Kitchen Kapers: Tips

It seems that I’m always looking for ways to make my kitchen run more efficiently.  It really is an ongoing process as my family grows and needs change.  The kids eat more so there’s more stuff around, we’re out the door more often, so things need to be quick and easy to access.  Simplify.  Simplify.  Simplify.  My motto for our kitchen.

There are a few things that I put in place in our kitchen in hopes of making our life a little more simple, and I  thought I’d share them with you.  You never know what might inspire you!  AND I’m always looking for new tips, so please, please feel free to share them in the comments section!  Please.  ;)

Anyway, I pulled together some tips, but please excuse the total random assortment of them!  There just wasn’t any other way to put them all together…kitchen tips are just sort of random in nature!

One tip that really makes mornings run smoothly is this container of quick oats!
You may recognize this jar from my Kitchen Organizing post…I have it out on our counter top at all times.  So that means easy access for breakfasts!

And cheap breakfast as well!  Instead of buying those boxes of premixed oatmeal packages, we just use plain old quick oats.  No added chemicals, salt or sugar.  Just wholesome oatmeal.  And because it’s easy to access, my older kids can help themselves!

How To:  1/3 cup oatmeal, and 2/3 cup water.  Mix together, and cook in the microwave for about 1 minutes and 30 seconds (make sure to stir it once about half way through).  Then add a little brown sugar and some milk or cream, and breakfast is served!

Speaking of brown sugar, I love this method of keeping the sugar soft!  Just add a marshmallow.  That’s it.  You have soft, ready to use brown sugar!

I used to use chunks of bread, and that worked very well, but I didn’t like the bread crumbs it left behind in the sugar, so I switched over to using marshmallows.  You have to replace the marshmallows a little more often than the bread, but the marshmallows don’t leave crumbs behind, so I prefer to use them!

While we’re still on the topic of breakfast, here’s a great tip to freezing and storing leftover pancakes and waffles.  When you have leftovers, just place pieces of wax paper between the pancakes/waffles and store them in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  No more store bought pancakes and waffles!  Just pop them in the toaster when you want them, and now you have a homemade breakfast that’s easy to make and access!  Perfect for those rushed school and work mornings!

Here’s a kitchen tip for lemons!  Lemons are one fruit we always have around, and sometimes we don’t get to them fast enough, so instead of letting them rot or get hard, I juice some and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.  Once they are frozen, I pop them out and transfer them over to a ziplock bag or plastic container.  This works out so well for recipes that call for lemon juice!  I just pull out a frozen block, zap it in the microwave for about 20 seconds and I have fresh lemon juice!

Here’s a great way to store fresh herbs!

This herb storage container from Crate and Barrel is the best!  It was a gift given to me, and I think it’s fantastic!  My herbs stay fresh a lot longer, and I can see what amount I have left in the fridge.  I used to keep them in my crisper, but I tended to forget about them and they’d just go bad.  No more!  This container is perfect!

Here’s a tip for cleaning your microwave…lemons are great for cleaning the inside of your microwave!

Put a bowl of water, with a chunk of lemon into your microwave, run it for 5 minutes. Then wipe down with soap & water.  The steam from the water/lemon mix makes wiping down your microwave a cinch!  And it smell fresh too!

And one last tip!  You may have seen this tip before from one of my previous posts, but I use it so often that it’s worth sharing again!

I’m always left with partial containers of broth, and I don’t want to waste it so I freeze it in portions.  I use silicone muffin cups to do this…just measure out 1/4 cup (or what ever amount you want) into each cup, put them on a cookie sheet for easy freezing, and put them in your freezer.  Once they’re frozen, just pop them out of the cups and into a ziplock bag, and you have portions of broth ready at your fingertips when you need them!

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I hope you found these tips useful!  

And if you are interested in more kitchen tips and organizing here are some previous posts that I have written!  Just click on the titles… 

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Have a great day!

Comments

  1. LOVE this, great tips!!

  2. I need that herb container…or not to fill my ball jar up to the top. My cilantro lasts for almost a week in water, as long as I change it daily…

    Did you try that waffle recipe yet?

  3. All the lemon tips are genius! However, I’m not familiar with “leftover” pancakes or waffles ;)

    Thanks,
    Vera

  4. Great tips, I will be using them all. Thanks so much for sharing them.

  5. These are all great tips, thank you! I love your glass jar you have for oats – I eat oatmeal pretty much every day, and this is such a lovely and practical way to store it.

  6. Oh I SO want that herb storage container. I always buy cilantro, use about 10 leaves, and then the rest of the bunch goes bad. Thanks for the tips.

  7. These are great ideas and I LOVE your blog!! I would love to have you stop by my site if you get a chance!!

    chrissy
    http://www.thetaylor-house.com

  8. So many great tips! I’m definitely with you on using oats and not those sugary packets full of ingredients I can’t pronounce! Definitely pinning this post for future reference!

    Found your blog on Craftberry Bush Linky Party and absolutely love it! Now off to check out your Vietnamese Chicken Soup Recipe :)

  9. Really great tips. Can’t wait to use some of them.

  10. I do that between pikelets/ pancakes too! Good ideas.

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