Sunday, December 28

menu plan Monday

Yeah, I know it's only Sunday. And I am not posting a menu either. How's that for not sticking to my post's title?

I realized after doing a couple of menu plans that it's not really how I operate. Granted there are a few days here and there when I have absolutely no idea what we will eat later that night, but for the most part I seem to always have an idea of what I am doing. Maybe it's from doing the CSA for a few years now that I tend to think about what I have to use up and how I can do that in a new and exciting way. I realized that when I was doing menus I was having more leftovers. Usually I use my leftovers in another way later in the week, even the next night to make something new or just reheated.

So I am not going to do menu plan Monday's for a while. Maybe I will change my mind as our family's schedule changes in the next few months. We'll see.

Right now I have some chicken carcasses and a turkey carcass that I need to cook down and make stock. I will do that tomorrow. Then we will most likely have something from that process tomorrow night. Maybe chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup or chicken pot pie. Something like that. I also have a ham in the fridge. They have been on sale for 99¢/lb. Great deal and we all really like ham. In fact, it seems to be Jack E's favorite meat. I will do that later this week sometime. Then we can have a pot of ham and beans next weekend, too.

BTW, the laundry detergent is working great. I have been keeping track of how many loads I am getting from my batch. So far I am up to 15 (I didn't do much laundry last week due to Christmas), and I am just starting to make a mark on the bucket full. It does have some watery stuff with it. The detergent kind of gels up and then some of the liquid separates out. The liquid is only water so I just try to scoop a little of that up when I get my scoop of detergent too. The next thing I want to try is fabric softener. I know vinegar works great, but I want to make something with lavender or eucalyptus in it. I'll let you know how it works out.

OH, before I forget, I got the Kitchen Aid Professional 600 (or something like that) for Christmas from Santa. My white Kitchen Aid has been awesome, but I am afraid it could go out any time. My new mixer has a 6 quart capacity so I am hoping to be able to do bigger batches of bread. And I also got this awesome book. It is published by the Colorado State Extension office. It has a lot of information as well as recipes. I made banana bread from it today and was really pleased. I'll fill you in on what I learn. If you have never baked from scratch at altitude, then you don't realize how frustrating it can be. This book will be appreciated by my family I'm sure!

Boys are being crazy so I'd better check on them. You'd think they wouldn't act like maniacs when they know I am directly under them, but then again as my nighbor says, "1 boy, 1 brain. 2 boys, half a brain." Yes and with 3 boys, she do the math! LOL

Thursday, December 18

laundry detergent

I told my husband this morning as he was leaving for work that I was going to make laundry detergent today. He said, "like you don't have enough to do already"

In a way, he's right, but at the same time, detergent is expensive and I am tired of buying it. It's something I always try to use a coupon with, but I still don't like spending the money on it.

Then I saw this and decided to go for it.

I couldn't find the Fels-Naptha soap, but after looking online at other recipes, I decided to use the bar of Zote soap I got last winter when my grocery store was doing a remodel and getting rid of a lot of stuff for cheap. I had read on this site that Zote was good for stain removal. So I picked up 2 bars. I've used one a little on some stains and it has worked. It has far less "stuff" in it than like Shout and I liked that. I honestly have no idea how much I paid for it, but I can't imagine that it was more than $1.99. I think it was probably 99¢, but I'll use the higher price to figure my price per batch below.

Yesterday I got the Borax and Washing Soda.

Price breakdown so far? I calculated the price of the ingredients that I have used so far. (I measured out the amount of Borax and Soda and weighed and then found how much of the total box I used to get the price per batch.)

Zote soap $1.00
Borax 23¢ (entire box was $4.59, I will get 20 batches of soap from the box)
Washing Soda 36¢ (entire box was $3.99 and I can get 11 batches from the box)


Not sure how many loads I'll get. I'll keep track of that and let you all know. But I think it's a great price so far. And I'm sure it works since I've found so many folks online making their own too. From what I've read, it's good for front loaders since it has minimal suds. And it's good for sensitive skin, too.

Sunday, December 14

Squash Spice Cake

This is a great not too sweet cake. We eat it for snacks or breakfast. I like to put dried cranberries in it instead of the raisins, but today I was out.

Spicy Squash Cake

2 c granulated sugar*
1 c brown sugar*
4 eggs, beaten
1 c vegetable oil*
2 c squash, cooked, strained
2 c flour*
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp gr cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c raisins (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, blend sugars, eggs and oil. Beat in squash. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients and stir into liquid mixture. Stir in raisins. Pour batter into a greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake 50-60 minutes in a 350 F oven.

*I've always made this with a combination of sucanat and turbinado. I use 1 c turbinado and 1/2 c sucanat. It's the right sweetness for us this way. I've used butter instead of oil, too, but it doesn't have the same crumb. And I've substituted all whole wheat flour or part whole wheat or all-purpose flour.