Tag Archive | kitchen

Stupid. Freakin’. Bread.

Right. So. By now you know the seething hatred between me and bread. Or you only have to look back some posts to figure it out. And here I am again. Trying to make it work.

You can’t say I’m not putting my part into this relationship!

I ran out of bread, store bought, and I didn’t feel like running to the store. The Texan also loves Hawaiian bread, and I had the ingredients for it. Stupid bread. I figured it’d do just fine as a PB&J sandwich bread.

So I held my breath and tried not to cuss too much. I grabbed out the ingredients. And I started. Again.

You’d think I would learn.

So, add the water and the butter to the stupid bread machine.

Now add the stupid cake mix. This is supposed to be what makes hawaiian bread different. Whatever. Stupid bread.

Now add the stupid flour. And the stupid yeast. In a stupid well inside the middle of said stupid flour mix.

I set the stupid bread machine to light crust and walked away.

I didn’t peak. I swear. I swear I swear I swear.

I walked away and did other things so I didn’t go mad.

And THIS, dear readers, is what I get!

Are you F*@(ING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? What is THAT? It caved in?

This is the part where I normally curse a lot, complain, tell you that God hates me and try to figure out what happened.

I’m not doing that today. I’m on FREAKIN STRIKE!

Ugh.

I don’t care. They’re gonna eat it anyway and LIKE IT!

Orange Dried Pineapples

I dry a lot of food. It’s easy, stores forever, reconstitutes well especially when you have one of those “I ran out of fresh” whatever moments, and they make great snacks and mixes.

They had pineapple on sale. My only regret is I only bought two. I love pineapple. My blood sugar doesn’t.

I also had some left over orange juice in the fridge from New Years. Orange juice is only a diabetics friend when you go hypo and need a quick boost.

Pineapple. Orange Juice. You get the picture.

I’m always looking for new and creative ways to dry fruit. Thank you Mary Bell for all your ideas! Man, that woman is wonderful.

I decided to try soaking some pineapple in orange juice overnight and drying it to see what it came out like. Cause really? Orange and pineapple. Heavenly.

In case I haven’t bragged enough, here’s my big bad dog dehydrator.

And the easy peasy slide out drawers.

So I soaked the pineapple overnight. I had to test some to make sure it was good before I dried it. Ok, I had to test several pieces. Can never be too safe. It was delicious.

Then line them up on the trays.

It took about 10 hours on the setting I had to make sure it was totally dry. There should be no moisture in it, but not be dry and brittle.

And into my little plastic tubs they go. You might remember these tubs from an earlier blog. They are endlessly useful.

If you cut these into rings and dry them, they look like flowers and make GREAT decor for the tops of cakes. They also make great every day snacks. You can reconstitute them for different recipes, for plain eating or drop them into some iced tea or lemonade for some flavor. They are so good, and stored properly, they’ll last forever.

I’m gonna have to keep myself away from these too. Although they are a nice primal snack, I can’t go overboard because of the sugar content. Be warned, they are hard as HELL to stop eating!

Yep, I’m THAT Anal: Another Cheap Way To Organize Your Sh*t

Ok, so some people call me really anal. Organized. I’m really not. I thrive on chaos. Well, certain kinds of chaos.

I am the most classic believer in A place for everything and everything in it’s place. Why? Is it because I’m overly obsessed with a clean house?

No. LOL. My dusty baseboards can tell you that.

What I’m NOT a fan of is spending 809283098 minutes trying to find something and having SO much sh&t in my house that everything doesn’t have a damn place. That’s what I’m not a fan of.

In my humble opinion, life is too damn short and precious to eek out 5 minutes of my time 100 times a day going “where is this? where is that?” and fumbling through cabinets and drawers trying to find something stupid. I’d rather spend time doing something I WANT to be doing be that cooking, being outside, spending time with family, whatever. I may WANT to make that country fried steak but I don’t want to spend 20 minutes out of the hour it takes searching for the ingredients.

It’s all a matter of time murder. