Homemade Baby Wipes

Monday, July 28, 2008

I am a recent convert to a website called Supermom Central. I have posted a link to the site if anyone else is interested in being sucked into the greatness of tips, ideas, and freebies. Now, I do not profess to be a super-mom myself; but like most moms, I am doing the best I can and I relish in ideas that make my life easier. This is a "recipe" I found on their website and thought it was worth sharing.
Benefits of homemade baby wipes: they work just as well as store-bought wipes, they are easy on your budget because most of the items are things you already have in your house (if you have a baby), they are fast and easy to make, and they make the house smell good when you are making them.


Start to Finish: 5 minutes this is a beautiful thought
Recipe By: Supermom Central


1 big bounty paper towel roll, cut in half
2-1/4 cup water
2 TBSP baby lotion
1 TBSP baby bath
1 TBSP baby oil


1. Combine all, heat until lotion dissolves, just before it boils.
2. Pour into a tupperware container, add paper towels, put lid on.
3. Let stand until wet/soaked.
4. Remove the inner cardboard and you are ready to go
5. Pull wipes from the center of the roll & make sure to put the lid on them when you're finished because they dry out quickly.

Spring Shower Almond Petits Fours

Friday, July 25, 2008

This was one of the more ambitious baking challenges I took on. None of the steps are difficult, there are just a lot of steps (30 steps). I wouldn't try this recipe unless you have a whole day to spend getting your kitchen dirty. But the results are incredible! The cake is surprisingly moist and light and the flavors are perfect together. The cakes have great presentation and are a wonderful choice for entertaining. If you are going to attempt to make the flowers yourself, add an extra hour to the time.

Serves: approx 25 cakes
Start to Finish: 4 hours 30 minutes (20 minutes is cook time, 140 minutes is cooling time)
Recipe By: Martha Stewart Magazine - Year of Cakes Challenge


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for baking sheet. Cake flour is not the same as all-purpose flour. If you only have all-purpose flour you can make it work by substituting: 1 cup of all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons (1c - 2tbsp) to equal 1 cup of cake flour.
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond paste you should be able to find this in a grocery store; it is packaged like a sausage tube
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cherry preserves, processed in a food processor The cherry preserves are delicious with this recipe. But if cherries aren't your thing you can use any flavor you like, just be sure to get something without seeds.

Sugar Glaze:
12 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 cup whole milk
Pink gel-paste food coloring
Gum paste cherry blossoms I made my own flowers, but if this is a step you want to skip they are available at Wendy Kromer Confections.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a 12-by-17- inch rimmed cookie sheet, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Hint: if you let the parchment paper hang over the sides of the sheet it will be easier to lift out the cake when it is finished baking. Parchment paper and wax paper are NOT the same thing.
3. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
4. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.
5. Put 3/4 cup sugar and the almond paste into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
6. Mix on medium-low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes.
7. Raise speed to medium-high. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
8. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla.
9. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
10. Put egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until foamy.
11. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
12. Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
13. Spread evenly into prepared cookie sheet.
14. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
15. Transfer sheet to wire rack; let cool completely.
16. Unmold; remove parchment.
17. Cut cake in half crosswise. Like you are cutting open a bagel to put spread inside.
18. Spread one half with preserves; top with remaining half.
19. Refrigerate 1 hour. If the cake is not completely cool the frosting will run off the sides.
20. Meanwhile make the sugar glaze:

21. Put sugar into a large bowl.
22. Gradually add milk, whisking until mixture is consistency of heavy cream.
23. Tint with food coloring.
24. Use immediately. If glaze becomes too thick, add more milk; if it becomes too thin, add more sugar.

25. Trim cake, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.
26. Transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
27. Pour glaze over each petits four, spreading over top and sides to coat completely. Be warned, this is the most time consuming step in the recipe.
28. Reuse glaze, straining to remove any solids, if needed. I needed to do this step about 5 times
29. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.
30. Garnish with blossoms. Cakes can be refrigerated up to 2 days.

