Laundry soap and enchilada sauce

After a romantic and dreamy weekend away, we jumped back into real life with both feet.  It’s been good.  Having soaked in so many hours of uninterrupted, easy going ‘husband-wife time’-I feel replenished and restored in a way I haven’t experienced in a long time.

Since returning, I can say navigating kid behavior has been the greatest challenge for sure.  Not that I expected all present struggles to disappear while we were gone, but you know, one can hope right?  I am keenly aware of all the dynamics taking place in our house every day and with 4 different kid personalities and 2 grown ups too-I’ll be the first to tell you it isn’t easy.

Neither is maintaining an organized household.  Finding the balance between ‘frozen pizza’s in a pinch’ and homemade, from scratch, healthy, whole four course dinner for six isn’t easy either.

I have another post in my head but for now, let me randomly share a couple things.

In an effort to be economical and earth-kind, I recently gave my first go of making our own laundry soap.  The toxin-free laundry soap I use is spendy but I love it so it was a stretch to try something new.  I used the following recipe that I found online.

1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax, 1 cup Washing Soda and 1 bar of castile soap (grated and ground)

Christopher kindly grated the soap for me then I ground it into powder in the food processor.

Then Kyler stirred it all up.  He asked to lick it.  I said no.

Down sides? I think that it cost about $3.50 to make that small amount and it washed about 10 loads of laundry.  Perhaps if you live alone that would seem appealing but when we do about 1-2 loads per day, it really seemed like a poor return on time/money spent.

Up sides?  We did it together, and that is always a good thing.  It also contained no bleach, phosphates or other things that harm the environment (or us!).  It washed the clothes well.

Next time I’ll try making a liquid and make a much larger amount.

On another domestic note, I have 10 quarts of homemade enchilada sauce in my kitchen cooking right now.

It was an accident.  Sort of.  In trying to do the math to make a LOT more than the recipe said, I over estimated the amount of chili powder (1 1/2 cups did sound like a lot of chili powder!).  So I kept adding.  Adding water, adding broth, adding tomato sauce and even sugar as a last ditch effort.  It still is a bit spicy.  But it is really, really yummy.  I plan to make 4 trays of black bean & beef enchiladas with it and then freeze the rest for future use.  Since making the sauce involved mess, I figured I should make a lot and just make a big, huge mess.  That is most often my cooking philosophy whenever possible.

This is my recipe in case you’d like to give it a try.  It puts canned enchilada sauce to shame if I do say so myself.  Mind the math if you make it x 6 like I did!

3 T vegetable oil

1 small onion (or half a large one), finely minced

1 clove fresh garlic, crushed

2 T flour

1/4 cup (or less, if you have kids I’ve decided)

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth

1/4 tsp ground cumin


Heat oil in a skillet (med-high) and saute onion till tender.  Add garlic, briefly saute.  Stir in flour and chili powder, stirring constantly, careful not to burn it.

Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water/broth & cumin.  Simmer on low-med heat for 10 minutes till slightly thickened.  Pour over your enchiladas and enjoy!

For this batch, my filling includes green chilies, black beans, brown rice and ground beef all mixed up with a bit of the sauce.  Each tortilla I dip quickly in the sauce too, to keep it all moist.  I also pour a bit of sauce in the pan before putting the enchiladas in so they don’t stick.  I topped it with shredded cheddar cheese too.

Naptime is about over, so that’s it for now!



Oh my it sounds YUMMY!!! What a fabulous idea. The canned sauce is never that good AND I can save money. Going to try it soon – thank you!

Will be quite interested to hear if you try a larger quantity of laundry soap…


Is that 1/4 cup of Chili powder? I am totally going to do this within the next few weeks before this baby is born to i can freeze some. Can i only use that sauce for enchiladas or can it be used in other dishes? It sounds SO good!

One thing that i really like about Australia is their earth-friendly approach to almost everything. All washing powders are earth friendly and for rain water tank systems, which every house has to conserve water. And they’re cheap. really cheap. I use this one from New Zealand that I LOVE. I wish you could get it at home. Hope that your next experiment goes better 🙂


I’m trying the enchilada sauce today…can’t wait! I’m going to make a ton of it if I like it and can it so I have some on hand!
I’ve been really happy with the laundry soap I make. It washes about 180 loads, and costs about $3.00 to make. The recipe is on my blog. The kids have so much fun when we make it! Good for you for trying new things!