Saturday, July 20, 2013

Leader Enterprise - July 17, 2013 - Laundry Tips and Cooling Treats

Photo: Water Sponge Toys

Hope you're enjoying the glorious sunshine. With all the rain we've had, the crops look extra good this year. Summer goes quickly, so be sure to enjoy every single day.
Whewie! I can finally breathe normally again. My second cookbook is now going through the printing process and I hope to have it in my hands by the end of August. It's chocked full of simple and easy family-friendly recipes and I'm beside myself thinking of getting to share "Love at First Bite" with you soon.

Photo: Frozen Chocolate Nutty Banana Pops

                              Photo: Watergate Salad (made with yogurt)
From Better Homes & Gardens: Here are a few ways to make your laundry day(s)  easier.
Customize Your Laundry Schedule: Carve out the best time for you to do the laundry. Unless you live in a small household, you probably don't have enough time to do it all from start to finish in a single sitting.

Schedule by Laundry Type: Break your laundry chores into smaller tasks. Schedule loads of laundry-by type-throughout the week. You might want to wash sheets on Monday so you can freshen bedrooms. Then do the towels on Tuesday, darks on Wednesday, and so on. This system works well for allowing you to be completely done with laundry by the weekend.
Sort Carefully: Avoid ruining clothing through careless sorting. New garments can bleed and stain other clothing. Wash color clothing, especially red, by itself the first time; use cold or cool water with detergent. For stains, use a bleach alternative formulated for colorfastness.(Laundry "Trick": It's like cooking-for clothes. The first time you wash something red or dark colored, pour 1/2 c. salt into wash cycle to prevent dyes in fabrics from bleeding. Do not mix colors.)

Delegate Laundry Chores: Delegate chores to children based on their ages. Most preschoolers can put away clothes that have been washed, dried, and folded. Grade-schoolers can fold and put away their own clean clothes. Middle-school and high-school kids can handle all the responsibilities related to their own laundry. (So can significant others.) For older children and all adults living in the household, divide laundry by person. Simply assign each person his or her own hamper. When the hamper is full, or that person is out of clean clothes, a load is washed, dried, folded and put away.

Avoid Laundry Mishaps: Empty pockets before washing garments to save items and prevent damage to your washer, dryer, and laundry items. Check children's clothing for crayons and small items. Reduce fading in dark clothing by turning shirts, tops, sweat suits, slacks and jeans inside out before washing in cool water. Read clothing labels. Use mesh garment bags for fragile items such as lingerie, hose and tights. The garment bag cuts down on the abrasion with other garments in the washing machine.
 After the kids have helped with laundry, they could make these fun summertime toys. Very simple to put together.And we all need time for fun. WATER SPONGE TOYS 
Purchase kitchen sponges from any grocery or dollar store. They come in packs of 4 or 6 and in all colors. (Don't buy the kind with the scouring pad). They come in  3" × 5" and or 5" × 7". I prefer the smaller size. They are easier to tie together and better for little fingers to hold. Also buy “zip ties",sold at a hardware store. Cut each sponge length - wise in thirds. Then group together 8-9 cut pieces for each sponge. Or make them smaller. Mix and match colors of the sponges.Now center a zip tie around the middle of the sponges; pull the tie through the hole, pulling tightly. Cut off excess zip tie as close as possible. Dip in bucket,or the pool and get each other wet. These are also fun in the bathtub. 
Here's a couple of simple salads kids can make themselves too. Don't miss opportunities to teach them how to mix and measure while they're home from school this summer. They can learn to clean up their own messes too.


1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.) pistachio (sugar free) instant pudding mix

1 (8 ozs) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained

1 (8 ozs) container vanilla lowfat yogurt
2 c. Cool Whip (Fat Free)
2 c. mini marshmallows, optional
In large bowl, combine pudding mix with pineapple; stir until smooth. Add yogurt; blend.Gently stir in Cool Whip and marshmallows. Chill until ready to serve.

1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.) (sugar free) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 sm. pkg. (4-serv.) (sugar free) instant white chocolate pudding mix
2-1/2 c. skim milk
1 - 12 ozs. tub Cool Whip Free
1/2 c. coconut
1/2 c. chopped pecans

In large bowl, add both boxes of pudding, then add milk and whisk until thick. Fold in Cool Whip, then blend in coconut and pecans. Chill - or eat immediately - but be sure to save some for the rest of the family.

These frozen treats are simple to make and great for cooling off with in the heat.


2 Tb. toasted sliced almonds
1 medium banana
2 Tb. lite chocolate syrup

Coarsely chop the almonds; set aside. Peel banana, cut in half widthwise. Place a popsicle stick into the cut sides of each half of banana. Place on waxed paper -lined plate. Evenly drizzle banana halves with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with chopped almonds. (Using both sides of a spoon helped me) Gently roll banana halves in any excess syrup/nuts on the plate. Freeze for at least 1 hour. Enjoy! Yield: 2 servings   

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