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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What does a year’s worth of laundry soap look like?

2015-06-27 11.57.20


I have made homemade laundry soap a few times.  Once I made liquid, and HATED it, because it was so….gloopy and sloppy.  But this stuff?  I love it!  It smells great, cleans really well, and for under $30, I will have enough to last for a year (doing laundry for 3 of us, so around 6-10 loads a week).  I have read several articles about this, and yes, it is safe for HE washers.  You only need to use 1-2 tablespoons for each load.  Here is what it takes.

  • 2 bars of Zote soap
  • 1 large box of 20 Mule Team Borax (4 lb. 12 oz)
  • 1 (3 pound or so) OxiClean powder
  • 1 (3 lb 7 oz) box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1 (4 pound) box of Baking Soda
  • 2 bottles (containers?) Laundry Crystals (whatever scent you prefer…I like lavendar) (Brands include Purex, Downy, Gain…)

The biggest job is grating the soap. I always use my food processor.  I shred it using a shredding blade, then I put it back in the food processor with the S blade and some of the baking soda, and blend it.

Then, you need a really, REALLY big container to mix it all in. A 5 gallon bucket with a lid is perfect, so you can just mix and shake right in the bucket.  A dishpan also works.  Just dump everything in and shake/stir…whatever it takes to get it all blended together well. 

The entire process took less than 30 minutes.  Save the Oxi clean container, and the laundry crystal containers, and anything else you can use to store it in.  Use 1 tablespoon for small loads, and for large loads use 2.  If I see a stain, I will pretreat with a laudnry spray.  Overall, we are VERY happy with this stuff.

(This is not my original “recipe”, but I don’t know who, in the big wide world of the internet, to give credit to.  It is all over pinterest.  I found it here, and here, and here in a really quick browse.)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Homemade Mixes


Ok, I know this is a random post after having been silent for so long.  I’m not even going to try to promise to do better.  I will try!

I spent today trying to track down all my recipes for homemade mixes.  I have some in my gmail, some on index cards, some on pinterest boards, etc.  I decided to put them all here, in one place, so I know where to find them easily.

2015-06-11 19.47.45

Taco seasoning mix, Italian dressing mix, Ranch dressing mix, Greek seasoning and Cream of chicken soup mix.

The mix that I go through the most of is taco seasoning mix.  It is so easy to throw together, and SO much better than the store bought packets!  I usually multiply the recipe by 10 and make a really large amount and store in a pint mason jar. (The measurements in parenthesis are the amounts when multiplied by 10) I use 2-3 T. when a recipe calls for taco seasoning mix.  I also sometimes add jalapeno, habanero or cayenne pepper to the mix, depending on who I’m cooking for.



  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (10 T.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (2.5 t.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder (2.5 t.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (2.5 t.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (2.5 t.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (5 t.) = (1 T. + 2 t.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (15 t.) = (3 T.)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (10 t.) = (3 T. + 1 t)  *I reduce this
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (10 t.) = (3 T. + 1 t)

Italian dressing mix is another often used mix.  Making it myself just tastes SO much better than the little packets.  It is also quite a bit less expensive when you make it on your own!  I have a smaller container for this, so I don’t usually double this one…it’s just what fits in my jar! I sometimes cut down on the sugar in this.  I use 2 T. when a recipe calls for a packet.


  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 2 t. oregano
  • 1/4 t. thyme
  • 1 T. parsley
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 1 t. basil

Another staple in my cupboard is homeade Ranch dressing mix.  My favorite is one that uses buttermilk powder, so that is the one I use the most. I use 3 T. when I find a recipe that calls for a packet.  (I got this recipe from here)


  • ⅓ cup dry buttermilk powder
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes, divided
  • 2 ½ teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 ½ teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked or ground black pepper

And this one is fairly new …I just made it today! I plan on using it to make OPA! fries…mmmmmmm.


  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

And finally, I made a big jar of homemade cream of chicken soup mix. I have been making this stuff since our seminary days (that goes all the way back to the early ‘90s!)  I also make a batch using beef bullion if I’m going to want cream of mushroom soup for beef based meals.


  • 2 c non-fat dried milk
  • 1.5 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 cup minced onions (dried)
  • 1 t pepper

To make 1 can of cream of chicken soup, mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 1/4 cups of water.  Whisk together in saucepan, and stir til it boils and is thickened.  Add it to the recipe that calls for cream of chicken soup.