Going Back…back into my religion of sorts

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I have left and come, left and come back and this time I plan to stay! Having lost myself in this adventure called life (yeah I want refund on some years…thanks!) I am slowly re-finding myself.

I have given up alot of who I am and what I wanted in my 39 years on this planet. Something about being an eclectic witch is home for me. A comfort knowing that I am becoming with the universe and really seeing myself for the first time in a positive light and being loved by someone that wants whats best for me and lets me practice what I want.

As for what is an eclectic witch? Here let me give you a broad definition of the that.

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The best thing about the definition of an eclectic witch is there is no wrong or right way to practice but one must always remember what you put out into the universe you will get back. I kind think of it as the Grey Jedi from star wars. The code that Grey Jedi has fits nicely with being an eclectic witch.

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Honestly you can’t practice without knowing both sides (left hand…dark and right hand…light). It’s what makes up the universe, balance and etc. I will be hoping to post more about about this. Might even look at herbal remedies and etc.

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Chicken and Dumplings….comfort big girl food!

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Ahh comfort food at it’s finest.I mean how can you go wrong with nothing more than chicken in a thick creamy broth surrounded by puffy yummy clouds of dough? Yeah I thought so too.
 
This is my momma’s recipe but there are many on the internet that are so close…or spot on. Each has it’s own place in the owner’s heart. I add a little more memory to mine.

Ingredients:
3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. salted butter, cubed
milk (a little less than a cupful)

Instructions

  1. Boil in a stockpot 2 games hens till cooked completely.
  2. Remove the broth from heat and let cool completely. This makes skimming the fat easier.
  3. Once the broth has been skimmed, pour into a fine sieve to remove any fat that has settled to the bottom and pour broth back into stock pot.
  4. Once the chickens have cooled enough to handle remove the skin, and being shredding off the body with a fork.
  5. Set chicken aside in another bowl.
  6. Start warming homemade stock it up on the stove top while you make the dumplings. To get that chicken soup taste add 1/8-1/4 tsp celery salt and pepper to taste. If it’s not to your desire you can add chicken bouillon to it.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Then add in cubed butter.
  8. Combine using your fingers, fork or pastry cutter.
  9. Pour in the milk. Mix it all together.
  10. Dust your counter with a generous amount of flour. Place dumpling dough on the counter and dust it with more flour.
  11. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thickness.
  12. Be sure to add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking underneath or to your rolling pin.
  13. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, start cutting out your dumplings into squares.
  14. Dust dumplings with a bit more flour. The extra flour is all gonna help keep them from sticking but will also thicken your chicken broth some as well when you add them to the pot.
  15. Bring chicken broth up to a boil. Add in shredded chicken and stir.
  16. Begin adding dumplings one at a time so they don’t all stick together. Stir frequently while adding them.
  17. Allow dumplings to cook for about 15-20 minutes. You should notice your broth starting to thicken (from the extra flour) and your dumplings may start to sink a little to the bottom because they are soaking up the broth. Take one out and taste test it. It shouldn’t have a doughy taste anymore.

Bacon Wrapped Ranch Chicken

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I made this April 10th yeah been a little behind, but it’s ok. I have been busy and your mouths have been watering. I have to admit I was surprised by this recipe. I thought that the ranch would over power everything cos ya know ranch is a pretty strong flavor on it’s own.
 
I will need to do this without the bone in thigh chicken….you will want to make alot of this cos it’s that dang gone good! For those of you that have nitrate issues used uncured bacon in place of regular bacon and you should be fine!
 
Ingredients:
 
8 chicken thighs
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
bacon
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat dry each thigh, then coat in ranch dressing mix. Wrap 2-3 slices of bacon around each thigh. Place on a rimmed baking sheet….this will help keep all the juices from the chicken and bacon in the pan. Place each thigh 2 inches apart. 
 
Place chick in oven for 30-45 min until bacon is crispy and chicken juices run clear or 160 degrees is marked on your meat thermometer. Serve with sides of your choice, just be sure there is color on your plate.

Internet Win….big time

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Ok this recipe/video has been shared I don’t know how many times on Facebook or other social media sites. It’s for that peanut butter lover in your life. In my case my roomie. Yeah. It all started to innocently when my best friend posted it to my Facebook wall. I watched the video and then my roomie seen it and was like can you do that?

Yes it was a loaded question, and yes I knew I could make them. The main question was did I want to make them and what did it all entail? So I went to Delish’s website and saw how incredibly easy these were to make. Needless to say roomie was happy, like a kid in the candy store after a toys r us spree happy.

So without much more to say except that these are super peanut buttery, and very addictive and go awesome with coffee, and the filling can be changed to Oreo cookies, rolo’s and tons more. Your imagination and comfort level are all that are stopping you.

