Hibiscus Red Tea

Posted on | May 17, 2016 | No Comments

Where have I been? Ohhh, that’s right! ON YOUTUBE guys!! I’m so excited to share videos with you these days. Check out this Hibiscus Red Tea, check out the rest of the channel, then subscribe.

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How to Make Your Own Garlic Powder

Posted on | March 4, 2016 | No Comments

How to make garlic powder   I love garlic in any shape or form. A few years ago I tried the Frontier brand garlic powder and I fell in love with it. It was so fresh tasting. I added it to my Amazon Subscribe and Save program. I decided I had to have it on hand all the time.

At some point in time I was going through my produce bowl and I saw that my bag of garlic was beginning to sprout. However, some of it was salvageable. I decided rather than let it go to waste I would attempt to make my own garlic powder. I’ve made it several times since. We absolutely love it. It’s even fresher tasting than Frontier and I don’t have to worry about the powder clumping up in my soups & stews.

It’s really good enough that I’ve decided this year I’ll be making it for gifts for Christmas.

First, start by taking an amount of garlic in your choice. I really recommend that to make this worth it you start with at least a pound of garlic. Spice World offers a one pound bag of heads of garlic – whole heads not just the cloves. Here lately, for several several months now, they’ve been offering it in their 1 1/4 pound bags.

At the same rate when you’re doing this much of an amount of garlic powder sometimes it helps to go a little bit farther. Sam’s Club offers a three pound bag of garlic that is already peeled all I have to do with this one is cut off the  root ends.

Make your own garlic powder

If you’re starting with whole garlic heads break them apart, peel them, and cut the root and off. After you get that done get them placed into a food processor. You may need to do this in batches. I have a Kitchen Aid immersion blender with chopper base that usually takes several batches to do. In the picture, you’ll see that I upgraded to a Ninja processor. Any processor or food chopper will do!

Once you have all of your garlic chopped up in the processor, you’ll need to lay it on your dehydrator sheets. Make sure you spread it out so that it is as evenly thin as possible. I like to make mine no thicker than about 3/16 of an inch. Get your dehydrator going. This is really a task that you should do outside. I put mine on my covered porch but in the past I have also utilized a shed or garage. It gets very very stinky, so this is not something you want to do inside.

How to make your own garlic powder 2

After about 12 hours, check your garlic. Once it is to the crispy and brittle stage you can remove this from your dehydrator. Make sure you break it into smaller pieces by just crumbling it. Put it in your spice or coffee grinder. If you use a coffee grinder make sure you label it for spices only. Garlic flavoured hazelnut coffee probably is not a good thing.

If you live in a very humid area, you’ll want to spread it out on your dehydrator again and dry just another hour or so before jarring it up. Once you have all of your garlic dried and powdered, you can store it in a jar.

MYO garlic powder
Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

Printer friendly version (no pictures):

 

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Please allow me to reintroduce myself

Posted on | February 12, 2016 | No Comments

backyard storm
If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that a couple+ years ago I got extremely sick (you can red about that here, here & here if you missed those or are a new follower). Since then it’s been difficult for me to do a lot of things, one of them being focusing on writing.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

Along with being sick we have had a couple of family members that have become sick. We’ve also moved yet again. Actually, we’ve moved twice. The first time we were basically kicked out of our home with 34 days notice. This was a non-renewal of lease, after being promised a renewal & absolutely NOTHING that WE did wrong! Thankfully, God had already moved that mountain before we arrive to climb it. Just a couple of hours before I found out that are lease was not being renewed, I had a friend of mine offer to rent her house out to us. It would have saved us some money, but at the time that she mentioned that I was thinking no no no. I really didn’t want to move again, much less into a considerably smaller house. In the great plan of God, He decided that I was wrong.

We had 34 days to move from a 2300 square foot home into a home approximately 1200 square feet. We were there for about 9 months, until Roberts job wanted to move him to West Tennessee. As thankful and grateful as we were for that house we were so overwhelmed that we became almost depressed there. Even the cat and the dog quit playing. I was really worried about our cat. We really thought she was dying. 3 days after we moved into our home in West Tennessee (1800 square feet), she began playing and running and meowing and rubbing up against us and loving us just like she had a year before. I was so thankful for this.

compost
Needless to say the further along we got the less inclined I was to write. Besides my life is a lot more than just food. I have just been incredibly overwhelmed for the last couple of years. I’ve tried to write. I really have. It just wasn’t in me. My heart wasn’t in writing. And I think you all saw that. So I’m here today to let you know that I am hoping to make your return. However, don’t expect just food, just recipes, I am going to break out of the “food blogger” mold.

