The Power of Vinegar

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I can think of a few foods that have vinegar. Without it, we would not have pickles, Italian dressing, or one of my favorite recipes, vinegar chicken. When used properly, it is a key acid to help balance meals. I know I could not live without pickles. I am currently growing gherkins and cucumbers for the soul purpose of making pickles. I will share my recipe when I make them!

However, the point of this post is this… what else can we use vinegar for? To clean and deodorize almost anything, is what. The only thing I do not use this product for is cleaning bathrooms. I tend to use bleach solutions for obvious reasons. If you are looking for a safe alternative to harsh chemicals for cleaning, this post is for you. Food for the win again!

How to Clean with Vinegar

In an empty, clean spray bottle, mix one-part water with one-part white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. I use dawn. If you are gluten free, use Heinz. They boast using corn instead of wheat to distill their vinegar. With this solution, you can clean the following parts of your kitchen with ease.

  • Kitchen counter
  • Kitchen sink
  • Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • All appliances
  • Walls

To clean hard floors. Use 1 cup vinegar for every gallon of water.

With a mixture of half vinegar, half water in an empty and clean spray bottle, you can clean the following other areas of your home.

  • Hard furniture
  • Walls
  • Shelves

While effectively cleaning and sanitizing, vinegar will also deodorize as you clean. It sounds silly because well… vinegar is not exactly the mildest fragrance but surprisingly enough it takes out animal and smoke smells.

For the toughest stain and food removal in your kitchen, sprinkle baking soda on the tough spot and spray with your vinegar solution. It will immediately react with the baking soda to lift tough stains.

Also, for an all-natural sink unclogging option, sprinkle about a quarter cup of baking soda into the drain. Then poor about a cup of vinegar into the drain. After about a minute, run hot water to rinse it through.

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Have You Met Ginger?

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Like most Americans, I started off my ginger adventure with good ole Ginger Ale. I have always loved it. My mom would give it to me when I had tummy aches. Then I tried sushi for the first time. This sweet, tangy addition to my California roll was magical at 9 years old. I was lucky enough to be raised by an amazing home chef so sushi was not uncommon growing up. I loved going to the sushi bars and talking to the always animated sushi chefs. It was at one of these that I was told that pickled ginger is served with sushi to help with digestion. Wow! That is a neat concept. This yummy, exotic root helps your body digest your food.

As years went by, I started having unknown trouble with food. I would eat and be in extreme pain after and did not know what was going on. At this time in my life I was also exploring how to eat healthy and lose weight. After 6 years of having my lovely daughter, I had not dropped that pesky extra 15 lbs. Keep in mind that I am only 5 feet tall so 15 lbs definitely put me in the overweight category. All of this plus a nutrition course, lead me to the amazing benefits of adding ginger to my diet. I started drinking diet ginger ale every day and started adding it to my stir fry meals. Suddenly I could eat without hours of pain after! It was quite exciting.

So, what about ginger gives it its power? On the scientific side, ginger contains a compound called Gingerol that has shown to not only aid in digestion but also it is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant. It is even being studied to assist with preventing and treating cancer!

One of my favorite parts of ginger is that no matter what form it is in, whether it is consumed fresh or in powder form, you can still obtain the same benefits. Keep in mind that the amount of gingerol can vary greatly. Mother Nature did not distribute it evenly in every serving. In the light of this, I say just consume it as often as possible then. I know that ginger can be a strong flavor so there are ways to sneak it in if the flavor is not your favorite. I have not met an Asian dish that ginger did not fit in even if the recipe did not call for it. It mixes with soy so well and acts like a sweetener and the spiciness fits right in if you like a little kick.  All the stir fry recipes that I have created myself contain this amazing root spice.

In my next post I will share the very first recipe my very picky eater ate that contained cabbage, kale, carrots, mushrooms, onions, snow peas, and broccoli and she ate very bite! It is quick, easy, and cheap. Three things this single momma is a big fan of. Stay tuned and please subscribe below to get my blog straight to your inbox as well as exclusive offers, bonus content, and more delicious recipes!

Please leave a comment below to let me know anything from what you did like, to what you did not, to what you would like to know more about.

Kid Friendly Japanese Ramen

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One of the biggest complaints I see about blog recipes is the endless lengths of chatter before getting to the good stuff so here we go! I will include some tips and background on the recipe at the end. Please stay tuned after the featured presentation 😉

Ingredients

Two packages of ramen, any flavor

Stir fry mix from the produce department

½ a medium onion

1 can of chicken broth

¼ cup Soy Sauce

3 tbs Sugar

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp garlic

A pinch of onion powder

2 tbs of olive or coconut oil

1 lb. of chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu

1 egg

First you want to start the broth so the flavors have time to marry. Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Stir occasionally.

