Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cucumber Sandwiches

Are you looking for a great snack to take to a party?  These have been a hit everywhere I go and they are very easy and cute as can be. 

You'll need:

3 T. mayonnaise
1/2 t. hot sauce
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 ( .7 oz ) envelope of Italian dressing mix
1 loaf cocktail bread- these little loaves are usually in the bakery or deli section of the store
1 large cucumber thinly sliced into about 36 slices

Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth ( you can do it with a spoon if you cream cheese is soft enough)

Spread cream cheese mixture over bread slices and top each with a cucumber slice.  A sprig of dill makes a pretty garnish.

You can make the cream cheese mixture ahead of time and store in refrigerator.

You'll end up with about 3 dozen little sandwiches and they look very pretty on a platter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ALDI

I used to think shopping at Aldi was a well kept secret, but I do not think that anymore.  That store has been so busy lately!!!  In case you have not tried it and you you want to save money at the grocery store, please do.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised and  find huge savings even when compared to couponing and Wal-mart brand prices. 

Aldi carries mostly its own brand and there is only one of each type of product.  If you want sugar, there is the Aldi brand, no others.  I think this makes shopping there quick and easy and it is the one of the only stores I can go in without a list and come out with what I needed.  For my style of shopping I find the biggest savings on produce, snacks for the kids, and bread/bakery items.  I found big cheap pumpkins in the fall, great deals on watermelons in the summer, .99 bags of oranges not so long ago and so much more!!

When you go, take you own reusable shopping bags if you have them.  This is one way Aldi saves money, if you want their bags, you have to buy them.  Also have a quarter to "rent" the cart while you shop.  The carts are never left in the parking lot and the child straps seem to always work.  People will return the carts for a quarter!!  Also plan to pay with cash, debit card or, EBT only. Check out www.aldi.com for more information.

Their products carry a double guarantee so no harm in trying.  If you are already an Aldi shopper I would love for you to share your favorite items in the comments section    Thank you!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Used Dryer Sheets Can Be Useful!

I was surprised to see how many uses are out there for dryer sheets besides the obvious use for laundry.  I loved these ideas for reusing the dryer sheets after their time in the dryer. 

Dry erase board erasers.

Place in shoes to freshen.

Place in suitcases, purses, backpacks or anything else that get put up for a bit.

Place in hampers, bottom of trash cans, drawers and more for a fresh scent.

Use as dusters- if nothing else use them to dust the top of your washer and dryer and to clean the lint trap on the dryer.

Place in vacuum bag or the canister of a bag less vacuum to combat to the usual smell from the vacuum.

Use it to dust your television screen. The anti-static chemicals in a dryer sheet will help to repel dust and lint.

Use old dryer sheets to easily wipe up talcum powder, flour, sheetrock dust, sawdust, and other messes.

Run a sheet over a piece of thread when you're doing sewing tasks. The thread won't tangle up as easy.

Get rid of pet hair on clothes on furniture by rubbing the area with a used dryer sheet.

Keep dust and other contaminants off your glass computer screen by carefully wiping it with an old sheet.

Did you purchase some old, musty books at a garage sale or thrift shop? Make them smell good again! Simply place the books in a sealed plastic bag with a used dryer sheet. Allow the bag to sit undisturbed for a day or two, then remove the contents. The musty smell will be gone!

Are your scissors not cutting as smooth as they should? Wipe the blades clean with a used dryer sheet to remedy this problem.

Used dryer sheets make great little cloths for quick shine ups in the bathroom and kitchen too. Just use one on each of your chrome faucets and see how brightly they shine!


Some of these ideas came from 20 Innovative Ways to Recycle Used Dryer Sheets.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: Creative Uses

 I was inspired to get out my Magic Eraser once again when my neighbor told me it was get those marks off my kitchen sink.  It did and so I looked up other uses.  I have not tried these and they all came from the link below, but I will be trying many of them!!!!!  Read the warning on the package and stay away from glossy finishes.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers: Creative Uses For These Household Cleaning Blocks That Truly Work Magic! - The Fun Times Guide to Household Tips

What Mr. Clean Magic Erasers Can Do:

