Friday, April 19, 2013

how to make your own all-natural, chemical-free household cleanser /disinfectant

I picked up this really brilliant idea from a friend's blog, and I decided to try it out myself.  It's quite useful and it costs next to nothing.

You will need:

  • A clean jar (or any container that can hold liquid) with a cover
  • White vinegar
  • Orange peel

You will simply have to
  • Pour an amount of vinegar into the jar.
  • Immerse the bits of orange peel.
  • Cover and let stand for a week or two, then fish out the orange peel from the liquid.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, and the orange peel will neutralize it's rancid odor.

How to use:
  • Transfer the liquid into a spray bottle - or any bottle you think will make it easier for you to pour out.
  • Spray directly on surfaces (careful though - don't use it on colored material or anything that reacts to acid).
  • Wipe with a clean, dry rag.
  • If you need a less potent solution, dilute with drinking water.

Clever, huh?  I really appreciate this because I'm quite iffy about those commercial kitchen cleansers and disinfectants laden with all sorts of chemicals; I feel as if those things are not exactly safe for surfaces where I prepare food, like kitchen counters and table tops.  I mean, those products are poisonous, and what if the vegetables I'm chopping accidentally come in contact with the residue on a chemically-treated marble counter top?  Well, vinegar and orange peel are completely non-toxic.

An all-natural homemade cleanser is also safe for cleaning things that pets or children use (like toys that they tend to put in their mouths).  No need to worry about poisonous residue.  ^_^

Sunday, April 7, 2013

lazy summer spag

The basil plants in our garden usually dry out during the summer, but they're flourishing this year - the Hubby discovered that basil plants actually love sunlight, and they simply have to be watered well in the dry-hot season.  So now, summer means more basil. 

Summer also means bigger, brighter mangoes and tomatoes.

And hazy, lazy days when I'd like to spend as less time in cramped kitchen as possible.

I hate the heat and the suffocating humidity and the fact that we can't afford to have 24/7 air-conditioning, but  I'm thinking my happy thawts now.  I do love basil and tomatoes and mangoes (trying to stay positive here ... it's so hot and dizzying).

lazy summer spag for lazy summer days

Olive oil
Garlic, one half small head or 2-3 large cloves, minced
Onion, one whole, large, chopped
Tomato, 2 large, diced
Fresh basil leaves, a whole lot, chopped
Dried rosemary, 1 tbsp
Olives, sliced, about a fourth to half of a cup
Parmesan cheese, as much as you like
Spaghetti noodles, whole grain is nice, about 2 fistfuls

Tuna flakes, 1 can
1 ripe mango, cut into cubes
A dash of black pepper


  1. Cook noodles as directed on package.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Swirl garlic and onions in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  When the onions are slightly transparent, add tomato and rosemary and swirl further until tomatoes soften. 
  3. Smile.  
  4. Add the tuna flakes.  Or not, if you'd rather go vegetarian. Remove from heat.  
  5. Stir in cooked noodles, cheese, pepper, olives and basil (and mango, if you like).  Toss to coat.  

Makes 2-4 servings.
Nothing fancy, but The Hubby and the Sister swear it's good.
Nice with a tall glass of ice-cold cucumber shake.