Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Simple "Tupperware" Storage Solutions

Someone on MoxieClean asked about solutions for cluttered Tupperware storage, which I think is a problem for all of us. Here was my response, in which I describe how I have come to solve this problem in my own kitchen:

Well I too can feel your pain. Long have I suffered with disheveled cabinets and/or overflowing Tupperware drawers. But no more. I finally had to simply make the choice and let everything I had go. Just let it go. My simple solution had been in front of me the whole time, with my dear friend Ina (who lives on TV). At Smart n' Final (or the Cash n' Carry for the Oregonians) they sell cylindrical, plastic deli containers. They have varying grades of thickness, and I prefer their thickest (with the brand name "Newspring") I purchase the 8oz, 16oz, and 32oz sizes, and stack them all in our deepest drawer (or cabinet). They are very inexpensive and come in quantity (it might be a 15 dollar investment to start) and best of all, they all use the EXACT SAME LID. So I have four neat and orderly stacks (small, medium, large, and lids). No more searching or fumbling. No muss. No fuss. The good news too, is that because they are so inexpensive, I don't give a second thought to sending left overs home with friends in them, or running the risk of accidentally leaving them somewhere. I use them in the fridge and the freezer, and they are dishwasher safe, and can be used again and again and again. They have been a godsend for me and my cabinets. And hey, if it is good enough for Ina, it is good enough for me. =)

For those of you who asked for it, here is a picture of our "Tupperware" (and kitchen towel) drawer. Hope this helps! =)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pups, Pals, and Peonies

Look who made a friend

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kitchen Cabinets: The continuing saga

My MoxieClean kitchen spring cleaning marches on... Here are some more of my cabinets that I was able to get around to today. Luckily the sheer mortification that I feel in presenting the before shots to you has been momentarily tempered by my pride in having been able to redo all of them...so I am putting my shame aside for a moment to bask in my own cleaning glory. While our home may be a clutter free, "sparkling showroom" (as some have called it), just behind our cabinet doors was our dirty little, shamefully cluttered secret.

I forgot to take a before picture of this one, needless to say it was much worse than this.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring cleaning, Moxie Style

With a little encouragement from MoxieClean, spring cleaning is well underway here at my house. Yesterday's mission was cleaning out the dreaded over stocked, shamefully unorganized kitchen cabinets. I took everything out, scrubbed the cabinets down, disinfected, weeded out some unused items, consolidated packaging, found some more logical homes for some things, organized everything, and put it all back in. Fwew! It feels so much better. I was only able to get to all of our upper cabinets yesterday and hope to tackle all of the bottom cabinets soon as well.

This photo begs the question, does one really need a coffee pot, French press, and a stove top espresso maker? Really? Apparently, in our kitchen, the answer, for some reason, is yes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mondays with MoxieClean

My clean freak friend has started a new cleaning blog, and today's challenge for me was to work little by little towards cleaning out our pantry (which I have recently been complaining about). So begrudgingly, I decided to clear off and reorganize two of the seven shelves, thinking that it would be my week long project. After doing so, however, I felt so motivated and inspired that I just went ahead and redid the whole damn thing. Hooray! Thank you MoxieClean!

My shameful pantry before

Nice and organized!

Join the MoxieClean revolution today!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thai Style Mango and Sticky Rice

1 cup short grain "sticky" rice
1 can coconut milk
6 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, bring coconut milk to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add the sugar, salt, and nutmeg, and continue simmering 3-5 minutes until thickened. When the rice is cooked, add 3/4 cup of the coconut mixture, stir to combine, and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve mango on top of the warm rice, spoon over the coconut sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Get 'Cho Clean On

My perfect, modern music mix to clean your house to.
It'll make you feel so dirty, you'll just have to clean!
Is this a gay dance party in here?
Nope. . . just cleaning day.

Get 'Cho Clean On

Come over to the dark side, you know you want to. . .

Friday, May 8, 2009

"I cook like Betty Crocker, and I look like. . ."

I started off the morning yesterday with my usual household tasks and by cutting lilac from our tree in the back yard. They are just so beautiful, and so fragrant that I simply cannot resist hacking the yard to bits and filling the house with them.

A little while later, Gabrielle called from her work asking if I would be able to throw together a business meeting dinner for twenty five people by 4:30pm. I agreed, somewhat begrudgingly, and we came up with a simple menu, and I ran to the store and got cooking. I usually ask for at least 24 hours advanced notice for any order, so was a little concerned about the time crunch. But I put my mind to the task and in under five hours I received the order, shopped at two stores for the ingredients, mixed up and baked off three dozen chocolate chip cookies, sliced up a couple of loaves of bakery French bread and put some whipped butter in a large white ramekin, made and assembled three large salads, packaged everything up, did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, and delivered it all to her work. Just like freakin' Donna Reed! (Pats self on back)

Grilled Chicken Caesar
grilled chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, shredded Parmesan cheese, and croutons with a creamy homemade Caesar dressing
Greek Salad

tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, raisins, feta cheese, with a tangy red wine vinaigrette
Pasta Pesto and Peas
farfalle and rotini pasta, pine nuts, peas, Parmesan cheese, in a creamy lemony basil pesto dressing

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Easy Homemade Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg
3 cups of one or more of the dried fruit(s) of you choice (raisins, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, figs, strawberries, apricots, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, combine everything but the dried fruit, and mix until evenly coated. Spread out onto a half sheet pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until evenly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool, stirring occasionally. Add dried fruit, and enjoy.

Stored in an airtight container at room temperature the granola will last for up to 3 months.

Great on its own, as cereal, or over yogurt or ice cream. Or try pouring steamed (or scalded) milk over a bowl of the granola, for a delicious, satisfying hot breakfast.

Makes 12 cups.

Happy eating!