Friday, December 30, 2011

A fun science experiment and homemade laundry soap

Have I ever posted about homemade laundry soap before? Am I too lazy to go looking for that post? Yeah...

Before we get into that, I was 5 years old the other day.

I saw a fun post on Pinterest and had to try it. IMMEDIATLY.

Firstly, it involved Ivory soap. This got my attention because I love all things Cincinnati. Because Ivory Soap is made there. Right in the same hood as Pringles & the fat substitute Olestra. Rock on, Nati.
I thought I remembered Ivory being sold in at least 3 packs. I also thought you could buy most bar soaps singularly. To be honest, I've been using body wash since about 1995, so I've never bought regular bars of soap in my adult life, and so 10 bars of Ivory it is...Really?...10 bars? Is it just the Brooklyn Target? Whatever, It'll get used eventually.

Cut the bar into cubes and place on a microwave safe plate.

Put it in the microwave. Yeah, I said the microwave.

wuuuhhhh? WOW! Put it on high for about 90 seconds and what that shit blow up! It turns into soap soufflé! And I didn't hurt my microwave! And it smells soapy fresh! And it's still usable!

Gaze at it in wonderment.

 It's like what you thought Heaven was like as a child.
 To be honest, it feels a little like dried paper pulp.
The weirdest texture ever.

And now you need something to do with it. You could put it in the shower or on the bathroom sink and break little chunks off as you need them. Or something else.

 Dump the soap soufflĂ© into a bucket lined with a trash bag.
 Crumble it into little bits.
 Add a half pound box of baking soda.
 And half of a tub of oxi clean.
 A box of washing soda.
 A box of borax.
 And mix it all together.
 Ta da!
It makes a lot. Use a 1/4 cup for a small load, 1/3 cup for medium load, 1/2 cup for large load.

Normally, you're supposed to use Fels-Naptha or Zote soap here, because of their detergent qualities. I haven't been able to find those here in Brooklyn yet, so I've been buying $3.99 bars of Dr. Bronner's bar soaps. Even though I love the fragrance of them ( a combination of the citrus & almond scented ones is my fave) I have to say that .23 cents for a bar of Ivory ( which I'll have for a while now) is going to win the wallet.

I hope you've enjoyed! If you try this, let me know!


It's been a whole month since I've blogged.

Well, not a whole month, but pretty darn close.

Before this, I've been blogging on a dinosaur. The 2001 Sony Vaio Desktop that I got myself freshman year in college. Yeah.
Not my actual, but a close depiction (mine doesn't have an Asian language label)

It took at least an hour to do everything. Why did I keep doing it? I've never been lucrative enough to buy myself anything new, now did I think I ever needed it. I loved that PC. It's going to be here for a while as an extra large paperweight...

Because Santa brought me a MacBook Pro!
Ugh, and it's only taken me 2 minutes to write all of this so far....

Only good things will come from this...

Thanks, Santa ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I promise that my life is about more than just junk food. Seriously.

 But it's mostly about Buckeyes and Saltine Brittle.
First, for Buckeyes, we blend some butter, some peanut butter and powdered sugar until we have a sweet play-doh*
 Then use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to roll out balls.
 Place them on parchment paper lined sheets. You could also use wax paper, foil or even saran wrap since these are not going in the oven.

 Melt some chocolate chips in a bowl. Most recipes and old timers will tell you that true buckeyes are coated in a mixture of chocolate melted with paraffin. The paraffin keeps the chocolate from sagging at room temperate. I took a tip from the recipe in the Christmas issue of Cook's Country magazine and used chocolate chips, because they contain stabilizers that help them naturally hold a shape.
 Until it's just barely melted, before it gets grainy.
 Look at them. Staring at you. They know where you hid the bodies.
This is what real buckeyes look like. They do NOT taste like Chocolate and peanut butter.

And then there's the Ohio State mascot. Which is a buckeye. Which is pretty amazing.

