Welcome


Welcome Friends!!!

I am a scientist at heart, and my kitchen often looks like a laboratory with all kinds of jars and containers fermenting and brewing on the counters. I love to share my recipes, my herbal remedies and health tips, and I really LOVE to save money! We have a large extended family....two sons, their wives, eleven grandkids (and often a friend or two), my sister, Lanny's brother, and my parents that come over every Tuesday night for dinner...kind of a family reunion, only weekly instead of yearly! That adds up to from 17 to 22 or more people here every week. So I have to cook big, and cook economically!

So here we go! For all my friends and family that have been encouraging me to put all my recipes and ideas in one place like this....if you don't see what you are looking for, and cannot find it by using the "Topics" or the search field below right, just let me know and I will be sure to post it as soon as I can.

Be sure to check out our African Mission Adventure - we traveled to Malawi in August 2014 and you will find photo's and stories about our trip! LanDebLewAfrica.blogspot.com!!!

Lanny and I also have started devotional blogspots that you might enjoy:
and


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Family Night - April 23

Another gorgeous spring evening and a great Family Night. Tried a new dish: Pizza Casserole, and it was a HIT!! Even Belle, our picky ten year old granddaughter ate a little bit of it. May will mark 9 years of these weekly gatherings....everyone wants hot dogs to celebrate. This is an easy crowd!!








Our Thirty-Fifth Anniversary - April 16, 2013

We celebrated our anniversary on our usual Tuesday Night Family Night (which just happened to fall on the very day)! Had a great time, as usual. Roasted chicken and sausage, lots of roasted veggies, homemade bread (of course), fruit and my sister's special dessert!





Monday, April 15, 2013

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants


As soon as the weather warms in early spring, the ants come marching in! Here are some natural ways to fight them.

Vinegar
Put some distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the entrance points and along the trail. Respray as needed.

Essential Oils
Ants are known to dislike eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and citrus oils. Put about 10 drops of cinnamon essential oil and water into a small squirt bottle and spray entrance points and along trails. I had to reapply a few more times after it dried. A ratio of 50/50 eucalyptus oil and water works well.

Herbs/Spices
If you don't have essential oils, you can sprinkle powdered cinnamon, clove, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, mint or bay leaves at entrance points. 

Soapy water
This is Brie at DIY Life's favorite way to get rid of ants. Fill a spray bottle with 2 tablespoons dish soap and 1/2 cup water. It kills ants and destroys the pheromone trail. It only works when wet, so you'll need to reapply for a few days. I also use soapy water spray on my garden plants to kill aphids and other little crawly things that like to dine in my garden.

Alcohol
In a spray bottle, add 1 part rubbing alcohol or tequila to 1 part water. Spray at entrance points or trails. Reapply for a few days. 

Chalk
It is reported that ants won't cross chalk lines. Draw lines with chalk at their entrance points or to block their trails. Amanda at Easy Peasy Organic had good results with this method. I've not tried it yet, but I plan to. 

Baby Powder
Sprinkle baby powder at entrance points or to block their trails. They won't walk across it.

Citrus or Cucumber Peels
They are toxic to the kind of fungi ants feed on. Leave peels at entrance points. Replace every other day. Or puree peels in a blender, add water, and smear at entrance points or along trails. Haven't tried this one either.

Lemon Juice
Dab lemon juice at entrance points or areas they visit.

Coffee Grounds
Ants don't like the smell of coffee. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the perimeter of your house or at entrance points.

Baking Soda & Powdered Sugar
The powdered sugar will attract ants and the baking soda will kill them when they eat it. Mix together 1 part baking soda and 1 part powdered sugar. Leave where you see ants. 

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
It’s an all-natural dust made from tiny fossilized water plants. It is lethal to insects because of its microscopic razor sharp edges. You can sprinkle it around the perimeter of your house and it will kill bugs that touch it. It won't harm warm-blooded animals, birds, or earthworms. I use diatomaceous earth in my garden as well - slugs are no longer a problem there!

Homemade Floor Cleaner


22 oz. distilled, filtered, or boiled water
2 oz. white vinegar
5 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Mix together in a spray bottle. This can be used on natural wood floors, linoleum, tile, whatever. The essential oil is optional for fragrance. The vinegar smell lasts only until it dries.

Homemade Furniture Polish

This will make one batch of furniture polish - you can make a larger batch if you'd like, but this is so simple that it can be made quickly and be fresh - if stored too long it might spoil! You can use either vinegar or lemon juice. Vinegar is less expensive, but the lemon sure smells nice.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl - dip your rag or paper towel and wipe the surface of the wood. A little goes a long way.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Natural Toilet Bowl Cleansers


There are several natural ingredients you can use to make your own toilet bowl cleaners. Here are our favorites.

White vinegar: You’re probably tired of hearing about how wonderful vinegar is for natural cleaning. But it's one of the best. Vinegar is a mild acid. It disinfects, eliminates odors, and is extremely safe.

Borax: Contrary to inaccurate information on some websites, borax is NOT the same thing as boric acid (which is toxic). It is actually sodium borate, and is only as toxic as regular table salt or baking soda, in very LARGE amounts. Borax is a great multi-purpose cleaner that whitens, deodorizes, and removes stains.

Lemon juice or citric acid: Citric acid, also found in lemon juice, binds to minerals in the toilet bowl making them easier to eliminate. It may help diminish tough toilet stains left by hard water.

