Simple All-Natural Fruit & Veggie Spray Wash

Distilled white vinegar is great for cleaning fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as, many other surfaces because it is non-toxic, biodegradable, and considered an earth friendly cleaning ingredient. Vinegar can remove bacteria, pesticide residue, water scale, and other germs commonly associated with storing fresh fruits and vegetables for extended periods of time.

Here is a brief backstory to explain why this simple all-natural fruit and veggie spray wash became a staple in our household some time ago. To make a long story short, we were shopping at the local supermarket and I will keep the company name anonymous, but while we were picking out some fresh fruits and vegetables we noticed the produce associate wiping down some apples, oranges, and other produce when we observed him going from the fruits straight to the vegetables. Nothing out of the ordinary for the most part.

What was out of the ordinary was that he was using the same rag to wipe the edges and shelves of the display bins. In disbelief we stood there for a minute and watched him spray and wipe the dusty-dirty ledges with the same rag he was wiping the produce with. We were stunned. When my wife approached him and kindly whispered that she thought that might not be a good idea, he looked at her with a scowl and replied “we do this all the time.” Well that was all she had to hear. Quite simply, yeah it was game. She reported him to the manager and we never shopped there again. She has since passed away and we are still using her spray wash on all of our fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ingredients
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt or Ground Sea Salt
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (remove seeds)
  • Warm Tap Water
Preparation
  • First, take a clean standard 32 fl. oz. spray bottle and add one teaspoon of coarse ground sea salt or kosher salt to the empty bottle.
  • Next, add 2 1/2 cups (20 oz) of warm tap warm and shake vigorously to dissolve salt, once the salt is dissolved add 2 tablespoons of fresh seedless lemon juice.
  • Then add 1 1/4 cups (10 oz) of distilled white vinegar.
  • Finally, close top hand tight and shake the bottle for a few seconds to evenly mix the ingredients in the bottle. Now it’s ready to use.
Application Instructions

Place a strainer in the sink and apply a generous mist to your fruits and/or vegetables. Allow spray wash to settle for a few minutes, roughly 3 minutes is perfect. Rinse under cold tap water or with sink hose to remove any residue which the spray wash may have loosened. Then wipe/dry with a paper towel or clean rag and you will instantly see a brightness to the coloration of your fruit or vegetable indicating the item is clean and ready to consume.

Note: you may store the bottle in the refrigerator if you wish

Distilled white vinegar is great for cleaning fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as, many other surfaces because it is non-toxic, biodegradable, and considered an earth friendly cleaning ingredient. Vinegar can remove bacteria, pesticide residue, water scale, and other germs commonly associated with storing fresh fruits and vegetables for extended periods of time.

Recipe: Homemade Pizza from Scratch

The ingredients and preparation to make the dough never changes. Once you have nailed down a reasonably simple dough making process the rest of making homemade pizza is the fun part. See below for some basic suggestions we have conquered as well as some other more extensive ideas. This recipe makes two 16-18″ pizzas depending on how thick you prefer your crust.

What you will need to pickup from the store is largely a matter of taste when it comes to the sauce, the cheese, and the toppings.

The ingredients to make a complete pizza often varies because much of what you will do after making the dough depends on whether you are making the pizza with home cooked sauce or just simplifying things by using a commercial jar sauce.

The ingredients and preparation to make the dough never changes. Once you have nailed down a reasonably simple dough making process the rest of making homemade pizza is the fun part. See below for some basic suggestions we have conquered as well as some other more extensive ideas. This recipe makes two 16-18″ pizzas depending on how thick you prefer your crust.

Ingredients to make the dough
  • 4 cups Bread flour (Gold Medal) is the most cooperative when starting out
  • 1 envelope of Fleischmann’s fast-acting Instant Yeast
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of Hot water (110 degrees F)
Preparation instructions to make the dough
  • In a large mixing bowl evenly combine bread flour, instant yeast, salt, sugar.
  • Once evenly combined add olive oil and begin mixing while adding hot water.
  • Using a wooden spoon start to hand mix the ingredients together into a ball, the consistency will come together as you go. If sticky, slowly add flour to the mixture while collecting the mix into a ball.
  • Once dough is collected into a ball like shape, dump out on to a floured board or bakers mat and begin kneading, add flour while kneading if necessary.
  • Then place ball in a glass or stainless steel bowl which has been pre-oiled with remaining 2 tsp olive oil to prevent sticking later on. Cover with plastic wrap, place bowl with dough in cool dry place such as a cupboard one-hour.
  • After one hour has timed out and the dough has risen (see pics) dump out on to a floured surface, and form into a ball, slightly pressing dough together.
  • Then slice the dough into two equal halves and cover each half with an individual piece of plastic wrap (see pics), then let it set for ten minutes.
  • After 10 minutes uncover the dough and begin to roll out each half separately on a floured surface. I usually start rolling it out over a floured pizza stone to ensure the size before transferring it to a large non-stick pizza pan.
  • Using your fingers continue to spread the dough out to size pressing outer edges to form the thickness of the crust you desire (lightly oil outer edge with olive oil for a crispier crust.
  • Next, add shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce, and I sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese (optional) for extra taste.
  • Then add desired toppings over the cheese. This is the flexible part so feel free to add whatever toppings or seasonings you like, see below for more suggestions.
Basic or Commonly Found Toppings
  • Meatballs (sliced)
  • Mushrooms (sliced)
  • Sausage (crumbled)
  • Ground Beef (crumbled)
  • Pepperoni (slices)
  • Green or Red Peppers, Banana peppers, Jalapeno peppers (diced)
  • Onions (diced)
  • Anchovies (canned)
  • Black Olives (sliced fresh or canned)
Cooking Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Once preheated to temp, place pizza in the pan on the middle rack of the oven for roughly fifteen minutes till cheese begins to brown. Cook time varies according to how crispy you like the bottom to be.
  • For a crispier crust you can also place the pizza on directly on an oven safe pizza stone without the pan.
Other Miscellaneous Ideas

Taco Pizza
-taco seasoned ground beef, shredded sharp cheddar, diced tomato
Hawaiian Pizza
-cubed pineapple, diced ham, sliced black olives, sprinkle brown sugar
Buffalo Chicken & Bacon Pizza
-Cubed chicken seasoned w/buffalo hot sauce, crumbled bacon, ranch dressing
Salad Pizza
-Shredded lettuce, diced tomato, diced cucumber, black olives, Italian dressing

Recipe: Chopped Chicken Liver Spread

Ingredients & Preparation
  • 1 lb. Fresh Chicken Livers
  • 1 Med-Large Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Triple Curl Parsley (chopped fine) Optional
  • 2-3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Goya Adobo (Red Cap)
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon of Paprika

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring 4 cups of water in a medium pot to a boil, add seasonings to boiling water, then add fresh chicken livers. Boil 30-40 minutes until livers turn soft.

2. Lightly cook onions in skillet or frying pan with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil on low-med heat until onions turn translucent (do not let onions brown).

3. Take large glass mixing bowl and combine the chicken livers, two hard boiled eggs, and the cooked onions and mix to a fully blended consistency adding vegetable oil to prevent clumping. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste as you go.

4. Season to taste with paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper.

Serve as an appetizer by putting a tablespoon of chopped liver spread on a Ritz cracker or cracker of choice (triscuits, toasted pita wedges) and garnish with paprika and fresh chopped triple curl parsley if desired.

Recipe: Easy Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Breakfast Sausage (Hot or Mild)
  • 1/3 cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 3-4 cups of Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp of Butter
  • 1/2 tsp of seasoned salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Pan drippings
  • Pillsbury Grands Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits
Cooking Instructions
  1. Brown breakfast sausage in skillet or frying pan.
  2. Remove half the grease from the pan after the sausage has browned.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of milk, stirring till begins to thicken.
  4. Add 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp of seasoned salt, 2 tbsp of butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Thick and Hearty Cajun Gumbo

Ingredients & Preparation
  • 2.5 lb. Boneless Chicken Breast (cut into chunks)
  • 1 pkg. Andouille Sausage (cut into disks)
  • 1 lb. Large Shrimp, deveined with tails-on (remove tails)
  • 1 cup Rice-Brown or White (uncooked makes 4 cups cooked)
  • 1 large Purple Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers (chopped)
  • 4 Celery Stalks (chopped)
  • 1 (28oz) Diced or Stewed Tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 (32oz) Chicken Broth
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. Thyme
  • 4 tsp. Oregano
  • 2-4 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning (Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Canola Oil
  • Splash of Hot sauce as desired
Cajun Seasoning from scratch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Cooking Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven style pot add 1 tbsp of canola oil and set heat to medium.
  2. Add the sausage disks to the pot and cook until browned, then remove sausage disks but leave the residual oil in the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add an additional 1 tbsp of oil, then add the chopped purple onion, chopped green bell pepper, and the chopped celery. Cover and heat till soft (this will take roughly 5-7 minutes) stirring frequently to avoid browning.
  4. Next, add the chunks of chicken, tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, some Cajun seasoning and return to boil. Then lower heat and cook covered for 20 minutes.
  5. Next remove top, add the shrimp and sausage and stir. Allow the mixture to cook for 5-10 minutes before adding the rice.
  6. Then remove the top, add the cooked rice (white or brown) by folding it in, add some more Cajun season if desired, and a couple of splashes of hot sauce, stir and cook on low to medium heat for 10 more minutes.
  7. Serve with regular bread or corn bread as desired.

