Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Clean Shower Anyone?

So I have a conundrum.
I love having clean showers/bathrooms.
I hate cleaning them, especially the shower/tubs. Usually I end up all wet and covered in Comet and tired from scrubbing.
Arizona is synonymous with Hard Water and soap scum.
When we moved back to AZ from Seattle, I asked my husband if we could just pipe the water from Seattle down to AZ.
He said we could, but....
So until then, I'm willing to try different things to clean my shower.  I found one solution on Pinterest.  I just looked for it and it has magically disappeared, but I followed the instructions and I was FLOORED to say the least.
My showers literally looked like new with minimal effort.  No scrubbing.  I promise.

Here's the before pic. Usually I squeegie the glass and it helps alot, but still the AZ water does it's worst.
 Lovely Soap scum on the chrome.  SO nice.

How do I fix this you ask?

It's simple.

Equal parts of Regular White Vinegar, heated up in the microwave until about boiling - 2 minutes; and Blue Dawn diswashing liquid.

That's it.

Put the hot vinegar and dawn in a spray bottle, shake slightly and go to town.

I did 3/4 cups of each and had enough to liberally do my glass shower, including the marble walls and floor.

Note: The vinegar smell is really strong.  Turn on the bathroom fans and open the windows if you are highly sensitive to smell.  My kids asked what that smell was and I told them it's the smell of clean showers!

 When I first tried it, I was worried that the blue Dawn would stain the white marble and fiberglass.  Nope!  So awesome!

Now let it sit for  a few hours.  Longer if you have really bad scum.  Then get a regular kitchen sponge, and a bucket of water and wipe down the walls.  It does take a lot of water since you're using Dawn and it gets all bubbly.
 Here's some after shots.

 It beautifully took all the soap scum off the fixtures too.  My bathroom seriously looks brand new.
I didn't want to use the shower this morning because I didn't want to mess it up.  Nope.  I'm clean and so is my shower.  BONUS!

I was so excited I decided to try a few other things.

Here's what I tried and the verdict:

Marble and Glass showers: Awesome.  Definitely do again and again.

Fiberglass tub/shower: Awesome. Do again and again.

Toilet bowl: It worked well and I was very happy with the results. I will do it again.

Bathroom Counters/Sinks/Fixtures: I was happy with the results.  They definitely look brand new, but it takes a lot of water to clean up the dawn, not scrubbing mind you, but wiping away all the bubbles.  My 4 year old asked if I was making bubble pies in the sinks.  I had to use paper towels to finish up the job.  I may do this again, but it's much easier just to spray everything with 409.  I will probably use the vinegar/dawn on occation but not regularly.

Stainless Steel Kitchen sink: It's clean but doesn't look brand new. I'm on the fence about using it again.

Glasstop Stove: Again it's clean, but it was a lot of wiping, rinsing, and wiping to get all the soap gone.  I probably won't use it again.

I don't know how this will work for Tile showers since I don't have any.  I'd love to hear how it works if you have tile.

I also won't use it on my floors.  Too much water for clean up.  My kids would love sliding around on soapy floors but I definitely won't love cleaning up all the soapy water.  Maybe if I had a drain in the center of the kitchen I might consider it.  But since that would be weird and I don't want to put one it... there you go.

Honestly I've never been excited about cleaning showers until now.
Weird I know but hey... I have clean bathrooms.
Do you? ;)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Artisan Pizza Dough

I am so loving this whole Artisan dough thing.  I make the bread all the time, it's especially our favorite when we go camping because I can make the dough before we leave, then that night we have fresh hot bread with our dutch oven dinner.  But I wanted to try pizza dough.  This recipe is great because you make it ahead of time, then just pull out as much dough as you want for that night's dinner and leave the rest in the fridge.  SO easy!  There are a bunch of recipes I'm going to share but since I'm on a whole grain kick right now this version is whole wheat.

100% Whole Wheat Artisan Pizza Dough

This seriously only took about 10 minutes, which included grinding the wheat, and cleaning up all the dishes. Really, who doesn't have 10 minutes to  spare for some yummy pizza!  It takes longer than that to order it and pick it up from the pizza place.