Essential oils: Pure essential oils are some of the best secret weapons to use in DIY cleaners. Many of these plant-based oils boast antibacterial, antiviral, and even anti-fungal properties. Tea tree oil has been studied more than any other essential oil, and has been found to kill most forms of bacteria when added to cleaners at a 0.5% – 1.0% concentration. Other essential oils that possess antibacterial properties, and are beneficial in bathroom cleaners are lavender, citrus oils, peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus, among others.

Baking soda: Baking soda is wonderful for scouring and deodorizing a toilet bowl. It doesn’t possess any germ-fighting benefits, but it will help keep your bowl free of debris, stains, and those ugly rings.

Natural Toilet Formulas

Tea Tree Toilet Bowl Scrub
This deodorizing formula utilizes the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil to kill germs in your toilet bowl and on toilet surfaces.

½ cup baking soda
1 cup distilled white vinegar
½ teaspoon tea tree essential oil

Combine vinegar and essential oil in a small spray bottle. Flush toilet to wet bowl. Sprinkle baking soda inside toilet bowl. Spray vinegar mixture inside bowl, and also on toilet seat, lid, and handle. Allow cleaner to sit for several minutes before scrubbing inside of bowl with a toilet brush. Use a clean dry cloth to wipe vinegar solution off seat, lid, and handle.


Heavy Duty Toilet Formula

This toilet bowl formula can take care of nasty rings in your commode, or any other tough toilet cleaning. It leaves a sparkling bowl and eliminates stale toilet odors.

3/4 cup borax
1 cup white vinegar
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or squirt bottle. Swish water around inside of toilet bowl with toilet brush, or simply flush to wet the inside of the bowl. Pour the entire mixture into the toilet bowl, and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. Make sure family members do not use the toilet during this time. Scrub the bowl and flush toilet to rinse.

Lazy Day Toilet ScrubFor no fuss toilet cleaning, keep a spray bottle of vinegar and a shaker-top bottle of baking soda in your bathroom. When toilets need cleaning, sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl and follow with a thorough spritzing of vinegar. Allow the baking soda and vinegar to fizz, scrub the inside of the bowl, and flush toilet. To clean the outside surfaces just spray with vinegar, let stand a few minutes, and wipe clean.

Homemade Soft Scrub
¾ cup baking soda
Enough liquid castile soap to form a paste
5 drops tea tree oil
5 drops of lemon, lemongrass, or sweet orange oil (optional)

Directions: Add liquid castile soap to baking soda slowly until paste is formed. Then proceed to add antiseptic essential oils. Apply scrub to sponge for use on surface to be cleaned.




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Everything But The Kitchen Sink" Soup

Don't throw away those leftovers. Even if you have just a few bites of something put it in a container in the freezer. I save leftovers until I am ready for a big pot of soup and then go for it. I make some pretty big pots of soup for our family dinners. Looks like an awful mess, doesn't it?


Well, it turned out delicious! I had leftover pintos, corn, spaghetti sauce, sauerkraut, pork and beans, spinach...and I don't even remember what else. If you liked it the first time, you'll probably like it again. Seriously, use your homemade broth, add a can of tomatoes and maybe some shredded cabbage. You won't believe how great a big pot of left over soup can be!

Family Night - April 9, 2013

Well, tonight was Mexican Fiesta Night at the Lewis Spread. We were missing a couple of the grandkids but Nathaniel brought his girlfriend Taylor, so we ended up with 17. We had "Mimi Lada's" - everyone loves this dish. I just make an enchilada casserole - layers of tortilla's, meat, tortilla's, refried beans and cheese. We serve it up with shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, hot stuff like jalapeno's and red hot sauces for the brave ones in the bunch. We had a salad and chips and salsa of course, then we followed it up with my sister Paula's yummy brownies and ice cream. The weather was wonderful! Upper 70's and breezy....the first night we have eaten outside this year.









Monday, April 8, 2013

Home Made Spaghetti Sauce

This version of sauce takes a little more time to put together than the Basic Spaghetti Sauce, but you can customize the taste to your own preferences by adding or decreasing particular ingredients.

Ingredients:
1 ½ pounds Ground Beef
1 large Onion, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
2 (6-ounce) Cans Tomato Paste
1 (8-ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
1 (14 ½-ounce) Can Stewed Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Water

Directions: 
Brown the beef in a large, heavy bottomed pot, then drain off the fat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, seasonings, and water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool. The sauce will keep for several days covered and refrigerated. Serve with spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

I like to double or triple the recipe and freeze in meal sized servings for later use. If you are doing the work to cook a nice meal make enough for two or three meals. Takes the same amount of time but it pays off down the road!

You can also use the Spaghetti Sauce Dry Mix listed in the Dry Mixes section in place of the Italian Seasoning and Sugar.


Home Made Pizza Sauce


Pizza Sauce #1

Ingredients:
1 can (15 ounces) Tomato Sauce
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 cloves Garlic, Minced 
½ tsp Basil 
½ tsp Fennel Seed
½ tsp Dried Oregano
¼ to ½ tsp Red Pepper
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
⅛ tsp Sugar
⅛ tsp Allspice

Directions: 
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan - cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble slightly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

******************

Pizza Sauce #2

Ingredients:
1 6 ounce Tomato Sauce
6 ounces Water
3 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Sugar Or Honey
¾ tsp Onion Powder
¼ tsp Red Pepper

Directions: 
Combine and let stand until ready to use. Double the recipe and store in a jar in the refrigerator for pizza anytime.

Mimi’s Ideas for Saving Money When You Clean


You don’t need a cabinet full of cleaning supplies. You really only need a few: Baking Soda, White Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, Salt and Lemons. 



Make your own laundry detergent. You can save a bunch of money as well as your clothes and skin. Seriously, harsh detergents break down the fibers in your clothing and towels and they wear out faster (check out the lint trap in your dryer...that’s your clothes coming apart in there). And all those chemicals just aren’t that good for delicate skin like mine! 

