Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Best Chicken Pot Pie

This is oh-so-good, and it happens to be what I'm making for dinner tonight.  I am going to make TWO so that we have leftovers to eat for lunch tomorrow. :) :)

Preheat: 425*
Category: Chicken, pie, PICTURES

2 Unbaked pie crusts (use my double pie crust recipe)
1 lb. Chicken, cooked and cubed
1 c. Carrots, sliced
1 c. Frozen green peas
1/2 c. Celery, sliced
1/3 c. Butter
1/3 c. Flour
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
1/4 t. Celery seed
1 3/4 c. Chicken broth
2/3 c. Milk

1.  Combine chicken, carrots, peas & celery.  Cover with water and boil for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.  Set aside.

2.  Cook onions in butter; add flour, salt and pepper, celery seed. 

3.  Slowly add chicken broth and milk.  Simmer until thickened.

4.  Place chicken mixture in the bottom of the crust.  Pour the hot liquid over.

5.  Place 2nd pie crust on top and seal edges.  Cut 3 slits on top for steam.  Or like I do, gently fork in a C for Chicken pot pie. :) :)

6.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the insides are bubbly.

7.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Yummiest, Most Simple Apple Pie

This recipe turns out EVERY SINGLE TIME!  I love it!  I use my nice knives my SIL bought for me us for Christmas last year and I can get my apples nice and thin.  Plus I slice my slices in half so they fill the pie plate better.  You're gonna love it!

Preheat: 375*
Category: Pie, apples, dessert, PICURES

1 recipe for Double Pie Crust
6 c. Apples, thinly sliced
3/4 c. Sugar
2 T. Flour
1/2 t. Cinnamon
1/8 t. Nutmeg

1.  Line the bottom of a greased pie plate with rolled-out pastry. 

2.  Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Add the apples and toss until they're coated.

3.  Dump the apples into the pastry-lined pie plate and pack them in.

4.  Cover the pie with the 2nd pie crust.  Roll the crust up and in, and crimp.  Cut slits on the top of the pie. Or like I do, gently use a fork to make the letter A to show what kind of pie it is!

5.  Bake with edge of pie crust covered with foil and bake at 375* for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.  Let pie sit for about five minutes before slicing in!  I like my new Pampered Chef pie crust shield--I hated the foil!  What a waste and what a hassle!

Optional: Serve pie with a slice of cheddar cheese on top!  Mmmmm.

Pie Crust

This pie crust is versatile! I have several more crust recipes I have recently copied down and I want to have a pie crust-off to find out which I like, which is easiest to roll, etc.  But this is my tried-and-true crust from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. :)

Preheat: 400*
Category: BHG (Better Homes & Gardens), Crust, Pie, PICTURES

Single Crust:
1 1/4 c. Flour
1/3 c. Shortening
4-5 T. Cold water
Dash Salt

Double Crust:
2 c. Flour
2/3 c. Shortening
6-7 T. Cold water
2 Dashes Salt

1. Cut the shortening and flour together until you get a bowlful of pea-shapes.

2.  Cut in the COLD water one Tablespoon at a time until you have a good, workable crust.  This is something I learned from experience... When you roll the dough into a ball, it has a good marbeling of shortening and it's not really sticky (sticky enough you need to have flour on your hands though!).

3.  Roll out dough to the right diameter.  Tricks? Roll dough into a ball and press with the flat of your hand until it's ready for a rolling pin.  Roll out starting in the center as if rolling out to the numbers of a clock.  Center to 12, center to 1, center to 2, etc., until you've gone in a full circle.  My deep dish pie pan from Pampered Chef needs me to roll out my dough to 12".  Make sure your rolling surface and your flat surface have plenty of flour to keep your dough from sticking!  To transfer dough from the flat surface to the pie plate, roll the flattened dough carefully and loosely onto your rolling pin.  Lay the dough on the side of your pie pan and voilà!  Of course I say voilà but it's never really that easy, is it? :) :)

OR, if you are not putting a top onto the crust,

Cookbook Review: The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb

Title: The Six O'Clock Scramble: Quick, Healthy, and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Busy Families
Author: Aviva Goldfarb
Copyright: 2006
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, New York, NY
Pages: 321, including a brief author bio, an index and dozens of yummy-sounding recipes!