  • remove dried paint from door hinge
  • remove tarnish from silver
  • remove mold & mildew from anything plastic
  • clean & polish gold jewelry
  • remove soap scum in the tub and shower
  • remove marks on walls
  • clean splatters inside the microwave
  • remove marks on vinyl siding
  • clean mirrors in the bathroom (keeps shower mirrors from fogging)
  • remove adhesive residue after removing stickers
  • remove waterline mark around the pool
  • remove hair dye from countertops & floors
  • clean light-colored suede
  • remove black scuff marks from baseboards (where the vacuum cleaner hits)
  • clean the outdoor side of window sills stained from leaves, dust and dirt
  • clean plastic coolers inside and out (...even dirty grimey ones used by men with greasy hands!)
  • remove rust spots & stains on countertop
  • remove cooked-on stains in pots and pans
  • remove soot off the walls near the fireplace
  • clean within the grooves of lawn ornaments
  • clean sticky/dusty range hood over the stove
  • remove nail polish spills or stains
  • clean airbake cookie sheets & bakeware (the kind with all those tiny grooves)
  • clean oven shelves & the grates on the grill
  • remove wet nose marks from pets on the windows (even car windows)
  • remove toothpaste splashes from bathroom mirrors
  • remove melted plastic on the side of the toaster oven
  • remove grimey green algae from cement (bird baths, steps, ponds, etc)
  • clean stained elbows from dirty work
  • remove green mildew from siding and gutters
  • remove paint spills & oversprays
  • remove toilet bowl rings (just cut a piece off & let it set in your toilet overnight)
  • remove built-up algae, water deposits, etc from ceramic flower pots
  • clean dish drainers that are gunked with lime and build-up
  • remove bird poop from concrete bird bath
  • remove coffee & tea stains that remain inside a mug, caraffe, thermos even after washing
  • clean the plastic agitator inside your washing machine
  • clean window screens (even when they are still in the window)
  • remove built-up baked on grease inside the deep fryer
  • clean inside the crock pot
  • remove melted plastic on a glass top stove
  • clean swimming pool steps
  • remove baked on brown spots on cookware
  • clean antiques & collectibles
  • polish collectible coins
  • clean & shine things up before you sell them in a yard sale
  • clean boat & outdoor furniture upholstery
  • clean vinyl striping on motorhomes, vans, boats
  • clean car tires, including white walls
  • clean pebbled surfaces like the outside of plastic coolers
  • remove pet & child vomit from carpet or clothing
  • remove scuff marks on motorcycle & ATV helmets
  • remove grass stains from shoes after mowing the lawn
  • remove scuff marks from hangers/shoes in the walk-in closet
  • clean oven door
  • remove pollen from patio furniture, cars, etc.
  • remove soap scum and gunk from around the bathroom faucets
  • remove hairspray build-up on countertops and vanities
  • remove soap scum inside porcelain & utility sinks
  • clean stained caulking along the kitchen sink & countertop
  • clean your bicycle, even the tires & rims
  • clean tile & grout
  • remove mildew from tents, vinyl canopies, awnings, fiberglass items
  • remove paint overspray that has dried
  • remove shoe marks from the kickplate of house doors & car doors
  • clean inside your car (along the handles, window ledge, arm rests, dashboard)
  • remove scuff marks and dirt from linoleum floors
  • remove stains on leather seats, purses, chairs, etc.
  • remove food stains inside plastic food containers
  • remove brake dust from tire rims
  • remove dirt and grime on a vinyl convertible top
  • remove nail polish from walls, carpets, wooden objects, plastic
  • remove soil or scuff marks from ceramic tile flooring
  • clean non-skid surfaces with tiny grooves (bathtub floors, refrigerator handles, pool steps, cooler lids)
  • clean & shine bathroom faucets & fixtures
  • remove magic marker, permanent marker, and ballpoint ink from virtually any surface
  • clean doll faces
  • clean textured handles on major appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, stove)
  • remove fingerprints and dirt on light-colored kitchen cupboards
  • clean inside of the refrigerator
  • remove crayon marks from walls
  • remove dirt from plastic trash cans
  • remove dark paint on light-colored carpet
  • clean soap scum and oils from hot tub
  • clean a car's vinyl interior (gets into the tiny crinkles in the vinyl armrest, etc.)
  • clean white porch railings, columns & pillars
  • remove bugs from car windshield, grille, and bumper
  • remove paint scratches on your car from minor fender benders
  • remove rust and corrosion that's built-up on the outside of pipes (kitchen/bathroom)
  • clean & shine hubcaps
  • remove built-up grime on the car steering wheel
  • remove finger prints & build-up on the keyboard and mouse
  • remove oxidized paint from an old car
  • remove built-up gunk from vinyl seats
  • remove tar from your car's paint
  • remove set-in stains inside glass and plastic pitchers
  • remove scuff marks from the back of car seats (from kids' shoes)
  • clean kids' plastic toys
  • remove dirt and grime from athletic shoes and shoes with leather uppers
  • remove stains on the underside of the toilet seat
  • remove fingerprint & handprints from light-colored doors & walls
  • remove scuff marks from your patio furniture
 HAPPY ERASING!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

MORE REUSE IT IDEAS

Business Card Magnets
  • Make photo magnets by gluing a picture on. 
  • Have kids make art on the back of old business cards and glue those on for great fridge art- gift worthy for the grandparents. 
  • Use your craft and scrapbooking supplies to make them pretty to match your kitchen or office or you could make a set for a gift.
    An empty condiment squirt bottle works great for cooking oils.

    Used envelopes are great for your grocery list and you can carry your coupons inside.

    Egg cartons cut apart are great packing materials.

    Empty Parmesan cheese shakers are great for baking soda, if you use it as a cleaning product- don't forget to label it so no one thinks its still cheese.

    Check out my older post, Reuse it Ideas for more!  And please feel free toshare your ideas in the comments below.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    KITCHEN TIPS

    Having a birthday party with ice cream? The day before, scoop ice cream into a muffin pan lined with paper liners. Keep in the freezer till serving time.

    Put like utensils in the same section of the silverware tray in the dishwasher (knives with knives, small forks with small forks, etc.) so that you can pull them out by group and put them away fast. Just be sure your spoons aren't spooning or they won't get as clean!

    Instead of using ice cubes to chill sangria or punch, freeze grapes; they won't dilute the drink as they melt. Frozen grapes are also a great, refreshing snack.

    If you end up with extra tomato paste, measure it into individual tablespoons and freeze in plastic wrap. To use, just stir into sauce -- no need to thaw.

    Need to soften brown sugar.  Place a slice of bread in the container and the brown sugar will be soft in a day or two.

    Have a great day!

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    EASY RECIPE: Caramelized Bananas

    Caramelized Bananas are so good over vanilla ice cream and making them is easy, easy ,easy!


    • 4 medium sized bananas, sliced into rounds
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter or margarine

    Cook the brown sugar and butter over high heat in a small skillet, 5 minutes or until thickened.  My advice is don't walk away from the pan, it can burn quickly.  Remove from the heat and stir in the bananas.  Allow to cool slightly but serve while still warm over vanilla ice cream!

    I've been told this is a lot like Bananas Foster but I've never had Bananas Foster, but I really like it!