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I’m a messy cooker. It’s true. My kitchen is always a disaster after I cook. The counters are sticky, the sink kind of stinks, my pots and pans are always covered in gunk. It’s awful. I could be one of those people who cleans as they go, but I’m not. I tend to destroy the kitchen and then clean it after I’m done eating. I advise against this because all those terrible things I just said–gunky food, bad smelling sink, sticky counters–only get worse with time.
Luckily, there are a few life hacks to keep your kitchen clean and smelling fresh even if you are a hurricane like me.
Let’s start with the messiest, most delicious recipe to get the kitchen really dirty. My favorite–Creamy Lemon Caprese Chicken. Fair warning: this is not super healthy. However, it is super delicious!
You will need:
2 Chicken breasts cut in half longways.
1 package of grape tomatoes cut in half
Four slices of Mozzarella
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 Garlic cloves minced
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2-3 Tbsps lemon juice
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in oil. (Approximately 6 minutes per side.)
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a warming station (microwave, oven, etc).
4. In the pan, combine balsamic and 1 clove garlic. add grape tomatoes and season with salt. Let simmer 5-7 minutes.
5. In a separate skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, 1 clove garlic, and melt butter.
6. Stir in 1/2 cup milk and bring to a boil.
7. Add parmesan cheese and allow it to simmer for a minute or two until thicker. Add cornstarch to achieve desired thickness.
8. Pour in lemon juice and allow another minute of simmering to combine all ingredients. Stir frequently.
9. Remove chicken from warming station and place chicken breasts into tomato/balsamic mixture.
10. Place a slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast and place lid on the skillet. Allow cheese to melt.
11. Remove lid and pour lemon cream sauce over chicken. Spoon sauce and tomatoes onto the chicken breasts.
Sounds delicious right?! It is, but now you are left with a total disaster of a kitchen. Pots and pans with cheese and balsamic stuck to them, sticky counters, grated parmesan cheese everywhere. It’s a mess!
Luckily there are some life hacks to get your kitchen clean and keep it that way!
Clean your pots and pans. I use a new product called Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths at Target. They scrub but do not scratch and super convenient to find at your local Target. They are located on the sink supplies and sponges aisle. They come in 2 packs in gray, mint, coral and navy for $4.99. Since we know most women go to Target at least three times a week, pick some up next time you’re there or save now with this Cartwheel offer from 6/19-6/25.
These magic cloths take the grime and grease off of any pot or pan. They’re a must-have for messy people like me, Hurricane Helen.
Give your kitchen a lemony-fresh scent. Help disinfect your counters by rubbing them down with a lemon wedge. Your kitchen will smell amazing afterward.
Make an orange candle. Oranges are flammable. Who knew?! Simply slice an orange in half, but don’t cut the stem. Remove the flesh (again not the stem.) Pour a little oil in the orange half and light the stem. Ta-da! With your lemony counters and orange candle, your whole kitchen will have an awesome citrus scent perfect for summer!
Clean your cabinets. Combine baking soda and vegetable oil. Use a toothbrush and scrub the gunk off your cabinets that probably got up there while you were cooking.
Clean out your oven. Place 1/2 cup of ammonia in your oven overnight. In the morning, wipe all the crusties away.
Wipe clean. Wipe down your sink and counters with a Scotch-Brite Scrubbing Dish Cloth (the same cloth you used to clean your pots and pans) and you’re good to go! You can clean your whole kitchen with one tough little cloth! These cloths are washable, reusable and sturdy so they can clean your kitchen again! Look how awesome they clean this pan! This took me about one minute and it didn’t scratch!
Freshen up your disposal. Now that your kitchen is squeaky clean, you can help keep it that way. Your disposal will be full of garlic which does NOT smell good after a few days. Throw a few ice cubes down the drain and turn it on. Your stinky smell will be gone in no time.
Check out other great recipes and cleaning tutorials here!
What are your favorite kitchen life-hacks?