Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Tiny Pantry Project for a Worknight

I couldn't resist getting another hanging plant of colorful flowers for fall. I need to put up a nail to hang it from!

Last night I had my first fire of the season, even though it wasn't quite chilly enough to justify it. I sat in front of it with a mug of tea and some magazines, and of course was soon joined by all the pets in the house!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Need to do any mid-week laundry?
  • How about mid-week vacuuming?
  • I'm trying to use up some leftovers so I can go into the weekend fresh and make new tasty things for my meals! How is your fridge looking for leftovers?
  • Do you have your social plans set for this weekend? Or if you have too many things going on this weekend, have you carved out some mandatory downtime for yourself?
  • Are you on track with your book club reading (if any), homework from any online classes you are taking? Still doing your journaling?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Sorting Half My Baking Pantry

I decided to get a little jump on my big autumn kitchen renewal ritual by doing little projects here and there ahead of time when I have the chance. I'm going out to dinner tonight, so I'm taking half an hour during my lunch break here at home to do a small tidying project. This is the top half of my "baking supplies pantry" where I keep my box mixes. (I'm not much of a 'from scratch' baker, sorry to say). I'll do the bottom half tomorrow afternoon when I have some more time. (I like to do my homemaking projects in manageable chunks).

I'm taking everything out, checking the expiration dates and becoming shocked at how many expired items there are. This means I'm buying too many items, not baking as many as I had anticipated, and wasting food and money!

This sorting project has taken up half my kitchen counters! I'm clipping any Box Tops 4 Education off my Betty Crocker items before tossing the mix and recycling the box. I'll sanitize the pantry cupboard, dry it, then put everything that I'm keeping back in a more organized fashion.

The top half of my Baker's Pantry is done. I'll do the bottom half tomorrow night!

Tomorrow I have some baking to do. I've learned a lot about my spending and baking (or lack thereof) habits. I plan to bake a batch of cornbread tomorrow morning while I'm home waiting for the pest control company to arrive (don't ask! sigh). While I have an idea to bake a second batch for my cousin's house, I shouldn't do this unsolicited - I can't make my overshopping problem be someone else's food-temptation problem! I'll ask her first if she wants a pan of Trader Joe's cornbread. I suspect she'll say yes if she has chili or baked beans on her menu plan for the week!

How is your pantry looking? Do you have a bit of time to sort it now before we fall into our big autumn cleaning projects schedule in a couple weeks?

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Harvest Teas

I'm planning to gift this stackable set of three autumn-themed teas a few times this season. I'll tuck a tin in each autumn care package or gift basket I'm making up for friends and family. You get a few teabags (12) in each little tin. The flavors include Cranberry Spice Hibiscus, Hot Apple Cider, and Pumpkin Spice.

Harvest Stackable Tea Tin, on Amazon

Harvest Stackable Tea Tin, at Republic of Tea

LOVELY BLOGS: Amuse Your Bouche

Becca blogs about simple vegetarian recipes. (I thought this might come in handy not only to Lovely Living's vegetarian readers such as myself, but to people wanting to do more veggie sides or Meatless Mondays, etc). Becca blogs from Hertfordshire in the UK. Her blog includes recipes for main meals, light lunches, appetizers, side dishes, soups, snacks and desserts. Recent posts include 10 Delicious Vegetarian Sandwiches, Toasted Gnocchi Salad, Full English Breakfast Baked Eggs, and a Healthy Apple Crumble Smoothie.

http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Golden Delicious Cookie Apples (Bake at 350)

Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars (Love From the Oven)

Basil Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic and Tomato Sauce (A Beautiful Mess)

A Blueberry Pie to Write Home About (The English Kitchen)

Bruleed Buttermilk Tart with Roasted Plums (Annie's Eats)

Cheesy Baked Ziti with Pasta (Brown Eyed Baker)

Crispy Zucchini Tacos with Cherry Pepper Crema (How Sweet it Is)

Dragonfruit Vodka Tonic (101 Cookbooks)

The Easiest Way to Can Fresh Tomatoes for Sauce (Lille Punkin')

Framed Pumpkin Halloween Decor Tutorial (Craftaholics Anonymous)

Gentle Reminders: Clean Kitchens (Martha Stewart)

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream (Behind the Camera and Dreaming)

Pickled Vegetables Rice Noodle Salad (Honest Cooking)

Tart Cherry Pie (Bake at 350)


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