How To Use Household Cleaners With Safety

Shelves in pantry with cleaners for home close-up - household cleanersToday’s household cleaning products not only make life easier, they are said to make it a lot healthier, as well. Whatever the cleaning challenge, you can probably find a product that’s perfectly suited to getting the job done right.

Cleaning and killing germs are serious business, plus the medical community agrees that cleanliness practices — such as regular hand washing and keeping your living area clean, are key in reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Today many individuals, like us here at Splendid Recipes and More have turned to cleaning products that have been labeled “Green,” meaning their products that are environmentally friendly to the earth, as well as the one using the product.

Using Household Cleaners With Safely

But what if you the reader hasn’t decided yet to give up traditional cleaning products as of yet, like all-purpose cleaners, ammonia, bleach, and toilet bowl cleaners, among many others, are you cautious when using them?

The following information are reminders for cautious cleaning when using such cleaning products.

all-purpose cleaner - household cleanersAll-Purpose Cleaner

Some commonly purchased all-purpose cleaners include:

These type of products are designed for diverse in home tasks.

The FDA recommends not using such cleaners that contain antibacterial properties, like dimethyl benzyl ammonium, which is an organic salt (note: not all salts are inorganic like NaCl), composed of the (negative) anion Chloride (Cl-) and an organic (positive) cation, dimethyl ethyl benzyl ammonium ion (Yahoo Answers).

The FDA says that cleaning products with antibacterial agents can actually help create forms of bacteria that are much harder to kill or disinfect.

The Journal Antimicrobial Chemotherapy published a study in 2008 on the use of antibacterial consumer products containing ammonium compounds and drug resistance in the community.

The researchers reported that after 1 year of assigned product usage, were one group used cleaning products with ammonium compounds and triclosan, were as the other group received cleaning products without antibacterial agents – and found that the group using ammonium compounds and including triclosan made bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli resistant to one or more antibiotics.

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The More You Know

Antibacterial Cleaners: Can They Do More Harm Than Good?

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Ammonia

ammonia - household cleanersTrace quantities of ammonia are found in the earth’s atmosphere, which is produced by the decaying process of nitrogenous animals and vegetable matter. Ammonia and ammonium salts are also found in rainwater but in small quantities.

The global industrial production of ammonia in 2014 was 176,300,000 tonnes,  a 16% increase over the 2006 global industrial production 152,000,000 tonnes (Waste Disposal Professionals).

Ammonia can cut grease, but so can many other cleaners. If you use this solution for doing so, it is best to dilute it with 8 parts water to 1 part ammonia. When mixing, always add the water to the ammonia, and not the other way around.

When working with ammonia wear gloves and in a ventilated area. The solution though found in nature, can cause blindness if splashed into the eyes. It may be best to wear eye coverings when using it.

CAUTION: Never mix ammonia with bleach. If you do, it will cause a vapor that will immediately cut off your breathing as the vapor enters your lungs. If you pass out, CPR will not revive you.

Bleach

clorox bleach - household cleanersBleach is a powerful bacteria killer. It is best for use to wipe away mildew or cleaning the kitchen surface after preparing raw meats.

CAUTION: Be careful not to mix bleach with toilet-bowl cleaners or ammonia.

Always wear gloves and work in a ventilated area to protect yourself when cleaning with bleach.

Glass Cleaner

windex - household cleaners

The name speaks for itself, as glass cleaner is used to clean glass and windows.

It is best not to use full strength ammonia-based window cleaners.

Test performed by Consumer Reports noted that you can dilute glass cleaners and still get your windows and glass clean.

Toilet-Bowl Cleaner

These cleaners are used to not only clean, but also disinfect your toilet. A word of Caution from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, corrosive toilet-bowl cleaners are top on the list as the most dangerous toxic cleaning solution found in homes.

It is recommended to only use such toilet-bowl cleaners when you really need them for rust and stains.

Toilet-Bowl Cleaner - Household cleanersKeep in mind that there is no US law that requires manufacturers of cleaning products to list ingredients on their labels or to test their products for safety.

It is also estimated that the average US home contains anywhere from 3 to 25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in cleaners.

