Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Food Stain Removal Tips:

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Wash fabrics as recommended after these treatments – the sooner, the better.

Coffee
Stretch the fabric over a bowl and carefully pour boiling water through the stain from about a foot above. If the coffee had milk in it, follow with an oil solvent, like Carbona Stain Wizard Pre-Wash. If it contained sugar, follow with a pretreatment product, like Shout Laundry Stain Remover and let sit for 30 minutes before washing.

Ketchup
Apply Shout, then apply white vinegar with an eyedropper or a clean toothbrush to lighten the stain.

Chocolate
Scrape off the excess with a plastic knife or a spatula. Spray with a dish-soap solution (1 tablespoon clear soap to 10 ounces water) then dab with an enzyme detergent before washing (Most everyday detergents contain enzymes).

Mustard
Saturate the stain with white vinegar, then apply a dish-soap solution (see Chocolate for formula)

Ice Cream
Flush with cool water. Apple a prewash stain-removal product (like Shout), then soak in a sink filled with cool water and a few drops of detergent.

Red Wine
Sprinkle salt on the stain, then stretch the fabric over a bowl and carefully pour boiling water onto the spot from about a foot above.

White Wine
Run cold water over the stain, then spray with a dish soap solution (see Chocolate formula) and pretreat by dabbing with detergent.

Beer
Soak in 2 cups cool water and 1/4 cups white vinegar.

Milk
Soak up as much wetness as possible with a towel. Then, apply a solution of warm water and dish soap. Remove soap residue with a damp towel and blot. Repeat if necessary.

Tomato Sauce
Scrape off dried sauce, then apply a solution of warm water and dish soap. Remove soap residue with a damp towel and blot. If the stain persists, blot on an ammonia solution with a warm, damp towel.

Juice or Berries
Scrape up any solids, then apply a solution of warm water and dish soap. Remove soap residue with a damp towel and blot. If the stain persists, blot on an ammonia solution with a warm, damp towel.

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

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“Just gimme some Lysol spray
Just hand me a moist towelette
Don’t tell me I’m paranoid
I know that they’re after me
Look under the microscope
See??”

-Weird Al Yankovic

Lisa wears “eau de hand sanitizer” and uses antibacterial wipes to clean everything from airline armrests to hotel TV remotes. My sister is mega-cootie-conscious, and, thanks to her, kitchens across the globe will no longer be Petri dishes for all-things-nasty. Here are her top tips to keep bacteria at bay:

1) THE SPONGE
The warm, moist kitchen sponge is enemy #1. Not only is this porous, spore-producer grimier than a public toilet, but it also acts as a vehicle, spreading germs from surface to surface.
The fix: Either zap it in the microwave 1-2 minutes on a weekly basis and then run it through the dishwasher or replace sponges with microfiber towels that you launder regularly.

2) THE SINK
The kitchen sink is another place where contamination runs wild. From the basin to the drain and taps, nowhere is safe from the perils of raw food.
The fix: In the evening, spray the drain, basin, faucets and spigot with disinfectant.

3) THE TOWELS
Dishrags are a hotbed of bacterial growth. Like the sponge, they give germs a free ride across kitchen counters, onto your hands and even onto that freshly washed apple you’re shining
The fix: Launder towels regularly and dry on high heat. Alternatively, switch to paper towels, and for those who are eco-friendly, use the 1/2-size sheets of recycled paper.

4) THE FRIDGE
Raw meat and poultry isn’t the only culprit that makes this a bacteria-box – raw, unwashed fruit and veggies come with pesticides and other germs.
The fix: Wipe down the inside of your refrigerator once a week and do a deep clean once a month. As well, clean refrigerator handles on a daily basis.

5) THE CUTTING BOARD
Cracks and crevices caused by wear and deep knife cuts make the cutting board a damp, dark, safe harbor for bacterial growth.
The fix: If using a wood board, rub it with mineral oil monthly. As well, to disinfect, use a bleach solution of 1 tbsp bleach with 1 gallon of hot water. If using a plastic board, run it through the dishwasher and use separate ones for produce and meat/poultry.

6) SECRET CROSS CONTAMINATORS
Be aware of these lesser-known germ carriers:
Can Opener: Wash with hot, soapy water
Fruit Rind: Wash before slicing through the fruit
Reusable Shopping Bag: Machine wash regularly
Kitchen Telephone: Clean with antibacterial wipe
Salt & Pepper Shaker: Wipe surfaces with disinfecting wipes
Raw meat/poultry: Don’t rinse before cooking – proper cooking gets rid of harmful germs
*and of course outside of the home, beware the
Shopping Cart: Littered with bodily fluids and bacteria

Don’t fret. It’ll all be ok if you wash your hands like a surgeon and never consider keyboards, escalator railings, playgrounds and communion cups…

Tips and Tricks Tuesday!

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1) Start the potatoes in cold water and bring to a simmer, which allows them to cook evenly.

2) Simmer the potatoes gently. If they boil too violently, they’ll fall apart before they’re cooked.

3) Test for doneness with a metal skewer. It’s more accurate than a knife and less damaging than a fork.

4) After cooking, drain thoroughly, shaking to rid the potatoes of excess water return them to the pot over low heat and stir to dry them fully.

5) The best tool for mashing is a ricer, but you can also use a food mill or simple hand-held potato masher.

6) Never use a food processor to mash russet potatoes you’ll overwork them and give them a gluey texture.