It’s no secret around here that Haley of Cheap Recipe Blog authors one of my favorite and most-used blogs. Her recipes are fantastic and her frugality, inspiring. I’m happy to be guest posting on her blog today with one of my most-used “recipes” – homemade laundry detergent.
I’ve been making my own for a few years now…and…spoiler alert: It costs 2¢ per load, and takes about 15 minutes per 56-load batch to put together.
Head on over to check out the recipe, and be sure to check out Haley’s other fantastic work while you’re there!
What I’d like for you to think is that we’re happily preparing for the Christmas season and eagerly anticipating this seasonal snow storm, all cozied up on our couch, sipping hot chocolate and stringing popcorn to hang on our tree, while hand-making all of our gifts and singing Christmas carols.
There is grace in the warmth of Eric’s body next to mine, as we sink into the valley that has become the middle of our couch. He sits next to me, goes to bed with me, and drinks coffee with me each morning, even though my words to him are too often impatient and critical. His peace-based optimism, his ability to forgive and truly forget, his sincere affection for me – all of this is grace.
We have rules about Christmas music around here. Well, really one rule.
Not until after Thanksgiving.
(Exception: Unless it’s beautifully snowing outside.)
And thus far, neither snow (beautiful or otherwise) or Thanksgiving have arrived. However, maybe it has something to do with being pregnant and overly emotional sentimental, but I am pining away for Christmas music this year. (Puns win again).
This month on the Cooking Club, I shared one of our household favorites. This salad has got it going on, my friends. Of course, there are greens. But then we make maple-glazed bacon, which is so easy we wonder why we don’t do it everyday. And then add all sorts of other goodies, like Gargonzola, toasted nuts, and of course, pears.
I made a really simple cranberry vinaigrette, and loved the zing of the cranberries over this salad. But you can make this salad as simple (store-bought dressing for the win!) or as complex as you want.
For this month’s seasonal eating post on This HeArt of Mine, I trashed up some winter squash with some serious cheese. I made this Italian Winter Squash Bake because I was seriously craving some lasagna but we had like sixteen winter squash lying around, just asking to be thrown around like balls by Owen. Loved the result – like lasagna with the nuttiness and creaminess of squash!
The story of this dip is that I went to Williams Sonoma last month to buy a gift (we never go there for ourselves, amIright?) I had Owen with me, and as soon as walked in the store, we headed for the checkout counter.
We did this because I had called to have them set the gift aside for me…and because of their array of samples. Owen blew kisses at the ladies behind the counter while I tried the first sample: some kind of pumpkin cream cheese dip that came with its own pretzel chip.
The sample I tried was probably 1 teaspoon’s worth. My mouth really would have preferred a 1/2 cup. However, I couldn’t play that game where I take six laps around the store, trying to blend in and sneaking over to the sample counter every few minutes because…well, like I said, Owen had been charming the ladies behind the counter. By that point, I was highly and regretably recognizable.
So, it’s November. A fact of reality that I’m still struggling to realize is true. And this means we’re 21 days from Thanksgiving, 48 days from Christmas, and approximately 79 days away from my due date.
Anyone else out there hyperventilating into a paper bag at this point?
Last November, we did a little series called Thanksgiving Thursdays each week leading up to Thanksgiving, with recipes that were some new takes on old favorites. We’re back at it again, but this time, we’re focusing on appetizers. Because really – isn’t that the worst part of Thanksgiving? All day long, you’re smelling that turkey, and you’re starving. And personally, with the appetite this baby inside of me has, I know that 18 handfuls of peanut M&Ms are not going to cut it this year. So I’ll be sharing three Thanksgiving-worthy appetizer ideas with you (which could also be served as fabulous sides to that noble bird)…and today, we’re starting wtih this butternut squash bruschetta.
Let’s just be real about these oatmeal fudge bars: I make up reasons to bake them.
People coming over for dinner? Oatmeal fudge bars. Just broke your favorite coffee mug? Oatmeal fudge bars. Oh, it’s Tuesday, and it’s supposed to snow tonight? Oatmeal fudge bars.