Peanut butter lovers ~only~ By Delish.

LEVEL: EASY
YIELD: 12 LARGE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

FOR FILLING
  • 1 c. smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
FOR COOKIES
  • 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) Butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make filling: In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter and powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Scoop into small balls (about 1 1/2″) and freeze until ready to use.
  3. Make cookies: In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat with a hand mixer on medium until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoon of the cookie dough and flatten into a flat, pancake-like circle. Place the frozen peanut butter ball on top. Bring the edges of the dough around the frozen peanut butter ball and pinch the edges together to seal, adding more dough if necessary to cover the frozen peanut butter completely.
  5. Roll stuffed cookie dough ball in sugar and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all dough is used, spacing the cookies about 2” apart.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden on the bottom, about 12-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Let me or heck even them know how well they turned out. Oh another thing these are not small cookies at all. I got lucky and ended up with a baker’s dozen (13) instead of a dozen.

When life hands you lemons…

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Betty Crocker Cranberry Poundcake

All credit for the picture goes to the above link!

Ok so it’s been crazy….and I mean crazy! My father died December 18, 2016 and well let’s just say there is lots of legal stuffs to do, cops and more. Shaking my head….good thing dad was like me and I have enough coffee to hopefully get thru this.

So it’s like the old saying when life gives you lemon’s you make….Baked goodies! It’s too cold right now here in North Carolina to make lemonade. So I made 2 loaves of lemon blueberry strudel bread for my oh so lovely neighbors. I guess it shocked them that I knew how to bake, well that is to say the least of all the recent shocks around here. So today is cold and too bad outside so to try something new I whipped up a lemon cranberry pound cake.

I got the recipe off of pinterest my oh favorite addictive site on the web. I saw the recipe, had to make the recipe and now awaiting to see if I conquered said recipe. Lucky lucky me I’ve had more pinterest wins than fails. One must take inconsideration before baking crazy exotic gourmet goodies the comfortablity one has in the kitchen.  Me the kitchen is the heart and soul of a home.

I will post some different recipes using lemon. Not the one’s that everyone knows, ya know lemon meringue and curd and lemon poppy. Lemon’s are cheap, easy to work with and delightfully compliment many different types of other fruits. Especially berries.

So without further going and witnessing for the delightful lemon…I present new recipes to try!

Lemon Raspberry French Toast

Tiny Potatoes with Lemon

Lemon Creme Brulee

Lemon Berry Cheesecakes

Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bread

Lemon Cranberry Pound Cake

Sewing Projects for the home

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This came from http://www.sewdaily.com/Sewing-Projects-for-Homeso credit goes to them!

In this day in age with everything costing so much and the internet has so much more to offer now, why not find things you can use and save money at the same time. With so many women become more and more domestic goddesses I figured these links should help with sewing patterns.
So here are some links I hope you find helpful to use up some of that fabric that might just be laying around the house.
http://www.freeneedle.com/ – This place has lots of patterns or well links to patterns.
http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns – This has clothing and other patterns, they are more modern
http://m-sewing.com/  – This is modern patterns and PDF in format
http://so-sew-easy.com/things-sew-kitchen/#_a5y_p=3920223– 50 plus projects for you to whip up

Choose My Plate

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The new thing in portion control is choose my plate. It is designed with how much protein, veggies, grains and fruits you need in a meal. Does it work not sure but it does seem very interesting to me.

Portion control is what makes a balanced meal and the http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ give great printables and more on how to properly balance your meal.  I get that portion control along with eating a well balanced meal and exercise is good for you but what’s to say they (government) won’t change this plan in a couple months or years.

I’m all for this but I have noticed a couple of problems in this plan of theirs and it’s not really their fault, but the industry’s fault. The choose my plate plan is based upon a 8.5-9in. in diameter plate…well most plates that you buy from say walmart, target, kmart or what have are 10-12in. diameter sized plates. 

In my honest opinion it’s a start but with the ever increasing prices of food that one prepares at home verses the cost of pre-packaged meals or what I call convenience junk food it will be hard. To eat and prepare healthy meals for a family cost more than that convenience junk food that one can buy. May they can focus on getting rid of some these foods and lower the cost of healthy food. 

But like I was stating I am going to try more to have veggies and fruits than meat. But remember just start simple and eat in moderation. 

Free Printing Links

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So many links so little time or ink and paper or supplies, what ever! So with that said there never seems to be something you are looking when your looking for it, well how about a semi one stop shop for all your printing needs?

Well all these lovies are for building that household binder you’ve been dreaming/drooling about. So here ya go!

ihomeschool network so many printables in one place OM!

green and lyme 34 pages of lovely printables free!

iheart planners 31 days to organize!

amy bayliss ahh a family binder/notebook

organizing home life

reasons to skip the housework

diy hshp

green child magazine

wife mother teacher

fab n free

 

I do hope you enjoy, if so leave a comment let me know what’s missing and I will google-fu it and post back on this list.

