Cleaning for busy homes – part 2 — January 27, 2019

Cleaning for busy homes – part 2

Just finished my weekly cleaning and guess what I remembered ๐Ÿ˜‚ Yes! Write a blog about it haha.

There are some products I recommend, and you can stock them easily as they are on offers most of the time.

  • Domestos bleach
  • Dettol antibacterial spray cleaner
  • Floor and surface wipes
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Kitchen towels
  • Laminate spray cleaner
  • Ceramic hob cleaner

Microwave oven

Clean the microwave using the spray cleaner and damp microfiber cloth, shine with a kitchen towel. Guys, it’s extremely important to keep your oven and microwave oven clean. Remember you cook and heat your food there and if they are already littered with old food particles ‘it’s extremely unhygienic!’ It can cause food poisoning easily. Please ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Counters

Clean the counters and presses with spray and cloth, dry with kitchen towel for ultimate shine โ‡๏ธ

Hob

For ceramic hobs, if they are not super stained, use normal spray and cloth however; for heavily stained surface buy a proper ceramic hob cleaner. Even Lidl has a very good quality one from W5. It works wonders.

Sink

Put liquid bleach, put the drain plug and and pour hot water, allow to stand for 10 minutes and then using a brush rub the surface and then unplug and allow hit water to run for some time.

Laminate or Wooden Floors

Vacuum clean the floor.

Dear friends, do not use traditional mop to clean your laminate or wooden floors with water. They will become loose and also lose their shine.They are not meant to be mopped in that manner ๐Ÿดโ€โ˜ ๏ธ

Buy a laminate or wood cleaner (spray), lightly spray and wipe clean with a dry microfiber mop or cloth.

Will try to cover oven cleaning in detail some other time.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Bye bye x

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Cleaning for busy homes – part 1 — January 7, 2019

Cleaning for busy homes – part 1

Happy New Year! hope you all had a good holiday season and are well rested ๐Ÿคช Well, I have been forced back into the work and kids are back in school also. I thought I will go to writing the blog again since it’s been agggesss!

Everyone is busy these days – working or not!  Many people, I know call regular cleaning help but many also do it themselves. Personally, I prefer doing it myself because I have a thing for cleaning ๐Ÿ™„

There was a time when I called for regular help because I was working full-time and studying part-time but now that I own a house and not studying anymore, I like to do it myself because I have a professional cleaner hidden inside of me ๐Ÿ˜‘

I am starting this series to share my cleaning routine, which is very simple-to-follow and has matured with time with tried-and-tested, easy-to-use products.

When I regularly start to use a product, I choose it for its ease-of-use, how fast it cleans and how safe it is for the surface. Cleaning routine for me in never something that will take my full day or hog a big slot because that just bores me and I am sure a lot of others.

Today I will share the routine to clean bathrooms, hope it helps you.

Products

I stock most products from Dunnes Stores or Tesco during weekly offers.

  • Domestos
  • Dettol or CIF anti-bacterial surface cleaner – as needed
  • W5 Limescale remover – Lidl
  • Floor wipes
  • Surface wipes
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Disposable rubber gloves

Routine

Mostly, I deep clean on Saturdays but we all know that once a week cleaning is never enough, especially if you have children. On Saturday, I would follow this:

  • Put some bleach into the toilet bowl, inside the edges and all shadowy parts.
  • While the bleach works, use the wonder product, W5 limescale remover to clean the shower enclosure, just pour it on a microfiber cloth or the surface directly and wipe off, it just works magic and has made my life so easy, since no real scrubbing is required anymore. After wiping off all the walls and glass doors, rinse with water.
  • Now scrub the toilet and run water. Clean the seat with surface wipe and dry with paper towel. At the end, pour some limescale remover into the bowl and scrub with toilet brush, flush the toilet. It will bring instant sparkle and prevent limescale from building.
  • Clean the mirrors with surface wipes and clean dry with kitchen towel or use window cleaner and kitchen towel. Wash the toothbrush mug and wipe off the little shelf.
  • Clean the sink with bleach and rinse, followed by pouring the limescale remover into the sink as well as on and around the tap. Scrub a little with brush. Clean the rest of the sink with surface wipe and dry it off with the paper towel.
  • At the end, mop the floor using floor wipes and clean the bin.
  • This cleaning could last till the next Saturday if you keep a bag of floor and surface wipes and wipe off the floor and sink every other day while you are using the bathroom. The use of limescale remover discourages the build up of limescale.

