Homemade Soft Scrub

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The only thing worse than having to clean your apartment is running out of cleaning supplies and having to go to the store for more to clean your apartment. By the time I get home for the store I lost whatever desire to clean I had.

This is a recipe that will prevent the loss of cleaning momentum. I didn’t believe it would actually work but I was desperate too finish cleaning my kitchen before my company got there so I gave it a try and it worked just as good as the stuff I bought at the store. I usually only make a small batch when I need it but if you want to make a bigger batch just store any leftovers in an airtight container between uses.

Homemade Soft Scrub

Baking soda
Dish soap
In a small bowl, combine the baking soda with the dish soap until you get a spreadable consistency. Use like you would store bought soft scrub.

Chicken Thighs with Soy Sauce and Lemon

Chicken thighs frequently show up on my table. Chicken thighs are cheaper than chicken breasts. Chicken thighs are dark meat so they are juicer and tougher to overcook then chicken breasts. Even though chicken thighs have a lot of good things going for them, if you aren’t careful chicken thighs can also be very, very boring.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make chicken thighs not boring. You can marinate, use a rub or, in the case of this recipe, make a glaze. This recipe doesn’t appear to make enough sauce but if you drag your thighs through it when you flip them there will easily be enough sauce to glaze two chicken thighs.

Chicken with Soy Sauce and Lemon

1 ½ tsp olive oil
1-2 bone in chicken thigh, rinsed and patted dry
½ tsp minced garlic
1 ½ tsp minced or grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp cayenne or to taste
1 TBS soy sauce
½ tsp sugar
Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oil to the skillet and swirl and add the chicken. Brown quickly on both sides. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken and all but one tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Let the pan cool for a minute or so then turn the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about a minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice; stir. Return the chicken to the skillet and turn it once or twice in the liquid. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer, turning once or twice until the chicken is done, 20-30 minutes.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Chickpea Toss

I am finding more and more reasons to love me new camera every time I take it out of the bag to practice. Today’s reason to love my new camera is the flexibility it gives me to take pictures in different lighting situations. When I was taking pictures with my tablet camera, it had to be a bright sunny day to take any food pictures. I would have never even bothered to try and take pictures on an overcast, gloomy day like today.

With my new camera, I can take pictures in any lighting situation. I just play around with things like shutter speed, aperture, and flash exposure compensation until I get a decent picture. So even though Photography 101 is over and I am not posting assignments here anymore, I am still practicing with and learning about my camera.

I always find chickpeas a little on the dry side so I am working on some sort of gravy or sauce for this recipe. As is, however, it is a quick and easy vegetarian recipe.

Chickpea Toss

1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dark sesame oil
¼ cup olives, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp curry powder
In a large saucepan, set on medium high heat, saute onions and garlic until translucent. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the olives, chickpeas, salt, pepper and curry powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Adapted from How It All Vegan or In The Garden of Vegan I can’t remember which and I can’t check because I loaned the books to my friend, Steph.

“Stovetop” Stuffing

This week has truly sucked rocks. One of my coworkers passed away on Wednesday. I found out my Aunt Janis is deathly ill. And because I am having problems with my phone, I can’t reach out to the people I normally do when the shit hits the fan. I am starting to feel isolated and alone. I think it is time for a gratitude post.

Gratitude posts are my way to remember to be thankful for the little bits of good that are wrapped up in the bad. I usually write them in a notebook by my bed but today I wanted to share 5 things I am grateful for this week with my lovely readers.

1. Being able to help a new coworker with some clothes and a pair of shoes. Her ex roommate stole all her clothes and money. I can’t help with the money. I do, however, have a pair of shoes and several pairs of pants and some tops that don’t fit me but should fit her.

2. Having enough money leftover from buying groceries to get a pretzel and a soda while I waited for the bus.

3. An extraordinarily good batch of my homemade spaghetti sauce.

4. Steph stopping by work to see me because we can’t text each other a million times a day.

5. The first season of MASH on DVD.

I was amazed at how this tastes exactly like the boxed version of stove top stuffing. It doesn’t take long to make even if you don’t make the packets ahead of time. Although it is good right out of the pot, it is even better if you bake it in a 350ndegree oven to get crisped it a little bit. Sometimes I even season a chicken breast or thigh and lay it on top of the stuffing as it bakes, 30-40 minutes.

Stuffing Mix

¼ tsp marjoram
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp basil
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight bag. 1 packet

Poultry Stuffing
¼ stick butter
1/2 cup water
1 packet stuffing mix
2 cups bread cubes
In a saucepan, heat the butter, seasoning packet, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the bread cubes. Let sit, covered, until liquid is absorbed.

Adapted from Family Feasts For $75 a Week

Rhubarb Cookies


This recipe is a recipe in progress. Why am I posting an unperfected recipe? I am posting it because I am totally stumped with what to do with it. Does it need frosting? A glaze? More rhubarb? Cinnamon? I just don’t know. My friends say they are just fine, quit fussing. I say they are okay the way they are but they are missing the one thing to take them from okay to great. So if you try the recipe please let me know what you think. Are the cookies perfect just the way they are or what do you think they need?

Rhubarb Cookies

1/4  cup butter, softened
6 TBS brown sugar
3  TBS lightly beaten egg
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
6 TBS diced rhubarb
3 TBS flaked coconut, optional

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.  Stir in the rhubarb and coconut, if using, and mix well.  Drop by tablespoonfuls two inches apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 12-15  minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.