One of my favorite things about going to the library is being in a... "culinary" mood and picking out a cookbook.  I put culinary in quotes because that does NOT describe me, nor does it describe my family.  I have a very picky clan and somehow I can't envision them eating something exotic like... couscous and savory vegetable casserole with feta (p. 64).  It's not just that... the price of some of these one-use recipe fillers scares me away.  And with this example, I have to admit I'm not crazy about couscous, but that's beside the point!

That disclaimer of bias aside, I loved looking through Ms. Goldfarb's book. The first thing that caught my attention was that she organized the meals by season.  I'm terrible at cooking for the season!  If spaghetti sounds good in summer, I make it.  I know it's a little heavy for summer, but I can't quite keep my seasons straight when it comes to cooking!  Having recipes sorted for me is quite the revelation!

The next thing I noticed (and liked) is that the recipe titles are sorted by weeks.  Fall has 13 weeks of recipes, and all of them look amazing!  The rest of the seasons have 13 weeks, too, making a year-total of 52 weeks.  A sample week? I thought you'd never ask!

Winter, Week 4
Easy Baked Ziti (it looks good, but I already have a delicious baked ziti recipe)
Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
Mediterranean Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
Baked Sausage and Egg Casserole
Southwestern Bulgur Pilaf

Here's a week six months later from

Summer, Week 4
Grilled Sausage Kabobs with Summer Vegetables
Lime-Garlic Shrimp with Black Bean and Corn Salad
Rigatoni with Asparagus and Lemon
Celia's Honey Chicken
Japanese Eggplant and Green Beans in Garlic Sauce

Believe it or not, but each of these meals is simple, taking about 30 minutes per dish!

The book wraps up with a few notes and a comprehensive index.  One other worthy note--Ms. Goldfarb fills the book with little sticky-note-like tips.  They're for families of every age, one case in point being the example of puréeing a portion of dinner and freezing it in ice cube trays--then labeling and using thawed out for baby.

All in all, it's a lovely book!  I wish I could have found more recipes suited to my family, but you may be fancier than I am!  The book is available on Amazon.com, both used and new: The Six O'Clock ScrambleNew books are $12.21 (from Amazon) and the least expensive used book is currently $8.99.

Tuna Melts with Sliced Avocado and Tomato

This is something one could easily come up with by themselves, but I like having notecards with these kinds of recipes for those days when my brain is foggy. :)  Thank you to Six O'Clock Scramble for this one!

Preheat: 350*
Category: Sandwich, Tuna

2 6-oz. cans Chunk tuna, drained
1-2 T. Mayonaisse, to taste
1 stalk Celery, finely diced
4 slices Sourdough bread
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ripe Tomato, thinly sliced
4 slices Muenster cheese

1.  Mix tuna, mayo, celery thoroughly with a fork.

2.  Lightly toast the bread. Spread 1 scoop of tuna on the bread, topping it with slices of avocado, tomato and one thin slice of cheese.

3.  Bake at 350* for about 5 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Cheese should be melted.

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

Six O'Clock Scramble again!  There are million more amazing recipes in here that are just too fancy for my meat'n'potatoes family.  You should check it out!

Preheat: --
Category: Chicken, Grill

5 T. Honey
5 T. Dijon mustard
1 pack (4-5 lbs.) Chicken thighs and drumsticks (about 12 pieces)

1. Mix together honey and mustard.

2.  Place chicken in a large dish with cover. Pour or brush marinade over chicken and coat thoroughly.  Marinate 1-24 hours (the closer to 24 hours, the better in this case!). 

3. Grill the chicken on a preheated grill or broil in a preheated broiler for about 8-10 minutes on each side. (or 5-6 minutes if you are using boneless thighs).  Baste once again with marinade until it's cooked through and slightly browned.

Chicken is supposed to be good warm or cold! :)

Sloppy Joes

Yet another recipe from The Six O'Clock Scramble!

1 lb. Ground beef
1/2 Yellow onion, diced
1 Red bell pepper, finely diced
1 Large carrot, or 5-6 Baby carrots, finely diced
1 can (15 oz.) Tomato sauce
2 T. Worchestershire sauce
2 T. ketchup
1 T. Brown sugar
8 Buns

1. Brown ground beef until almost cooked through; drain excess liquid and add diced vegetables.

2.  Sauté mixture for two minutes and add remaining ingredients.

3.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the skillet.  Simmer 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

4. Toast the buns and fill each one with a large (slotted) spoonful of the meat mixture.

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

This is different!  It looks yummy!  Let me know if you prepare this!  Again, this recipe is from The Six O'Clock Scramble.