My bathrooms are always clean by following this routine and this hardly takes 15 minutes for me or 20 if am cleaning full walls.  Nearly an hour for 3 bathrooms, which is not bad. The idea for me is to keep the things constantly clean instead of cleaning from scratch.

I could do with some pictures but I think for post like this, this would suffice.

Happy reading and cleaning โค๏ธ

x x x

 

 

 

Cinnamon Rolls – easiest breakfast or teatime — August 25, 2018

Cinnamon Rolls – easiest breakfast or teatime

I am often short on breakfast ideas and always looking for new simple recipes to try. I ate a cinnamon roll at work yesterday. It was good so this morning I decided to bake some myself.. and why not since they are so easy!

Let’s get the ingredients.

  1. Puff pastry ready rolled
  2. Melted butter
  3. Sugar
  4. Cinnamon powder
  5. Egg wash

– brush the puff pastry with butter

– coat the pastry with sugar

– sprinkle cinnamon generously

– roll the pastry

– cut into 3/4 inches pieces

– line an oven tray, place rolls and brush with egg wash

– bake for 15-18 mins at 190 degrees

– ready!

I served them warm and believe you me, they were delicious and a lot better than bakery bought ๐Ÿ˜ Girls loved them too

Enjoy your weekend!

x x x

Banana Bread – another oh so easy! — August 19, 2018

Banana Bread – another oh so easy!

A few days ago my colleague at work brought most delish banana bread. It was beautiful and opposite to what I had experienced baking a few months ago and given up on it ๐Ÿ˜’

I asked for the recipe to try for an upcoming tea party at my home. I tried it on the day and it was okyish! ๐Ÿคญ

I tried it again last week with some customization and it turned out lovely and today I tried it again. I had a few more things tested to try and make it richer and moister. This time it was not the best in appearance but it was super moist and nutty.

I find this recipe very useful because; very often I have ripe bananas at home and I hate to bin food. In my household wasting food is a BIG no – not allowed at all! So if you also find some ripe bananas that no one wants to eat, transform them into this beautiful bread!

Enjoy the recipe.

Ingredients

    Butter 110 grams
    Castor or brown sugar 2/3 of a cup
    Eggs 2
    Vanilla extract 1 tsp
    Baking soda 1 tsp
    Plain flour about 2 cups
    Ripe bananas 4-5
    Salt 1/2 tsp
    Almond flakes ( I also tried coconut and oats) these items are optional though.

Method

– Mash bananas with a fork, use 5 bananas for extra moist bread else use 4 medium.

– Add melted butter, sugar, baking soda, salt and mix together.

– Add eggs and beat together

– Fold in the flour

– Line a baking dish with butter paper

– Bake for 40-50 mins in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.

– Allow to cools before serving and then cut into slices.

I love this because most items are available at home.

Have a great tea time for less and never waste a banana again โœŒ๏ธ

Have fun baking xxx

Our Cake Rusks – simplest and yummiest! — August 15, 2018

Our Cake Rusks – simplest and yummiest!

To my surprise, cake rusks are easiest to make. Can be made with minimum ingredients, most of which are available at home, almost all the time. Surprised, because all my life I wasn’t aware that they were made with so few ingredients and that also so easily. To me they were some mysterious teatime snacks from my childhood that were only available in Pakistan. YES! Only in Pakistan because the ones I tried once in Ireland are not the same and (and way too expensive for their quality and taste) so I never bought from here again. But many of my friends do buy them, out of love for this staple snack ๐Ÿ˜€ but of course, no need from now since you have this simple recipe at hand ๐Ÿคš

Okay, let me first tell you (for those who don’t know already) that rusk is a hard biscuit and cake rusk is a caky version of rusk and it is loved at teatime in Indian subcontinent.

I came across its recipe on Food Fusion Facebook page. I tweaked the amount and time of the baking period to suit my liking plus I must mention that first time I made them without baking powder because I missed seeing it in the original recipe but even then they out turned out perfect, not sure how ๐Ÿค” so now I recommend using only 1/4 tsp to make them fluff a bit!

Ingredients

    Butter 100g
    Sugar 3/4 cup
    Plain flour 1 cup
    Eggs 3 at room temperature
    Vanilla extract
    Baking powder 1/4 teaspoon

Method

– Mix together butter (softened) and sugar.

– Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time.

– fold flour and baking powder into this mixture.

– Add vanilla extract and mix a little.

– Grease a rectangular dish and place butter paper.

– Pour the batter and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins.

– Then take out and cool a bit. Cut into traditional rectangles.

– Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 mins on each side again.

– Enjoy with tea โ˜•๏ธ Your kids will love them too.

