I was so excited to come across this pin & immediately added it to my list of “Pinterest stuff I want to actually do ASAP”, and made sure to get the ingredients-which happened to be required by a couple other pins I was trying. I had just run out of Cascade (perfect timing) & I was super hopeful about this pin because dishwasher detergent is ridiculously expensive. So I made a batch of the DIY exactly as it stated (very simple…all it takes is borax + washing soda, then some white vinegar when you actually run the dishwasher) & used it, exactly as it stated.
-Insert drumroll here-
The dishes all came out amazingly, sparkling clean! There was no particular scent other than clean-ness but I overlooked that (I’m a “smells” person…if it smells clean then I feel like it’s clean) because the dishes came out beautifully clean using a pennies-on-the-dollar mixture! Here was my pros list:
•ingredients were relatively cheap
•ingredients could multi-task for other pins
•very simple to make
•very quick to make
•would most likely have ingredients on hand to make more when I ran out as opposed to having to go to the store
The cons were:
•no awesome Gain-like smell
Happy as a clam I started using this DIY mix regularly. Never once did I change my typical “dish habits”, even with the first run. I will usually rinse really dirty dishes off under scalding hot water before putting them in the dishwasher; the rest just go straight in. I don’t hand wash them then put them in or anything like that. I kept an eye on my rinse agent level too because that’s where you put the vinegar. Now, after a few weeks of using this mix, I’ve begun to notice there is always a film on my dishes when they’re finished. I’m very displeased & disappointed with this latest development. Is it some sort of build up from the borax and/or washing soda?? Should I be running some sort of cleaning cycle periodically?? I’ve tried troubleshooting this problem…I’ve made sure I filled the rinse agent with vinegar; I’ve added extra vinegar to the bottom; I’ve cut back the recommended amount (2 Tbsp) of mix; I’ve added a tiny bit more mix; I’ve rinsed the dishes off a little more than usual; I’ve run a second rinse cycle after the regular cycle. Nothing is working. No matter what I try I simply cannot bring back the glory I first experienced.
It is not from food, or me being lazy & throwing in dishes with sandwiches & the like still on them. It is a soap type residue. If I take a damp towel or rag (which I’ve been having to do unless I want to hand wash every single dish) it buffs right off. Maybe I need to “splurge” and get some actual rinse agent? I guess I’d still be saving money on the detergent but it would be counteracted by having to purchase the $4-$5 rinse agent!
I’m not sure whether to classify this as a scam or not…I don’t know if it’s just my experience…it does work-in the beginning-so it’s technically not a scam. You can find the original pin & instructions HERE, until I decide whether or not to move it to my Bullsnit Pinterest Scams board. Go try it (borax & washing soda are each $3-$4 per box) and PLEASE share your results with me!! This is obviously driving me nuts.
Easter has come and gone, and I’m relieved. When the hell did Easter turn into a spring Christmas extravaganza?? I don’t know if it was my dread of having to spend money or the ever continuing after effects of losing my mom or just plain laziness but I could not get in the holiday spirit this year. Sure we made some homemade Pinterest crafts to decorate with a little but we didn’t even bother getting our other decorations out. We didn’t even get the kids’ baskets out of the closet until “Easter eve”!
When I was a kid our Easter tradition was to go to my nanny’s, along with my aunt, uncle & 2 cousins. I remember it being so cozy & exciting & fun…all of us getting together, catching up, dyeing eggs, watching TV, the kids being silly, squeezing in quality time with my nanny…the feelings & smells (eggs boiling, Easter dinner prep, my nanny’s house) & memories I have are hard to put into words. Family time. Togetherness. Relaxation. I loved it and now I miss it so so much. First, in 2008, my nanny died. And it felt like that threw so many things into chaos, including holiday traditions. What do we do now? Since my husband, kids & I had moved in to help care for her, we were still living in her house. So our first Thanksgiving without her consisted of us & my mom at this huge dining room table where countless Easter & Thanksgiving dinners had held court. It was completely different yet eerie remnants of familiarity remained. Then, we didn’t even get another Easter with my mom because she passed away the following February. It rocked my world & still does to this day.
I had thought maybe my aunt would take over the family get together responsibilities but she didn’t, except for once when we had it at her house because we were staying there for awhile. Essentially, after losing my nanny & mom, the responsibility fell to me. Which I have mixed feelings about…on one hand I love it because I’m a control freak & it makes me feel special to reign our family in and force quality togetherness down their gullets. But on the other hand…I constantly question if I’m doing things the right way (aka the way it’s always been done in our family), I question choices that my mom would’ve made, and I miss them & the old traditions so terribly bad it gives me a lump in my throat. I feel like a total let down in the Holiday Manager department, yet just like the whole birth right storyline in the Lion King it’s as if it’s fallen to me to do it.
