Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cloth-Diaper Laundering Update

Whether it was the effects of hard water, detergent build-up, or ammonia that were causing our cloth diapers to smell, hot rinses and very hot washes (with minimal detergent) seemed to significantly reduce the smell.

Diapers drying in the breeze – a favorite scene!

Here's what we did:

We hauled very hot water from the shower to the washer, heated more water on the stove, and dumped the boiling (or almost boiling) water into the washer. We started with at least one cold rinse, followed by a very hot wash and two cold rinses, followed by another very hot rinse. We also reduced the amount of detergent (Charlie's Soap) to only 1 teaspoon per large load.

The smell has been significantly reduced.

A very BIG "Thank-you!" to Andrea and Julie for the advice given.

We're now back home with our own washer, so there are no longer the same hot water challenges. And we've been using disposable diapers while we recover from travel, re-acclimate, etc.

Now I'm wondering...

Do I need to do some kind of treating to remove any residue from the "hard water" the diapers were subjected to for almost three months?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FREE Medications at Publix!

Upon returning from three months in South America, we learned that our Little Man had developed a sinus infection. We were awaiting new insurance cards, so I hesitated to fill the prescription for antibiotics. I really wanted to avoid the hassle of paying out of pocket and then trying to file, etc.

And then I remembered: Publix offers some medications FREE!

Yet another reason to love 'em!

Check out the details!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Home-Made Baby Food

During our three-month stay in Uruguay, we made our own baby food. Why? There aren't coupons there or even very many sales as we know them. And "everyone else" makes their own baby food there. And it's better for baby that way!

Since we tend to use very little salt in our own food, I simply used vegetables and even meat from the big pots of meat and vegetable stew I'd made for the family.

We used our KidCo Food Mill to puree the foods.

My eager, little assistant cook enjoyed seeing the little containers with a variety of colors of food all lined up in the freezer!

This picture includes vegetable broth, chicken, spinach, carrots, green squash, and sweet potatoes.

And, of course, regular ice cube trays are the most frugal option. Just pop the "ice cubes" of baby food out of the trays and store them in larger freezer-proof containers or zippered food storage bags.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

These quick cookies bring back favorite childhood memories of cooking with Mommy. My modified recipe uses a good bit less sugar than most.

Due to issues with the oven where we were staying during the past three months, we were limited in our baking choices. These became an even greater favorite!

Made with grated semi-sweet chocolate, these taste more like
“healthful” bonbons!


1 cup sugar
½ cup butter (100 grams)
¼ cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (OR 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely grated)
2½ to 2¾ cups quick cooking oats (200 grams)
1 tsp vanilla extract


In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together sugar, butter, and milk. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and mix in chocolate, oatmeal, and vanilla.

(If the mix starts to get crumbly, stir in a teaspoon or two of hot water; the cookies should then set up fine.)

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. (I often use plates.) You can refrigerate these so they get firm faster.