Dishwasher Detergent Emergency Substitute

The Eating In kitchen has been closed for the past few weeks due to illness.  I came down with viral meningitis, and one of my symptoms has been an absolute lack of appetite.  However, I’ve been a good little girl about hydration; the drinking glasses sure piled up.  With no energy to go to the store, and no way was I going to hand wash every glass I own, running out of dish detergent was a major problem.

Enter: Random Opinions of Strangers on the Internet.  There were a variety of suggestions for detergent replacement floating around, most of which called for ingredients beloved by grandmothers.  (Borax, really?  They still make that?)  But some suggested less exotic substitutes.  I tried:

  • 1/2 detergent compartment baking soda
  • 3 drops liquid dish soap

And my dishes were clean!  Not mother-in-law coming for dinner clean, but certainly clean enough for me.


March 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm 1 comment

Minimalist Spice Jar Labels





February 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm 1 comment

Wild printable spice jar labels

The newest batch!


giraffe print spice jar labels

cheetah or leopard print spice jar labels

zebra print spice jar labels

backgrounds thanks to redheadstock

February 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm Leave a comment

New Spice Jar Labels

Since I’ve uploaded the first batch of labels, they’ve been popular.  I decided to make some more today.  They’re more cutesy than the others; sometimes a bit of whimsy can help brighten the day!

If there’s a certain style/ color you’d like to suggest for the next batch, please let me know in the comment area.


birds_green letters

birds_baby blue letters

birds_brown letters

birds_orange letters

birds_white letters

western_large cacti

western_small cacti

February 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm 1 comment

Minty Peach Mango Cobbler

I don’t really know the difference between a crisp, crumble, and cobbler, but I know I love them all. Though I love all the cinnamon-y, hearty crisps/crumbles/cobblers I’ve had, I wanted to try something different. This is less sweet and more refreshing than the traditional ones, and I think the mint is a fun addition.


Minty Peach Mango Cobbler

For the filling:

  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • juice of half a small lemon
  • 4 peaches, sliced
  • 1 large mango, cubed

For the topping:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • one stick of butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large mixing bowl, combine mint, flour, and the 2 TBS brown sugar. Add the peaches, mango, and lemon juice and toss. Place the mixture into an 8 or 9 inch baking dish or pie plate, pressing down slightly.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/3 cup brown sugar and ginger. Add the butter, mixing with your hands, until no more powder remains, and the topping is nice and crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.


February 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm 1 comment

Crispy Green Beans

Crispy, slightly caramelized ends.  Juicy, flavorful centers.  These green beans are a world away from the mushy canned variety.  They’re unbelievably easy to prepare, and will have even those who think they don’t like green beans begging for seconds.

This is the way my family’s been making them for decades.  Some people say cooking halves nutrient content.  I say make these and you’ll want to eat twice as many!


Crispy Green Beans

  • 12 oz frozen green beans (I use Trader Joe’s French Green Beans)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano (can substitute another herb)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove pressed garlic (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put water, oil, and green beans in a wide chef’s pan or large skillet.  Turn heat to high.  Sprinkle oregano and garlic onto the green beans.  Once water begins to boil, turn the temperature down to medium.  Stir occasionally.  The water will first cook the green beans, leaving them juicy, then the water will evaporate.  If the beans aren’t cooked enough, add a tablespoon or two more water.  Once the water cooks off, stir frequently and add salt and pepper.  The olive oil will make the beans brown and crispy.  Pairs nicely with beef.  Serves 2-4

February 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm Leave a comment

Recipe Review: Jamie Oliver’s “My Favorite Curry”

Jamie Oliver always makes fresh, fun food.  Best of all, his recipes aren’t fussy, precise things that must be adhered to perfectly in order to work.  This curry sauce is beautiful, flexible, and seems to be delicious no matter what meat or veggies you throw in.

This is Jamie Oliver’s “Favorite Curry”.  And it’s mine, too.


Jamie Oliver’s  Favorite Curry Sauce – Chicken Version

from Happy Days with the Naked Chef, 2002

  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds (or 1 tsp mustard powder)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (I omit these, as I detest them)
  • 3 fresh green chillies, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of curry leaves
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped (or one large can tomatoes)
  • 1  14 oz can coconut milk
  • salt
  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed

Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot add the mustard seeds. (Or lightly toast the mustard powder, strirring frequently, in a dry pan.) Wait for them to pop, then add the fenugreek seeds (or don’t), fresh green chillies, curry leaves and ginger. Stir and fry for a few minutes. Using a food processor, chop the onions and add to the same pan. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the onion is light brown and soft, then add the chili powder and turmeric. Using the same food processor, pulse the tomatoes and add these to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add 1 or 2 wine glasses of water and the coconut milk. Simmer for about 5 minutes until it has the consistency of double cream, then season carefully with salt.

Stir-fry the chicken strips and coriander seeds until lightly colored, then add your sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with steamed basmati rice.

February 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm 17 comments

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