July 7, 2012

Sharing is Caring


I love when people share their tricks of the trade with me, so here are some of my “a-ha” moments from the past couple of weeks.  Enjoy!


1. Trashed:

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you already know that I am a huge advocate of using a garbage bowl while cooking.  It saves time and keeps your work area nice and clean.

Well, a couple of days ago I started cooking and realized that my trash can was filled to the brim.  Knowing that I would have to dump my garbage bowl when I was finished cooking and knowing that there wouldn’t be any room, I quickly added a plastic grocery bag into my garbage bowl.  It was awesome!  I just tied the bag when I was finished and threw it away as I was taking the trash out.  Definitely a great time saver!





2.  Mix and match

I will admit that I am a little OCD when it comes to my pantry.  I love having things organized, and really despise having half used items taking up space.  Recently I have had a few boxes of half full pasta just sitting there.

Well, instead of finding a new recipe for the specific shaped noodles or simply throwing them away, I added them into my regular baked pasta recipe with the whole box of penne that I had intended to use anyway (I had to make a huge dish of baked ziti, so the extra noodles actually helped).



This also takes me back to childhood; I loved when I would order spaghetti and get a different shaped pasta thrown in the mix…I felt like it was a lucky omen! 

It’s kind of like a pasta party; not only do all the different noodles look fun, but they taste just as good, too!



3.  Easy Clean Up:

This trip comes from many failed attempts of refilling jars without success and big clean up jobs afterwards.  My solution to an easy clean up when it comes to refilling staples such as flour, sugar, granola, or cereal into containers?

Refill in the sink:



or on a cookie sheet:


That way, when you spill some, which you inevitably will, it doesn’t matter!  The spill is contained and can either be washed away (sink) or added back into the mix (cookie sheet).



4.  Organized Closet Chaos:

I love cardigans.  I don’t love folding them.  I have quite a few of these little gems and found them to be in a mound on a shelf in my closet and it looked horrible. 

The solution?  Since they don’t really need to be folded very neatly, I bought a medium sized basket that now sits in the place of the said mound.  It looks so much nicer and is much more organized!  Love it!




Same goes for socks – contain them in a basket (this one is from the Dollar Tree) with your other workout gear for a quick grab and go experience!





5.  Shortcuts:

Although I cook homemade meals probably 95% of the time when we are home, I do take shortcuts sometimes.  I tried this Pad Thai meal starter a few weeks ago and loved it! 

I wanted to try to make Pad Thai for a while, but didn’t want to have to buy the long list of specialty ingredients (fish sauce, tamarind paste, rice noodles, etc) for just one dish, so this was the next best option. 

And good news – it was delish!  As with all boxed and premade meals, the sodium was a bit high, but if eaten in moderation is fine. 




Found in the ethnic foods section of the grocery store, there were even great meal variations listed on the back of the box!



Definitely two thumbs up!



PS – Happy 5th Anniversary to my brother-in-law Mark and sister-in-law, Sara!  Miss you guys!

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