Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baked Ranch Macaroni

So, it was the eleventh hour and I had nothing  planned for dinner.  Great.  I finally decided on something simple: chicken breast, carrots, and macaroni and cheese. The only problem was the fact that I didn't have my go-to box of Kraft.  So I looked up a couple of recipes, and found I had pretty much everything needed to make THIS RECIPE.  The only problem was that I had no sour cream, only a dip that STARTED as sour cream, but I mixed in a packet of ranch.

I decided to try the recipe anyway.  I followed it to a "T", except that I used the ranch dip instead of sour cream, and omitted the seasoned salt.

The finished product:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I have found several recipes across the web for homemade dishwasher detergent, so this is nothing original or new.  I have personally tried three different recipes, and this is the one that works the best for me:

All you need is Borax, Super Washing Soda (you cannot substitute regular baking soda), Kosher Salt (it's kind of for scrubbing, you cannot substitute regular salt.  Sea salt didn't work for me either) and this:

Inbox for Snail Mail (and any other papers that leak into the house)

The idea behind this system is simple: Quickly take control of all the paper that floats into the house, and know where it all is because it's organized.  Every paper that comes in gets put into an "Inbox".  That can be a bin, basket or drawer.  It doesn't matter, as long as everything gets put there.

When you get five or ten minutes to sort through it all, you put it into its corresponding file (the action files).  This is separate from your usual filing space, which we'll talk about later.  

Now, I just happen to have an extra drawer in my filing cabinet (which is right by the front door) and that's where my inbox is, as well as my "action" system.  Its just a few file folders to sort through the mountain of paperwork and keep it manageable.  

Post-It Note Planner

The entire point of the post-it planner, is to simply organize your day.  No long lists or color-coded charts (which I have used and they take more time then they're worth!) You have a folder for each category, and then you write down something you need to do on a post-it (don't use one color post-it for different tasks, trust me).  The post-it gets stuck on inside of the folder (left for immediate, right for "it can wait").  Then, when you complete the task, toss that post-it in the trash!  Easy!

Let me start by saying this was NOT my idea.  However, I did a few things to make it my own  Fabulous!  You can find the original post HERE. The post calls for a plain notebook, some post-its, a few tab dividers and a pen.  That's it! ... But not from my point of view :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I fully believe that cooking is a craft.  On that note, I've been trying to "craft" new things in the kitchen at least once a week.  I want healthier, and I want homemade.  Gone are the days of Mcdonalds and Pizza Hut for this little family!  I really do love cooking at home.  It's more conveinient, it saves money, and it's so fun!

Okay, so I saw a recipe for Tortilla's from scratch, and (much to my surprise) it looked so easy!  I figured that if they were sold pre-made in stores, then they must be hard to make.  WRONG! 

I found two recipes, that had very different key ingredients, so I decided to try them both at the same time. Recipe "1" called for yeast as the "different key ingredient" and Recipe "2" called for baking powder and oil.  I'll post both recipes below.  I took a picture of each step.  (NOTE: Recipe "2" took half the time to rise as the other, so I made that one first)