Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Resetting Our Kitchens for Festive Holiday Cooking and Baking

Christmas Apron, from Amazon

This week I want to get my kitchen, baking tools, supplies, and decorations ready for the holiday baking I'm eagerly anticipating. I usually do a "Fall kitchen reset" in early October, but this year was a little different. I threw a huge catered sit-down dinner party for around 20 people, and had to completely clean out my kitchen and empty both fridges and freezers for the caterers. It was a fun challenge - eat up all my foods from my fridge and freezer and not go grocery shopping for a month! Also, I decluttered my kitchen majorly, way more than normal.

Now I'm ready to get out some of the kitchen clutter again - it's ok to have my KitchenAid stand mixer on the counter if I'm using it every weekend, and I probably need to keep out a box of edible decorations for cakes and candies.

This week I'll break my kitchen organization into manageable bits - less than an hour per evening. Follow along and see if you get any inspiration or come up with any better ideas for your own kitchen!

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

  • Need to sweep leaves off your front porch? I was worried about my mail carrier slipping on my porch today!
  • Does your entryway or front hall need sweeping or vacuuming? Mine does - dog hair and leaves!
  • Any Netflix or Redbox movies to return this week? Any library books to be dropped off? I like to do errands like this while I'm already "out and about."
  • Is there fresh fruit in a bowl in your kitchen or on your dining table, waiting to be sliced and eaten? I have some pears that I'd better eat up tonight as I suspect they won't be so tasty tomorrow.
  • Do you have tissues in your purse, car and coat pockets? They'll come in handy during your walks or errands this cold, frosty week.
  • The month is winding down. In fact, it's over tonight. Anything you wanted to get done this month, any place you wanted to go, any remaining projects to finish up? Bills to pay by tomorrow?

TODAY'S PROJECT: Kitchen Reset Part 1

Tonight I won't have a lot of time after I get back from taking my nephew to karate and going to Family Dinner Night. I'll likely be tired and want to lounge around watching an hour of TV while I fold laundry read in bed a bit.

"Orange Clove" Candle Tin, at Target.com

So I'll begin to prepare my kitchen quite simply tonight, by scrubbing the wood fronts of my cupboards, mopping the floor, and wiping the front of my refrigerator. I've already cleaned the stove and counters off today as part of my regular daily housekeeping duties. I'll take out trash and recycling, light the new Orange Clove candle I got for my kitchen, then make a cup of decaf English Breakfast tea to take down to the TV room with me.

If you were to choose to take on your kitchen this week, what project might you prioritize for this evening?

LOVELY BEVERAGES: Par Avion Tea

I love the streamlined, mid-century modern look of these tea tins. I also like their atypical flavor offerings: They sell dessert teas, maple sugar tea, Belgian Chocolate Chai, Chocolate Mint Rooibos, Caramel Popcorn Tea, Toasted Almond Cookie, Chocolate Ginger Bourbon, Watermelon Lime, and Golden Apricot, among others. If I'm gifting any teas this Christmas, it will be teas from this intriguing line.

Par Avion Tea.com

Par Avion Tea, on Amazon

LOVELY BOOKS: The Housekeeper's Week

Here's another one of the housekeeping how-to manuals I love perusing when I'm about to embark on a big cleaning project. (Or after I'm lounging around recovering from one!)

The author of this one is a stern looking Marion Harland (see her photo on the first page). She instructs us on putting and keeping our houses in order, budgeting the household expenses, and keeping our family happy with an attractive home. She has the week's chores and duties split up day by day. Monday is Wash Day, with five chapters devoted to that teaching us how to accomplish the tasks for that day. Tuesday is Ironing Day; Wednesday is Baking Day; and Friday is devoted entirely to ridding one's home of pests and vermin!

I'm especially enjoying the chapter called "According to the season"

The Housekeeper's Week, at The Internet Archive

LOVELY FRAGRANCE: Cocktail Scented Candles from Bath & Body Works

These cocktail and champagne themed candles might be nice to burn at a cocktail party, or gift to your friend who enjoys imbibing. The line includes Champagne Toast, Pomegranate Prosecco Punch, Spiced Apple Toddy, and Cheers Mulled Wine.

LOVELY SHOPS: Cecil & Clyde

This shop sells the most darling and unique cottage home decor pillows. They're so adorable! They also sell some sweet felt Christmas ornaments, heart-shaped pillows, and pillows in animal shapes.

My favorite item here is this camper caravan Tooth Fairy pillow.

www.etsy.com/shop/CecilClyde

LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

Argentinian Dulce du Leche Cookies (Curious Cuisiniere)

Bacon Blue Cheese Mashed Potato Waffles (How Sweet it Is)

Bacon and Leek Flat Bread (Home to Heather)

Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies (Celebrating Sweets)

Create an Enchanted Forest With This DIY Shadow Box (PopSugar)

DIY Snow Covered Pinecones (Ella Claire Inspired)

Dreamy Winter Hot Cocoa Stand Party (Hostess With the Mostess)

Edible Christmas Gifts in Jars (Half Baked Harvest)

Finnish Cinnamon Rolls (My Dear Kitchen in Helsinki)

Hummus With Pomegranate Molasses (La Cuisine Helene)

Maple Mustard Roasted Rainbow Carrots (Sugar Love Spices)

Mulled Cranberry Wine (Crafty Cooking Mama)

The Norwegian Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter (Fast Company)

Roasted Root Vegetables (Gimme Some Oven)

Springerle Joy Christmas Cookies (The Bearfoot Baker)


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