Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inspiration Avenue Blog Party


I'm so happy you could attend our blog party.

My name is Small Footprints and I'll be your hostess for this segment of the festivities.

If this is your first blog party, let me explain a bit about it. I am privileged to be a member of a global Etsy team called Inspiration Avenue. Awhile back we held an art auction for charity and, because of our generous readers, were able to raise over $500.00 for a wonderful organization called Angel Faces. So, in celebration, we decided to have a party.

Each member of the team, and some of our friends, has prepared something special for you ... a "lesson". It might be a recipe, a tutorial or simply some wise words from someone who has lived well. One thing is for sure ... when the party is over you'll go home with a bag full of goodies.

Once you've spent a little time with me, please click on the badge at the beginning of this post to head over to the main party room. There you'll find links to other lessons. Oh ... and I see that some of you have brought treats of your own ... please leave a link to your lesson in the comments section at Inspiration Avenue.

So ... ready to begin? My gifts to you are Eco-friendly, frugal cleanser recipes. Now ... you might not think that these recipes are anything special but, let me tell you ... they work great and they are non-toxic. That means ... no possibility of accidental poisoning ... no harmful fumes to breathe in (ever wonder what causes those headaches that seem to appear when cleaning?) ... and no harm to the earth. And oh yeah ... these recipes are made from stuff you probably already have in your pantry so ... they are easy on the wallet.

First up ... my favorite all-around cleaning/scrubbing compound:

In a wide-mouthed jar with lid, mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil, place the lid on the jar and gently shake to mix all the ingredients. Use this to scrub the bathroom, kitchen or even pots and pans. The baking soda is slightly abrasive but won't hurt surfaces. The vinegar, in addition to cleaning well, kills germs and bacteria.

Next ... a real easy, effective window cleaner:

In a spray bottle, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Spray on windows and wipe clean. We're talking brilliantly clean windows here!

One of my favorites ... the best drain cleaner in the world (okay, that's my opinion):

Pour about 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain. Follow with 1/4 cup vinegar. Let it work for awhile then flush with water. For really clogged drains, you might need a couple of applications.

Finally, how about this substitute for bleach in your laundry:

When the washer has filled with water, add 1-2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. Agitate for a minute to mix. Then, let it soak for at least one hour (overnight is even better). Add detergent and wash as normal.

Now that you've scrubbed and cleaned ... I think it's time for a treat! So ... how about a little Strawberry Shortcake? Here you go:

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup oil or shortening
1 egg substitute (Ener-G), prepared and beaten
2/3 cup soy milk
3 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whipped topping of your choice (Hip Whip, etc.) or Vegan Ice Cream

  • Slice the strawberries and sprinkle them with 1/2 cup of sugar. Let stand.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Grease and flour one 8" cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 2 Tbs. sugar, and salt.
  • With a pastry blender (or two knives), cut in the oil or shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg sub. and soy milk. Stir until just combined.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Let cool partially in the pan on wire rack.
  • Slice partially-cooled cake in half, making two layers.
  • Arrange the strawberries on one layer, and the top with the other layer.
  • Top with remaining strawberries, and cover with the whipped topping or ice cream.

    By the way, if you're curious about why a vegan/vegetarian diet is good for the planet, please click HERE.

So there you are ... I hope you have enjoyed your time with me. Leave me a link so I can get to know you better ... and have a great time with the rest of the party hosts and guests!

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