Sunday, March 18, 2012


Another rainy day in Folsom but it is sooooo nice. I am really loving this rainy California weather - although it is supposed to go back to it's regular old sunny self by after tomorrow...but I just love how dark it is and how great it looks...I don't know, it just feels so Springy. has been quite the lazy day...I haven't been doing much but reading through magazines - still have lots of laundry to do and plan on painting my nailsies...yesterday we watched a bunch of movies...caught the end of Notting Hill, Phenomenon, As Good As It Gets, The Dead Zone, Godzilla and then Case 39. It really was a movie day! And it rained it was just perfection. 
Right now my Mom is working away in the kitchen and it smells ridiculously divine. Like Thanksgiving or something...making some turkey breast with salad and oven roasted potatoes. Amaaaazing. I miss the smells of home for sure. Seriously, this house smells like all things lovely; if it isn't an amazing dinner it's some great Febreeze type scent or cinnamon and apples, clean laundry or wet dog {joking on the last part, although the dog does get a bit stinky when he goes out in the rain}.
But either way...I am definitely a vacuum when it comes to my Mom and Dad's home cooking, 150%. It is the most amazing food of life and I really hope to aspire to cook just as good. So I have a new goal for when I get back to Canada and that is to try as many new recipes as possible...sometimes I know that it isn't going to turn out the greatest, but that is why I will have to have some back up today, as I said, I have been going through my Mom's magazines and have found a bunch of new recipes that I will be trying {as well as sharing with you guys}. 
But first things first, I found a rather interesting article in one of the magazines called "All You" {pretty neat mag} and wanted to rip it out but my Mom gives her old mags to her friend so I decided I would just copy it along with share on the blog. :) 
It is a little random for this blog but what the heck. 

Clean Up Germ Hot Spots
Learn the top 10 places where harmful bacteria lurk in your home - then clear them out for good. 

You can't see, smell or taste them, but a new study suggest that a whole host of germs are hiding out in your home - and not necessarily in the places you'd expect. Fortunately, with a little know-how, you can wipe out these nasty critters before they wreak havoc on your family's health. 
By: Kim Goad

Coffeemaker Reservoire
You wash your coffeemaker's decanter thinking that's enough to ensure the next brew will deliver a fresh - and safe-to-drink - cup of joe. But the water reservoir is a perfect environment for the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. No surprise, given how dark and damp this spot is. 

Clean It Up!
Follow the coffeemaker's recommended cleaning instructions, or try this method: Add up to four cups of undiluted white vinegar to the reservoir, let stand for 30 minutes, then turn on your coffeemaker so the vinegar can run through. Follow with two or three cycles of fresh water until the vinegar odour is gone. Clean the machine at least once a month or every 40 to 80 brew cycles. 

Kitchen Countertops
You come home at the end of the day and head straight to the kitchen to unload your grocery bags on the counter. In that moment, you may have introduced dangerous bacteria to your countertop - especially if there's raw meat, poultry or produce in those totes - putting you and your family at risk for foodborne illness. 

Clean It Up!
*Countertop surfaces should be washed thoroughly before and after food prep, using hot soapy water. After rinsing, apply a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. 
*Keep a spray bottle filled with the 10 percent bleach solution at hand and spritz your kitchen counter at least once a day. Let the disinfectant sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then wipe clean. 
*For speciality countertops {such as granite}, use the manufacturer's recommended sanitizing agent or cleaner tested for use in food preparation areas {others may leave a harmful residue}. 

Cutting Boards
A board that's used for slicing raw meat can harbour 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat {FYI: Sit Well. There are about 3.8 billion bacteria per square inch on the average toilet bowl. Regular cleaning with a disinfectant reduces your risk of a GI disorder. Place liners on public toilet seats}. That's because you may often spray toilet seats with disinfectant but only rinse cutting boards, not realizing that foodborne pathogens thrive on them. 

Clean It Up!
*Although it might seem as if plastic would be more sanitary than wood, new research indicates that wood has natural antimicrobial properties - plus wood helps keep your knives sharp. 
*Clean cutting boards by scrubbing them with hot soapy water after each use and when switching from one type of food to the next. 
*Minimize cross-contamination by using two boards: one for meat, poultry and seafood and the other for bread and produce. 
*Discard old plastic boards that have cracks and knife scars.

