Monday, December 26, 2016

Another stove cleaning hack

Y'all!  Yes, I know, I've already told you about stove cleaning hacks, but I found one that works even better than the ammonia one.  The ammonia got most of the gunk; this got even more.  You still wouldn't mistake my stovetop for new, but it's pretty darn clean.

The other day I canned some black beans.  This is significant because whenever I heat up beans to can, they always boil over.  Always.  And black beans--the cooking liquid turns purpley-black.  Very unsightly when spilled all over in the burner well.  And then the canner, I know it's supposed to be airtight, because, well, it's a pressure canner, but mine isn't air tight.  It hisses water and steam out from the sides and ends up making a mess of the burner well.  Always.

I cleaned up as much of the mess as I could, (because hello--guests are coming), which wasn't very much, with a scrubby cloth and water.  Then I made the magic mixture: baking soda, with enough hydrogen peroxide in it to make a paste.  I applied the paste to the mess, and let it soak in, then scrubbed with my handy dandy toothbrush, et voila!  Clean burners!  So easy.
Image source
If yours don't clean as easily as mine, try reapplying and letting it sit for a while before scrubbing.  As far as I can tell, this mixture is safe to use on glass or ceramic cooktops, as well.

I have heard that you can use this magic mixture to clean pots and pans, cookie sheets, and even to whiten teeth!  I would even venture to say that this stuff would clean grimy refrigerator handles quite handily (hi Uncle Bob!  You could also use a "Magic Eraser" or melamine foam to clean refrigerator handles).

That's all for now!  Have a great week :)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Menu plan for the week of December 19

Hi everybody.  It's Christmas this week.  I'm looking forward to spending time with all of our parents and and all of our siblings over the next couple of weeks.  It will surely be busy and surely be people-y (so many people), but it will also surely be blessed.

Speaking of being blessed, we spent the day Saturday loving on each other in our immediate family.  We opened gifts, went sledding a couple of times, played with our new toys.  It was lovely and cozy and warm, despite the double digits below zero windchill.  Such a nice relaxing day.

Because of the holidays, this will probably be my last menu plan for the year.  If you need some menu planning inspiration in my absence, you can check out the archives.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

  • Nachos, guacamole, taco toppings
  • Chicken fajita pasta, peaches
  • Pizza, salad
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic toast, green beans
  • Leftovers/fend for yourself
  • Shepherd's pie, rolls, applesauce
  • Hot beef sandwiches, rolls, oven roasted brussels sprouts, green beans, peaches
  • Chicken and wild rice soup, rolls

Monday, December 12, 2016

Menu plan for the week of December 12

Hey y'all!  We got our first significant snowfall of the season yesterday, and I've gotta tell you.  Certain members of this family possess an almost pathological enjoyment of snow removal.  I'm not judging, because I'm one of them, but we're literally fighting for the best shovels and for the privilege of using the snowblower.  OK, not actually fighting, but there may have been a bit of shoving to get out the door first to secure the favorite snow removal device.  We even shovel when it's not entirely necessary.  I don't know of anyone else in the world who loves moving snow as much as we do.  It's kind of weird.  Good thing we have a nice long driveway.

Because of the first significant snowfall. we also had our first night time sledding session of the season.  We are so fortunate to have not one, but two excellent sledding hills on our property, not to mention the driveway, which is also an excellent sledding surface depending on snow depth and conditions.  Winter is so much fun.

This week I'm doing a little food planning for when we have house guests over Christmas break.  I'll be making and freezing a few things ahead, which will hopefully minimize prep time when I need to get meals on the table for eleven.  Yes, eleven.

Here's what's on the menu this week:



Monday, December 5, 2016

Menu plan for the week of December 5

This week, we're hosting a very special guest on Monday and Tuesday.  My friend is letting us borrow her not-quite 6 month old daughter for a couple of days while she and her husband take the other four kids for some much needed family time at a waterpark.  Yeah, you read that right.  Five kids, two of whom are under two years of age.  Uffda.  And now you know why this get-away is much needed.  As you can imagine, what with all of my kiddos being boys, I'm not quite sure what we'll do with another girl in the house, but I'm sure we'll manage :)

As a result of our houseguest, supper on Monday and Tuesday will be low-key.  I've been informed that our guest likes to be fussy and wants to be held constantly starting around 5 p.m., so the boys have a choice: hold the baby, or get their own supper.  I'm interested to see what they choose.

I'm also taking a page from my sis' playbook this week because I picked up my Zaycon bacon over the weekend.  It comes frozen and vacuum sealed in 3 lb packages, so when my sis plans bacon meals, she plans three in a row to use up a whole package.  Of course, if the boys decide not to hold the baby, I'm not sure where that will leave us as far as bacon usage goes...

Here's what's on the menu this week:


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