Mexican Fiesta

in Twilight Obsession

I have a cleaning question!


I’ve been cooking white rice for James (since his tummy still hurts from Monday’s near-death experience) and I burned the rice to the bottom of the pot.  I cannot get that black stuff off as hard as I scrub!  I let it soak for 48 hours, too!   Any suggestions?  It’s my favorite oatmeal pot.  🙁


Lunch was a Mexican fiesta!


This healthy Mexican meal featured black beans and corn, as well as cous cous and steamed spinach:


Plus, crackers and salsa.  Ole!


You May Now Squeal like a Little Girl


The New Moon soundtrack is being released on October 20, and I’m practically counting down the days.   The original Twilight CD is excellent, and I have no doubt the new soundtrack will be just as awesome.


The lead single, Death Cab for Cutie’s Meet Me on the Equinox, was just released… as well as the accompanying music video… which features NEW FOOTAGE.  You may now squeal like a little girl.  🙂


Good song, too! 


PS – I realize Kristen Stewart’s (Bella’s) hair is probably not entirely hers (wig? extensions?) but I seriously wish my hair looked like that!  Also, I wish my life involved walking around fields with glittery vampires and speeding through Italy in my yellow Porsche 911 Turbo.



  • Emily @ My Chubby Confessions October 8, 2009, 2:00 pm

    I feel like a 13 year old again waiting for Nsync to release their new single when it comes to Twilight!! I just bought my movie ticket!! I’m uber thrilled!!!

    The only thing that I can think to use to get the burned rice is a brillo pad. Let the pot soak in hot water for a few minutes and once it has cooled down a bit scrub the pot while the water is still in there.

    Your lunch looks simple yet amazing! =]

  • Jennifer October 8, 2009, 2:01 pm

    I second the brillo pad advice. That stinks!! I can’t wait for the new Twilight movie!!!!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat October 8, 2009, 2:05 pm

    Sorry, I don’t know jack about cleaning pots, haha. Poor James’ tummy, I hope he keeps feeling better. He sure is a cutie 🙂

  • Diana October 8, 2009, 2:05 pm

    That lunch looks awesome. 🙂

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 8, 2009, 2:07 pm

    I had black beans and corn for lunch, too! I use a product called Simple Green…it takes EVERYTHING off! I can find it at Sam’s club…seriously, stuff that has soaked for days – this will take it off.

  • Paula October 8, 2009, 2:07 pm

    Use Barkeepers Friend on your pan. That stuff is miraculous.

  • Matt October 8, 2009, 2:08 pm

    Try one of those brushes with the bristles on it. I use those all the time when I burn something.

  • Christina October 8, 2009, 2:09 pm

    I did the same thing to one of my favorite cast iron pots… Some searching around the internet at the time revealed that a.) you should try making a thick paste of baking soda and water, scrubbing it into the crusted on mess, and letting it sit overnight, or b.) put a few teaspoons of salt and a couple inches of water into the pot, and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop for a few minutes. One of those two things should help loosen up all the gunk!

  • Sarah October 8, 2009, 2:09 pm

    If the Brillo pad doesn’t work, I’ve seen on either food network or the History channel that cleaning pots with Coca Cola works! Just put some coke in the pan (enough to cover the bottom), bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes, then clean like normal!

  • Brandy October 8, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Brillo Pads or Barkeepers friend!

    I believe in New Moon (and Twilight) she has extensions. They are gorgeous. I love her hair!

  • Megan October 8, 2009, 2:11 pm

    1) good job on the veggies! tons of fun combos in your lunch 🙂
    2) i JUST watched twilight for the first time, liked it a lot, of course!

  • Sarah Jayne October 8, 2009, 2:11 pm

    AWWW look at James’ face! “I’m sorry Mom, you burnt your pan over ME”. ADORABLE.

    I second Barkeepers Friend. Amazing. But if you don’t have it/can’t get it try this:

    1) Fill the pot with water, add a squirt of dishwashing soap and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, then allow to soak for an hour.
    2) Scrub the pot again.
    3) If any of the burnt gunk remains, cover the pot bottom with a thick paste of baking soda and water and sit overnight. Then add a couple TBSP of white vinegar and water, bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, sit overnight again & scrub!

    Good luck!