Preheat: --
Category: Eggs, breakfast

6 Eggs
1 heaping T. Plain yogurt
1 heaping T. Cottage cheese

1. Combine ingredients and cook in a nonstick skillet.  Stir occasionally over medium heat until they are just firm. Season with salt.

Baked Sausage and Egg Casserole

This looks so yummy! I haven't tried it, but it looks hard to mess this one up. ;)  If you try it, be sure to comment and let me know how it turns out.  This recipe is from The Six O'Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb.

Preheat: 350*
Category: Casserole, eggs, breakfast

1 lb. Sausage
2 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. Chopped green chiles, drained
9 Eggs
2 c. Skim milk
3/4 t. Dry mustard
1/2 t. Salt

1.  Brown sausage and drain fat.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, dry mustard and salt.

3.  Layer in a greased 9x13 pan: Sausage, cheddar cheese, chiles, egg mixture.

4.  Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes and serve hot.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fudge Crinkle Cookies

This is a little expensive (in my opinion!) because you buy a cake mix.  Maybe one of these days I'll take a few minutes and modify my sister's cake recipe to make this recipe...

Preheat: 350*
Category: Cake mix, cookies, dessert

1 (18 1/4-oz.) Devil's food cake mix Betty Crocker is what came recommended with the recipe, but I don't hold with any given brand... whatever's on sale!
1/2 c. Oil
2 Large eggs
Confectioner's sugar

1.  Stir BY HAND.

2. Dust hands with powdered sugar and make 1" balls.

3.  Roll balls in powdered sugar.  Let them "dry" for a few minutes

4.  Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350* until the center is JUST SET.  Do not overbake.

Baked Ziti

We had this when we had the missionaries over for dinner--and they loved it!  Yea for another successful dish! :)  I like this one especially because it makes a 9x13 pan... we ate half of it for one sitting and had it for even yummier leftovers the next day!  Plus, it's so easy to make that your KID can make it.  :)

Preheat: 350*
Category: Italian, Pasta, Freezeable, Casserole

1 lb. Ziti pasts, cooked al dente
1 lb. Italian sausage, cooked & chopped I used ground beef cooked with a little garlic/onion/basil/oregano stirred in and that worked great.
15 oz. Ricotta cheese Another substitution! 15 oz. Cottage cheese!  We use full-fat cottage cheese...
2 T. Fresh parsley Oops, I left this out altogether. But you can use 1 T. dry parsley.
1 Egg
1 1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese I buy mine at Sam's Club in the huge tubs so it's super-inexpensive!
22 oz. Pasta sauce

1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
3/4 c. (6 oz.) Pasta sauce

1.  In a large mixing bowl, mix ricotta, egg, parsley, 1 1/2 c. mozzarella and parmesan.

2.  Add and mix in cooked sausage, cooked pasta and 22 oz. pasta sauce.

3.  Put mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish.  Like I said before, I used a 9x13 pan. It fit great!

4.  Top with 3/4 c. sauce and 1/2 c. mozzarella. You can see I tucked mine in the refrigerator for tonight... It sure is nice to have dinner "made," and it only takes 30 minutes in the oven. :) :)

5.  At 350*, bake covered for 15 minutes, then bake for another 30 minutes uncovered. If you're like me, you'll want to broil on high for another five minutes. :)

Cover the unbaked casserole with foil and freeze IN THE PAN.  When it's completely frozen, pop it out and into a freezer bag.

Place frozen casserole into dish and thaw.  Preheat to 350*.  Cover and bake for 20 minutes; uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more.

New York-Style Pizza Sauce

This is a new family favorite. It's soooo easy, and it's soooo good.

1 T. Water
2 T. Fresh basil, chopped (we used 1 T. dry basil)
1 1/2 t. Olive oil
2 t. Dried oregano
1 1/2 t. Sugar
1 t. Garlic, minced
1 (14.5-oz.) can Petite-cut diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (6-oz.) can Tomato paste

1. Combine in a bowl & stir with whisk.  See!  I told you it was easy! :)

Calzone Dough

This is from my friend Beth, who always has amazing recipes.  I wish I had typed this one up before yesterday--I needed it and my recipes were in my bag... that I had left at church the night before!  What a ditz! :)  I'm happy to have my recipe box back!

Preheat: 400*
Category: Pizza, Dough, Calzones, Breadmaker

1 pkg. Dry yeast
1 1/2 t. Salt
1/2 c. Shortening
2 T. Water
2 1/2 t. Sugar
2 c. Warm water
5 c. Flour I ALWAYS need more!

