Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A few favorite recipes for the home

I came across a few fabulous recipes lately and am having fun trying them out and tweaking them. Because I always do! I have three blogs I'm really enjoying.  Thank your body and Maria's self and Being Frugal by Choice.


And then I've been devouring Robin's blog over at Thank your body.  I can't wait to make the dishwasher detergent and when my laundry detergent is empty try her Borax Free Laundry Detergent. I also want to make up some Natural Hair spray Key ingredient- sugar. We will see how that goes. I'm a leeettle bit nervous about bees, but she says she hasn't had a problem. I will trust her and report back :)

At Maria's self,  I made the toilet bombs and I pinned the Homemade Christmas spray for next year. I love fake trees, can't stand no smell and WILL NOT use the fake sprays.  She has a bunch of fun recipes on her blog I can't wait to try.

I loved the  Homemade shower disks in From Sarah at Being Frugal by Choice I can't wait to try her water Kefir recipe. I have my grains and am ready to get started. And I've also been having fun getting my January mantle up! Yes a bit late, but it will be fabulous and totally ready for Jan 1 next year! The kids and I are crafting our way to a beauty! I hope to have that post up shortly complete with pictures! Enjoy!

Dairy free Healthy Chocolate syrup for Dang good Chocolate Milk (Hot or cold)

We've recently re-discovered chocolate milk!! We found a choclate recipe we love over at Penniless Parenting.   I tweaked it a bit to our tastes. This was too dark chocolate tasting for us, so I added a bit more honey. Another recipe I used was too sweet. I can't seem to find the very first one I found that was perfection. Sigh! Need to save that link before I try something JUST IN CASE it's a winner :) Oh well live and learn. In the mean time my  kids are in heaven trying out different chocolate recipes- And I am in heaven because my house is clean. I am a mean mom and when they ask for Chocolate milk ( a TOTAL treat at our house) I say yes as soon as  (fill in the blank with the messiest room) is clean. They sigh and moan a bit and then get to it so they can have this delicious chocolatey treat ASAP! I'm loving my tidy house and they chocolate milk too. It's a toss up which I enjoy more though :) I AM loving that this recipe is totally healthy AND that I can pronounce EVERY ingredient AND  have them all in my cupboard!
 Here you go!

1 cup local honey- give or take. Make it to your taste buds approval. Local is good but raw not necessary because its going to come to a boil and you will kill the good raw honey properties. But if all you have is raw honey- use it :)
1 cup of water.  This made it super thick. Next time I will use more water.
1 cup cocoa powder
2 pinches of salt
1/8 tsp vanilla (optional- I didn't use it. I'm all about simplicity- and my store bought vanilla is missing and my homemade is still brewing. I gave it all away and didn't keep the finished for myself- what was I thinking :) I need to be more Scrooge-like next time I guess!!  )

Mix it all up in a pot and bring it to a boil. Make sure there are no clumps. Store it in a mason jar and wah-lah ready to go! I doubled this recipe and it fit in a quart mason jar.
Enjoy it wil your favorite milk (cow, goat, coconut, rice, hemp, almond or whatever you have in your fridge at the moment! :)

Powdered DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe for Hard Water

Laundry soap is very personal and depends on the type of water you have. I've tried several kinds ofver the years and I either had to use too much or it didn't continue to work on our clothes for a longer period of time. I love this powder. Super simple to mix together, no boiling and no grating. I'm all for ease! There is quite a bit of powder kick back into the air, so you might want to wear a mask and not have the littles nearby when you are dumping the ingredients into your bucket.Our water is pretty hard and since we are on public water so there is some chlorine in the water- which bleaches out the whites more than on a well. This is a the recipe I am trying out. It wad to to me by a friend. I'm not sure where she got it. If it looks familiar to you I'd love to give credit where credit is due.  I've been using it for 3 weeks and it's been great in our hard water so far.So far we've used I've filled my 16 oz jar 3 times. We still have A LOT in the frosting bucket (not sure if it's a 2 or 3 gallon bucket). Will we keep to this recipe?? I don't know.  I think it takes 2-3 months to really find out if the detergent is a keeper and if it keeps the white clean looking and smelling and leaves no build up.