I have recipes for detergent as well as a list of uses for the supplies above. Give it a try and you may find you only need one little corner of that pantry shelf to store your cleaning supplies. And the bonus is that all of it is non-toxic and safe for your family and your pets. 

Mimi’s Idea’s For Saving Money in the Kitchen


Make a big pot of beans every week! Seriously, beans are nutritious and take the place of meat in a meal. We love pintos, greens, taters (fried or boiled with butter) and cornbread. That’s a heavenly meal!! Then you can use the bean stock and left over beans for soup. Add veggies like corn, celery, greens, some tomatoes and voila! Also refried beans with flour tortillas, shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream is a quick and easy meal if you have the beans ready to mash and fry waiting in your fridge.

Buy a whole chicken and make your own broth. You can buy a nice whole chicken at a very reasonable price. Boil it in a big pot of water until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone - you’ll have homemade chicken broth for soup and chicken for another meal. Keep a little meat for your big pot of chicken soup, make some chicken salad, use some to add to a butter and flour cream sauce and serve over rice or noodles. Great meals! And don’t toss the chicken bones. You can add them back to your pot of broth after you remove the meat and make the richest, thickest broth you’ve ever tasted. Fabulous!

Use left overs. I don’t mean to eat that little dab of green beans from last nights dinner, unless you just want to. What I mean is keep everything (if it’s edible) until you have enough for a pot of soup. I have used left over taters and green beans, pork and beans, corn, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, spaghetti, anything. Dump it in a pot and add some of your broth, maybe some tomatoes, cabbage....the sky is the limit. Seriously, I have used so many weird combinations and not once has the soup been inedible. We call it “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” Soup. If you liked it the first time it will be good in soup. Experiment until you get a feel for the blends. 

Buy a bread machine and make your own bread. I know, a machine is an expense, but a decent bread maker can cost you less than $60 and you will save money and make healthier bread than you can buy. You can make great bread totally by hand but a busy mom with little ones just doesn’t have the time or desire, so a machine does the hard work and you get the full credit and benefit. I never bake my bread in the machine (although you certainly can). I let the machine do the knead and first rise, then I take out the dough, shape it into two loaves, or four 12” pizza crusts, or a pan of dinner rolls or hamburger buns....all of which can be baked and frozen for use any time you need some bread. I make two loaves at the beginning of the week, slice it and freeze it in large freezer bags so that I can take out one slice or a dozen for sandwiches, toast, garlic bread. It thaws in just a few minutes and tastes fresh. 

Use a toaster oven - yes, that can save you money. It takes a lot less energy than your full sized oven and is great for toasting garlic bread or warming up leftovers, even baking that pizza. 

Don't use paper napkins. You're just throwing money in the trash, literally. You can buy a dozen washcloths at Walmart for around $5.00. Roll them up, put them in a cute basket and keep them handy on the table or counter.



Don't use plastic wrap either. Another waste of money. You can buy a 20 pack of covers (or "shower caps" as my kids call them) for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree, and they can be rinsed and dried and reused over and over!! There are several sizes in this box, from gigantic to teeny, so you can cover most any bowl in your kitchen.


Use foil to keep your burner covers clean. No matter how careful you are you'll get burned on spills that just won't come clean. The foil keeps them spotless or covers up ugly ones if you didn't cover them to begin with.







Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easy Home Made Bread


This is a wonderfully easy bread dough recipe that can be used for bread, rolls, 
buns, pizza crust.... and it’s pretty healthy too! 

Easy Mimi Bread

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 ½ Cups Water
4 Cups All Purpose Unbleached Bread Flour
½ Cup Potato Flakes (Instant Mashed Potatoes) Optional
2 tsp Sea Salt
4 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Yeast

Directions: 
Combine ingredients, in order, in bread maker. Set for dough cycle. After first rise, shape as desired and let rise second time in warm place for 45 minutes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

You can make a nice herb bread by adding 1 tsp of rosemary, thyme, basil, dill, onion flakes, whatever!!! Even ¼ cup cheddar cheese plus any herb combination.

You can also make this bread the traditional kneed/rise way using a little elbow grease :-) if you don't have a bread machine.


 

Home Made Caramel Corn


I was always a big fan of Cracker Jacks (caramel corn), and this is the yummiest caramel corn on the planet!. If you use maple syrup and real butter, it’s quite healthy! 

Homemade "Mimi Jacks"

Ingredients:
3 Qts Popped Corn
3 cups Mixed Unsalted Nuts Of Your Choice - We Love Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 cup Brown Sugar (I Use Raw Sugar)
½ cup Karo (I Use Maple Syrup)
½ cup Butter
½ tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Baking Soda

Directions: 
Combine popcorn and nuts in large turkey roasting pan. Place in a 250 degree oven to keep warm.

Prepare glaze by combining sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a large heavy pot. Stir constantly till at a boil over med heat. Continue to boil 5 minutes w/o stirring. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla then baking soda. The soda will make the mixture puff up so make sure you have a deep pan :-)

Remove roasting pan from oven and drizzle the glaze evenly over the corn mixture. Stir well with a metal spoon to coat evenly. Return to oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Cool and break apart. Store tightly covered.

This is so good. Dare I say better (definitely fresher!)than CrackerJacks?

Make it for your next potluck or football game party. Makes about 4 qts.




Home Made Baking Mix


I never really used baking mixes (like Bisquick) very much, but discovered that it really does save time to have it on hand. This mix keeps great in the fridge and even longer in the freezer (if you keep it that long!). You can whip up a batch of biscuits, pancakes or waffles in a jiffy....no excuse not to now, sorry.

