Saturday, August 8, 2015

DIY Laundry Detergent

WOW! It has been over a year since I have posted on this blog. Oops. I guess life just got the best of me. I am planning on trying to post a little more often. I have quite a few new recipes we've enjoyed that I want to post. But first, I want to share laundry soap. I know it's not food, but it is homemade, and works well. I got this recipe from How Does She. It makes a ton, and fills a 5 gallon bucket about 1/2 way full. Try it!

Ingredients
  • 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (You can also use Fels Naptha)
  • 1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle 
  •  2 Bottles of Purex Crystals Fabric Enhancer- Found in the detergent aisle
Instructions
  1. Grate zote soap with cheese grater or food processor.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket.
  3. Use 1-4 Tablespoons per laundry load. (I think 2 is plenty for H.E. washers)

So far, I'm loving this! I used the old purex bottles to make some small gifts for people moving into our neighborhood.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Million Dollar Fudge

When I was working on my Eagle Scout project, I was unable to get material donations and so I had to do a fundraiser. It was getting close to the Christmas holidays, so my mom suggested I sell fudge! She advertised relentlessly to her colleagues, I advertised at church and at work, and was also able to get some of the other youth in my ward to do some door-to-door sales. All in all, I ended up grossing $1200, about $200 of which went to buying the fudge supplies, $800 of which went to the materials needed for my project, with about $200 left over to make a donation to the nature reserve where I did my project.

This is the magical recipe that made it all happen!

4 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
pinch of salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 (7 oz) bottle marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 cups walnuts, chopped (optional)

Place sugar, butter, milk, and salt in a large saucepan. Heat gently until butter is melted, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let boil for 12 minutes or until softball stage. Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Once mixed, pour into buttered 13 x 9 pan and let cool. Makes approximately 5lbs.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Falafel

Daniel and I have been wanting to try to make our own falafel ever since we went out to eat at a local falafel restaurant. I finally conquered my fears and made some. It was delicious! And although it did take some time to fry it all up, it was relatively quick to put together. I was so pleased with how it turned out. I copied and pasted this recipe and directions with no changes, from The Shiksa but the photo is mine. She has lots of great ideas for variations and also how to eat it. It was very helpful and detailed. Check it out!



Falafel (Traditional Recipe)

1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans 
1 small onion, roughly chopped 
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 
3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted) 
1 1/2 tbsp flour 
1 3/4 tsp salt
 2 tsp cumin 
1 tsp ground coriander 
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)

Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. Pour them into your food processor along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, parsley, flour, salt, cumin, ground coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom.

Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that... but don't overprocess, you don't want it turning into hummus!

Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, pour it out into a bowl and use a fork to stir; this will make the texture more even throughout. Remove any large chickpea chunks that the processor missed.



 Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Note: Some people like to add baking soda to the mix to lighten up the texture inside of the falafel balls. I don’t usually add it, since the falafel is generally pretty fluffy on its own. If you would like to add it, dissolve 2 tsp of baking soda in 1 tbsp of water and mix it into the falafel mixture after it has been refrigerated.

Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I usually use about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.

Note: if the balls won't hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won't hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won't hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix. This should fix any issues you are having.

Before frying my first batch of falafel, I like to fry a test one in the center of the pan. If the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.

Once the falafels are fried, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon. Set on a paper towel to dry.

These can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. We ate ours in a pita, with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and hummus. Enjoy!
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili


Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (we used 3)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.




Add all ingredients except for quinoa into crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. When time is almost up, cook the quinoa. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Add to chili. Stir, and serve. Garnish the chili with green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, if desired. This chili freezes well.

Source: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Soup

Chipotle Chicken Soup

Extra virgin olive oil
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced with 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce *(you may be tempted to use more than one chili. DON'T!)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground oregano
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
2 small chicken breasts, cut into bite size cubes
1 cup beans (I used pinto)
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
lime juice
avocado


Heat a some olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the chile, adobo sauce, onion, carrot, cumin, oregano, and garlic. Cook until the onion is tender, approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the broth, and bring to a boil. Add chicken, beans, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender, and chicken is done. Stir in cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then season with the salt, adding more to taste, if necessary.

Source: http://ourlifeinfood.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits (Similar to Red Lobster Biscuits)

YAY! It's soup season! I absolutely love soups. And I love these biscuits. Is there anything better than warm soup and biscuits on a cold night? I think not! These biscuits are yummy, and hit the spot. Every time.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

2 cups biscuit mix. (Use store bought, or make your own)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2/3 cup milk

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together biscuit mix, cheese and garlic powder. Add in milk, and stir until well mixed. (Heads up - the dough will get very sticky!)
With a spoon or with your fingers, shape the dough into biscuit-sized clumps, and drop onto the baking sheet. (Note that the dough will pretty much hold its shape when baked, so feel free to pat down random peaks in the dough if you'd like them to look more uniform!)
Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until biscuits begin to brown slightly around the edges.
While the biscuits bake, prepare the warm butter mixture by mixing together the melted butter, oregano and garlic salt in a small bowl. As soon as the biscuits are removed from the oven, brush the biscuits (while they are still on the baking sheet) with the mixture until they are well-coated.
Serve warm.


Source:  www.gimmesomeoven.com

Coconut Lentil Soup

This soup is super yummy, super clean, and super easy. Enjoy! 


Coconut Lentil Soup



2 cups red split lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup tomato paste
7 cups water
1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving


 Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color.  Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.  Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.  Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired.  Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.

OR (the easiest method) Throw it all in the crockpot! I don't notice a difference in taste, and it is definitely easier.

Source: http://www.scalingbackblog.com