Unfortunately, I did not take too many photos but the one on the top is good enough to show how lovely they were โค๏ธ

Until next time, bye bye ๐Ÿค—

A Little Bit About This Summer — June 1, 2018

A Little Bit About This Summer

Summer is Ireland is a myth. Lol. Not really, I mean we do have 3 months of warm sunny days with frequent light and heavy showers with the regular (chilly) wind. To be honest, there are few days that are actually bright and sunny with no wind. But it is also true that we can count them on our fingers. This year, we already have had some and few more to go.

No matter what is the status of the rain, wind or temperature, Spring and Summer are beautiful in Ireland as it is indeed a beautiful place to live.

I thought I would write down a series of posts on Summer as we have already done a few interesting things to celebrate the presence of sun. Hopefully more to come!

Let me mention first, that with the arrival of Summer I had to say good-bye to 2 of my wisdom teeth and the extraction for one of them did not go too well so I was sick for a good 2 weeks and lost some weight, blah blah blah.. But I want to keep that for a separate post as I also want to let others know what really to expect from a tooth extraction.

OK let’s go back to beautiful floral Summer.

We started it off with a lovely barbecue at our friend’s. It was a lovely calm day with no wind at all, giving me excuse to just sit down in my place with light chit-chat and delicious food while children were busy playing and men doing the BBQ.

What is Summer without a beach? Yes it is also true for Ireland ๐Ÿ™„ North Bull Island is our favourite beach because it is actually sandy (not rocky) and very accessible.

The girls went with the Dad to enjoy beachhhh…

At that point around, I was hit by my teeth extraction and after few days when I started to recover, we went for a casual walk in Phoenix Park. I loved the photos from that day.

Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn or Spring, it is incomplete for us without visiting the Kildare Village.ย  Not that I don’t like the shopping there but we love it primarily because they decorate the entire place according to the season. This year also, it was adorned in Spring/Summer theme. Here are some photos from the day.

With all this, we are also celebrating Ramadan, I don’t have any good photos to share because I was mostly sick to do proper justice to food in Ramadan except for the pakoras post that I shared a while ago. Still going on so hopefully will have more to add to my gallery.

Hope you all are enjoying the Summer while it lasts.

Bye until next time โค๏ธ

Some Pakora Talk — May 22, 2018

Some Pakora Talk

All South-Asians know what a pakora (also called bhaji) is. It is a very common fried snack in Indian subcontinent. While it can be and is enjoyed throughout the year, it’s presence is vital in the month of Ramadan.

A typical Pakistani and I would imagine a typical North-Indian cannot imagine what might happen if pakoras are not found on the Iftar table (Iftar=breaking of fast at sunset).

A friend recently shared her pakora recipe. I really liked her technique and thought to try it on my recipe. So yeah, this post is about my pakora recipe and 2 chutneys to savor them with.

Ingredients

Batter

  • Chick pea flour (besan)
  • Red chili powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Whole cumin seeds
  • Dried fenugreek
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water
  • Lemon
  • Herbs: coriander, mint, basil chopped
  • 1 thinly chopped green chili

Veggies to use

  • Spinach leaves
  • Potatoes thinly sliced
  • Potatoes chopped or diced
  • Big green chilies
  • Onions
  • Eggplants/aubergine sliced

Method

Put oil in a deep frying pan to heat up for frying. For the veggie pakoras make the besan batter with water and all the spices; leave herbs and veggies. I keep a close-to-runny consistency because I do not want too much besan on my pakora.

Once oil is heated up properly, coat potatoes with the batter one at a time and put them in heated oil to fry. Once golden on both the sides take out on a kitchen towel. Do the same for aubergines.

Now mix together all the remaining items (herbs, diced potatoes, onions, spinach, green chilies) and get this consistency.

If you want more batter, you can keep the batter not-so-runny.

Now using a spoon or even your hand – if you prefer put small lumps of this mixtures into the oil and fry until golden and crisp.

Chutneys

Put these things together to make chutney # 1.

  • Yogurt
  • Mint chutney
  • Vinaigrette

Mix all these to make chutney # 2

  • 1 portion yogurt
  • 2 portions crรจme fraรฎche
  • Lemon juice
  • Dill+mustard+honey
  • Minced jalapeรฑo

Serve with vegetable and fruit juice, they are great to energize after long hours of fasting. If you need inspiration, check out the link to my old post on homemade juices.

Have a great Ramadan.

Many more posts to come from Ramadan IA.

Ramadan Kareem to all ๐ŸŒ™