Thursday, March 22, 2012

FRUGAL GRANNY: Homemade Dishwashing powder

My cousin gave me a call and said she had discovered the BEST EVER dishwasher powder.
As I happened to have the ingredients on hand, I gave it a try.

I had Borax and Washing Soda on hand from my homemade laundry soap (found HERE)..

You mix 2 cups Borax with 2 cups Washing soda and add 6 tablespoons of Citric Acid.  (I keep this on hand for when the kids have colds and for canning.. I think it runs about $10 a pound, but I cannot tell you how big a pound is.. but it would be more than enough!)   Then you fill the rinse agent container with vinegar.

My cousin said that this gets hard after the first night so do NOT mix in a jar!!  I just put in a gallon size zip baggie.  The next day, you crumble it up and is fine after that.  If you have it in a jar, you have to crumble out with a knife or something.  She said after the first time it gets hard and you crumble it up, it does not get hard again.  No idea why this would happen, but it would probably be safe to put in a jar after you crumble it up.
Another thing you can do is to add lemon oil.  She doesn't do this, so I didn't either.  But that might prevent the clumping that first night??

My cousin says that she NEVER 'pre-washes' her dishes!!  THAT would be nice!!  My poor dishwasher was getting so bad that I needed to rinse the dishes before putting them in there, and I figure if I take the time to rinse, I might as well add some soap and they'd be clean! I have to agree that I do NOT want to wash my dishes before putting in the dishwasher!!  I will see how this goes.. my daugher had cream of wheat this morning for breakfast and I put the bowl (OK, I rinsed it a bit!!) in the dishwasher to see if it passes my 'test.'

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Baked Reuben Sandwiches

Betty Crocker has given me another idea for a great sandwich.  HERE is the link to her wonderful baked reuben sandwich recipe.  I tweaked it a bit to fit my kitchen.

Since I keep a supply of home canned corned beef in my pantry, I used some of that rather than buy deli corned beef.
And I use the baking mix from Aldi's.

Mix 2 cups baking mix, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, and 1 tsp caraway seeds.  Put about 1/2 of this in the bottom of a greased 8x8 pan.
On top of this, I put about 1/2 pint shredded corned beef and just drizzled some mustard over the top.  I then layered with 4 slices of swiss cheese and topped that with a can of sauerkraut.  I topped that with another layer of corned beef, drizzled in mustard, and another 4 slices of swiss cheese.
I then spread out the rest of the batter on top and sprinkled with some more caraway seeds.

I popped this in a  400* oven for 35 minutes.
It came out looking like a beautiful crusty loaf of bread!

I think I might like to try this with a rye flour or maybe rye seeds rather than caraway seeds, although I do like caraway with kraut.

I sliced this up and it was like eating a stuffed biscuit.
Delicious corned beef and kraut cooked right in the bread. I served this with horseradish and thousand island dressing. YUMMY!

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Top O'the Morning Pancakes

I love make fun foods for the kids -- even though they are practically all grown now.  I found this fun pancake recipe HERE at Betty Crocker! 
This gives me a legitimate reason to pick the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms Cereal!!
BUT, one local store actually sells the marshmallows in bulk, so I try to keep a jar on hand.  This is just another good excuse to buy them.

You start with 2 cups baking mix (I use the mix from Aldi's if I haven't made my own in a while)
and add a cup of milk, a teaspoon each of green food coloring and vanilla.  Whisk in two eggs and 1/2 cup marshmallows from the cereal.  Next time, I'm going to add a tablespoon or two of honey or sugar to sweeten these up a bit.. The web site recommends topping with whipped cream and additional marshmallows. I will have to do that next time.  This time, I topped with syrup and bacon!  This made a fun, easy St. Patrick's treat!

Monday, March 12, 2012


 I bought Baby Kay a Minnie Mouse doll and just happened to find some red polka-dot material in my stash.  I whipped up a little skirt to match the doll!

Aunt Marge had a piece of black velvet ribbon that was perfect for a bow for the front.

When Naomi dressed Kay, she put a black belt on.  It didn't quite stay.

 I had taken some better pictures before I realized that I didn't have my memory card in the camera! UGH..
By then, she was getting antsy, and was unwilling to pose.

This is the best photo of the skirt and bow.  I put the bow on with a safety pin so it could be taken off to wash.  The belt is from another outfit, but did look good until it slipped.

And here she is rocking with her Minnie Mouse doll.

Monday, March 5, 2012

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Football Strawberries

It's me, late as ever with my posts!  But when looking at my camera today, I found the pictures I had taken on Super Bowl Sunday.

Wanting a fun, EASY, (and healthy! lol) snack, I just browsed the internet.  I saw several sites with football strawberries on them, and decided that was exactly what I wanted.  (I did make other snacks, too: hot wings, chips and dip, etc..)  But this was the fun SuperBowl snack that I made!

I only bought 3 things for this:
  1. Fresh Strawberries
  2. Chocolate Dip
  3. Instant Icing
Following the directions on the container of Candy Dips, I melted the chocolate discs in the microwave.  Then I carefully dipped my strawberries in that and put on parchment paper to harden.

I popped open the instant frosting, put on the writing tip and added white lines.

Yes, I know these could have been neater.  BUT, I made them right before the big game.  Next time, I'll do the night before and keep in the fridge!

Also, the lines would have been neater if I had used my own frosting (or canned frosting) with my own tips.  I have a smaller writing tip that would have been perfect.

I just say, these balls made it to the Super Bowl, so they've been through a LOT of practice and games!

And, of course, they were ALL eaten!