Friday, May 24, 2013

DId you knows, amazing, and some more recipes for your home

I thought I was a pretty good housekeeper, and was keeping things as clean as they needed to be, but sure found out a few new things this week. We all most likely have rubber spatulas we use for mixing and cooking, but did you know that washing is not enough? The rubber ends pull off, I needed the help of pliers, but oh the ickies on the stick top. Soak in hot soapy water, then rinse and let dry well before putting back together.  Okay, now I feel like those are all clean. Next was the can opener, yep, I did wash it off, but it needs a good hot water and soap scrub too, a toothbrush is good to clean the blade. Now this one, I am still puzzled over. I knew to wash the ice container in the frig, but now I learn you should release the ice making area, take it out and scrub to keep it bacteria free. Because it's always wet, it grows stuff. So far, I can not get mine out and am not willing to destroy the ice maker so may need to contact the manufacturer for information. And your coffee pot, of course we all clean the pot, but be sure that about every 40 uses you put a couple of cups of white vinegar in the container, let it set a couple of hours, then run it through, followed by several runs of clear water to take out the vinegar.  Sponges, yep, germy, so rinse them well and microwave 1 minute at least once a day.  When I clean the kitchen, I always put 1/2 cup of baking soda in the drain followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and let it sit an hour, then flush with hot water. Helps keep drains clean and smelling nice.  Last, if you use a blender, or as I do, a Bullet, be sure you pull out the rubber gasket, clean well and dry, that's the area that retains stuff that can cause e-coli, salmonella, or listeria.
   We have been "blessed" with a super amount of rain this week, did some damage to the property, washed out my new flower beds that were looking so nice, and made ruts in our steep mountain driveways.  Not complaining, the people in OK have had so much worse stuff to cope with that I just thank the good Lord for no more than heavy rain, much easier to repair than some things. It did however mess with our well and my water has turned the color of our red clay dirt. This is handy as my kids are on the way from NE and I waited til this week end to wash rugs, clothes etc and now can't as they would all be red. Such is life.
  Ran across a couple of recipes you might like to try, first up is a shower cleaner:
 Fill a spray bottle half full of white vinegar, add a squirt or two of dish soap, and fill the rest of bottle with water, will keep ya clean and sparkling, no mold.
  Next is a furniture cleaner and polisher:
1/3 cup water
1/2 Tablespoon castile soap
8 drops orange essential oil
4 drops cedarwood oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
This makes the cleaner, if you want it to polish too, add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  Spray this mix on your dust cloth and have at.
  I am looking forward to having my two smallest grand daughters to play with by Sunday, hope your week is full of happy promises and early summer treats. Take care

Friday, May 17, 2013

Apples and Oranges, Ketchup and Mustard

 A  few weeks ago, I got a new computer. Yesterday, it decided to ditch the disc drive. So very early this morning, I loaded it into the car and headed for Newport. Didn't take long to find out I needed a new one, so was soon headed back up the mountain. My son spent a good share of his morning putting all the stuff back in and getting me connected again. Good thing we ran a back up yesterday, and even more good luck, when they rang up the new computer, it was on sale, so added a two year insurance policy, and got a nice amount of cash back too. It will take me a while to regroup but for the most part, I am up and running again.
  In a week, my little grand daughters from Nebraska will be on the way to Tennessee. First time they have visited. Well, kind of, the oldest who is 3 and a half came when she was just a few weeks old so her grandpa could see her. At that time, he was very ill, and died a few months later, She was so small she will never remember being here.  I visited them for Christmas when the youngest was just a bout 8 weeks old, so very small and cuddly. She is now 6 months old and learning so many new things. Can hardly wait to see them, and their parents too!!!
  I have some recipes to share, for home made ketchup and mustard. Why not just buy them? Well, of course it's easier, but this way you avoid the chemicals, and preservatives and know exactly what you are eating.
1/2 cup of mustard powder(buy at grocery store, or order organic from herb company)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 clove minced garlic

  Stir all ingredients in a pan until smooth, bring to a boil and immediately lower heat. Simmer while you add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon of water,  and simmer 1 more minute.  Cool, put in glass container and refrigerate.