We are currently living on 6 acres in (more like just outside) a small town. We are raising chickens for eggs and meat, rabbits for meat, and we hope to expand raising our own food. We grew very small garden this last summer. We moved here in January of last year, so that meant having a smaller garden then I would have preferred. However, in traipsing our property, I have found an extremely large plot that I am going to use as a garden. I hope to also incorporate that into my blogging.

blue jay nest
On top of that I am a homeschooler so I want to share with you the things that we do, & I just basically want to encompass my entire life into this blog. If I can help one person learn something new, or I can inspire one person to grow a small container garden, home school their child or anything that would help better their lives, I really hope to do that. I focused on food for far too long. I’m not a food blogger. I’m not a mommy blogger. I just want to blog all the things I do, like I used to.

I appreciate everyone that hung on the last couple of years hoping that I would return. You guys are the reason why I’m here, and you are the reason why I am returning. The next few blog posts will probably be more snippets than writing. I want to share where were living, the beauty that God has bestowed upon us and the blessings that we are making ours. Thank you for sticking with me, & I hope I don’t disappoint.

Allow me to reintroduce myself

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Fisherman Eggs + a Collection of Egg Recipes

Posted on | November 24, 2015 | No Comments

Fisherman eggs VicariouslyVintage
Since we raise chickens & ducks for eggs, we often have an abundance of eggs. I’m always on the lookout for egg recipes. A couple years ago, I came across numerous recipes for Fisherman Eggs. Some were intricate & involved. Some were simple. We tried them with plain, canned sardines & fell in love. Recently we tried them with SMOKED sardines & I fell in love all over again.

 

Have an abundance of eggs? I gathered a few more recipes for your enjoyment (and for mine, obviously!)

From my own blog – Egg Drop Soup, Broth Eggs, Huevos Ranch-tatoes

Fisherman Eggs + A Collection of Egg Recipes - VicariouslyVintage
Honey Sweetened Lemon Curd – Recipes To Nourish

Bacon & Egg Cups – Pickle Me Too

Egg Cups – Happy Mothering

Fudgy Coconut Four Brownies – Happy Healthnut

Perfect Soft Boiled Egg – How We Flourish

Eggs Five Ways for Instant Pot – Dr Karen S Lee

 

 How do you like your eggs?

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Filipino Chicken Adobo
When you find it on sale......

Creamy Fruit Salad

Posted on | November 16, 2015 | No Comments

Fruit Salad vicariouslyvintage

Recently, I needed to come up with a dessert that avoided gluten as well as the gluten substitutions. In other words, if it involved dough, batter or other bready type stuff, it wasn’t going to fly. A couple years after going gluten free, I began getting headaches just by baking with wheat for others the. The inhalation of the flour dust would give me an instant sharp, stabbing headache. So, while our family is accustomed to gluten free subs, most people aren’t.

But I wanted dessert, too.

Fruit salad is always a welcome & healthier treat than most desserts. The ingredients I used are readily available & are enjoyed by most people. That said, feel free to add in other fruits (kiwi is amazing) or substitute some for other fruits. I make fruit salad quite often, but I never thought to share it with you until this last time. With the holidays coming, we need all the super size recipes we can get, right?? Why not go healthy AND delicious?

creamy fruit salad vicariouslyvintge

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

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Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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Real Food Vs. Processed Foods, Let’s Compare Costs!

Posted on | September 28, 2015 | No Comments

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis  

This post was originally written in July 2012, please see disclaimer at the bottom of this post. While it is an older article, I find many of the comparisons are still relatively the same. Whole, real food comes in at a much lower price than their processed lookalikes!

From Coupons

I used to be a coupon queen. There. I admit it. I could pop $400 worth of groceries on the conveyor belt and walk away just $92 poorer. I was PROUD of that! I fed my family. You know what types of coupons come out in the papers, don’t you?

Kraft macaroni & cheese. Tyson frozen chicken nuggets. Betty Crocker cake mixes. Lay’s potato chips.

What do all these foods have in common? They are processed. They contain ingredients that most people fluent in the English language can’t pronounce, much less know what they are. I consider myself a fairly educated person, I do, after all, homeschool my three children. But I don’t even know what some of these ingredients are, much less how to pronounce them! Just 4 years ago, I’m not sure if I cared what was in my Ore-ida french fries or my bottled Starbucks iced mocha coffee.

