Thursday, September 29, 2011


Remember Bread Lady? She's the friend who taught my mom, Nana, how to make seriously delicious Lebanese bread. Well, she also makes lots of other wonderful Lebanese dishes. She loves sharing her recipes and showing how she works her magic in the kitchen. I was lucky enough to join in on one of her cooking sessions to learn how to make tabouli (also spelled tabbouleh or tabuli). It's a traditional Lebanese salad that's very popular throughout the Middle East.

What you need:
  • 2 cups of cracked wheat No 2
  • 4 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches of green onions, finely chopped
  • 6 bunches of parsley, washed, dried well, stemmed, and chopped fine (use a food processor to save lots of time)
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh or dried mint (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Place wheat (unwashed) in bottom of a large bowl. 
cracked wheat

Place chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley and mint over the cracked wheat.

Cover and place in refrigerator for several hours. About an hour before serving dress the salad with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Mix well and serve at room temperature.

Or just pig out... like we did.
Thank you Bread Lady for sharing your wonderful food and lovely stories with us!

PS- This recipe makes a lot of tabouli so feel free to half or even quarter the recipe.

PSS- This salad requires an insane amount of finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Try using this chopping gadget that Bread Lady uses. 
I loved it so much that I tried to steal it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've always wanted to make my own laundry detergent, but brewing water and soap over the stove didn't appeal to me. I've had my eye out for a dry recipe and came across one on pinterest. (ps- Don't go to pinterest, you will become addicted and end up spending all your free time there... not that I know from experience or anything.)

 What you need:
  • 4 pound box of Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 4 pound box of baking soda
  • 4 pound box of Borax laundry booster
  • 1 small container of some type of oxyclean
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha or Zote soap (I used 2 Fels and 1 Zote)
What you do:
Combine first 4 ingredients in a big bucket, mixing as you go.

Using a cheese grater, grate the soap into the bucket and mix well. I imagine a food processor would also grate the soap well. Doesn't the Fels-Naptha totally looks like cheese?!

Done! I put some detergent in an old clear cookie jar next to my washer. The scooper that came with the oxyclean holds about 2 tablespoons, that's how much soap I add to a load of clothes.
Because this laundry detergent doesn't make much in the way of suds it also works in a high efficiency machine. My mom, Nana, gave this detergent a try and thought it worked great in her HE machine.

I'd like to experiment with different kinds of soap like my favorite... Grandma's Lye Soap. I'll let you know how that goes.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Texas Zipline Adventures

Friday afternoon Bestie, her Hubby, Mr.Perfect and I played hooky from life and had a mini stay-cation at
Lake Travis Zipline Adventures.  None of us had ever been ziplining before and had no idea what to expect but we were all thrilled to embark on a new adventure so close to home.
We started the tour with a short boat ride to a lake side beach that had lounge chairs, clean bathrooms and lots of cold drinking water available for us to use at our leisure. Luckily it happened to be overcast and not one of the many 100+ degree days we've had this summer. Hiking the beautiful trails to each zipline platform was great exercise and the views of Lake Travis and the Hill Country couldn't be beat.
Our tour guides were attentive, knowledgeable, professional and patient. They took care of our every need and made sure we were always having a great time.
I fell in love with ziplining! To feel the rush of wind in your face and hear the gentle hum of the cord as you soar above the trees and canyons is absolutely exhilarating.
My favorite part was the grand finale. Bestie and I decided to race their longest run tandem. Screaming and laughing as we zipped 2000 feet is a priceless memory that I'll never forget!
Bestie and I Preparing to Zip
Zip On!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Ice Cream

These two sad and slightly wrinkled apples sat on my counter all week. Mr.Perfect threatened to toss them in our worm bin but I thought they deserved a little better. Since Trouble doesn't like apple sauce and it's too hot in Texas to make a pie I decided to try making ice cream with these less than appealing apples.
 What you need:
  • 2-3 apples, peeled and diced (I used golden delicious but I think granny smith would be even better)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan.

Cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stir mixture occasionally (apples should become soft). Set aside to cool in your freezer.

Using a mixer, mix the eggs in a bowl until light. (about 2 minutes)

Mix in 1/2 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue mixing until blended, about 1 minute more. (It should look thicker now.)

Pour the cream, milk and vanilla into egg mixture and mix until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer’s instructions.

After the ice cream stiffens, add the cold apple mixture and let it mix in the ice cream maker for a minute.

Put all of this yummy goodness in a freezer safe container. Store in the freezer to harden up.
I drizzled a little caramel sauce over
the cinnamon apple ice cream.
It was heavenly!
Ice cream is happiness condensed!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Creamy Roasted Hatch Chile Dip

It's late summer and the grocery stores in central Texas are filled with Hatch chiles. I just love the distinctive flavor of these spicy peppers from New Mexico!
What you need:
  • 2-3 roasted Hatch green chiles, seeded
  • 1 brick of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup milk (add more milk to make salad dressing)
  • juice from a lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt to taste
What you do:
Toss all ingredients in your blender.

Pulse until mixture is smooth.


It's easy to roast chiles! Place them under the broiler. The skin will blister and turn black (burnt&black= yummy). Turn the peppers to blister all sides. Place them in a plastic or paper bag for 15 minutes. Remove the skins (I'm strange and like the blackend skins so I keep them on).
Tip Junkie handmade projects