Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crossing Things off the To-Do List

The Blogosphere and Pinterest really get a girl wanting to try new things! Here, in no particular order, are some of my recent accomplishments.

Vegetable Broth
The Makings of Vegetable Broth I've been wanting to get away from using boxed side dishes, plus, I use vegetable broth quite often anyway, so I went ahead and made a big batch to freeze. It's nothing adventurous: just onion, celery, carrots, water, two bay leaves, a handful of black peppercorns, and a pinch of salt. Next time I'd like to try this recipe. Doesn't that look delicious?

Laundry Detergent
Homemade Laundry Detergent This has been on my list of things to do since early last year, but I kept encountering roadblocks. First I couldn't find washing soda. Then I couldn't find the right bar soap. Not finding the bar soap had me vascilating between making powdered or liquid detergent. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of grating soap, but I also didn't want to stand over a hot stove cooking large quantities of liquid detergent. You can imagine my glee when I finally found two bars of Fels-Naptha.

Grating Soap Yup, I grated soap. I used a 1:1:1 ratio, btw. 1 bar of soap to 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax.

Granola Bars
Homemade Granola Bar We're trying to do away with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in this house. There are some good non-HFCS bars on the market, but I found a recipe in Sarah Matheny's Peas & Thank You book that I figured I'd try. The resulting bars are delicious and feel more rewarding to eat than something one would pull out of a cardboard box.

Coffee Creamer
Homemade Coffee Creamer Talk about a glutton for punishment, manufactured coffee creamers are full of HFCS. We go through a lot of creamer, like two bottles a week. It was actually Senpai's idea to go on this non-HFCS crusade (which nicely complements my desire to eat more "real food"), so he was the one who found this homemade creamer recipe. I made a double batch of the vanilla flavor, and all I can say is YUM.

Play Dough
Homemade Play Dough
Last, but not least, homemade play dough! I got the recipe out of The Toddler's Busy Book. Talk about a Mom's best friend. The book, not the play dough. Just because you have a kid doesn't mean you know any fun, creative, hands-on learning type things to DO with the kid, and this book has got so many ideas. I made the play dough because I don't like buying tubs of questionable ingredients when I know I can make something similar in my kitchen. The dough has a great consistency, but so far, the Cupcake refuses to touch it. She likes to sit and watch Mommy make shapes and animals (do you like my duck?), and she'll point at them, but her fingers will not make contact. Hopefully she'll come around to it eventually.

Well, there you have it. I've been a busy Momma. It feels good to do these things, yet I still have a long wish-list to tackle. Senpai's been busy with house projects, too: Jelly Bean's room has been emptied of clutter, concrete has been poured in the basement, and the kitchen is in the process of being painted. More things off the lists!



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