Tag Archive | cooking

Where do you put your stuff?

Constantly I feel the need to clean out or organize this place or that.  Usually, I have very organized storage, it is the ‘homeless’ stuff in my house that causes the clutter and mess.  I don’t even remember when I started but it hardly matters because like painting the Verrazano bridge, as soon as you get to the end you need to start again because where you started is messed up again.

verrazano_bridge-ny

Recently I’ve circled back to the kitchen.  It has been nearly a year since I took out ever piece of silverwear etc and this year I could part with over a dozen kid plastic stuff because only Fiona wants to use it now, so, don’t need plastic service for 12 anymore.  I know, how interesting!  I would never have mentioned it except yesterday a friend acutally asked my opinion on orginizing in her kitchen.  She noticed that I orginize by use of item.  I’m flattered she noticed but except for a few things I don’t know how else one could possibly orginize?  So that is the question; in your kitchen what do you put where?

For us, the kitchen isn’t that big so everything is pretty in reach.  When we made the pantry in the garage I moved all baking pans I didn’t use daily and the majority of the dry goods that are not needed for daily use, and, all the extra/duplicate stuff.  It is normal to put the extra things out there like when I buy a 3pack of ketchup or a double syrup 1 is inside and the other are stored.  The dry goods took some thinking, seriously, I don’t need a cake mix within arms reach so out it went.  In the pantry are; all baking mixes, jello, noodles of all variety, and, canned/jarred everything.  It is easier for me to go out and look at the options then go to the cupboard and dig around wondering if I have spaghetti in there somewhere.  My exception is open packs have a home and I try and use them first.

img_0811

The other organized thing I do is that I put all the things I use together in the same spot.  I put all my baking spices on one shelf, including baking power/soda and all the not baking spices on the other.  My cupcake cups and all decorations are right above them. I have a shelf of all the lunch stuff for the kids so it is an easy selection when I’m packing 3 lunches in under 10min.  Dinner sides are also all together on the same shelf for easy finding.  My last is that I put the tea next to the teapots on a shelf near the coffee and the coffe and sugar together directly above the coffee maker. The worst thing is when the container that something comes in does not fit in the designated space…

Other then those little tricks, I’m not sure how other people organized and I’m interested!

 

ps.  the one thing that nobody has a real spot for; lightbulbs.  We keep ours in the bathroom closet by the towels but I’m open to suggestions.

 

Advertisements

Blue Apron

I’ve been meaning to do a real post on the blue apron and the general meal in a box industry but today I was marching through the computer chores of the day including paying bills and I saw this perfect side by side comparison.

Fullscreen capture 7202016 114636 AM.bmp

When people ask about the cost I’m going to bring this up because that meal at Perkins was for 6 meals and 3 were kids.  Blue Apron is 6 meals (3 meals for 2 people) all suited for people who eat more than the chocolate chips out of pancakes.  Sure you have to cook the Blue Apron but that’s pretty easy.

Back to business, today I have a giant business related list of items to cross off.  On the bright side, everyone happily went to camp today 🙂

Got my safety glasses fix for the year

Status

bathwater – blue, we actually did a ton of hand washing for a big cooking event, however, Fiona did paint herself blue but then used half a bottle of mint soap to get clean… so technically not a bath but yeah, blue.

Pennsic production – I’ve moved backward!  I put the sewing away in favor of a big work area for cooking.

Cat – doing well actually, moved him to a higher dose of his supplement and its helping.

nap – no nap nooooooo!!!!! (direct quote)  I, however, put myself in a rest for 20min including headphones and they were all alive when I came back out.

Workout – my hopping social life should count right?

IMG_9635

Today was a busy day with unusual happenings.  First, we went to visit a local production facility that makes playground equipment.  I’ve seen a ton of production in my time and this shop was in the middle.  They had some very impressive machines and paint line but a not so impressive work flow.  I held back all questions my former self would have grilled them one and one telling glance at the process engineer mom in our group told me she was biting her tongue too. The kids had fun though and so did the moms so that is what counts!

