This Saturday night, my wonderful Husband decided he wanted to cook me a gourmet meal. Click on over for the recipe. He decided he wanted to create an amazing fish dish with fancy white wine reduction sauce. He even researched what types of fish are safe for me to eat while pregnant and made sure to follow all the parameters set out by the all-knowing internet.
The meal he created was amazing. I have never really been a salmon fan, but after eating the Hubs' pan seared salmon, well, I could eat that every single day. Except, you know, it might make my baby grow a third eye or something, so I will stick to my *fish once a week schedule.
Now, when my lovely husband cooks, he tends to do it up right. He goes and buys fresh ingredients, and it is an all-out cooking show in that kitchen. Pans sizzling, spices flying all over, oil spattering away in every direction. As I have mentioned before, it is one of the things I love about the Hubs. He makes an INCREDIBLE mess when he cooks, but the food is always fantastic. In our house we have a rule, whoever cooks, doesn't have to clean. So, when the meal was over, it was time for this Cinderella to roll up her sleeves and tackle this:
I didn't zoom in on the stove top. I should have. There was a pan of olive oil used to cook the fish, and it spattered all over the entire backside of the cooktop, and had been sloshed out over onto the front and sides of the oven itself. Please don't take this as complaining, I am SOOO not...I LOVE that my husband enjoys cooking, and creating, and making a mess. I am just trying to set the stage for you, so you know what I was tackling, and so you can be amazed with what I clean with....
Yep, plain old Distilled White Vinegar. It is about .72 cents at the grocery store. I keep it in its original bottle, but remove the ugly paper label, and add my own I made from ribbon and pretty label. This way, it looks nice sitting on its tray on my dryer. How Martha Stewart of me, I know. (I could go on and on about the power of vinegar in a load of towels, but that I will save for another day)
I try not to use harsh chemical cleaners as much as possible for a few reasons. 1. They are just not great for us. Sorry if I sound hippy crunchy granola, but it is true. Anything that burns your nose or shouldn't touch your skin, should probably not touch my counters where I prepare food, and the monkey drives his cars. 2. The monkey drives his cars.....usually while I am cleaning, and right through whatever cleaner I have on the counters. This inevitably happens, because, as you know, when I am cleaning, I am not paying attention to him, and therefor he must come demand my attention by driving through my puddles of cleaner. 3. I am really bad at remembering to put on gloves before I clean, and usually get whatever I am using all over my hands. In the same spirit of not giving my unborn baby a third eye, vinegar works.
So, after clearing away all the dishes, washing them in plain old soap and water, and putting away all of Emeril's, I mean the Hubs' spices, all I had left was a really greasy, sticky, crumb covered counter top and stove. I started by wetting a wash cloth in plain old soap and water and gave everything a good wipe down with that, getting all the big crumbs and big puddles of grease. Then I hit everything with a vinegar soaked paper towel. It cuts right through the grease, and leaves everything SPARKLING! It takes off coffee, water spots, and any residue, period. I love cleaning with vinegar. And I promise, once it dries, the smell really does go right away. Even though I kinda like the smell of vinegar, but I am weird, we all know this.
So here are my after shots:
I find that vinegar actually works where other commercial cleaners don't. It is the only thing that I have found will get coffee out of white grout. It removes my hard water spots on my faucet. It removes grease without leaving any streaks or greasy film at all. And it brightens whites in the wash.
Is it weird to write an entire love letter, I mean post, about vinegar and how awesome you think it is?
Am I officially "nesting?"
This post was in no way sponsored by vinegar. Not that I would even know where to start to get an endorsement from vinegar companies...and really- at .72 cents a bottle, I think their advertising department is pretty bare bones...sigh.... Maybe Nike will endorse me when I jog off this baby weight in a few months. I will hold my breath.
Thank you Hubs, for an amazing gourmet dinner at home, and I will clean up the kitchen after you cook anytime. So...whatcha cooking me tonight ;)