After a few years, your cinnamon, paprika, and saffron begin to lose their vibrant hues, and the aromas that once filled your kitchen are barely distinguishable when you open their jars. These are telltale signs that your spices need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
Smelly foods are what make my culinary world "go 'round," so to speak. I grew up with fish sauce, learned to cook with and love fermented beans and veggies, and am one of the biggest garlic advocates I know... other than my husband, who thankfully shares the same smelly food sensibilities. (Let's put it this way: anyone that can stomach stinky tofu can handle anything I could possibly cook up.)
If you're careless and tend to leave your knives lying around or in the sink, chances are you've struggled with rusty blades.
It's nearly impossible to keep a stovetop clean when cooking, at least, in my experience. No matter what I do, liquid and solid food bits fall to the surface and around the burners every single time, creating a hard-to-clean mess.
If you're lucky enough to have a dishwasher, you probably use that sucker to clean everything (minus your good cooking knives), and maybe even to cook your food, too. However, dishwashers are not without their faults. Dishes can still come out spotty and even with chunks of food on them, which usually leads to some hand-washing afterward.
Though you may scrub every inch of your kitchen, there are plenty of trouble areas that are nearly impossible to get clean: gunked-up tile grout, rust in the sink, and caked-on burners and grates on the stove. As far as burners and grates go, you're in luck, because there's a simple solution to returning even the grossest ones back to their original shine. The Key Is Ammonia
You're in the middle of cooking and a car alarm, cute kitten, or neighborhood brawl made you step away from the stove for a few minutes longer that you should have. It happens to almost every home cook. Most of the time, nothing dramatic happens, but every now and then, you end up with something like this:
White or light-colored dinnerware is a classic: it looks crisp, clean, and elegant. The only problem is that after you've used it for a few years, the surfaces bear a lot of grey scuff marks from forks, spoons, and knives being dragged across the surface.
Most of you probably spread ketchup all over hamburgers and fries. Some of you may even drink it straight. But did you know that tame (and slightly addictive) condiment in your fridge is also a powerful cleaning agent?
I own two aprons—a cute one for company, and another for the hard-core cooking duties, like cutting up chicken and making stock. The sad truth is that I almost never remember to wear either of them. So, much of my clothing ends up spattered with grease, liquid, and bits of fruit and vegetable. While stain-removing sprays, sticks, and pens are all effective to a certain extent, they have two drawbacks—they're expensive and sometimes I need to use them in large quantity, like when a piece of eg...
Things smell, and whether or not those things smell good or not is up to you. For lingering food odors on your hands, try using stainless steel or coffee grounds to remove the stench. To de-stink smelly jars, use mustard and water. For cutting boards, use lemons and salt, and use cinnamon and sugar for your funky kitchen. In your fridge, combine baking soda and a sponge, or even just orange peels and salt.
Cleaning a blender thoroughly is a pain in the ass, especially when you try and get all the goop out from underneath the sharp blades without nicking your knuckles. Alas, it is a necessary chore, otherwise you end up with disgusting dried gunk that ends up in your next batch of pureed foods. Fortunately, there's an easier way to get your blender sparkling clean besides using easier-to-clean mason jars as you main jar, and the best part is that the appliance literally does all the work for you.
A new coat of paint is an easy, cheap way to make your home look instantly better, but dealing with paint fumes for days afterward isn't so fun, especially if you have kids or pets.
It's so nice to be able to reuse old glass jars for food storage. Occasionally, though, even the sturdiest container has to be recycled because it retains the smell of its previous contents. Usually the culprit was garlic, garlic-based, or something pickled, and you're certainly not going to store your fresh herbs or fruit in that. There is, however, a quick and easy way to get that old stink out of your jar and make it usable again. You just need two things...
A good cutting board is almost as important as the utensils you use on it. The wrong type can cause your blades to dull faster, and certain materials hold onto juices (and therefore bacteria) from food. You can wash a plastic board with just about anything, but what about wood?
Food can smell great before, during, and after cooking. A pot of stew simmering away on the stove will tantalize you all afternoon, and there's nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked cookies lingering in the house for hours.