Grind 3 cups hard white and 3 cups hard red wheat, you can add any other grain you want like quinoa, spelt, teff, or amaranth.  You will need a total of 7 cups of flour.

In your mixer, or just mix in the container, combine:
3 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp Yeast
1- 1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp sugar, honey or agave
1/8 cup olive oil
7 cups whole wheat flour

Note: I added 2 Tbsp dried rosemary and 
2 tsp parsley garlic to the dough since it's going to be pizza.

Note: for a lighter dough use half whole wheat, half all-purpose flour, decreasing the water to 3 1/4 cups.

Mix until all blended, but don't knead.
Place in a 6 quart container that has a lid on your counter.

 Put the lid on, but not sealing it.
 Let dough sit and poof on counter for about 2 hours.  Then close the lid tightly and put in the fridge.  Let rest for about 2-3 hours at least.  It will develop more sourdough properties the longer you leave it.  It will keep for 7 days, 10 if you used 1/2 all-purpose flour.

When you are ready to bake, Preheat your oven to 425 to 450 degrees with your pizza stone in the oven.  Prepare parchment paper with some semolina or cornmeal to keep the pizza from sticking.  Remove about a baseball to a softball size of dough and shape into large round disk, pushing and pulling dough to get the right shape.

The book I read said that it was against the law in Italy to use a rolling pin on the pizza dough.  Since I'm not in Italy, nor am I a purist, I used my rolling pin a little to get the dough the way I wanted it.

Bake on pizza stone for about 10 minutes.  Let cool slightly and DIG IN!

So yummy! So easy!
Plus you snuck in some whole grain! Bonus!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My one and only girl turned 8 recently and since 8 is a big deal in our house, I knew we had to do something huge and superfun.  It took me about 3 weeks to put it all together but everyone had so much fun, I'm so glad I did it.  Let me share.

This is the invitation I made in Photoshop.  I took out our particulars so you can print your own.  
Feel free to use it.  
It fits on a regular 8.5x11 size paper.  
I printed it out on cardstock.
 We borrowed a Plinko game from my Sister, who also helped run the game.  Thanks so much {R}!

This was a ball toss game where you threw the ball between the rungs of the ladder.  SO easy to put together.  I just made the numbers on the Cricut and taped them to the ladder. My boy {S} helped run this one.

Of course there was a sack race.  We lined the area with the triangle flags I bought at the dollar store.  Then used old pillow cases for the sacks.
 So fun!


There's my girl with Dad in the background.
This was a penny pitch with several sizes of bowls to try to get the pennys into.

Thanks {J} for helping.

Next was a Tic-Tac-Toe  beanbag game.  Thanks {M}!
Every carnival needs a fish pond.  We built the cube out of the poles from our awning and covered it with a blue sheet and laminated fish.  The pole was an actual fishing pole.  Manning the fish pond was the perfect job for {D}!

This one is the pin drop, but we used wiffle-balls.

You get a bunch of mason jars,
tape numbers to the bottom for the points and they try to get the balls into the jars.  It's really not as easy as it looks.  My cute niece helped with this one.

Now of course the food!   My cousin had the theatre style popcorn maker so we made a ton!  It was so yummy!  It looks like my little guy ate too much popcorn! ;)
 We also served Hot Dogs and Ice cream cone cupcakes.  The Cone cupcakes didn't turn out as beautiful as I had hoped so sorry no pictures.  But they did get eaten so no worries.

 Last but not least, the cake.  My awesome friend {C} who happens to be my marathoner running partner, used to work in a bakery.  I showed her a picture of what I had in mind and she helped me create this.  There are little gingerbread men marshmallows in the cups attached to the wheel.

 Happy Birthday baby girl!  Love you so much!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cowboy Caviar

Here's a quick and super yummy recipe for Cowboy Caviar.  I had to bring a side dish to a church event recently and so I made this.  It's one of my favorites!

Cowboy Caviar

6 large roma tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 small bottle Wishbone Italian Dressing

Combine all ingredients and serve with Frito's Scoops, or Corn Chips.


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