Sunday, April 29, 2012

Providing from the Pantry

I think all of us have had the experience of walking into the pantry or opening a cupboard door and realizing that things have gotten way out of control. Well, I had that moment about a month ago and each day after, I swore that that day would be the day that I tore everything out of the pantry and reassembled every thing nice and neatly. And each day I would practice creative diversion. And each day the sun would set on yet another day that saw the pantry only get more crowded from floor to top shelves. Seriously, I could barely get in to retrieve things off the shelf at the far end of the pantry. It was bad. And still, I couldn't seem to bring myself to tackle the project simply because it had gotten so out of control. It was overwhelming.
So I decided to do just a little bit each day until I had it organized again.
And so I began. And it dawned on me that I had food that needed to get used before it went bad. Bags of pasta bought at a great sale price, bags of beans bought when I swore we would eat more meatless meals. Vast quantities of flour and spices waiting to be stored away via the Food Saver and freezer. It would be awful to have to throw away the very things that were bought in order to save money. I knew it was time to pull out my recipe collection and cookbooks and get my creative juices flowing in order to create meals, snacks and desserts with the items I had on hand.
So far, the pantry has provided us with a dinner of pesto pasta with homemade french bread, oatmeal and raisin cookies from scratch, a pan of brownies (boxed) that I added a handful of mini chocolate chips to and grilled cheese sandwiches. All those items were made strictly with items I had on hand already but that had continually been overlooked by me in favor of going to the store and buying more.
Future meals and sweets I have planned are: lemon bars, pasta salad, lemon poppy seed muffins and vanilla ice cream with spiced pear sauce. And I can make all those with items (with the exception of the ice cream) I already have! Our grocery bill is going to be almost non existent! I'm so excited about that! (In all honesty, I will probably use the grocery budget to seek out great deals to re-stock our food supplies.)
I look forward to seeing how long "shopping from the pantry, fridge & freezer" will carry us!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weather Report

The weather around here has been beyond beautiful lately! Cool, crisp mornings and evenings with warm afternoons sandwiched between. Bright sunny skies with clouds so big & fluffy or barely there wisps of white made only more beautiful by the brilliant blue backdrop of sky.
These are the kind of days that I could spend most of my time outside enjoying them, even though I'm not, by nature, and outdoorsy kinda gal.
I can only hope that everyone is having weather this wonderful all over this land of ours!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pickle Juice a Remedy for Cramps?!

My dear hubby had been suffering from TERRIBLE cramping in his hands lately, (even when downing tablet after tablet of potassium) when I remembered reading something about pickle juice stopping cramps dead in their tracks. Well, I searched online again and found several articles but I figured hubby would only go for it if it had been proven somehow, and not just as some old wives tale. I pulled up an article about a university study on my cell phone and handed it to him without saying a word. In short order, he was drinking a juice glass of pickle juice and his cramps subsided soon after.

In my own personal experience, just this morning, while suffering almost debilitating cramps of the feminine sort, I decided to eat a pickle and take a couple of swigs of the juice. Lo and behold the cramps lessened greatly.

Such a simple thing...with big results.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Bottle

For some reason, bottles and jars have always captured my affections, possibly because my maternal grandmother used to collect antique bottles. Several years ago, while perusing the dollar store, I found a simple looking, tall bottle. Something about the slim silhouette of the glass object begged me to make it mine.
Immediately after getting it home, washed and air dried, I filled it with rich extra virgin olive oil and placed the bottles' cork in its opening.
It wasn't long before the cork got oily & messy so I replaced it with a pourer spout that I was able to buy for not much more than the bottle itself that made using the golden green oil a pleasure for cooking with. I suddenly felt so Food Network chef-worthy!
What makes this inexpensive bottle so worthy that I would write about it here? Well, because I have gotten one complement after another on it. My mother even went home after a visit with us and texted me soon after, saying she had bought herself a bottle for her oil because of mine.
Don't you love it when you get complimented on such a simple thing that was aquired for mere pennies? I do.


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