Archive | January 2014

My Self Proclaimed Challenge – Homemade Everything!

It started a few years back – you know, you run out of some ingredient and you have to either find a substitute or go without. Where I live, the closest grocery store is a half-hour away. With fuel over $3.00 a gallon, I figure a trip has to be very necessary at that price – so homemade became my motto. About five years ago, I vowed to avoid processed food. Living on a farm with a great big garden made that really easy. I don't eat every meal good, but at least five out of seven is healthy, homegrown, and without preservatives.

I challenge myself each time I go to the grocery store to see what aisle I can avoid. Haven't seen anything in the freezer aisle for years….because it is all processed food. If I am hungry for waffles, I make my own from scratch. I know… I understand that I do not have to leave home for an 8 to 5 job anymore so I have time to live this way, but I also think I would still get up early to keep this style of living even if I had to be out the door to punch a clock.

In the next few posts, I thought I would share a few more reasons to avoid buying prepackaged items. Usually, you can make a batch of glass cleaner, non-abrasive cleaner or laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar AND make a large batch while you're at it. You spend the time to make a big batch of laundry detergent and you are set for months.

So here's a few ideas for your own homemade fabric softener – perhaps one of them will fit your lifestyle!

First option: crumple a few balls of aluminum foil and place in the dryer with a load of clothes. As crazy as that sounds, the metal dissipates the charges that build up between the fabric as it flops around in the dryer.

Second option: plain old vinegar to the final rinse water. It will not only take the leftover soap out of your clothes, but also helps to clean washers and drain hoses too! You do not the risk of smelling like a pickle from using vinegar – when your clothes are dry, the smell has dissipated. If you insist, you can add 10-20 drops of an essential oil (eucalyptus or lavender for example) to the vinegar.

Third option and my favorite to date: Take 2 cups of a cheap hair conditioner and combine it with 6 cups of hot water. When it is all mixed together, add 3 cups of plain white vinegar. No chemicals, no artificial flavors or colors. This makes a family sized batch – pennies on the dollar,

So – here are a few ideas for you to start you off! Many more to follow. If you have a great homemade, no preservative, no processed, no artificial anything you'd like to share – let me know!

Til next time…

 

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Mexican Roll Ups For Your Next Pot Luck….(or hopefully Super Bowl Party!)

Living in Colorado, we are ALL excited for our Denver Bronco team. With our first playoff game tomorrow, there are many gatherings to cheer them on. Hopefully, we will be gathered around the television on Super Bowl Sunday, with family and friends, watching our team compete and win!

Here is a great recipe for your next food gathering – regardless of the occasion. I found the basic idea on Pinterest, but have made a few changes that we found made this dish the whole complete meal! I had frozen some cooked chicken breast meat which I took from the freezer – this made this dish even easier

At least one hour before you wish to serve this dish, combine an 8 ounce carton of cream cheese with 4 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. To this mixture, add a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic, a couple shakes of chili powder, a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of coriander, and salt and pepper to taste. The recipe I saw called for cayenne pepper to taste and I added it. It was very good – but you use your own discretion if you want to add it or not.

 

Once your cheeses and spices are thoroughly combined, add a can of Rotel tomatoes – drained, but keep the juice as you may need to add it later. Add a can of black beans that were drained and rinsed, and then a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. Mix all together – and if it seems too thick, add some of the reserved Rotel juice to thin it out.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour to really get the flavors to mix together!

Then, spread a heaping spoonful onto a flour tortilla. Spread to the edges with a knife or spatula. Roll the burrito up and cut into slices. Place each roll-up on a plate or serving tray. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to garnish.

We served it with a side dish of homemade guacamole which rounded the platter. It's an easy dish to prepare and share.

(Go Broncos!!!)