For the Home

Top tips for cleaning your kitchen before the holiday rush hits

Holidays are for baking and cooking

The smells, and sights -- it all brings delight to those who participate!

Turkey and dressing after the blessing, bring us some figgy pudding, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. All reminders that this season is about bringing people together over food. 

Holidays are for cleaning

However, the home chef definitely gets the short end of the stick since there's mass amounts of preparation, organizing, purchasing...

And cleaning

And cleaning

And yet more cleaning!

We tend to push it out of our minds, and just do it when it gets bad. You know, real bad.

But we have some tips for you -- start early and get a clean start before any baking commences!

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Tip 1: Clean out the fridge

Once you start cooking and baking, all that empty space disappears really quickly. If there's a good time to wade through those piles of food in the fridge and deep clean it out, during the holiday season would be the best time. 

Get rid of old bottles, combine containers, throw out old food, scrub the insides down, and feel like a champion and ready to hit the baking list!

Tip 2: Clean your oven

The oven gets more consistent use during the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time during the year. Use this time to get your oven roasting ready. Some ovens have self-cleaning options, but often you need to get down on your hands and knees and give it a deep once-over. This means not just the insides of the oven, but the trays, door, and racks. 

Tip 3: Organize you cabinets and shelves

There's nothing worse than needing to find that large tupperware container that fits 2 batches of cookies and not being able to find the lid amongst the ocean of lids and containers in that cabinet you tend to throw everything in. It doesn't take long, but it's worth the time to take everything out and organize properly. You'll be doing lots of cooking and having innumerable leftovers, so it's high time you prepared your cabinets and shelves to take the heat of the holidays!

Tip 4: Clean the freezer

Freezer is the hell of forgotten foods. We know you think that you'll eat that leftover frozen soup from 2 years ago, but we are pretty certain you need some reality policing assisting you. Bite the bullet and throw out those old items so that you can buy your Christmas ham early and actually have space to freeze it. Additionally, you can bake your cookies early this year, freeze them, and take them out as your family is ready to consume them (my mom does this every year!).

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Is your kitchen ready for the holiday hit?

Don't get caught unprepared! Perhaps on the day you decorate for Thanksgiving or Christmas take a little extra time to give you kitchen some tender loving care. It will love you in return.


Do you live in downtown Chicago and want your kitchen cleaned for you during the holidays? We'd love to help you. Shoot us a message and we'll set you up no time flat.

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Stress Free Holiday Planning

Preparing for the holidays can be a fun, lighthearted time spent with family and friends, but it can also be a time where the stress levels rise to levels where a post-party-massage is required (I guess that isn't too bad...). But you get the picture. We've all been there where we are down to the last minute and there's just something that we forgot to do. Here are a few helpful hints you can find to help the holidays be a joyful experience.

Stain busters 

Stains and holidays seem to go together. From the festive drinks and turkey grease to your brand new white rug and table cloth; the two just go together like Bonnie and Clyde. It might even be handy to have a Tide ToGo stick on hand for clothing stains. If you are removing a stain on a fabric, always remember to try the solution on a more discreet area of the carpet or upholstery to ensure it will not ruin it. Although these solutions are not guaranteed, they should work or help. Using your best judgement, consult a professional if it is a tough stain and experimentation is not worth the risk of potentially ruining an object. Some of the top holiday stain culprits and their removal solution are listed below:

Red Wine:

Try dabbing with a white cloth and add club soda in small amounts to the spot. If it is a post-party spot, try 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 2 cups of warm water to blot out the stain.

Candle Wax:

If any wax drips on the tablecloth, try freezing it and scraping it with a non abrasive object such as a blunt butter knife. 

Chocolate:

Mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 2 cups of cold water and blot the stain.

Coffee:

Blot up excess liquid. Take 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 2 cups of cold water to blot the stain. 

Gravy:

Treat with a laundry stain remover and soak for 2 hours. Continue with a regular washing machine cycle.

Cranberry sauce:

Mix 1/2 tablespoon mild dish soap, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 4 cups of cold water. Soak the soiled specimen for 15 minutes then wash.

For more tips, check out this helpful article on Pop Sugar:

http://www.popsugar.com/home/How-Remove-Common-Food-Wine-Stains-39286234#photo-39286878

 

Last minute dessert ideas

There are plenty of desserts that can be made effortlessly. They can look elegant and beautiful, but have minimal ingredients and time involved for preparation. A melted chocolate drizzle can do wonders for a dessert that needs a little dazzle. Fresh fruit can be brushed with a simple sugar (water and sugar) glaze to give it a classy, delectable shine. Be creative! 

Buckeyes

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/261842165811012955/

Kabob Type Desserts (think strawberries, chocolate, and marshmallow heaven)

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/270145677626163352/

 

Graham Cracker Christmas Crunch

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/255579347580520257/

 

Who's doing the dishes?! 

Holidays equal dishes....right? Well, if done strategically, dishes don't have to be a looming after party chore. Paper plates and plastic cutlery can be a life saver when it comes to party guests. If you absolutely love your favorite tableware, leave a bus bin of sorts next to the sink with a dirty dish label to give guests a place to put their used dish ware. When preparing treats for a party, finger foods are always a great option. There are countless possibilities such as fruits, veggies, popcorn, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, bars, candies, pretzels, crackers, spreads, and more.

 

Remember what's important

Whether your party turned out exactly how you wanted it or if it turned out a little different than planned, remember to show love and make your guests feel at home. They might not remember what color the tablecloth was, but they will remember what they felt. From our families to yours, we wish you a fantastic holiday season filled with memories to cherish and keep!