 

Non Grain Flours

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This picture belongs to glutenfreerecipebox.com

Ahh the mass confusion using gluten free flours for paleo/gluten free/ whole foods and more recipes. So many choices and which to use for what can drive one crazy. Then add in converting regular recipes to use these said flours is enough to…well it’s enough!

Ok so now for the conversions….

Bob’s red Mill has come up with this chart it may help. You can check it out here (http://www.bobsredmill.com/media/pdf/Alternative_Flours.pdf)

In gluten-free baking the golden rule is 1 cup of all-purpose bleached white flour = 120 grams. Since most baked goods recipes in America were developed with gluten flour just use 120 grams of your gluten-free flour blend in place of the AP.

In general, you want to use a ratio of  2/3 heavy/medium flours and 1/3 starch/light flours for the best texture.  If you prefer a  ‘white’ flour replacement, switch that ratio!

A very rough estimate is about 1 1/4 cup gluten free flours to 1 cup all-purpose wheat flour.  The addition of about 1/2 teaspoon gum of choice is usually called for for ideal texture.  However, many recipes with additional binding ingredients (chia meal, flax meal, banana, applesauce) does not need the addition

If you want to sub gluten free flours for other ones you prefer, sub a light for light, medium for a medium, a heavy for a heavy (refer to list below for flour ‘weights’).

Here is a good link to a site that not only tells you about flour subs but even gives you recipes to make your own blends! http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/resources/food-allergy-substitutions.html

Here is a baking chart for converting recipes! http://www.gygi.com/blog/blog/2012/07/20/gluten-free-baking-the-conversion-chart/

Hopefully these links will help you on your journey to healthy eating and converting recipes to which ever grain free diet or lifestyle that you are doing.

Household Cleaner Recipes

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                            The pic came from cafepress.com

The recipes came from http://www.eartheasy.com/live_nontoxic_solutions.htm you should check them out!

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A good quality cloth can last for several years.

Air Freshener: Commercial air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to diminish the sense of smell.

• Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.

• Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.

• Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.

• Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.

• Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.

• Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.

• Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.

Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.

Carpet stains: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.

For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 – 30 minutes before vacuuming.

For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.

Chopping block cleaner: Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

Coffee and tea stains: Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil. Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.

Deodorize:

• Plastic food storage containers – soak overnight in warm water and baking soda

• In-sink garbage disposal units – grind up lemon or orange peel in the unit

• Carpets – sprinkle baking soda several hours before vacuuming

• Garage, basements – set a sliced onion on a plate in center of room for 12 – 24 hours

Dishwasher Soap: Mix equal parts of borax and washing soda, but increase the washing soda if your water is hard.

If you want to use a commercial dishwashing soap, try Ecover Ecological or Trader Joe’s powders, which contain no bleach or phosphates.

Dishwashing Soap: Commercial low-phosphate detergents are not themselves harmful, but phosphates nourish algae which use up oxygen in waterways. A detergent substitution is to use liquid soap. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar to the warm, soapy water for tough jobs.

Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle. (This is not an antibacterial formula. The average kitchen or bathroom does not require antibacterial cleaners.)

To disinfect kitchen sponges, put them in the dishwasher when running a load.

Drain Cleaner: For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener–the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

Fabric softener: To reduce static cling, dampen your hands, then shake out your clothes as you remove them from the drier. Line-drying clothing is another alternative.

Floor Cleaner and Polish:

Vinyl and Linoleum: mix 1 cup vinegar and a few drops of baby oil in 1 gallon warm water. For tough jobs, add 1/4 cup borox. Use sparingly on lineoleum.

Wood: apply a thin coat of 1:1 vegetable oil and vinegar and rub in well.

Painted wood: mix 1 teaspoon washing soda into 1 gallon (4L) hot water.

Brick and Stone tiles: mix 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (4L) water; rinse with clear water.

Most floor surfaces can be easily cleaned using a solution of vinegar and water. For damp-mopping wood floors: mix equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water. Add 15 drops of pure peppermint oil; shake to mix.

Furniture Polish: For varnished wood, add a few drops of lemon oil into a 1/2 cup warm water. Mix well and spray onto a soft cotton cloth. Cloth should only be slightly damp. Wipe furniture with the cloth, and finish by wiping once more using a dry soft cotton cloth.

For unvarnished wood, mix two tsps each of olive oil and lemon juice and apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth. Wring the cloth to spread the mixture further into the material and apply to the furniture using wide strokes. This helps distribute the oil evenly.

