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Laundry Stain Removal Saturday: Berry Pavlova

Saturday April 19, 2014

After watching Kate and William and baby George tour New Zealand, I was motivated to make one of the nation's signature desserts, a Pavlova. Fortunately, I found a great recipe from About Home Cooking. It looks so much more complicated to make than it is and you will love it combined with the fresh fruits and berries of spring. If you happen to splash a few ingredients on your shirt or drop a berry in your lap, just follow the links to remove the stains.

Berry Pavlova

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (see Note)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced fruit (kiwifruit, berries, peaches, etc.)
  • 1-1/2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips, crushed or small candies, or additional fruit slices optional

    Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a shallow jelly roll pan with parchment paper or Silpat baking liners.

    Sprinkle cream of tartar over egg whites and beat until stiff. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the egg whites a tablespoon at a time, while beating on medium speed, until all is combined. The meringue should be shiny, white, and stiff. Fold in vanilla extract.

    Reduce oven heat to 200 F. Mound the meringue on the pan in a round shape about 6 inches in diameter. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven, leaving meringue in the oven until it is cold or overnight.

    Arrange fruit over the base of the pavlova meringue, top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with chocolate chips, crushed or small candies, and/or additional fruit.

    Use a serrated knife to gently saw slices. Store leftovers in a covered container. Yield: 6 to 8 servings Note: If you cannot find superfine sugar, place granulated sugar in a food processor and process until the sugar crystals are down to half the original size. Then measure and proceed with the pavlova.

    For free nutritional information about this recipe, including calories, visit CalorieCount.

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  • Be Ready For Swimwear Care: Summer Solutions Product Review

    Friday April 18, 2014

    While many people swim year round, summer is coming when every pool is crowded with folks trying to escape the heat. The one thing you can't escape in almost every swimming pool is chlorine and the havoc it can do to your swimwear. Chlorine causes colors to fade, whites to yellow and elastic fibers to sag...and no one wants that.

    Just in time for swim season comes a review of Summer Solutions Swimwear Rinse. The product is designed to deactivate and neutralize chlorine residue on fabric to prevent or slow damage. Take a look at what we found and see if Summer Solutions should be added to your swimwear care routine. (Photo by MML)

    CVS Offers Store Brand Total Home Laundry Products

    Thursday April 17, 2014

    The CVS Drugstore chain, like many other mass retailers, offers an assortment of store brand laundry products. Under the Total Home brand you can find laundry detergent, fabric softener, stain removers and clothing care items at prices significantly lower than highly promoted name brands like Tide, Wisk, Gain and Purex. But, are they a good value?

    About Laundry took a look at several products and found that some worked just as well or better than brand names; while some fell short. Take a look at the product reviews and learn what we found. You may be surprised! (Photo by MML)

    Febreze Allergen Reducer Product Review

    Wednesday April 16, 2014

    Springtime brings pollen and that brings more suffering for many people from allergies. While there are ways to help control indoor allergens by handling laundry correctly, Febreze is offering a new product that offers even more help: Febreze Allergen Reducer Fabric Spray and Febreze Allergen Reducer Air Effects.

    Using a cornstarch-based molecule to surround and help trap irritating allergens, the spray helps keep the allergens down and away from your eyes and nose until you can wash the allergens down the drain (or let your dry cleaner flush them out). Take a look at our product review and see if Febreze Allergen Reducer should find a place in your home. (Photo by MML)

    How to Remove Easter Egg Dye From Everything But The Eggs

    Tuesday April 15, 2014

    Dyeing Easter Eggs is one of the great springtime traditions...and one of the messiest. Somehow that dye manages to seep or leap onto shirts and dresses and tablecloths. But with just a little quick action, you can remove all the traces. And, to take care of all the other Easter stains like grassy knees from the egg hunt or yellow pollen stains from the Easter lily and the chocolate bunny dribbles, just follow these tips. (Photo: Photodisc for Getty Images)

    Monday Laundry Day Q and A: What Causes Black Flakes on Freshly Washed Clothes?

    Monday April 14, 2014

    Every week I get questions from readers about how to handle laundry stains and problems. I'm sure that many of us have experienced the same problems and asked the same questions. So, I'm sharing a Laundry Q and A every Monday, the traditional laundry day. Hope you find it helpful!

    Q: I am getting black flakes showing up on freshly washed loads of clothes. What is causing this?

    A: The black flakes are a combination of body soil and detergent/fabric softener residue in your washer. To take care of the problem, you need to....Read more

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

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    Laundry Detergent Deals On Sale: April 13 - 19, 2014

    Sunday April 13, 2014

    Here are the laundry deals I found on sale this week:

    Walgreens: Clorox Concentrated Bleach 64 oz. 2 for $5.00; Sunny Smile Detergent 41-50 loads 2 for $5.00; Tide liquid laundry detergent 48-64 loads $11.99; Walgreens Balance Rewards card required for all sales.

    CVS: Bounce or Downy Dryer Sheets 70-80 ct. $4.49; Tide Simply Clean & Fresh 25 loads $3.99; Xtra laundry detergent 30 loads $1.96; Tide liquid 48-64 loads $11.94; CVS card required for all sales.

