Their mess is no match for iQ

26 09 2011

In July, I won a sweet contest run by @boredmommy on her blog. It was a giveaway of iQ products. Heard of them?

If not, you need the scoop.

iQ is the genius of Planet People (@PlanetPeopleco). It’s a line of eco-friendly cleaning products. No green-washing here!

What I won was the iQ Bathroom Cleaner, the All-Purpose Cleaner and the Glass Cleaner. Planet People also make a Floor Cleaner that I haven’t yet tried.

I’ve been using iQ for a solid three months and the products are fantastic.

Happy iQ consumer

Me the happy iQ consumer.
(Great hand modelling skills, right?)

What I love about iQ is that the products actually work. And added bonus – they smell good.

No harsh chemicals masked behind a stinky perfume blanket!

How iQ Works

Essentially you fill your iQ plastic bottle with water, add the iQ refill cartridge, screw on the spray nozzle and you’re all set.

The best part is that when the cleaner runs out, you simply plunk in a new refill cartridge.

It costs a whole let less than buying a new full bottle of cleaning solution and also means you cut down on plastics: $5.47 for the bottle and cartridge and $2.50 for the refill cartridge.

Did I mention that the products really work? I live with a toddler, a man and two cats. Their mess is no match for iQ.

So if you’re tired of choking on chemicals when chore time comes around, give iQ a try. Then let me know what you think! I’m curious to find out if you’ll love it as much as I do.

Here’s a quick explanation of how iQ works that I grabbed off of YouTube:

Endnote: thank you to BoredMommy and Planet People for the fantastic giveaway. It doesn’t make housecleaning all that exciting, but it makes it a lot more enjoyable. 🙂

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Yum in a bowl

7 09 2011

It seems a little early to be making soup…but…I’m in a soup club. Every year a group of us get together to swap soup and recipes and have a grand old time catching up.

The first rule of Soup Club is…have fun of course! (Did you think I was going to say something different?) 😉

This year the hostess with the mostest is expecting a baby. Like any day now. So instead of hosting the Soup Club meetup later into the fall, she’s getting the club members together early.

I thought I would share my Soup Club contribution here. If you decide to make the recipe – let me know what you think!

Tomato Soup with Roasted Vegetables & Garlic

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Chop up 5 cups of a whole bunch of veggies – I used onions, carrots, red peppers, parsnip and garlic but you could do sweet potato, regular potato, turnip…etc.

Mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Add veggies to shallow casserole dish and toss mixture to coat them well.

Bake 30-45 minutes.

Roasted yum

While your veggies bake, crack open a can of crushed tomatoes and a couple litres of chicken or veggie stock. Read the rest of this entry »





Stain-busters like you

30 05 2011

I buy consignment clothing for DD. I learned to do this after she started daycare and would come home covered in dirt. Don’t get me wrong – I think dirt is a great thing. Dirt means she’s playing, exploring and having fun outside.

But um…as I’m sure you know – dirt stains. So does watermelon, blueberries and if you don’t act quick enough – tomato sauce.

So let’s talk laundry. I’d really like to know your stain removal tips and tricks.

Woman Doing Laundry by Henry Robert Morland. (And yes...I wear my finest gown when doing laundry too.)

I’ve tried the OxiClean route – no dice. I’m told it doesn’t work because I’m not soaking the clothes in hot enough water. That it is the hot water that activates the stain-fighting (ker-plow!) enzymes in OxiClean.

But I descend from a long line of people who believe in cold-water washing. My people taught me that hot water doesn’t release a stain – it sets a stain. (Not to mention shrinks the clothes too!)

So I’ve been sticking to the OxiClean Baby spray. It’s okay but you can’t let the spray dry on the clothes which means leaving the stained shirt/pants/shorts/tank in water to stink up the laundry room until laundry day. Blegh.

I also bought this neat kind of waxy stick that you wet and rub into the stain. Can’t remember the name of it because the label wore off but I got it at Boomerang Kidsin Kanata. It works okay too but isn’t 100% effective. I find I have to do a combination of the OxiClean Baby and the wax stick.

So what gives? How do all you parents – I really want to write mothers but am giving a shout-out to all you dads out there who do laundry – get the stains out of your children’s clothes?

Get them so clean you can drop your clothes off at the local consignment shop feeling tremendous pride over your ability to conquer the toughest grass stain, the meanest ketchup spill?

I’d really like to know so I can do the same thing.





am i done yet?

13 03 2011

Today I…

  • Made banana bread
  • Made tomato sauce
  • Grocery shopped
  • Did five (going on six) loads of laundry (folded, but I’ll admit not yet put away)
  • Organized the living and family rooms (aka put DD’s toys away) as DH vacuumed and swept
  • Cleaned 2.5 bathrooms top to bottom
  • Gathered together DD’s “stuff” for her start at her new daycare tomorrow (fingers crossed it goes well!)

