Archive for the ‘miscellaneous’ Category


We ate warm bread made into bologna sandwiches for lunch today. Satisfying. 

 But what I actually came to tell you is that I’m featured on my friend’s blog today. I talk all things money saving. Basically, it’s how to be weird. Take a look here


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A friend of mine recently expressed interest in my laundry detergent recipe so I thought I would post it here, though I’m not suggesting you try to eat it. It may or may not taste like a dry citronella candle.

I’ve been using this detergent for about a year now and am loving it. The zote soap smells like citronella but the clean clothes do not. They just smell fresh. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I hang most of my laundry outside…

SONY DSCI store my detergent in a little copper flour canister. It sits on top of my washer all of the time.

SONY DSCPowdered Laundry Detergent

(I can’t remember where I got this recipe. Oops.)

1 lb 3 oz borax

14 oz washing soda

7 oz (half a bar) zote soap, very finely grated

1 pound baking soda

8 oz oxiclean (optional…I use it)

Mix everything together. Store in a closed container. Use 2 to 4 tablespoons per load of laundry, depending on the load size and how dirty everything is.

Yield: about 4 pounds…lasts me a few months

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I know there are a million and one blogs out there that post every dish they are going to eat for each week but I am going to do it anyway. (Or at least try.) I’ve been menu planning for the last 8 months or so and have found it very helpful. With all of the food that I put up, it really does help me to go through it. Otherwise, I tend to go to the grocery store and pick up random foods that look tasty. Then, when I go to cook, I realize I have all of these things in the fridge that need. used. now. and I can’t pull anything out of the freezer or off of the canning shelves. (I’m aware this is a sign that we have a lot of/too much food. Yes, it’s ridiculous.)

I want to encourage you to menu plan, too. Even if you don’t preserve hundreds of quarts of tomatoes and peaches, I’m sure you have a pantry with random cans of veggies or bags of beans stuffed in the corners or a refrigerator with lost jars of tomato sauce or a couple of withered carrots lollygagging around. Don’t you? DON’T you? Come on, admit it. We all throw out food that should have been used a couple of weeks (months? years?) ago. I really feel like I’m throwing less out now that I have a bit of a plan.

Don’t you roll your eyes at me. I know you are probably thinking that you don’t have time for this stuff. I know I did. But then I started spending 10 minutes on the weekends jotting notes on scraps of papers about what I could possibly cook up that week. And it was fun. I would peek in the fridge and see if there was anything that might spoil in the next few days and put that on the menu for Monday or Tuesday. Then I’d fill in the rest of the week using pantry/freezer/seasonal ingredients, adding things to my grocery list that I might not have in stock.

I’m not a stickler. I don’t necessarily cook everything I scribble on my papers. Sometimes later in the week I’ll discover a jar of something I hadn’t seen in the back of the fridge. Or I’ll notice the tomatoes that are rotting on the counter so I’ll make a pot of spaghetti instead of the planned honey baked chicken. It’s a bit like a puzzle. A puzzle that ultimately saves me time and money. Who doesn’t like that kind of puzzle?

Something I should highlight here…our meals are not always logical. Sometimes they really don’t make any sense at all (just check out Monday’s plan if you need an example). I just try to have a protein, starch, and green veggie at each meal. I throw random dishes in that I really feel like cooking or if I just want to use up an ingredient.

So without further ado, here ’tis. Be inspired. Or maybe not.

This week I have some peppers to use up. Frost was threatening early last week and so I picked all of the peppers, whether they were red or not. So recipes featuring them are up for the beginning of the week. I also dug the sweet potatoes and have some damaged ones that need used up.

Monday: Roasted Red Pepper Soup, Baked Corn, Green Beans, Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Lentils with Rice, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salad

Wednesday: Stuffed Peppers, Broccoli, Fresh Bread

Thursday: Meatloaf, Roasted Sweet and White Potatoes, Green Beans

Friday: Macaroni and Cheese, Stewed Tomatoes, Broccoli

Saturday: Deep Dish Chicken Pie, Cranberry Relish

Sunday: Negotiable

Note number 1: I don’t make a plan for Sunday. More often than not we either go to someone’s house or out to eat that evening. Or we will have gone away one night during the week and I’ll make that meal on Sunday night. Or we’ll eat something random and quick that I whip up. I consider Sundays a bit of an “off” day for me.