1.  Combine 2T. water, the sugar, and the yeast.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes (so it can get a good head).

2.  Mix dry ingredients and then add in shortening.  I like to cut the shortening in, but it's not necessary.

3.  Mix wet ingredients in with dry.  Allow dough to sit for 5-10 minutes.

4.  Make balls from one to three inches, depending on the size of calzone you want.  Roll out the dough (we love rolling it out super-flat!).  Beth recommended to roll them out to a 3 1/2" x 5" rectangle but there's something about the half-moon shape that makes me happy.

5.  Place desired ingredients on half of the calzone.  Leave a small border for pinching the calzone closed later.

6.  Bake until golden brown.  This is about 25 minutes.  I set the timer for 25 minutes and then keep a close eye on it. I like a deeper golden brown, but that's just me.  :)

Ideas for Fillers
Vidalia onion
Marinara sauce

Tomato sauce


If you're making this for the breadmaker, cut the ingredients in half and put them in this order, using the dough cycle.  Then go back to following the above directions.

1 c. +  1 T. Water
1/4 c. Shortening
2 1/2 c. Flour
1 1/4 t. Sugar
3/4 t. Salt
1 1/8 t. Dry yeast

Best Hamburgers

These are THE BEST hamburgers.  We've stopped buying frozen, pre-formed hamburgers from the store because these are so good.  In fact, it's one of the recipes that keeps us from eating out because it tastes even better than fast food. :)

Preheat: --
Category: Hamburgers, Ground beef

2 lbs. Ground beef
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/2 envelope Onion soup mix
1 T. Garlic powder
1/4 C. Dry breadcrumbs
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 t. Ground pepper
1 pinch Cayenne pepper (we use a few dashes of hot sauce instead)

1. Crumble ground beef in a bowl.

2.  Add remaining ingredients and work together.  Do not overwork! 

3. Divide into 6-8 patties.  Make a shallow dent with a small spoon (about 1" wide) in the center of each patty.

4.  Refrigerate for 6-24 hours, covered with plastic wrap.  I generally skip this step... but it's delicious if you DO wait for the ingredients to marinate!

5.  Grill or fry as desired.  We use our Foreman grill--in the words of Rachael Ray: Yumm-o!

Classic Pancakes

I love this recipe because of how many eggs are in it.  It makes me feel like I'm getting a little sneaked-in protein into my family's bellies!

Preheat: --
Category: Pancakes, Breakfast, Breads

6 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Milk
1/4 C. + 2 T. Oil
2 1/4 C. Flour
2 T. Baking powder
1/2 T. Salt
1/2 T. Sugar

1.  Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

2.  Blend in wet ingredients with a whisk.

3.  Cook on a greased hot griddle or pan.

Austin's Yummy Lemonade

We love this lemonade recipe!  I'm claiming it as my own, as it's morphed completely from the original!  We like our lemonade more tart, first of all.  Second of all, I'm including TWO methods for making this lemonade.

We made the strawberry lemonade version above for a Pampered Chef party, and served it with a frozen strawberry in each cup.  Mmmmmm, it was delicious!  (And yes, that is a flower vace--it was kind of a fun change of pace instead of my plastic pitcher. ;))

Category: Lemonade, Lemon juice, Drinks

8 c. Cold water
1 c. Lemon juice

2 c. Water
2 c. Sugar

1 c. Strawberries, frozen  Other frozen or fresh fruits with work, too.  I'd be interested in knowing what combinations you try and like!

METHOD ONE (our favorite):
1.  Pour 5 cups of water into the blender.  I go ahead and use cold, filtered water.

2.  Add 1 cup of sugar into the blender.  If adding strawberries or fruit, add 1/2 cup in now.  Blend for a good minute.  I used the smoothie setting, but that's just me.

3.  Pour sugar water into pitcher. 

4.  Pour 5 cups of water into the blender.  Add 1 cup of sugar into the blender.  If adding strawberries or fruit, add 1/2 cup in now.  Blend for another good minute.

5.  Pour second batch of sugar water into pitcher.

6.  Add Lemon Juice into pitcher.  Stir and serve.

1.  In a microwave safe container, add 2 cups of water.  Microwave on HIGH until the water is boiling (about seven minutes for me).