IMG_9634

Since they don’t have any of their wares to show on site, we had to take ourselves off to a local playground they produced and run around.  The moms were definitely more impressed with the tour pointing out things we saw in process that were in ‘play’ on this structure and the kids were just happy to be allowed to touch the stuff.

IMG_9651

Part 2 of the day was my contribution to the camping event this weekend that I am not personally attending (mom guilt).  Since I wanted to be helpful I volunteered to do the food shopping and invited over the troop to help with prep.  Seriously I didn’t need help beyond Lars (who is fantastic at making pork loin) but we wanted the kids to be aware of the process of food because girl scouts is supposed to be a fun learning experience.  The moms who came were super helpful and made the tasks fly and I’m happy to have organized our way to success.

 

Part 3 of my day was a fun little jaunt to the board of ed meeting.  I had some questions about possibly running and was very encouraged by what I heard.  It’s some work, but, it’s work for something I care about.  My kids are in this district and I care about them and their friends and all the kids, they need people looking out for them at every level.  From what I’ve seen the current board is doing a really good job, it is a team I would be glad to join to keep the ship going in the right direction.  The fact this is an elected position is a bit scary, I have no idea who else will run, but Lars is supporting my bid so I’ll be moving on the first real step soon.

 

And now is part 4.  Lars is out – we high-fived in the driveway trading off parenting baton.  He gets a night with the guys and I plan on giving my neglected house some love while listening to my current Laundry File book (hint, it has nothing to do with laundry).  Fiona is asleep, I have leftovers calling my name, and my sights are on a 10:30 bedtime for myself.

I feel like today is a full day.  I’m going to sleep well tonight.

Thinking about Therms

 

I think people who have read for a while here know I bake.  I bake all our bread, I bake muffins weekly and in this season of birthdays I’m churning out cake and cupcakes like its my job.  This is NOT the time for our oven to go nutters.

For a while, it was just running off but predictably so.  I have an independent thermometer so I would just go by that and adjust – it was roughly 30 degrees hot.  Kinda like our car that the gas gauge was highly unreliable so we kept mileage tally for about 3 years.  Recently it has lost any reliability and baking has become a hazard.  Thanks to a really good tax return we are looking at replacements.  Yes, it might be fixable, however, it is mid range in a mediocre branded came with the house that we have lived in for 16 years.  It’s done its time.

Just like the washer replacement last year, Lars is drawn to the higher end replacements.  I was very reluctant until I found that double convection ovens are now ‘the thing’.  The only down side is my ability to research like crazy so I can find people that hate everything….  The local store did not have any of the brand we wanted but it had a different split oven so I eyeballed it myself and confirmed you can put a turkey in the bottom and a good sized dish, or 2 cookie sheets in the top.  I will miss the storage from a traditional model but I bet I’ll be using the top oven 90% so I can keep my spare pans in the bottom anyway.  The other primo feature is a central griddle burner.  I’ve been using 2 burners and flipping it between batches of pancakes for years, I don’t know what I’ll do with my extra found time while cooking …

71ljcnvfkdl-_sl1500_

For over 1k this thing better be awesome but the washer is so I’m hopeful.

Easter Review

status

weather – getting to be spring all the time now

nap – not today (so far) <-*** I took a nap for a whole hour. that is 1/5th my normal total sleep!  While I was asleep Fi also fell asleep.  Amazing

Easter Recovery – 99%

House – fair to good

Diet – up a half pound but that’s ok considering

 

This past weekend for us was Easter, the holiday that has vast religious implications that we semi-ignore.  I always feel a bit bad about that but I also don’t want to go to church 2x a year just for major holidays.  Honestly, none of the churches here really work for me and Lars just didn’t grow up with the habit and does not intend to make one.

^^^^

That paragraph has been sticking in me for 2 days.  I can’t just say “happy easer!” because I feel like I do not totally disserve this holiday and I can’t skip it because we didn’t and this is as much about the record of my kids growing up as it is anything else.  I heard a stat that the largest religion in the US is non-practicing RC and so that puts me in good company (kinda).  I enjoyed growing up in my church but that church does not exist here…  In a way there are too many options and zero sense of community – I see the same with the fact that there are 7 elementary schools and you can pick any of them.  You can’t just bond with your neighbor because of the schools because there is a high likelihood they choose differently.