Kitchen Sink
It's easy to ignore the kitchen sink on cleaning day. After all, germs can't thrive in a setting that has water constantly washing over it - right? Actually, they can. Bacteria including E. coli and salmonella - which are carried into your home by way of raw food, small children and pets - are right at home in your kitchen sink and can cause diarrhea or infections with flulike symptoms. 

Clean It Up!
*Wash and disinfect the sides and bottom of your kitchen sink a couple times per week with a disinfecting cleaner. And don't forget drains and disposals. 
*Sanitize sinks at least once a month with products meant for kitchen surfaces and fortified with bleach especially after preparing raw meat, fish or chicken {80 perfect of chicken carry potentially harmful bacteria, and any surface that comes in contact with it should be washed thoroughly}. 
*Run kitchen-sink strainers through the dishwasher once a week. 

Pet Bowls
Avoid feeding your dog or cat out of a ceramic or plastic bowl. These porous materials provide a breeding ground for bacteria and other germs, which could make the animal sick. {Plastic is also dangerous because your dogs tend to chew on it.}
Instead, go for stainless steel or porcelain.

Clean It Up!
*Wash your pet's water and food bowls every day in a sanitizing dishwasher, or scrub them by hand with hot soapy water, then rinse. Also wipe down the area around the bowls on a daily basis with hot soapy water. 
*If hand-washing, also place bowls in a solution of one cap of bleach and a gallon of water, and soak for about 10 minutes weekly. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. 

Toothbrush Holder
Each toilet flush releases a fine spray of fecal bacteria and viruses into the air. The mix can end up on your toothbrush stand, causing gastrointestinal disorders ranging from mild nausea to diarrhea. Be sure to close the lid before flushing. 

Clean It Up!
*Wash your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher {if it's dishwasher safe} or by hand once or twice a week. Clean it with disinfectant wipes in between washings. 
*If you share your toothbrush stand in your household, make sure the brushes don't touch; otherwise you run the risk of passing germs back and forth. 

Kitchen Sponge
The very thing you use to clean your countertop and rinse or wash your dishes is a minature incubator for two types of germs: coliform, a family of bacteria that includes salmonella and E. coli {the ones that can cause foodborne illness}, and staphylococcus aureus, which can cause staph infections, especially in people with a weakened immune system, very young children, elderly people and pregnant women. 

Clean It Up!
*Zap wet sponges daily in the microwave for two minutes; replace after 2 weeks. 
*Better yet, use dishcloths. They can be sanitized by throwing them in the washing machine with bleach on the hot-water cycle. 
*Before you buy a dishwasher, washing machine or dryer, look at the list of germ-fighting appliances certified by NSF International, a nonprofit that writes standards for consumer goods. With these models, items will emerge germ-free. 

Bathroom Faucet Handle
Bacteria and viruses can live about 20 minutes on your sleeve or couch cushion. But they can live a couple of days on hard, nonpourous surfaces - unless that surfact is copper, brass or bronze. The EPA has approved these metals as bacteria killers, and research suggests that they also have antiviral properties. 

Clean It Up!
*Consider switching out your bathroom faucet handle for copper, brass or bronze. That way, every time a pair of dirty hands uses the handle to turn on the faucet, the germs won't have long to wreak havoc. 
*Wife handles daily with a disinfecting cleaner or disinfecting wife. Pay attention to nooks and crevices. 

Pet Toys
It's a fact: Your pooch uses his tongue as toilet paper, so his chewed-up tennis balls carry bacteria, yeast and mold. Wash your hands after every round of fetch. 

Clean It Up!
*Clean hard toys with hot soapy water, rinse with fresh water at least once a month, then disinfect with a mild bleach solution. Rinse thoroughly. 
*Wash soft toys in a washing machine on the hot-water cycle once a month.

Stove Knobs
It's not uncommon to turn on the stove after you've prepper the meat but before you've washed your hands. As a result, you've unwittingly make it possible for unfriendly bacteria to spread to anyone who touches the knobs. 

Clean It Up!
*Wash your hands after touching meat. Once a week, remove knobs and wash them in hot soapy water; rinse well and let dry completely before reinstalling. 

Sources: Robert Donofrio, PhD, international director of microbiology at NSF International; Donna Duberg, assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University; Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona.


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