This post was totally depressing. And I can’t decipher an actual point. It’s more of a deluge of words & feelings. Thanks for listening.
As your reward, here are some Easter pictures of my amazing family. Hope you & yours had a good holiday!
PS~ We had my sister & her family (husband & 2 kids) over for egg dyeing & easter dinner, I was just so busy I didn’t get a chance to take any pics. Boo! But that is our new tradition, 2 (maybe 3??) years running & I’m so grateful for it.
I’m finally feeling much better–the incessant migraine is gone–and wanted to clean up the house before hubs gets home from working out of town. (This is my usual agenda by the way; keep the house safe from being in a condemned state while he’s gone & then do a thorough cleaning the day he’s due home so that I look like the best wife ever. And it totally works.). I’ve been testing different crap I’ve found on Pinterest & some of these are actually turning out to work!! One of which is floor cleaner. I figured the pin was full of shit when it said “leaves your house smelling ahhmazing” (like what they did there with the “ahh”?) but I had all the stuff so I tried it anyway. It does leave your house smelling “ahhmazing”: fresh, clean, no streaks, no chemical-y smell. So I decided to make it my go-to floor cleaner except like a dumbass I didn’t write the recipe down in real life. When I went to jot it down off of Pinterest it seems they’ve decided to disappear a few pins from my board & of course that was one of them. I tried to access my sister’s-whom I’d originally gotten it from-and I was denied with a simple “Sorry”. Apparently Pinterest has decided to fix something that wasn’t broken & now everything is all glitchy & retarded.
Luckily I’m like a Google Jedi or something & I was able to find it via my super secret methods, which I would tell you if they weren’t super secret. I’m sorry…please don’t stop reading my blog just because I can’t share them with you. With my fiery anger at Pinterest subsiding I swept (which I will admit I almost didn’t do because I did it yesterday but then my ocd compelled me to) & made the floor cleaner (with the help of my sweet boy) & began mopping. Everything was going as well as it possibly can when you’re breaking your back mopping when I noticed my cat on the table watching me.
No big deal, I keep mopping. The next time I see her she has moved closer to a cup of water sitting there & I thought “I should probably move that; she’s going to knock it over with her big fat ass” but like an idiot I didn’t. Then she starts batting at it…or dipping her paw in…either way she was messing with it & I told her to go on. At this point I’m right beside the table but trying to finish mopping; I swear to God she looks directly into my eyes & then proceeds to swat the cup over, spilling water all over the floor. Then I hollered “What the hell Baby Kitty?!”, smacked her on the top of the head, and she ran off.
Granted, it was only water. And I already had the mop out (yay for convenience). What gets me is that she deliberately did it out of spite for no discernible reason. All *I* did was say “Go on”. She’s an evil devil cat I guess. She also enjoys stabbing you randomly if you reach for something near her. She’s docile & sweet but yet…dark. We should’ve named her SweetTart or some shit.
Some of my tried & true recipes have been passed down from my mom’s side of the family. Things like potato salad, sausage gravy, green beans, chicken & dumplings. Since my paw-paw (whom they originated from), nanny, & mom are all gone now these recipes have become even more sacred to me and I’ve made a point of keeping them in rotation so my kids will grow up remembering them. Hey, I’m kinda crazy when it comes to food okay?
So the other day I saw 2 different pins (on Pinterest, just in case you’ve been under a rock for the past year) but I believe they’re the same link/recipe. One says something about “crock pot chicken & dumplings”, one says something about “cracker barrel chicken & dumplings”. It looks like the same picture on both so I said what the hell & went with the crock pot one. However my subconscious likes to stress me out so I didn’t get the urge to make it until it was too late to do in the crock pot. Of course. So I put my big cook panties on & decided I’d try to convert it to a stove top recipe. The entire time I was expecting failure. Seriously…the whole time. And then they get done & with the first bite I knew that it would be my new go-to chicken & dumplings recipe. I felt a twinge of guilt towards my “family tradition” but I can’t help it…these fuckers are goooooood. They taste like home in my mouth. So despite the fact that I’ve already posted like 65,000 blogs today, I wanted to make a post about this one before I forgot all the steps I had to convert & tinker with. I am one of those cooks who does “pinches” & “dashes” so I’m gonna attempt to be as clear & understandable as possible but if I cause confusion please leave a comment & I’ll try to clarify. Obviously I’m not a raging popular blog so I’ll have plenty of time to answer you. Now, whaddya waitin’ for–get to cookin’!!
PS: all of the pics are at the end; I didn’t want to confuse things even more by interjecting photos everywhere!