Recipe: Cheezy Meat, Rice and Bean Burritos

Ingredients & Preparation
  • 1.25 lb ground beef or turkey meat
  • 1 cup Red Kidney, Black, or Pinto Beans
  • 1 lg Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro leaves (fresh chopped)
  • 1 cup Uncooked White Rice of choice
  • 2 cups Water
  • 4 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 pkg Large Burrito Size Flour Tortillas (8)
  • 1 tbsp Canola Cooking Oil
  • Kosher Salt
Burrito Seasoning from Scratch
  • 2 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt (iodized table salt)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup warm tap water
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
Cooking Instructions

In a medium sauce pot, add 1 ½ cups of water, 1 cup of uncooked white rice, 1 tbsp of cooking oil, 1 tsp of salt. Bring water and rice to a boil, lower to simmer and check frequently till water is completely dissolved. Approximately 15 min.

In a cast-iron skillet or frying pan, brown meat, then strain, and return to pan. It is ready now to be seasoned and cooked.

In a small mixing bowl blend the seasonings using a fork to fold and combine the ingredients evenly. Start by adding ¼ cup of warm tap water and lime juice to seasonings mix and whisk gently. Add 1 full cup or a little less of warm tap water, just enough to dilute mix and whisk vigorously to blend. Pour over browned meat in the skillet and bring to slow boil continuously stirring and folding to blend with meat. Set aside to cool.

You will need a very large bowl or Dutch oven style pot to combine and mix the meat, rice, and cooked beans. Once all are fully prepared and mildly cool, start to combine the three ingredients to make one mixture consisting of seasoned meat, beans, and rice.

Using a ladle or large cooking spoon, scoop two generous scoops of mix on to a flour tortilla laid on a flat surface. Add one spoon size scoop of refried beans in to the middle of the meat pile and spread it a little. Then cover by sprinkling shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the burrito mixture.

Fold and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until burritos start to brown around the edges.

*Serve with fresh made Guacamole, Salsa, and/or Sour Cream

Recipe: Split Pea Soup

Ingredients & Preparation
  • 1 spiral ham bone
  • 16 oz. pkg of split peas (rinsed)
  • 16 oz. pkg baby carrots (split in half)
  • 2 cups of ham (diced or chopped)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 3 qts. water
  • 2 tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 Goya ham seasoning packet
Cooking Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven style pot add 1 tbsp of cooking oil and place on medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the chopped onion and 1 tsp of minced garlic, then cook till onions become translucent but do not let them brown.
  2. Once onions are translucent add 2 tbsp of butter and stir to blend.
  3. Next add 3 quarts of water and a teaspoon of salt (optional) to the pot, bring to a boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling add the spiral ham bone, lower heat to medium, and allow to bone to boil for 45-60 minutes.
  5. Remove bone from water and set aside.
  6. Add 1 qt of chicken broth, ham seasoning packet and stir. Then add peas, carrots, diced ham and return to boil.
  7. Once boiling lower to simmer, slightly crack the pot top to vent, and continue to simmer for a minimum 60 minutes.

Recipe: French Onion Soup

Ingredients & Preparation

  • 6 cans -Beef Consomme (10 oz.)
  • 3 cups -Water or Beef broth (approximately 24 oz)
  • 3 large -Onions (sliced)
  • 1 stick -Butter
  • 2 tsp -Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 lb. -Swiss Cheese Slices
  • 1 cup -Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 cups -Seasoned Croutons
  • 1 bunch -Triple Curl Parsley
    *thin sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  1. On cutting board slice three large onions into thin rings, cut the rings in half.
  2. In a large dutch oven style pot melt butter on low heat, when butter is completely melted add onions to pot and cover. Stir frequently till onions become translucent. Roughly 10 minutes, but do not let them burn or brown.
  3. Once the onions are translucent add 6 cans of beef consomme, water, and Worcestershire sauce then bring to a boil. When it reaches a rolling boil, lower heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. If using mushrooms add now.
  4. Preheat oven to broil, place crock pot bowls out, set covers aside, and fill each bowl with some croutons.
  5. Pour soup over croutons to fill bowl, allow to absorb a bit, then add more soup till the bowl is just below full.
  6. Cover with two slices of Swiss cheese, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, and place in the oven on a flat baking sheet, on the top rack.
  7. Broil till cheese becomes bubbly, melted, and lightly browned if desired.
  8. Garnish top with parsley before serving

REMINDER: the crock pot bowls will be extremely hot, I cannot stress that enough. Use oven mitts to remove bowls from oven and set aside.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice or Noodles