I have always enjoyed cooking (from scratch), and taught myself! Over the past few years, I’ve learned some vile things about our broken food system. I’m not 100% organic. I’m not even 100% whole foods. Like with so many things in life, it is a process.

To Real Food

When we moved to Wyoming almost 4 years ago, I realized I was living in the land of no coupons. Literally. No newspaper, Sunday or otherwise, contained those little bits of paper that for years I had been so excited to get each week. There was only one full service grocery store in town, and the nearest Wal-Mart was 90 miles away.

Then in January of 2009, just a few months after our move, I met this wonderful creature called Real Food. My life changed. Coupons didn’t matter to me anymore. As the years have gone by since our transition to Real Food, I realize that even though it does take a little more time in the kitchen, it saves me time in the long run.

To Not Enough Time

I homeschool my kids, I work from home, I blog with a purpose (which contrary to popular belief is NOT as easy as it looks). With three kids, our lives are busy. I’m not complaining, but I have to tell you… I have no time to coupon anymore. With that said, one of the things I hear the most about Real Food is “It costs too much money!” I want to tell you – it really doesn’t! I learned that the hard way, but I’m so thankful I learned it!

I decided I wanted to write this piece when I saw an image of Joel Salatin (my hero!!!) on Facebook. It contained a quote, said to be from him that read “If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?”

Two things came to mind. Ouch and goosebumps.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Organic

Buying 100% organic would be fantastic.  As they say, “Buy organic, or as your grandmother used to call it- FOOD!” However, I know that not everyone lives where they have a Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, etc. nearby. I lived in one of those places. The closest store of that sort was three hours away. Our farmers market was a measly 6 weeks long and contained hardly any fresh, local produce.

So, I want this article to be different. I don’t want you to worry about buying organic at the moment if you can’t. I understand! I just want you to see the price difference in processed foods and whole foods really isn’t what most people think it is.

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis 2

I went to our local Kroger store. I chose Kroger, because quite frankly I don’t like going into Walmart. The employees are mostly friendly, but a Friday in a Walmart is not my idea of a tea party. So I chose a nationwide store that many of you may be familiar with. They own several chains, including, but not limited to City Market, King Soopers, Baker’s, Food 4 Less, and QFC.

I gathered some prices, comparing processed foods and their whole food counterparts.

Potatoes

I know one of the most popular foods in American households is potatoes. French fries, mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, potato soup, potato cakes, hashbrowns… sorry, I didn’t mean to get all Forrest Gump on you, but I think you get the point. They are versatile, even for the pickiest eaters.

I found Kroger brand frozen fries at $1.99 for 26-28 ounces. That’s $1.22 a pound for the smallest package; $1.14 for the larger. Ore-ida fries came in at $1.64 per pound (32-ounce bag for $3.27). Canned store brand potatoes are running 69¢ for a 15.25 ounce can with liquid. Typically when you drain the fluid off, you lose half of the weight.  That makes them ring in at approximately $1.40 per pound before draining the liquid off. But the real food counterpart, the potato, rang in at $3.99 for an 8-pound bag. That’s only 50¢ a pound!!! We’ll call it 60¢ after peeling them.

Veggies

On that same note, I realized that all of the Kroger brand canned vegetables were 69¢ for a 14.5-ounce can.  Again, that’s with the liquid.  Green beans are just coming into season, so I wasn’t able to find those in the produce section.  I popped over to the frozen section and took a look at their frozen veggies.  The frozen veggies are $2.48 for a 2-pound bag. That makes them come out less than the canned vegetables once the liquid is drained off, which come in at approximately $1.40 per pound.

Carrots, canned, are the same price as the canned green beans. Carrots ran $3.00 for a five-pound bag. That makes fresh 80¢ cheaper per pound than their canned counterparts.

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis 3

Chicken

A fresh, whole chicken is less than $1.50 a pound (often much cheaper on sale). A whole chicken will feed my family for at least 3 meals. We’ll roast the chicken and eat off it the first night. The 2nd night we’ll have a soup, and the 3rd night, we’ll do Buffalo Chicken Dip. With the carcass, I’ll make stock, which stretches the chicken a little further. Kroger brand frozen chicken breast strips rang in at $5.99 for a 22-29 ounce bag. Again, we’ll go with the larger bag, so that we’re comparing a smaller price per unit. That will run you $3.30 a pound. Ouch. Oftentimes, boneless, skinless chicken breast goes on sale for $1.99 a pound.

