Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Laundry dyed & melted crayon fix

So last night I was doing a load of dark laundry.  Mostly my husbands shirts.  One of his shirts was a navy blue & white striped shirt.  I also, accidentally included one of his white garment tops.  When I pulled the load out of the washing machine, I realized that I had included my red sweater.  Normally, I wouldn't worry about putting red in with a load of darks but this is one of those sweaters that will bleed no matter how many times I wash it. Consequently, my husbands shirt & garment top were now a bright shade of pink.  After the "oh crap" moment passed, I called my mom.  Her advice was to bleach the garment top but no idea how to fix the blue & white shirt (maybe vinegar?).  I searched online & found a lot of advice for when the dyed top is solid white, using Rit, but nothing for white/colored.  

I figured that all was lost but decided to try the one awesome laundry "recipe" I had.  It's something I got from my friend, last year, when my daughter left a purple crayon in her pocket.  I was shocked when I was able to get all the crayon out of an entire load of laundry.  Although my hopes weren't high, maybe it'd work for dyed clothing, too.

This morning I pulled my husbands clothes out of the washing machine & was amazed that all of the pink had come out.  This "recipe" has saved me tons of money so I figured it was high time I share it with everyone else.  The amounts aren't exact, I usually just use A LOT of each ingredient.

  • Regular scoop of your laundry detergent
  • 2 Scoops Borax (I usually just shake the box directly into the machine & not worry about the scoop)
  • white vinegar (I usually use 1/2 of a plastic jug but I don't think you need that much.  1 bottle would probably work fine)
  • 1/2 large bottle Resolve Spray n' wash.

Put all ingredients into your washing machine.  Fill the washing machine with the hottest water possible.  Add the dyed or crayon ruined clothes.  Run the agitation cycle but don't let the machine drain.  (I usually run it only half way through the cycle so that I have some agitation left at the end.)  Let the clothes soak for many hours or overnight.  (When I washed the dyed clothes, I let them soak for 4hours.  The crayon I soaked over night.)  When they are done soaking, finish running the washing machine using the hardest agitation setting you can.  Once done, if all the color's not out, you can repeat this process.

*NOTE:  This will only work if you haven't put your dyed clothes into the dryer.  If you've dried them, the heat will set in the color & I don't think there's any way to get that out.

My clothes with crayon on them had gone through the dryer and all of the color came out.


New York Cheesecake

We try not to "cheat" during the year but I believe that on your birthday, you should be able to have a piece of your favorite cake.  For my husband, cheesecake is favorite.  There is absolutely NOTHING even remotely healthy about a baked cheesecake but I did stick within our rules of no HFCS or PHO.  You probably could lighten this recipe up a little by switching the Heavy Cream for Light Cream or Half & Half but Cheesecakes are very finicky & I didn't want it to not turn out, since I was planning on serving to 50 family members.  It is delicious & creamy & extremely rich.  We topped it with Sugar Free pie filling but it is delicious plain.

New York Cheesecake

  • 1/3c white sugar
  • 1/2c butter, softened
  • 1 1/2c flour
  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 3/4c white sugar
  • 2 1/2lbs cream cheese (5 boxes), softened
  • 3T flour
  • 1/2c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 eggs

Preheat oven to 400'.  Lightly coat a 10" springform pan with cooking spray.

Combine 1/3c sugar, 1 1/2c flour & 1/2c butter & 1 egg.  Spread evenly on the bottom & sides of the pan.  Prick all over with a fork, then bake 15 mins at 400'.  Allow to cool completely.

Raise oven temperature to 475'.  In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4c sugar, cream cheese, 5 eggs, 3T flour & the egg yolks.  Mix thoroughly.

Add cream & mix just enough to blend.

Pour filling into the crust & bake for 10 mins at 475'.  Reduce temperature to 200' & continue baking for 1hr.

Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in for an additional hour.  It will be golden brown but not completely firm.

Chill overnight.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Miso Soup

This soup is perfect for lunch or paired with a stir-fry.  It is extremely easy to make & tastes wonderful.  It does call for tofu & although tofu doesn't have any taste, i wouldn't omit it.  It makes the soup more filling & less like a broth.

Miso Soup

Serves 8
Calories: 107   Total Fat: 3g   Protein: 4g
Carbs: 16g   Chol: 1mg   Sodium: 1,052

  • 1/2t dark sesame oil
  • 1/3c shallots, finely chopped
  • 3T miso
  • 1qt (4c) vegetable stock
  • 1/4c firm silken tofu, diced
  • 3T scallions, sliced for garnish

Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until translucent.

Add the miso and mix well.  Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 mins.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with tofu and scallions.

If desired, add protein powder just before serving.

Recipe from the P90X nutrition guide

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

I LOVE this meal.  It's simple to make & tastes great.