2.  In pitcher, pour in 8 cups of cold water and the 1 cup of lemon juice.

3.  Stir the sugar into the boiling water until dissolved.  You may need to microwave the sugar water again.  See why we like the first method better?  :)

4.  Pour the sugar water into the pitcher and stir.

5.  Refrigerate until cold and/or serve over ice.

Hermit Cookies

My step-dad used to LOVE these cookies! We quite like them, but eater beware! If you eat too many, you could end up needing to use the facilities more than you bargained for!

Preheat: 350*
Category: Cookies, raisins, dessert

1 T. Milk
3 Eggs
1 T. Baking soda
2/3 c. Butter, melted
1 c. Raisins
2 c. Sugar
1 t. Nutmeg
1 t. Cinnamon
1 t. Allspice
3 c. Flour

1. Blend milk, eggs and baking soda in the blender.

2. Gradually add melted butter.

3. Gradually add and ground raisins.  Set aside.

4.  In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients.

5.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix.

6.  Place cookies in balls about two inches apart.

7.  Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 11 minutes, or until firm.  Allow cookies to finish baking on cookie sheet before removing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paula Deen's Taco Soup

Mmm-mmm-mmm!  This was delicious!  I altered it... rather significantly, now that I'm thinking about it... but it's absolutely delicious!  (This post is for you, Mary Lynn! Muah!)  If you use the dry beans like I did, it's much less expensive to make. :)

You can go directly to Paula Deen's Food Network page, and there are pictures posted.  :)

Preheat: --
Category: Soup, Paula Deen, Mexican, Crockpot, Chili

2 lbs. Ground beef
2 c. Onions, diced
2 (15 1/2-oz.) cans Pinto beans
2 (15 1/2-oz.) cans Pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-oz.) can Whole corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-oz.) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-oz.) can Diced tomatoes
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans Diced green chiles
(opt) 1 (4.6-oz.) can Black olives, drained & sliced
(opt) 1/2 c. Green olives, sliced
1 (1 1/4-oz.) pkg. Taco seasoning mix
1 (1-oz.) pkg. Ranch seasoning mix

For serving:
Corn chips
Sour cream
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Green onions, chopped

1. Brown the meat and the onions; drain.
2. Put in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low OR simmer on the stovetop for 2 hours.

I made my variation so different that it merits its own recipe!

2 cups Dry pinto beans
1 cup Pink kidney beans (I ended up using red, since that's what I had available)
6 cups Water
1 can Corn
2 cans Diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel (tomatoes with chiles)
1 can Diced green chilis (those suckers are expensive at about $1.25 per can!)
1 can Black olives, drained & sliced
2 cups Onions, diced (about 1 huge yellow onion, 2 medium onions)
4 T. Taco seasoning (I refuse to buy those packets--it's way less expensive to get the big tub, ha!)
3 T. Ranch dressing mix (Same, too expensive to buy the dressing in bottles, and this is so much better!)

1 lb. Ground beef

Corn chips, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onion

1. Put everything but the ground beef and toppings into the crockpot the night before. Cook on LOW until lunch the next day (so, around 16 hours!). 

2. Cook the meat, drain it, and stir it into the soup.

3.  Serve with garnish & toppings.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Simple Grilled Chicken

We had the yummiest lunch today! I have been meaning to make a chicken and rice casserole, but I keep running out of time! It takes two hours of (tightly) covered baking time... SO! I needed to use the chicken and thought, "Hmmm.  Maybe grilled chicken!" I pulled out our George Foreman (the huge size my husband bought for me for Christmas last year) and served the chicken to my kids cut in hot dog-size strips, in a hot dog bun! (We ate a salad too--tomatoes for the two-year-old and me, and ranch dressing for all of us.)  Both plates were about cleared!  We were hungry and this was GOOD!

Preheat: --
Category: Chicken, grilled, simple, George Foreman

1 large chicken breast
sea salt

1.  Set your George Foreman grill on medium-high.

2.  Place your chicken breast on the grill; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. 

3.  Poke the chicken liberally with holes.  This is to tenderize, allow for faster cooking and to allow the salt/pepper to seep through the chicken.

3. Grill until the insides are no longer pink and/or until the juices flow clear when chicken is poked with a fork.  I always, always cut mine to make sure!

If you don't have a Foreman grill, you can still prepare this simple feast, but you need 2-3 T. Oil to do it:

1.  Turn on your stovetop to medium-high.  Put in your oil and allow the pan to heat up.

2.  Poke the chicken liberally with holes.  For the same reason as above, ha ha.

3.  Cook the chicken on one side until you see the edges are getting cooked.  You do the majority of cooking on the first side of the chicken breast.  My husband likes to use steam to cook the chicken, so oftentimes, he'll cover the pan with its lid.  Another idea is to cut the chicken into strips ahead of time--the chicken will cook MUCH faster if it's in strips.

