TNT Tip: Kitchen Sponge
There is someone in my life that I love very much, but her kitchen sponge is disgusting. I have had the (dis)pleasure of doing dishes at her house multiple times and it always grosses me out to use the pitiful excuse of a sponge that sits in her sink. You know the type: it's one of those sponges that is attached to a handle that is supposed to dispense soap when you press the top. The sponge is brown, the green scrubby part is falling apart, and it looks like an e.coli accident waiting to happen. (Shudder.)
I have always been somewhat obsessive about keeping my kitchen sponge clean. This may seem silly, but think about it: you slide this thing along your counters and dishes, which eventually come in contact with your food. Important stuff! According the November edition of Good Housekeeping magazine, the most effective way to clean your sponge is to soak it in a mixture of 3/4 c. bleach and 1 gal. water for 5 minutes. The runners up? 1-2 minutes in the microwave or throwing it in the dishwasher (I personally do 2 minutes in the microwave). By the way, you're supposed to replace your sponge when it starts looking shabby. I highly recommend the sponges at Aldi. You get 2 for $ .99 and they work great.
Savory Smackeral: No Peep Stew (courtesy of my friend, Andrea)
Do your prep work for this delicious cold weather meal on Saturday night (except the potatoes), then assemble and pop in the oven early Sunday morning. By lunch time you'll have a heavenly dish that screams to be served with big, fluffy yeast rolls. Mmm . . .
1 1/2 -2 lbs. stew beef
1/2 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small can tomato sauce (I use a large can because I like it more "stew-y")
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca (granules, not pudding! Find near the pudding mixes)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. Mix sugar, tapioca, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Mix vegetables in an oven safe pot.
3. Sprinkle 1/3 seasoning mixture on top of veggies.
4. Put meat on top of veggies and cover with remaining seasoning.
5. Pour tomato sauce on top.
6. Cover and cook at 250 degrees for 4-5 hours. Enjoy!