Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Budget tip for Laundry Detergent

I know this isn't Paleo, but it is budget, so I thought I would share it.  A few months ago a friend shared her recipe for homemade laundry detergent and I started and using that instead of the store bought stuff.  I've had some time to test it out now and wanted to share the results and recipe with you.    One of the things I love about it besides saving money, is that is works wonderfully for removing the "sour" smell from towels.  I had washed my towels in just about everything imaginable but could never get rid of that smell.  But after using this detergent, there is no more "sour" smell!  And I have found our clothes are getting nice and clean.  I use just 2 TBSP for my light loads and wash on warm, 2 TBSP along with some bleach for my whites and wash in hot, but for my darks I only use 1TBSP and wash on cold (which is most of my laundry).  And last but not least I wash all the bedding and towels with 1 TBSP and on hot.  

(Please be sure so see my ***update*** at the bottom of the page) 

The "recipe" is pretty simple, you will need the following:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing  Soda (which is different from regular baking soda)
1-Bar of Fels-Naptha finely grated
fine grater
bowl or container for mixing and or storing

I start by finely grating my bar of Fels-Naptha on my box grater, in only takes a matter of minutes and I find it quite easy.  Some however, prefer to use their food processor for this step.  Then combine your shredded soap with 1 cup of the borax and 1 cup of the Washing Soda in a small container (I like to use an airtight container).  Give it some good shakes, or you can stir it and you're ready to go.  I have an extra one tablespoon measurer, that I just keep with my soap for convenience.  It does have a slight scent when it's dry but the clothes don't come out smelling scented.  Apparently you can add scent, but I haven't felt the need to do that and just like it as is.  That's it, pretty simple and easy, and works as well if not better than the more expensive stuff I was using (Gain or Tide).  

What you will need, Washing Soda $3.24 per box , Borax $3.38 per box and Fels-Naptha .97 cents per bar (all prices are from Walmart, Eureka, CA, 06-14-12).

Grating the bar of soap.

The finely shredded Fels-Naptha.

All mixed up and ready to go.

BEFORE mixing in the food processor.
AFTER the food processor.

I had a box of borax that had been sitting around for a long time and had absorbed moisture.  It had lumps the size of tennis balls in it that were hard to break up.  A friend had mentioned mixing her detergent in her Ninja, so after I grated the soap and mixed it all up, I dumped it all in my food processor and let it process until the mixture was a nice fine texture.  No more lumps, but what I found out was that I prefer the texture, too, the soap mixes in better and is easier to scoop etc.  So this is now the method I am using to combine it, I would suggest not standing over the food processor while it's processing.  You don't want to breathe it in, if you can help it, but that's my only caution.  
Kaitlynn grating the soap, the girls love this job!! 
In the food processor. 
My final product, nice and fine.
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grilled Paleo Jalapeño Bacon Burger on Portobello Mushroom "buns"

Who doesn't love bacon and burgers?  I know I do, that's what prompted my experimentation with this burger.    I found the secret to grilling these is to keep the briquets somewhat cool (around 250 degrees) and I kept a spray bottle near by for flare ups.  That combination worked beautifully and the end result was stunning and delicious burgers!


1 pound bacon ends ( I love Beelers, I've tried a few others but found them to salty)
2 pounds 85% grass fed ground beef
3-4 Jalapeños (depending on size), seeded,  unless you like really spice then leave some seeds in
1 cup roughly chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup roughly chopped red onion
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
a  handful of fresh parsley (or cilantro might be good)
3/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt ( I figure the bacon adds most of the needed salt)
portobella mushrooms if desired

  1. First start your charcoal so it will be ready to grill after you get these all assembled. 
  2. Next slice 1/2 a package of bacon ends into "strips" about 1" apart, then add to a food process with and process until it forms a ball.  
  3. Then remove and add to a large bowl along with your ground beef. 
  4.  Roughly chop your onions and add them to the food processor and pulse a few times until until finely chopped.  You want to be sure not to over process them, if you do, just drain off some of the excess liquid.  Then dump them into the bowl with your meat.  
  5. Now add the parley, garlic and peppers and pulse a few times until nice and small, add them to the bowl.  
  6. Next add your salt and pepper to the meat mixture and mix well with your hands. 
  7.  Form into patties in your desired size and grill. The key is to grill them at a lower temperature and spot any flare ups with a spray bottle.  Or you could just fry them up in a pan if you like.
  8.  I also grill my portobello mushrooms for a little bit, to give them that smokey/grilled flavor. 
 You can top them with guacamole, etc. we used lettuce, tomatoes and avocados and they were delicious. 
 Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Fresh veggies ready to be made into Bacon Jalapeño burgers.

Peppers and parsley after they are chopped in food proccessor.

Roughly chopped onions in the food processor ready to be minced.

My favorite bacon, and the one used in this recipe.

All the ingredients ready to mix, with the ground bacon on top.

Formed patty ready for the grill.

Grilled and ready to eat.

Burgers and "buns" grilling.

Time to eat!  Yum!

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