Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

I have laundry on my brain since the breakdown and flooding today from my washing machine. Darn. I'm finally back in order and typing away to the humming of the fans in my hallway. One thing about using your own recipes is that you can be frugal and save a bit from the prepackaged and premade. The other side is that you know what you put in it. This goes the same for Laundry Soap. A couple of my children have some allergies to laundry soap. An allergy free soap is a bit spendy for me and my budget and is limited in the type you can buy. Out of necessity I started combing the internet. I finally decided I would try to make my own. I settled on this recipe from the Duggar Family, you know, the ones with 19 kids? If they have time to make it then so do I. I only have 4 you know... What do I have to lose? About $2.80 a batch that's what. Yeah, it is frugal. And really really easy to make. I like it better than the store bought and it is gentle on my clothes. It is low sud so it can be used in a High Efficiency machine. Now it may not be for everyone but for me it is just what I was looking for. By the way I don't dilute a second time, I just use it in concentrated form. Also, I have found that the Fels-Naptha bar soap is a really good stain stick. I just keep an extra bar around and rub it on when I can't use bleach. AND a last note.. I found that they carry all three ingredients at every associated food stores. Ok, on to the recipe...

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, peppermint.

-Yield: Makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load HE Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Good ol' simple traditional pancakes. There is something so homey about them. Warm and delicious with maple syrup or raspberry jam, maybe some strawberries and whipped cream... This is THE go to food when we can't think of anything else to eat. This recipe was in my very first Betty Crocker cookbook that I received while in 7th grade Home Ec. Everyone has their favorite pancake recipe ... this is mine.

Traditional Pancakes

1 egg
1 cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
3/4 cup milk
1 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS vegetable oil ( I use canola)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat egg with beater in medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. (For thinner pancakes, stir in an additional 1 to 2 TBS milk) Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat to about 375 degrees. Grease with butter. (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles skitter around, heat is just right)

For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes until puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook on other side until golden brown.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frog Cake

My neighbors daughter loves the the movie The Princess and the Frog so when her birthday came around this past week she wanted something fun to go with her theme. Turning 9 means you need a cake that is "kinda cool but not babyish". Hummm.. what to do... Ok how about a giant frog prince? BINGO! It was a hit!


Not to be forgotten is the treats for school. Working in a bakery does have its privileges- namely frog cupcakes. Don't you just love the tongues?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pistachio Cake

When I make this cake I always think of my niece Erika. She LOVES this cake! Well why not? It is SUPER delicious. If you like things pistachio you will love this cake as well. Easy to make and everyone will think you work in a bakery!

Pistachio Cake

1 pkg. white cake mix ( I like Betty Crocker Super Moist)
1 pkg. (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding mix
3 eggs
1 c. Sprite or 7up
1/2 c. oil

Combine all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Blend, then beat at medium speed for 10 minutes. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. (do not over bake)

When cool to the touch place in freezer for at least an hour up to overnight.

1 pkg. (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding mix
1 Cup cold milk
Cool Whip or Dream Whip

Wisk milk and pudding mix together and set aside.

Remove cakes from freezer and cut off tops. When pudding is set spread on one layer of cake and invert second layer on top.

Frost entire cake with Cool Whip.

*note: I like to to make this in a half sheet baking pan. When frozen I cut the cake in half and stack one side on top of the other with the pudding in the middle. Frost as usual.