Saturday, March 23, 2013

Homemade Detergents and Cleaners!

Homemade Detergents and Cleaners!
Today we are cleaning the, well, now I am cleaning. The children have disappeared.
I decided to hand wash the tile floor for a nice, deep, spring clean.  I have a super quick and easy floor cleaner recipe that leaves our floor shiny and bright!
Floor Cleaner
2 gallons hot water
1/4 cup white vinegar
(if possible, keep a gallon always on hand - so many uses!)
1/4 cup Super Washing Soda
(this can be found at grocery stores and Walmart - near the laundry detergent)
1 TBS dish soap
 Add wet to dry.  
(This cleaning solution + 2 microfiber cloths + 1 floor brush + 3 children = a clean floor and time to work on other projects!  Ah, wishful thinking! :)
After the floor comes loads of Saturday laundry. Ideally today is "sheet day", but it usually turns into loads leftover from the week and last minute " I need my black pants washed for church" day too.
I mainly purchase the less expensive, bulk detergents, but the current one does not get our clothes very clean and leaves a slight residue. I have decided to try out a homemade recipe with a couple of test loads this weekend to see how clean our clothes get and how many loads can be done with this amount of soap.
So far the making process is great...or grate!   I've got the deck door open and spring breezes flowing in while I grate a bar of Fels Naptha. Yes, there is still snow on the ground but it's spring and heck, we are going to enjoy it!  The grating part is not bad either, this soap is soft and smells so lovely. Next time I might try running the bar through the food processor, but it's only taken about a 1/2 hour to grate with breaks. 
Here we go:
Laundry Detergent
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha - grated
mix and store in airtight container
(I'm using a large gallon jar)
1-2 TBS per load
I've read this can be used with the front load - HE washers - fingers crossed!
* add some white vinegar to the softener compartment in place of fabric softener too.
 Good to have on-hand:
White Vinegar
Washing Soda
Baking Soda
That being said,
 I noticed the other day that our 1/2 gallon jar of dishwasher detergent was running low and will probably be gone sometime in the next two weeks so I have added one of the ingredients to our shopping list (we still have enough of the on-hand ingredients).  Guess what?!  We made this back in DECEMBER!!!
Dishwasher Detergent
1/2 gallon glass jar
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1/2 cup Kosher salt
10 packets of unsweetened lemon drink mix
mix together and store in airtight container
1 TBS per load + 3 drops of dish soap
add a splash of white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher before starting
(this helps keep the dishes sparkling and I have noticed it also keeps the dishwasher clean, rust-free and running smoothly)
We are a family of five and pretty much run the dishwasher every day. This 1/2 gallon jar has lasted since mid December and still has a week or two to go!  Our dishes are very clean - no soap residue!
OK! One more goodie!
I love this one, we have been using this since December as well thanks to a load of oranges brought by our landlord. We're on our 3rd batch - all is well!
I have found that this cuts grease and shines (great for windows!), plus I can use it on the counter near open food without any worry!
Orange Cleaner
1 glass quart jar
peels from 2-3 oranges
white vinegar - enough to fill jar
cover, set in a dry, cool place and let sit for about 2 weeks
fill a spray bottle and use!
I hope these recipes brighten your cleaning day!
Happy Spring! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chorizo & Arugula Pizza

Chorizo & Arugula Pizza!
Yum Yum Yum!
 Our weekly pizza party happened one day early because I couldn't wait to try this!
We already had pizza crusts in the freezer, ready to use, so it was just a matter of the toppings.
I checked out the usual suspects at our local grocery store - pepperoni, canned tomatoes, shredded mozz.  They're all good but time for something different. I grabbed a roll of Chorizo and the rest is history!
This recipe makes two pizzas:
Ready to top pizza crusts (2)
(or make your own)
1 can or bottle of pizza sauce
1 roll of beef chorizo - browned
1 large red pepper - diced
grape tomatoes - sliced
3 small yellow onions - sliced & caramelized
8 oz. bag of Mexican cheese
(not taco but the kind with a mixture of cheeses)
handful of cilantro
Arugula - enough to lightly cover top of pizzas
Thaw crusts(if needed), then add pizza sauce - top with browned chorizo, onions, red pepper, grape tomatoes and cilantro. Sprinkle on cheese and Arugula. 
Bake according to crust directions.
It's a bit on the spicy side so I suggest serving with sour cream or a nice n' cool guacamole.
Sooo Gooood!!