Hello again friends! Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Happy Easter and merriment wishes to any other holiday and celebration that I may have missed. 2013 started with many changes and many firsts like Lua’s first day of school, moving into a new flat, and starting to train for a marathon. As the dust has settled, there are more gluten and dairy-free recipes and updates on our lives in London to share with you.

First Day of School

After being away for one month on our trip home in December, we returned to a flat that demanded scrubbing attention (somehow an avocado was left on the kitchen table, for 1 month rotting away, and some mysterious vegetable was left in the garbage can even though I could have sworn we took out every piece of rottable parcel).

After all of the general cleaning and airing-out was completed I decided to venture into the kitchen and take on the grease-filled oven. This is my greatest kitchen confession, I have never cleaned an oven! But this year, 2013, was the year I was going to start “grease-free.” A clean oven seemed necessary, it helped concretize the need for a fresh start to a year I knew would begin with a few unknowns and shifts.
Dirty Oven

The toxic chemical cleaners would not do, gross. The magical potion I used to de-grease this oven contained only 2 ingredients, which I am sure you have in your kitchen right now, baking soda and water.
Baking Soda paste
I used 1/2 cup of baking soda and added enough water to make a thickish paste, then smeared it all over the oven. After letting it sit for 30 minutes, I scrubbed with a wool pad and transformed the oven into a sparkling gem.

Clean Oven

This sparkling oven created an inviting welcome to a new year of cooking. Never underestimate the power of a few small changes. It is good to be back!