Friday, April 1, 2011

April 2011 - Leader Enterprise - Spring Cleaning Tips




Spring has sprung and isn’t it glorious? It’s definitely my favorite season of the year. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying sunshine. It tends to warm us up inside and out. And to see those flowers peeking their heads out of the ground!I just love it.

This is the time of year we begin thinking about spring cleaning. I feel more like cleaning on a sunny day than a cloudy one, and realize it’s much easier to see dirt and dust in the natural light.
There are many uses for household products such as vinegar and baking soda, so I thought I would remind you of some cleaning‘tricks’using these simple on-hand products to help get your home sparkling.

Nontoxic Bathroom Cleaner: Here’s a terrific deep-cleaning cleanser recipe that works on any bathroom surface. It cuts through soap scum and mildew as well as any commercial bathroom product and costs just pennies. Clean Green!

Ingredients:

1-2/3 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 clean 16-ounce spray bottle with closing cap

Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until any lumps have been dissolved. Pour the liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using. Spray on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water.
Remove Stains on Carpet: Lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar.

Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry,then vacuum.

Refresh the Fridge:Did you know that vinegar might be an even more effective safe cleanser for your refrigerator than baking soda? Use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash both the interior and exterior of your fridge. To prevent mildew growth, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with some full-strength vinegar on a cloth. Also use undiluted vinegar to wipe off accumulated dust and grime on top of your refrigerator. Of course, you’ll still want to put that box of baking soda inside your refrigerator to keep it smelling clean when you’re done.

Vinegar acts as an odor absorber. That in and of itself, is interesting. My favorite use for vinegar is to set a bowl of it in a musty room. It absorbs the odor and does not leave the room smelling like vinegar.
I found this recipe at “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” blog online and it is wonderful! They have fantastic ideas and recipes. This would be a great dish to help use up your leftover Easter ham. Easy too.It can easily be cut in half.

CHICKEN CORDON BAKE

4 cups chicken, cooked and diced
2 cups ham, cooked and diced
1 c.shredded swiss cheese
1 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c.butter
1/3 c.flour
2-1/4 c.milk
½ tsp.dry mustard
1/8 tsp.nutmeg
1/4 tsp.salt, optional
½ tsp.pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9”X13” baking dish. Layer chicken,ham and cheese. Saute onion in butter.Stir in flour and whisk in milk; add dry mustard and seasonings. Cook and stir until thickened. Pour over ham mixture and sprinkle with topping.

CRUNCHY TOPPING

2-1/2 c. coarse bread crumbs
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c.melted butter

Mix together until combined; sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with rice and a vegetable or salad and enjoy!

This egg salad recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted and the only kind I’ll make anymore.The cream cheese keeps it from getting runny like traditional egg salad. Another idea for using up all those leftover Easter eggs.You may use reduced fat cream cheese and fat free mayo if desired.

SPECIAL EGG SALAD

1 (3 ozs) pkg.cream cheese,softened
1/4 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 hard cooked eggs,chopped

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add mayo, sugar, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper; fold in the eggs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.Yield: 6 servings
May you all enjoy a blessed Easter season!
I’m excited about having a booksigning at Hometown Hardware in Pioneer on Sat., April 16th from 11 AM – 2 PM. Would love to see you there.