March at the Ranch


My backyard composter is coming along nicely and should be ready next month for when I plant my vegetable garden. 

Spring is finally here and it couldn’t have happened any sooner.

Looking forward to  watching my tulips, freesias, daffodils all coming up.

Our cows finally have enough grass growing  to feed themselves, so we have finished supplementing their food with hay and oats. 


We have some new farmhouse and cottage country products that have made their way onto our website. Check them out. 

 


This month is all about spring cleaning. 

I wanted to share with you a few tips I use for a thorough cleaning.

KITCHEN

  • I  clean my stove first by removing the range hood vents and burner bowls and add them to my dishwasher with a mix of equal parts baking soda and plain vinegar which I put in a bowl on the top shelf inside my dishwasher. It’s amazing how well it cleans, with a minimum of effort on my part. A friend of mine mentioned this tip to me after years of hand cleaning each vent Ugh! This solution also works for your dishwasher as well. For the other parts of the stove, including the range and iron grates, I first use a spray degreaser ( like Home Depot’s Zep brand) then wash each grate plate in hot soapy water and follow it up with a Zep stainless steel polish. 
  • For my refrigerator, I use a combination of equal parts baking soda and soapy water in a bowl then remove each part, drawers, shelves, bins and clean each one. I wipe down all the interior walls, then use a handheld vacuum cleaner for hard to reach areas with crumbs. I finish it with a soft cotton towel and as a final touch, add clear bowls of lemons and tangerines for the smell and clean look. 
  • For  my kitchen and living room cabinets, I  wax them down with a soft cotton cloth and Bee’s wax spray.This is my go to all in one spray. It works for cabinets as well as furniture ( you can find it online or or at any local home furnishings store). Bee;s Furniture wax

LIVING ROOM

  • For my floor, I first vacuum, especially in the hard to reach corners, then spray and mop with  Home Depot’s Zep Laminate and Floor Cleaner as it was recommended to me by my floor installer and I've been using it ever since with great results.  
  •  For my Windows, I use either plain vinegar in a spray bottle or Home Depot’s Zep  glass cleaner( can you tell I'm a big fan of ZEP!). Try not to clean your windows on a hot sunny day as the heat makes the glass dry too quickly causing streaks and smears.
  • Lastly, I vacuum and wipe down with a soft damp cloth all vents and grill plates and replace filters as needed.

BATHROOM

  • If you have sink tiles with grout lines like I do, use Granite Gold daily cleaner and follow it up with Granite Gold polish. The shine is amazing.
  • To keep the grout lines looking new and free of decris, I rub mineral oil on all the grout lines. 
  • For the shower, I have large stone tile so I first spray it down with the same plain vinegar and water in a spray bottle. For the grout lines, I make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water mixture.  Use a toothbrush to add on the paste to the grout lines, scrub and rinse off with the same spray bottle mixture for the tile. Rinse with water after cleaning both tile and grout lines, then follow up with a tile polish if you'd like . 
  • For the toilet, I use Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, it does the job.

BEDROOM

  • Remove all sheets and blankets and give them a good wash. Wipe down the mattress with a soft damp cloth then spray a light mist of fresh lavender essential oil all over the mattresses and pillows  for a heavenly scent. 
  • Replace any pillows that lacks support with new ones if needed. As a general rule of thumb, pillows should be replaced every 1-2 years. Replace sheets on bed and switch to a spring duvet comforter if you have one.
  • I use Bee's wax for all my furniture. It really does a wonderful job. 
  • As for carpets, I have mainly floors with some sisal rugs in certain rooms. I usually give those a good vacuuming and spot cleaning if necessary. 
  • Replace smoke detector batteries as needed.
  • Wipe down all the  baseboards and window sills with a damp cloth or you can use a microfiber cloth. 

After a full day and a half of cleaning, I treat myself to a slice of one my favorite cakes-

                                                            Lemon Ricotta Cake 

¾ cup of butter 1 ½ sticks softened
15 oz. ricotta cheese 
1 ½ cup sugar ( you can use less if you’d like )
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large lemon juiced and zested (  you can use lime instead if you want)
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups of flour 
                                       Powdered sugar to dust on top 
 
 Preheat oven at 350 degrees
 Spray a 9" springform pan with any type of oil Coconut or Pam and top with powdered sugar to coat pan
 In a mixing bowl mix with a electric mixer,mix the following one at a time-
 butter and sugar mix until smooth, add eggs, mix again,
 add ricotta cheese, lemon juice and zest along with the vanilla.
 
 In a separate bowl, mix the following-
 Salt, baking soda and flour, once fully incorporated 
 add a little at a time to the wet mixture, mix then add, mix then add 
 until all the dry mixture is mixed well into the wet ingredients.
 Pour into the springform pan and bake for 45 min. or
 stick a toothpick inside to and make sure it comes out clean.
 
 Remove from oven, let rest for 30 minutes or until completely cool,
  remove from springform pan and lay on a platter
  dust top with powdered sugar.
 Enjoy! 

                                                           

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