Baking Mix

Ingredients:
8 cups Flour
⅓ cup Baking Powder
1 tbs Salt 
3 tbs Sugar
2 sticks Cold Butter

Directions:
 
Blend dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl - use two forks or a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter - store in a large freezer bag or large glass jar - will keep for weeks in the refrigerator or 3 months in freezer - use to make biscuits, waffles or pancakes (like Bisquick).

Home Made Creamed Soups


Cream of Chicken, Mushroom and Celery Soups are called for in so many recipes, and not only are they an expense, but they are also full of MSG (monosodium glutamate), dehydrated this and mechanically separated that...plus loads of other things you definitely do not want in your body...so make your own! Save money and your health! And don’t buy bouillon cubes, buy chicken or beef base - no MSG! Or better yet, make your own beef or chicken stock (but that's another subject) :-)




Condensed Creamed Soup Substitute

Ingredients:

For Cream of Mushroom:
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
¼ cup Whole Wheat or All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt Or More To Taste
12 Fresh Mushrooms, chopped for Cream of Mushroom
2 cups Of Milk (Less For A Thicker Soup)

Directions: 
Heat butter and oil then add flour and salt, stirring to make a roux. Add mushrooms and cook about a minute, just to soften. 
Add milk and stir until thickened. This is a substitute (and a great one at that!) 
for two 10 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup. 

For Cream of Chicken, simply omit mushrooms, 
add 1 tsp. chicken base (a paste, like bouillon but without the MSG) 
and substitute half the milk with chicken broth or stock. 

For Cream of Celery, substitute celery for the mushrooms 
and proceed as listed above.



Home Made Salad Dressing Mixes


I don’t like what I see when I read the back label on my favorite salad dressing, so I just make it myself. It’s easy to do, tastes better (in my humble opinion) 
and I KNOW it’s better for me and my family. I make up a large batch of the dry ingredients and store in jars (with the instructions attached to the jar) 
so that I can whip up a great dressing in the wink of an eye!



Italian Dressing Mix
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Garlic Salt (1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp Onion Powder (1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp White Sugar (1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp Dried Oregano (1 cup)
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper (2 1/2 tbs)
1/4 tsp Dried Thyme (2 tsp)
1 tsp Dried Basil (2 1/2 tbs)
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp Celery Salt (2 tsp)
2 Tbsp Salt (1/2 cup)

Directions: 
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Store in a tightly sealed container. This will make nearly 4 cups of mix - enough for 8-10 ounces of dressing.

To prepare dressing, whisk together ¼ cup white vinegar, ⅔ cup oil, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons of the dry mix.

Tangy Tomato Dressing Recipe
Ingredients:
1 tbs White Sugar (1/4 cup)
1/8 tsp Paprika (1 tsp)
1/4 tsp Coarse Black Pepper (2 tsp)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (2 tsp)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (2 tsp)
1/4 tsp Onion Powder (2 tsp)
1 pinch Thyme (1/2 tsp)
1 dash Salt (1/2 tsp)

Combine ingredients in deep bowl and store in a jar in the pantry (or refrigerator). 

Directions: 
⅔ cup Ketchup
⅓ cup Water
¼ cup White Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 to 4 tsp dry mix (depending upon taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking often, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cover the dressing until cool, then refrigerate it until well chilled.


Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Dried Parsley (1 cup)
1 tsp Dried Dill (1/8 cup)
1 tsp Garlic Powder (1/8 cup)
1 tsp Onion Powder (1/8 cup)
½ tsp Dried Basil (4 tsp)
½ tsp Pepper (4 tsp)

Directions: 
Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and gently stir. Store in a resealable plastic baggie or small ball canning jar with tight fitting lid in your spice cabinet.

To make the ranch dressing, whisk together ⅓ cup mayo with ¼ cup milk (more or less depending on the consistency you want) with 1 Tbsp of the homemade ranch dressing seasoning mix. Season with salt, to taste. Use immediately and can refrigerate for up to 3 days.

You can also mix with sour cream for a great dip for chips. 


Home Made Dry Onion Soup Mix


Check out what’s in that dry soup mix you just picked up at the store. MSG is in nearly everything, and my sensitive system rebels at even a hint of MSG. You can have yummy mixes on hand by making big batches and storing it in jars in the pantry....
never run out of soup mix again! 
And you know that the onion soup mix blended with some sour cream 
makes a fabulous dip for chips!!

Dry Onion Soup Mix Substitute

Ingredients:
1 cup Dried Onion Flakes
3 tbs Dried Parsley
2 tbs Onion Powder
2 tbs Turmeric
1 tbs Celery Seed
1 tbs Salt
1 tbs Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

Directions: 
Mix ingredients well. Makes about 1 3/4 cup.
Store in airtight container for up to six months. 
Store bought package of soup mix contains about 5 tbs. 

Home Made Spice Blends & Seasoning Mixes

Store bought seasoning mixes may not be that expensive, but just check out the ingredient list...along with the herbs and spices there are way too many things in there that I cannot pronounce. It just takes a few minutes to whip up a large batch of mix and store it in a big jar so that you can have it on hand any time you have the urge to cook up a big pot of chili or spaghetti sauce, or a plate of tacos! Some of the mixes are already increased for you, others you will have to convert to the amount you want.

And you can feel great knowing EXACTLY what’s in there! 

Most of the dry mixes listed here can be used “to taste”...use as much or as little as you like, although I have given general guidelines for the amount to add.

