Antibacterial dish soaps don't get your dishes any cleaner than ordinary dish soaps. Soaps with the ingredient triclosan are made to kill bacteria on your hands, not your dishes. Hot water and regular dish soap will get your dishes just as clean. Remember, using many anti-bacterial products could potentially cause resistant bacteria to emerge. You'll end up killing weaker bacteria and be left with strong bacteria that aren't killed by these products. Yikes! (Good Housekeeping, November 2009)
A really bad day
A few days ago I had a bad day. A really bad day. I was having so much trouble with my 3 year old that I wanted to pull my hair out. Since this isn't Train Up Your Child Tuesday I won't go into the details, but it was one of Those Days.
I noticed something throughout the course of this Really Bad Day. I wanted cake with icing all day. I dreamed of pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing and yellow cake with chocolate icing (Hello, Emotional Eater!). Since this isn't Slim Down Saturday either, I won't go into the strategies of fending off emotional eating, or how to battle your urges to binge. I will just tell you how to make chocolate icing. The very best chocolate icing you've ever tasted. It will leave you wondering why in the world you ever let Betty Crocker frost your cakes. Trust me.
This is a buttercream frosting, and making it will make you feel like a real cook, even if you're a terrible cook. I would venture to say that if you make this you will never go back to a store-bought tub again. At least that's what I was telling my husband as I was licking my fingers after making the frosting (and the bowl, and the beater, and the spatula).
Okay, here we go. The only investment you need to make for this is about $3 for unsweetened baking chocolate squares, found in the baking section alongside of chocolate chips. They may even be less than that during the holiday baking season. Otherwise the other ingredients are probably some things you keep anyway.
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I use reduced fat cream cheese and it works fine)
3 unsweetened baking chocolate squares
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler (if you don't have one, see below).
2. Put cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
3. Add melted chocolate and butter.
4. Mix on low (otherwise the powdered sugar will cover you and your kitchen).
5. After ingredients are combined, add a splash of milk and mix. Keep adding splashes until frosting reaches the consistency of, well, frosting. (This is where I get in trouble with my dear friend, Carolina Clipper. She hates descriptions like a splash and a pinch. I'm sorry! That's all I can tell you! Just pour a little splash in and go from there.) If you don't use the icing right away you can refrigerate it. Just bring it back to room temperature before using. Here's what I did with mine. I am definitely not a professional, but not bad for a Thursday evening!
*If you don't have a double boiler don't worry, neither do I. Just put about an inch of water in a pot. Put a glass bowl (or another heat safe bowl) on top and bring the water to a simmer (don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Add ingredients and stir occasionally until completely melted.