Friday, July 31, 2009

Souper Easy Taco Soup

I usually call this recipe "mom's taco soup", because, well... my mom always made it for our family. Really though, this recipe is from my mom's dear friend Tammy. This taco soup recipe is a favorite and a great quick dinner when we don't have alot of time. It is also great to serve when having company over, because it tastes like you cook it all day, when really it probably took a half our to throw it all together, and 15-30 minutes minimum of simmering. Crazy, right? Okay friends, here it is;

6 small chicken breasts (we use 12 chicken tenders)
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 cup salsa (I like the ARIBA brand, because it gives a really great roasted flavor)
2 cans black beans
1 can white beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn (or half a bag of frozen corn is what we use)
taco seasoning

Season chicken with a bit of taco seasoning. Cook it however you like. I prefer for cook it in a little bit of olive oil in a skillet. After its cooked, cut into bite size pieces. While the chicken is cooking, pour all of the beans into a strainer and rinse them under cool water. Save one of the cans from the beans. Pour beans into soup pot. Add the tomato sauce, salsa, and corn. Next, with the can you saved from the beans, pour two cans of water into the soup pot. Add in cooked chicken. Season with a little more taco seasoning. If you like a little bit of a kick go ahead an add a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Pour into bowls, and top with corn chips and cheese. ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Remember this...

"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline: Let them sit alone in silence beneath the LORD'S demands. Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last."
Lamentations 3:21-29

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pip's Potato-Yam Bake

Here is a yummy recipe that my lovely friend Pips made as a side dish with dinner last night. It was SOOO delish, I just had to share it with you and share her blog with you because she is amazing... and I love her to pieces!

Pips Potato-Yam Bake

2 potatoes
2 yams
2 sweet potatoes
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 pocket onion soup (powder)

Slice potatoes and layer in greased dish. Miz cream, milk and onion soup powder and pour over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 1 hour (more or less). You can also add grated cheddar on top before you bake it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

lasagna perfection

For those of my family members that celebrated July birthdays this evening, here is the lasagna recipe that Pam and I made;



Friday, July 17, 2009

Homemade Natural Body Products

For the past week, or so I have been testing out some recipes given on Lindsay's site:
So, after using the products for about a week now, I thought I'd share them with you. My favorite recipe first:

5-6 TBSP of coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrow root powder (I used cornstarch, b/c that is what we had in the house)

mix all the ingredients together, and store in a small container.

*After about 3 days of using this, I and David's underarms began to sting/burn. We are pretty sure this is because of the baking soda. Some people have sensitive skin towards the stuff. We were SO bummed because quite honestly, this deo worked better than ANY I had ever bought in a store. Granted, it does not keep you from sweating, but BOY it does keep you from stinking! This might sound gross, but I actually stuck my nose right in my husbands pit, and smelled nothing... did I mention it was at the end of the day too? OK, so anyway, this is what we did to prevent the burning.... before applying the deodorant, first apply some of the coconut oil (you should have extra of this, because you didn't need that much for the deo recipe). Then after you've applied the coconut oil, go ahead and apply the deo, and voila! No burning! This is really a great recipe, because the coconut oil is really such a light scent that works for both men and woman. Try it and let me know what you think!

put a pinch of baking soda in your hand, and massage into scalp. Now, this isn't going to lather like regular soaps do, but dang skippy, it sure does clean your hair!

1 cup water
1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

I know this sounds so gross to most of you, and honestly it sounded just as gross to me. I hate the smell of ACV, or any vinegar for that matter! But I was really looking for an alternative to buying products in the store, so I bucked up, and tried it. So I whipped some up, and stuck it in an old body spray bottle. After you've washed your hair, spray the ACV/water mixture on your hair, and let sit like regular conditioner. Rinse. I hate that this recipe smells awful, although I am slowly getting used to the smell. I LOVE how it makes my hair look and feel. It doesn't leave that greasy feeling like most store bought conditioners do. The other nice thing is that the yucky ACV smell is in the shower only, and when you dry your hair, there isn't even a hint of smell.

I don't have a recipe for soap, however I do have a natural soap from Trador Joes that I love. Its a vegetable glycerin soap, with oatmeal in it. Its like $1.40 for 2 bars. I highly recommend it! If you have any recipes for shower soap, please share!

Let me know, if you try any of these. Its always encouraging to hear how other people are doing in their quest of a simple life that longs to worship the King!

your buddy,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Frugal, Green Cleaning Supplies made by: YOU!

As of late, I have really been enjoying reading my friend Lindsay's blog:

She is a gem. There is no way that you can read her blog and not be encouraged and inspired. Lindsay loves the Lord, and really has a passion for biblical womanhood, homemaking, and living green. Seriously... go right now and explore her blog. Do it! Go! Now!

...waiting for you to return....

Okay, you're back! SO... what did you think?! I told you she's lovely! Anyway...

