It's all about family and home right here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to Clean Your Stove Using Baking Soda

I was joking around with the Hubs that we have come into a DIY Renaissance.  We've been opting to do a lot of things ourselves, things that we have paid to have done for us in the past.  One of them is stove top cleaning.

I admit that I am not on top of keeping a clean kitchen on a daily basis and am guilty of letting new grease pile on top of old grease and letting them hang out for ... weeks.  Below is the before picture.

And below is the after picture.  It's the first pass and I'm okay with it.  

You can see that around the burners the grease is a little harder to clean off.  Compared to what it was like before I'm totally okay with this.

Here are the ingredients you need to clean your stove top without harsh chemicals:

  • Liquid dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda

What you want to do is to make a liquid concoction of half soap and half vinegar.  Sprinkle, spray, or pour it onto your stove where you want to clean.  Not too much because you don't want to flood your stove, but just enough that the surface is wet and will stay wet for a couple of hours.

After spreading the liquid around, sprinkle some baking soda over it and let it fizz.  You want a runny paste like the picture shows below.

Let that sit for a couple of hours then start rubbing the greasy areas with a rag or your fingers.  Wipe everything off and you will have a clean stove.

For harder to remove grease spots, I sprinkled a little bit of table salt and "exfoliated" the area.  Some of the grease spots came off and some stayed.  However, I'm comfortable with the results because this is still a huge improvement from before.

My favorite part about this new cleaning method is that I have all the ingredients I need at home and it doesn't emit any harsh fumes.

That's it!  Happy cleaning, everybody!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hubby's Sugar Cookie Recipe

My husband is our family's designated dessert maker / baker.  He is such a wonderful daddy, always thinking about nice treats our daughters will like (and he probably knows that I bake in my imagination, not in real life).

My husband and I are no scientists but we are absolutely fascinated by space and deep space.  So, in honor of that, here are his Stars, Moons, Planets and Suns Sugar Cookies.

These were two different batches of cookies.  I woke up one day and found the star sugar cookies decorated like this.  It seemed like a travesty to eat them without taking a picture of them and commemorating them to Instagram for all time.  He had cookies for each person.  Awwww!

Hubby's Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar together, then add egg and vanilla.  Beat/cream them until everything is incorporated, then mix in the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon before turning it out to knead until the dough comes together.  Wrap and set the dough in the fridge for a few minutes, no more than 20 minutes, then roll out the dough and cut out the shapes.  Bake in 350 degree oven for between 10-12 minutes, until the edge barely turns brown.  When they're ready, take them out of the oven, let them cool on the cookie sheet for a minute before moving them to a rack.

Fresh out of the oven these cookies are so soft and fluffy, they're so good!  They travel well because they're so easy to stack.  These are always a great "snack" to take when we go to our local botanical garden.