The winter may have been pretty mild compared to last year but none the less, it has been long and gloomy. So now that it is March, we need to shed the gloom and bring on the bright and the beautiful! This is the month to clean, de-clutter, and prepare your home for a fresh new season. Here are some great tips to putting that spring into your step!
- If it looks like mold, get rid of it- Start with your carpets and upholstery. Bacteria and dust have been multiplying in your fabrics all winter long so give them a good shampooing. Clean out your refrigerator by throwing out old food and give it a wipe down. Last but not least, look around your windowpanes for fuzzy growth and scrub with an unscented detergent and then dry quickly.
- Get a breath of fresh air- Your windows have been shut and the heater has been on for months. It might be time to change that air filter and always remember to prop open your windows on those exceptionally warm spring afternoons. Fresh air is good for the soul!
- Buy Real Flowers-Bright and beautiful flowers. They can change the look of a room in an instant. Fill your vases with tulips and daffodils inside your house while the bulbs are planted outside in your garden and waiting to sprout.
- Celebrate the Irish-St. Patty’s Day is always a great way to forget about winter. Throw an Irish themed party for family and friends and have a wonderful evening of corned beef, Irish coffees, green beer, and lively music.
- Paint a wall-A hot paint trend this year is to mix pastels with darker neutrals. Give any room in your house a fresh new look by painting an accent wall with a pretty spring color.
- Vacuum out your Fire Alarm-Dust will accumulate inside your smoke detector so if you are up there changing your batteries, you might as well vacuum it too!
- Get your green thumb ready- Before the thaw comes, make sure your gardening tools are in working order by checking rust, missing screws, or blades. Maybe even invest in the new go to gardening/yard work tools.
Chocolate Guinness Cake
- 1 cup Guinness (dark beer)
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup baking cocoa
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Grease a 9-in. spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat beer and butter until butter is melted. Remove from the heat; whisk in sugar and cocoa until blended. Combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla; whisk into beer mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; whisk into beer mixture until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove sides of pan.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and cream; beat until smooth (do not over-beat). Remove cake from the pan and place on a platter or cake stand. Ice top of cake so that it resembles a frothy pint of beer. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.