Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cracker Candy (aka Christmas Crack)

Crackers never tasted so good! 
1 cup unsalted butter 
(Do NOT use margarine for this. 
Salted butter is Ok!)
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers (approx 1 sleeve of crackers)
Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. 
If you are using foil then it's a good idea to spray with non stick spray.  
Lay the saltines on cookie sheet in one layer right next to one another with no gaps~ 
I usually fall short about 3 short of covering the cookie sheet but that's okay. 
Set aside. 
Place butter and brown sugar in saucepan over medium heat. 
When mixture boils turn down heat and simmer 3 minutes. 
Do not stir or whisk while cooking.

Pour the hot caramel mixture over the crackers.
 You might have to do a little bit of spreading to the edges with a spoon

Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler and
pour into plastic ziploc sandwich bag. 
Snip a tiny corner off of the bag.   

Drizzle chocolate on top hitting the outside of the crackers. 

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Hubby and I do ALOT of laundry! 
I don't know how TWO people can do so much laundry but we surely do~ about a load a day! 
A good chunk of our weekly budget was going for laundry soap so I
started looking into making my own. 
I've never done anything like this before and, honestly,  never felt the need to either. 
I'd heard people talk about it before so I told my hubby what I'd planned and
he was leary and I understand why. 
It's just plain ole easy and convenient to buy laundry detergent!    Another factor was cleanliness and we both worried (him much more than myself) that since there wouldn't be heavy perfumes lingering in our clothes that they wouldn't smell clean or be clean. 
I purchased the ingredients at a local Wal~Mart and Jewel and made the detergent on a Saturday morning.  After using the detergent for a week we've decided to continue using our own detergent at a fraction of the cost. 
I use about double the recomended amount of detergent and the hubs  probably is using triple  but counting the cost that we would be paying for purchased detergent
we are still saving a good chunk of money. 
Maybe part of the reason is that this is a low sudsing soap. 
I've got to remember also that it isn't the suds that do the cleaning but the ingredients in the soap.
Here are the ingredients and here's how I made it~ 
4 cups water
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax 
Grate the Fels Naptha into a saucepan. 
Boil about 4 cups of water and add soap to water.
Stir with whisk over low heat until all of the soap is melted.   
Meanwhile, fill up the industrial bucket half full of warm water. 
When all soap is melted pour into bucket with the warm water.
Measure out
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
Add and mix well.
Fill with water to 5 gallons~  or nearly to top of bucket.
Cover and let sit overnight.  Soap will gel up. 
Break up soap with stirring stick or use your hands.  
It is normal for there to be clumps and they will dissolve in the water with the wash.
 Put in containers for storage. 
 For all supplies and ingredients it cost me $12.75.  
After I purchased the Borax at Jewel's, Walmart restocked and it was a dollar cheaper. 
The next time I make detergent again I won't have to buy the borax or super washing powder so I will only have to buy the Fels Naptha. 
My next batch will cost about a dollar and ten cents! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Easy Peasy Potato Soup

I put this in the crock pot this morning and I was convinced that it wasn't going to be great.
But I was wrong! It was awesome! 
It was convenient and great for a busy day with limited time.  And just 5 ingredients!
If I were to do this again I would have doubled the recipe because it was that yummy! 
Easy Peasy Potato Soup
One can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
One bag (approximately 16 oz) hash brown potatoes
1/4- 1/2 cup chopped onion
8 oz cream cheese

Spray crockpot with non stick spray.Put all ingredients in crock pot excluding the cream cheese.  Let cook on hi for 5 hours.  About 30 minutes before serving add cream cheese.   Whisk with wire whisk