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

Makes 4 servings
Calories: 466   Total Fat: 11g   Protein: 46g   
Carbs: 49g   Cholesterol: 99mg   Sodium: 1,591mg

  • 1/4c soy sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1T garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2lbs top sirloin steak, sliced 1" thick
  • 1T sesame oil
  • 2T rice vinegar
  • 1T ginger, minced
  • 4c broccoli florets
  • 8oz dried Soba noodles (I used Buckwheat Soba noodles from Smith's)

Bring 2qts water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat a small amount of soy sauce in a large pan, add onions and garlic and saute until opaque.

Add beef and saute, turning often with tongs, for 7 to 10 mins.  Stir together the oil, vinegar, and ginger and add to the saute mixture.

Blanch broccoli in the boiling water.  Add to the meat mixture and keep warm.  

Prepare soba noodles according to the package directions.  Drain, toss with the beef & broccoli, and serve.

Recipe from the P90X nutrition plan

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roasted Root Vegetables

Again, I forgot to photograph this recipe.  It's easy to imagine, though.  Carrots, beets, sweet potatoes & turnips, roasted & sprinkled with herbs.   Yumm.  I like to make these along with the Herb-Roasted Chicken.  It's easy to just cook them in the same pan.

Roasted Root Vegetables
Makes 4 servings
Calories: 66   Protein: 1.5g   Carbs: 15g   Total Fat: 0g   Fiber: 3g

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & halved
  • 2 small beets, peeled & quartered
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled & quartered
  • 1 small turnip, peeled & quartered
  • Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray

Spritz vegetables evenly with cooking spray and place in pan around chicken.  (I sprinkled some of the herbs, from the chicken, onto the vegetables).  Roast along with the chicken.  Test with fork to make sure they are cooked through.

Adapted from TurboFire's nutritional guide.

Herb-Roasted Chicken

So I've failed in my goal to only post recipes that included pictures.  I forgot to take photos with 2 of the recipes that I made.  I probably should wait, to post the recipes, until I have made them again & taken photos but I didn't want to forget about these recipes.  So, I'll post them & you can use your imagination until I am able to take photos of them.

Herb-Roasted Chicken
Makes 4 servings
Calories: 285   Protein: 31g   Carbs: 3g   Total Fat: 16g   Fiber 1.5g

  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 lbs (I adjusted this recipe & only used chicken breasts but I'm including the original recipe since I don't know the nutritional information for the things I adjusted).
  • 2T dried rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, or any combination of herbs (if using fresh herbs, reduce amounts to 1T)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Clean chicken and place breast side up on rack in a roasting pan (you want to do this even if you're just using breasts so that you aren't cooking it in the fat drippings).

Rub the inside of the chicken (or the tops of the breasts) with the crushed garlic.  Use 10 spritzes of the cooking spray to coat the outside of the chicken and sprinkle evenly with the herbs, salt & pepper.

Cover with foil & bake for 55 minutes.  Bake uncovered for 15 additional minutes or until juices run clear.

Serve chicken without the skin to reduce calories.  Serve with Roasted Root Vegetables.

Recipe adapted from the TurboFire nutritional guide

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I know my recipes have gotten away from the healthy/diet meals.  My resolution for 2012 is to lighten everything up.  Unfortunately, I know that unless it really tastes good, I'll only eat it once so there's my challenge.  To find foods that are both healthy & taste great.  While this meal isn't "healthy"  it does taste great & doesn't contain PHO or HFCS.  

Mexican Stuffed Shells

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1pkg taco seasoning
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 14-16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1.5c salsa
  • 1c taco sauce
  • 1c cheddar cheese
  • 1c monterey jack cheese
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • Sour cream
Preheat oven to 350'

In a frying pan, cook the ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.  Add cream cheese, cover & simmer until the cheese is melted.  Blend well.  Set aside & cool.  While beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according the directions; drain.  Set shells out individually on a cutting board so that they don't stick together.

Pour salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture.  Place shells in the 9x13 pan, open side up.  Cover shells with taco sauce.   Add shredded cheddar cheese & bake for 30 mins or until the edges are bubbly.

Top with any condiments you'd like (green onions, black olives, etc.)  Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Easy Chicken Quesadilla

This recipe was so easy to make but it tasted like it took a lot of time.  

Easy Chicken Quesadillas

  • 1c shredded chicken  (tip)
  • 1c taco blend shredded cheese
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1t Fajita seasoning
  • 1/2c Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • Large flour tortillas (I buy the raw tortillas & cook them myself.  They taste so much better than the ready to eat ones, at the store)
  • sour cream

Place the chicken in a bowl.  Set aside.

Saute the peppers & onions.  

To the chicken, add the peppers & onions, ranch dressing, fajita seasoning & mix well.  

Spread 1/2c of the mixture over half of a cooked flour tortilla, sprinkle with cheese & fold over.  

Place in a saute pan & cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  

Serve with sour cream for dipping .