4.  Flip the chicken.  Finish cooking on the other side.  The cooking time on this side is much less, so you'll want to watch carefully for when the chicken is done, and beautifully browned.

Portion sizes for cooked poultry for an adult are two to three ounces and active preschool kids need need about five ounces of meat/beans per day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Laundry Detergent

Update: 22 February 2011.  I'm hosting a laundry soap making party next week and a friend of mine sent me this AMAZING link: http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/.  It is THE most complete information I've ever seen on homemade laundry soap detergent.  Check out the FAQ link, and be sure to peruse the comments section for some very useful tips!

I've seen this recipe floating around a few different places, so I'm posting the two I think are the best.  I've tried one batch of the dry powdered version and loved it!  But it's a little expensive for the way I was using it...

Version #1: Powdered

3 bars (5.5 oz.) Fels Naptha, grated VERY FINELY
3 cups Washing soda (Arm & Hammer)
1 1/2 cup Borax

1. Mix
2. Store in airtight container.
3. Use 2 Tablespoons for normal loads, 3 Tablespoons for heavy loads.

Version #2: Liquid (from the Duggar's new book (that I'm coveting))

1 bar (5.5 oz.) Fels Naptha
1 cup Washing soda (Again, Arm & Hammer makes this)
1/2 cup Borax (I use a full cup)

1. Grate Fels Naptha soap into saucepan.  Cover with hot tap water.

2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until the soap is completely dissolved.

3. Put washing soda and Borax into a 5-gallon bucket. Pour in the hot (dissolved) soap mixture.  Stir well until the powder is dissolved.

4.  Fill bucket to the top with hot water.  Stir and cover, then allow to sit overnight.

5.  NEXT MORNING: Stir mixture.

6.  Mix equal amounts of soap and water into a smaller container. 

7.  Shake before using one cup per load (top loader).  Use 1/3 cup for a side-loader.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Orange Julius

Today's General Conference for our church.  In addition to making the traditional Taco Dip (mmmm!), I'm going to make this recipe. I dunno, it just sounds good. :)

2 c. Orange juice
1/2 c. Milk
6 c. Ice cubes, crushed
2 T. Sugar
1/2 t. Vanilla

1. Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.

Gramma Hargrove's Taco Dip

This is a CLASSIC.  And yes, Gramma Hargrove is my grandma. :)

#1 - 2 (9-oz.) cans Refried Beans (I use my recipe for crockpot refried beans; also my mom swears that you HAVE to use Frito Lay's Bean Dip, but I'm against brand names and high prices, ha!)

#2 - 3 Avocados, mashed; mix with 2 T. Lemon juice

#3 - 1/2 c. Sour cream; mix with 1/2 c. Mayonnaise and 1 pkg. Taco seasoning

#4 - 8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

#5 - 3 Tomatoes, chopped (I like Romas, and use 5 tomatoes)

#6 - 1 can Chopped olives (We're talking finely chopped, not sliced--I've made the mistake before, ha!)

#7 - 2-3 bunches Green onions, chopped

Chill an hour before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips.  I like flour tortillas with this taco dip, but we're eating them today with corn tortillas for cost!  Thin flour tortillas allow you to really get the flavor of the dip. :)

Jolinn's Crockpot Refried Beans

This is also technically a Duggar recipe but between my friend Jolinn and me, we've altered the recipe from the original; thus the title!  These are amazing, and so versatile!

Preheat: --
Category: Beans, Crockpot, Duggar, Burritos

3 c. Beans (Pinto, white, whatever combination of the two to get 3 cups; I do all pinto quite often)
6 c. Water (The original had 5 cups, but my beans burned--BLECH)
3 t. Salt (It is definitely possible to over-salt!)
3 T. Chili powder
1 t. Black pepper

1. Throw ingredients into crockpot.

2. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours.  Okay, commentary needed. Eight hours is too weird for me. I like to do my beans overnight, so I put them in on low until I get up. Most mornings I get up and the beans are just past al dente, so I put them on high until lunchtime.  Whatever YOU do, make sure 1) you have enough water and 2) they're soft enough to mush.

3. Serve with Tortillas or on Rice.  We have loved these as burritos, with cheddar cheese, spinach, sour cream, sometimes with ground beef... Soooo good.