Monthly Archives: March 2014
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
While it may not feel like it yet, spring is right around the corner. Technically, the first day of spring is marked by the vernal equinox, which falls on March 20 this year. One of my favorite things about spring, besides the fact that the cold weather and occasional ice storms will finally subside, is the opportunity to do some deep cleaning. As one of my friends back in college told me, “It’s not clean until it smells like chemicals.” While I don’t necessarily like the smell of ammonia and bleach, it is the best way to get rid of the musty smells that have accumulated over the winter. To me, the smell of cleaning products is the scent of accomplishment — something that can’t be achieved by lighting a candle.
To get you prepared for spring cleaning this year, I’ve compiled a cleaning list to help make your bedroom sparkle anew. Remember, for efficiency sake, you want to work your way from the top down. Dust will tend to settle as you clean, and you want to get as much of it out as possible.
1. Vacuum the window treatments, and dust the blinds. Some people like to take the window treatments down and wash them, but this can be tricky depending on the fabric they’re made out of.
2. Clean your ceiling fans, light fixtures, and any pictures hanging on the walls. This almost goes without saying, but the tops of your ceiling fans get really gross. You don’t want to be breathing all that dust when it’s time to turn the fans back on.
3. Clean the air vents and as far inside the ducts as you can reach. You can soak your vent covers in hot water while you clean other things in your bedroom. After they dry, apply a thin layer of car wax and reinstall. Waxing your vent covers with car wax to keep dust off. This tip works for gas stovetops, and other places in the house where dust and grime tend to accumulate.
4. Clean all the windows inside and out. Don’t forget the windowsills. You’ll be surprised how much cleaner and brighter your room looks with both sides of the windows clean. If you have screens over your windows, you can wash these outside with a hose. Just be sure to let them dry completely before putting them back up.
5. Take everything off the furniture tops in your bedroom and dust all the objects and surfaces. You may also want to take more drastic measures and remove all the furniture from your bedroom so you can clean behind and underneath. This may also be a good opportunity to rearrange your bedroom for a new look.
6. Wash all your bedding, including the bed skirt. For comforters, check the washing instructions. If it’s starting to get warm where you live, wrap up the comforter and store for the fall.
7. Vacuum the top of your mattress, and between the mattress and the box springs or bed frame. You can then freshen up your mattress with baking soda and lavender. Also, don’t forget to flip or turn the mattress, depending on the type you have.
8. Give the floors a good cleaning. If you have a rug in your bedroom, vacuum it first, then roll it up and vacuum the floor underneath. Dust finds its way everywhere in your home, including under the rug. If you leave the bed in place, don’t forget to vacuum under it. While you probably won’t find any monsters under there, you will find a lot of dust bunnies, which can be just as scary.
9. Put everything back in its place.
10. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. This is also the perfect opportunity to take a nap. You deserve it!
Post by Alison Hein.
In the household of my dear friends Rosie and Jeff, it is Jeff who is the chief cook. Don’t get me wrong – Rosie’s no slouch in the kitchen, as evidenced by this delicious “mistake.” Our telephone conversation:
Me: What’s new?
Rosie: Not much. Jeff let me in the kitchen this morning so I made breakfast for us.
Me: Nice. What’d you make?
Rosie: Well, I made a spinach omelet, but I made a big mistake.
Me: What kind of mistake?
Rosie: I added too much spinach for the amount of eggs.
Me: So? What’s wrong with that? I like my omelets to have a lot of spinach in them.
Rosie: Yeah, but this one had so much it should have been called Omelet Spinach.
And, just like that, here it is – halfway between fluffy omelet and thick frittata, all the way from mistake to masterpiece – Rosie’s Omelet Spinach! Rosie confessed to adding some finely chopped, near-caramelized sweet onion at the start, then bringing it to a piquant finish with a bit of creamy, sheep’s milk manchego. Be generous with the seasoning and make sure to drain the spinach well before cooking so the eggs are not soggy.
Make no mistake – this recipe is a real keeper. So keep it around when you’re searching for a breakfast in bed that even Jeff would approve.
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Seasoning blend (such as Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning) to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon milk or cream
¼ cup grated manchego cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour olive oil in heavy frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chopped spinach and continue to sauté until all liquid has evaporated and spinach is beginning to lightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in a separate small, heavy pan over medium heat. Break eggs into small bowl, add milk or cream, and whisk until mixed. Stir in spinach onion mixture. Add egg/spinach mixture to heated pan all at once and swirl to even. Tilt pan slightly, and lift edges lightly with a spatula, allowing uncooked portion of eggs to spread to edges. Continue to cook, reducing heat to low if cooking to quickly, until egg/spinach mixture is lightly puffed up and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle manchego cheese evenly on top. Use spatula to fold omelet in half, and continue to cook until eggs are firm and cheese is melted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Or, if you like, finish the omelet in the oven frittata style.
Turn the omelet out onto a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.