Our friend Erin from church brought these bars to a dinner over the summer, and we’ve been making them pretty regularly ever since. Not only are they a salty-sweet, fudgy play on a brownie (with hints of coffee, people, coffee), but they’re easy. Like, my one-year-old-helped-me-make-them easy.
I don’t know about you all, but our Minnesota Halloween was chiiiiillly. We hadn’t really planned on trick-or-treating with Owen…you know, because he’s one, and doesn’t really get it.
But then our friends that we were having dinner with were going with their kids, and we decided to join in for a few blocks, because we had already dressed him up for dinner, and we decided it wasn’t fair to hide his cuteness from the world.
We’re keeping things pretty low key today, but a few Halloweens ago, we spent one Saturday working on one of our very favorite projects for this blog – the stop motion video above. It took us about 7 hours and I’d say about 1,000 images, and is probaby the singlemost telling piece of evidence of the fact that we used to not have a kid. As we look ahead to having even less time on our hands in a mere !13 weeks!, we thought we’d share this little Halloween gem from Carpé Season’s past.
May your Halloween be full of Reese’s and noticeably lacking in Laffy Taffy.
It’s fall, and apples are glorious, and these paninis are really the most delicious, easiest meal. And I really will tell you more about them, but first I need to tell you about something that was not easy.
In the true spirit of blogging, I’ma get my rant on: How is it possible that on an average airplane, changing tables are not a standard feature?More Please →
The sun was not gracious to us in its departure this fall. Instead of easing us into the sunless days of fall and winter, it ripped itself away from us like a band-aid, leaving behind a stinging patch of gray days that feels like it might never go away.
Yesterday, there was sleet. And then intermittent flurries. And then a lot of sighing by me. I’m just not ready for this, folks. The idea of fall is so appealing, right? We remember our scarves. We like the feeling of socks again. We go crazy over pumpkin everything, and drink hot beverages in the middle of the day.
But it’s coming. Winter is just around the corner. How do I know this? More Please →
This month for the Cooking Club, I made these cute little friendly monster cupcakes, just in time for Halloween. I never feel confident when doing any sort of cake decorating, but these were super easy. Plus each monster is filled with some surprise “monster guts” raspberry jam filling.
If you’re looking for one more addition to your Halloween event next week, I hope you’ll consider bringing these little chocolate monsters to the party!
Pretty sure our computer is going to take a cue from the government and shut down over the complete overload of images we’ve put onto it the last week. The situation is a little out of control.
But we’re excited to share part two of our little journey west…especially from the comfort of our own couch after a day that began at 4 a.m., and contained 4 hours in approximately 2 square feet of space with a squirmy toddler. Here goes. More Please →
I used to solely be a summer person. Every spare moment I had from June through August would find me in flip flops, a skirt, and tank top…and outside. Usually in a lawn chair with a book, getting skin cancer.
But sometime in the last seven years or so, while he was replacing my love of hip-hop and country music with a steady diet of folk, Eric also turned me into a fall person.
Friends, I have been eating up these 65-degree days, that start off chilly but slowly lead you to a warm, golden afternoon. And apparently, that type of weather is what San Francisco does best.
Leaves are falling friends, and that means it’s winter squash season.
For my latest Season’s Eatings post on This HeArt of Mine, we’re talking about these gourdlike beauties, and I’ve created a visual guide to some of the most common winter squash, helping you identify exactly which squash you just brought home, what it tastes like, and how to best use it, including some super yummy recipe links.
I wake up and immediately think, “Oh man, I’ve got to get that laundry done today….so I can pack tomorrow…so we’re ready to leave for California on Friday morning…and then when we get back, Eric’s got that work trip, so I need to get the upstairs cleaned up so my mom can stay up there…and then a few weeks later, it’s Thanksgiving…then Christmas…and then we’re having a baby.”
As you can see I am a master at worry dominoes and this morning was no exception…
Coconut and I? We’re tight. Like let’s-trade-shoes-after-math-class tight. Like secret-handshake tight. Almost like Coconut-will-you-be-my-maid-of-honor? tight.
No seriously. I’m pretty sure my mom magically and genetically passed down her love affair with coconut to me. We’re the two in our family that you will find happily eating mini Almond Joys, standing around the kitchen counter, and we will dig through your Easter basket to find all the coconut haystacks.