  • K October 8, 2009, 2:11 pm

    I second the baking soda. Although I usually boil it in a tiny bit of water in the pot. Still requires some elbow grease but usually works to get rid of the burnt bits.

  • Katie October 8, 2009, 2:13 pm

    A really random solution…fill it with hot water, drop a dryer sheet in it and let it soak for as long as it needs to help lift the stuff off the bottom. Totally wacky, but it works!

  • Freckles October 8, 2009, 2:13 pm

    I would recommend to fill your pot with hot water and soak dishwasher detergent (I like using little tablet ones) in, leave it for a couple hours. It worked great when I burnt my favorite pot a couple months ago 🙂 I hope it helps.

  • Sheri October 8, 2009, 2:15 pm

    I would try steel wool (brilo pad) and the coke does sound like a good idea too! That stuff will eat through anything!

  • Jamie October 8, 2009, 2:16 pm

    I second the Barkeeper’s Friend. That stuff works miracles!

    I love Death Cab and love that they did a song for New Moon!

  • ANdrea October 8, 2009, 2:17 pm

    where would you find bar keepers friend??

  • jen trinque October 8, 2009, 2:17 pm

    You’ve already gotten the advice I was going to give: Brillo Pad! I repeatedly burn beans in the bottom of my pans, and that does the trick!

  • Katie October 8, 2009, 2:17 pm
  • brooke October 8, 2009, 2:18 pm

    Definitely bar keepers friend. or bon ami. should be able to find it with brillo pads/cleaning stuff in grocery store. i use it on my pots and in my sink.

  • Tracey@tropicalhappiness October 8, 2009, 2:19 pm

    Looks like it has been said, but try Baking Soda first. if that doesn’t work, BAR KEEPERS FRIEND is absolutely worth the money. My mom gave me one of her old bottles that only had a bit in it, and I was able to get a stain out of our stainless steel sink that had been there for about a year. Seriously amazing.

  • Lindsey @ Sound Eats October 8, 2009, 2:21 pm

    Ditto everything about your P.S.

    On the scorched pot – I’ve done this many times and usu. I let Ross take care of it. 🙂 Sometimes baking soda and an acid (lemon juice, vinegar) will work to loosen it up. Something Ross swears by is WD40 – none of my pans are still scorched, so it must work pretty well!

  • brandi October 8, 2009, 2:23 pm

    I was going to say Barkeeper’s too – it does everything!

    Poor James 🙁

    I love your Twilight obsession – I still haven’t read the books OR seen the first movie!

  • Erica October 8, 2009, 2:23 pm

    So squealllllllllllling

    Great lunchy

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance October 8, 2009, 2:24 pm

    Yummy, Mexican!!! My favorite! Usually soaking works for me so I am unsure??? Hmmmm…….try boiling it, my mother in law has done that before from what I remember. =O

    =) Laura @ Finding A Healthy Balance (after a 100 POUND weight loss)

  • Ana October 8, 2009, 2:29 pm

    i like SOS pads.

  • amyslost October 8, 2009, 2:30 pm

    I find that vinegar practically cleans and does EVERYTHING. soak that sucker for a while in vinegar. hopefully it works!!

  • mayct October 8, 2009, 2:34 pm

    definitely try baking soda and distilled white vinegar

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) October 8, 2009, 2:38 pm

    Definitely try the Barkeepers Friend or Bon Ami. You can find it in the regular grocery store. Works great. You may need some Brillo with it, too!

    Love your lunch – OLE!

  • Mellissa October 8, 2009, 2:41 pm

    Try boiling some water in there to loosen the grit, and then scrub scrub scrub. Bar Keepers friend really does work!

  • Jessica October 8, 2009, 2:46 pm

    works like a charm just soak it and it will come out.

  • BethT @ Pretty By The Bay October 8, 2009, 2:48 pm

    I definitely agree with heating the pot, then throwing some water in there to “deglaze” the gunk. Use a heatproof spatula or similar to scrape the gunk out.

  • Morgan October 8, 2009, 2:52 pm

    Boiling or Bar Keeper’s friend work like a charm! So happy to know I’m not the only one so excited for New Moon!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 8, 2009, 2:53 pm

    The cleaning section of Bed Bath and Beyond has some awesome stuff for all that.

    Poor James. Our little Leo had to eat rice and boiled beef for a week when his tummy was hurt. I feel for you little guy 🙂

  • Rebecca October 8, 2009, 2:54 pm

    SOS pads!!! They work like a charm!

