Saturday, August 18, 2012



16 cups of water
1 1/2 cups WASHING Soda (this is NOT baking soda)
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Dr. Brenner's Pure Liquid Castile Soap (fragrance of your choice)
¼ cup TSP  (A powdered cleaner found in the paint department, it is generally used to clean wood before painting.)


1) Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in washing soda, borax, TSP and liquid castile soap until dissolved.

2) Allow to cool.

3) Pour cooled dishwasher soap into containers of your choice. It will "gel" up over next 24 - 48 hours. Be sure to leave headspace in your containers to allow shaking before using.

To use:

Give dishwasher soap a good shake to make sure everything is mixed well and to make it easy to pour out.

Use 1 rounded tablespoon in the closed soap dispenser. This batch will last a long time! –There are 256 tablespoons in a gallon!

**Both Washing Soda and Borax are available in the laundry aisle at the grocery store. I couldn’t find Dr. Brenner's Pure Liquid Castile Soap locally, so ordered from Amazon.  It comes in many fragrance choices.

Tomato Basil Soup

I  I found this delicious recipe on the “How Does She” blog.  Everyone at our house thinks it is divine!

2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes (reserve juice)
 OR use diced
2 TB brown sugar

4 TB butter

1 small onion chopped

2 TB tomato paste

2-3 TB flour

2 (15 oz) cans or one carton of chicken stock/broth

2 fresh red peppers roasted*

1 cup prepared pesto

1 1/2 cups half and half (low fat or fat free substitutes fine)

*Note: to roast peppers, cut them in half, clean out the seeds, and place them skin side up on a broiler pan. Broil them for about 20-25 minutes or until you notice the majority of the skin turning black. Don’t be alarmed, they’re not burned! Remove from oven and let cool in a bowl lined with a damp dishcloth and the dishcloth folded over the peppers. When cool enough to handle, peel off the black skins, and cut in large chunks. DO NOT skip the red peppers, they’re the secret ingredient!

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Squeeze the seeds out of tomatoes and discard.  Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with brown sugar. Bake until liquid is evaporated and tomatoes caramelize (about 30 min).

Heat butter, onion, and tomato paste in large pot. Saute until onions soften.   Add flour and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add chicken stock and reserved tomato juice.  Bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and peppers and puree until smooth with an immersion blender, or remove from pot in small batches and puree in a food processor or blender. Return to pot, simmer 15 minutes. Five minutes before serving, add pesto and half and half.