Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kitchen Efficiency........

Hi everyone, told you I would be back ;) I have been Facebooking and really miss the writing aspect of blogging! So I am going to start writing more (along with getting my Facebook fix every day lol). I started this blog a long time ago and had high hopes for it. I didn't get to far into it and stopped.

My Mother in law passed away 2 days after Christmas and life has been very busy, and stressful. It was totally unexpected and side swiped us all. We have since moved my husbands 90 year old Grandma into assisted living. And while there the other day helping go through more boxes.

She sent me home with a big, HEAVY box of cookbooks and cool books about exactly what I intended to share here in this blog.
So I gave this page a face lift and here we are....... ;) My 1st entry back is going to be some cheap, easy ways to save space and make life easier in the kitchen.


Store the boxes upright in the slots of a cardboard six-pack container that once held beer or soda bottles. And stick underneath a cabinet.


Cooks with limited storage space will appreciate this method of storing baking sheets upright. A metal vertical file holder is ideal for storing cutting boards and baking sheets. They not only take up less space, but are easy to grab when you need one.


Many home kitchens sport a drawer filled to the gills with crumpled plastic produce bags. Reclaim your drawer with this space-saving solution. Stuff the plastic bags into empty tissue boxes. A box will accommodate many, many bags, which are then easy to remove one at a time when the need arises.


No matter the of the kitchen, a little extra counter space for resting bowls, platters, or cooling racks is always welcome. Create extra counter space by opening a drawer and resting a cutting board across the top.


Cooking almost any recipe goes much faster when the ingredients are prepped, measured, and ready. The downside of laying out the ingredients, called mise en place, is that it means washing more dishes, bowls, plates and other containers. Here are some easy substitutes you can use for small quantities of ingredients. Use flat-bottomed paper coffee filters in place of bowls. When you are, just throw the dirty filter away and presto you no longer need to wash that dish! Paper cups can serve as the same purpose. If you are looking for something reusable. Try using clean, dry single-serving yogurt cups.


If your kitchen is tight on counter space, it can be a hassle to prepare dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries, all of which require a number of chopped vegetables and other ingredients.

Layer the chopped ingredients in a bowl in order of use, separating each layer with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap.


Many cooks keep measuring cups and spoons in a drawer, where they can get buried deep among other utensils. Here's a way to keep these items within easy reach. Mount a simple hardware-store key holder near your work space, and instead of using it to safeguard keys, hang your measuring cups and spoons from it. You can even find something decorative to match your kitchen.

Well that's it for today. I will do many more parts to this in the next few days. I hope that even if just one there is something here that can help your kitchen time a little faster, and more productive ;)

I hope you are having a great day!

Hugs, Robyn

Time to reopen this blog ;)

Hi everyone!It has been a LONG time since I have wrote in this blog. I got my hands on a whole bunch of really cool books and cannot wait to start sharing home remedies and tips here again! Hopefully I still have some followers here ;)

Later on today I will add my first post again.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playdough at home cheap & easy

Cheap, easy playdough to make at home with the kids.....

Things You'll Need:
4 Tablespoons of white flour
2 tablespoons of salt
1 Dropper-full of vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons of water
Food coloring.
Wooden spoon

Step 1:
Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. My kids love this part.

Step 2:

Mix water and food coloring in a small mixing bowl.

Step 3:

Then add the colored water to the dry mix slowly while mixing with a wooden spoon until water is absorbed

Step 4:

When all water is absorbed, mix the dough with your hands until the mixture reaches the desired consistency(Your kids will get messy here, but they will have so much fun).

Step 5:

Store in a air-tight container in the fridge when not in use. Dough should last a few days, till it starts to dry out. Remember, Play dough is not food, even though it will probably not hurt your child, it is recommended you keep this storage were you child can not obtain it without an adult. If nothing else but to avoid a big mess.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A collection of natural remedies & cooking tips

I have NOT tried all of these but back in the day when there wasn't so much stuff to choose from I know that my grandparents, your grandparents, parents, great grand parents all used home remedies. Some they swore by, and even still use today.

Vinegar kills bacteria for a sore throat just mix
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup vinegar
Take 1 Tbs six times a day

To relieve a cough mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tsp cayenne pepper
4 Tsp honey
Take one tablespoon at bedtime and when cough acts up

When you have the hiccups real bad. Eat a spoonful of peanut butter. (This one I use all the time!)

Sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt to stop onion or garlic breath

For Neck pain make a moist heat wrap with rice. Fill a sock with dry uncooked rice stopping two inches from the top. Close tightly with a string then microwave for two minutes and lay this over your neck and reheat when it cools

Post nasal drip-mix together a tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice and microwave for 20 seconds until warm (not hot) and swallow a teaspoon at a time

To clear up a stuffed nose try chewing a couple of strong Altoid Peppermints

Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish
Use a tomato paste compress over a boil, the acids from the tomatoes sooth the pain and bring the boil to a head

Rub some dry mustard on your hands after peeling onions, and then wash in the ordinary way. You will find that all odor will be removed

If parsley is washed with hot water instead of cold it retains its flavor and is easier to chop

When celery loses its crispness, place it in a pan of cold water with a slice of raw potato and let stand for a few hours. Remove the celery from the water and you will find that it has regained its original crispness

If you run out of baking powder, use two level teaspoons cream of tartar to one teaspoon soda. This is the equivalent of four teaspoons of tartrate baking powder, the kind you usually have in the kitchen

A teaspoonful of glycerine added to a pound of flour in cake-making will aid greatly in keeping a cake fresh

Always sift flour and powdered sugar before measuring. When a recipe calls for flour, baking powder, soda, salt, sift all these dry ingredients together before adding to the rest of the batter

When bread is baking, a small dish of water in the oven will help to keep the crust from getting too hard

To avoid lumps in a batter, add a pinch of salt to the flour before it is wet

Select a jar lid the proper size for hamburgers. Remove liner and wash lid well. Fill with meat and smooth top with knife or spatula; turn over and tap

Don't dispose of circular cardboard backs from frozen pizzas. Cover with foil and use as plates when taking round cakes away from home

When cooking pasta add a little salad oil and it won't boil over or stick to pan

A fork should never be stuck into a steak or chop that is being fried or grilled, because it lets the juice out

To cut fresh bread easily, cut with a hot knife



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Household cleaners you can make at home to save money

Before going to the store to buy expensive cleaning products, consider making your own at home. Save time and money by using ingredients in your cupboards to make homemade household cleaners. Mix large batches and store them for future use.

Things you'll need:

2 tsp. borax (you can buy a box of borax from Walmart)

Pine essential oil

Cedar essential oil

1 tsp. laundry detergent

1 pint rubbing alcohol

Baking soda

1/2 c. cornstarch

1 tblsp. cloves

5 bay leaves

3 drops dish soap

White vinegar

1 c. salt

1/4 c. cream of tartar

2 tblsp. olive oil

Empty coffee can

Empty jugs

Empty spray bottle

Step1: Mix a pine smelling bathroom or kitchen cleaner. Add 2 teaspoons borax, 8 drops of pine oil and 4 drops of cedar essential oil to 2 cups water. Store mix in an empty jug or spray bottle and use to clean sinks or countertops.

Step 2: Clean your carpets with a homemade cleaner. Mix 2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon cloves and 5 crushed bay leaves. Store the mixture in a coffee can. Sprinkle on carpet. Let stand for a few hours and vacuum.

Step 3: Mix a homemade jewelry cleaner. Add 2 or 3 drops of dish soap to three parts ammonia and 1 part water. Soak your jewelry for 2 minutes and rinse with water. Cleaner is not recommended for use on pearls.

Step 4: Make hard wood floor cleaner. Add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar to 1 gallon warm water. Mop hardwood floor with solution and rinse with water.

Step 5: Clean your drains. Mix 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup salt and 1/4 cup cream of tartar. Dissolve 1 cup of the mixture in 1 cup of hot water and pour in drain. After bubbling stops rinse drain with hot water. Save leftover mix in small can or bottle.

Step 6: Polish your furniture with an earth friendly cleaner you make with ingredients from your cupboard. Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 4 cups water. Put mixture in spray bottle. Spray on furniture and wipe with cloth.

Step 7: Make an all-purpose home cleaner using 1/2 cup ammonia, 2 teaspoon laundry detergent, 1 pint rubbing alcohol and 2 quarts of water. Mix all together and store in large bottle or spray bottle for easy clean up.

TIPS & WARNINGS...........

*Do not mix bleach and ammonia, their vapors can cause death!
*Don't add or substitute home cleaning ingredients, as certain chemical reactions can be dangerous!

Household tips & tricks

Boil some cinnamon bark in a cup of water. Store it in a clean bottle in your bathroom. Use it as a mouthwash frequently.
Parsley leaves are rich in chlorophyll, nature's own deodorizer. Chew some leaves regularly and your breath will remain fresh.
You can chew some cardamom seeds to sweeten your breath.

