My Daily Kitchen Cleaning Routine

Not many care to have to scrub and scour by the hour!  The remedy to that is to keep on top of chores so it doesn’t take long.  If you let the counters in the kitchen pile high before you get to un-cluttering for Thanksgiving, you’re going to be working much longer than if you clear it off at the end of each day.

Here are a few tasks that I do every day after I finish cooking:

  • Wipe down all the counters with warm, soapy water
  • Wipe out the microwave
  • Use window cleaner on the microwave, stove top, oven door, refrigerator, trash can and dishwasher
  • Wipe out the sinks
  • Empty the dishwasher and dish drainer
  • Sweep the rugs

These tasks are complete in about 15 minutes, and the kitchen is clean when we get up in the morning and start the process of cooking and cleaning all over again!

What about your kitchen is most bothersome and hard to keep clean?

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My Morning Cleaning Routine

A sweet reader recently asked me if I had a daily cleaning routine.  My immediate thought was, “No, I don’t.  I just clean when I see a need.”  THEN I began to go through what I do each morning, and I realized that I certainly DO have a routine!  It’s so ingrained in my morning, that it’s just natural and doesn’t even feel like I’m working on a list of household chores!

I’ve made a short video to take you through what I do in the first hours I’m awake – just as I go through the regular parts of each day.  I work as I go along, and by mid-morning, many tasks have been completed! Come along and see…

Just as I ended my video by saying, let me repeat – the comment from a reader inspired this video.  If you have a question or comment, let me know and perhaps it can be answered in a future post!  I ‘d love your input!

Happy cleaning!
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Setting the Dinner Table

A part of every day life is eating a meal.  So, too, is the need to set the table.  I’ve heard many women say they don’t really know how to properly put the silverware and tableware out.  Is it just being too fussy to set the table?  No!  But if you don’t know what to do, fear not; it’s not something that requires lifted pinkies or tea cups!

My video today will show how to set a simple table, making it pretty enough for company, but also perfect for your family.  Don’t let them have your leftovers (no pun intended!). Make them feel special by making mealtime an event.  It’s really up to us to make the table pretty, and this simple video will give you a few ideas to show how.

 

What centerpiece do you have on your table right now?

Refresh your family’s dinner table!

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(L)Oven Monday – Pictorial Guide to Strawberry Freezer Jam

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One of our favorite summer treats is Strawberry Freezer Jam.  I’ve made it for years and we smear it on toast, PB&J sandwiches, biscuits, and muffins (especially these).  I also love taking a jar as a hostess gift.  I make up several “runs” of the recipe each May, and we try to ration it out to make it last until the next fresh/local strawberry season.  It could be called a domestic crisis if we run out!

The freezer jam is quicker to make than the cooked jam, and it’s a really simple process.  Another great thing is that once you get a stash of jars stocked up your only cost is the ingredients for the jam.  This recent batch cost me $20 and I made 18 jars!  That’s a great value!

But spite the fantastic taste and the value, sometimes people are afraid to try making it for fear that it won’t set up, and then they’ll have wasted all the ingredients and money involved.  But If you’re one of those people who are afraid to try it on your own, I thought I’d walk you through each of the steps, using my pictorial guide below.

Note: I make my Strawberry Freezer Jam using the recipe on the Sure-Jell box. 

  1.  Sterilize your jars and lids in the dishwasher, or in very hot, soapy water.wp-1495049602796
  2. Wash the strawberries before hulling.
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  3. Cut off the stems. Slice berries.
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  4. Using a potato masher, mash the berries – don’t make them soup.  Leave it a little chunky  See next photo.
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  5. There should be some chunks
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  6. Add sugar.  Be sure to measure it exactly as recipes states.  Level off cups.
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  7. Let set for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
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  8. Put Sure-Jell and 3/4 Cup water in a small sauce pan.wp-1495050470442
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  9. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and boil 1 minute —–

10.  Stir cooked pectin into strawberry/sugar mixture.  Stir for three minutes, or until sugar is dissolved.wp-1495050654139

11. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/2 inch at the top.  Wipe rims and screw on lids.wp-1495051677817

12.  If you like, do a little test with a small amount of jam, just to see if it has set up —–

 

12.  Leave on counter for 24 hours, then either refrigerate for immediate use, or freeze up to a year.

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Enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Have you made jam?  If not, what is keeping you from trying?  Will this pictorial guide encourage you to try?  

Refresh your family and your freezer with some Strawberry Jam!

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Eggs In a Basket Video Tutorial

Cracker Barrel calls them Eggs in a Basket – they are simply eggs cooked inside a small hole in a piece of toast!  It’s like a breakfast package!  They’re great to fix for your family because you’re making the toast and the egg in one step!  Here’s a little video demonstrating how easy and fast they are to make!

Eggs in a Basket

  1.  Melt 1-2 Tbl butter in skillet
  2. Cut hole in bread slice, using a biscuit cutter or small glass.
  3. Crack egg into the hole in the bread.  Place bread rounds in pan to brown.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook 2 minutes, then flip toast over and cook until egg is cooked to your preference.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Do you make these at home?  They’re so good, and children love them!

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Video on Making Homemade Tortillas !

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Beef Carnita Tacos

A Pioneer Woman on the screen I am not, but here’s my best shot at making a video of how to make homemade tortillas! it’s not easy to do your own video taping! Sometimes I entertain myself while cooking – watch and see what I mean!

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These are yummy!

Here’s the recipe:

Whole Wheat tortillas

4 Cups whole wheat flour – You can use all-purpose, if you prefer!
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water – more if needed

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together.

Add oil and mix with your hands until it feels a bit like cornmeal.  Add water and mix to make a soft dough that is easy to wlrk with.  Knead a minute or so.  Divide dough into 16 balls and let them sit, covered on counter for about 15 minutes.  Press into tortillas with tortilla press.

Bake on ungreased heavy skillet or a griddle that is on medium-high heat.  Cook them unto brown spots appear and then flip and cook on the other side.

You can find the recipe for the Beef Carnita Tacos here. I love to do these in the crock pot. The meat shreds apart beautifully and the flavors have cooked together all day and are so delicious!

Will you try your hand at Tortillas?  It’s a fun project with kids!

With love from my country kitchen,