Drink

Need something to drink? Some store brand sodas rang in at 88¢ per 2-liter, 79¢ on sale. We’ll use the sale price in this example. At almost $1.60 a gallon for store brand soda, and 1 gallon of Hawaiian Punch on sale for $1.99 ($2.39 regularly) those are pricey! Even cheaper? Water. Can’t stand tap water? Kroger brand water was 99¢ for a gallon.

Dessert

For dessert, cookies would be nice. But at $2 or more per pound, you can get a quick and easy (and way better for you!) dessert for just 57¢ a pound. Bananas!

Real Food vs Processed Foods - Cost Analysis 4

Put It All Together

Now, I’ll tell you how to put this all together. There are two ways. Put your slow cooker to work so you don’t have to. Throw in your peeled and cubed potatoes, some sliced carrots, and place your chicken on top. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and maybe a few spices (all of these “extras” are just pennies per serving). Turn to low and 8-10 hours later, dinner is done. If you prefer to do it in the oven, usually an hour and a half will do it. Make sure it is covered, except for the last 15 minutes. This make the skin on the chicken browned and crispy. YUM!

There are many other whole foods that ring in much cheaper than their processed counterparts. I compared old fashioned oats & “instant” oatmeal. I compared boxed pastas with “flavor packets” with things like rice. This was the first time I’d actually sat down and worked out the penny-to-penny cost comparison. I keep finding that whole foods rang in cheaper than processed foods. Sometimes by mere pennies but sometimes by 50% (or more). Even though we’ve been whole foods for over three years, it was an eye opener to sit down and figure the numbers out. Try it for yourself. Go grocery shopping and take your calculator. You won’t be disappointed in shopping for whole foods, even when the processed foods seem like such a great deal.

What is the best real food vs. processed food cost comparison that you have seen?

You may have seen this post on a website I was a contributor for. When the website became read only & no longer publishing new content, I worried about the future of my posts. I am posting them here where I never have to worry about them getting lost in cyber space, should the other site become obsolete….

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Quick & Easy Limoncello

Posted on | September 14, 2015 | No Comments

limoncello collage
What is Limoncello?

From Wikipedia:

“Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi, and islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri.”

While 2 weeks may not seem “quick” to you, traditionally, the peels are steeped for many weeks before being added to the simple syrup. 10-14 days is sufficient for a slightly lesser, yet super tasty, infusion. You’ll notice an oil slick on the top of your vodka after this time. Limoncello is also made with a certain type of lemon in Italy, but it’s one not easily (if at all) attainable here.

One of my reasons for doing this is because I love lemons, wanted to try limoncello & almost cried at some of the price tags I’ve seen. I’m really quite pleased with this recipe, which is a compilation of many recipes & articles I’ve read across the web. I hope you are, too!

limoncello peels steeping
Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

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Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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9 Things To Do With Bananas

Posted on | May 29, 2015 | No Comments

You may have seen this post on a website I was a contributor for. When the website became read only & no longer publishing new content, I worried about the future of my posts. I am posting them here where I never have to worry about them getting lost in cyber space, should the other site become obsolete.

We love bananas in this house. We love banana bread and banana sauce and anything else banana. Bananas make a great snack and are wonderful with breakfast. I read once upon a time that 1 banana can fuel a tennis game. That’s a lot of oomph for a little piece of fruit. Locally, I often find several bunches for free. Instead of them going to waste, a store here offers them free of charge when they are “too ripe” to sell.

But what else can this magic fruit do? If you’re not latex sensitive, read on.

Smoothies, Oats and Yogurt

We like to add bananas to our smoothies. They add a natural sweetness, and they are great for thickening the smoothies up. Bananas are best added to smoothies if you first peel them, cut into chunks and flash freeze them (this means spread them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet & freeze. When you put them in a baggy or container after they’re frozen, they don’t stick in one big glob). I like to keep a container of flash frozen chunks for this purpose.

Fresh bananas are wonderful mashed and added to yogurt.  My husband likes those “fruit on the bottom” yogurts. Since I quit buying those, I now make them. I add a half mashed bananas and a heaping spoonful of organic strawberry jam to the bottom of a half pint jar and spoon in yogurt on top. He loves them.

Like the yoghurt, we also like to mash bananas up and serve in our oatmeal. Overripe bananas work well for all three of these purposes.

Banana Sandwiches, Banana Bread and Fried Bananas

Mmmm, banana sandwiches are so good. My kids like them with peanut butter. Simply spread your peanut butter on some bread, slice your bananas onto that and top with another piece of bread. Me? I love it done with salted butter instead of peanut butter.