As far as cost I'm not sure how much this cost me, since I had quite a few of the ingredients. I'm thinking it was around $22. We have no dollar stores that carry Oxiclean like some of my friends do in other areas. SO if you can get your Oxiclean cheaper or get your Epsom salts at Costco it would save you money. Still $22 for potentially 3-6 months detergent is a great deal. We'll see how long it actually lasts us. I do a lot of laundry. 2 loads a day M-F and 1 on Sat. If you don't wash that much then yours will last longer. I'm super excited that this is working in our hard water!! Fingers crossed that it's good long term!!!  I did tweaked it a bit- more Borax and more Epsom salts. They are both water softeners and we have really hard water and no softener. Here it is:
Hard water powder detergent:
1 1/2 boxes Borax ( 76 ounces each)
1 & 1/2 box Washing Soda ( 55 ounces each)
2 cups of baking soda
1 largest you can find containers of any Oxiclean (I used the big box at target that is around $12- think it’s 128 oz?)
2 1/2 bags Epsom salts (64 ounces each) (Costco- drug stores have them but the cheapest I found was Costco)
Essential oil  (I used 30 drops of lemon)

Add the Essential oil  directly to the salt prior to mixing salt into laundry mix. Mix it all together and use 2 Tablespoons for each load. The Oxiclean came with a scoop that was ever so slightly bigger than 2 scoops- so that's what we use.
I store it in a Frosting bucket I got for free for the asking from the bakery at a grocery store. I put half the contents in the bucket and rolled it around and then added the rest of the contents in layers and rolled it around.

Hope that helps you with your laundry dilemma!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A brief post on the amount of clothes and Laundry routine

A friend posted the question on a group- How do you tame the laundry monster? This has been a work in progress for us. I think we may have found the current solution for us, for now, in this house, with kids these ages. :)
Our home is one level with the laundry room next to the kitchen. The kids share a small room and we don't store their clothes in their room. This helps not only with laundry, but also with keep in their room tidy! Bless my surrogate Aunt Sooze, who gave us this idea when we moved into our current home.
Our laundry room is large enough that we have the space to fit the kids clothes. The kids "dressers" fit nicely. They aren't true dressers, but metals baskets from Ikea.

The kids each get 3 drawers, and then they share a drawer for socks and a drawer for underwear (each drawer has a divider for their items) They have 8 outfits and 2 dressey dresses (I have all girls) I do keep extras not in their drawers. Since we have extra clothes from hand-me-downs and I don't want to respend the money on it when we need it later, and also not clutter up the laundry room, I keep the extra clothes (that we love and are in good shape)  in the attic. I works out well since the attic is just above the laundry room and it's a quick grab if I need it in a hurry. We do one load of laundry daily. We wash on cold unless there's a need for hot( extreme dirt, or bathrooms issues). When we did cloth diapers, we did a load of diapers every other day and one laod daily depending on what stage of toddler we had. Sometimes depending on the kiddo we had to do 2 loads a day. Then everyone folds the one load and puts away. Because the kids drawers are right near the dryer, putting them away is a cinch for all ages. We also have three laundry baskets that sit on shelves for moms clothes, dad;s clothes and linens. So it's super easy to sort the clothes out of the dryer.
On Monday we do laundry catch up- all the church clothes and towels and sheets, and anything that hasn't been washed since Fri. We have 2 of every type of sheet. (Mom and Dad's bed has 3 sets- one is flannel) So the beds are stripped and made immediately. Nothing like going to put to kids to bed and realizing the sheets are still damp or not even washed! That has put a kink into a few bedtimes for us over the  years. Having two sets of sheets for every bed has helped immensely!
I'm learning about space lately. If we have about 80% of our space full- instead of 100% and clutter outside as well there's a certain peace. Drawers shut easily you can find things etc. The key is to have things in the 80% that you use and love. My kids are learning this super important life skill and learning how blessed they are to have and use and love the items they have. This has worked for us. I'm learning that ages and stages will change things up as will where you live and how your house/living space is configured. How do you handle laundry at your house?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thaksgiving the Trim Healthly Mama way.

Here are the recipes we are using this year.
Menu:











Turkey
THE GLUTEN-FREE STUFFING 

GLuten free corn bread
THM Stuffing
Sweet potatoes
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Fotatoes

Coconut milk Pumpkin Pie


Recipes



9x13 pan and so that is the instructions I will share, but you could easily cut the recipe in half.

Trim Healthy Stuffing (S) style
by:  Hannah Babiak

2 lbs. ground pork or ground turkey (whichever you prefer)
2 onions chopped
10 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups cubed, peeled, butternut squash
4 eggs
6 garlic cloves
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 Tablespoon Truvia
2 Tablespoons fresh sage
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
4 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups butter
1/2 cup turkey drippings or chicken broth

Cube butternut squash and combine with cranberries in a baking dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let it cool.  Brown pork or turkey while adding herbs, Truvia and salt.  Sauté onions, celery and garlic in butter until soft.  Combine meat, onion/celery and squash/cranberry mixture in a 9x13 baking pan sprayed with non stick spray.  Whisk eggs together, add drippins or broth to mixture.  Pour over meat mixture and mix together.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until starts to get brown on top.  Serve and enjoy!

