Natural Chemical free Household Cleaner

Our new favorite cleaning product.  It's chemical free and easy to make.  I especially like this one for the kitchen as it's food safe and edible.   It does smell mildly of vinegar before it dries, if that bothers you add a few drops of lavender or a eucalyptus oil.  

Orange Vinegar Household Cleaner

1 cup water

1 cup white vinegar

peels of 2 oranges

Place water, vinegar and orange peels in a jar.  Let it sit for 1 week.  Remove orange peels and funnel into a squirt bottle.  

To use:  spray surface and wipe with a dry or damp towel.  Let dry.

Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

So much good looking citrus around lately.  I love Meyer lemons, they tasty like a very lemony orange.  Meringues are super light, airy confections for whipped egg yolks and sugar with a crisp outer shell and soft inside.   Easy as they are too make, they are easier to eat.  I have the hardest time not eating all of these while they are cooling.  

Also, don't throw out those egg yolks.  Save them for hollandaise, mayonnaise, key lime pie, custard, ice cream.  I think I'm saving mine for pasta.  

Makes about 36 1 1/2 inch cookies.

Meyer Lemon Meringue Cookies

3 egg whites (at room temperature)  (save the yolks!)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

generous pinch of salt

3/4 cup sugar

zest of 1 meyer lemon

1 1/2 teaspoon meyer lemon juice

Heat oven to 200 degrees.  Line 2 half pans with a silpat or parchment paper.  

In a mixing bowl, give eggs a quick beat eggs until foamy, about 10 seconds. Add cream of tartar and salt.  Beat on medium speed until peaks form.  Slowly add sugar, by the tablespoon, beating well after each addition, until all sugar is gone and stiff peaks have formed.  Fold in zest and juice.  

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large flower tip.  Pipe cookies of desired size onto lined baking sheet.  Meringues don't expand or rise when baking so they don't require much room.  Cookies can also be formed by being dropped by the spoonful onto the baking sheet.  

Bake 2 hours on upper racks.  Cool in oven 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes more. 

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes + Red Zinger Maple Syrup

Good Morning!  I could be a morning person for these pancakes.  Pick any small citrus you prefer like orange, lemon or lime.  The syrup uses Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger herbal tea of hibiscus and lemon.

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup cake flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup ricotta

juice and zest of small citrus

2 eggs, seperated

2/3 cup milk

For the Pancakes:  Mix flours and baking soda and make a well in the center of the bowl.  Add agave, valinna, ricotta, citrus zest, juice, egg yolks and milk.  Stir to just combined.  In a seperate bowl whisk egg whites until light and foamy.  Fold into batter.  Drop small ladlefuls of batter onto hot griddle or pan.  Bubbles will show up on edges and then center when ready to flip.  Flip and cook  opposite side about 1 minute.  Serve with butter, fruit, jam and/or syrup.

Red Zinger Maple Syrup

1/2 cup water

2 red zinger tea bags

1 cup maple syrup

For the Syrup:  Brew 1/2 cup water with two tea bags.  Let brew 5-7 minutes then discard tea bags.  In a pan, combine maple syrup and tea.  Simmer until reduced and a maple syrup consistency.