Another favorite in this house is banana bread. When your bananas are fully ripe (and even a little beyond), mash’em up and make banana bread. If you have a lot, you can make several loaves, or you can flash freeze them to thaw and make banana bread later.

Again, fresh or overripe bananas make an amazing sauce or fried bananas. Slice your bananas. Heat some butter (or use coconut oil if you’re lactose intolerant) in a skillet. Add your bananas & cook til butter is golden brown, bananas are soft & gooey and all is heated through. If you’d like to add a little sucanat or other sweetener, feel free to do so when you add the bananas. I think it’s sweet enough as is. I do occasionally like to add a sprinkle of cinnamon when I add my bananas, though. Serve in yogurt, oats or over pancakes. YUM!

Of course, you can also just slice up fresh bananas and serve those over pancakes as well. It’s delicious like that, too.

Banana Ice “Cream,” Banana Pops and Banana Splits

Several years ago on one of my mainstream diets, I’d read about banana ice “cream.” Using the flash freeze method above, you put your frozen chunks of banana into a blender or food processor and blend them until they are ice cream consistency. You can add cocoa powder to taste, vanilla bean scrapings or peanut butter for some flavour variations. It is super tasty!

Banana pops are so much fun and so easy to make. Cut bananas in half. Slide a popsicle stick into the cut end. Freeze until firm. Get the kids in the kitchen now to help with this. They’ll have a blast, but be ready to hear “Are they done yet?” After your bananas are frozen, dip the bananas into melted chocolate. To this melted chocolate you can whisk in some peanut butter if you’d like. After dipping in chocolate, roll the bananas in coatings of choice- chopped nuts, coconut flakes, chia seed, etc. Pop back into the freezer and freeze until firm. Watch the kids’ faces light up.

Last but not least, the traditional banana split is a wonderful, fun and yummy way to serve bananas. Typically and traditionally, the bananas are cut in half lengthways. We like to slice them in slices. We put them in a bowl, plop some homemade ice cream on top, then top with toppings of choice. We like things like nuts, shredded coconut, raw sunflower seeds, homemade chocolate syrup, etc.

Still Wanting More??

Still have lots of bananas? Check out these links to great recipes and ideas for things to do with bananas. They’re cheap, yummy and good for you. They contain lots of potassium, which is great for leg cramps.

Banana Tacos

Banana Pudding

Banana Egg Pancakes (She calls these stupid easy, & they’re only 2 ingredients!)

Chocolate Banana Milkshakes, just 3 ingredients!


Buttermilk Banana Ice Cream

What’s YOUR favourite way to eat bananas??

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Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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4 Ingredient Salmon Mousse In Less Than 5 Minutes!

Posted on | March 12, 2014 | 2 Comments

Sometimes paleo-ish-ers need a late night snack. Yes, a couple of us have gone paleo-ish. We’ve kept dairy. I read on a blog that primal is more dairy friendly, so maybe we’ve gone primal? I haven’t researched much on primal, so I don’t know if this is primal. Colour me confused :)

Anyhoo, this rich & decadent snack is awesome! No fancy party or Sunday best needed!

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Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

 

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How To Easily Declutter & Simplify Your Kitchen

Posted on | March 3, 2014 | No Comments

I have a confession. I’m an addict. I’m addicted. I’m unashamed. See, I love all things kitchen. Appliances, gizmos, gadgets and doodads all have a way of finding their way into my kitchen. However, a while back, I realized what a mess I’d gotten myself into. I started purging. I decided to make sure that very few things in my kitchen were single-taskers.

 

 

Since purging, kitchen life has become much more manageable. While I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, I find tasks have become easier and expectations are often met. It sounds weird, I know. But the less you have to worry about, the less you…well…have to worry about. When your life is cluttered, you can get overwhelmed. The same thing happens in the kitchen. Join me as I share with you what I’ve done to take my kitchen from overwhelming to streamlined!

Will I Really Use It?

Several years ago I’d read an article. It was on how to purge your closet. It said to turn your hangers backwards, and as you wore them, to rehang them facing the proper way. After a year, any clothing that was still backwards- get rid of. I thought why not do this with your kitchen stuff?

What I decided to do was place all my kitchen items from the drawers into plastic bins. I stuck them in my laundry room which is just off the kitchen. This allowed me easy access to them, but they were out of the way. I have almost no counter space, so keeping them off the counter was great! As I used the items from the bins, they went into the dishwasher and were returned to the drawers. After 3 months, anything left was put into yard sale boxes or thrown out.

