Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cooking and Cleaning

Kerry here!  Today, my Dude has spoiled me by doing all the cooking.  I got to do the clean up, but I personally think I came out ahead of the game.  So, because tomorrow's a holiday, because my Little Dude gave me kisses and said, "I love!" each time, and because it's too good not to share, here's what the Dude cooked, and what I used to clean up with!

For breakfast, we had Berry Berry Pancakes with hash browns!  For the pancakes, you'll need 1 1/2 c. flour, 3 1/2 t. baking powder, 1 t. salt, 1 T. white sugar, 1 1/4 c. milk, 1 egg, 3 T. butter, melted, and 1 c. blueberries.  Take the dry ingredients and sift them together.  Make a well in the center, and pour in the milk, egg, and butter.  Mix it all until smooth.  Heat and grease your griddle or pan.  Right before you're ready to cook them, fold in the blueberries (feel free to adjust the amount of blueberries to your liking).  Pour out batter in 1/4 c. amounts onto the griddle, and cook until golden brown on both sides.  For the topping, slice enough strawberries to fill 1/3 c.  Place in a bowl with 1/4 c. whole raspberries.  Add 2-3 T. of white sugar, and gently mix.  Again, feel free to increase or decrease the amount of berries and/or sugar to meet your needs.  Butter the hot pancakes, and spoon on some of the fruit topping.  Simple, and crazy good!  For the hash browns, all the Dude did was to use the food processor to shred 2 potatoes.  He used paper towels to squeeze out the excess moisture.  Then he added 1/2 of a bell pepper and 2 small tomatoes, diced, mixed it all together, and fried it on the griddle.  For the last minute or two of cooking, he topped the hash browns with cheddar cheese.

This evening, he made homemade oatmeal cream pies, and I almost cried with joy.  He found the recipe on, and while they were damn good, we think we can tweak it a bit.  I linked the recipe for anyone who wants to give it a whirl, but I'll post our version once we play with it.  I think we can make the filling a bit differently, and I want to mess with the baking instructions.  But...mmmm.  Make sure you have some milk on hand!

Now, after all that cooking, I got to clean.  I also tweaked my cleaning supply stash, and came up with what I think are some effective, safe supplies.  For my general surface cleaner, I used a large spray bottle.  I put in 3 T. baking soda, and 1/4 c. white vinegar.  There will be fizzing, so just wait it out.  Once things settle, add 1/2 t. dish liquid, then fill the bottle slowly with hot water.  Leave a little room in the bottle to swirl the contents before use.  It cut grease, cleaned up sticky surfaces, and didn't leave a weird film or odor behind.  If you wanted to, you could add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil.  If you do have a spot that needs more scrubbing, make a paste of baking soda and your dish soap, and use it like you would Soft Scrub.

My window cleaner got tweaked, but I think it's a lot more effective now on the LD's sticky little prints and smudges.  Use 1/2 t. dish soap, 3 T. vinegar, and 2 c. water.  Mix it in a spray bottle, shake it up, and clean your glass!  You can use newspaper on your windows  with this spray for a streak-free finish.  And, to freshen up your fabric, here's a fake-it Febreze recipe.  Use 3 T. of your favorite conditioner, and 2 T of baking soda.  Put into a spray bottle (just reuse that Febreze bottle that's laying around with a spoonful of liquid left in it), fill up to the top with hot tap water, and give it a good shake.  I ended up using a yummy ginger-scented trial sized conditioner, and it was awesome!

Happy eating/cleaning!

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