Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making Laundry Soap

So I had heard about making your own laundry soap on that reality show 19 kids and counting, or how ever many kids the Duggars have now. And I was curious, so I looked it up and I guess there are a lot of people that make their own soap, so I thought I would give it a try.
I just made my first batch and it was so easy. Now I still need to test it and see how well I think that it cleans the clothes, but it is suppose to do a good job.
So here is how I did it.

First I grated up a whole bar of soap. I read that you can use any kind that you want. I went with a bar of Spring Fresh Dial soap. I got 2 bars for a $1 at the dollar store. If I like the detergent, I might try to use something more natural...

Then I added 1 gallon of hot water, and turned the stove on high. Mixed until all the soap shavings have dissolved.

Then I added 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of washing soda, not the same as baking soda. Bring it to a boil, it might get a little jelly like at this point.  Once it starts to boil and you now have a bubble factory, remove from heat.

Add 1 gallon of cold water to the soapy mixture, and mix all together. This is your laundry soap.

Transfer into 2 milk jugs, or into old laundry soap containers. I used half of a coke bottle as a funnel, so I wouldn't make a huge mess.

And there you have it, 2 gallons of homemade laundry soap! Use 1/4-1/2 cup per load.

Now some people might think I am crazy, you know you can buy that stuff at any store right, but it was the savings that got me, so I had to give it a try. I will break down the cost for you.

1 bar of soap - .50
box of borax - 2.50(19 batches)= .13 per batch
box of washing soda - 2.50(14batches)= .18 per batch
Grand total - .81 for 2 gallons, or 64 1/2 cup loads, or 128 1/4 cup loads
That is a huge savings! Ok now I gotta go and try out my new laundry soap, I will come back and update on how it works. Happy washing:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine bag

I wanted to make a homemade valentine for my daughter, so I made a simple little bag, with a felt heart and filled with a few sweets.

I just used a scrap piece of fabric like 6x3 or so and pressed it with an iron, almost in half, but left one half a little longer so that I could have a flap.
Then prior to sewing up the sides I cut a heart shape out of felt and sewed around the edges, then added a little love note.

Next I sewed, I used a serger, but could just as easily been done on a regular sewing machine, around the edges, leaving the flap open. Sewed on some velcro, and filled with a few sweets.

Lucy was so cute, she said "Mom I love you, because you made me a valentine."

El Salvadoran Papusas

I made these the other night for dinner, super easy to make. You can stuff with what ever you want, cheese, beans, beef, chicken, pork...I made a pulled pork in my crockpot, and used that along with some cotija  cheese and some mozzarella.

First you use your masa flour and water to make your dough for your tortilla. I just follow directions on the package. Then you get a small ball, about the size of a lemon or a small apple, make an indentation in the center, this is where you will place your filling.

Now add your filling in the center. It does not take much filling, it all depends on the size of the papusa you are making.

Now you pull up or pinch up some of the masa from the sides to cover the filling completely. You want for there to be no holes.

Now you just pat it out into a round disc like shape, trying not to expose the filling in the center. It is hard to tell in this picture, but the center of course is going to be thicker because there is more filling in the middle. I would say try to get the rest of it about 1/4in or less in thickness. I then placed mine on wax paper or parchment, until ready to cook.

Finally, you just fry up in a hot, dry skillet or cast iron pan. No oil is needed. It only takes about 3 min per side, just till they don't feel doughy anymore and start to get some browning.

Traditionally these are served with an El Salvadoran coleslaw, which is cabbage, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and oregano. I tried this, not my favorite. I prefer just a simple coleslaw or beans or rice on the side.