Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Easy DIY Laundry Soap

I do a lot of laundry. Trust me, detergent is put to the test in this house, especially the laundry of my 11yr old son.........

About a year and a half ago, I came across an easy recipe for laundry soap. Bonus: it WORKS! Once you do this, you most likely will never go back to buying detergent.

1. It is easy, grating the soap is the most tedious part, and that is what we all have children for.
2. It is cheap, and if you do as much laundry as I do, you will appreciate that.
3. You can be rest assured that there is nothing in your laundry soap that will slowly diminish you.
4. If you forget the laundry in the washing machine for a few hours, or even overnight, it will NOT smell like moldy socks!!

Our water tends to be hard, so I put white vinegar in the rinse cycle (when I remember). Also, if the laundry is SUPER DIRTY,  I will add a scoop of OxyClean.

Recipe: (you will see why it is so easy to remember, you won't even have to save this post!)

1 bar of Fels Naptha soap.
This is what I use, but some people use Ivory soap. If you are very sensitive, you could use Dr. Bronner, but that would make it costly. Grate the soap with a cheese grater. The smaller the pieces, the better they will dissolve. I bought a grater at the thrift store just for soap. Don't use your kitchen stuff, your cheese will ever taste the same.....

2 cups Borax
2 cups Super Washing Soda
2 cups Baking Soda

Layer it all in a big gallon size jar (old pickle jar?) and SHAKE. You can add some essential oils to this if you like. The soap is pretty smelly, so I don't. You will need between 3 and 5 tbls of detergent per wash, depending on your wash load & water. Experiment and see what works best. I get my supplies at my local ACE Hardware most of the time, but if I am ordering something from Amazon, I use them. Great deals on bigger sizes. Costco has a great price on a 13.5lb bag of Baking Soda, which I use everywhere, so BIGGER is BETTER!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nettle & Garlic LOVE

Sometimes,  a recipe catches my eye because it looks pretty :), and sometimes because my favorite foods are in the title.

In this case, the nettles & garlic reeled me in. Nettles is the "all wonder" herb in my book, and I try to get as much of it as I can.

You can find the original recipe on Mountain Rose Herbs blog. I made a few switches to accommodate what I had in the house, and my biscuits look a little different. I copied the original recipe, and made my switches below.

Talk about YUM!!! Just the smell of them baking had us all drooling!

Nettle Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits

• 2 cups organic spelt flour (I only had the whole wheat kind, would normally use white spelt flour to make them a bit lighter)
 • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
• 4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
• 5 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
• 1 cup 1.5% organic buttermilk
• 1/2 cup dry nettle leaves, soaked for 10-15 in the buttermilk. You can buy dry nettles here.

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Using two butter knives or a pastry cutter, add the butter until the mixture resembles a crumbly meal.
2. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk with finely chopped garlic and Nettle leaf. Add this liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and gently fold together to form a soft dough.
3. Form small balls, smoosh them flat to resemble biscuits (I did not roll them out, like to save dishes and time).
4. Bake the biscuits for 14-16 minutes or until light golden brown. (watch your biscuits. I find spelt flour often needs less time than regular flour.)
5. Remove from the baking sheet to avoid over crisping your biscuit bottoms and serve warm fresh from the oven with butter.
Makes 10-11 biscuits.

Served with chili :)
I warmed these up in the oven, wrapped in some alu foil, the next day, and they were delicious. A bit
more crumbly than day 1. My daughter requested that I make them with cheese next time, which sounds like an excellent idea, and makes me think of quiche.

Bon appetit!