Archives For In the Kitchen

 

10856557_10153242659242792_6968282208898223829_o

Do you feel like you’re always behind on laundry?

Is it a struggle to keep the kitchen clean?

Do you dread dinner time because you never know what to make?

Just know you’re not alone!

I have struggled so much in these basic areas of homemaking over the past 9 years of managing a home.

Over the years, I’ve implemented systems that have helped me improve my household management, but I’m always eager to learn new techniques and tips from others!

Pile of Laundry

One tip that has helped me so much in my kitchen management was from a  4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking eCourse.  This particular tip was simple but implementing it has made a huge difference already!

The exciting news about this eCourse, it’s completely FREE!!

Sign up for this FREE 4-part mini eCourse that is available for a limited time: 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking!

In this eCourse, you will learn:

  • how to never get behind on laundry again,
  • how to wake up each day to a sparkling clean kitchen,
  • how to avoid the 5 ‘o’clock scramble with a super simple meal planning method, and
  • how to set yourself up for success with a quick nighttime routine.

What comes with this eCourse?

  • 4 videos: These videos are all less than 10 minutes long, so it won’t take up a lot of time to watch them.
  • 4 printable worksheets: We don’t want to just leave you with the teaching; we want you to brainstorm ways to implement it in your life!
  • FREE REWARDS by sharing this FREE eCourse with your friends as well!

Dirty Dishes

What rewards can you earn?

Don’t miss out on this FREE eCourse that can help take the stress out of homemaking! Get immediate access by signing up here or click on the button below! 

Click here for immediate access!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Thank you for supporting my site!

Homemade Applesauce

One of my favorite fall traditions is making applesauce. Each fall, my parents give me a bunch of Arkansas Black apples from my grandparents farm and these apples make delicious applesauce.

Making homemade applesauce is easy – it just takes a few hours from start to finish. The yummy homemade applesauce is worth every hour spent in the kitchen.

Apples

Arkansas Blacks aren’t technically good applesauce apples because they are a hard apple. Good varieties for applesauce include Gala, Fuji, Stayman Winesap and Pink Lady to name a few. I use the Arkansas Blacks because they’re given to me so making applesauce from them is free!

Here are the simple steps to making homemade applesauce:

Peel Apples

Step 1: Peel the apples.

Slice Apples

Step 2: Slice/core the apples.

(An Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer would definitely speed the applesauce making process up. I can’t justify spending money and using valuable cabinet space for an appliance that I would use once a year.)

Put Apples in Pot

Step 3: Place apples in a large pot with a little water.

Cook Apples

Step 4: Watch them cook, stirring often. Add water as needed to prevent burning.

Applesauce

Step 5: You have applesauce. Add sugar if you want (we never add sugar because apples are naturally so sweet) and cinnamon if you want cinnamon applesauce.

At this point, you can refrigerate your applesauce and eat it over the next few days. Or, if you’ve made a large quantity, the next step is to can the applesauce.

To can, place applesauce in jars, put on lids and bands and put in water bath canner. They need to process for 20 minutes (for pint jars).

Canned Applesauce

Step 6: You have canned applesauce. I ended up with 9 pints of plain and 3 of cinnamon this round.

It took me approximately 4 hours from start to finish (canning completed & kitchen clean) to make these 12 pints.

And, one of my favorite parts of making applesauce, it always makes my house smell oh so homey!

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links that help support this site.

Compost in BarrelWe don’t put any food into our trash can.

The main reason we choose not to put food into the trash is because those scraps are valuable, as food for our chickens and as rich compost! A bonus of not putting food into the trash can, the trash doesn’t smell!

Our priority is to prevent food waste and not have much to throw out but there are peels, seeds, cores and bones that are inedible.