 

Anyway, I took a nap and I feel better about life in general.  Getting 5 or less hours of sleep a night is just not good for me.  I go to bed at midnight, I don’t need to be up until 8am that should be a solid 7, if not 8, but I get 5 because of constant interruption.  I’m not sure how to deal with that issue with this child (I dealt with it in each of the others but both were different).  That still does not change the fact that I have religious issues/issues with religion but being tired makes them worse so I’m glad I napped.  I am running short on typing time though and I didn’t post yesterday because I can’t post about post easter until I tackle easter….

So here is a list!

  1. we had friends stay over, they changed the dynamic of the weekend for the good
    1. one of those friends claimed a distinct love of washing dishes, she now has an open invite forever.
  2. We took the kids to a local egg hunt Saturday and it was great, Won a raffle and Zoe got a prize egg plus it was well run and fun for all.
  3. Lars cooked a fantastic rack of lamb, I baked a really pretty cake
  4. I made a very cool trio of easter baskets IMG_8384
  5. We hid a puzzle in the eggs and we know we lost an egg because the puzzle is 3 pieces short…
  6. We found a way to make an IPA good – add 3 beers to a pitcher, add the equivalent of 1 beer of water, add 3-4 tbs sugar and a ‘bunch’ of lemon juice.
  7. After the disaster of behavior on Friday they were very good Saturday and Sunday
  8. Ate peeps at 7am
  9. Did 3 loads of the dishwasher  over the 2 days and still had a full load Monday to take care of.
  10. Our red wine glasses are just a tiny bit too tall for the dishwasher
IMG_8423

Soak before hand washing!

Yesterday I got the house back in line after the crazy weekend of big meals and house guests and we actually had 9 people over on Saturday too for our ‘normal’ game night.  It was fun and tiring and our kids will have a different growing up than I did but that’s ok.  They are surrounded by loving people and creative energy and we answer their questions about whatever with honesty including religious questions.  Niamh has a girl with a head scarf in school who does not celebrate ‘our’ holiday and I told her that  just like there are a dozens ways to add up to 10, there are dozens of ways to believe in god.  Maybe knowing that there is a lot of ways to be right will help her as much or more than as a firm grasp of the nuances of the religion she was born into.

And with that all I can say is Cheers!  Celebrate how and what you do!

IMG_8420

‘good’ Friday

Status

Mental – 2 steps from giving them away

nap – take a guess

house – well let’s just say I’m glad our easter guests know us well

easter prep – 89% – all food here, crafts in process…

 

There is something akin to attempting to mix oil and water on the first day of a break.  3 kids who normally get along ok can’t seem to figure it for the first 24 hours….  Everything I tried to do today was met with general resistance to outright defiance until we got to decorating the Figolli.  That nearly didn’t happen.  Zoe, the currently well-adjusted one, remembered it was on the agenda and pulled us all together to do it nicely.  I was to the point where I was just not going to try and do more than keep them from killing one another.  Anyway, I can’t really compare my day to the actual good Friday, but I always felt like using the word ‘good’ in regard to today was on the ironic side.

They decorated, I decorated, Fiona ate frosting from the can…  The aftermath is just another mess but it is a happy mess.

IMG_8355 IMG_8352 IMG_8358 IMG_8359 IMG_8357 IMG_8360 IMG_8361

The girls saw mine and got discouraged about theirs.  I told them that I not only took 14 years of art, have been decorating cakes for them for the past 8 years, but, I had a plan when I started and that tends to help.  My sisters mock me for ‘fixing’ things after they have been done but I’ll have them know that I was ASKED to help, nicely even, and we had a good time learning about how to make frosting flowers.

Notes for myself – 1. the  ‘writing’ icing was a huge pain and I won’t use it again.  The purple was the only one that was semi good.  2. This is a great way to get rid of all the extra frosting – I didn’t buy any but we used up all the 1/4 cans that were hanging out in the fridge.

The next couple of days are going to be on the busy side, I hope they work out.  It totally depends on if the kids decide to play nicely or not.