Labels of household cleaners that contain the words,  DANGER, WARNING and POISON give only a general idea about the seriousness of the substances a product contains. In fact, a New York Poison Control Center study found that 85% of product warning labels are inadequate (GAIAM Life).

These are household cleaners that contain the words DANGER, WARNING and POISON:

  • Drain cleaners
  • Oven cleaners
  • Laundry detergents
  • Glass cleaners
  • Floor and furniture polish

The take away of this article should be to use caution and safety when using traditional household cleaners.

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What Would We Do Without Vinegar?

What Would We Do Without Vinegar? - white distilled vinegarWhite Distilled vinegar is great for cleaning. Cleaning with vinegar is much safer than using commercial products that are filled with chemicals.

Were you aware that distilled vinegar can be made from rice, malt, wine, fruit, balsamic, apple cider, kiwifruit, coconut, palm, sugar cane, raisins, dates, beer, honey, and kombucha (fermented tea), among other food items?

Not only can vinegar be make from many foods, it also has many uses around the home, inside and out.

After reading what those uses are, you might just ask – What Would We Do Without Vinegar?

Many Uses For Vinegar Other Than In Culinary

White vinegar contains a higher percentage of acidic content, therefore making it more ideal a household cleaning agent over darker vinegar’s, like apple cider vinegar.

Glassware – 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar added to a gallon of rinse water, will remove soap scum or film from glassware.

Coffee Maker -Till the coffee maker reservoir with vinegar and run it through the brewing cycle. Doing this will remove stale coffee residue. After running vinegar through one brew cycle, run fresh water through it twice to remove any vinegar taste.

Top Cleaning Secrets

Image credit: Top Cleaning Secrets

Iron – Have stains on your electric clothes iron? Remove them by mixing one part salt with one part vinegar in a heated small aluminum sauce pan. Use this mix as well to polish your iron the same as you would silverware.

Chrome – To polish chrome and stainless steal, moisten a cloth with distilled vinegar and wipe clean.

Windows – Are your windows stained with water spots dew to your sprinkler system? Straight vinegar will remove the spots.

Bathroom – Vinegar and baking soda together will remove the soap film build-up from your bathtub, as well as deodorize your toilet. Just pour some undiluted vinegar into the toilet bowl and let stand about 5 minutes, then flush. If you have hard to work with stains, you may need to use some elbow power.

Grease – They say that vinegar will remove filmy dirt residue from the stove and refrigerator. we found it works best when baking soda is used with it.

Culinary Uses For Distilled Vinegar

wilted vegetables restored

Image Credit: Food Hacks

Vegetables – Any slightly wilted vegetables in your kitchen? Bring them back to life by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

Cabbage – Add vinegar to the water before cooking cabbage. Doing so will prevent the smell of this cruciferous vegetable’s smell from penetrating the house.

Meat – 1/2 cup of your favorite vinegar and a cup of liquid bullion makes a great meat tenderizer.

Rice – when cooking rice, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the boiling water for fluffy rice all the time.

Fish –  Maybe you might know where we are going with this one, as fish can smell up the house. Reduce the fishy odor by rubbing the fish with white distilled vinegar before scaling it.

Cheese – This one was a knew one for us…To keep your cheese fresh for longer, just wrap it in a clean cloth that has been dampened with vinegar and then sealed in a air-tight container.

Eggs – To produce better formed egg whites, such as when poaching eggs for Eggs Benedict, just add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water.

A guest post at Thrifty Fun wrote, “If you want to make poached eggs, vinegar is very helpful. If you add a tablespoon of it to the boiling water and then slide your eggs into the water, your egg whites will stay together and not mix with the water very much. Your poached eggs will look like the shape of an egg as opposed to looking like a pancake. I just learned this trick and I’m quite pleased with it.”

Onion Odors – After you have prepared your culinary dish that called for onions, just apply some distilled vinegar to your hands to remove any onion odor.

White distilled vinegar is also best to use when pickling. Dark vinegar’s, like cider, red wine, dark balsamic, are great for pickling, but these darker vinegar’s can discolor lighter colored pickles, like pears, onions, or cauliflower. White vinegar will not discolor your lighter colored pickles.