 And I was in such sugary delirium after making buckeyes, that I forgot to photograph the process of the Saltine brittle. I got all the way to spreading the chocolate on top when I remembered.
 After it's been in the freezer, you can pick the whole thing up at once.
 And break it into pieces.
 This reminds me of all the scenes in breaking bad when they're pouring the meth into cookie sheets and then it cracks.
 The little residual crumbs will make awesome ice cream topping!!!
And then you will sit in front of your mega-cheesy, plug-in, electric fireplace and be tempted to eat all of both batches.**

1 stick of butter
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
powdered sugar
1 bag of chocolate chips

- place softened butter and peanut butter in a bowl and blend. gradually add powdered sugar until you get a play-doh consistency.
- roll into tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with something to keep them from sticking.
- place in fridge for about an hour to allow them to harden up a little.
-melt chocolate chips in double boiler until just barely melted
- dunk each ball about half-way up the sides. place in fridge again to cool the chocolate off.

Saltine Brittle
40 Saltine crackers
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 bag of chocolate chips

- preheat oven to 400 F. place crackers on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (the kind with the lip, might be called a "jelly-roll pan" in some parts)
- cook butter and sugar together in a saucepan over the stove until boiling. Boil 3 minutes.
- pour over crackers and place in oven for 5 minutes.
- pull out of oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. return to oven for 1 minute
- pull out of oven and spread chocolate until it's an even layer, all over the crackers. cool on counter top for about 15 minutes, then transfer to freezer.
- break into pieces.

I would recommend storing both treats in the fridge

* orginally made in Cincinnati, by the fine folks @ Kenner Toys! (who also invented nerf guns, easy bake ovens, maufactured the my little ponies and created the one and only Blythe Dolls.)
** both recipes actually made way more than this, but this is all that I'm letting Ryan take to work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My un-doing

 Leftover cranberry sauce & stuffing? Fat free American cheese singles? NO! SPRINKLES!!!
 They separated the peppermint ones so they wouldn't make the other 2 taste all minty. They're always looking out for me that way. Actually, I thought beforehand to ask them to do that, but I'd like to think they'd've done it for me anyway.
 Left to right: Eggnog, Red Velvet, Peppermint Vanilla, Peppermint Chocolate.
 The Red Velvet was for Ryan. It's his fave and always his 1st request.
 He approves and wishes I would leave him along.
 Godel wants my Peppermint Vanilla.
 Well you can't have it!
 Then, today (we ate those others last Saturday) there was Eggnog. I wasn't sure what to expect.
 I will undress you.
 And you will show me your spice cake body.
 And you will tell me your frosting is rum flavored. Am I getting too graphic with this?
Oh, you like our Christmas tree? Me too.

I've yo-yo-ed on Weight Watchers ever since coming here, and now you can see why. It needs to stop so that I can get a job as a receptionist there! 26 lbs to go and I can do that. Hopefully just a few more months after that and I can be a leader.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why watch the parade on TV when you can go watch it!!!

 So many things we didn't think about life in NYC before we moved here. So much goes on! NYC is where it's all at!
 I took this picture for my sister, Monica. She loves Snoopy. We positioned ourselves in Times Square, but we were about a hundred people deep in the crowd away from the actual parade. It was hard to get the 2 boys out of bed and drag them down there, so next year I am going to plan it a little better.
 And took this picture for Charlie's niece, Lillian. We could only see the balloons from our position in the crowd, not the performers, which was a shame. Put go to a different location next year, or try to watch it from someone's apartment.
 Here comes a Paul Frank monkey. Charlie had to explain who and what this was.

 Then we headed down to the Brooklyn Bridge to walk across it. Unfortunately, it was already dark by the time we made it there, and figured out how to get on the darn thing ( a lot more complicated that you would think)
 It was SO CROWDED! It's such a popular tourist attraction. My favorite part was seeing all the cables up close. You really need to see them in person to get a sense of how massive and powerful they are.
 Our first week in NYC, we got ourselves a couple of Brooklyn Bridge tattoos. Another post for another time.
 After a trip to Junior's, which I completely failed to take photos of, we headed to our watering hole, Keg n' Lantern. Arie was there and, and by the looks of these photos, all the food from Thanksgiving settled in my chin.
And Charlie made a pilgrim hat for Godel.