Tips & Tricks: Poblano Chile Soup

Categories: Oxi Fresh - Just for Fun

It’s time for this month’s top recipe and have we got a tasty one for you: Poblano Chile Soup. This is a great meal to start off fall with – savory, rich, and with a nice heat.

Thanks to M.S. Miliken, S. Feniger, and Foodnetwork.com for the great recipe.

What You’ll Need
6 Poblano Chiles
8 Cups of Corn
2 Large Onions
6 Garlic Cloves
2 Quarts of Milk
4 Tablespoons of Butter (Unsalted)
2 Bay Leaves
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1 Bunch of Chives
2 Tablespoons of Cumin Seeds
2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons of Salt

Let’s Get Started
Step 1 – Roast the Chiles
The first thing you need to do is roast your chiles, which you can do over a gas flame or in a broiler (or over the open flame of a barbecue if you prefer). As you roast the chiles, carefully rotate them so they gets charred evenly.

Once you’ve roasted the chiles, put them in a large plastic bag and seal it. Let the peppers sit for about 15 minutes or until they’ve cooled down. Next, peel the poblanos; you can easily pull the skin off by hand. If necessary, quickly dip the peppers in cold water to remove any black flecks. Don’t rinse the peppers, though, or you’ll quite literally wash away the flavor.

Finally, cut off the stems, remove any veins, scoop out the seeds, and dice the chiles. Ta-da! First step done.

Step 2 – Other Prep Work
First, dice the two large onions and set them aside. Make sure you have tissues.

Second, mince the garlic and set it aside as well – if you’re not a garlic fan, you can reduce the recipe from 6 to 4 cloves.

Third, slice the chives. You want these nice and thin and preferably cut on a diagonal, since they’ll be serving as the garnish.

Step 3 – Get (Nearly) Simmering
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, bay leaves, cumin seeds, and rosemary – if you don’t have a fresh sprig, you can use a 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary. Stir the ingredients together and, over a low heat, bring this all to just below a simmer.

After this, turn off the heat, set the pan aside, and let this mixture infuse for 20 minutes.

Step 4 – Saucepan v. Stockpot
Next, break out your favorite stockpot or large saucepan and put it over a medium heat. Add in the butter, let it warm up, and then add in the onions and salt. Cook the onions until they’re a lovely golden brown, which should take about 15-20 minutes.

Once the onions are looking grand, add in the ground cumin and minced garlic. Let this cook for 5 more minutes – make sure you stir frequently. Finally, add in the chiles and corn, bring the heat down to a low setting, and cook for five more minutes. Like before, make sure you keep stirring.

Step 5 – A Bit of a Strain
Grab a fine strainer and strain the milk into the corn/chile combo. Mix this together and set it all to simmer – very slowly, mind you – for 15 minutes.

Step 6 – It’s Quite a Process
Break out the food processor, pour in about a third of the soup, and puree it. Pour this now-smooth soup back into the pot and mix it with the non-pureed chiles and corn.

Step 7 – Eat Up!
Finally – time to eat. Pour out the soup, add the chives as garnish, maybe add a small dollop of sour cream, and enjoy!

Thanks again to M.S. Miliken,  S. Feniger, and Foodnetwork.com for the great recipe. Be sure to check out their original recipe and look at their other great meal ideas.

Green Living: Back to School Tips

Categories: Green Tips

Soon the buses will be rolling up, the backpacks will be slung over shoulders, and the kids will be back in school.

Of course, before they head off you’ve got to run the Back-to-School gauntlet. Is it possible to stay green while dealing with demands for school supplies and new clothes? It sure is and Oxi Fresh has the tips to help you out!

Lunch: It’s in the Bag
Let’s start with an easy one: brown bags are big no-no if you want to stay green. Even if the bags end up recycled – and there’s no guarantee with energetic kids – there’s a greener choice to be had in reusable lunch bags and boxes.

Let your kids pick their own bag to add a bit of fun (and to help reduce the chance of them “forgetting” their bag at school)!

