Friday, June 12, 2009

Soap Nuts Giveaway

Lindsay over at Passionate Homemaking is having a giveaway of soap nuts, and there will be 20 winners! I know this is a departure from my usual food related posts, but I'm always interested in finding ways to save money around the house and I was fascinated to learn from Lindsay's recent post about natural detergents that they are actually much cheaper than conventional detergents. That, combined with my sensitive skin problems with fragrance, has inspired me to try some new ways to wash my clothes. I've never tried soap nuts myself, but I really like the idea. If I don't win, I will buy myself a sample and let you know how well they work for me. Hurry on over and check this out, the deadline is 5PM PST, so there's not much time left. Go here to read Lindsay's review of natural laundry detergent options, or here for her post on natural dishwasher detergent.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pimento Cheese Spread

I've always had a weakness for pimento cheese sandwiches. They remind me of summer time when I was a kid. More recently, I rediscovered them for our 4th of July family get together (last summer). I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart recipe and modified it to make it lighter and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. The original recipe called for all full fat ingredients. I don't know what the calories and fat content would have been in the original version, but mine works out to be about 37 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. I like to use a 1/4 cup for a sandwich made with lightly toasted whole wheat bread. It's also great for spreading on crackers.

Pimento Cheese Spread, adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2 1/4 cups

12 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese made from 2% milk (grated, about 1 1/2 cups)
1 4 ounce jar pimentos, drained
1/8 t0 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Process cream cheese, cheddar, pimentos and Tabasco in a food processor until pureed to your desired consistency. Transfer to serving bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.