Monday, November 7, 2011

Homemade Dishwasher Powder and truth in blogging!

I have through the years become offended by the high chemical content in modern day cleaners. My nose was the first victim, it burned just walking down the cleaning products aisle at the market. Then there was the second victim, my perfume, it was overpowered by those same chemicals that burned my nose. It was time to make a change, I started with a simple window cleaner of rubbing alcohol, water and vinegar. Spray on and dry off with crumpled newspaper. Now a few years later, I have several I make and I am happy to share them with you.

In the archives you will find a spray cleaner and Laundry Powder.. You can find them here:

Easy Clean , spray cleaner

Laundry Powder

Now I have a great Dishwasher Powder to share also, that needs improvements.

 Yep, for this recipe, this little guy is a star!

Dishwasher Powder
adapted from yahoo

1 c borax
1 c baking soda
1/4 c salt
2 packages (half an ounce) unsweetened Kool Aid

If the borax has lumps, press through a sieve. Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Place in a sealed container and use 2 T in each cup to wash a load of dishes.  Especially dirty dishes may need additional cleaner.

Your dishes will sparkle! 
See below for updates!

UPDATE: I have observed that the family members in my household each load the dishwasher differently. This included the scrapping/pre-rising of the dirty dishes. These differences may affect the final outcome of the washed dishes. While I don't pre-rinse I do scrape with a flexible spatula. I also will make wet any dish with egg, as I have found that dried egg is difficult to get cleaned off. Cheese is the biggest challenge for this cleaner, and I disagree with the original article, you will need 2 T of cleaner (or more depending upon your dishes) in each cup.

Long term use:  I have read about other homemade dishwasher soaps and those articles have indicated that for long term use the homemade powder was not effective, and unfortunately this one have proven to be true at my house. I am not sure if it is water temperature, my water source/type or that it simply is not strong enough to do the job. But back to the drawing board, not giving up, but this is not as good as it needs to be. 

I guess it is stay tuned for more!

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop by. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments. If you like what you see here, please feel free to share it with a friend.

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Hearth and Soul #73 @ Moms Sunday Cafe

Key words:  homemade, cleaners, fragrance free

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Gingerbread and Ginger Snap Cookie Mix

Welcome to November 2011, Cookbook Sunday. I am very happy to have you come to visit and share your great finds! Feel free to share any cookbook, cooking magazine  article or cooking "app" recipe here. This is a fun opportunity to get to know your cookbooks!

I am sharing one of my favorite recipes, gingerbread. But not just any gingerbread, a homemade mix that can be used 2 ways. This will come in very handy this upcoming holiday season.

This baking sheet has baked 1000's of cookies! 
Often times, gingersnaps. 

I have had this book for 30 plus years. It only has a few dirty pages, so I know that I have not used it a lot. There are many interesting recipes, some we enjoy now. Others at a later time as we expand our food tastes. These two ladies seem unstoppable in what they will cook. So many of the days in the past 30 years were so filled with my own life and responsibilities, I simply did not have the time to be unstoppable in the kitchen. Also I might have been too young to appreciate the style of writing or the personality of the authors, when I first sat down to read this book, so many years ago.. Today these recipes seem a bit tame in comparison to what a seeker will find during an internet search and in newly published books. But my love and respect for cookbooks will always show that old does not mean useless.

So many things marked for future fun in the kitchen.

In most ways, I am an everyday cook, not one to be overly fancy. Oh sure I like to make the serving plate look enticing, but usually the food itself is ordinary and comfortable, what I call "everyday". I usually cook the same way whether we are having company or not. But I also believe that:
it is the company that makes food seem unusually good, or special.

And I like that.But I must confess, when I have prepared a dish for company or a special gathering, please wait for serving time, I do want to "show off" a little bit!

I love gingerbread and chewy gingersnap cookies. So when I was looking and marking things I wanted to try and make ahead (some are mixes), I came across a homemade mix that will make a gingerbread or chewy gingersnap cookies.

BETTER THAN STORE BOUGHT, Authoritative recipes for the foods that most people never knew they could make at home.

by: Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie

Gingerbread and/or Ginger Cookie Mix
Makes 2 packages

1 c sugar
4 t ground coriander
3 1/2 t baking powder
3 t ground ginger
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cloves
4 c flour- spoon lightly into measure cup and level

Measure all ingredients except flour into a large bowl and mix together using a whisk to combine.

Add flour and continue to whisk until all ingredients are mixed together and no white streaks of flour are present.

Divide the mixture into two batches (2 1/2 c each), if any amount remains in the large mixing bowl, divide equally between the two packages. Store at room temperature in either plastic bags or glass jars.

350 degrees

1 c boiling water
3/4 stick (6 T) butter
3/4 c light un-sulphured molasses
1 package (1/2 batch) Gingerbread/Ginger Cookie Mix
1 egg plus 1 yolk

Combine boiling water, butter and molasses. Stir until butter melts, let cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl combine the package of mix and the cooled butter mixture, stir to combine. In a small bowl, beat the egg and yolk, stir the egg mixture into the ginger bread mixture, mixing well. Pour into prepared 8 inch pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until top spring back when lightly touched. Let cool before cutting. Serve with whipped cream or lemon sauce.

Serves 9

Make your gingersnaps extra delicious with a simple lemon glaze.
Ginger Cookies
375 degrees

1/2 stick butter (4 T)
2/3 light un-sulphured molasses
2 eggs beaten to combine well
1 package Gingerbread/Ginger Cookie Mix

Beat the butter and molasses together, stir in the eggs and mix lightly. Add the cookie mix and combine until mixture is evenly dampened. Drop by teaspoons onto a prepared cookie sheet. Bake 6 - 8 minutes or until the centers spring back when gently touched. Remove from cookies sheets and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 4 dozen

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

And now welcome to Cookbook Sundays!  What will you be sharing?