    Rite Aid: Gain liquid 50 oz. or Gain Flings 16 ct. or Gain Fireworks 9.7 oz. or Gain Fabric Softener 60 loads or Gain dryer sheets 120 ct. $4.99; Tide Pods 16 ct. $4.99; Xtra laundry detergent or Nice 'n Fluffy liquid fabric softener 2 for $5.00; Clorox Bleach 64 oz. 2 for $5.00; Shout Stain Remover 22 oz. 2 for $5.00; Home Dryer sheets 40 ct. 2 for $5.00; Downy liquid 48-60 loads or Downy dryer sheets 90 ct. or Downy Unstopables 21 loads $5.99; Bounce dryer sheets 105 ct. $5.99; Tide Boost 18 ct. $5.99; Rite Aid Wellness card required for all sales.

    Target: OxiClean powder 5 lb. or Arm & Hammer liquid 144 oz. $8.00; Tide liquid 138 oz. to 150 oz. or Gain Flings 72 ct. $17.99; Bounce dryer sheets 240 ct. or Downy liquid 150 loads $9.99

    Dollar General: Purex fabric softener 100 oz. or Purex liquid detergent 75 oz. or Purex powder 30 loads $3.00; Gain Flings 14 ct. $4.50; DG Home Laundry Pacs 14 ct. $3.50; Arm & Hammer liquid 122.5-150 oz. or powder 80 loads or Crystal Burst Power Paks 50 ct. $6.95; Clorox Concentrated Bleach 64 oz. $1.95; Purex Crystals 28 oz. $3.50

    Family Dollar: Gain liquid 40 oz. or powder 30 loads or Gain dryer sheets 120 ct. $4.50; Gain Flings 14 ct. or Tide Pods 14 ct. or Downy Unstopables 9.7 oz. or Gain Fireworks 9.7 oz. $4.45; Sun liquid detergent 150 oz. $7.00; Surf detergent powder 70 loads $7.00

    Walmart:Arm & Hammer liquid 150 oz. $7.88; Downy liquid 90 oz. or Downy Unstopables 13.2 oz. $6.97

    Remember those in need and purchase extra laundry supplies to give to shelters, food banks and animal rescue organizations. (Image: Dixie Allan, About.com Clip Art)

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

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    Laundry Stain Removal Saturday: Easter Brunch Lemon Truffled Pie

    Saturday April 12, 2014

    Easter is just around the corner and we are all looking for make-ahead, easy recipes to share with our family and friends. About Busy Cooks has a step-by-step Easter Brunch menu that you will love. One of the dishes is a Lemon Truffled Pie. Give it a try and if you spill a bit on your apron or shirt, just follow the links to remove the stains.

    Lemon Truffled Pie

  • 1 10-inch Graham Cracker Pie Crust OR Hot Water Pastry, baked and cooled
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • pinch salt
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1-1/3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, if desired

    Make the Graham Cracker Crust or Hot Water Pastry and cool completely. If you purchase a graham cracker crust, get the largest size you can.

    Beat egg yolks in a small bowl until smooth. Combine sugar, cornstarch and flour in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Using a wire whisk, stir in water until smooth. Microwave this mixture on high power for 2 minutes; remove and stir. Microwave for 1-2 minutes longer, stirring after each minute, until mixture is thickened.

    Stir 1/3 cup of cooked mixture into egg yolks in small bowl and blend with wire whisk until smooth. Return egg yolk mixture to remaining mixture in medium bowl and microwave 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 more minutes, stirring with whisk after each minute, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and reaches 160 degrees F. Stir in butter, salt, and lemon juice with wire whisk.

    Transfer 1/2 cup of the cooked lemon filling to a small microwave-safe bowl with the white chocolate chips. Set rest of lemon filling aside. Microwave the chip mixture on low 1-2 minutes or until chips are melted, stirring until smooth.

    Place cream cheese in medium bowl and add vanilla chip-lemon filling mixture; beat well until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Spoon remaining lemon mixture over the cream cheese layer and spread evenly. Refrigerate 4 hours to set. Top with raspberries, then slice to serve. Serves 8.

    For free nutritional information about this recipe, including calories, visit CalorieCount.

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  • How to Find Space for a Home Laundry Area

    Friday April 11, 2014

    If you have ever had to use a laundromat for any length of time, you know how convenient it is to have a home laundry area. However, you may think that your home or apartment is too small and there is no spot large enough to create a laundry room.

    Take heart, you really don't need an expansive area to create a functional laundry space. Take a look at these suggestions on how to carve out a laundry room. By giving up a little square footage, you can then do laundry at your own convenience. Isn't that worth it? (Photo: Getty Images/The Image Bank)

    Best and Worst Floors For Your Laundry Room

    Thursday April 10, 2014

    In a previous career, I learned and took to heart the adage: "If it has a mouth, it bites". Here's one from my experience as a laundry expert: "If you have a room with plumbing, there will be leaks". And, as we all know, water flows to the lowest point...the floor. That's why the flooring choice for your laundry room is so important.

    Whether you are remodeling your laundry room or building a new space, you know that it will get lots of wear and tear. That's why the flooring selection is so critical. Take a look at the best and worst flooring choices for your laundry room. (Photo: bhg.com)

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