BRUISES: Slice a raw onion and place over the bruise. Do not apply this to broken skin.

DAMAGED, DRY HAIR: A nourishing conditioner for dry or damaged hair which can be used for all hair types: Separate the white of an egg from the yolk, whip it to a peak. Add 1 Tbls. water to the yolk and blend until the mixture is creamy. Then mix the white and yolk together. Wet your hair with warm water, remove the excess moisture, and apply the mixture to your scalp with your fingertips. Massage gently until the froth is worked into your scalp, then rinse the hair with cool water. Keep applying the mixture until it is used up and then rinsed until all of the egg is washed away.

DARK CIRCLES AROUND EYES: Make a paste out of 1 tsp. tomato juice, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, a pinch of turmeric powder, and 1 tsp. of flour. Apply around eyes. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.

DRY SKIN: Combine 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup warm water, 1 Tbls. vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup baking soda in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste. Pour this paste under the running water while drawing the bath. Very soothing to dry, itchy skin.

GUM IN HAIR: Soak the gum-coated hair in Coke and it should wipe out easily.

INSECT BITES: Mix water with cornstarch into a paste and apply. This is effective in drawing out the poisons of most insect bites and is also an effective remedy for diaper rash

How Homeopathy works..........

Hi everyone I really hope some of you follow this blog and enjoy it as much as I do!

How Homeopathy works........ (The introduction)

A basic premise of homeopathy is that the remedies work because the trigger the body's own healing abilities. Unlike antibiotics and other modern medicines designed simply to kill germs or to inhibit their growth, homeopathic remedies are thought to alter the conditions that make the body susceptible to infection. Homeopaths believe that stresses to an individual's constitution, which may include her physical, emotional and mental states, are what cause disease. The body's self-regulating mechanism, which Hahnemann called the vital force, signals when those stresses are too great. Our symptoms tell us how the body is coping and what it needs for balance.

I am going to start with some common things we all experience often (well some more often than other's).


A helpful headache remedy...... Run yourself this warm bath to alleviate tension and relax blood vessels. Combine the following essential oils with an emulsifier (cream or honey), 3 drops of chamomile, 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of rosemary. Add the mixture to the bathwater.

What you can do..........

Headaches can be alleviated by cold compresses, baths, acupressure and relaxation techniques. You should minimize your exposure to external stimuli, exercise in fresh air and abstain from smoking and alcohol.

Relaxation and avoidance of stimuli...........

Create a soothing environment, free of such externam stimuli as light and noise. Ventilate the room. A fan will help circulate the air ( but don't let it blow directly on you). Close the windows and draw the blinds. Turn off the radio and TV and unplug the phone. If the area is still noisy, put cotton balls or ear plugs in your ears. Consciously try to relax, preferable with the aid of a relaxation technique, such as yoga.

Help from acupressure..........

Use your thumb and index finger to press against the bridge of your nose at the corners of your eyes. Or, rub the center of the fleshy webbing between your index and thumb.

A soothing footbath...........

A footbath diverts the blood supply from your head to your feet. Bathe your feet in a basin of 95 degrees F water. Add hot water at 5-minute intervals, until 115 degrees F is reached. After soaking your feet for 5 minutes, pour in cold water until the temperature is lukewarm. Put on wook socks and lie down for 20 minutes.

Herbal remedies..............

Speak with a nurtritionist or doctor about taking herbal supplements to prevent headaches. It is thought that kava kava can relieve tension headaches, and feverfew and gingo biloba are often recommended to prevent migraines.

Poultices for pain.............

Cold Compress....

Moisten a cloth with cold water, put 2 drops of peppermint oil on it and apply it to the painful area for about 15 minutes.

Potato poultice....

Cut 2 large, unpeels potatoes into quarters and boil until tender. Mash them and press out the excess moisture. Wrap the warm mixture in a cloth. Place it on the back of the neck for about 15 minutes.

Horseradish poultice....

Add a small amount of water to finely grated horseradish. Wrap it in a cloth, apply it to the neck for not more the 5 minutes. This will stimulate the skin, which helps extinguish headache pain. If your skin is sensitive, spread cream over your neck before applying the poultice.

Extra tip......

This time-tested home remedy can provide quick headache relief. Put a few drops of fresh lemon juice into a cup of black coffee and drink it in small sips...WARNING...This is NOT for people with sensitive stomachs!