    My future sister in law actually grew up with one of the members of Death Cab For Cutie. They were friends in high school! I’ve never really listened to them but I think it’s pretty cool.

  • Samantha October 8, 2009, 2:55 pm

    If you cover the bottom of the pot with salt and then cut a lemon in half and use the lemon as the scrubber this usually works. I don’t know why, but the reaction of the acidic lemon with the salt usually gets stuff like that clean. Good luck!

  • Alice October 8, 2009, 3:03 pm

    Make a paste with baking soda and water, let it sit for some hours and the clear with vinegar! works perfectly!

  • Erin October 8, 2009, 3:10 pm

    I’m not much of a Twilight fan (sorry!) but oooh I do love Death Cab! Ben Gibbard totally makes me swoon!

  • angieinatlanta October 8, 2009, 3:11 pm

    Your lunch looks sooooo good! I’m in a Mexican mood for sure!

    Baking soda + vinegar + lots of scrubbing has worked for me in the past.

  • Kim October 8, 2009, 3:22 pm

    Put hot water and a dryer sheet in to soak. Leave it over night. If some is still stuck the next morning, try using a new dryer sheet as your washcloth to try to scrub it off. It’s worked for me with cooked on oil!

  • Rachel October 8, 2009, 3:22 pm

    if you boil 1/4 cup of baking soda in the pot, then let it sit over night it should scrub off tomorrow

  • Carrie H October 8, 2009, 3:34 pm

    Ohhh, I love cous cous and spinach. In fact, I’ve been adding the leftover tofu marinade I learned from you (maple syrup, pepper, but I’ve also started adding a little red wine vinegar) to the cooking water to serve the cous cous and spinach as a complimentary side to the tofu … delish! If only my husband hadn’t eaten all our couscous …

    Oh, and no cleaning tips, but I’m gonna read through the comments to get some!

  • Nellie October 8, 2009, 3:35 pm

    my mom SWEARS by “Barkeeper’s Friend” ( products. definitely let the product sit in the pan for a while (maybe even overnight), but it should come out! my mom uses it all the time and she’s had her pots and pans over 30 years!!!

    two of my very favorite things: death cab + twilight. i definitely squealed!

  • Runningwriter October 8, 2009, 3:37 pm

    Sounds like you have heaps of suggestions you can use, but I recall reading somewhere that boiling/simmering tomatoes in the pot removes the burnt bits because of the acid. If it doesn’t work at least you’ve got pasta sauce 🙂

  • lisa October 8, 2009, 3:37 pm

    tried & true method–sprinkle about 1/4 c. of baking soda into the pot while it fills with hot hot water and drizzle in your dish soap. allow to soak overnight and you will be able to just use a touch of elbow grease in the morning to remove your burnt on disaster. EASILY SCRUBS OFF, i promise. good luck!

  • Julie October 8, 2009, 3:43 pm

    Aw, poor James looks so sad in that picture 🙁

  • Cara October 8, 2009, 3:43 pm

    Put 2 inches of hot water in the pot, and then pour some Cascade (dishwasher detergent), and put it on low on the stove for a couple of hours… works everytime!

  • Gracie October 8, 2009, 4:02 pm

    Did you know that you can pre-order New Moon tickets on I bought a pair of tickets about 3 weeks ago for opening day 🙂 Just thought I’d run that by you, as a fellow twilight fan!

  • Amandamoo October 8, 2009, 4:04 pm She’s brilliant and she used coca-cola to clean a pan just like that! Then, she did a report on what cola does to you as it enters your body… then she got a nasty letter from coca-cola… it’s an interesting ready. Check her out!

  • RhodeyGirl October 8, 2009, 4:09 pm

    I got an email from iTunes today asking if I wanted to pre-order the new twilight soundtrack HA!

  • Laura October 8, 2009, 4:16 pm

    Try throwing a cup of vinegar in the pan and boil for five minutes. That will loosen it. If it doesn’t take it off completely, then yes, Barkeeper’s Friend is your friend. That stuff rocks, and that’s not a non-stick pan, so you can use it safely!

  • Katie October 8, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Try covering the bottom with any type of canned tomatoes and heat the pan on the stove…something about the acidity of the tomatoes mixed with the heat takes it right off. My mom swears by this rule!

