Thursday, May 26, 2011

Misc. Projects.....

Hello! I've been busy working on several different projects lately.  Not all of them were the crafty kind, so I'm branching out a bit.  :)

Project 1: Bookmarks
The first one is crafty, papercrafting to be exact.  I saw this fun tutorial on making page corner bookmarks.  The tutorial was easy to follow, and they worked up quickly.

I made some monster ones for my book-loving little goddaughter, Sarah, who will be celebrating her 6th birthday this weekend. 

I also made a couple of adult ones for the book-loving ME.  :)

Project 2: Fire and Ice Pickles
A few months ago, my husband and I were given a jar of "Fire and Ice Pickles" to try.  And wow, were they good! They're a little bit sweet, and a little bit (or a lot) hot, depending on your preference.  We finished that jar pretty quickly and wanted more.

Fire and Ice Pickles

But you can't buy these in a store, you have to make them yourself.  So I did what I always do, and googled it to find a recipe.  Our first attempt, we followed the recipe exactly, but although you could taste the sweetness, the hot didn't really come thru.  So we experimented and kept gradually adding more of the hot stuff until we got it how we liked it.  Here's the recipe with our adjustments:

Fire and Ice Pickles
2 (32 oz) jars of DILL pickles
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (we used Louisiana Hot Sauce)
1 - 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
A few slices of Jalapeno pepper (we used peppers that came in a jar, and also poured in a tablespoon or so of the juice)

First pour pickles into a strainer in the sink and let them drain.

Then cut pickles into chunks and put in a big bowl

Add the sugar to the pickles, and stir a bit. Then add all the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is mixed together.

Cover the bowl and let sit on the counter for an hour or so, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.

Once the sugar is dissolved, spoon mixture back into the jars they came in, or divide them into smaller canning jars.  Refrigerate for 3-7 days before serving (although we've eaten them earlier than that).  Store in the refrigerator.  Warning!  these are very addictive!  :)

Project 3: Homemade Laundry Detergent
I have seen on a few blogs lately that some people are making their own laundry detergent.  It seemed easy enough, and it was very cheap to make, so I was intrigued enough to give it a try.  I made mine following a recipe I found on this blog

You only need 3 ingredients: Borax, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda), and Fels-Naptha soap.  I was able to find the Borax and Super Washing Soda in the laundry aisle at Wal-mart and found the bars of Fels-Naptha soap for $1.29/ea. at my local Ace Hardware.

First you have to grate the bar(s) of Fels-Naptha Soap

Then mix grated soap with the borax and super washing soda following this recipe:
2 parts grated soap
1 part Borax         
1 part Super Washing Soda

Two bars of grated soap = about 3 cups, so I added 1 1/2 cups of each the borax and the super washing soda, mixed together and stored in a container with a lid. I use 2 tablespoons of detergent for a regular load of wash.  I've been using this for the past few weeks and so far it seems to be working just fine, and I love the price.  :)  Maybe with all the money I'm saving, I can buy more yarn.  :)


Thimbleanna said...

It looks like you've been busy while I've been gone Doni. Those little bookmarks are adorable! I only like dill pickles, so I'll leave that sweet/hot stuff to you and your hubby LOL!

Anonymous said...

Love those book marks and I'll be trying those and the hot pickles!
I do too much laundry to do the soap but I think I'd like to do it just once as that is something that I've never tackled! thanks!!

Annette said...

hihi funny great bookmarks... love them.
Never heard of fire and ice pickles..