Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Green living part 1- Uses for vinegar

Vinegar for personal care
Vinegar in the bath. Add one-half cup of vinegar or so to warm bath water when bathing and get double benefits: softer skin and a cleaner bathtub with less work!
Hair conditioner. Vinegar makes a simple, inexpensive conditioner for your hair and helps remove the sticky stuff shampoo can leave behind. About a tablespoon will do it.
Dandruff treatment. Simply pour a few tablespoons of vinegar on your hair and massage into your scalp. Wait a few minutes, then rinse and wash hair like normal. Try this for a few days until you see results.
Weight loss. Vinegar naturally helps to remove fat from the body. Apple cider vinegar is especially good for this. Drink some in a glass of water a few times a day. Add a little lemon or honey for a nicer flavor. This will also help reduce your appetite.
Dry skin repair. Smooth a little vinegar on cracked, dried skin to help it heal.
Clean dentures. Soak dentures overnight in Heinz White Vinegar, then brush away tartar with a toothbrush.
Facial spritzer. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio in a spray bottle. Refreshing!
Hair cleanser. Use one cup of vinegar in some warm water to rinse your hair after you shampoo. Vinegar adds highlights to brunette hair, restores the acid mantle and removes soap film and sebum oil.

Vinegar for cleaning
Glass cleaner. Mixed with water or simply sprayed full strength on glass and mirrors, vinegar does a great job quickly and easily. Spray on and wipe windows dry with crumpled-up newspapers, and watch your windows sparkle.
Bathroom cleaner. dilute 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. put in spray bottle and spray bathtub, sink, toilet..etc.
Car cleaner. Use vinegar full strength to polish car chrome with a cloth, and see it shine! Use it on your car’s windshield and windows, too.
Clean drinking glasses. Soak cloudy drinking glasses in warmed white vinegar for a few hours to remove the film. Simply wipe clean, rinse and dry.
Clean the washer. Periodically run a gallon of distilled vinegar through your washing machine to clean it thoroughly, get rid of soap scum and clear out the hoses. Run the machine through the warm water wash cycle empty and then add the vinegar during the rinse cycle.
Furniture polish. Make your own furniture polish with one part vinegar and three parts lemon oil or olive oil.
Remove price tags or stickers. Paint stickers with several coats of vinegar and let it soak in. Depending what you are removing them off, most will slide off easily but some may require a little heavier rubbing.
Clean the iron. Pour vinegar into your iron’s water compartment and let the iron steam itself clean. Remember to flush it with water when you are done.
Clean paintbrushes. Simmer paint brushes in pure vinegar, then wash in hot soapy water.
Wash walls. Wipe down your walls with a vinegar-water mixture, which helps absorb odors and clean surfaces.
Remove spots from glass. Use a vinegar-soaked cloth to remove spots from glassware or crystal.
Unclog drains. Pour boiling white vinegar down clogged drains to remove the clog.
Clean jars. Remove odors and stains from jars by cleaning them out with vinegar.
Clean old lunchboxes. Soak a piece of bread in vinegar and let it sit in the lunchbox overnight.
Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water.
Clean the tea pot. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in the teapot. Wipe away the grime.
Clean the dishwasher. Run a cup of vinegar through the whole cycle once a month to reduce soap build-up on the inner mechanisms and on glassware.
Clean the microwave. Boil a solution of 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water in the microwave. This mixture will loosen splattered-on food and deodorize the microwave.
Remove smoke smells from clothing. Add a cup of vinegar to a bath tub of hot water. Hang clothes above the steam.
Clean eyeglasses. Wipe each lens with a drop of vinegar.
Remove stains from furniture and upholstery. Remove stubborn stains from furniture upholstery and clothes. Apply Heinz White Vinegar directly to the stain, then wash as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Natural air deodorizer. Heinz Vinegar is a natural air freshener when sprayed in a room.
Remove rust. Soak the rusted tool, bolt or spigot overnight in undiluted Heinz White Vinegar.
Clean the toilet bowl. Pour in one cup of Heinz White Vinegar, let stand for five minutes and flush.
Brighten fabrics. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Natural cleaning wipes. A cloth soaked with vinegar sanitizes kitchen counters, stove and bathroom surfaces. This is just as effective as antibacterial products and does not promote resistant strains of bacteria like commercial products can. This is also a cheaper and greener way to protect your loved ones.
Remove lint from laundry. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Remove grease from suede. Dip a toothbrush in vinegar and gently brush over grease spot.
Remove perspiration stains from clothing. Apply one part vinegar to four parts water, then rinse.
Clean coffee or tea stains from china. A mixture of salt and vinegar will clean coffee and tea stains from chinaware.
Clean coffeepots and coffee makers. Vinegar can help to dissolve mineral deposits that collect in automatic drip coffee makers. Fill the reservoir with vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly with water when the cycle is finished.
Longer-lasting pantyhose. Add one tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse water when washing, and your pantyhose will last longer.

