Who would have guessed that a single cup of an everyday staple-white vinegar-which costs about a quarter, could do everything that many people use a fabric softener, a color setter, a disinfectant, and a bleach to do? Just add 1 cup distilled white vinegar to your washer's rinse cycle, and it will kill any bacteria in the wash, set the color of newly dyed fabrics, keep clothes lint- and static-free, brighten small loads of white clothes, and eliminate the need for fabric softeners.
Here's an easy way to eliminate drain odors while maintaining the proper pH and health of your septic system. Run warm tap after for several seconds, then pour 1 cup baking soda into the drain. Wait an hour and flush with a teapot of boiling water. For best results, repeat once every two weeks.
If a recipe calls for 1 square (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate and you don't have any on hand, combine 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening.
The good news about the decongestant is that it doesn't come with a list of warnings! Just put 1 drop of tea tree, peppermint, or rosemary essential oil on a clean handkerchief and carry the handkerchief with you. Inhale as needed.
To preserve culinary herbs for use in winter, dig the plants from the garden in August and transfer them to pots. Place the pots on a sunny windowsill indoors. For best results, select vigorous but compact plants and use 6-inch clay pots.
Here is an incredibly easy itch reliever that costs just pennies. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 tsp. baking soda (or meat tenderizer) with a little ice water to make a paste. Then spread the paste over the bite area. Repeat as necessary.
If a recipe calls for 1 cup heavy cream (not for whipping) and you don't have any on hand, combine 3/4 cup milk with 1/3 cup melted butter in a 2-cup measure and whisk until the mixture is well blended.
Instead of buying a commercial product to keep your garbage disposer smelling good, try this easy solution. Save leftover orange, lemon, and grapefruit peels in a sealed bag in your refrigerator. Then, once or twice a week, run a few peels through the disposer.
Toilets can leak undetected, leading to an expensive waste of water, and sometimes ruined floors. You don't need a plumber to find out. Here's how to test a toilet for leaks yourself.
You will need: 10 drops of food coloring.
1. Add food coloring to the tank on the back of the toilet and leave it for 1 hour.
2. When the hour is up, examine the water in the toilet bowl. If water has leaked into it, you need to replace the toilet tank ball. Buy a replacement at a hardware store and, following directions on the package, put in the new ball.
3. If the colored water has leaked onto the floor, you likely need a new wax ring under the toilet. Replacing this takes some strength-a porcelain toilet bowl is heavy to lift-so you may want a plumber to do this job. It's not hard to do: Shut off the water supply to the toilet (the shut off valve is usually on the wall at the base of the toilet). Flush the toilet, and when it is empty, unscrew and lift the toilet from the wall. Buy a replacement wax ring to match the worn one under the toilet. Install the new wax ring and set the toilet back in place, screw it down, and turn the water back on. Repeat the food coloring test to make sure the leak is stopped.
Making an herbal infusion in similar to making a cup of tea. Place 3 rounded teaspoons (1/2 ounce) fresh herb leaves or 1 rounded teaspoon dried herb leaves in a teacup. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over the leaves, cover with a saucer, and let steep for 5 or 10 minutes. Strain the drink while hot-or let it cool if you're going to use it as part of a lotion or gargle with it. Infusions may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Just because your washer sees a lot of soap and water doesn't mean it doesn't get dirty. Use this simple recipe to disinfect it twice a year. This rinse also removes some of the built-up soap scum form your washer's hoses, so it may even spare you a visit from your local repairman.
2 Cups White Vinegar 2 Cups Bleach
1. Let the tub fill with water, then add the vinegar. Let it soak for 1 hour, then restart and let it fun through a complete cycle.
2. Repeat process using the bleach.
*Note: This is a two step process do not mix the two together.
Every kitchen needs a bottle of vanilla extract-one of the most used flavorings-but as you know, it is not an inexpensive purchase. While imitation vanilla is less expensive, you pay a big price in the loss of that real vanilla flavor. What to do? Make your own.
Place a vanilla bean in a small, clean jar. Pour 3 tablespoons of vodka over the vanilla bean. Close the lid tightly and let the mixture stand for four weeks. Remove and discard the vanilla bean before using the extract!
One of the absolute best aromas in the world--fresh baking bread. You may have shied away from yeast breads in the past, thinking the yeast would be difficult to work with. Not at all. Follow the directions and you'll be turning out perfect loaves in no time at all. If you enjoy the aroma and the price of homemade bread and time is a factor, you may want to invest in a bread machine. Most recipes can be converted for a machine. You may be able to pick one up fairly cheap online---think Craigslist :)
Buy four brightly colored washcloths. Use each to wrap a homemade bath products: Almond Rose Soap, Delicately Scented Bath Powder, Bath Cookies, and Eucalyptus Foot Lotion, for example. Be sure each is labeled with ingredients and storage instructions. Nestle the bath treats in a nice basket that could hold extraneous bath supplies and attach a card with a large bowl.
If a recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk and you don't have any on hand, pour 1 T of white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1-cup measure and add enough regular milk to make 1 cup. Or simply substitute 1 cup plain yogurt.
If a recipe calls for 1 cup corn syrup and you don't have any on hand, combine 1 cup regular granulated sugar and 1/4 additional cup of the liquid used in the recipe in a 2-cup measure. Stir until the mixture is blended.
St. Patrick's Day wouldn't be complete without a loaf of this traditional Irish bread, but don't wait until it's offered in the stores. This easy-to-make bread can be topped with a sprinkling of seeds or oatmeal, and is a wonderful accompaniment to stews and hearty soups.
4 C all purpose flour 3 T sugar 3 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 3/4 tsp. baking soda 6 T cold butter 1 1/2 C currants or raisins 1 T caraway seed 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
In large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants/raisins and caraway seeds.
Set aside 1 T of the beaten egg. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and remaining eggs, and stir until they are well blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well and stir just until the flour is moistened and a sticky dough forms.
Flour a work surface well. Turn ou the dough onto the work surface and, using well-floured hands, knead the dough about 10 times. Shape the dough into a round loaf.
Lightly grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Place the loaf in the prepared pan. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross, 1/4-inch deep, in the top center of the loaf. Brush the loaf with the reserved egg.
Bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. If the loaf top browns too quickly, tent loosely iwth foil for the final 20 minutes of baking time. Remove to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan to the rack to cool completely.
A couple of months ago we received a call requesting an interview, and just got our copy of Massage & Bodywork Magazine (January/February Issue) and there we are :) We are in the Ten For Today article about topical analgesics and 10 tips for their use. You can read the article online at http://www.massageandbodywork.com/
For an after-bath or after-shower touch, this fragrance-free homemade powder is so natural, it's a safe bet your great-grandmother used it. Keep a container of this mixture in your bathroom. Apply with a powder puff or sprinkle it on from a shaker-top jar.
1/2 Cup baking soda
1/2 Cup corn starch
In a small bowl, stir both ingredients to combine. Store in a widemouthed glass jar or plastic container or keep in a shaker-top jar. Should keep indefinitely.
The zesty side to seafood. To dial up the heat, add more horseradish or hot red pepper sauce. This is not only cheaper than bottled cocktail sauce, but you can mix ingredients to suit your taste.
1 Cup ketchup or bottled chili sauce 1 T prepared horseradish 1 T lemon juice 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1/8 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
1. In a small, nonreactive bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well until blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. 2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Enjoy!