1 and 1/2 cups tomato paste, home made  or organic
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt

  Put all in pan, whisk well, and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Put in container and refrigerate.

  If you are in the mood for an easy dessert,  how about an Apple Clafouti
 1 cup of flour(unbleached)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large granny smith apples, 3 tablespoons of sugar
 Mix flour, salt, eggs, milk and cold water til smooth. Peel and core and thinly slice  apples, add to batter with the sugar. Oil a deep pie pan,  place in 450 degree oven for 5 minutes, until it's hot, pull out rack, add batter and bake for 40 minutes.
  Well, time to get going on all the stuff I have put off this morning,  it's a lovely day, rain was predicted but right now the sun is shining.,  time to water the garden if that rain holds off. Hope you have a lovely week, spent with family and friends.  Stay well, eat healthy, as they say, you really are what you eat.


Friday, May 10, 2013

No rain today! Spring wonder foods, thoughts on Docs

  There are two programs I watch when I can, The Doctors and Dr Oz. Today on The Doctors, they are going to discuss a new cancer treatment that does not leave the patient ill. I have been watching this develop, it's incredible and I hope it helps in the way cancer is treated in the future, if you can tune in to this, it would be worth the watch.  Yesterday Dr Oz astounded me, he had an alternative  medicine person on his show that told him about plant sterols for fighting cholesterol problems. Funny, we used that for my hubby for years, and it works wonderfully, no side effects like taking out your kidneys and liver, as the statins do.  Those of us who have tried to learn better ways than medicine over the years have known about alternatives for a lot of things for a long time, and doctors are amazed to learn them.  Shows how we have not learned preventive measures for health, but instead get sick then rely on toxic medicines to mask symptoms and give us more problems. The body is an amazing machine, but requires caring for if you don't want your life filled with illness and medicines that cost an arm and a leg.
  Been outside this morning, we have had a day and a half of glorious sunshine, what a welcome break! My strawberries are getting ripe, all the rain has provided a bumper crop. And I have a tree full of a little bigger than a fat almond size peaches. For some reason, getting them to picking stage has been a challenge. they seem to rot and fall off the tree just before being ripe enough to pick. My garden is up and doing well, but think some  days of sun would help a lot, we are still having cool weather and a lot of rain, There is talk of frost the next night or so in Virginia, and maybe parts of the Smoky Mountains, hope not here. Not too worried.
  It is spring and time to get your body tuned up. There are  some great  super foods to keep you healthy, lets start with berries. They are considered the most nutritious fruits, and include raspberries, strawberries,  cranberries,  blueberries, pomegranate seeds, cherries goji's and grapes.  You can snack on them alone, or make fruit salads or smoothies, any combination works to improve your anti oxidant levels.
  The second great group is greens. We have had some wonderful spinach already, love it. But also my kale is producing and has all winter, greens are endless,  contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins.  Try broccoli, collards, cress, chard, cabbage, and all herbs you can grow. Use them in salads, soups, casseroles even add to those smoothies.
  Try adding quinoa to your meals, it's usually treated as a grain but is actually a seed.  Very impressive in protein amounts,  and zinc.  Good for your hair and skin, has B and E vitamins. it's kind of a cross between pasta and rice, can be used as a main dish with additions  you like, or put into soups or salads.
  Vegetables, well, there is no end to these, and the Farmers markets are open now so if you are not growing your own, try and find  a place to buy the fresh stuff, grown without pesticides and weed killers, The taste is so different from the stuff we find in stores  Maybe the kids will even learn to like veggies if they are fresh and tasty  Eat as many a day as you can, they are not fattening and do such good things for your bod!
  Got a couple quick recipes for you, my 3year old+ grand daughter and her baby sis are coming to visit, and I am brewing up soap for bubble blowing,   so here's how. In a jar mix 1/4 cup soap, like dawn,  3/4 cup of water and 5 drops of glycerin, the longer it sits, the bigger and better the bubbles will be.
  Do you like tacos? Bet you buy those envelopes of seasonings.  Why pay someone else to mix something so simple, its just this easy:
  1 teaspoon chili powder
  1/2 teaspoon cumin
  1/2 teaspoon oregano
  1 teaspoon salt, this much for 1 pound of meat.  You can make larger amounts and keep in your pantry for future times.
  Mother's day is this weekend you don't know how much you miss your mom until she is not here to celebrate with . Dad's too, they are special people,  Treat them well while you can. Have a glorious weekend, hope you spend time with family or friends. Til next time, enjoy the warmer weather and eat some of the wonderful fresh things available now.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Green Cleaning, non toxic and CHEAP