Vinegar for food and cooking
Cheese storage. Cheese will last longer if you store it in a vinegar-soaked cloth.
Whiter cauliflower. Add a teaspoon or so of white vinegar to your cooking water while cooking cauliflower. It will retain a whiter color.
Stretch ketchup. Only have a little ketchup left in the bottle? Add a bit of vinegar and give it a good shake — you’ll have a bit more!
Boiling eggs. Add a bit of white vinegar to the water you’re boiling your eggs in, and the shells won’t crack.
Cooking cabbage. Add a bit of vinegar to the water you’re cooking your cabbage in to remove that stinky cabbage smell.
Fluffier meringues. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every three egg whites, and you’ll have fluffier meringues.
Tenderize meat. Soak in vinegar overnight.
Unsticky rice. To cook rice without sticking, add a spoonful of vinegar.
Remove onion odors. Eliminate onion odor on your skin by rubbing vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing.
Disinfect and clean cutting boards. Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards by wiping with full-strength vinegar.
Make buttermilk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it stand five minutes to thicken.

Vinegar for gardening and yard care
Clean clay pots. Remove white salt buildup on old clay pots by soaking them in full-strength vinegar.
Kill grass. Undiluted vinegar kills grass between bricks and sidewalk cracks.
Kill weeds. Spray full strength on weeds, but be careful not to spray it on the surrounding grass because it will kill that, too.
Deter ants. Spray vinegar around doors, appliances and along other areas where ants are known to gather.
Keep cats away. Sprinkle vinegar in areas you don’t want the cat walking, sleeping or scratching.
Freshen cut flowers. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water.

Vinegar for health care
Soothe sore throats. Suffering from a sore throat? Mix a teaspoon of vinegar with a glass of water. Gargle with the mixture and then swallow.
Remove calluses. Try soaking your feet in a combination of white vinegar and warm water nightly, and watch your feet soften noticeably.
Sunburn and bee stings. Soak a washcloth in vinegar and gently apply it to sunburned skin for cool relief. Reapply as needed as it evaporates. Besides sunburn, vinegar also soothes the itch and irritation of bee stings.
Arthritis tonic. Take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water several times a day.
Jellyfish stings. Dot the irritation with vinegar to relieve itching.
Sinus infections and head colds. Add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer.
Wart removal. Mix one part Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar to one part glycerin into a lotion, and apply daily to warts until they dissolve.
Soothe an upset stomach. Drink two teaspoons of Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar in one cup of water to soothe an upset stomach.
Mosquito bites. Use a cotton ball to dab mosquito and other bug bites with Heinz Vinegar straight from the bottle.