So I've been enjoying Lindsay's site, and she has totally been inspiring to me to dive deeper into green living. David and I have really been trying for the past year and a half to find practical ways that we can 'go green' AKA be good stewards of the earth that God has so graciously given us! Lindsay has posted here: all of her recipes. If you scroll down to the very bottom of the page she has a couple links for cleaning products and the like. So I gave them a try and guess what! They work! They're cheap!AND... they're green! So go out and buy some extra spray bottles, or recycle some from your old cleaning supplies, and try these recipes out!

Laundry Soap:
1 cup dr. bronners castile soap, grated
1/2 cup washing soda (I was able to find this at foodmax in the laundry detergent section. Make sure you buy washing soda and not baking soda- they are both made by arm and hammer, but are different products)
1/2 cup borax
mix together in container
*use 1 tbsp for light loads, 2 for medium, and 3 for large to extra large

Fabric Softener:
*I know what you're thinking: "ew, thats gonna make my clothes smell nasty." I got news for ya... you're wrong! Your clothes will not smell like vinegar!

Dishwasher soap:
Mix together equal parts of borax, and baking soda (you may substitute washing soda for baking soda if you'd like). I store mine in a easy to pour container.
* Increase amount of washing soda if you have hard water.

All Purpose Cleaner:

large recipe:
1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda 1/2 gallon water
mix together and store in squirt bottle.
small recipe:
2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsbp baking soda, 16 oz. (2 cups) of water

Window Cleaner:

2 tbsp of vinegar w/ 1 liter warm water OR use
all purpose cleaner

Dusting Oil (only for wood):
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
* if you're using freash squeezed lemon juice, make sure to strain the juice really well, or else you will clog the spray bottle.
*Lindsay gave a great tip to not got out a buy dust clothes, but instead recycle or socks, Tshirts, towels, and use then as dusting/cleaning rags.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner:
vinegar or lemon juice at full strength with small amounts of salt.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I love pesto

I was looking over my meal plan for this next week, and began anticipating Wednesday's dinner: Pesto Spaghetti! It is so unbelievably tasty!! Best part about it is that my hubby is the master when it comes to making pesto, although I am probably just a tad bit biased ;-) Here is Dave's top secret recipe;

Dave's Pesto

2 c. basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/2 c. olive oil

Put all ingreds. in food processor or blender, and grind 'em up! Its as easy as that folks! Pour it over some pasta, or chicken... or.....BOTH! It's healthy and delicious! And for you manly readers: cook this for your wife- she'll love you for it!

eagerly awaiting wednesday dinner...
your friend,

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Oki doki.... so today I'm gonna post the recipe of the wheat bread I was telling you about. It is awesome, and I think you will really enjoy it! So here it goes baby:

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

2 pkg. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. shortening
1 Tbsp salt
1 3/4 c. warm water
3 c. whole wheat flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 c. warm water. Stir in honey, shortening, salt, 1 3/4 c. warm water, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth.

In addition to the 3 c. of flour you've already added, add a little more (enough to make the dough easy to handle) if necessary.

Knead for 10 minutes.

First Rise: Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Once the dough is in the bowl, flip it over so that the top of the dough gets greased. Cover bowl with a dishtowel. Place bowl in warm place to raise until double (about 1 hour)
Second Rise: Punch dough down, flip over, cover, and let raise until double again (about 30-45 minutes).
Third Rise:Punch dough down and remove from bowl to a greased countertop. Knead a few times, then cut dough into 2 lumps. Shape loaves and place in buttered bread pans. Cover pans with dishtowels and place them in a warm place to raise one more time – until double (about 30 minutes).

Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.

ENJOY! And make sure to at least smother one piece with Nutella!

your friend-

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Italian Salad Dressing

As of late I have really been trying to find homemade alternatives to store bought boxed/packaged foods. This can sometimes be overwhelming. So this week, I experimented with two recipes to get us closer to being a whole/real foods family.

The first thing I did was make a loaf of %100 whole wheat bread and it turned out wonderfully! I plan to post the recipe with photos later on this next week. My plan is to make enough bread in one day to last us a month (maybe around 4 loaves).

The second thing I did was to try a recipe for homemade italian salad dressing.I LOVE italian salad dressing. For me, it is the perfect dressing to always keep around the house- it goes well with any salad, accompanying any meal. I especially like it on a bowl of cucumbers! Yummmyyy!! ANYWAY... the recipe turned out great! Now, if you try this recipe, please don't taste it with the expectation of it tasting like store bought, or like the WishBone dressing spice packets that you add water/oil/vinegar to. All of those dressings have a ton of sodium- its ridiculous! This italian dressing is light in flavor... it gives you just enough spice to still be able to taste the flavours of the salad. I got the recipe from my new favorite blog:

Italian Salad Dressing

1 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp grated parmesan

Pour all ingredients in a mason jar or dressing canister if you have one. Shake well, and splash on salad. Enjoy!
* if you put in the grated parm, then keep the dressing in the fridge. We didn't put the parm in, so I just keep the dressing in our pantry.