To make this dish an (E) recipe:
Use low fat ground turkey
Substitute two small sweet potatoes in place of the butternut squash
Use egg whites equivalent to 4 eggs
Sauté vegetables in water or fat free broth instead of butter
Use only broth, not turkey drippings
Can add brown rice if desired

To make this dish a (FP) recipe:
Follow (E) directions except omit brown rice and do not put in sweet potatoes or butternut squash.


We make this crustless. YOu can also make your favorite GF crust:

This take on the classic pumpkin pie is a rich, dairy-free (and easily gluten-free) dessert that is perfect for fall and winter holidays (though, really, as long as you can find a can of pumpkin puree, you can make it all year round). Coconut oil makes the crust melt in your mouth, and coconut milk in the filling creates such a decadent flavor and texture that everyone will ask you for your recipe, while not expecting it to be dairy-free! Trust me: you'll want to try this one!
As with any recipe that is intended for persons with allergies, make sure to read all of your ingredient labels thoroughly to ensure that there are no dairy-derived ingredients in any of your products.

Ingredients:

  • For the Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1 1/3 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (if gluten-free, use gluten-free graham cracker crumbs)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 5 T. brown sugar
  • 6 T. extra virgin coconut oil
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, store-bought or homemade
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. ground ginger
  • ¼ t. ground cloves
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Vegan Coconut Milk Whipped Cream (optional)

Preparation:

1. Prepare the graham cracker crust. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut flakes, and sugar until well mixed. Add in the coconut oil and rub in until the mixture begins to clump together. (It will be pretty crumbly at this point.) Press into the prepared pie plate and place in the oven for 4 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool while preparing the filling.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt until very well combined. Gradually add the coconut milk until all has been added.
4. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350 F. to bake for 35-40 minutes longer. (If the edges of the crust start to brown too quickly, loosely tent the crust with foil.) Transfer the pie to a cooling rack to cool completely, then chill for 1-2 hours before serving. Serve with Vegan Coconut Milk Whipped Cream if desired.
Cook's Note:
    If you do not have coconut oil or it is unavailable to you, you can replace this with a dairy-free margarine of your choice. If you are able to find coconut oil, however, I urge you to do so; it really adds a wonderful flavor and melt-in-your mouth quality to the crust!
     

 

Twice Baked Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (S)
Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower florets, cut off stems.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove minced garlic.
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Bring cauliflower & chicken broth to boil in a pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes in broth until cauliflower is soft, and the liquid is reduced.
Drain cauliflower. You will want to drain it well. Try to get most excess fluid off.
Put cauliflower in food processor. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Add 3/4 cup of cheese. Add minced garlic. Use the food processor (I prefer the pulse mode) until creamy. Use remaining 1/4 cup of sour cream if not creamy enough. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use butter if you like the buttery taste for mashed potatoes.
Place cauliflower in baking dish. Add remaining cheese to top. (I like to put some more pepper on top)
Bake on 350% for 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and cheese melted.
* Don’t skip the chicken broth in this recipe, it is just not the same making it with water.

Twice Baked Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (S)

Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower florets, cut off stems.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove minced garlic.
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Bring cauliflower & chicken broth to boil in a pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes in broth until cauliflower is soft, and the liquid is reduced.
Drain cauliflower. You will want to drain it well. Try to get most excess fluid off.
Put cauliflower in food processor. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Add 3/4 cup of cheese. Add minced garlic. Use the food processor (I prefer the pulse mode) until creamy. Use remaining 1/4 cup of sour cream if not creamy enough. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use butter if you like the buttery taste for mashed potatoes.
Place cauliflower in baking dish. Add remaining cheese to top. (I like to put some more pepper on top)
Bake on 350% for 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and cheese melted.
* Don’t skip the chicken broth in this recipe, it is just not the same making it with water.

Read more at http://forthemommas.com/cooking/twice-baked-mashed-cauliflower-recipe#zvvaTgma4VjOpYHs.99

Twice Baked Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (S)

Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower florets, cut off stems.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove minced garlic.
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Bring cauliflower & chicken broth to boil in a pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes in broth until cauliflower is soft, and the liquid is reduced.
Drain cauliflower. You will want to drain it well. Try to get most excess fluid off.
Put cauliflower in food processor. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Add 3/4 cup of cheese. Add minced garlic. Use the food processor (I prefer the pulse mode) until creamy. Use remaining 1/4 cup of sour cream if not creamy enough. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use butter if you like the buttery taste for mashed potatoes.
Place cauliflower in baking dish. Add remaining cheese to top. (I like to put some more pepper on top)
Bake on 350% for 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and cheese melted.
* Don’t skip the chicken broth in this recipe, it is just not the same making it with water.

