Monday, May 5, 2014

Cleaning: Garbage Disposal

Whenever I need to juice or zest from lemons, limes or oranges, I take the leftovers - including juiced/zested fruit and cut them into little pieces maybe the size of a quarter. I  store them in a freezer storage bag (ziplock) in the freezer. Run the garbage disposal with a couple pieces of the frozen citrus fruit in it and it not only helps clean the blades, but it make the kitchen smell good.

Another thing I do with the garbage disposal to help clean it is pour some baking soda down it, let it sit for a bit and then add some vinegar that I boiled in the microwave.  You will hear it fizz.  Be careful after pulling the vinegar out of the microwave as the smell is extremely strong so don't put your face over it and breath in. After the fizzing dies down, I run hot water while the disposal is turned on.  It suppose to help clean as well as be good for keeping drain clear.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Being of Service

This is from an old Daily Om horoscope but thought it was a good one to keep around....

"Being of service to others can make us feel empowered. When you participate in making someone’s life better, you honor that person as well as yourself. As you exert your personal power in ways that benefit others, you derive a strong sense of fulfillment because you see how you have the ability to change the world for the better. When you’re of service to others, you receive their gratitude, which raises your self-esteem and revitalizes you. By being of service to others today, you can come to understand that even your smallest contributions to the world’s well-being have merit."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mimosa Cocktail

One memorable Sunday morning, we remembered we had a bottle of champagne in the fridge. So I made each of us a Mimosa to go along with some muffins for a late Sunday morning brunch.  Mimosa cocktails are really good when having a group or party for brunch.

Serving size: 8 Mimosa Cocktails
  • 1 750 ml bottle chilled champagne or dry sparkling wine
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chilled orange juice
Serving size: 1 Mimosa Cocktail
  • 1/3 cup chilled champagne or dry sparkling wine
  • 1/3 cup chilled orange juice
  1. Fill champagne flutes 1/2 full with chilled sparkling wine. Top with orange juice. 
  • I don't mix the champagne and orange juice in a pitcher as I feel it goes flat fast when mixed. So I make them up individually before serving. 
  • I don't stir them as again it can make it flat faster
  • Keep champagne and orange juice chilled. They don't taste as good warm. 
  • If you are serving a large group you can go less on the champagne/sparkling wine, but we prefer the flavor of using equal amounts of orange juice and champagne/sparking wine
  • You can add a little splash of Triple Sec or another orange liquor for added orange flavoring. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sour Cream Cookies

 This is a family recipe. I am sure man others have a similar one in their family. My Grandma and Mom have always made these for holidays or special occasions. My Grandma passed away the end of 2013, but I always remember her when I make these cookies. She used to change the recipe up every so often - adding lemon grind or using more almond extract than vanilla. But this is the basic recipe my Mom always uses and I suggest you play around with the flavors. 

This recipe is good anytime you are wanting a sweet treat. They are my favorite cookie.

Sour Cream Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup sour cream

3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream or half and half
Optional: Sprinkles such as pastel colored sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat Oven to 350. Mix flour, baking soda and powder in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and extracts. Stir in sour cream. And then slowly add flour mixture until all added in. Drop cookies on a cookie sheet and bake 8 to 12 minutes. Cool.  Glaze cookies and let the glaze set for an hour. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

House Cleaning Supplies

We had a question recently on the FetLife group about what do you keep in your cleaning kit?

There are lots of different ways to store cleaning a caddy, pail, or plastic basket. You can keep supplies specific to the room you are cleaning right in the room - like toilet brush, toilet bowl cleaner and such right in the bathroom.  Or you can have one kit that everything goes into and you cart from room too room.

I kind of do both which might sound silly, but it works for me. In the end that is all that matters, if it works good for you.

This is my basic cleaning supplies:
  • 3 Vinegar solutions in spray bottles - 1) straight vinegar, 2) mixture of vinegar, distilled water, essential oils and dish soap which is my all-purpose spray, and 3) dawn dish soap, vinegar and distilled water I use in my bathroom on hard water stains in the shower so often it stays just in the bathroom.
  • 1 spray bottle of peroxide
  • 1 spray bottle of alcohol
  • 1 shaker of baking soda
  • microfiber clothes, rags, scrub brushes and tooth brushes
  • magic erasers
I also have Bar Keeper's Friend, Borax and Bleach on hand, but I don't use those as often so I don't keep in my cleaning kit. I don't have oven cleaner as my oven is a self-cleaning that doesn't use oven cleaner.  
Scrub brushes and the like: I have a toothbrush for cleaning in my kitchen (that I use on the faucet and grout around the tile) that stays in my kitchen.  I have a toothbrush for the bathroom that stays in the bathroom. The toilet bowl brush stays in the bathroom too. 