I’ve cleaned and cleaned, tidied and organized. The only thing I haven’t done is wash my kitchen floor (DH is on it!).

All this work…so I deserve these new shoes, right?

Shoes I covet





kitchen woes

1 02 2011

I don’t know what is happening, but lately…my cooking has gone to the dogs. Actually I don’t even think dogs would eat what’s coming out of my kitchen.

Here’s what I mean:

Two attempts at steel cut oats: one stovetop, the other in the slowcooker and both a colossal failure. I’m talking about sludgy, rubbery oatmeal that no one, and I mean no one, should be forced to look at let alone eat.

One attempt at home-made biscuits: from a recipe other people have made successfully and I somehow bake into cement discs. They’re so brick hard I could donate them for use in Olympic discus competitions. Or maybe skeet shooting.

One episode of chicken cacciatore carnage: an experience I’d rather forget and you’d rather not know about.

Three attempts to make banana bread: from a recipe I’ve used successfully hundreds of times yet each loaf is rubbery and blegh. Read the rest of this entry »





Ginger molasses goodness…yes…mmm

15 12 2010

I’ve had such a crazy December – I’m behind in my Christmas baking. Normally I would be done by now, not starting.

And so…because this week has primarily featured a fierce battle with a virus that took down every member of my family save me, I’ve not had a chance to write.

Since I need to get some baking done tonight and I really want to write a post for my blog, I thought I would share one of my favourite holiday recipes: ginger molasses cookies. I promise you, this cookie will not disappoint.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it any old time, not just for the holidays. It is as delicious curled up with a hot mint tea and book by the Christmas tree as it is by your fireplace on a blustery February afternoon, or by your window watching rain fall on a damp spring day. Read the rest of this entry »





Pumpkin soup for your social media soul

7 10 2009

Oct 6, 2011 Update: When I wrote this post, I was still figuring out what I wanted to write about on this blog. Two years later, I can tell you I do write about recipes now! In any case, if you like pumpkin soup, you’re going to loooove this recipe. Pinky swear. Happy Thanksgiving!

I don’t normally write about food…usually I write about other stuff, but this soup recipe  is delicious and very timely to share since Canadian Thanksgiving is just days away. I’ve made this soup several times and always to great appreciation from those I’ve served it to.

It’s a nice way to make something pumpkin’ish without going the traditional pumpkin pie route (although I’m not knocking pumpkin pie in any way).

So here it is. If you decide to make the soup – let me know what you think. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it!

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Masala and Coconut

Ingredients

* 1 small apple
* ¾ cup shaved dried unsweetened coconut (optional)
* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 small onion, sliced
* 1 stalk celery, sliced
* 1 large garlic clove
* 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
* ¾ tsp mild curry powder
* ¾ tsp masala tandoori or garam masala
* ¼ tsp ground cumin
* 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
* 2 ½ to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth
* 1 cup thick puréed unsweetened pumpkin, canned or homemade
* One 400 ml can unsweetened coconut milk, divided
* ½ cup chopped coriander, divided
* ¼ tsp salt

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Peel, core and slice apple. Toast coconut by spreading out on a baking sheet; bake in over for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside.

3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ginger, curry, masala and cumin; cook 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.

4. Slowly stir in 2 ½ cups stock. Add pumpkin purée and apple slices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Purée soup in a blender or food processor. Whirl in 1 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp coriander and salt. If soup is very thick, thin with remaining stock. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

6. Heat and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Drizzle 1 tbsp of coconut milk over each portion of soup; garnish with pinches of cocunt and remaining coriander.

Voilà! Deliciousness.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Masala and Coconut

Ingredients

  • 1 small apple
  • ¾ cup shaved dried unsweetened coconut (optional)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tsp grated frsh ginger
  • ¾ tsp mild curry powder
  • ¾ tsp masala tandoori or gram masala
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour (Marice you can probably omit the flour without affecting the recipe)
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth
  • 1 cup thick puréed unsweetened pumpkin, canned or homemade
  • One 400 ml can unsweetened coconut milk, divided
  • ½ cup chopped coriander, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Peel, core and slice apple. Toast coconut by spreading out on a baking sheet; bake in over for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ginger, curry, masala and cumin; cook 1 minute. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.
  4. Slowly stir in 2 ½ cups stock. Add pumpkin purée and apple slices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Purée soup in a blender or food processor. Whirl in 1 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp coriander and salt. If soup is very thick, thin with remaining stock. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  6. Heat and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Drizzle 1 tbsp of coconut milk over each portion of soup; garnish with pinches of cocunt and remaining coriander.