  • Lauren October 8, 2009, 4:28 pm

    Love Death Cab! I’ll have to check out this new song…

    I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about Twilight/New Moon 🙁 except the basic premise of the books. I can’t wait for my next vacation, because I think the books would make for perfect beach reading!

  • Johanna B October 8, 2009, 4:41 pm

    Cover the bottom of the pot with dishwasher detergent. Let it stand for 24 hours and then scrub. Worked for me.

  • hemp jogger October 8, 2009, 4:49 pm

    hey caitlin,
    hope this isnt too late, but my mom sprinkles laundry detergent (the powdery kind) into the pot, adds hot water, and lets it soak for awhile (1-2hrs ish?), then cleans as you normally would. hope it helps!

  • greenbean October 8, 2009, 5:04 pm

    Dawn’s Power Scrub

  • Courtney October 8, 2009, 5:30 pm

    I hope your pup is getting better!!! Does he get that really sad look in his eye? When my dogs do that KILLS me!!

    I love your lunch fiesta! Mexican flavors are some of my favorites…chips and salsa my ultimate weakness!!

    Adventures in Tri-ing

  • Shannon October 8, 2009, 6:16 pm

    Coat the pot with Easy-Off Oven cleaner. Let it sit for a few hours just like you would if you were cleaning an oven. It comes right off.

  • on the rocks October 8, 2009, 6:35 pm

    umm….hello New Moon footage! I love how I can rely on your food blog for Twilight updates…seriously best combo ever.

  • Jenna October 8, 2009, 6:49 pm

    love your healthy mexican lunch!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing October 8, 2009, 7:10 pm

    ahhh, I LOVE Death Cab. And Postal Service! That voice is to die for :O)

  • Autumn Tao October 8, 2009, 7:19 pm

    I was going to suggest what #12 did… fill it with water, a squirt of soap, and heat it up…it will break up and come off.

  • Jenny October 8, 2009, 7:49 pm

    I LOVE that you post these videos!!! It makes it so easy for me to get my New Moon fix. =)

  • carolyn~ October 8, 2009, 8:05 pm

    This stuff will do it. Make a paste of it…

  • Sara October 8, 2009, 11:50 pm

    While you’ve definitely gotten quite a bit of advice about cleaning the pot, I’m wondering how you make your rice. Do you leave it uncovered and stir? If so, that’s a surefire way to burn the rice.

    My suggestion: always measure 2 parts water per 1 part rice (ie 2 cups water for 1 cup rice). Put the water in the pot first and bring to a boil. Then put the rice in, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover. Steaming the rice always works, whether you’re making 1 cup or 12 (which I had to do last week!) I hope this helps!!

    • Caitlin October 9, 2009, 5:04 am

      oh yea i totally just boil the water and rice. LOL

  • Nicole October 9, 2009, 2:39 am

    I love Death Cab and Twilight. Can’t wait for New Moon. I haven’t read any of the books though I’m not sure why. Kristen Stewart is so adorable. She was great in Adventureland which co-starred Ryan Reynolds and Jesse Eisenberg. It was one of my favorite movies of the year.

  • Juani October 9, 2009, 5:53 am

    Take some water and dishwashing liquid,put it in the burned pot,and bring it to a boil on the stove.Once the soapy water gets hot,it might loosen the burnt parts.

  • Susan October 9, 2009, 6:51 am

    Ohmygosh, I LOVE Death cab for Cutie!! That’s so exciting!! Awesome song. Can’t wait for the soundtrack now 🙂

  • Barb Kuntz October 9, 2009, 7:41 am

    take a used dryer sheet & put it in the pot with hot water. Let it soak awhile & everything will wipe clean. It really works!!!

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale October 9, 2009, 2:00 pm

    Try putting a some water in and some baking soda, then simmer the crap out of it… the black bits will slowly remove themselves… scrub it with a brush as it bubbles too to help things along…

  • Rice cooking Pot October 9, 2009, 4:25 pm

    Regarding your pot, just use the pot several times more. It will be cleaned very slowly though. By the way, using your current pot will not hurt you, so do not worry. By the way, I am the king of rice cook so you can trust me.

  • Jesse October 9, 2009, 6:51 pm

    hi 🙂
    have you tried soaking it in very hot water with a bounce (or generic brand bounce type product) dryer sheet? it works wonders!
    hope that helps!

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