Surplus Supplies
Ten folders for a dollar! 24-Pack of Pens for 99¢! Back-to-School sales can be pretty tempting, but don’t go on a shopping spree just yet.

Before you buy, check to see what you have at home. Most of us have more school supplies stocked up than we realize and a few minutes of running inventory can help save you money and keep you from creating pointless waste.

It’s Cool to Pool
Kids have got to get to school somehow, but these days there are too many parents driving their kids. It’s convenient, of course, but it makes for a lot of extra pollution.

Thankfully, there are tons of ways to cut down on this problem. First off, if your school offers a bus, that’s always a great choice. A second option is set up a carpool with any nearby neighbors whose kids also go to the school.

If you live within biking or walking distance of the school, you could also set up a Walk/Bikepool. That’s when an adult chaperone or two will go through their neighborhood, gather up the kids, and lead them to school. It’s a great way to cut down on pollution and get some exercise.

Time to Teach
The most powerful way to make your kid’s back-to-school adventure green has nothing to do with recycling or buying eco-friendly products. The best thing you can do is talk to your children about why it’s important to be green.

Share with them why you care about the environment, teach them how waste and pollution hurts everyone, and help them learn how to be green in their own lives. By doing this, you’ll be helping raise the next generations of eco-conscious citizens who can help keep our environment healthy.

Thanks to Eric Novak of Envirodad.com, the Huffington Post, Lindsey William of Earth911.com, and the EarthShare.com team for the great information. Check out their websites for more tips on how to keep going back to school green.

The Spotlight: Spilled Milk (The Spot and the Smell!)

Categories: Carpet Cleaning Tips

We all know the saying about milk and what you shouldn’t do if it gets spilled. To be fair, it can be hard not to cry when a glass of milk or a big bowl of cereal comes tumbling down onto your clean carpets. We won’t judge you if you shed a tear or two.

When it comes to milk, though, you’ve got to act fast. If you’re going to have a little sob, do some multitasking and use this tip to tackle the stain before it starts to stink. (Don’t worry if the spot already smells, we’ve got a tip for that too).

What You’ll Need
Liquid Dishwashing Soap
Baking Soda
White Vinegar
Clean Towels
Large Bowl
Spray Bottle

Let’s Get Started
- Step 1 -
As soon as you spot the spill, blot up as much of the milk as you can. Don’t scrub the spot or you’ll just spread the milk around.

- Step 2 -
In the bowl, mix one tablespoon of the dishwashing soap with two cups of cold water.* Wet a towel in the solution and wring it until it’s damp.

- Step 3 -
Blot at the spot with the towel. Keep working at it, rinsing the towel out as needed, until no more milk is coming up.

- Step 4 -
Spritz the area with cold water and blot dry. Repeat this step until all of the soapy residue is gone.

If the milk has left an unpleasant odor (or you’re just being careful), there are two different ways you can treat the smell.

- Step 5A -
Your first option is to liberally apply baking soda to the area and work it into the carpet by hand.* Let it sit in the carpet for a full day and then vacuum it up.

- Step 5B -
Your second option is to spray the area with distilled white vinegar and to let it sit in the carpet for several hours.* After letting it dwell, spritz the area with water and blot it dry. Once the carpet dries, both the smell of the sour milk and the vinegar should be gone.

Hopefully the spot and smell are all gone and your carpets look great. If you had some trouble tackling the spot or are dealing with a different sort of stubborn stain, remember that Oxi Fresh specializes in both stain and odor removal. Call us today or use our Online Scheduler to book a deep-cleaning, odor-fighting appointment.

Thanks to Nannette Richford of eHow.com, the team at HowToCleanStuff.net, and Taylor at Stain-Removal-101.com for the great information. Check out their websites to learn more!

*Please first test any cleaning methods and solutions on a small, inconspicuous spot on your carpet to ensure they won’t cause any damage. This is especially important if you have a carpet made of a natural fiber like wool.

