Menu Menu

Keeping the Holidays Sparkling

The holiday season, as wonderful and magical as it is, is also very messy.  Between cooking and baking and hosting friends and family there are spills and splatters that take a little extra elbow grease to get up.  Over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks that take some of the stress out of the aftermath of entertaining.

keepingtheholidayssparkling_1 keepingtheholidayssparkling_2

My favorite tools in the kitchen, especially this time of year, are probably my cast iron skillets.  I can make cold weather dishes and appetizers, and turn around and serve them right in them thanks to their rustic appeal.  However, I used to dread cleaning them after.  You can’t use soap or put them in the dishwasher, so I’ve been left soaking and scouring them clean.  Fortunately, I learned the most brilliant little trick.  Pouring salt into the cast iron and scrubbing it around gets all the grease and baked in bits right up.  Just make sure you dry the skillet and season it with a little oil when you’re done to prevent rust.keepingtheholidayssparkling_3

Every year our good friend organizes a holiday dinner for a large group of us.  We’re lucky enough that the venue always seems to be at one of the restaurants right down the road from us, so usually after dinner, we all end up back at our home where there will be more drinks, lots of laughing, and sometimes a little karaoke.  It’s so fun!  But there’s likely to be a spill or two throughout the evening.  Thankfully, I’ve discovered our favorite laundry detergent also acts as an awesome carpet cleaner.  The secret is to pat the spot dry right away (never rub!), and then dilute a bit of Biz detergent with a little water and spot treat the stain .  Pat dry and it should be good as new!  This also works great on lipstick stains on linens.keepingtheholidayssparkling_4

It’s become a tradition that I make homemade meatballs and red sauce for a big pasta dinner on Christmas Eve and host family for a big feast.  I spend all day in the kitchen cooking, and admittedly I make a huge mess.  Splattering sauce on the gas stovetop near burners can caramelize and create a hard to clean mess.  Bar Keepers Friend is perfect for getting the bathrooms and kitchen sink sparkling white again, but it’s also a miracle worker for those caked on messes.  By sprinkling a little onto the surface and letting it sit before wiping it clean with a damp cloth gets the stovetop sparkling again.

Thanks to Biz for sponsoring this post and helping me to keep my home sparkling and bright this holiday season!