Thursday, February 12, 2009

Four Quick Kitchen Tips for February!

It feels like I spend most of each day in the kitchen. That may be exaggerating, but it sure feels like it. I have to admit, cooking is not really one of my best skills. It is especially difficult when the day is busy and the kids need my attention after their own long days. I am always looking for ways to simplify things for myself. These are a few ideas that I have discovered that have made my life easier and I hope they help you, too!

Be sure to also visit last year's Four Quick Tips for February!

  • When you are stuck for dinner ideas, try On this site you can list ingredients you have on hand in the kitchen and it will give you multiple ideas for recipes to consider. A really cool feature is that you can enter the number of servings you want to make and it will adjust the recipe accordingly with a quick click! If you sign up with a username and password, you can save your recipes. A few nights ago, I made Ranchero Omelettes! They were delicious. I typed in cheese and eggs, and it offered me many choices. It said I also needed beans and salsa or diced tomatoes and I had those! It was so easy.
  • Next time you clean out your refrigerator and freezer, try getting out your label maker and labeling the shelves or doors. Clean up is so much easier, finding things a breeze, and it's easy to tell when you are out of something or have doubles!
  • I really like my Hassle Free Dinners program. It is something I bought at the National Association of Professional Organizers conference two years ago and it is a great program. It was developed by a Home Economist, turned Professional Organizer. It comes on a CD (the only hassle is having to print off the recipes) and includes a complete meal for every day of the year, broken down into 52 weeks and color coded by day. Following each week is a shopping list of all the ingredients needed for each meal, also color coded, so if you only want to make a few of the meals, you can tell what and how much to buy. Each recipe is quantified for 2, 4 and 6 servings. What I like about it is that the meals are easy and healthy. There is a great variety, and she puts things together in unusual ways. For example, this week we had Italian Bean Salad, which had tuna, red onion, Cannellini beans, balsamic vinegar, oil, parsley and grape tomatoes, all mixed together and served over lettuce greens with hearty bread. Very yummy.
  • For anyone shopping at the Williamsville, NY Sheridan Dr. Wegmans, visit my website Organizing Toolbox page, scroll to the bottom under "Other Useful Forms" and see my Wegman's shopping list. It is organized by aisle and has many commonly purchased items. I make copies and put a new one each week on the refrigerator. When I run out of an item, I circle it on the list, and others in the family can easily add to it, too.