Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cleaning Gas Stovetop Burners

Remember when we were kids how our Mamas all cleaned everything with ammonia?  Oh how I hated that smell … eeeew!  Mama would open up all the windows when she cleaned and/or mopped with the stuff … you had to or the fumes would knock you out!  But it worked, right?  All these new expensive products out there and we kick the smelly ammonia to the curb and no one uses it anymore.  Well I’ve gotta tell ya … we need to go back to the simple stuff because the simple stuff does work.  I use white vinegar for lots of things around the house … always have cause … it always works … well that’s another story for another blog.  This one is about ammonia and cleaning those hard to clean gas stovetop burners.
If you cook with gas, you know how build up can occur even with regular cleaning ... so there comes a time when you have to do some heavy duty, elbow grease kinda cleaning.   Well ... I had tried everything to clean my gas stovetop burners (and the stovetop too) … everything from oven cleaners, SOS pads, Softscrub with Bleach … I could go on and on … EVERYTHING just short of sandblasting the dang things!!!  Well we do cook and cook A LOT at that so dirty burners are a sign of a well used kitchen … yes but …I like a clean kitchen.  AND you can clean them every time you cook BUT there is always that slow build up when you cook with gas!!!
Well ... I've recently become addicted to Pinterest … love it!  It has so many ideas for so many things on and when I ran across the idea of cleaning your gas stovetop burners with ammonia … I’ve gotta admit, I was a bit skeptical … who wouldn’t be … I thought I had tried EVERYTHING ... "one more thing to try that doesn’t work" I thought.
I tried it ya'll and dang gum if it didn’t work … and worked wonders at that, I tell ya.  See the photos for yourself … my burners look like brand new … well except for the scratches from wear … otherwise they are shining again like they should be.

Here’s what cha do:
Take and put your burners into a zip lock bag … now I had to use the XL Ziplock bags because my burners wouldn’t fit into the gallon size.  Then pour in ¼ cup of Ammonia … that’s it … just a ¼ cup.  Zip it closed, of course, and then let it sit.  It’s the fumes that do the work!!!  I let mine sit overnight (outside in the sun, just in case the bag sprung a leak).  Next day, simply rinse them off with warm water.  Now there was a couple spots where I had to scrub lightly with a Scotch Brite sponge to remove the gunk but no real elbow grease was used!  NOTE: The XL Ziplocks are large enough you can fit all of your burners into it! 
I know it seems too easy, right?  Well I gotta tell ya … I checked on the bag a few times myself and I was still skeptical … seeing it sit there it appeared to be doing absolutely nothing.  I thought … hmmm should I add more ammonia … maybe since my burners are extra large I need to add more … BUT I DIDN’T.  Then this morning when I brought them inside, I thought … well one more thing tried … they didn’t look any different then when I put them in the bag.  But when I took them out and started rinsing … I was in awe at all of the gunk rinsing off of them!!!  Just rinsed right off!!!


I am amazed at the difference.  I left one burner out just so I could see the difference with my own eyes and can’t wait for Scott to see them!  Oh he is gonna be glad to see how clean they came because frankly … this is one chore I had given to him cause it was that much work and I don’t have the elbow grease that he has. 
Well this ammonia thing … no elbow grease required.  Easy and cheap!  No more expensive products that DO NOT WORK for me.

NOTE: I've have done this several times since the original post and for some reason it seems to work BEST if the bags are put into direct sunlight (outside) on a warm/hot day ... I imagine its the combination of heat and sunlight that warms up the ammonia and helps it work its best.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chicken Casserole

Here's one of my favorite Chicken Casserole recipes.  I only make it when Scott isn't home cause he's not one for 'one-dish-meals' but I am ... so easy and so delicious!  The recipe comes from a family friend and I've been making it for years.  The kids loved it growing up and Alayna and I enjoyed it again just a couple days ago.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homemade Toothpick Holder

Here's a really good idea for a homemade toothpick holder.  Save one of your glass spice jars that has the slotted cap in it and you have yourself a pretty cute toothpick holder.  I decided to post this idea because everytime someone see's ours they're like "wow what a great idea".  So here's to sharing great simple ideas!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing

My baby girl loves to bake ... she made her first cake all by herself at the age of 12, from scratch!!!  Me?  Oh I didn't make a cake from scratch until I was 23 ... a Red Velvet Cake.  Anyway, yesterday she decided to make a cake and when she put on one of her Nana's (my Mama) old aprons, I just know I had to take pics as she baked and blog about it.  So in addition to the pics of her, I've included the recipes she used.  She used my Mama's cake recipe (adding a 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries, chopped or mashed) and my Aunt Lilly's Strawberry Icing recipe.  Oh and the cake?  It turned out yummy! Delicious!

Doesn't she look cute in her Nana's apron?

Ingredients for Cake Batter
1 2 3 4 Cake Layers
1 cup Butter
2 cups Sugar
3 cups Swans Down Cake Flour, sifted
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Eggs
1 cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
(1/2 cup Fresh Strawberries, mashed)

Cream butter, gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.  (Beat 10 minutes on electric mixer or longer by hand)  Sift flour with baking powder and salt.  Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.  Add flour mixture alternately with milk and flavoring, beating after each addition until smooth.  Pour batter into four 9 inch layer cake pans, lined on bottom with wax paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes; then turn out and cool on racks.
Mary Lee McKellar Kincaid

Strawberry Icing

1 box Confectioners Sugar
1 stick Butter
½ cup Fresh Strawberries

Melt butter and let cool.  Stir in sugar and berries.
Lilly Ethelle McKellar

This youngin has always scared us with
the way she uses knives ... see how she holds it? 
This IS NOT the proper way to cut with a knife!!!
Lord, one day she's gonna cut herself!

Beautiful girl with her beautiful Strawberry Cake!