cup lemon juice

Organic Cleaning: how to spring clean your home the chemical-free way

Spring is in the air and while I don't daydream about cleaning I do love a clean, fresh-smelling home! I grew up using several "homemade" cleaning products and in the process saved money, didn't harm the environment, and didn't harm ourselves! All you need is a few key ingredients (most likely already in your pantry) to get you started with greening your cleaning.

Go put on some Beatles, Elvis, or whatever gets you motivated, throw open your windows and have at it! You're home will be smiling in no time!

No-Streak Glass Cleaner 1/4 cup undiluted white vinegar, 1 quart water. Divide into spray bottles. Dry with a sheet of crumpled newspaper or a coffee filter.

Tile and Grout Paste 1 cup water and 3 cups baking soda mixed into a paste works great for cleaning tile and grout. Use a toothbrush to scrub the paste into grout.

Furniture Polish Mix 1 cup lemon juice with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp water; lightly apply to furniture using a soft cloth. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then buff.

All Purpose Surface Cleaner Mix together equal parts white vinegar and salt. Scrub surfaces with a natural cleaning cloth.

Here are a few recommended books with tips on "Green Cleaning" if you're looking to dive deeper:

Mrs. Meyers Clean Home

Green Cleaning

Better Basics for the Home

Vegan Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes

Spring is just around the corner and what better way to welcome it than a Vegan Lemon Macadamia Cupcake with Lemon Buttercream frosting from the cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World??? (my stomach is growling as I type this)

Lemon Macadamia Cupcakes

1/3 cup canola oil 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup yogurt 1/3 cup milk 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 tbsp lemon zest 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup ground macadamia nuts 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine oil, sugar, yogurt, & milk. Add juice, zest, & vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt in a separate bowl. Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients in two batches.  Add in ground macadamia nuts, then fold in the chopped macadamias. Bake for 20-22 minutes, then allow to cool on a rack.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

1/4 cup shortening (I like Earth Balance) 1/4 cup margarine 2 cups powdered sugar 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tsp lemon zest

Cream together and frost or pipe onto your cupcakes. Enjoy (preferably in the sun with a good book/Frank Sinatra)!