Other Uses For Distilled White Vinegar

got weeds use vinegar

Image credit: Pinterest

Molly Maid (located in the U.K.) shares these many uses for vinegar outside the home.

Weed Remover – Pour or spray white distilled vinegar onto weeds growing in the cracks between paving stones or in your driveway. Saturate them so that the vinegar reaches the roots. Reapply on any new growth until the weeds are gone.

Barbecue Cleaner – Vinegar can help remove charcoal build-up from your grill. Spray white distilled vinegar onto the cooking grate and clean the surface with a soft cleaning brush. Scrub the grate thoroughly, then rinse.

She also explains how white vinegar can be used to clean garden furniture, shine your dogs coat, prevent mildew, and how to keep your cut flowers fresher for longer. Link here to find out more: Molly Maid.

We mention how you can use white distilled vinegar to make poached eggs for Eggs Benedict – try our recipe by linking here.

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8 More Uses For Your Lemon

 There are many uses for a lemon, with the most common being used in culinary cooking and baking desserts. Oh and not to forget drinking lemon juice with warm water in the morning to get the digestion moving.

There are in fact 8 more uses for that lemon you have in your kitchen. Let’s see what they are.

Your Cutting Board

A combination of Himalayan salt and lemon juice is said to be the top cleaner for your cutting board.

lemon slice on a cutting board After using the board rinse it under running water. Next sprinkle the board with salt, and rub 1/2 a lemon (cut side down) over the surface of the cutting board .

After dubbing the intire surface, let the board sit for about 10-15 minutes, and rinse again with water. The two food items together remove orders, germs, and help prevent stains.

Harden Brown Sugar

What a drag when you go to reach for the brown sugar, and it has harden.

To soften it up, just add the peel of half a lemon to the packaged brown sugar, and allow to sit overnight. The sugar will absorb the moisture of the lemon peel, tuning that harden brown sugar soft and manageable once more.

Wilted Leafy Greens

leafy green lettuceDon’t you just hate it when you want to make a salad, and you find your leafy greens have wilted in you. No worries though.

Just add cold water to a large bowl. Next add the greens and juice from 1/2 a lemon, and place in your refrigerator for about an hour, then dry the greens thoroughly.

Smell Fresh Refrigerator

Who knew a cottonball with a few drops of lemon juice could remove food orders from your refrigerator.

Faucets That Sparkle

Hard water stains on faucets can be removed with a cloth that has been dampened with lemon juice. Just rub the hard water spots until they disappear.

There are still more uses for that lemon, such as for a sore throat. Just add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to 8 ounces of warm water, then gargle and swallow. Lemon juice is so strong that it kills germs and bacteria.

You can even soak your finger nails in lemon juice and warm water for 5 minutes, once a week to remove any stains from your nails.

Lastly, after you have juiced your lemon for the above uses or any way you use your lemon, do not through away the peel. Freeze it.

 Place the peel in a zip-lock baggy and place in the freezer. When making a dish or dessert that calls for lemon zest, and you rich for the lemon, but so sad it’s not there. Don’t fret, the frozen lemon peels to the rescue.

Just grate the frozen peel, and you have fresh lemony zest. You can also do this with lime and orange peels.

What other uses do you have for your lemon, besides cooking and baking?

Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

close up of Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

This salad has flavors of the tropic’s, as it contains mango, avocado, and coconut sugar. It is a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

mango tree with ripe fruit Did you know that mangoes are eaten fresh more than any other fruit in the world?

The mango has been around for some 4,000 years now, and it is biologically a close relative with other flowering plants like the cashew and pistachio trees.

The mango trees originated in sub-Himalayan plains, and there are over 1,000 different varieties, with the Hayden being the most popular.

Mango_tree_Kerala_in_full_bloom

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Mango trees grow up to 115–131 feet tall, with a crown radius of 33 feet. The trees live a long time, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years. Though not a related tree spices, avocado trees can grow just as tall.

When preparing this recipe, it reminded me of our visited to the south of Mexico were the mango trees grow profusely. We seen young children throwing rocks up into the trees to bring down a mango. Yes, they threw a rock up 115 to 133 feet, and never missed to bring down a ripe fresh mango.