Delicious Home Tasting Chicken & Dumplings from Pinterest or Cracker Barrel but who really cares because they’re so damn good
First, the HOMEMADE CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP. You will need:
4 T. Butter
4 T. Flour
2 c. Liquid (broth, milk, water)
Throw all your butter into a saucepan or skillet over med-high heat; melt completely. Toss all the flour in then stir with a whisk to combine with the butter. It should end up resembling a pliable, soft, play-doh like mixture. Let this cook for a couple of minutes then begin to add your liquid. Now: this is the part that requires patience & concentration. You must add the liquid a little at a time. What type of liquid you add is up to you; the first time I made this I was low on milk so I did half milk/half water; the next time I did 3/4 chicken broth/1/4 milk. It’s totally up to you, just make sure it’s 2 cups. Anyway…I always add just a splash of liquid at first then whisk everything together; as you’re adding the liquid the “play-doh” is soaking it up & expanding. Splash, whisk, splash, whisk…you get the idea. Once your mess mixture starts to resemble a soupy liquid it’s generally pretty safe to dump the rest of your liquid in, whisk & cook for a few minutes. Variations on this are easy too: for cream of celery just toss some finely chopped celery in with your melting butter; for cream of mushroom add finely chopped mushroom to your butter; for a stronger chicken taste sprinkle some chicken bouillon in. You just made homemade cream of chicken soup-take that, Campbell’s!!
Alrighty…once you’ve made the soup just set it aside. If you’re more organized than myself, you could actually do this next step before making the soup but…eh, whatever.
The Chicken You will need:
2-4 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken
(You can use any type you want, I prefer breast because you don’t have to trim the fat; also a little chicken goes a loooong way in this recipe so if you don’t have much that’s a-okay)
2 T. Butter
2 c. Cream of Chicken soup (what you just made)
1 c. Chicken broth
1 onion, diced
What you do:
Place the chicken in a pot, cover with water, dump some salt in & bring to a boil. You can move on to other tasks while the chicken is boiling but don’t forget about it…you don’t want it to start falling apart. Thoroughly cook the chicken, reserve the water (which is now homemade chicken broth!), and place the chicken aside. In another large pot combine over medium heat the 2 cups of soup you made earlier, 1 cup of chicken broth (yes that’s right: get it from the reserved “boiling” water!), the onions & butter. Whisk all ingredients until thoroughly blended, then add the chicken pieces. Cook this mixture-stirring occasionally-for about 20 minutes/while preparing dumplings to blend flavors.
You have 2 options here: use Bisquick, or follow the recipe listed below. You could also cut up refrigerator biscuits if you’re crunched for time or just lazy as hell. I promise you that rolling out dough is SO SO worth it & really doesn’t take long at all. You can absolutely taste the difference over fridge biscuits & you will be super glad you took the time to do it. If you opt for Bisquick they always have their biscuit recipe on the box, just follow it & jump back in here for the rolling part. If you’re going the distance for your dough you’ll need this recipe:
You will need:
2 c. Flour
3 t. Baking powder
2 T. Sugar
1 t. Salt
1/3 c. Oil (veggie, canola)
2/3 c. Milk
What you do:
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Measure out oil & milk in separate measuring cups, then gently add milk to oil. DO NOT STIR. Add oily-milk to the bowl of dry ingredients; using your hands gently mix together. Try to get it mixed up thoroughly yet in as few moves as possible. I know this is confusing but the more dough is handled the tougher it gets. After mixing pat into a giant ball; I usually stick mine in the freezer for a few minutes just to firm it up a bit. Now for the rolling:
-Sprinkle some flour on a clean, flat surface (ie: your kitchen table).
-Place your dough ball on top then knead a couple of times, sprinkling a tiny bit of flour as needed if it has stickiness.
-Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour (this should be abbreviated to S.T.B.F., lol!) over your rolling pin & start rolling out your dough. Make it as thick or as thin as you want (mainly because I never measured my dough thickness, I just always eyeball it) but keep in mind the dough will puff up once it becomes a dumpling. In other words you don’t want dumplings the same thickness as a porterhouse. Or maybe you do. Again, your call.
-Use a pizza cutter (genius, right?!) to cut horizontal & vertical lines, forming little rectangles. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use a small cookie cutter like I did last time (a little star!). Or, you can make small strips. Your preference.
-Gather up your uncooked dumplings & place on a plate; repeat these steps until all of your dough is used.
The Final Result
Finally, you’re at the finish line! Increase the heat on the chicken/soup mixture to medium-high; remove the chicken pieces. While you’re waiting on the soup to get a little hotter shred all of your chicken & set aside. Some recipes call for you to put it back in the pot but this is my recipe & I say set it aside because it’s easier to cook your dumplings. You should be seeing the occasional heat bubble in your soup pot; when this happens start adding your dumplings one by one all around inside the pot. After you add a whole “layer” of them wait a minute then stir gently to make sure they’re not sticking. Cook for a few minutes until they’re puffed up, probably 5-6 minutes. You probably don’t have any free space to add more dumplings so remove the cooked ones (I always just dump them in with my shredded chicken) with a slotted spoon, then repeat the process until all dumplings have been cooked. Finally, gently re-add all the dumplings & chicken, stir to mix it all in with the soup, and let it cook a few minutes so the mouth watering yumminess can blend together. To be fancy like me you can sprinkle some parsley on top after dishing into serving bowls.