Note number 2: Usually I don’t pencil in desserts on my menus. I like to make sweets on a whim. Feel like a pumpkin pie on Tuesday? Great. Make one. Want some pudding on a Friday? Good because the milk needs used up ASAP.

Note number 3: We eat leftovers for lunch. I don’t very often have to serve them at an evening meal so that’s why we don’t have a leftovers night.

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Alright, Alright

I suppose you convinced me. Lately I’ve been receiving lots of little nudges to get back into the world of blogging. And I do love sharing recipes, as you all well know.

But here’s the deal. I’m limiting myself. I love to dive headlong into such adventures. But since these monkeys…

…aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, I need to be careful. I’ll be around, but not daily as I was before.

So that’s that. I’ll see you soon, bearing plates and platters of deliciousness!


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And Here It Ends

I’ve written this post a dozen times in my head. Every time it’s completely different.

You see, I’m quitting blogging. For good. Never to do it again. (Unless someone needs a guest post…then I’m all ears. Er, fingers.)

To me, and this is for me personally, blogging has felt selfish. I do it because I like the comments and compliments. All that praise does something to my ego. And it’s probably not good.

The other reason I’m quitting is because it hasn’t been for God. This is related to that first reason. You know, because the blog’s been all about me. I’m not like this blog. I admire her. She should not quit blogging.

I risk sounding all righteous and everything by saying all that. I’m not. I try but I fail. Every day. My lofty goal is that I’ll pray and read the Bible more with the extra time I have. And hug and kiss the kids more. But the truth is, I’ll probably just have a cleaner house or something equally as selfish as blogging. I hope not. I could carve out enough time to spit out a post every day. I should be able to replace that post with some reading or hugging, right?

Maybe I’m not explaining myself very well? Maybe I’m offending all of you bloggers out there by saying blogging is pointless and selfish? Sorry. That’s not what I’m trying to do. Each person does what they feel is the best for them. And for me, that’s quitting the blog.

I’ll leave the blog up and running. Good gracious, I refer back to it several times a week looking for recipes that I failed to write down anywhere but here. So it’s not going anywhere. I just won’t ever update it.

Oh, except for the Preserved 2011 tab, up there at the top of the page. I never pointed it out but I’ve been keeping track of everything I’ve frozen and canned. I do that every year, only normally it’s in a notebook. I think I might keep it on my blog from now on because it’s a lot easier to update than erasing/crossing out writing on a piece of paper every time I preserve more of something. So I suppose every year I’ll make a new tab.

Thank you to everyone for reading these last 11 months. It’s been fun. I’ll miss you all. Please don’t miss me. It’ll make me feel bad.



Zoe Dawn

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Right Now…

…I’m baking bread. Cracked wheat bread, to be specific. I think I might be getting better!

(How’s that for a lame post? Don’t worry, I’ll share the recipe and pics with you once it’s finished!)

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And One More Thing…


Zoe, Zoe! Oh my stars!! I just talked to your dad!! How are you FEEEEELING?

That’s a comment I received last night from my aunt. I might as well let the rest of you in on the secret, too. You see, there’s a little more that I should have added to my last post. While that whole post was true, I should also tell you that baby number 3 will be joining us in April. We are very excited!

But I’ll be more excited in about 8 weeks because you know what a baby in my gut means? Sick, sick, sick. I don’t throw up or anything but I am constantly extremely nauseous for the first trimester. Awful. I’ve taken up semi-permanent residence on the couch. I lose interest in all things food related. I feel like a terrible wife/mom. Brad comes home, cleans up the kitchen from the day, goes grocery shopping, and takes care of the place in general. Not that I have completely given up but when he’s here, I’m sacked out trying to will my stomach to settle. Brad’s a real trooper about it and I’m so thankful. He never complains!

So, for the next weeks I’ll be laying here “growing our baby”, as Brad says. And I’ll be saying goodbye to this:

6 weeks

as it will soon balloon. Funny that just two weeks ago, I was carrying a watermelon in from the garden and I told Brad, “This is what I look like when I’m 9 months pregnant!”

Little did we know!

P.S. Thanks for all of your lovely comments on my last post. It’s funny that internet friends whom I’ve never actually met will miss me. But I’ll miss you guys, too, so I guess that’s just as funny!

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