While the broth simmers, cut the mushrooms and onions into chunks. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Once it has warmed up, add your protein and stir fry until cooked thoroughly. Timing depends on the protein. Beef 5 to 10 min depending on how you like it, chicken 5 min, shrimp 3 to 4 min.

Once the protein is cooked, add the vegetables of your choosing and stir fry for another 5 min.

Scramble one egg. Move the protein and vegetables to the side and add your scrambled egg. Cook the egg all the way through and chop it up with your spatula and mix it in with the rest of the ingredients. At this point, adding some extra garlic and ginger is never a bad idea!

Heat your broth to boiling and add one package of ramen. Let it cook for 2 to 3 min and then transfer the noodles to a bowl. Add desired amount of the stir fry and broth. Repeat process for second package of ramen.

Makes 3 to 4 servings

Tips and Tricks

All of the spices are to taste so feel free to make it your own! My kiddo loves the shrimp ramen so I will add a half cup of water and half a packet of ramen seasoning to the broth. It helps to add this if your kids already have a favorite ramen flavor. Its adding nutrition to something they already love. The flavors blend so much, she ate the whole bowl without realizing I added fungus hehe.

Cut the veggies into any size you prefer. Fresh stir fry mixes tend to be chunky so chopping them down makes them less noticeable mixed in the dark broth and noodles.

If your kids, like mine, love beef then substitute the chicken broth for beef broth! It is a big favorite of mine and gives you a chance to change up the flavors.

You can also substitute the ground ginger for fresh ginger grated and the garlic powder for fresh crushed garlic or minced garlic for an enhanced version. It adds to the prep time but the fresh and crisp flavor really can elevate it into a more grown up dish.

To add some heat, sprinkle on some crushed red pepper before serving to taste.

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Aroma Rice Cooker Review: Instapot for a Fraction of the Cost

I don’t know about you all, but I am a huge fan of the Instapot craze. I want quick meals cooked in one pot. Looking up the price put me off though. I will not pay hundreds of dollars for one, It’s just not in my blood. I do however want the benefits of one at a fraction of the cost. So, after looking around, I found my most favorite kitchen appliance I have purchased to date. It is worth every penny of the $14.95 I paid for it at Walmart.

How is a rice cooker anything like an Instapot you ask? It doesn’t just cook rice! This once, one trick pony has been experimented on so much there are tons and tons of recipes to make easy meals in one easy to clean pot. It is such an amazing thing. The one I have, since it is just the kiddo and me, is the 10 cup. It is small but perfect for two 5ft-ish tall ladies.

Granted, I do mostly use mine for rice. I can cook all kinds from long grain to brown rice to jasmine rice with ease and little water adjustment. I cook a lot of stir fry. However, I have made fried rice, pot stickers, and broccoli cheese rice from the rice cooker. Recipes to come as well! I love cooking potstickers, also commonly known as gyoza and Chinese dumplings, in my rice cooker. They come out perfectly steamed with a golden crispy bottom just as they should. This kitchen gadget literally has one button!

On the technical side, this product is as simple as it comes. It is self-regulated and you just have to push the lever down to cook and wait for a pop sound similar to a toaster. When you plug it in, it is already set to the warm setting. The only way to turn it off and on is by unplugging it and plugging it in. This is a downside if you are like me and forget that it is still on. Good new for you though is that I left it on warm all night and nothing burned or caught on fire. It actually dried out the leftover rice and made it easier to clean. I do not recommend leaving it unattended but if you are cooking plain rice, you can leave it on warm to dry out the rice and then unplug it to turn it off. It makes cleaning it a breeze but make sure to not forget about it. I do not want anyone’s kitchen set on fire.

Another big pro, it is very easy to clean. The bowl, the lid, the rice scoop, and additional parts are machine washable! I do keep them to the top rack though. Just to be safe. I want my $14.95 to last 😉.

The little one is 10 cups and is great for one or two people. Instapots can feed a family of 4 very easily so how do we feed more and save money? I have the solution!

What I love about Target is they take basic things and just throw in a little extra fun. They carry a 20 cup Aroma Rice Cooker. For just $10 more, you get twice the size and a steam tray to cook your protein and veggies separate from your rice but still in one convenient place. The best part? There is still only one button.

Pros

  • It is very easy to use.
  • It is a low-cost replacement to the more commonly used Instapot.
  • It is easy to clean and the parts are machine washable. The cooker itself also wipes down easily.
  • One meal and one pot convenience.

Cons

  • It does not have a lot of setting and options for protein variations.
  • It should have an automatic shut off or an actual power button.

If you would like to know more about this product, see more product reviews, or purchase this product, please click here.