Dusting: When dusting, I use a mixture of warm water and vinegar in a bowl. I soak the microfiber cloth in the bowl and then wring it out so it is damp to the touch. I have a dry microfiber cloth or  a rag to dry any wetness left behind after dusting.   
Window/Mirrors: I use straight vinegar and a microfiber cloth

Floors: When washing the kitchen floor which is linoleum, I use a mixture of a squirt of dish soap, vinegar, warm water and essential oil - usually peppermint.  For a carpet freshener - I take some baking soda in a shaker and add some essential oils to the baking soda and mix up.  I then sprinkle that across the carpet and let sit for an hour or more. 

Commercial Cleaners: I try to avoid commercial cleaners because I have asthma and have found using vinegar based homemade cleaning products does just as well for me. I grew up with my Grandmother and Mom using vinegar to clean with and so it is a clean smell to me. Like I said I have Bar Keeper's Friend, Borax and Bleach on hand. I don't use the Borax or Bleach often because my lungs don't like them.  But occasionally I find the need for them. I will even at times get disinfecting wipes and Scrubbing Bubbles because they make it easier. But for the most 90% off the time I use the items listed under the bullet points.
Think about what you are cleaning and what you need to clean it. Use google as you can find links to clean about anything you would need to clean.

Here is a link from about Choosing the Right Cleaning Product

Friday, January 31, 2014

Cocktail: Adult Milk Shake

2 cups Chocolate ice cream
3/4 milk
3 oz. coffee liqueur

Using a blender, combine ice cream, milk, and coffee liqueur. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared milkshake glasses.

Serves 2

* 1 cup chocolate ice cream & 1 cup coffee ice cream
*  need more chocolate add some chocolate syrup
*  want a little almond flavor add some Amaretto
* Garnish with any of the following: a drizzle of chocolate syrup, whipped cream, a chocolate covered coffee bean, or sprinkle of cocoa powder to make it a little bit more fancy

RECIPE for homemade Coffee Liqueur

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Organizing Household Appliance Manuals

Do you have a junk draw stuffed with instruction booklets and manuals for your household appliances?  I used to store them in a cupboard and every time I removed one - 10 came spilling out.

Recently we bought a new entertainment cabinet and has more storage than our old so I decided to use it for all those manuals.

I took a basket, a box of  gallon size ziplock bags and marker to organize them better. I labeled the bags with rooms in our house.  I took all the kitchen appliances manual and placed them into the coordinating bag.  Some manuals such as the one for our TV - had lots of little parts and booklets - so those I did in a single ziplock. They are all now in the basket. I have kitchen appliances first in the basket, because I tend to get into those manuals more often - such as when it is time to clean the oven or coffee maker.

Do you have a way you organize those manuals? I would love to hear how others organize them.

Monday, January 6, 2014


This recipe makes about 48 potstickers. I make them for parties or I  freeze them in more manageable meal size batches.  Or split the recipe in half for 24 potstickers. I have included freezing instructions on the bottom of this recipe.

1 lb ground pork (also good with ground chicken)
6 to 8  water chestnuts, diced
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger (ground ginger does work in it's place)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce (plus some for dunking)
 2 packages of wonton wrappers
2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

In a medium to large bowl, mix  the ground pork, water chestnuts, green onions, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.

 Take one wrapper at a time and spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling in the center. Keep the rest of the wonton wrappers covered with a damp towel.

Wet the four edges of the wrapper with dampened fingers. Fold wrapper in half over filling to form a triangle, making sure the ends meet and filling is centered; press edges down firmly to seal.

Spray a platter or plate with cooking spray, place sealed potstickers, cover with a damp towel to keep moist. Fill plate and place in the refrigerator to keep cool while you continue to fill wrappers. Repeat filling each wrapper until all the filling is gone.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat  in a 12-inch nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add about 12 potstickers to the pan and cook. Cook until lightly browned - turning once, about 1 minute per side. Add 1/2 cup water to the pan carefully as the oil may splatter and pop, cover, and steam until translucent and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and wontons. Serve with soy sauce.

FREEZER Instructions:
Prepare the potstickers up to the cooking stage.

Take a baking sheet and line it parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Place the potstickers on the baking sheet so that they are not overlapping or touching. Place in the freezer.

After the potstickers are frozen, place them in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

When ready to use, cook the potstickers as usual, without thawing. The cooking time will be a bit longer than usual.


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