Natural, Easy Stovetop Cleaner: Baking soda

I’m all about natural cleaning and my favorite cleaners are vinegar and baking soda. To clean the stovetop, I use a tiny bit of baking soda and some water.

I clean my stovetop regularly – every weekend usually, but it’s been a couple of weeks at this point. My stovetop looked like this:

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I move the grates and sprinkle the middle part with water. Then I sprinkle just a little baking soda. A little goes a long way:

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The baking soda is a natural, safe cleaner that serves as an abrasive when I scrub with a cloth. It works amazingly on dried-on food.

However, I had a big birthday candle melt on the top and leave a big waxy residue.

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So I used a dull knife to scrape off the wax, leaving a pile of shredded wax which I wiped into the trash can.

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Then I wiped it down again real fast with the same rag.

End result:

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Shiny clean with just water and baking soda! 

Now, this does not clean the grates. I would like to do that in a way that doesn’t involve ammonia. Also, there are some dark stains around the holes that baking soda does not get up, but those stains were around since before I lived in this house.

Have you tried baking soda as a stovetop cleaner? Will you?

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy Breakfast for the Week: Baked Oatmeal

Easy Breakfast for the Week: Baked Oatmeal

Every morning during the week I eat an apple and a piece of toast with peanut butter and honey. It keeps me full until my lunch break. But I wanted something more fun and different, so I made baked oatmeal.

The recipe I used is this one:

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Baked-Oatmeal

and I strongly recommend it!!

I had a lot of oatmeal because I stopped eating it regularly, and this recipe uses 3 cups. YAY! Now it’s almost gone.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats (I used Old Fashioned Oats rather than Quick-Cooking; it worked fine)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (I used cage free)
  • 1 cup milk (I used organic whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • Pan greaser (I used olive oil spray)

Materials:

  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Big spoon
  • Whisk
  • 1 cup dry measuring cup
  • 1 tsp measuring spoon
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • 9×9 square baking pan
  • Dull knife to cut from pan after cooked

The directions are super simple – I wrote them out differently so it’s easy to read:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS: oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Melt butter. (I chopped up 1 stick (1/2 cup) and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwaved for a little under 1 minute and stirred.)
  4. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.
  5. Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until set.
  6. (Serve warm with milk.) Yield: 9 servings.
I forgot to grease the pan until the mixture was in the pan, so I had to dump it BACK into the bowl, wipe out the pan, spray the oil, and then re-empty the bowl into the baking pan. Whoops! (I’m still new at this baking thing. At least I remembered in the end – what a nightmare that would have been!)
I cooked for about 43 minutes before checking, and it looked done, so I took it out and let it cool. I ate a couple of pieces warm, and a piece this morning after refrigerating and did NOT heat it up – it was still delicious cold!

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As you can see I have already enjoyed 3 pieces. I found it difficult to cut into 9 pieces; I did 12 (3×4) instead. They are good sized.

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This morning’s piece! Mmmm! APPROVED. I’ll probably eat this for dessert some days too. I’ll try to update again with how long I stay full!

How To Go Back to “Old” Gmail Inbox

If you use Gmail, this post is for you!

I have used Gmail for a long time and I have liked it for as long. I tweak it to personalize it, and when the options were given for a Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums in the “New” Inbox, I didn’t like it. I tried to embrace the change for a few days, but then I decided I wanted to change it back. If you feel the same way, here’s how.

Step 1: Click on the gear 
Step 2: Click on “Settings” from the drop down menu
Step 3: Click on the header “Inbox” (3rd from the left)
Step 4: Uncheck all categories (“Primary” remains checked no matter what) 

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Step 5: Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click “Save Changes”!!

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That’s it. Back to the old inbox. 

If you use Gmail, how do you feel about the new inbox settings?

Dollar Store Haul

Went to one of those dollar stores where everything actually is $1 (or less.)

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Bought:

  • Hole reinforcers for my many binders
  • File folder labels for my many file folders (I have been cutting the sticky parts of post-its for years!)
  • 8 binder clips in varied colors for my bulletin board and for holding papers
  • Dog bowl – for water, to match dog’s food bowl, except this one is blue (symbolism)

Sorry I have been slacking on posting the last week – had to prepare for my husband’s birthday party at our house. Along with the regular working, cooking, cleaning, several doctor’s appointments, and getting to see my love in the evenings.

Hope everyone is having a good Labor Day!