Chili Mix

Ingredients:


1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (Unbleached preferably)
4 tsp Chili Powder 
4 tsp Crushed Dried Red Pepper )
4 tsp Sugar 
1 cup Instant Minced Onion 
2 1/2 tbs Seasoned Salt 
4 tsp Instant Minced Garlic 
4 tsp Ground Cumin 

Directions: 

Measure all ingredients into a deep bowl and stir to combine. Pour into a large jar and store in the pantry or the fridge. Use 1 1/2 tablespoons of dry mix per cup of chili - when I make a big pot I use up to 1/2 cup of mix. 

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Clone Of Lawry’s Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:


5 tbs Chili Powder 
2 tsp Garlic Powder 
2 tsp Onion Powder 
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper 
2 tsp Dried Oregano 
4 tsp Paprika 
4 tsp Cornstarch 
4 tsp Sugar 
2 1/2 tbs Ground Cumin 
2 1/2 tbs Sea Salt 
4 tsp Black Pepper 

Directions: 

Mix ingredients and store in airtight container in a dark, cool place. 

To use: Brown one pound ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat. Add 2 tablespoons seasoning mix (or more to taste) and ⅔ cup water. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Makes filling for 8 to 10 tacos.

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Easiest Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:


1 Part Chili Powder
1 Part Ground Cumin
1 Part Garlic Powder
1 Part Onion Powder
¼ – ½ Part Crushed Red Pepper

Directions: 

Mix all the spices together and store in an airtight container. I sometimes store mine in the freezer - especially in our humid summers!

To use: Brown one pound ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat. Add 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) seasoning mix and ⅔ cup water. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Makes filling for 8 to 10 tacos.

*******************************

Spaghetti Sauce Mix

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot (I have been shying away from corn lately)
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
3 Tbsp. of dried vegetable or sweet pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. of Italian seasoning
4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried minced garlic


Directions:
Combine and store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place 
for up to a year. Yield: 4 batches, 1 cup total.

To make sauce, brown 1pound of ground beef, drain, add 2 cups water, 1 can tomato paste, 1/4 cup dry mix and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Makes about 3 cups of sauce.

********************************

Italian Seasoning Mix

Ingredients:

2 Tbs basil
2 Tbs marjoram
2 Tbs oregano
2 Tbs rosemary
2 Tbs thyme

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined
Use immediately or store in an air tight container.

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Cajun Seasoning

Ingredients:

½ cup Chili Powder
½ cup Paprika
2 Tbsp Onion Powder
2 Tbsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Dried Basil
2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp Ground Coriander
1 ½ Tbsp Dried Thyme
¾ tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp White Pepper

⅓ tsp Ground Cumin

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined
Use immediately or store in an air tight container.

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Creole Seasoning (a little different spin on the Cajun Spice)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Onion Powder
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp Oregano
2 Tbsp Sweet Basil
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp White Pepper
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Celery Seed
5 Tbsp Paprika

Directions: 

Combine in food processor.

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Fajita Seasoning Mix

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2-½ tsp Crushed Chicken Bouillon Cube
1-½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
½ tsp Cumin

Directions: 

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Makes the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix.

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Weights and Measures


Common Kitchen Weights and Measures

I seem to be constantly converting weights and measures in my head because I do so much “bulk” preparation, so....here is a simple chart of the common conversions you might need in your kitchen lab.

1 gallon = 4 quarts
1 gallon = 16 cups
1 gallon = 128 ounces

1/2 gallon = 2 quarts
1/2 gallon = 8 cups
1/2 gallon = 64 ounces

1 quart = 32 ounces
1 quart = 4 cups
1 quart = 2 pints

1 pint = 16 ounces
1 pint = 2 cups

1 cup = 8 ounces
1 cup = 16 tablespoons
1 cup = 48 teaspoons

1/2 cup = 4 ounces
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
1/2 cup = 24 teaspoons

1/4 cup = 2 ounces
1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup = 12 teaspoons

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce liquid



Home Made Laundry Detergent


Homemade Laundry Soap

Ingredients:
⅓ bar Fels Naptha
½ cup Washing Soda
½ cup Borax

Directions: 
For Liquid Gel - Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the mixture and stir well - pour into large jars or a bucket (I use gallon ice cream bucket or large gallon wide mouth jar. If the mix is lumpy or separates too quickly you can use a hand mixer or stick blender (I have an old stick blender that I use exclusively for soap making). Mixture will gel firm after sitting for several hours - use a smaller container by your machine - I bought a quart of milk in a plastic jug and use that container - use one half mixture and one half water and shake well before each use. Start with a couple tablespoons up to ½ cup for heavy soil - I have never had to use more than ¼ cup. 

For Powdered - Grate the soap fine, add the soda and borax and mix well. Use 1 to 2 tsp per load. I grate the soap with a cheese grater and then grind in an old coffee grinder when mixed together to get a very fine powder - it dissolves better in the machine.



Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide Around the House


Kitchen
Clean Your Wooden Cutting Board. An improperly cleaned cutting board is a breeding ground for bacteria. Clean it thoroughly, without harsh chemicals, with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.
Make Sure Your Veggies are Safe. Nobody wants bacteria-filled vegetables. Place 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and mist over your produce, letting it soak for about five minutes before rinsing off and drying.
Clean Sponges. Just can’t seem to get that funky smell out of your sponges? Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow bowl, and let the sponge soak for about 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.

