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LittleMrsOrganized

I'm just a girl with a labelmaker

Category Archives: Kitchen

Today I have a kitchen cabinet organization to share…done with only what was already in this kitchen! So check out the before pics, where everything is just sort of shoved into the cabinets, not really making everything accessible…

I can’t believe how chaotic that food cabinet is!…okay okay, those are my cabinets…guilty. We just kept stuffing food into that cabinet and I kept thinking I really need to figure out something better for our food. So last week I put some of my juice fast energy to use! My plan was to use this little diagram to sort of map out where things might go, saving me the trouble of pulling everything out and making a disaster of the kitchen.

Don't laugh, I'm not very good with scale...

Well, that didn’t work out and I ended up making a disaster of the kitchen anyway. The goal was just to organize the food cabinet…which meant dedicating another cabinet to food…which turned into moving everything around! Our kitchen is now much more functional and seems to have more space! Also I got a chance to move all of the glass casserole dishes from the top shelf to the bottom cabinets (that was just an accident waiting to happen!). I have a few quick and easy tips when it comes to keeping your kitchen cabinets organized…

  • Use a small basket for packets such as taco seasoning, kool-aid etc.
  • Nuts and seeds store well in labeled jars (such as mason or reused glass jars)
  • Designate an area, basket or drawer to snacks you can grab on the go
  • Keep like items together: baking goods, cereals, breads, pastas, canned goods
  • Use (or make!!) a tiered shelf for your spices…I happen to have an abundance of size D batteries in little boxes, they make a perfect shelf for the back of my spice cabinet
  • Keeps lids with the dishes/ containers they belong to
  • Hang often used items on a rail and…
  • Store flour and sugars in large glass jars, this shelf keeps them out of our way and gives a nice place to tuck the trash can and dog bowls
  • Dish soap pours easily out of an oil dispenser, plus it looks prettier than the plastic bottle πŸ˜‰
  • A counter top spice rack is great for spices you use often, at the end of every summer I dry any herbs I have and fill the jars!

An old wooden crate helps to keep cleaning products corralled under the sink

Any other handy kitchen tips? Do you already do some of these things? Or plan on trying a few out? Share and comment on the right…

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Finally pulled out the ol pasta machine!

After making ricotta cheese from this recipe here (YUM!) I was instantly motivated to make some sort of pasta to stuff it into…ravioli!

They weren’t all beautiful, and the sauce was better than it looked..here’s how it all went down…

MAKING THE PASTA DOUGH…

YOU WILL NEED:

-1Β  3/4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting

-Pinch of salt

-2 eggs, lightly beaten

WHAT TO DO:

-Measure and sift flour and salt onto the counter, yep…right onto the counter.

-Make a well in the center and pour in eggs…-Using your fingers start to add the flour into the egg, I don’t think there’s really any easy way to do this…just work quickly before the egg runs halfway down your counter!

-Knead for about 10 minutes.

-If your dough is too soft, add more flour. If it’s too firm, add a little water.

-Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, let rest on counter for 15 minutes.

 

MAKING THE RAVIOLI FILLING…

YOU WILL NEED:

-1 portobello mushroom

-1-2 tbsp. olive oil (or butter)

-2 cloves garlic

-1 cup ricotta

-1/2 block of frozen spinachΒ  (A note on the spinach: I would recommend using cooked fresh spinach…although the end result was still very tasty, I think it would have tasted a lot…well, more fresh.)

WHAT TO DO:

-Chop up and saute the portobello in olive oil until they get all juicy…

-Prepare the spinach (thaw or cook depending on which route you went). Then chop it up…

ignore the portobello chunks on the knife πŸ˜‰

-Mix the portobello, spinach and ricotta…

now refrain from eating that with a spoon πŸ˜‰

TIME TO ROLL THE PASTA!

YOU WILL NEED:

-Prepared pasta dough

-A Pasta machine

-Extra flour for sprinkling on counter, pasta and machine to keep everything from sticking

WHAT TO DO:

-Pinch off half or 1/3 of the dough ball (leaving the rest in the plastic so it doesn’t dry out)

-Set the pasta machine to the thickest setting (Mine is a #7, you may want to read directions for yours).