And wah-la, you have the best chicken & dumplings ever. After you come down from your chicken & dumpling euphoria, let me know what you think! Oh, and you’re welcome. 😉
Okay, so in preparation for Easter I thought some decorations and/or projects for the kids to do would be nice. This year we haven’t had our decorating hats on so all of the stuff we usually put out is still lost in the closet. While browsing different amazing looking craft ideas on Pinterest, I came across one where you wrap yarn around a balloon with candy inside. Hubs liked it too & we figured what the hell, doesn’t look too difficult. WRONG.
We went to Hellmart & got the supplies: balloons, 99¢/bag; yarn, $2.??; glue, 34¢/each, candy, $16/bag (not really but it might as well be, huh?). We went home & organized all the supplies on the kitchen table then called the brood in. Utilizing the barren, no words instructions on the Pin (people are so thoughtful aren’t they??) we set about putting candies into balloons, blowing them up a little (supposed to be egg shaped), tying them off, cutting off a length of yarn we figured would fit, running it through the glue, and stringing it around the balloon in different directions. I think I forgot to mention the point of this craft is to pop the balloon when the yarn is dried & the candy is magically inside. Anyway…this proved much harder for all of us than we’d figured. Our 5 year old said screw this when he found out he had to touch glue. Then there were 4. Our 10 & 9 year olds tried their best but couldn’t get the yarn to stay put so we ended up having to help both of them. Which really put a delay in our production line of cranking these babies out to pimp our house out for Easter.
For those of you that are still awake, it ended up that the girls finished theirs & after the kids went to bed husband & I sat up till midnight working on these monstrous lovely balloon eggs. The next day when we went to pop the balloons things didn’t go as imagined either. The balloon stuck (especially on the smaller ones) so that basically as you’re trying to get the balloon unstuck you’re pulling too much on the yarn & it’s losing it’s shape. So you end up with this:
Hhmmm. Totally defeats the purpose of the entire craft. There’s gonna be candy falling out of that bitch everywhere if I can ever get the balloon out. The larger ones actually worked better because you had more room to work the balloon:
However some of our big ones aren’t exactly up to par on the bottoms; we kind of left some big holes because we’re lazy fucks & were tired of doing children’s crafts at midnight. Soooo…as long as we stand it up you can’t tell a thing. I’m sure people would still look at it & exclaim “My my, how beautiful and unique! However did you get that candy in there?”
So I’m on the fence whether this was a hit or miss. It worked, granted; but not like we’d hoped. I don’t think it qualifies as a #PinterestScam though.
Anymore when I get on Pinterest I look at all the different pins & I wonder “Will that really work?”. I don’t know if that’s just me being a pessimist or if others wonder the same thing. And I say “anymore when I get on” like I’m some veteran of Pinterest when in reality I don’t think I’ve even been joined (a member? Signed up? Whatever.) a full month yet. When I did join I was overwhelmed at all of the awesome, mind boggling shit on there!! A face mask to clear acne using only baking soda & orange juice? Heck yes! A pin with 365 different crock-pot recipes? Jackpot. Make your own paint with flour? Hooray! That’s not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg, I just can’t think of any more right now.
So anyway I didn’t want to be a “lazy Pinner” where I just sat here & virtually hoarded all kinds of awesome ideas & recipes; I vowed to start trying them. I mean…what’s the point in pinning them for later if you never do them? First up was a cool science experiment type of pin that we had all the stuff for & I figured my kids would like. It was how to make a glow stick bottle using mountain dew, baking soda, & peroxide. Check, check, check. We even watched the video these 2 guys posted where they demonstrated how to do it. So we tried it and (insert drumroll here)…..nothing. Tried again; hey, maybe we messed up. I know it’s hard to imagine but stranger things have happened. Nothing again. Made sure we had all fresh ingredients & tried again. Nothing. So I was starting to get pissed & we re-watched the video. In the comments I began noticing several people saying they thought the guys had added something because of some fishy hand movements; every single person said it didn’t work. PlusI noticed at the end he has wayyy more mountain dew than when he started. Like…way way more. I ended up leaving a comment on the video & instead of cussing like others had chosen to do I called them jerks & tried to make them feel like the assholes they are for disappointing little kids, which I know for a fact they did in my house & I’m sure a lot of other people’s too. Then I went back to Pinterest & added “Pinterest Scam” to the pin so people would know. If more people would actually try this shit & then scam tag it if it doesn’t work, maybe we can stop Pinterest’s decline into a spam wasteland. Because it’s on the horizon people. It is coming.