Winter Harvest

Winter Harvest

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Home made air freshener spray (throw away that Fabreze)

Once in a while you just need to spray something in the air that smells good. Here is a great way to make your own at home with water and essential oils. Easy and safe. No synthetic fragrances here.

Air Freshener:

2 Cups distilled water (I use tap water if I don't have distilled water)
1 Tbl. baking soda
1 ounce cheap vodka (vodka has a disinfectant element and it also helps suspend the oils in the water)
15-50 drops essential oils of choice

Place all ingredients in spray bottle. Shake before spraying in the air.

Home made multi-purpose scouring powder

I use this as an all purpose scrub where and when needed. I use it in the bathroom in my tub and on the shower walls when needed. It also works great to scrub out my kitchen sink.

Multi-purpose scrub:
2 Cups baking soda place into blender (if you have it use the blender for dry goods, or whatever you have.
1/2 cup shredded bar soap (I use Dr. Bronners unscented bar soap) Add this to the blender with the baking soda
Add 25-50 drops of your choice of essential oil
Turn on blender and blend into a powder and store in container with sprinkle top if you want or just a jar. 

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Yes, I'm going to talk about toilet bowls. In going natural and home made cleaning items this one is important to me. Germs love the toilet bowl and feeling like it is super clean is important to my mental health. So here is what I do:

1 Cup of baking soda with 10 drops of tea tree oil or a mixture of anti-bacterial EO's mixed added to the baking soda and mixed together.

1 cup white vinegar.

Pour the baking soda into the toilet and then pour the white vinegar in and step back and watch it fizz and fizz. After the fizz settles down take your bowl brush and scrub the toilet. Flush and watch how clean and shiny it is. AND you didn't hurt the environment with toxic toilet bowl cleaner. I clean the rest of the toilet with either the all purpose cleaner or the granite/glass cleaner with alcohol. You can find those recipes here on my blog.

Home made all purpose cleaner and granite/glass cleaner

I have been loving my home made cleaners. Here are a couple that I think have proved worthy of using and sharing with you.
I have been purchasing my essential oils from Edens Garden
They are high quality oils and everyone of them they carry are therapeutic grade oils. There are three grades of essential oils

1. Therapeutic grade -the very best
2. Grade B or perfume/comsetic grade
3. Grade C or perfume oils

Edens garden has a oil blend called "Cleaning Blend" this is the one I use the most for cleaning recipes. I also use one called "Thieves" and it is wonderful too. But you can learn some about them and then make use the ones you like best. I love lemon for laundry soap and softener.

Better Than Lysol: I read this off one of the many sites I visit, but can't remember which one.

10 ounces distilled water (I use distilled if I have it if not I use tap water.)
50-100 drops of Rosemary essential oil or other germ killing EO
1 Tbl. plain and cheap vodka (this has germ killing properties but it also helps suspend the essential oils in the water.)

Add to stray bottle and spray and use as any all purpose cleaner. Be sure to shake up the bottle prior to each use to keep the EO's suspended in the liquid. 

Granite/Glass and mirror cleaner: This is probably my most used recipe. This does have Isopropyl alcohol in it. Depending on who you ask this alcohol is ok or its not. I like it cause it is germ killing and evaporates quickly to leave a nice shine. It can have an overpowering alcohol scent when you spray it so used in well ventilated area. The scent disappears quickly.

1 1/2 Cups 70% or higher Isopropyl alcohol
2 1/2 cups distilled water
1/4 tsp. dish soap
50 drops germ killing essential oils.

mix and place in spray bottle. Use on granite, glass, mirrors or any surface you want. I would not use this on wood or anything that the alcohol could dry out but its great on everything else.

Home made laundry soap and softener

I have been knee deep in trying some natural/non-toxic home cleaners. I have been using essential oils/vinegar/alcohol and a few other items I will share. Its cheaper and works better (in my opinion) than the store bought toxic version. My house feels clean, smells clean with no synthetic scents. I'm hooked. So I'm going to share with you a few of the ones that I have found that I think work really well. I will give instructions to go along. This is number one.

Laundry Soap:

1 Cup washing soda (see picture, can be purchased at any grocery store. )
1 Cup Borax (see picture, can be purchased at any grocery store.)
1 Cup baking soda
1/2 bar natural  soap grated. Just use a cheese grater. (I use the unscented Dr. Bronners. You don't have to use unscented. I just like to add my own essential oils.  Its a great brand and easy to find. Most big grocery stores will carry some of the Bronner products and the natural food stores will carry a larger inventory)
4 ounces oxyclean
25-50 drops essential oil of choice , optional

In a blender add all the ingredients and blend into a fine powder. Put in airtight container.
Use 1 Tbl. for normal load
        2 Tbl. for heavily soiled load.
Honestly I use 2 heaping Tbl. for my loads. After some trial and error I feel like 1 Tbl. isn't enough for the completely clean smell I want. You try and decide.

Fabric softener 1:
Pour 1/2 cup vinegar in rinse compartment or straight into rinse water.
Your laundry will NOT smell like vinegar when its all said and done. Vinegar will rinse detergent residue and soften your clothing.

Fabric Softener 2 :
1/4 Cup Epson salt dissolved in 2 cups very hot or boiling water. Add 10 Drops of your favorite essential oil and set this aside.
In a large bowl add 6 cups white vinegar. Slowly, very slowly
adding a little at a time add in 1 cup baking soda. (baking soda and vinegar react with a foaming action and can bubble over if you try and add the soda too quickly.) 

Once you have your soda/vinegar mixed and settled down and to the Epson salt/EO mixture and stir. Store in container/s

To use: Add 1/2 cup to softener compartment or pour in during rinse cycle.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Daddy's Spaghetti Sauce

I'm not a big fan of spaghetti sauce but this one is really great. It is based on a recipe my Dad gave me and I have adjusted the ingredients to meet our taste buds.
Thanks Dad, this is just one more thing you have done for me.

here is what I do:

6 (14.5 ounce) cans of fire roasted tomatoes
4 Tbl. jarred chopped basil (this comes in a little jar just like pre-chopped garlic does. You can also buy it in a tube. I didn't use fresh as it would have taken way to much to get the strong basil flavor I wanted.)
3 heaping tsp. dried oregano
2-3 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. pepper
1 whole tube of anchovy paste
6 cloves or more minced garlic
3 med. shallots small chop
1 1/2 Cups good red wine
olive oil

In a pot add 3 Tbl. of olive oil. When hot add the chopped shallots and stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook another 2 minutes stirring constantly so you don't burn the garlic. Add the dried oregano and the basil stirring. Add the salt and pepper and anchovy paste. Stir and add the canned tomatoes and wine. Stir and bring to a simmer and cover and cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Take an immersion blender and blend the sauce smooth if you prefer no tomato chunks. That is how we prefer our sauce.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Home Made Biscuit Mix (Bisquick)

If you use a lot of biscuit mixes then this is the recipe for you. It is a little heavier than the store bought version but will convert any of their recipes. I just add a little extra liquid. You just have to play with it to get the hang of it.

This will last stored in a tight container for 6 weeks or int he freezer for 6 months.

Here is what I do:

10 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. salt
2 cups crisco (plain or butter or a mixture. I do one cup of each.)

Blend dry ingredients together. Then add the crisco and cut into the dry ingredients till it resembles course crumbs or corn meal. Store in air tight container.