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs Boneless Chicken Breast
  • 2 medium Onions
  • 1 bunch Scallions
  • 2 Broccoli Crowns
  • 1 (16 oz) bag Carrots (shredded or chips)
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers (de-seeded and sliced)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans Baby Corn Nuggets
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg Sliced Mushrooms (rinsed)
  • 1 cup Uncooked White Rice, Jasmine Rice, or Lo-Mein Noodles
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
*Asian Stir-Fry Sauce Mix from scratch*
  • 1/4 cup Soy  sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Ginger (fresh ground)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Wasabi Paste
Baby corn nuggets, sliced carrot chips, chopped onion, broccoli, red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, scallions or green onions
Preparation
  1. Marinate 4 lbs. of boneless chicken breasts in Asian stir-fry sauce from scratch mix, overnight but set aside and refrigerate extra sauce mixture for vegetables.
  2. Brush grill grates with Canola cooking oil and heat grill to 400 degrees and grill chicken breasts.
  3. Once chicken is removed from the grill, chop or cube grilled chicken and set aside to add to mix later.
Cooking Instructions (skillet or wok)
  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil on med heat. Add on onions, carrots, peppers, broccoli, and baby corn nuggets, continuously folding while allowing time for vegetables to soften.
  2. Drizzle stir-fry sauce mix to taste while folding.
  3. Once everything has softened, add chicken and scallions, pour remaining stir-fry sauce mix over top, and stir.
    Makes 4-6 Servings
The finished product

Recipe: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients and Preparation
1- Whole Chicken 3-5 lbs.
3- Leeks (separated and rinsed thoroughly)
1- large Onion (outer skin removed)
1- bag Parsnip (rinsed and cut into discs)
1- 16 oz. bag Carrots (whole baby carrots or sliced)
4- stalks Celery (chopped)
1- bunch Dill (rinsed)
1- bunch Parsley (rinsed)
1- 24 oz. bag of Egg Noodles (any variety of choice)
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground pepper

Cooking Instructions
1. Boil 4 quarts Water and add 2 tsp of kosher salt to the water, then add chicken + parts and boil 75-90 minutes.
2. Prepare vegetables while the chicken is boiling, skimming the fat from the water is optional.
3. Remove chicken and set aside to cool.
4. Lower to simmer, add carrots, parsnip, celery, onion, and leek. Stir and allow 15 min or more to soften vegetables, then add the whole bunches of dill and parsley, and fold them in.
5. Continue simmering while adding in noodles.
6. De-bone and chop chicken into chunks to return to pot.
7. Once all ingredients are in the pot, continue simmering for approximately 30-45 minutes.

Please note the views and opinions expressed in the written works contained within this site are solely those of the individual authors themselves. They are not intended to, nor meant to imply any type of endorsement, professional relationship, or affiliation to any of the individual people, organizations, or associations mentioned in the site’s publication. All written works are the sole property of the author of this website and may be subject to copyright laws.

Recipe: Four Alarm Green Pepper Chili

Ingredients & Preparation
  • 2.25 lbs. ground beef or turkey meat
  • 2 poblano peppers (seeded, chopped)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (seeded, chopped)
  • 2 green chili peppers (seeded, chopped)
  • 2 tsp garlic (minced or pressed with a garlic press)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 14.5 oz. (do not drain)
  • 1 lb. black beans or red kidney beans (soaked overnight in salt water)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable, canola, safflower)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 splashes of your favorite hot sauce
Chili Seasoning Mix from Scratch
Note: 2 packets of any pre-mix chili seasoning if preferred
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Cooking Instructions
  • Brown the turkey meat in a skillet, strain and set aside.
  • In a large dutch oven style pot, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil on low heat.
  • Once oil is hot, add onion, garlic, and minced chili peppers cook until the onions turn translucent.
  • Next puree all the peppers (poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, and green chili peppers) together in a food processor, cover and continue to cook on low heat, covered. Then add the beans and diced tomatoes, continue cooking for roughly 8 mins covered.
  • Next add meat (turkey or beef) and start folding in the seasoning mix + 2 cups of water till mix is completely blended into the ingredients and simmer a bit longer.
  • Add a splash of hot sauce (more if desired), and cilantro leaves. Simmer on lowest possible heat for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot in a cup or a bowl and topped with shredded cheddar cheese.
    *Sour Cream (optional)
    *Saltine Crackers (optional)

    Makes 6-8 servings
Finished product should be thick and chunky

Please note the views and opinions expressed in the written works contained within this site are solely those of the individual authors themselves. They are not intended to, nor meant to imply any type of endorsement, professional relationship, or affiliation to any of the individual people, organizations, or associations mentioned in the site’s publication. All written work is the sole property of the author of this website and may be subject to copyright laws.