to eat.  You would think that would be easy, but we don't eat gluten and she doesn't eat hardly any sugar (it really feeds the yeast, she has read).  In the book, "Feast Without Yeast" by Bruce Semon, MD there is a recipe for Broccoli Soup.  Today, my wonderful husband (who is an awesome cook) made her this soup. It is so good.  I really liked it, but BEST of all, my mother liked it.  It warms my heart (no pun intended) that we found a soft, nutritious food she can eat AND she actually likes it.  That is also a challenge we have is trying find something she likes.  Today, a success!! :-)

Here is the recipe:
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Gluten, Cholesterol, Casein and Egg-Free!

2T. butter or 2T. expeller pressed safflower oil
2 leeks, chopped
1 lg. bunch of broccoli, chopped
1 T. dried basil
1/2 T. dried marjoram
1/2T. dried thyme
2 T. sea salt or salt to taste
6 lg. red potatoes (more for a thicker soup, fewer for a thinner soup) peeled & diced

Heat the butter or oil in a 6-qt kettle.  When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the leeks and saute until soft.  Add the broccoli,  When the broccoli is bright, add the herbs and salt.  Add the potatoes.  Add enough water to come within 1/2 inch of the top, usually 12-14 cups.  Cover.   Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 30 minutes, until all of the vegetables are cooked.  Cool to a manageable temperature.  Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand mixer designed for pureeing soups in the pot.  Make the soup very smooth.  You're ready to serve, hot or cold.

My beautiful Mother!

Lorraine (my best friend), Kathleen (my mom), and me
This is my beautiful, wonderful, amazing mother. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 bone cancer on August 18, 2008, 1 month and 2 days after my daughter, Katie Sue, died.

She is still here 2 years later. This has been a very interesting, encouraging, upsetting, frustrating, and long journey. This is a picture of my mom, me, and my best friend (my sister from another mother!) We were smiling ear-to-ear because we were at my older brother's wedding, almost 1 year after her diagnosis, some weren't sure she would make it to his wedding. 

Some days are great and she is full of life with lots of energy. And some days, she is curled up in a ball on her bed, exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. The best part is, she is still here! I wish we could say the cancer was completely gone, but we can't YET! It really is a journey. She has done all-natural treatments. She never went back to the doctors that diagnosed her. She calls her "Dr. Hopeless." She basically told her, you are beyond any help, and my job is to keep you as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Well, we didn't accept that death sentence. As soon as she got back from the hospital (my dad had taken her because we thought she was in pain from a kidney stone), I got right on the internet and started researching bone cancer. Eight days later, she was off all pain medication-she had been taking pain meds for the pain in her back. I never doubted she was going to live.

For more than 12 years, my mother has been researching alternative cancer therapies. I knew if anyone was going to get through this-it was her!! I truly thought she would be over this by now. I never expected we would be dealing with this 2 years later. But alas, we are here and now it is time to get her totally back to health. I am going to start blogging everything I do to help her, along with my other day events, challenges, and new recipes for making sugar, dairy, gluten, egg, and soy-free, nutrition packed desserts and foods.

So follow along, but remember two things; first I will write it all the good, the great, the bad, and the upsetting, but that is part of my life and second, there is NO taste vision yet so don't lick your screen when I post pictures of the food!! ;-)