Read more at http://forthemommas.com/cooking/twice-baked-mashed-cauliflower-recipe#zvvaTgma4VjOpYHs.99

Twice Baked Mashed Cauliflower Recipe (S)

Ingredients:
  • 1 large head cauliflower florets, cut off stems.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove minced garlic.
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Bring cauliflower & chicken broth to boil in a pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes in broth until cauliflower is soft, and the liquid is reduced.
Drain cauliflower. You will want to drain it well. Try to get most excess fluid off.
Put cauliflower in food processor. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Add 3/4 cup of cheese. Add minced garlic. Use the food processor (I prefer the pulse mode) until creamy. Use remaining 1/4 cup of sour cream if not creamy enough. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use butter if you like the buttery taste for mashed potatoes.
Place cauliflower in baking dish. Add remaining cheese to top. (I like to put some more pepper on top)
Bake on 350% for 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and cheese melted.
* Don’t skip the chicken broth in this recipe, it is just not the same making it with water.

Read more at http://forthemommas.com/cooking/twice-baked-mashed-cauliflower-recipe#zvvaTgma4VjOpYHs.99

THE GLUTEN-FREE

 STUFFING
2 loaves gluten-free bread, diced into one-inch cubes, toasted and cooled
2 large ribs celery, medium diced
1 large yellow onion, medium diced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Sautee the onion and celery in olive oil on medium-low heat until they are translucent. You will be able to smell the onions cooking at this point. (Take a deep whiff. That's a beautiful smell.) Add the garlic, as well as the rosemary, sage, and thyme. Stir these in and cook until you can smell the herbs, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat.

Bring the chicken stock to boil on high heat. Place the egg yolk in a medium-sized bowl and carefully ladle two to three ounces of the chicken stock to the egg yolk, slowly, while whisking the mixture. Add the rest of the chicken stock to the egg mixture at this point. (Ladling a small portion of the stock into the egg first, and blending it, will prevent you from having scrambled eggs.)

Add the cooled celery, onion, and herbs mixture into the stock and egg mixture. Toss the bread cubes into this mixture and stir it all around with your hands (or a spoon), to coat the bread. Add the salt and pepper and toss the bread again. Place all of this into a greased casserole dish (big enough to hold three quarts) and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for twenty minutes at 425°, then remove the foil and bake for another ten minutes. Take a toothpick and stick it into the stuffing. If it comes out clean, the stuffing is done. If not, bake until the toothpick comes out clean.

Serves six to eight people, depending on their appetite for stuffing.

Thaksgiving the trim Healthly Mama way.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

School room tour


 We currently have our school room in our dining room. It also happens to be the first room you walk into in the house. We have really used it and enjoy it. And since it's front and center, it's kept cleaner :) Here is a picture tour:

This is a big table for bigger kids and me. Montessori shelves next to table, couch for read aloud in lower left of picture. Workboxes/Montessori trays on bookshelf on far wall. Mom's supplies behind door.


Timeline and kiddos tables against the double fireplace/chimney. You can see the couch peeks out behind it.

Another view. Little table in far lower left, kitchen door is to the right, just in front of the book shelves


Kids using the space and a picture of the couch. This is before it was exactly like it is now. (there are different tables in the left picture)


 Our eat in Kitchen where our morning starts and we do Scripture memory, songs and picture study during breakfast.
We really enjoy the space and have fun using it. Because it is also our front room, it doubles well as a "sitting room" and it works!

And because I was asked here is where these items are found. I got about half from Craigslist and half from the stores. :)

The short shelves under the window are ANTOK Kitchen cabinets from Ikea. I bought extra shelves. The table is from Sam's Club and goes up and done from 22 inch to counter as well as regular table height. It was $35 last year, but has gone up quite a bit!
The book shelves are Billy from Ikea. Two full width and one half size. There are extension tops on each of them. The doors are OLSBO. The ones we have are white. They have gone up to and are now $40.

Little kid chairs are from Walmart and the big  chairs are Stefan chairs from Ikea
The colorful trays on for the Workboxes and Montessori trays are from Target. They were $2.50 and are found in the dollar spot at back to school time.

I'd love to see your school room!

Willow