Now for our featured recipe: Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

shredded chicken

Preparation is for two servings.

1 large cooked chicken breast, without bone or skin

3 tablespoons mango puree

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (Link Here For Homemade Recipe)

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Shred the cooked chicken breast into a medium bowl and mix with mango puree, mayonnaise, and sugar. Set the mixture aside.

For the Guacamole

1 avocado, seeded and peel removed

1 small tomato, without seeds

2 garlic gloves

2 teaspoons powder coriander

3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

fresh lemon lime water1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

5 to 6 whole pepper corns

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.

Unless you have another use for the other half of the citrus half’s, and including the juiced half’s, you can either freeze the juiced rinds and save for zest in another recipe, or slice them up for lemon-lime water.

Plating The Salad

Now that you have your chicken mixture and guacamole prepared, let’s start to plate it.

plate of baby greens

Add a mixed few hand fulls of baby greens, like spinach, chard, beet greens, and arugula.

baby greens and Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, using a 5 inch in diameter ramekin, fill chicken mixer to the top, and invert it over the baby greens.

Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, spread some guacamole carefully over the chicken mixture, and enjoy.

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Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

Over the last three decades or so, Americans have learned to reduce fat in their diet. Some are still struggling, but many have made good head way to eating a whole food clean diet, for better health.

Even though fat has been reduced, we are still not eating enough of the healthy fats, which include omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA or both known as “docosahexaenoic acid” and “eicosapentaenoic acid.” Both are found in fatty fish, like tuna or salmon.

The recommendation of consuming omega-3 fatty acids, is 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA, at least 2 times per week, and 3 ounces at each setting.

Our featured recipe fits the bill, so to speak. The recipe is, Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing, and here is what you will need.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing

1 pound tiny new potatoes, halved if large

1 pound French green beans, stem ends trimmed

1/2 cup mixed Mediterranean olives, pitted

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon horseradish mustard

Preparing to bake Salmon - Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive Dressing1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons lemon pepper

12 ounce fresh baked salmon, broken into chunks

Lemon wedges

Turn broiler up, sprinkle lemon pepper onto flesh side of salmon.

Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place fish under broiler and broil for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fish is done, about 160 degrees. Let cool, chunk and set aside.

Place potatoes in a 4-quart pan and add water to cover. Bring to boiling, and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Next add beans and return to boiling.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer another 5 minutes or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well, and set aside.

pitted mixed Mediterranean olives - Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Olive DressingMeanwhile, place 1/2 cup olives, oil, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, and pepper in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth.

To serve, plate potato and beans mixture and top with salmon chunks. Drizzle with olive dressing. Garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired.

If the dressing is to thick after blending the ingredients together, you can thin it a bit by adding a little more oil, or a little of the brine from the jar of mixed olives.

 

 

 

 

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National Strawberry Ice Cream Day 2015

National Strawberry Ice Cream Day 2015

Today, January 15, 2015 is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day (USA).

Ice cream is a frozen food usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors.

Ancient civilizations have served ice for cold foods for thousands of years. Around 200 B.C the Chinese served a frozen mixture of milk and rice. During Nero’s time of ruling over the Roman Emperor (37–68 AD) he had ice brought from the mountains and had it mixed it with fruit.

Introduction of Ice Cream to Europe

In Europe the first recipe for flavored ices appears in France around 1674, and made its appearance to England in the 18th century. In 1718 in England’s capital, London, was published a book titled “Mrs. Mary Eales’s Receipts” which contained an ice cream recipe.

Ice Cream…A New Find in the New World

In the “New World” (USA) ice cream sodas was first introduced in 1874 and by the late 19th century the ice cream sundae came to be. During the American Prohibition (US outlawed the making and serving of any alcohol) the ice cream parlor to some extent replaced the outlawed bars and saloons.

In 1851, in the city Boston, the first commercial factory was built for the production of ice cream.

Eating Ice Cream To Your Hearts Delight

Americans are the number one consumers of ice cream, an average person living in the USA eats 48 pints of ice cream a year. In 2011 the total amount of ice cream consumed in the United States was 1.58 billion gallons.

