Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Loves From The Kitchen ...

This past weekend was one of those weekends when I had to make window cleaner, laundry soap, 2 loaves of bread and since the bananas were really ... really ... really ripe 2 loaves of banana bread. So, since I am whipping up some fun ... I thought I will share some of my super easy and favorite recipes with you.

First is just a quick helpful hint about making the laundry soap. Someone mentioned to me that their soap came out a bit chunky, even after they shook the bottle. This usually happens when the soap doesn't have enough time to melt (turning it on high WON'T work it will bubble over and make a GIANORMOUS mess ... trust me ... this is also the one time when watching the pot is exactly what you need to do). The easiest way to fix it is in the soap grating stage ... instead of using the bigger holes (like for shredded Mozzerella) use the smallare holes (like for grating Parmesan). The longer soap strings clump together and it takes longer to melt. So remember ... the finer the soap is grated the easier it is to melt.

Second is the window cleaner .... ok so I got it out of some Amish recipe book I read 15 or so years ago ... WOW where does the time go?!? I make mine by the gallon (I use a milk jug) and it is works super well. Seriously ... I use it for everything ... glass, counters, toilets, sinks, heck if there is something sticky on the floor I give it a good spray and wipe ... there is no residue at all! I feel like the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding *giggles*.
1 pint of alcohol (for sanitizing purposes I use the 91% but rubbing is fine)
1 tsp of dishsoap (regular biodegradeable dishsoap is fine ... castile leaves a bit of a film)
2 tbsp of ammonia (scented is fine)
Fill your jug 3/4 full with regular tap water - add your ingredients - to minimize foaming sloooowly fill the rest of the container/jug with water. IF you want to make it look like real Windex then add 4 - 6 drops of blue food coloring in the jug. Viola` ... easy peasy. You can even add essential oils if you want to give your house a light clean scent ... Lemon, Grapefruit, Lime, and Lavender are all nice or go for Rosemary for the holidays. Make different scents for different rooms ... don't use too much essential oils - you don't want to leave an oily film.
Third is this yummy white bread recipe ... I have been using this recipe for 15 plus years. It is from a pamphlet called Yeast Baking and You written by Fleischmann's Yeast and Gold Medal Flour in 1963. My wonderful Mr. can't get enough of it ... lately we have been slicing it thick and eating it with soup. YUM!! To me nothing says Fall like Football on the TV (gooooo Broncos!!) and the smell of bread baking.

Last is this wonderful banana bread recipe from Homemade Bread which was written in 1969. It is a true classic. It is also sooo flexible ... add nuts ... don't add nuts ... add Nutmeg and Cinnamon or just keep it simple ... I use butter in substitute for the shortening and just add 1 cup of sugar ... I also add all my wet first then add the salt, baking soda, baking powder THEN add the flour at the end - this insures that there isn't a 'salty spot' in the bread ... also I like to top off mine with Flax Seed before baking - it just looks fancier and everyone can use extra Omega 3 and Fiber.
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (4-6)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 c milk
       3 tsp baking powder       
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
From the book -- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mash bananas with rotary beater or fork. Add lemon juice and mix. Cream shortening and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed or with spoon. Add eggs and beat thoroughly until very light and fluffy (4 mins beating in all time). Add sifted dry ingredients alternating with milk; fold in bananas and nuts. Beat after each addition. Pour into 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350* oven for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the middle of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 10 mins. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping plastic or foil.
Like always I will be linking up with: 

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