-Basically, feed the dough into the rollers…-Fold it over and run it through on the #7 (or thickest) setting 2-3 more times

-Adjust down one thickness and run the sheet through 2-4 times, and so on until you get to the thinnest setting. This may mean cutting the sheet in half as it gets stretched out, just lay the other half on the floured counter and pick up with that sheet on the thickness level you were on.-Now here’s where I learned a few things…I did some online research on how to go about making the actual ravioli. First I tried this method…Line one sheet with “piles” of the filling, wet the area around the filling (with fingers or pastry brush) so pasta will stick together, then place the other sheet down on top and cut around each “pile” with a pizza cutter. Sounds easy enough right? Well not for me, I lost about half of my ravioli due to rips and oozes –not really lost, we fried ’em in some oil while waiting on the others to cook πŸ™‚ One of my problems in doing it this way was that massively crooked edge on the top piece of rolled out dough, the other was trying to make sure every edge stuck down the right way at the same time…without ripping the sheet!
As I started on the next sheet, Mr.Logical suggested to do one row of filling down the middle, cut each one out and then wet edges and fold over! Genius! -I played with all kinds of different ways to “seal” these up, technically just the water and pressing it together is enough but I was too afraid of all of my hard work ending up as a watery soup when we cooked them. In the end, I prefer to just use a fork to crimp the edges…

-Carefully cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling water, remember that fresh pasta will cook faster.

-When they are done carefully scoop each ravioli out with a large slotted spoon, drain in a colander and place on plate.

-Top with sauce and freshly grated parmesan!

THE SAUCE…

So I wasn’t a huge fan of the sauce I made…basically I made an alfredo based sauce, sort of. I simmered some garlic and butter, and added some cream and parmesan. I’m being vague partly because I didn’t really measure any of it out and partly because I have a better sauce to suggest…

CREAMY MUSHROOM SAUCE

YOU WILL NEED:

-Mushrooms, I used baby portobello, but any will work

-1 cup heavy whipping cream

-Pepper (and salt, if you prefer)

-1-2 tablespoons of flour (if necessary…read below)

WHAT TO DO:

-Chop up and saute the mushrooms until they get all juicy – add minced garlic if you want (deja vu right?)

-Add cream and simmer until sauce begins to thicken.

-If sauce doesn’t thicken to your liking, stir in some flour – 1 tablespoon at a time.

-Add salt and pepper as you wish.

ENJOY!…and have a lovely weekend…

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A few days ago I was looking through cookbooks in the used bookstore portion of our downtown library when I spotted two tattered books in large ziploc bags. Of course being the lover of old stuff that I am, I immediately grab the books and start flipping through them. The first one I picked up, and went home with, was the “Woman’s Exchange Cook Book”, copyright 1901!
Throughout the book I found little recipe pamphlets and papers tucked away, as well a few blank pages filled with hand written recipes…

And a schnazzy ad for “The Modern Gas Range”…I have spent close to an hour just flipping through this book. It’s amazing. Just to think about how much work it was for the simplest tasks, just barely over 100 years ago. How spoiled we have all become by our modern conveniences. This book contains an entire section on Laundry..as in how to make laundry soap, how to wash each type of material, and what to do if your wash basin catches fire! An entire section titled “The Nursery” tells what to do for things like Croup, Whooping Cough or a wound from a rusty nail.

A list for “young housekeepers” that tells what “articles are necessary for the kitchen and laundry” includes things such as one meat saw, one ash bucket, eight dozen clothes pins (that’s a lot of clothes pins!), one coal shovel…and ends with “An ingenious housewife will manage to do with less, but these articles, if they can be purchased at the commencement of housekeeping, will save time and labor, making the preparation of food easier. There are actually “recipes” to remove freckles and what to do for wrinkles (that one involves white wax, honey, and lily bulb juice..?!). I could go on for hours about this book. I can’t help but read through the pages, just thinking about the young women who have read this book. Although I will not be washing my face in whiskey anytime soon, there is definitely some wisdom to be found in this book!

Oh and you better believe I do plan on trying some of these recipes…

 

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It started small. It started by tucking a few recipes into an extra binder I had laying around, and I believe it’s almost time to upgrade to a larger binder.

Recipes can be so hard to organize, some of them are ripped from magazines, some are jotted down on note cards or sticky notes, some are on cute little recipe cards. I like to keep them all on their original cards or paper, so I began gluing the recipes to pieces of card stock paper, three hole punching and adding them to this binder (if you have two-sided recipes you can copy and print the other side, or just write it all on one side). As the collection grew I added tabs and eventually realized I needed to put each page in clear sheet protectors to keep them safe from the hazards of the kitchen.

I had a little fun writing out a few of my favorite recipes πŸ™‚

The tabs that I used have a pocket that I use for recipes I haven’t tried yet…this, I learned, keeps me from having to rip a recipe off of a page because I didn’t like it.

You can make your own recipe bible with just a few basic school supplies…

What you need:

– Binder

– Card Stock paper, any (or many) colors

– Dividers with tabs and pockets

– Clear page protectors

– A glue stick and some recipes!

 

It’s back to school time so all of these things should be very readily available at any store — So get out there and fight through the crowds of children to get that cool binder you always wanted πŸ˜‰

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