Loved and Seasonal Items?

I have a lot of seasonal items in my kitchen. Popsicle molds, water bath canner, Christmas cookie cutters, etc. Much like above, if I’m not sure I’m going to use them, I move them to a location out of the way. Over the course of a year, if you haven’t used it, off to thrift/trash/donation it goes.

On that note, I do keep a few much loved items around. My father-in-law and his wife recently gave me a family heirloom tea set. I haven’t used it yet, though I hope to. I just polished it up and keep it in our china cabinet. I also have the cutest little creamer jug shaped like a milk carton. It’s hand blown glass and when I saw it, I had to have it. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things, so that I can keep the things I love and treasure. I do have some other collectibles, but I use those as well.

I also have a non-electric percolator. It stays. We’ve had to use it when the power has gone out. To me, it’s like having that little box of white candles in your junk drawer. We keep it around “in case of emergency.” Emergency items are OK to hang on to if you’ll indeed use them in an emergency. Keep them out of the way, though. Don’t let them clutter up the main parts of your kitchen.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils.

Single-Taskers

As I mentioned, I do have a few single-taskers in my kitchen. I have a pressure canner that I never use for cooking. However, I do can quite a bit, so this one slides. It’s very much used. My french press is a single-tasker. However, if I don’t have my coffee in the morning…. well, it’s just not pretty. I keep a fruit bowl on my counter, too. While it holds only fruit, it’s aesthetically pleasing and serves the purpose of keeping counter items corralled.

Single-taskers are acceptable if, and only if, they serve a great purpose and cannot be performed by any other kitchen tool.

Multi-taskers

Now let’s look at how we can turn those too many single-taskers into multi-taskers. One of the things I got rid of were a set of lovely servings dishes. They were large, thick heavy-duty plastic and shaped like shells. I bought them for our wedding and I’d held onto them for that reason. I realized over time though, those bowls are not the prize. I married the prize, and these bowls were just things. They were clutter and they served only one purpose: to serve things in. Can’t I do the same thing in my bowls? I have quite the collection of mixing bowls. I realized I could just as easily pour a bag of chips or crackers into a mixing bowl and call it good. So, I got rid of the shell-shaped serving bowls from the wedding. And I didn’t even cry.

I have a collection of slow cookers. When I say collection, I mean it! I have seven of varying types and sizes. Why so many? On any given day there’s a chance you may walk into my kitchen and find at least four of them running… at the same time. Chicken stock, beef stock, yoghurt & dinner are all staples in my house, so for my family, these are a necessity.

I love mason jars and collect them. I mentioned earlier that I enjoy canning. While I always want to keep a good stockpile of canning jars, they come in handy for other uses. We like to drink out of them. The boys think it’s fun! I store things in them: food, buttons, school supplies all have a way of finding themselves in jars.

Another favorite multi-tasker are these mugs (seen below). We use them for tea and coffee. That’s a given. However, they’re 18 ounce mugs, so they get used plenty for soup, broth, cereal, yoghurt, snacks. They’re large, but the handle and shape make them easy for even the kiddos to handle and eat out of. Plus, things don’t spill quite as easily as they do in wider, flat bowls.

Take a Look Around

Take a look around your kitchen. Find out what your most used and loved items are and set those aside. Find those items that you know you don’t use or won’t use again. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Do I really love this?” If not, get rid of it. Don’t wait. Get rid of it now, whether it’s straight to the trash or to a yard sale/donation box. Only throw away things that are no longer usable. Things that are still in good shape can be used by others, and you won’t fill up a landfill with it.

Place the rest of your items in containers as I mentioned above. You don’t have to do your entire kitchen at once. Start with putting your annual items away. Store them in a basement, attic or closet. Empty your drawers into bins and place them out of the way. Three months later, anything left in those bins goes away.

Once those three months are up, start with another cabinet or a group of cabinets, and keep going until you knock out the whole kitchen!

Have fun with this! How do you declutter your kitchen?

You may have seen this post on a website I was a contributor for. When the website became read only & no longer publishing new content, I worried about the future of my posts. I am posting them here where I never have to worry about them getting lost in cyber space, should the other site become obsolete.

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Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.

I am not in any sort of medical field, be it for animals or humans. Some links might be affiliates. I appreciate your click-throughs to help support the blog & keep it going. Use all advice, recipes, how-to’s & links at your own risk. Please read full disclaimers here.

Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!”

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