Stain Fighting
Red Wine. Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and liquid detergent and pour over the stain. Blot with a towel, wash with warm water, and let it dry.
Armpits. Sweaty? Get rid of embarrassing armpit stains by placing a mixture of 1 part dishwashing liquid and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide on the affected area. Let it sit for about an hour before rinsing away in cold water.
Blood. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it’ll help get rid of pesky blood stains. Pour it directly onto the stain and let it sit for about five minutes. Blot and rinse in cold water. You may need to repeat this once or twice to fully lift the stain. Word of warning: as a (albeit mild) bleach, it can also whiten your clothes — use caution!
Stained Tiles & Stone Countertops. No matter what the culprit was, hydrogen peroxide works wonders on removing stains from stone and tile. Combine it with flour to create a thick paste and apply to the stain. Let it sit overnight covered in plastic wrap. Carefully remove in the morning.
Health & Beauty
Whiten Nails. Who needs a French manicure when you can make your nails shine with a little hydrogen peroxide? Just soak a cotton ball with peroxide and rub it on your nails.
Get Rid of a Cold. It might sound a little strange, but putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into each of your ears every morning can help you beat a cold. 
Use as a Mouthwash. Dilute in water (the mixture should be about half water-half hydrogen peroxide) and use as a mouthwash, being very careful not to swallow any of the stuff. It’ll kill germs & whiten your teeth. Some experts even think it helps alleviate toothaches and canker sores!
Cleaning
Disinfect Countertops. Hydrogen peroxide is great for keeping your countertops clean and safe. Spray onto counters, let it sit, and wipe clean.
Clean Toilet Bowls. Easy: just pour the stuff into the bowl and let it soak for about 20-30 minutes before scrubbing clean.
Clean Out the Fridge. Non-toxic hydrogen peroxide is an ideal cleaning tool for your fridge. Apply, let it soak, and wipe clean. You can also do this with dishwashers.
Clean up Mold. Hydrogen peroxide works wonders on pesky mold — even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agrees!
Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your  flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type and there’s no need to rinse.

Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Fill an opaque spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis. You could also soak a rag in peroxide to make a wipe.


Uses for Lemons Around the House

When life gives you lemons, use them to clean your house.

Juicy, aromatic and highly acidic, lemons bring out the flavor in sweet and savory foods but they nearly always play a supporting role in the kitchen. Stop relegating them to the rim of your glass and give these winter citrus fruits their due – because they’re serious cleaning and freshening powerhouses. 

These 20 unusual uses for lemon juice will make your home look and smell fresh, brighten your laundry, and improve your hair, nails and skin.

Quick tip: roll a fresh lemon under your palm on the countertop to soften it up for easier juicing.

Fingernail Brightener


Nails looking dull and yellowed after a long period covered in dark polish? Just squeeze a lemon into a small dish, clean your nails and soak them in the lemon juice for a minute or two. Some women claim that this treatment will also make nails stronger, particularly when adding a tablespoon or so of olive oil to the dish.


Food Preservative

Keep cut fruit and vegetables like apples, pears, avocados and potatoes from turning brown by squeezing on a little bit of lemon juice. You can also perk up droopy lettuce by soaking it for an hour in a bowl of cold water and the juice of one lemon.


Emergency Deodorant

Caught smelling less-than-fresh, with no deodorant around to save the day? Cut a lemon in half (or snag a wedge from your drinking glass) and rub it under your arms. The citric acid in lemon juice will reportedly kill odor-causing bacteria. In fact, you could use this trick to ditch conventional deodorants altogether.


Odor Destroyer

Even garlic, fish, mothballs and that disgusting gunk in your garbage disposal can’t stand up to lemon juice’s odor-eliminating power. Use a cut lemon or fresh-squeezed lemon juice to remove bad smells from your refrigerator, cutting board, microwave or practically any other surface. You can even add it to the cooking water of stinky foods like cabbage, or just simmer lemon peel in water on the stovetop as a natural air freshener.


Insect Deterrent

Many insects are highly sensitive to smell, including spiders, ants, fleas and typically so-hardy-they’re-almost-alien cockroaches. Squirt lemon juice in windowsills, the thresholds of doors, along baseboards and into any cracks where insects might get into the house. Add lemon juice to your floor wash for even more insect-repelling action.


Lighten Age Spots and Freckles

There’s some debate as to whether this actually works, but if you’re desperate to reduce the appearance of freckles or dreaded age spots, lemon juice might be worth a try. Apply lemon juice with a cotton ball once per day and over time – we’re talking months – they may lighten a little bit.


Glass Cleaner

Lemon juice will make hard water stains, debris and other marks on glass disappear. Use straight lemon juice on a sponge for tough jobs, or dilute a few tablespoons in a cup of water and spray it on. Wipe it off with newspaper for totally transparent windows (that might just kill a bird or two.)


Stain Remover

Sweat, mildew, berries, wine, oil – pretty much any substance that leaves a stain on fabric can be removed with good old lemon juice. Durable fabrics can be rubbed with a paste of lemon juice and salt while more delicate fabrics might require a gentler touch, saturating the stain with lemon juice and then washing it out.


Sore Throat Soother

Gargle with a teaspoon of lemon juice in 1/8 cup of warm water to help shrink swollen throat tissue and kill bacteria. Frequent cups of hot tea made with a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of lemon juice will also do the trick.


Toilet Cleaner

When mixed with household borax (not the insecticide kind), lemon juice can remove even those stubborn rust stains from the toilet bowl. Make a paste of borax and lemon juice and apply it to the stain with a scrub brush or sponge. Let it sit for up to two hours, then scrub away.


Metabolism Booster

Does lemon juice really boost metabolism? Some of the claims raise red flags as being a bit too enthusiastic, and most of these lemon-based “metabolism boosters” are recommended as food replacements in starvation diets. But hey, adding a little lemon juice to your water every day will make it taste better, and drinking more water can definitely help you lose weight. So, there’s that!