Public Dis-Services

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Jersey has one-up on Texas any day of the week when it comes to their government offices and public services. Yesterday, Mike and I spent most of the day waiting in lines and driving back in forth from one government office to another trying our hardest to get our legal information changed to reflect our move. The offices are only open from 8:00am-5:00pm M-F so Mike has to take time off work to do this. At the social security office we waited in line (with a baby) for 2 hours before we got to the window. Then the lady at the window told us we needed our driver's licenses changed first then to come back. Now, I need to point out, that nowhere on any forms or websites does it give you this information. You have to wait in line to hear that you are in the wrong place. So we drive to another town in Texas (it isn't a small state) to find the equivalent of a DMV. They call them Public Safety Departments. Well, the first one we try hasn't even been built yet. (Makes you wonder why they are listing an address for it, doesn't it?) But we only find this out after getting on an off the freeway about 5 times and not finding it. We are literally in the middle of nowhere with nothing but fields and construction sites around. So we drive even further to get to another PSD. Our journey should stop here, but it doesn't. A paper sign on the door informs us the PSD is only accepting cash and checks today :( So we drive home and pick up everything we think we will need and then drive back. We are the last ones in line and I can get my Driver's License but Mike can't. He has to come back tomorrow. The next day, Mike drives back before work and waits in line 1 1/2 hours before they tell him he needs to register his vehicle at another office before he can get his driver's license. Once again, this information is not available on a website or any paperwork. You have to wait in line to hear that they can't help you. Furthermore, they could have mentioned it yesterday when we were already there and asking questions about it! This is so frustrating it is unbelievable.

Stuffed French Toast

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This recipe is another one from the "Eating Well When You're Expecting" book and it is good enough to be a dessert.

Serves: 1
Start to Finish: 20 minutes
Recipe By: "Eating Well When You're Expecting" Heidi Murkoff


1 TBSP peanut butter
2 slices of whole grain bread
2 tsp all-fruit preserves (any flavor)
1/2 banana, sliced very thinly
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp butter


1. Make a sandwich out of the first four ingredients in this order: bread, peanut butter, all-fruit preserves, banana slices, peanut butter, bread
2. Place the egg, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl and whisk to mix.
3. Dip the sandwich in the milk mixture and let soak for 1 minute a side. Mike prefers his french toast a little less soggy, so he only dips the sandwich briefly
4. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat
5. Cook the sandwich until browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes a side
6. Serve as is, no syrup or powdered sugar needed

Fruit-and-Oat Meal

Mike bought me a great book during my first pregnancy called "Eating Well When You're Expecting". All the recipes inside are full of vitamins and nutrients you wouldn't normally think go together (Like adding nuts to your oatmeal for extra protein in your diet). They are little things to make the most of your meals. This is a healthy all-inclusive breakfast that actually tastes good. It has 1 serving calcium, 1 serving yellow fruit, 1/2 serving protein, 1/2 serving other fruit, 1 1/2 serving whole grains. Thank you Mike for introducing me to such a great book!

Serves: 1
Start to finish: 10 minutes
Recipe By: "Eating Well When your Expecting" Heidi Murkoff


1/4 cup apple juice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
6 dried apricot halves, chopped
1 TBSP wheat germ
pinch of cinnamon
1 TBSP chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds)


1. Put all ingredients, except nuts, in a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
3. Add nuts and stir well before serving. You can also add milk to cool it down.

Sweet & Tangy Pork Chops

Monday, July 14, 2008

Because most of the items in this recipe are things I already have in my cupboards, it is an easy choice for dinner when I have nothing planned. It goes together quickly because there is virtually no prep time needed. If you don't have pork chops, you can substitute chicken. If you don't have canned tomato sauce, try pre-made spaghetti sauces like Prego or Ragu (I always have leftover spaghetti sauce in the fridge so this is a great way to use it up). Don't be afraid to experiment.