Laundry Detergent: Mix 1 cup Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 tbsp for light loads; 2 tbsp for heavy loads.

Lime Deposits: You can reduce lime deposits in your teakettle by putting in 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar and 2 cups water, and gently boiling for a few minutes. Rinse well with fresh water while kettle is still warm.

To remove lime scale on bathroom fixtures, squeeze lemon juice onto affected areas and let sit for several minutes before wiping clean with a wet cloth.

Marks on walls and painted surfaces: Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse.

Metal Cleaners and Polishes:

Aluminum: using a soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and water.

Brass or Bronze: polish with a soft cloth dipped in lemon and baking-soda solution, or vinegar and salt solution. Another method is to apply a dab of ketchup on a soft cloth and rub over tarnished spots.

Chrome: polish with baby oil, vinegar, or aluminum foil shiny side out.

Copper: soak a cotton rag in a pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar. Apply to copper while hot; let cool, then wipe clean. For tougher jobs, sprinkle baking soda or lemon juice on a soft cloth, then wipe. For copper cookware, sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub., A simpler method is to apply a dab of ketchup on a soft cloth and rub over tarnished spots.

Gold: clean with toothpaste, or a paste of salt, vinegar, and flour.

Silver: line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with water; add a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth.

Stainless Steel: clean with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar, or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tbs baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth. Wipe dry using a clean cloth. For stainless steel sinks, pour some club soda on an absorbant cloth to clean, then wipe dry using a clean cloth.

Mold and Mildew: Use white vinegar or lemon juice full strength. Apply with a sponge or scrubby.

Mothballs: The common mothball is made of paradichlorobenzene, which is harmful to liver and kidneys. Cedar chips in a cheesecloth square, or cedar oil in an absorbant cloth will repel moths. The cedar should be ‘aromatic cedar’, also referred to as juniper in some areas. Cedar chips are available at many craft supply stores, or make your own using a plane and a block of cedar from the lumberyard.

Homemade moth-repelling sachets can also be made with lavender, rosemary, vetiver and rose petals.

Dried lemon peels are also a natural moth deterrent – simply toss into clothes chest, or tie in cheesecloth and hang in the closet.

Oil and Grease Spots: For small spills on the garage floor, add baking soda and scrub with wet brush.

Oven Cleaner: Moisten oven surfaces with sponge and water. Use 3/4cup baking soda, 1/4cup salt and 1/4cup water to make a thick paste, and spread throughout oven interior. (avoid bare metal and any openings) Let sit overnight. Remove with spatula and wipe clean. Rub gently with fine steel wool for tough spots. Or use Arm & Hammer Oven Cleaner, declared nontoxic by Consumers Union.

Paint Brush Cleaner: Non-toxic, citrus oil based solvents are now available commercially under several brand names. Citra-Solve is one brand. This works well for cleaning brushes of oil-based paints. Paint brushes and rollers used for an on-going project can be saved overnight, or even up to a week, without cleaning at all. Simply wrap the brush or roller snugly in a plastic bag, such as a used bread or produce bag. Squeeze out air pockets and store away from light. The paint won’t dry because air can’t get to it. Simply unwrap the brush or roller the next day and continue with the job.

Fresh paint odors can be reduced by placing a small dish of white vinegar in the room.

Rust Remover: Sprinkle a little salt on the rust, squeeze a lime over the salt until it is well soaked. Leave the mixture on for 2 – 3 hours. Use leftover rind to scrub residue.

Scouring Powder: For top of stove, refrigerator and other such surfaces that should not be scratched, use baking soda. Apply baking soda directly with a damp sponge.

Shoe Polish: Olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice can be applied to shoes with a thick cotton or terry rag. Leave for a few minutes; wipe and buff with a clean, dry rag.

Stickers on walls: Our children covered the inside of their room doors with stickers. Now they are grown, but the stickers remained. To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times, and wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into basin and let it set for a few minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (one part) will also work.

Tub and Tile Cleaner: For simple cleaning, rub in baking soda with a damp sponge and rinse with fresh water. For tougher jobs, wipe surfaces with vinegar first and follow with baking soda as a scouring powder. (Vinegar can break down tile grout, so use sparingly.)

Wallpaper Remover: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, apply with sponge over the old wallpaper to soften the adhesive. Open room windows or use a fan to dissipate the pungent vinegar smell.

Water Rings on Wood: Water rings on a wooden table or counter are the result of moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the finish. Try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface.

Window Cleaner: Mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter (qt) warm water. Use crumpled newspaper or cotton cloth to clean. Don’t clean windows if the sun is on them, or if they are warm, or streaks will show on drying. The All-Purpose Cleaner (above) also works well on windows. Be sure to follow the recipe, because using too strong a solution of vinegar will etch the glass and eventually cloud it.