Dandruff Treatment

Lemon juice may not cure dandruff or prevent it from occurring in the first place, but it can remove flakes that are already present so you don’t have to worry about them making an appearance on your clothing. Massage lemon juice into your scalp, leave it on for ten minutes and shampoo as usual.


Metal Polish

Slice a lemon in half, dip it in salt and rub it onto metal surfaces like stainless steel ranges and copper pots to eliminate grime and make them gleam.


Rice De-Sticker

A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep it from sticking to the pot, making clean-up a lot easier.


Hair Highlighter

You can achieve natural-looking highlights at home with nothing more than a little lemon juice, a sunny day and something to occupy your hands for an hour or two. Either apply it directly to the strands you want to highlight or get an overall lightening effect by spraying on a diluted mixture of 1/2 cup lemon juice to 1/2 cup of water. The intensity of the lightening will vary depending on your hair type and texture.


Laundry Brightener

Just as it removes stains, lemon juice can act as a natural, non-toxic alternative to bleach. Add a quarter cup of juice to the washing machine to brighten whites. Lemon juice’s stain-removing power is further heightened by hanging the treated laundry up to dry in the sun.


Heartburn Relief

The efficacy of this trick depends on whether your heartburn is caused by too much acid in your stomach, or not enough. If it’s the latter, drinking a little lemon juice in water can quickly relieve discomfort.


Facial Treatment

Applied with a cotton ball, a little lemon juice acts as an astringent, eliminating oil and tightening pores for a smoother look. Mix salt and lemon juice into a paste for an all-natural exfoliant.


Itchy Skin Soother

Apply full-strength lemon juice to unbearably itchy skin rashes like poison ivy to soothe them and keep them from spreading.

Uses for Vinegar Around the House

Clear dirt off PCs and peripherals

Your computer, printer, fax machine, and other home office gear will work better if you keep them clean and dust-free. Before you start cleaning, make sure that all your equipment is shut off. Now mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket. Dampen a clean cloth in the solution — never use a spray bottle; you don’t want to get liquid on the circuits inside — then squeeze it out as hard as you can, and start wiping. Keep a few cotton swabs on hand for getting to the buildups in tight spaces (like around the keys of your keyboard).

Clean your computer mouse

If you have a mouse with a removable tracking ball, use a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to clean it. First, remove the ball from underneath the mouse by twisting off the cover over it. Use a cloth, dampened with the solution and wrung out, to wipe the ball clean and to remove fingerprints and dirt from the mouse itself. Then use a moistened cotton swab to clean out the gunk and debris from inside the ball chamber (let it dry a couple of hours before reinserting the ball).

Clean your window blinds

You can make the job of cleaning mini-blinds or venetians considerably less torturous by giving them “the white glove treatment.” Just put on a white cotton glove — the kind sold for gardening is perfect — and moisten the fingers in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and hot tap water. Now simply slide your fingers across both sides of each slat and prepare to be amazed. Use a container of clean water to periodically wash off the glove.

Unclog and deodorize drains

The combination of vinegar and baking soda is one of the most effective ways to unclog and deodorize drains. It’s also far gentler on your pipes (and your wallet) than commercial drain cleaners.

1.To clear clogs in sink and tub drains, use a funnel to pour in 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar. When the foaming subsides, flush with hot tap water. Wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water. Besides clearing blockages, this technique also washes away odor-causing bacteria.

2. To speed up a slow drain, pour in 1/2 cup salt followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar, then flush with hot and cold tap water.


Get rid of smoke odor

If you’ve recently burned a steak — or if your chain-smoking aunt recently paid you a surprise visit — remove the lingering smoky odor by placing a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odor should be gone in less than a day. You can also quickly dispense of the smell of fresh cigarette smoke inside a room by moistening a cloth with vinegar and waving it around a bit.

Wipe away mildew

When you want to remove mildew stains, reach for white vinegar first. It can be safely used without additional ventilation and can be applied to almost any surface –bathroom fixtures and tile, clothing, furniture, painted surfaces, plastic curtains, and more. To eliminate heavy mildew accumulations, use it full strength. For light stains, dilute it with an equal amount of water. You can also prevent mildew from forming on the bottoms of rugs and carpeting by misting the backs with full-strength white vinegar from a spray bottle.

Clean chrome and stainless steel

To clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures around your home, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

Shine your silver

Make your silverware — as well as your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry — shine like new by soaking them in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Polish brass and copper items

Put the shimmer back in your brass, bronze, and copper objects by making a paste of equal parts white vinegar and salt, or vinegar and baking soda (wait for the fizzing to stop before using). Use a clean, soft cloth or paper towel to rub the paste into the item until the tarnish is gone. Then rinse with cool water and polish with a soft towel until dry. 

Erase ballpoint-pen marks

Has the budding young artist in your home just decorated a painted wall in your home with a ballpoint original? Don’t lose your cool. Rather, dab some full-strength white vinegar on the “masterpiece” using a cloth or a sponge. Repeat until the marks are gone. Then go out and buy your child a nice big sketch pad.

Unglue stickers, decals, and price tags

To remove a sticker or decal affixed to painted furniture or a painted wall, simply saturate the corners and sides of the sticker with full-strength white vinegar and carefully scrape it off (using an expired credit card or a plastic phone card). Remove any sticky remains by pouring on a bit more vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then wipe with a clean cloth. This approach is equally effective for removing price tags and other stickers from glass, plastic, and other glossy surfaces.

Burnish your scissors

When your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, don’t use water to wash them off; you’re far more likely to rust the fastener that holds the blades together — or the blades themselves — than get them clean. Instead, wipe down the blades with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar, and then dry it off with a rag or dish towel. 

