Friday, October 26, 2012

Stainless Steel Cookware Love & Tips

I love to cook and bake and I enjoy having nice kitchenware. I used T-fal for years because of how convenient it was for clean-up as it virtually cleans itself. It is the cookware my parents have always used so I guess it was just what was comfortable for me.  Then, I started hearing rumors of it not being safe a few years back. Basically, the speculation is that anything treated with the Teflon coating can be dangerous as Teflon is a carcinogen. Great, huh? After researching the claims a bit more, I discovered that DuPont, the company who developed Teflon has even admitted the potential for danger. According to them, Teflon cookware should be discarded once it is scratched, scuffed or damaged as it becomes dangerous at that time. They say that it is safe so long as it is intact and not heated empty (apparently this also releases toxins).

Well, suffice it to say, I really wanted to rid my home of this chemical. In general, I didn't view it as a necessary risk since many people love their stainless steel cookware. And I no longer felt safe using it.  So, we saved and I eventually replaced all of my T-fal with Cuisinart stainless steel cookware.  We have had the stainless cookware for about a year and I have been pleasantly surprised by just how much I love it. It heats quickly, cooks evenly and is much easier to clean than I ever expected. A little Bar Keepers Friend and scrubbing takes most foods out very easily. Really the only food that frustrates me is pancakes. It isn't so much the pancakes themselves but rather, the oil I use to cook them in. It tends to burn on the edges a bit and is very difficult to clean out.  Bar Keepers Friend helps with the issue, but it usually requires lots of scrubbing and multiple rounds. Yuck. Who has time for that? Anyway, enter baking soda!! Just sprinkle a bit on the burnt oil spots and let it sit overnight or for several hours. Don't scrub or do anything, just sprinkle a healthy amount over the burnt spot. After it has set overnight, scrub it and most of your burnt food/oil will come right off.  Sometimes, this removes everything but I will frequently need to scrub a little with the baking soda to remove the last few bits. This is such a handy and cheap discovery. See below for before and after pics:




And really folks, this is minimal to no scrubbing, just putting the baking soda on the grease spots. I love my shiny cookware :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Negative Post

Some days you're the bug and some days you're the windshield, right? Man oh man, can I relate to being the bug lately. I am baffled at how I am so busy. Really, a year ago at this time, I was working full-time, doing bookkeeping part-time and caring for a newborn. I see why I was a mess then, but why now? How on earth am I feeling so overwhelmed and how am I not ahead yet? Exactly when will I get it together?

I have a sneaking suspicion that my expectations just aren't realistic. And the older I get, the more I am reminded that expectations are the root of all disappointments in life. Think about it, if you expect little or nothing, you will never be disappointed! Expecting little or nothing from life is the challenge, though. And I'm not saying to lower expectations where it counts, folks. I'm just saying that the world will not come to a halt if I leave dishes in the sink when I go to work, don't mop for a week, etc.  I have been striving to expect less, especially since becoming a mother. I have all but given up on expecting to arrive on time to any event, with everything we need - it just isn't likely to happen. Something will be forgotten, we'll be late or some other bizarre kid-tastrophy will occur (ie, the soaking wet socks and lost shoe I discovered last week after hurrying to an appointment). *sigh* Lesson learned: I must leave my child's feet naked while traveling as he hates wearing socks and is mesmerized by playing with his shoes. I'm still feeling guilty over a conversation with a fellow mommy a couple weeks ago as she lamented about mopping her floors daily. I nodded in agreement, while quietly beating myself up. I mop every week or two...bad mommy I am. Oh well, my kid will have better immunity for playing amongst all that dirt, right? This is what I tell myself anyway.

And while on the subject of expectations, can all agree that Pinterest sucks? It WILL be the final nail in our sanities' coffins, I am convinced. Really, who has time for all this Martha Stewart-esque perfection? Not I, my friends, not I. I think it is fun to peruse here and there and get an idea or two. But beyond that, no thanks. So to anyone thinking I have it all together, let me assure you I do not. Still, I have my loving family and we snuggle, play and laugh each day. These things are what matters, right? I think so. Here's to hoping we can all be the windshields next week.