Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mom's Pasta Salad

This is a super easy recipe that we ate quite frequently at my house. The ingredients are cheap, it holds up well in the fridge, and there is no need to reheat. We ate this as a side dish, a snack, or a meal.

What you will need:
Garden rotini pasta (or other similar pasta, I used Wacky Mac)
Italian dressing (Mom uses Kraft, but Wishbone works fine too!)
Can of sliced black olives, drained
Can of sliced mushrooms, drained

Cook and drain pasta, following package directions. Pour cooked pasta into a large bowl and add olives and mushrooms. Add the dressing, little by little, until the pasta is thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
The above recipe is the original, basic recipe (this is still my favorite way to eat it.) Some years later mom revised the recipe by adding all sorts of new ingredients. In addition to the olives and mushrooms, the recipe now includes chopped cooked ham, shredded cheddar cheese, peeled and diced cucumber, and diced green pepper. Because of the addition of these new ingredients, more dressing may be required to coat everything sufficiently.
Please note that I didn't list any measurements or container sizes in this recipe, that is because you can make this in any batch size you want, and include the ingredients in any ratio you desire.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Repairing Socks

Because, why not? Let's face it, clothes are expensive. Especially when you consider how much money you pay for socks. I'm not talking about gimmicky, rainbow striped socks or socks with sharks printed on them, I'm talking about functional socks that you wear day-to-day. For as little fabric as you are buying, it seems as though an exorbitant amount of money is being paid. All for a piece of fabric that cushions your feet from the inside of your shoe, and wicks sweat away from your feet. Willie is very hard on socks, as he wears boots nearly every day. Steel-toed work boots during the week, and slip-on boots around town and in the yard on weekends. His socks end up with all sorts of holes in the toes. That's just how it goes.
Rather than spend tons of money replacing them every time a toe escaped, he figured it would be a good idea to repair them. The first several times he sewed them up himself, however, I have recently been pitching in on the good fight. It's not that hard, and you can even multi-task! While I'm sitting in the recliner watching William Shatner tell me about all sorts of strange goings-on in this cooky world we live in, I'm sewing up socks. It takes very little effort, and even if it only gets a few more weeks of wear out of a pair, I think it's worth it. Remember, saving pennies adds up!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Easy Meals: Salsa Soup

I like to make this soup for lunch on a cold day, or a lazy day, either one! It's cheap, easy, and warms you right up!
One envelope of noodle soup mix
Canned corn
Shredded cheese, or other toppings as desired

Prepare soup according to package directions. While you wait for the water to boil, drain your corn. If you are using a small can of corn, use the whole thing. If using a large can, use half and put the other half in the fridge to eat later. Measure out a half cup of your favorite salsa. Once the soup is done cooking, turn off the heat and immediately add the corn and salsa. The residual heat will warm the new ingredients through. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to Clean Grout

 My grout in the bathroom was looking kind of icky, so I started looking for something that I could make here at home to get it clean. The easiest, and seemingly most effective recipe called for just two ingredients: vinegar and dish soap. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a shot.

I mixed the vinegar and dish soap in a squirt bottle in equal parts. The recipe online said to use a spray bottle, but I didn't have one on hand. the squirt bottle worked just fine for me. Just apply to the grout lines. If you are working on a large floor, divide it up into smaller sections. Let the solution sit and soak for a few minutes.

I used an old towel to wipe up some of the excess solution before I started scrubbing. Even without scrubbing yet, I got this much dirt off my floor. Mind you, I had already swept and mopped before I began.

Using a wet scrub brush I scrubbed all of the grout lines. Didn't take a ton, but I did need to use a little elbow grease. I then dampened another towel and used it to wipe up all the stuff I had just scrubbed up. This towel shows how much more stuff came up after scrubbing.

It may not be perfect, but there is a huge improvement over what it looked like before. Now I just need to do the same to the tile on the landing... Maybe another day!