Garden Weeds

Garden weedsWeeds is the only plant can grow on the little crack on pavement, driveway or a corner of wall. You had pull it off very frequently and it grow back again within few days; it drive you absolutely mad!

On the supermarket shelves offering all kind of products for removing weeds, but when you think about it, how much chemical you had disposed into the environment because of this little weeds, beside it cost you a lot to buying weeds killer products from the supermarket shelves in long period of time.

I got a cheapest solution for that, and it is easy with no harm to environment at all. The magic ingredient in your kitchen cupboard Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)

If the weather had been no rain for weeks you might need to moist the ground that the weeds grow on it, then sprinkle bicarbonate of soda. The reason of moisture on the ground is to draw the soda into the roots of weeds.

What does the bicarbonate of soda does to the plant? Bicarbonate of Soda is a neutralization of acid, most ground content acid, when bicarbonate of soda added it will neutralized the acid ground so weeds doesn’t have much food food to absorb from the neutralized ground and starve to death, then you can pull the weeds off easily.

This will last at least about six weeks, if you see any weeds is growing back just repeat the application of bicarbonate of soda.

Sage & Honey

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Look at the amber gold colour of sage honey, and these simple ingredients is a good remedy for sore throat. The word Sage comes from the Latin word meaning “to Save”, because it has very strong anti-inflammatory, decongestant and antiseptic properties, so when you combine sage with honey, which has anti-bacterial and healing properties, it makes a very effective remedy for sore throats. Here’s how to make it:

  • Fresh bunch of sage leaves (wash and dry)
  • Runny honey just enough to cover the sage leaves
  1. Get a large jar of good quality runny honey,and a large bunch of fresh sage leaves. Give the sage a good wash, and dry it a bit.
  2. Put the sage into the large non-stick pan, (the reason to use large pan because the honey can easily over boil the pan) add in honey to cover the sage leaves.
  3. Heat on high, make sure you watch it carefully until it starts to boil, then turn it to the lowest heat and leave it for simmering 1 hour, stirring it occasionally. (this is the time when honey will start bubble up, so keep an eye on it)
  4. After 1 hour leave it to cool slightly while you sterilised the jars. (you sterilise by putting into the sink with boiling water) Remove the sage leave from the pan before you strain the honey into sterilised the jars (be careful on the hot sugary honey when you handle it, don’t let it got on your skin, it will burn your skin)
  5. To make them look appealing, you can add a small stem of sage leaves to each jar, then seal them with the lid. The sage honey will set hard in the jar, so when you consuming it make sure your spoon is clean, dry and heavy duty spoon.

Keep a jar in your cupboard for the day when you get a sore throat, then just get a clean and dry teaspoon of the honey and let if slowly dissolve in your mouth, so that the honey and sage can do it’s work! You can have it 3 or 4 times daily.

If you have a cold, you can add a teaspoon of the sage honey to a sachet of cold remedy such as Lemsip.

Storage, a jar of this will keep for 6 months, although I have been able to keep it for much longer than that. I treat it as a candy-on-spoon and let the honey melt slowly into mouth, not only tasty yet good for throat. Hope you enjoy it too!

Cleaning the Grout

tile_grout_before_after_sml1Cleaning is one of those tired but very rewarding after you had done it. The clean surface of the floor and had return to its shine. Remember those old day without any modern technology and chemical products, Grandma used to do it regularly with my little hands to help her to ease her job. Now I passing her recipe to everyone for their household, although is hard work yet is satisfied and it is safe without any chemical ingredients.

  1. Pour the dry ingredients into the spray bottle, then fill with water, lemon juice and vinegar. Give it a shake before you apply.
  2. Spray it on the floor, let it sit for a minute or two then you can start scrub.

Now my feet up with a cup of tea and looking at the clean floor I had done, it is return to shine again. Thanks Grandma!

Stale baguette

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Don’t throw away your stale baguette, bread. You can freshen it up by brush water on the crust and stick it into a slow middle oven for not more than 10 minutes. It come out like you just brought from the boulangerie, I loved the sounds when the bread knife cut into bread like walking on snow, the crust is superb!

Or you can make a croutons from your stale bread. Cut them into cube size (if you like to spread with butter, olive oil etc) and then dry it out in the slow middle oven for less than 15 mintues depending on the size and the fat that you applied on it. Keep them in air tight container. You can serve on caesar salad, or eat it like snack! Very tasty!

Image resource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/evefox/7007166115/

Ground coffee should refrigerate?

coffee-beans-ground-271686_894x332As I remembered when I was a kid my Mother brough ground coffee every week from a cart and brew fresh coffee every week, she knew to fresher coffee by keeping them just enough for a week used.

After being a barista in U.K. two years ago, as I been trained to properly know more about coffee, coffee history, growing of coffee, best region coffee etc  and today I would like to share this common question that always occur from coffee lover, housewives.

