Product Review: Proctor Silex Electric Knife

Call me crazy, but this is probably one of my most used kitchen gadgets. No doubt, Thanksgiving would be a bust in my house without it, because I couldn’t carve a turkey to save my life without it, but that isn’t the only thing I use it for.
Over the years I have become a pro at making sandwich trays all because of this amazing little gadget. I simply spread the bread out across the counter, make the sandwiches and then stack the sandwhiches 3-4 high and WHAM, I go to cutting. Ahhhhh, lets tackle 3 large sandwich trays in a matter of an hour.
How about cutting fruit & veggies? Easy-peasy with an electric knife!
This thing really is a time & life saver and at a VERY affordable price…. why doesn’t everyone own one of these? They retail for less than $30.00!!
Cheers from the Deep South!
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Product Review: Elite Pressure Cooker

Not your grandma’s pressure cooker, folks! This thing is down right amazing!! No lie, I was a bit scared at first. I mean, we have all heard the stories of an exploding pressure cooker, right? Then my aunt told me about this particular pressure cooker and she just raved about it so, I decided to take the plunge and buy it. I knew she would never steer me wrong after all. 

Can we say:

ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS OF MY LIFE? Seriously! I used to be a crock-pot queen, but now I am just a pressure cooker queen and I only use my crock-pot for some of old favorites. Cooking time is just amazingly fast with a pressure cooker and I am in love! Its large 8 qt  capacity is perfect for our family of 6 (and whatever “extras” may be at our house on any given night.) 
 
It is user friendly and super easy to clean! My favorite part!! Forgot to defrost dinner? No big deal. I cook frozen chicken breast in it at least once a week…. at least
 
I will be posting some of my favorite electric pressure cooker recipes in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here’s the 411 on the Elite 8qt Electric Pressure Cooker:
 
Large 8qt capacity
  • Suitable for preparing many family-size meals

 

High-pressure, high-temperature cooking
  • Cooks food rapidly and with less power
  • Also allows for high-altitude cooking 

 

Multiple cooking options
  • Includes functions for pressure cooking, stewing, braising, simmering and roasting
  • Select the appropriate menu button on the cooker and cooking is done automatically
  • Takes the guesswork out of cooking soups, stews, chili, rice, meat and vegetables

 

Touchpad digital control with LED display
  • For easily setting and monitoring cooking times

 

Choose from preset or user-programmable cooking times
  • User can set pressurized cooking time from 0-99 minutes for customized cooking

 

24-hour preset delay timer
  • Allows user to program cooking to begin in up to 24 hours
  • Cooking starts automatically at end of countdown

More Features

  • Removable nonstick interior pan
  • Indicator beep at end of cooking cycle
  • Automatically switches to Keep Warm at end of cooking cycle
  • Automatic resumption of cooking when power is restored after a power failure
  • Various colors available: black, red, blue
 
Retail Price: About $100.00 (depending on where you purchase)
 

 
 
 

 

 

 

Yes… We DID Make Our Own Laundry Detergent

I have been reading more and more about people making their own laundry detergent, cleaning products, etc. After looking over many different articles, blogs and posts I decided it was something I wanted to try myself.

Lets face it: we ALL want to save money! That was my main reason for trying it. With six people in our house, there are always clothes waiting to be washed. One of my favorite things about my house is the 14′ x 14′ laundry room. Its nearly as big as my bedroom (or is it bigger? hmmm). Anyway…. its a huge laundry room, one of the most used spaces in our home and I love it. I have a table to fold clothes on, shelves to put the folded clothes on, and a hanging bar to hung clothes up immediately.

We also have an upright freezer in there and one whole wall is lined in shelves that we use as our overflow pantry. Above the washer and dryer are more shelves used for “utility” type things and extras like oil lamps, foot baths, Igloo water cooler, etc. Needless to say, our laundry room is a well used room.

But back to the laundry detergent: I decided to try it out. So, one of my (many) projects over this past weekend was to make laundry detergent. Now mind you, my darling husband thinks I am crazy, and my ex-husband thinks I have totally gone off my rocker. But oh well…. when I have saved my little family some cold hard $$ that when I get to laugh at all of THEM!

The total start up cost of this “project” was about $20. I purchased the following things:

1 Box of Borax
1 Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
2 Bars of Octagon Soap
1 Bottle Essential Oils
1 5 Gal bucket with lid

Now, I didn’t use NEARLY all of that for my first batch, but I couldn’t see explaining to Walmart that I only wanted 1 cup of Borax & 1 cup of Washing Soda, so I went ahead and bought the whole box they sold it in! 🙂

Recipe:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Octagon Soap
15-30 drops Essential Oil

I have seen many recipes using Fels-Naptha soap, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I saw the “spot” for it in two stores, but they were out so I went with the Octagon soap instead. From what I have seen, any all-purpose bar soap will work: Fels-Naptha, Octagon, Zote, Ivory.

Step 1: Grate 1 whole bar of Octagon Soap

It kind of looks like cheese huh?

Step 2: Mix the grated soap in a pot with 4-5 cups hot water  on medium heat until the soap melts down completely. DO NOT let it get to a boil. Stir in continuously.

Just keep stirring the pot!

Step 3: Once the soap is dissolved, pour it into a 5 gal bucket. Then add: 1 cup Borax & 1 cup Washing Soda. Mix until mostly dissolved.

Add Soap mixture, Borax & Washing Soda to bucket

Step 4: Fill bucket 1/2 full with HOT water. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil for every 2 gals of water. (I used about 25 drops total even though I used more than 4 gals of water.) Mix until well blended.

Yes, I brought the bucket onto the porch and used a drill with a mixer attachment on it!

Step 5: Fill the bucket the rest of the way up with hot water and mix well.

Step 6: Cover and let set over night. Once it has set, it may appear clumped up or like gel or may be watery. (Mine was a mixture of gel and watery.) NO BIG DEAL! Just stir it up and then put into containers (I am using emptied liquid Tide containers).

USE: 1/2 cup per load of laundry

Now I am sure you want to know the COST of this right? Here is my breakdown:
(1 – 5-gal bucket not included in price below)

1 Bottle Essential Oil – $3.60 (Reg Price $5.99 but I got it on sale)
1 Box Borax – $3.38  – 76 oz = .04 cents/ oz
1 Box Washing Soda – $3.24 – 55 oz = .06 cents/ oz
1 Bar Octagon Soap – $0.97

Recipe:
8 oz Borax – $0.32
8 oz Washing Soda – $0.48
1 Bar Octagon Soap – $0.97
Essential Oil (approx 1/5 of bottle) – $0.75
Water – FREE

Total Cost of 5 gals (approx 150 loads)
$2.52 or $0.02 a load
Tide: $19.98 for 170 “loads” = $0.12 a load
When doing JUST 2 loads of laundry a day I am saving:
$0.20 a day
$1.40 a week
$6.00 a month
$72.00 a year
And that is if I only wash 2 loads a day…. I WISH!!!
MAN I LOVE SAVING $$$
Not just that we will save $ but that we are being more self-sustaining!

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