Monday, October 31, 2011

effective and eco-friendly household cleanser

Eco-and-Budget Friendly Household Cleanser

No recipe today. Instead – a great household tip; great not just for your kitchen, and so so easy to make yourself.

In Russia, we used to wash windows with a solution of water and vinegar – it was incredibly effective, left streak-free windows, and best of all – was non-toxic. For whatever reason, when we came to America, we abandoned the practice. But now that our household contains one cute, furry animal who answers to Forrest, things have changed. When I clean out his litter box every couple of weeks, I do a major cleaning overhaul in his litter area. But I worry about spraying harsh chemicals around him; these things get on animals’ paws, and when they lick their paws, they are inadvertently ingesting toxic ingredients. [If this is how nuts I get about keeping non-toxic products around a cat, wait til I get a kid.]

So I turned to my beloved water and vinegar solution once more – and I’m loving it even more than my beloved non-toxic spray cleanser. In fact, I might never buy another spray cleanser again. Just a spray bottle filled halfway with vinegar (I’m pretty sure that everyone has a bottle stashed somewhere in their pantry) and another halfway with water. And voila – a cleanser that’s gentle on your household dwellers, the environment, and your wallet. If only I was this ingenious in every other way. What’s next – homemade facials?

Update: a few readers are sharing their tips on using vinegar at home. What’s yours? Let’s share and then I’ll repost the original post with all the updates!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

stir-fried chicken with scallions and oyster mushrooms

Stir-Fried Chicken with Scallions and Oyster Mushrooms

I am not sure that I can do this particular post justice –I’m not good with adulation. That is I’m good at feeling it, but I’m terrible at putting it in words. On paper.

For months now, I’ve been running around telling people to buy Melissa Clark’s new book, Cook This Now. And I always preface it with, “Yes, I know I work for her, and I might seem biased, but, really, trust me – you’re going to want to cook from it all the time.” And then I get the warm smile, “Yeah, we know and love Melissa Clark, but you are kind of biased. You can’t not like her book.” True, I can’t. But not because of you might think.

Continue reading stir-fried chicken with scallions and oyster mushrooms.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

turkey sausage and mushroom ragu

turkey sausage and mushroom ragu

Hi friends, it’s been awhile. I’ve miss you and I’ve missed this little space here. To say that life has taken a turn for the busiest would be an understatement. I don’t have ten seconds to myself. What I have been doing, however, is noting some funny things around me lately. Either I’ve grown more observant with the change of seasons, or the universe has grown stranger. Allow me to share.

The other day, as I was walking on my way to Andrew Scrivani’s for a day of cooking and shooting, something I do every Thursday, a dog passed me by and walked into a laundromat called “Klean and Kleaner”. I could say “wandered”, but that would imply an aimlessness; and the manner in which he entered the space was so purposeful and decisive, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was doing laundry and needed to switch it from the washer to the dryer. And then I thought to myself, “Is his doing his laundry or his owners?” I guess I’ll never know. But I have been contemplating the strange name of the shop – it is Klean or is it Kleaner? Or is it just like Alice in Wonderland – curiouser and curiouser?

Continue reading turkey sausage and mushroom ragu.