Friday, April 29, 2011

Anticipating a Lovely Spring Weekend


The new dessert from Trader Joe's. I'll be serving these to my three little cousins tonight at Family Night.

I have several fun things to look forward to this weekend - Family Night, lounging around watching old episodes of Mad Men with my housemate, the possibility of walking my dogs in sunshine instead of rain for a change, going out to dinner Saturday with friends, and a 5k where you're served doughnuts at the end of the race!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Did you stay up late last night to watch the Royal Wedding? If so, do you need to build in time for a nap today? Did you leave a mess of snacks, tea or cocktail glasses on your coffee table that need cleaning up?

  • Tidy the house before you go out tonight. Give the worst room (if any) a quick vacuum. Empty bathroom and bedroom trash cans; replace toilet paper rolls as needed; swap out hand towels; wipe down sinks and mirrors in bathrooms. Empty or fill dishwasher and laundry machines as needed. Declutter mail table and coffee table. Take things up the stairs if there are piles on the landing.

  • Fill up with gas and visit an ATM for cash for the weekend on your way home if needed.

  • How is the top of your refrigerator looking, and for that matter, the sides and front? If you need to remove everything and wipe down the top of the fridge, this is an easy five minute project. Can you find 1-2 items to declutter off the top of your fridge? I managed to rehouse a box of colored ice cream cones and a box of Malt-O-Meal.

  • Make socialization plans for the weekend if you haven't already.

  • Need to start thinking about Mother's Day? Order flowers, buy a gift, get a card ready to mail?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Spice Cupboard

This afternoon as I was searching my spice cupboard for nutmeg (I'm baking doughnuts with my cousins tonight), I discovered that most of my spices should have been thrown out over a year ago. I thought I'd kept on top of this better.

Since herbs and spices lose their peak flavor within six months (professional chefs would say within one month!) it's time for me to throw out the old and buy just those few new spices I know I will actually use on a regular basis.

I've kept a jar of sesame seeds I definitely remember buying recently, and some ground cumin that Trader Joe's thankfully put a 2012 expiration date clearly marked on. Mostly, I'm going to have to start over. After all, I don't need this humongous old jar of paprika for the few rare occasions every year I serve deviled eggs. And I now use Trader Joe's crushed garlic instead of garlic powder, so I won't be replacing that particular bottle.

I'll stop by Trader Joe's for a few inexpensive basics (red pepper flakes, coarse ground black pepper, basil and rosemary). After that, I'll try to only buy herbs and spices on an as-needed basis when I'm actually cooking frequently.

This was a quick, easy 10 minute project (including jotting down shopping list, wiping shelf, and emptying the trash can). That leaves me plenty of time to change clothes, put my dogs away in their crates, and hit the grocery store before I go to Family Night.

LOVELY FOOD: Eleni's Gardener Mother's Day Cookies


I always highly look forward to seeing what Eleni's will come out with for each holiday season. For Mother's Day, they're offering garden-themed cookies: a bee, rubber boots, cauliflower, corn, carrots, and ladybugs. My mother is no longer living, but I might send these to my aunt who adores gardening (and who adores me!)

The Gardener, at Eleni's

LOVELY HOME: Trio Beverage Dispenser


I love this idea for summertime outdoor entertaining! Offer guests one of three refreshing drinks, varying the colors for visual impact. I'd offer pink lemonade, yellow lemonade and cranberry juice; or iced tea, cucumber water and sparkling Orangina.

Trio Beverage Dispenser, at Z Gallerie

LOVELY BLOGS: Dainty Chef


"The culinary journey of a twenty-something newlywed." A fun and pretty food blog. You can see her experiments and recipes she's learning right along with her. Recent posts you might enjoy include Mimosa Cupcakes, At Home Naan, and Italian Dressing.

http://daintychef-krissy.blogspot.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Mother's Day Ring Cupcakes (Hoosier Homemade)

Queen Elizabeth's Drop Scones (Simply Recipes)

Stiletto Shoes Cupcakes for Mother's Day (Hoosier Homemade)

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