Vinegar for pets and animals
Pet drinking water. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to your pet’s drinking water to encourage a shinier coat and reduce odor.
Remove skunk odor. Use vinegar straight to remove skunk odor from your pet’s fur.
Stop your cat’s scratching furniture. Sprinkle or spray vinegar on areas you don’t want the cat scratching.
Fish bowl cleaner. Eliminate that ugly deposit in the gold fish tank by rubbing it with a cloth dipped in vinegar and rinsing well.
Remove pet stains from carpets. Blot up urine with a soft cloth, flush several times with lukewarm water, and then apply a mixture of equal parts vinegar and cool water. Blot up, rinse and let dry.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Red velvet cake balls

I didnt get a chance to take photos the day I made these because I was hurrying to try to get them done before Kianna woke up from her nap. But if you go here she has great photos of how she made them.
Red velvet cake balls
(although they can be made with any flavor of cake mix)
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 can cream cheese frosting
1 pkg. almond bark chocolate to melt

Mix and bake red velvet cake mix according to box. Let cake cool completely then tear apart into a mixing bowl. Mix in a can of cream cheese frosting. I had to use my hands to get it all mixed together good. Shape into balls either by hand or you can use a cookie scoop. Place each ball on wax paper in a cookie sheet. I froze them for a 1/2 hour or so to make them more solid. Then remove from freezer. Melt chocolate and drop balls into it a few at a time. Make sure they are coated. Remove from chocolate with a fork or slotted spoon so access chocolate drains off. Place on wax paper and let sit 5 minutes or until hardened. Store in fridge for 1 week.

I used white almond bark chocolate. I melted 3 of the blocks at a time and did it in the microwave for 1 minute at a time on 20% power. I think it took me 5 times @ 1 minute to get them melted. I found that melting a small amount like 3 blocks instead of the whole package at a time was easier and I didnt waste any chocolate by it getting hard before dipping all the balls.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sweet'n sour Chicken

This is so easy and fast to prepare, I love my crockpot especially since i have a baby and not alot of time to cook.....

Sweet and Sour Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-8 oz. bottle Catalina salad dressing
1 envelope dry mix onion soup
10 oz jar apricot preserves

Place chicken breasts in your slow cooker. Pour remaining ingredients on top of chicken. No need to mix. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oyster Crackers

These are really good. I been eating them all evening. . .Yes, i tell ya the after baby weight is not coming off very fast this way!! What I did/would do different from the recipe is I used 2 packages of oyster crackers that were 10 oz each, used 1 cup of oil and the rest I did exactly like the recipe. It was perfect. I would think 3/4 cup of oil for 1 bag of crackers would be too much oil but thats just me thinking.

Ranch Oyster Crackers

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (12 ounce) package oyster crackers

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).In a mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, ranch-style dressing mix, dill weed, lemon pepper and garlic powder. Pour this spice mixture over the crackers in a medium bowl, and stir until the crackers are coated. Arrange the crackers on a large baking sheet.Bake in the preheated 275 degrees F (135 degrees C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes

Coming up next week sometime. . . . Red Velvet Cake Truffles

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Party Mix

This is so good, I have used this recipe for years! I add different items to it each year depending on what I want at the time. . .

Seasoning Mix:
1 Cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter
2 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 teas. Garlic salt
1 teas. seasoning salt
1/2 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
mix together and pour over the party mix. Divide into cookie sheets and bake at 250 for 2 hours stirring every 15 minutes.

Now you can add just about anything you want....The original recipe calls for
1 box cheerios
1 box chex
1 bag pretzels
1 small can nuts or peanuts
1 box cheezits or cheese nips
1 box honeycomb cereal

I vary it all the time though. I have added a bag of oyster crackers, or a bag of cheetos, or a box of bugles in place of something . OR if you like one item alot you could do 2 bags or box of something instead of something else.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SHrimp & Rice Casserole

This is really good! I got the recipe from kellys recipe blog and my dear husband made it last night and oh man!! LOVE IT.

Paula Deen Shrimp & Rice casserole


  • 1 (8-ounce) package wild rice
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • Salt and pepper


Cook the rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water. Drain and cool.

Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook the shrimp for 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside.

Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Spray a 9-inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11 by 7-inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.