 Before we get going, this morning on GMA, there was a report on antibacterial soaps, cleaners etc, They are being investigated by the FDA and are being considered not safe. If you have any products in your home containing Triclosan or the words, antibacterial dump them. You will find them in soap, laundry detergent, trash bags, sponges and cleansers. You need to be exposed to some germs to build resistance, and viruses are not caused by germs so even your baby needs to build a tolerance to germs in order to stay healthy. If you want more information, just google  antibacterial soap and you will find a lot  of reading to do.
  What do you spend on cleansers, toilet bowl cleaners, disinfectant cupboard cleaners,  and just your normal cleaning products in a year?  For a fraction you can purchase 5 or 6 items that last a very ling time and cost so little. The list  would include a big jug(gallon) of white vinegar, about 3 bucks, a big box of baking soda and one of washing soda, both found in the laundry section and about 3 bucks a container, some essential oils if you want fragrance, a little olive oil, and some lemon juice, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide complete the list.  This whole shebang should be about 20 bucks and last maybe a year. In my blogs from back a while, is a recipe for laundry detergent, you would need a bar of Fels Naptha soap, 99cents, added to your list for a years supply and about 7 cents per load. No chemicals, cleans great. I also gave you a recipe for fabric softener, which has several uses, including a mattress refresher that is super.  So a basic cleaner would  be 1 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water, add a splash of lemon juice.  In a spray bottle, this cleans counter tops, bathroom surfaces etc and it does disinfect. Not for use on granite. If you add a little olive oil to a small amount of this  you can use to polish any wood surface in your home. For a scrub , to use on sinks, pans etc, mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste, store in covered container. For a basic cleaning scrub, dry, equal parts of salt and baking soda make an excellent cleanser. Rivals  Comet. For your wood floors,  use 1 cup vinegar or lemon juice, 1 gallon hot water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 cup liquid soap, like castile, or I make my own with grated bars of aloe melted in boiling water. You do need to follow with a clean damp mop to remove any slickness from the soap.  To freshen and clean carpet, sprinkle soda mixed with ground clove, or essential oil, a few drops,  over all carpet, let set an hour or so and vacuum well. Prestain for clothes- 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup soda and 3 cups of water, put on stain for a few minutes before washing.  Instead of bleach which is toxic  use 1 cup hydrogen peroxide 1/4 cup lemon juice  and 12 cups of water. Use as you would bleach. To keep mold off you bathroom shower walls, use 1 cup vinegar, and 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon of soda, spray, let sit  30 minutes and rinse. I used this on the back of my house, north side, which was green, and it took off the green. I had no power hose, but we got 3 inches of rain a day after I sprayed and it washed off all the green.  For your dishwasher,  mix 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups baking soda,  20 drops of lavender or grapefruit essential oil, use 2 tablespoons per load. Oven cleaner- 1 cup each of baking and washing soda  1 tablespoon liquid soap, a few drops of vinegar and enough water to make a paste.  Spread on, let sit over night and wash off. Drain cleaner- each time you clean your sinks, bathroom or kitchen, put 1/2 cup baking soda in drain, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar, let sit 1/2 hour and flush with hot water.  There is just no end of ways you can use these product to have a sparkling fresh home, with no chemical fumes.
  To end today, I have a healthy recipe for a dip . In your blender puree 10 ounces of roasted red peppers, you can roast your own or buy a jar, drain, 1/4 cup walnuts 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Puree, dip away.  This is high in selenium which helps fight wrinkles.
  Hope you are enjoying this lovely weather, it's so good to be out in the yard again, planted flowers yesterday.  Stay well, be green.