Serves: 4
Start to Finish: 30 minutes or less
Recipe By: Jani Jones ... I got this recipe from my mom, but I do not know where she got it from. I would love to give credit to the chef so if anyone knows who created this recipe please let me know so I can update this blog. Thanks


4 pork loin chops, 1 in thick (they need to be completely defrosted, if you forget this step the recipe takes A LOT longer)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 TBSP cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. (Oil is ready when it crackles if you flick a drop of water into it)
2. Brown outside of pork chops in hot oil. (You do not need to cook through at this point since you will be boiling them later, this is just to give them nice color)
3. Add remaining ingredients to pan, bring to just a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through.
5. Serve pork chops with sauce

Birthday Cake

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today we celebrated Van's first birthday. He has changed and grown so much in this last year. We absolutely adore him and are so proud of his accomplishments. For his birthday we wanted him to have his very own cake he could make a mess out of (which he did). But we didn't want him to have all the sugar that comes with cake and frosting. So we made him a carrot cake frosted in whipped cream.
Nutrition Facts:
(whipped cream 25 cal/1g sugar per 2 tbsp, frosting 140 cal/20g sugar per 2 tbsp)

Carrot Cake

Serves: 14
Start to Finish: 2 hours, 15 min (not for the faint of heart)
Recipe By: Betty Crocker


1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups finely shredded carrots
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)


1. Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of a rectangular 9 x 13 pan with shortening and lightly flour. (Can also use two 8 x 1 1/2 round pans)
2. Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in large bowl with an electric beater on low speed for approx. 30 seconds.
3. Add remaining ingredients except carrots, pineapple, nuts, and coconut. Beat for 1 minute more.
4. Gently stir in carrots, pineapple, nuts, and coconut and pour into pan.
5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (for round pans - 30 minutes) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Cool on a wire rack completely for about 1 hour
7. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Crepes For Breakfast

Monday, July 7, 2008

In our new ward, church meetings don't start until 1:00 pm. Which means Sunday morning is a great time to spend as a family doing something fun. This morning Mike and I decided to make crepes for breakfast. Not only was it fun, but they were delicious. We made ours with french vanilla pudding, strawberries, bananas, and nectarines (yummmm ... my favorite). Then, topped them with whipped cream. Okay, I will admit it, it was more like dessert than breakfast but I'm not complaining.


Serves: 12 crepes
Start to Finish: 35 minutes
Recipe By: Betty Crocker


1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
2 cups milk
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs


1. Mix together all ingredients with a hand beater until smooth
2. Lightly butter a skillet and heat over medium heat until the butter is bubbly
3. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto skillet. Immediately rotate the skillet until a thin layer of batter covers the bottom
4. Cook until light brown. (Overcooking will make them crunchy and hard to roll up)
5. Run a wide spatula around the edges to loosen. Flip and cook the other side.
6. Place crepes between wax paper to stack them.
7. Repeat this process until all the crepes are made. You will need to re-butter the pan often.


Fresh fruit, diced
French vanilla pudding
Whipped cream
You can also use jam and powdered sugar

Floors you can really eat off

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Those who know me, know I think cleaning is a great way to relieve stress. Having recently moved, being 3 months pregnant, and raising a 1-year-old you could say stress is a factor in my life. So today I set out looking for something that needed a good cleaning. Anyone who has ever been a parent to a small child knows that if there is something on the floor it will eventually end up in their mouth. Van is no exception. So the floors are something that continually need cleaning. When we moved we were required to leave most of our cleaners behind, including any kind of floor cleaner. It was just the motivation I needed to try one of those "homemade" cleaners. My little experiment turned out better than I had planned. The floor is spotless with no leftover reside, there are no harsh fumes that I need to worry about, and (surprisingly) it doesn't smell like vinegar. Now Van can eat off the floor, heck he can lick the floor, and I wont have to worry about a thing.

Homemade Floor Cleaner

1 gallon warm water
1 cup white vinegar

Mix in your cleaning bucket and use this to clean vinyl type floors.

If you are interested in more "homemade" cleaners check out this website. Maybe when your kids make faces on the window panes you wont have to worry about what kind of cleaners are on there.