Category Archives: Household tips

Helpful information for home keeping

How To Make Honey Butter

Relatively expensive to buy, ridiculously easy to make!


Honey Butter

1 stick butter (margarine works too)

1/4 Cup honey


Soften the butter at room temperature.  Resist the urge to soften in the  microwave because it doesn’t turn out very well.

Put softened butter into a medium sized bowl and add the honey.  Using a hand mixer, beat on high speed.  The butter will, after about 1 minute, clump into a ball.

Spread on toast, biscuits, pancakes or use it to carmelize onions.  Delish!



Poaching Chicken Made Easy

My sister called me today to ask me how to poach chicken breasts.  Sadly, it took me quite a lot of trial and error over the years to figure out how to do it right without overcooking (or undercooking).  And I figured if I could share the “secret” with my sister, I can share it with you!

Without further ado….

  1. Take your skinless, boneless chicken breasts and put them in a stock pot.
  2. Put enough cold water in the pot to cover the chicken breasts by a good 3 or 4 inches.
  3. Do not put a lid on the pot
  4. Put the pot with the water and chicken on the stove and turn the burner on high.
  5. When the water gets hot and steam is rising and little bubbles are starting to form and pop (not boiling), turn the burner off and put the lid on the pot.
  6. Leave undisturbed (the hot water and steam are cooking those breasts). 
  7. Once the water has cooled enough so you can comfortably put your hand in and take out the chicken, they will be completely cooked and ready for use in salad or what have you.

The Easiest (and tastiest) Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

I shared this recipe with just one person and the next thing I knew, I was inundated with requests for it.   Yes, it really is this easy to make fudgy, chewy, peanut buttery cookies (warning:  these are not your run of the mill barely taste the peanut butter cookies!)


Right Wicked Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (not the all natural kind that’s ground peanuts and salt)

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

Yes, that’s really it, I didn’t forget any ingredients, I promise. 

Mix everything together well.  Roll into balls and use a fork to press the typical criss cross pattern all peanut butter cookies have.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for approx 8 – 10 minutes (or just until the edges set when touched with your finger).

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

How to flush your hot water heater

Hey, there are people who really don’t know they’re supposed to flush/clean their hot water heater once a year. Your hot water heater gets a sediment build up at the bottom making it harder to heat the water and shortening the life span of the water heater.  It’s smart preventative maintenance and here is how you do it (these instructions are for an electric water heater):

Step 1:  You’ll need a regular garden hose and a bucket.  Have them ready.

Step 2:  Turn off the breaker switch to the hot water heater (find the breaker switch on your circuit breaker panel.  If you can’t find it, turn off the main switch to the entire house).

Step 3:  Locate the drain cock on your water heater.  On most models it’s at the bottom of the water heater and it looks like a regular garden spigot/faucet.

Step 4:  Attach the hose to the drain cock and drag the rest of the hose outside where the hot water can come out of the hose and not cause  damage or  burns (the water coming out will be HOT and under normal household pressure).

Step 5:  Turn the drain cock to open the flow of water (remember the water will be hot coming out of the hose).  If the drain cock will not turn, do not force as you may break it; call a professional instead.

Step 6:  Allow the water to flow.  After 5 minutes, fill your bucket with water coming from the hose.  If (after a minute or two) there is sediment settling or any funky colored (i.e.:  rust colored) water, allow the water heater to continue draining.  Check again after another 5 minutes.  Keep repeating this step until the water in the bucket is clear and no sediment settles to the bottom of the bucket.

Step 7:  Once the water is clear, shut off the drain cock and remove the hose.  Remember to turn your circuit breaker back on. 


That’s all there is to it.  Take the time to conserve energy and prolong the life of your water heater.

DIY Beeswax furniture polish

I don’t recall where I got this recipe from as I have had it for quite a few years, so I can’t give credit where credit is due.

Beeswax Polish

  • 4 ounces beeswax
  • 2 T carnauba wax
  • 2 1/2 C odorless turpentine

Melt the waxes in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring each time, until waxes are melted. Stir in turpentine (I also added some essential oil for fragrance to mine). Pour into storage container and allow to cool. The consistency will be a creamy paste.

To use the polish, use a clean cloth and rub into wood in a circular pattern, let the polish dry, and use a clean cloth to buff to a shine.

Non-Toxic Cleaning

Just exactly what’s in those bottles of caustic cleaners we pour, shake, and spray all over our homes? With ingredients like Chloro-ortho-phenylphenol (say that ten times fast), nitrobenzene, and 2-butoxyethanol it’s no wonder people are looking for natural, non-toxic cleansers for their homes.

Most of the cleaning products that may be in your home right this second are made with chemicals that are classified as hazardous waste. Take the seemingly harmless air “freshener”. Spray it around and make your house smell like roses, right? The ingredients are long and obnoxious but know that many air fresheners contain carcinogens (piperonyl butoxide), napthalene and p-dichlorobenzene (depressants of the central nervous system), and methoxychlor (pesticide).

Dish soap must be harmless, after all, it’s soap. Not quite so fast. The bottle next your kitchen sink most likely contains gems like Naptha (neurotoxin) and chloro-ortho-phenylphenol (classified as hazardous waste).

You don’t even want to know what’s in furniture polish, trust me.

Had enough yet?

Cleaning your home with safe alternatives is easy and inexpensive. The supplies needed are readily available, so what are you waiting for?

Easy Microwave De-gunker

Place a bowl of water in the microwave and heat on high power for 5 minutes (or until the water is good and hot). Leave the door closed and wait 15 minutes. Remove the bowl (careful, it’s hot!) and wipe the splattered on gunk away. Sometimes I put some vanilla extract in with the water just to make it smell good.

Window Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar. Spray on windows, wipe clean.

Yeah, I know vinegar doesn’t smell the greatest, but the smell dissipates quickly and it sure beats neurotoxins.

(in the interest of saving money, all essential oils listed can be used singly or in combination in all the following recipes)

Scrub for the sink

I use equal parts baking soda and borax plus essential oils known to have antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antibiotic properties:

1/2 Cup borax

1/2 Cup baking soda

20 drops of essential oil of lavender, lemon or tea tree

Combine the borax and baking soda then add essential oils a few drops at a time, stirring well after each addition. Store in an airtight container. To use, shake a small amount into a damp sink, scrub, rinse with hot water. You can also pour a cup of white vinegar in the sink after scrubbing to freshen drains (make sure to rinse with hot water after the vinegar too). If you opt to use vinegar after scrubbing, just know the combination of baking soda and vinegar causes a fizzing reaction.

Floor Cleaner

2 gallons hot water

1/4 Cup liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s is a popular brand)

20 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil–optional, it just smells great with the lavender

Put the soap and essential oils in a bucket and add the hot water. You know what to do from there. And the best part? No need to rinse the floors!

Don’t forget the toilet

1/4 Cup liquid castile soap

1 Tablespoon of lavender, tea tree or lemon essential oil


Put the soap and essential oils into a spray bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. To use: spray on the toilet and wipe off.

Want more? Let me know.

Happy, healthy cleaning!

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