Question: I buy ground coffee in bulk and freeze it, but I noticed that the package says not to refrigerate or freeze. Why is that?
Answer

Taking opened coffee in and out of cold storage creates condensation inside the package, which can act as a buzz-kill for your beloved morning pick-me-up. Moisture stales the coffee and makes the oils go rancid faster. Exposure to air, heat and light can cause similar flavour changes, recommends buying only a week’s worth of coffee at a time and keeping it in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. For a true coffee shop taste, purchase whole beans and grind them right before brewing. As grounds coffee beans have more surface area for oxygen to attack, so they get stale faster.

If you like to stock up on prepackaged coffee, check the “best by” date. If you plan to brew before then, keep the container, unopened, on a pantry shelf. It is fine to stash an unopened backup supply of grounds or beans in the freezer for up to a month. Leave the coffee in its unopened can or vacuum-sealed bag to avoid letting air in. If the package doesn’t have a good seal or it is open, re-package it in smaller portions among resealable freezer bags (up to a week’s worth per bag). When you take the coffee out of the freezer, store it at room temperature.

Cleaning cooking Appliances

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Coffee maker – fill the reservoir with a cup of white vinegar and top up with hoy water. Run the coffee maker as if you were making a cup of coffee – obviously without any coffee beans – and once the cycle has finished, run it through twice more with just plain water. This will rinse out the vinegar and any residue that has built up inside.

Microwaves – microwaves are difficult to clean because you don’t want to leave any smell behind that might penetrate the food. Pur a plastic bowl three-quater full with water in the microwave (make sure it is suitable for microwaves) with a few teaspoons of bircarbonate of soda and run onhigh for two minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe it clean with paper towel or clean cloth. These will be no need to rub vigorously as every spot will come off ease.

Oven – How often have you used a harsh oven cleaner which has left you with burning eyes and nasty feeling in the back of the throat from breathing in toxic fumes. Make a paste out of equal parts of bircarbonate of soda and water and spread over all surface. Leave overnight and then just wipe it all clean with a damp cloth. Easy and no caustic chemicals to damage your health.

Refrigerators – You wouldn’t want to use anything perfumed or toxic in a place where you store food, so use the same paste as you did for cleaning the oven and use it as an abrasive to get rid of any stubborn marks. wipe down with clean cloth and water and your fridge will smell as fresh and clean as the day you bought it.

Unclog the showerhead

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If, like me, you live in an area where the water is hard, you will find your showerheads quickly become clogged with limescale. Remove the head and fill a bowl with enough vinegar to cover the showerhead. Leave it for an hour or so and then run water through it at the sink for a few minutes.

Remove Rust

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One tip before diving  in is to grab an old toothbrush for your applicator if one isn’t included in the recipe. Although steel wool and abrasive brushes are thought to really “scrub” away the rust, they also can cause further abrasion on the piece causing more because they double as margarita ingredients as well.

1. You need is some salt and little lime juice. Sprinkle some salt on the rusty spot and then add a little lime juice on top of the salt. Leave it there for a few hours and then, using a small scrubbing or nail brush, work on the spot until the rust disappears. it won’t take much effort, I promise.

2.  Using white vinegar and aluminium foil, dipped aluminium foil in white vinegar and scrubbed away the rust.

3. Put baking soda directly onto the rust, then with a toothbrush apply water and scrub. This only apply to items with grain and follow the grain direction when cleaning.

4. Places smaller rusty items in vinegar and let it soak overnight, like rusty tools, and hasn;t needed to scrub any of them!

5. Cutting a potato in half, and then dipping the cut side in dish soap or baking soda. Then apply the soaked end to the rusted area and rub. To keep going, just cut off the used part and re-apply the soap.

Finally, make sure to dry the item thoroughly after removing the rust.

Cleaning Toilet

Don’t keep flushing bleach down the drain, use natural ingredients to clean your toilets, it will have just the same effect and you can rest assured you are not polluting the environment.

Mix together one cup (250g) of borax with either lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to make a fairly thick paste.Use this to clean the bowl and in all those hard to get places and leave it to do its work for about 15 minutes. Use a scouring sponge to remove any stubborn marks and then simply flush the toilet to reveal a fresh clean bowl.

Removing Stains

Coffee & Tea Stains

If your cups are badly stained from tea and coffee, wipe the inside with white vinegar soaked into a sponge. For really difficult stains you can leave them to soak in vinegar for ten minutes.

To clean a teapot or coffee maker, add two cups of boiling water and two tablespoons of vinegar. Leave it to cool, wipe with a clean cloth, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Fruit Stains

These can be particularly difficult to remove, especially if you have dark purple stains on your shirt after picking blackberries. First plunge the fabric in cold water and leave to soak until no more colour is seeping from the stain. Next, stretch the fabric over a heatproof bowl using an elastic band to hold it in place and then pour very hot water over the stain with as much force as possible. As soon as you see the stain has almost gone, wash on as hot a setting as the fabric will stand.

If you get fruit stains on your fingers or hands, simply rub them in some vinegar or lemon juice and the stains will disappear.

Nicotine Stains

If you haven’t been able to kick the habit of smoking cigarettes and you want to get rid of those nasty yellow nicotine stains from your fingers, try rubbing your hands in lemon juice and gently work the stains off using a pumice stone.