Ice Cube Innovation

New York has amazing tap water, so my ice cubes are nice and clean, but that ‘freezer’ taste still gets into my water when the ice melts.  But i found an easy and tasty way to change that!  I just add lemon juice, raspberries, or other fruit into the ice cube try before freezing it.

Other fruits I recommend:

Try it out and let me know what combinations you come up with!

xxx G

How to soften brown sugar

Have you ever wanted to bake some chocolate cookies at 2am, then realize that your brown sugar is hard and unusable?  It has happened to me, and I almost broke the hearts of friends who were waiting for them. But then I figured there is probably a way to fix the situation, and there is.
The reason why the sugar hardens is because it loses its moisture, so you have to put it back in.  There are two easy methods that I will explain below

Microwave method:
place a bowl of water in the microwave next to a bowl or plate of brown sugar. first microwave it for 1 minute, then at 30 second intervals until it is soft

Stove top method:
boil a pot of water and hold the sugar over the pot so it absorbs the steam.

When your sugar begins to soften, crumble it with your fingers and pack it into your measuring cup.

So, no more running to the store when you have your oven pre-heating!


Level, with me

My roommate Peter bought a towel bar for our bathroom and I helped him put it up. The installation was simple, but we didn’t have a level. I fixed out situation quickly by using a shot glass!  Just fill a shot glass, or a clear glass, with some water, and place it on whatever object needs to be leveled.

cheap and green: cleaning alternatives

Store bought cleaning products are not only expensive but harmful to ones health.  There are some that, unfortunately, get the job done much better than a natural alternative, so I do end up caving.  But for general cleaning tasks baking soda and white vinegar are the way to go.  White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that has way more uses than just for cleaning. And baking soda cuts grease and works as an abrasive.  Put the two together and relive you childhood-volcano-making days.

I must stress how inexpensive it is to clean without buying brand name products.  I have 3 best friends all living together. They are boys, go to college and don’t have money.  I tell them all the time it’ll cost them a total of about $4, hold off on a beer and buy some cleaning supplies, but I think they just don’t want to clean. But anyway, whether you are young, or old, or know someone strapped for cash, encourage them to try cleaning old school style.

Fill a spray bottle with 1/4 water and 3/4 white vinegar and clean
(you can add a few drops of essential oils like tea tree or lavender):
- counter tops
- windows and mirrors ( wipe with newsprint)
- floors
- wood, plastic, glass, metal, or any other hard surface

Use baking soda to clean:
- soap scum in a bathtub or on the wall: 
      . make a paste of baking soda and water and apply
      . splash white vinegar on baking soda paste and scrub
- toilet bowls:
      . sprinkle some baking soda
      . splash in some white vinegar
      . brush and flush 
- clogged sinks:
      . pour in some baking soda
      . pour in some white vinegar
      . wait until the fizzing stops and run the sink to flush it out

There are many more ways to use both white vinegar and baking soda other than for cleaning. Search around and see what you find, but for now I leave you with this.  Happy cleaning!

xxx G