Get the salt off your shoes

As if a winter’s worth of ice, slush, and snow wasn’t rough enough on your shoes and boots, the worst thing, by far, is all the rock salt that’s used to melt it. In addition to leaving unsightly white stains, salt can actually cause your footwear to crack and even disintegrate if it’s left on indefinitely. To remove it and prevent long-term damage, wipe fresh stains with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar.

Clean your piano keys

Here’s an easy and efficient way to get those grimy fingerprints and stains off your piano keys. Dip a soft cloth into a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed in 2 cups water, squeeze it out until there are no drips, then gently wipe off each key. Use a second cloth to dry off the keys as you move along, then leave the keyboard uncovered for 24 hours.

Deodorize lunch boxes, footlockers, and car trunks

Does your old footlocker smell like, well, an old footlocker? Or perhaps your child’s lunch box has taken on the bouquet of week-old tuna? What about that musty old car trunk? Quit holding your breath every time you open it. Instead, soak a slice of white bread in white vinegar and leave it in the malodorous space overnight. The smell should be gone by morning.

Freshen a musty closet

Got a closet that doesn’t smell as fresh as you’d like? First, remove the contents, then wash down the walls, ceiling, and floor with a cloth dampened in a solution of 1 cup each of vinegar and ammonia and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Keep the closet door open and let the interior dry before replacing your clothes and other stuff. If the smell persists, place a small pan of cat litter inside. Replenish every few days until the odor is gone.

Brighten up brickwork

How’s this for an effortless way to clean your brick floors without breaking out the polish? Just go over them with a damp mop dipped in 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon (3.7 liters) warm water. Your floors will look so good you’ll never think about cleaning them with anything else. You can also use this same solution to brighten up the bricks around your fireplace.

Revitalize wood paneling

Does the wood paneling in your den look dull and dreary? Liven it up with this simple homemade remedy: Mix 1 pint warm water, 4 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a container, give it a couple of shakes, and apply with a clean cloth. Let the mixture soak into the wood for several minutes, then polish with a dry cloth.

Restore your rugs

If your rugs or carpets are looking worn and dingy from too much foot traffic or an excess of kids’ building blocks, toy trucks, and such, bring them back to life by brushing them with a clean push broom dipped in a solution of 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Your faded threads will perk up, and you don’t even need to rinse off the solution.

Remove carpet stains

You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:

1. Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.

2. For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.

3. For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.

4. To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with 1 part non-sudsy ammonia and 5 parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Remove candle wax

Candles are great for creating a romantic mood, but the mood can quickly sour if you wind up getting melted candle wax on your fine wood furniture. To remove it, first soften the wax using a blow-dryer on its hottest setting and blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Then remove what’s left by rubbing with a cloth soaked in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe clean with a soft, absorbent cloth.

Give grease stains the slip

Eliminate grease stains from your kitchen table or counter by wiping them down with a cloth dampened in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. In addition to removing the grease, the vinegar will neutralize any odors on the surface (once its own aroma evaporates, that is).

Conceal scratches in wood furniture

Got a scratch on a wooden tabletop that grabs your attention every time you look at it? To make it much less noticeable, mix some distilled or cider vinegar and iodine in a small jar and paint over the scratch with a small artist’s brush. Use more iodine for darker woods; more vinegar for lighter shades.

Get rid of water rings on furniture

To remove white rings left by wet glasses on wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up. To get white water rings off leather furniture, dab them with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.

Wipe off wax or polish buildup

When furniture polish or wax builds up on wood furniture or leather tabletops, get rid of it with diluted white vinegar. To get built-up polish off a piece of wood furniture, dip a cloth in equal parts vinegar and water and squeeze it out well. Then, moving with the grain, clean away the polish. Wipe dry with a soft towel or cloth. Most leather tabletops will come clean simply by wiping them down with a soft cloth dipped in 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Use a clean towel to dry off any remaining liquid.

Revitalize leather furniture

Has your leather sofa or easy chair lost its luster? To restore it to its former glory, mix equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil in a recycled spray bottle, shake it up well, and spray it on. Spread it evenly over your furniture using a soft cloth, give it a couple of minutes to settle in, then rub it off with a clean cloth.

BEAUTY:

Hair:

It is widely known that apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing to add healthy body and shine. Recycle an old shampoo bottle and fill it with ½ a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour through your hair after shampooing several times a week.

Face:

Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help regulate the pH of your skin? Dilute apple cider vinegar with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball as a toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. You can also dab apple cider vinegar directly onto age spots and leave them on overnight to lighten their color.

Hands and Feet:

Are your hands and feet feeling tired and swollen after a long day? Treat yourself to a personal spa massage by rubbing apple cider vinegar onto them.

Sunburn:

Suffering from a bad sunburn? Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for 10 minutes.

Teeth:

Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help remove stains from teeth? Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar and rinse out.

Aftershave:

Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and shake to blend.

HEALTH:

Weight-Loss:

For daily weight and pH balance maintenance, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 16 oz of water. Sip this concoction throughout the day.

Detox:

Add 2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a 1 or 2 liter filtered water bottle. Drink this throughout the day to cleanse your body and kidneys all day long.

HOME AND PETS

Cleaning:

Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water. You can use this concoction to clean microwaves, bathroom tiles, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors. This mixture also works as a disinfectant.

Flea Reduction:

Rub apple cider vinegar onto your pet’s skin. Add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to their water. Spray apple cider vinegar, diluted 50 percent with water, onto your pets and onto your furniture to repel the presence of fleas.