Nontoxic homemade cleaning products
Here at the Cunningham homestead we are attempting to switch to all nontoxic homemade household cleaning agents. I have posted a few recipes on this topic in the past but today I want to talk about what supplies you need in your pantry and what they are good for. Baking soda, borax, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, salt, castile soap, washing soda and lemons are the ones I want to talk about today. Let’s start with baking soda.
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Removing plastic from the kitchen
The CDC found BPA in 93% of urine samples collected in 2004, this is scary because BPA mimics estrogen in the body and not only does it increase cancer cell growth but it reduces sperm count. High estrogen levels have linked it to the US’s children going through puberty at a younger age than ever. If BPA mimics estrogen then it is safe to say that this it contributing to the problem. The FDA has admitted that all plastic leach chemicals into our food.
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Uncooked Play Dough NCC
I posted an article about homemade play dough last month and I found this recipe for uncooked homemade play dough needed to share it for those in the community who are trying to save energy.
5 cups Flour
2 cups Salt
4 Tbsp Water
4 Tbsp Veggie oil
Mix flour and salt. Add water slowly to make pliable mixture. Add veggie oil to prevent hardening. Powdered tempera may be added with the flour, or food coloring can be put in the water for color. If finished artwork is to be dried, substitute 5 tablespoons of wheat paste for the oil. Store dough in covered container or plastic bag.
Homemade Finger Paint
Ingredients that are found in finger paints include: baking soda, citric acid, manntiol, polyethylene glycol, sodium benzoate, mineral oil and various food coloring including Allura red dye also known as red dye #40, approved by the FDA but is controversial because some believe that it may affect some children’s behavior.
¼ cup corn flower
2 cups water
In a small saucepan, mix together 1/4 cup corn flour and 2 cups of water. Add food coloring to get to desired color. Boil until mixture thickens, then allow to cool. Pour into lidded containers to store. Old baby food jar make the perfect size container for these paint especially the baby food meat jars.
Crunchy Butternut Brand Cereal
Why pay $4.00 or more for a box of healthy cereal when you can make some yourself and know that it is preservative and additive free. Substitute the squash for sweet potato or even mashed banana.
1 cup Sugar
2 cups mashed squash
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 cups wheat brand
2 cups whole wheat flour
Stir all ingredients together, pour into 2 9×13 pans. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until crispy. Let cool, crumble and return to pans. Place in oven at lowest temperature stirring occasionally until dry. Eat as cereal with milk.
Who doesn’t love bacon, with this recipe you can make your own salad dressing and although it is made with bacon it is still better for you than store bought kind.
4-6 slices bacon
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup minced onion
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
Fry bacon then break into bits. Add other ingredient to hot bacon fat. Bring to a boil to thicken slightly. Pour over kale or other greens raw or cooked; layer on top the bacon bits and some hard boiled egg.
Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake
Two of my favorite foods, pumpkin and cheesecake, yum! This would make a great addition to you holiday table.
20 gingersnaps cookies crushed
½ cup pecans finely chopped
¼ cup melted butter
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; spray a 9-in spring form pan with cooking spray. Combine cookie crumbs, pecans and butter until blended, press into bottom and sides of the pan and bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool. Combine cream cheese ½ cup of the sugar and the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each one. Remove one cup of batter, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes. To the remaining batter add the rest of the sugar, pumpkin cinnamon and nutmeg, mix until well blended. Spoon half of the refrigerated batter into crust in dollops, layer pumpkin batter over top then the other half of the non-pumpkin batter. Using a butter knife, swirl through the batter several times. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool in pan, refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
Recipe from USA Weekend.
This is adorable and would make a great gift for the grandma’s in your children’s life. Let the kids help by picking the colors of the cardstock or ribbons and also let them pick their favorite pictures to use. Maybe take a picture of them helping make the wreath and include that.
What you need: 3-inch circle template, colored or white cardstock, pencil, scissors, 4×6-inch black-and-white or color photos, glue stick, decorative-edge scissors, 12- or 14-inch foam wreath form, crafts glue, jingle bells, ribbon, two T pins
Make it: Use circle template to cut circles from card stock; cut faces from black-and-white photos into slightly smaller circles. Use a glue stick to attach the photo cutouts to card stock and then trim the card stock with decorative-edge scissors. Glue the photos to the surface of the Styrofoam wreath form with edges overlapping. Thread ribbon through jingle bells and tie bows. Glue the bells in between the photos as desired. Attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the wreath with T-pins and hang.
You can use this same concept but change up the shape, such as using a ball (basket, soccer, football, ext.) and make your pictures smaller and glue them all over the ball add a ribbon to hang it from and you have a cute gift for the ball lovers in your life.
Sock Advent Calender
Solo kids sock? – turn the lonely leftovers into a fun advent calendar to countdown the days to Christmas. This is such a cute fun easy craft to do with the kids. To make it a little more complicated you could paint the clothespins. Have other fun Advent calendar ideas? We would love to hear about them. Trying this idea? Let us know how it turned out, we would love to see pictures.
What you’ll need: 24 socks, number stickers, ribbon or rope, clothespins
Make it: Hang a piece of ribbon or rope on your wall – you can make any shape you like, just make sure it’s long enough to hold all 24 socks. Then, add the number stickers to your socks and attach them to the ribbon with clothespins. Place a special trinket or piece of candy inside each sock and let your kids pick a present every morning before Christmas. www.parents.com
Pumpkin Gingerbread Truffle
This recipe looks amazing but I have not tried it yet. It was taken from County living magazine’s Dec. issue. I want to make some unusually treats this year and this recipe caught my eye. I hope to make this for the holidays which is why I included it. If you make this I would love to hear how it turned out and what you would do differently.
2 pkgs. Gingerbread cake mix
1 pkg. cook a serve vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 can (29 oz) solid pack pumpkin
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping thawed and divided
Prepare and bake gingerbread according to package directions, using 2 greased 9-inch round baking pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Meanwhile, combine pudding mix and milk in large saucepan, stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and sir 1 to 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir into pudding. In a 4 quart serving bowl, crumble on gingerbread cake; press down gently. Top with half the pudding mixture and some whipped topping. Repeat layers, ending with whipped topping. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or crumbled gingersnaps. Cover and store in the refrigerator over night but no longer.