Tips & Tricks: Lovely Lemon Bars

Categories: Oxi Fresh - Just for Fun

It’s time for something sweet with a wonderful touch of tanginess – lemon bars with a shortbread base! This desert from Margaret Peterson at TasteofHome.com is perfect for when you’re feeling chocolated-out. This recipe makes about three dozen bars, so it’s great for parties!

What You’ll Need
Shortbread Base
- 1 1/2 Cups of Flour (All-Purpose)
- 3/4 Cup of Butter (Cubed, Cold)
- 1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tsp. of Freshly Grated Orange Peel
- 1 Tsp. of Freshly Grated Lemon Peel

Lemon Filling
- 2 Cups of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Flour (All Purpose)
- 1 Tsp. Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tsp. of Freshly Grated Orange Peel
- 2 Tsp. of Freshly Grated Lemon Peel

Let’s Get Cooking!
- Step 1 -
We’re going to start by preparing the Shortbread Base. Break out the food processor and combine your grated orange and lemon peel with the flour and powdered sugar.

- Step 2 -
Once that’s blended, add in the cubed butter and run the processor until you have a nice ball of shortbread dough.

- Step 3 -
Set the oven to 350 F and grease a baking pan (13 inches by 9 inches). Work the dough into the bottom of the pan and let it bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

- Step 4 -
Combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, lemon juice, and the ground peels in a bowl.

- Step 5 -
Once the Shortbread Base is done, pop it out of the oven and pour the Lemon Filling over it. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.

- Step 6 -
And now back into the oven with it! Bake the Lemon Bars for 7 to 9 more minutes. After baking, let the bars cool and then refrigerate them over night. Don’t cut the bars until just before serving and – if you want – sprinkle on some extra powdered sugar.

Thanks again to Margaret and TasteofHome.com. Go and check out more of their awesome recipes!

Let’s Limbo – Oxi Fresh Named Top Low Cost Franchise!

Categories: Oxi Fresh Achievements, Oxi Fresh News

Every year, Entrepreneur Magazine conducts a massive study of hundreds of franchise companies, examining reams of data in order to create the Franchise 500, a series of reports valued by entrepreneurs everywhere.

One of those reports is the list of Top Low Cost Franchises. These are franchise systems who not only make the list of top businesses, but manage to do so with extremely reasonable start-up fees. Continue Reading post – Let’s Limbo – Oxi Fresh Named Top Low Cost Franchise!

Chris Souk – Veteran, Entrepreneur, and Oxi Fresh Franchisee

Categories: Oxi Fresh Franchise, Oxi Fresh News, The Oxi Fresh Team

What does the Army Reserve, luxury yachts, and the banking industry have in common? Chris Souk -
an Oxi Fresh franchisee who was recently featured on the National Veteran-Owned Business Association’s website.

In the article, “Oxi Fresh Franchisee Makes a Clean Start,” Chris talks about how he went from serving in the Reserve from 1991 to 1996 to doing work on the construction of luxury yachts before joining the financial services industry for over ten years. During these different careers, Chris realized something -  he didn’t want to work for someone else anymore.

“I thought,” Chris told NVOBA, “we all have to earn our living in one way or another, so why not be my own boss?” That entrepreneurial spirit drove him to look at new opportunities; as it happened, his brother had already purchased a franchise with Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning.

“I was very impressed, particularly with the concept’s green, oxygen powers carpet cleaning system.” After some research, Chris decided to join with Oxi Fresh in 2009. Since then, he’s put his business know-how to great use and become of the systems most successful locations.

One reason behind his success, according to Chris, is that there’s a strong alignment between franchising and the military. “The principles veterans learn in the military make them ideal franchisees. Just like the military, franchisees are given systems and best practices to follow in order to maximize success.”

To read more about this great interview with Chris Souk, click here. If you want to schedule a cleaning, just visit www.oxifresh.com or call us at 1-877-OXI-FRESH. If you’re interested in opening your own franchise, visit us at www.oxifreshfranchise.com or click here to read about our partnership with VetFran.

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