I love to cook! The downside is always clean up. So far I have been unsuccessful at bribing my family to take over dish duty. It might be because I tend to create a fair amount of chaos in the kitchen.
Baked on, greased up, dried on... you name it and I have had to tackle it in the sink. This battleground usually takes up a good portion of my evening. It goes something like this, scrape, rinse, soak, scrub and repeating soaking and scrubbing as necessary.
This weekend's meal was a true test for the Dawn Power Clean kit I received to test. I was sent the dish soap, a sponge and a timer with instructions for this challenge to let Dawn help me with the scrubbing.
For Cinco de Mayo I went all out. I made queso fresco, refried beans, masa sopes, and caramel for flans. Now that was a lot of dishes. I did my dishes as I worked through the meal (see my tips below) to stay on top of the mess. This time I let the different pots, pans and ramekins soak for 5 minutes in the Dawn Power Clean before even taking a brush or sponge to them.
It worked beautifully! Even on the dried beans, scorched milk stuck to the bottom of my saucepan and hardened caramel. It all came clean and I didn't have to spend extra time and elbow grease in the kitchen.
Our family is already Dawn brand fans. I have been using Dawn dish soap to wash the car as well as love how easy it is on my abused "kitchen-hands". I am very excited about this new product though, because it has a great, light rain scent but all the cleaning muscle that I would associate with a stronger smelling cleaner.
Of course not everyone has time to make everything from scratch, and there are even evenings when I go a much simpler dinner route. So, I wanted to share a few tips for being efficient and saving time in the kitchen.
- Start with Clean Counters - One of my personal rules is to always start work in the kitchen with a clean counter. Before I start chopping or creating I like to clear the counters and give them a good wipe down. This saves me time later by having a large, clean area to put all my ingredients and needed tools to start work on dinner.
- Prep-Ahead - After our weekly grocery shopping trip I try to prep as much of the food as possible ahead of time. Wash and chop veggies, portion out amounts, cook staples ahead of time and when possible, freeze it! Some of my favorite things that can be prepped ahead are dry beans. Just soak them, cook in a crock pot for 4 hours, cool and freeze in 1 or 2 cup increments. Then all I have to do is defrost and my beans are ready. Another great tip is to juice and zest all lemons when you brink them home. Freeze the zest in a bag, and freeze the lemon juice in an ice cube tray. It will always be ready to go when you need it.
- Clean as you Go - It is easy for my sink to start overflowing with dishes if I am cooking a big meal or doing a 'once a month cooking' session. If I rinse or put dishes in to soak as I go, I am more likely to quickly finish kitchen clean up after dinner. Intimidating piles of dirty dishes often get left until the morning and by then the messes take longer to clean up.
- Run the Dishwasher Before Bed - I like to start my day clean and fresh. I can stay on top of the kitchen messes and my chores by always filling and running the dishwasher before bed. Then I can put the dry dishes away first thing in the morning and I am ready to do it all again.
- Get Everyone Involved - The sneakiest tip I have to share is to make the kitchen and dinner preparation part of your family activities. I get my husband involved helping, the kids setting the table and mixing, freeing me up to put it all together. No matter how busy we are, we are working to prepare a meal we can enjoy together as a family. Now, that is a pretty efficient use of time, right?
I hope you enjoy these tips and are able to try out Dawn Power Clean for yourself. I would love to know what you think of this product. Feel free to leave some comment love below.
Connect with Dawn on Facebook and check out the conversation under the #DawnPowerClean hashtag on twitter for more blogger reviews and tips.
As always, happy cooking and enjoy yourself!
*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Dawn blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points, and I received free product for participating. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.