The scraps we do have fall into 3 categories:

  1. Scraps for chickens
  2. Scraps for composting
  3. Other scraps (like bones/cooked foods) which go to a pile in our woods

Starting to compost can be intimidating because there’s the fear of the smell of collecting food scraps in the kitchen. Plus, many people think they need a fancy kitchen collection container and an elaborate composting system outside. You don’t need these things to begin. Composting really can be simple!

Here’s our simple composting system:

Compost Bowl

We keep a bowl on our kitchen counter to collect scraps to go to compost. We only put peels, seeds, cores and uncooked food into this bowl (no meat or cooked foods).

Full Compost Bowl

Once the bowl fills up, it’s time to carry it outside. We dump the bowl an average of once a day (some days we’ll go two days before dumping, other days we fill up two bowls to carry out).

Compost Barrel

Once the bowl fills, we bring it  out to our compost barrel and place it inside the barrel.

We have the barrel to speed up the ‘cooking’ process for our compost but it’s not necessary.

You can just dump your kitchen scraps in a pile outside, you do not need anything fancy and don’t have to spend a dime to start composting!

Compost in Barrel

The compost barrel contains the scraps that are breaking down into rich compost.

If you look closely, you can see scraps of denim and a piece of leather. I cut up a pair of old jeans and a leather notebook cover and am experimenting with composting them!

Growing in Compost

Underneath our compost barrel is broken down pile of compost. It does not have a bad odor, it just has a rich, earthy odor to it. And, you’ll notice there are things growing in it, I’m pretty sure these are cantaloupe plants which excites me!

Composting really can be simple. All you need is a bowl to collect scraps and a spot in your yard to dump them!

Leftover Makeovers

This is a guest post written by Barb from Cultivating Motherhood.

I have always been a fan of making sure food doesn’t go to waste. The problem is, I get very bored with having leftover meals. It’s not that I can’t make myself eat them, they are just boring. During any given week, my family might have 3-4 leftover meals just sitting in the fridge because we’ve avoided eating them. (Well, I’ve avoided eating them, my husband has no problem with leftovers.)

I wanted a way to make leftovers more exciting. This is how my leftover makeovers were created! It isn’t a revolutionary idea or anything, but it’s so practical. I wanted to find a way to make new meals out of the leftovers that we already had in the fridge.

Recently we used roasted chicken that we had for dinner one night to make white bean chicken chili the next night. We roast a whole chicken often since it always gives us plenty of leftover chicken to make other meals with.(Since we get all of our chickens from a local farm I do not like wasting any of the chicken.)

Whole Cooked Chicken

For the chili, after dinner I pulled the leftover chicken off of the bones. The next evening, I just had to cut the veggies and cook.

Chicken Chili Prep

For this recipe, I added carrots, jalapeño, onion, corn, celery, green pepper, garlic, chicken stock, water, white beans, and spices. (I’ll occasionally add lentils to help thicken.)

Chicken Chili

I cooked the chili it in a stock pot, but this could easily be turned into a crockpot meal.

Bowl of Chicken Chili

Voila! A delicious leftover makeover!

The best part is that this batch of chili left us with enough to freeze for another meal! We are only a family of three so we are often have plenty of leftovers. If your family is larger, you can still do the same thing but start by roasting two chickens.

Other leftover makeovers from roasted chicken:

  • Chicken quesdaillas
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Chicken salad for lunch
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Chicken fajitas

Although many of these things are meals that you might make without using leftovers, I always find it easier to make these meals when I don’t have to cook the meat on the day of cooking. It makes the process much faster and makes it feel like a grand meal without much effort.

I’m always looking for new ideas on how to make leftovers more exciting and hope this will inspire you to try some leftover creations of your own!

Barb is wife and mother to a fun and spunky 22 month old tot Liam. She works full time as a pediatric nurse, but thinks her most important job is taking care of her family and home. She’s a breast feeding, cloth diapering, natural living, Pinterest obsessed mama who’s still figuring it all out. While she may be sleep deprived, busy, and slightly neurotic, she loves blogging about it all at Cultivating Motherhood.