October 19th, 2007

Growing up, our microwave wasn’t used for much more than heating up frozen bags of veggies or reheating leftovers (and even then it wasn’t too often). It was almost a law that “real meals” had to be cooked in the oven. Since growing up and having zero time to cook “real meals” half the time, I’ve turned to the microwave to make my life a little less hectic. I’ve picked up a few recipes here and there which use nothing but the microwave. BLTs When I’m being extra lazy, the bacon for BLTs gets tossed in the microwave. It requires owning a special plate specifically for that purpose though. At least I’m pretty sure that’s it’s only purpose – I’ve never seen it used for anything else. Just lay the bacon across the plate, and toss it in the microwave. I do this... 

October 19th, 2007

The other day we posted some lye soap recipes, and figured we’d also post some glycerin soap recipes. After all, it is the most popular right now for both consumers and soap makers. This particular recipe doesn’t get much easier. It includes only 3 ingredients, two of which are completely your choice. The other ingredient is glycerin of course! You can also find this recipe on our homemade soap recipes page, and in the Bath & Body Recipes ebook. Herbal Glycerin Soap Recipes 1 pound Glycerin 1/2 ounce fragrance oil or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon essential oil, amount depends on oil used. 1 T. herbal powder of your choice and/or 1 T. dried flower of you choice Melt the glycerin in the microwave until completely dissolved. This usually takes one to two minutes. Avoid stirring as much as possible because stirring causes bubbles. Pour in... 

October 18th, 2007

Still haven’t gotten your Halloween costumes yet? AH! What are you waiting for? Halloween is just a little over a week away! Just in case you need some help finding places to shop, here’s our top picks: CostumeHub.com A great selection of costumes for both kids and adults. BuyCostumes.com Shop all year around and find deals and specials. Nick Shop For the favorite character costumes. Remember those are on sale right now! ExtremeHalloween.com 1,000 of costumes for the entire family. Includes costumes for both kids and adults. Halloween Only Costumes and other Halloween items currently on sale. This quick list should be enough to at least give you some great ideas. If you have other Halloween costume websites, please be sure to share them!  Read More →

October 18th, 2007

Normally when I cook a pot roast, I do it in the oven. I honestly don’t have a clue why, since it’s easier to use (and clean) a crock pot. Maybe it’s just because I’m more use to cooking it in the oven, and that’s how I was taught. Maybe it’s because I have more room to add veggies. Who knows. Regardless, everyone has their preferences. While I prefer the oven, others prefer a crock pot. So here’s a recipe for a tasty crock pot pot roast which comes right out of the crock pot ebook: Crockpot Pot Roast 2 1/2 lb. Chuck roast 2 packets dry Italian dressing mix OR Ranch dressing mix 1 cup water Place beef in crockpot, sprinkle seasonings over meat, pour water over all. Cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat shreds easily. What’s great about this particular recipe is it’s super easy to tweek.... 

October 17th, 2007

While glycerin, melt & pour, and goat milk soap may be the most popular right now, some of us still like to make old fashion lye soap. The following is a recipe pulled out of the Bath & Body recipes ebook. So if you like this one, you might check out the ebook for additional ideas! Oatmeal Soap 10 oz. palm oil 4 oz. coconut oil 2 oz. olive oil 1/4 c. oatmeal, run through the blender or coffee grinder 2 oz. lye 1 c. water Scent (optional) Mix lye and water and set aside to cool. Melt palm oil and coconut oil together and set aside to cool. Mix the olive oil and oatmeal. When the lye reaches 100 degrees and the fats are 120 degrees, pour the lye into the fats and stir until it traces. Add the oatmeal, and stir until well mixed. Pour the soap into molds. Allow to sit for 24-48 hours. Unmold and cut if needed. PS – These make great... 

October 17th, 2007

A few days ago I mentioned Idea Queen has gone mobile. Meaning we’ve created a website specifically for mobile devices such as cell phones. It’s a website all on it’s own, and it’s purpose is to be used as a ‘check list’ while you are out running errands. Part of this new mobile site includes a checklist for birthday party supplies. If you are about to rush out the door, first make note of this site: IdeaQueen.mobi. For those of you just looking for an easy list to grab, let me give you the list. Granted this is the “short” version of the page, but I think it’s all most of you really need: - Decorations Balloons, stremers, table cloth, etc. All optional. - Plates and Napkins Paper plates, napkins, and anything else you need for cake and ice cream. - Cake and Ice Cream Half gallons usually... 

October 16th, 2007

I believe this is something I’ve mentioned before, but it’s a favorite idea of mine. We almost always have leftover chicken from some source, and it’s never enough for a “full” meal for anyone. The other night I made a whole chicken, and was left with an entire container full of leftover chicken. It’s not that my kids didn’t eat the majority of the whole chicken, there was just a whole lot to eat. Since most of what was left was white meat, I knew they probably wouldn’t eat a whole lot of it without it being in something. So I pulled out my absolute favorite leftover recipe idea – fried rice. Now I totally cheat on this one, using a box of the stuff you buy in stores. Once in awhile I’ll make my own fried rice, but lately I’ve been cheating most the time. It just tastes better.... 

October 16th, 2007

It’s officially fall! If you doubt this, take a look outside at all the leaves falling from the trees. I was actually surprised to see my entire yard covered just yesterday. Of course since there’s leaves everywhere, the kids are just DYING to play in them. When I was a kid we have a cool game we use to play either in the leaves or in the snow. Let’s hope we don’t have any snow to play in anytime soon (I don’t much care for shoveling!), so for now this game can be played in the leaves.  It’s called Fox & Hen, and was actually taught to me by my mother. It could be they made up this game themselves, but who knows. The idea of the game is pretty simple. All you do is take a rake (or you can shuffle around using your feet) and make several paths. Be sure to make it like a maze, with twists, turns, and... 

October 15th, 2007

I have a secrete to confess. Even though I live in Iowa and we are suppose to mostly make nothing but “Iowa Chops”, I actually prefer the “normal” pork chops. (If you don’t know what an Iowa chop is, it’s basically a giant pork chop and the way it’s cut). The reason I’d rather have a normal pork chop is so I can make my easy skillet pork chops. My absolute favorite recipe includes only two other ingredients – white wine and fennel seeds. It’s cooked just like you think it would be too. Simmered in white wine while covered with fennel seeds. It really doesn’t get much easier than that, and they are DELICIOUS! What favorite skillet pork chop recipe to you have?  Read More →

October 15th, 2007

A very fun idea for some easy decorations that just came in today. Our visitor wants to stay anonymous, but it’s a really neat idea. You can make a fun spiderweb using nothing but cotton balls. Our visitor tells us to take 40-50 cotton balls and tear them up together until they are one giant ball. Then spread them out to look like spiderwebs. Easy! You can also pick up some plastic spiders to place in the webs, to make it a little more real. Not only is it easy, but it’s pretty cheap too! Thanks to our anonymous visitor for the great idea!  Read More →