To make one gallon of ice cream, it requires 192 ounces of milk. Dairy cows produce about 1024 ounces of milk in a day (about 128 8 oz. glasses of milk). That means, if we have calculated appropriately, one dairy cow makes approximately 5.5 gallons of ice cream every day.

Being Thankful for Ice Cream

Let’s give thanks to the cow for ice cream. Really without them, we would not have ice cream, nor would January 15th each year in the United States, be National Strawberry Ice cream Day.

For those of you who are adventurous and would like to make homemade ice cream, here is a recipe we found on food.com by Elizabeth Knicely.

The recipe calls for fresh strawberries. But if you are unable to find fresh ones at your local market, frozen will work as will.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1⁄2 cups sugar

1 1⁄2 cups whole milk

2 3⁄4 cups heavy cream

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl and stir. Allow to sit for up to 2 hours.

Strain berries and reserve the juices.

Puree half the berries.

In a medium bowl mix milk and remaining sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stir in heavy cream, leftover juice from the berry mixture, vanilla, and mashed strawberries.

Turn on Ice Cream Machine and pour mixture into the frozen freezer bowl for about 20 minutes.

Add the rest of the strawberries and mix for another 5 minutes.

A NOTE FROM Elizabeth Knicely…

The ice cream will be very soft and creamy. We transferred ours to a container and stuck it in the freezer for about an hour to thicken it up a little the way we like it.

I am looking forward to trying out some other new ice cream recipes now that I see just how easy it is to do! In fact, I have a container of blueberries in the kitchen that I think would be great in ice cream too!

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Red Pear and French Bean Salad

Red Pear and French Bean Salad - plated

Red pears have a high concentration of phytonutrient anthocyanin, which has anti-aging properties. This nutrient also promotes heart health and protects against cancer. Read pears are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin-C, potassium (not as nutrient dense as a banana), and copper.

Red PearsWe know that vitamin-C is needed for tissue growth, promoting healthy collagen, but we don’t hear enough of what copper is good for.

Copper is not just for hot water pipping in our homes, copper the kind that our bodies can assimilate, is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, and collagen as well.

While basil, found in the dressing of our featured recipe, is also great for skin and hair, fighting against some cancers, it also has that its antioxidants and volatile oils are a great assistance to the immune system.

The leaves of the basil, and oil alike, have antibacterial properties. Applied topically to wounds, basil leaves may eliminate bacterial infections, while enjoying basil in food, it can help combat viral infections, including colds, flu, and herpes.

Talking about basil, here is the recipe that will dress the salad, and it includes basil.

Basil Chickpea Miso Vinaigrette

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons chickpea miso, room tempurature

1 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons lemon zest

juice of half a lemon

Basil ChickPea Miso Vinaigrette

Tear basil leaves without steams, and loosely fill one cup. Place oil, vinegar, miso, basil, garlic and lemon zest (we forgot the lemon zest, my bad) in a small jar. Screw lid on tightly and shack well until smooth, making sure miso is dissolved and mixed in well. Set aside.

Here is what you will need for the Red Pear and French Bean Salad.

2 lbs. French green beans, ends trimmed

4 small, ripe but firm red pears, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise ( seed, but do not peel)

1 cup chopped pecans

Wash beans and trim the ends. Cut beans in half. You can blanch the beans or use them raw. Blanch for about 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.

Preparing Red Pear and French Bean Salad

Prepare the pears while the beans are blanching. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a large bowl. Cut pears using a apple slicer, and slice each wedge one time more. Place all pear slices into bowl with lemon juice, and mix to coat pears with juice. Coating them with lemon juice will prevent the pear flesh from oxidizing or turning brown.

Next, place the pecans and basil vinaigrette into a large mixing bowl. Place pears and beans into bowl and toss to mix well, making sure produce is coated well with vinaigrette.

Red Pear and French Bean Salad - in a serving bowlAfter tossing to coat salad, turn into a large serving bowl.

Red Pear and French Bean Salad - platedPlate and serve.

 

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