Monday, August 29, 2011

No Iron? No problem!!!

I was getting ready to go to lunch with my friends the other day when I noticed the shirt I was wearing needed an ironing.  And being the lazy (insert resourceful) woman that I am, I didn't want to take the shirt off, get all the ironing paraphernalia out and do it the right way.  So not wanting to change shirts, I grabbed my handy dandy flat iron that I was using for my hair and pressed the edges and collar down.  Worked like a charm!  I've also used my flat iron to press down some vinyl lettering on a t-shirt that was peeling off...if you do this, make sure there is a towel or other fabric between the vinyl and the flat iron or you will have an icky mess.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

My WONDERFUL four-year-old son decided to mess with my big upright deep freeze last week causing everything to thaw, so I was forced into some impromptu freezer cooking.  One of the recipes I wanted to try was one for honey lime chicken enchiladas.  I'm a lover of tex-mex, so I was definitely intrigued by this recipe.  I used white corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas (because any true Texas gal knows you use corn tortillas for enchiladas).  I rolled them all up and stuck them in an 8" aluminum round pan and popped them in the freezer.

We thawed them out and had them for dinner a couple nights ago....and the reviews were mixed.  The flavor was DELICIOUS!!!!  The texture...not so appetizing.   It turned out pretty mushy.  So I need to try this recipe again without the freezing and with the flour tortillas (against all of my Texas gal instincts) and re-review these.  

Marinade -
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream

1. Whisk the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken in a Zip-loc bag.
2. Let it marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, but preferably a half day or so.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
4. Fill the tortillas with chicken, saving marinade, and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
5. Put tortillas in 9x13 pan as you go.
6. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (if there is any).
7. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas.
8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

This recipe was found at dinner on a dime.
This is also a great recipe to make as a freezer meal- put into 2 8x8" pans. Bake 1 pan for dinner now, put the other pan into the freezer. Pull it out and bake it when you need it!

Along with the enchiladas, we had this easy mexican rice recipe.  I was out of salsa (GASP!!!) so I used half a can of Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chilis).  It was very yummy and a very easy recipe.  The flavor was not overwhelming, which I have found a lot of Mexican rice recipes to be.  The Rotel made it a little spicier than a mild salsa would, but it was yummy nonetheless.  :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

I have a fancy, schmancy dishwasher.  It's stainless steel inside and out.  It's virtually silent.  And it SUCKS at washing dishes!!!!!  I have tried EVERY dishwashing detergent known to womankind and have yet to find one that does the trick.  So I have to basically wash my dishes before they get washed.  UGH!!!  (Now you know why I avoid doing the dishes!)

So in an attempt to remedy my annoying problem, I have come up with a homemade, DIY dishwasher detergent that I am HOPING will be the answer.  I've combined several recipes that I have seen on Pinterest:  the super simple recipe and the simple-yet-not-as-simple recipe.

I liked the idea of 2 ingredients, but with the hard water we have in my area and the known crappy washing history, I am pretty sure just two won't cut it.  So here's the recipe that I came up with:

I combined:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 cup Lemi-shine

and then use vinegar (oh, how I LOVE vinegar!) for the rinse aid.

It's made and I'm ready to test it out.  I will update this post tomorrow once I see how my dishes turn out.  :)

UPDATE:  I tried out the dishwasher detergent and it worked GREAT!!!!  If you are weary about putting vinegar in the rinse agent dispenser, you can just freeze the vinegar in ice cube trays and then throw in a couple of vinegar ice cubes before you start the dishwasher.  :)

SUPER easy DIY Laundry Detergent

I saw this on pinterest and it made me curious.  I had seen several friends posting other DIY laundry detergent/soap recipes over the past few weeks, but they seemed messy and WAY more hassel than they were worth.  (I am an award-winning under achiever, I'll have you know).  So when I saw this recipe with only 3 ingredients and DRY ingredients, mind you, I was intrigued.

I bought my 3 ingredients:

I found all items at my local Kroger in the laundry aisle.  The washing soda was $2.99, the borax was $3.99 and the fels-naptha was $1.19 a bar.  All you have to do is.....
1.  Finely grate the entire bar of Fel-Naptha soap
2.  Add 1 cup of Borax
3.  Add 1 cup of Super Washing Soda
4.  Stick all in the food processor to mix well.  (I tried just stirring in a bowl, but it didn't want to mix well).

I stored the mix in an airtight container.  I used an old scooper from my protein shake mix (approx. 3 TBSP) as the scoop for the detergent.  I tested it out with my stinky towels.  I have a HUGE he washing machine, so I added 2 scoops of the mix.  They came out completely scent-free and SUPER soft! 

I was SO impressed with this!  With the boxes, I will be able to make a total of 5 batches.  Now I just need to see if Sam's or Costco carries any of this in bulk!  ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles!!!!

With 100+ degree temps this week, we needed a pin to try that didn't involve an oven.  So we decided to play with bubbles.  Here are the bubble related ideas I have pinned:

Homemade Bubble Wands

Super Giant Bubble Recipe

Bubble Refill Station

The Homemade wands were AWESOME!!!!!!  We went around and found any bottle with a ring around the neck such as water bottles, vegetable oil, gatorade bottles, milk, orange juice, etc.  I used tweezers to removed the rings.  I recommend that you don't use your good tweezers because, well....

After you have a good collection of rings, you can hot glue them to chopsticks (I got a set of 8 chopsticks at the dollar store).  I just let the kids show me what configuration they wanted to have on their wands and glued the rings on for them.  

We made the homemade bubble recipe.  It worked well, but if you don't use it right away, the cornstarch settles at the bottom and you have to stir it again.  My oldest daughter came up with a great idea for a dipping container.....just cut the top of a water bottle off.  :)  Doesn't work for wider wands, but great for narrow ones.  And then to save it for next time, just put a piece of saran wrap with a rubber band on top.  

We also made a few out of pipe cleaners.  The pipe cleaner wands made some great bubbles, but got a bit droopy as they got wetter.  So we'll probably use a chopstick for those as well last time.  

I found a container to make a bubble refill station on clearance at my local Kroger for $3.  Cute container, but the spout was too hard for the kids to operate.  So I am still on the quest for a better container. 

I will keep testing out bubble recipes until I find one I like.  (I have another one pinned, but I was out of corn syrup).  Overall, this was a fun activity for all of my kids, ages 11 down to 2.  Happy bubble blowing!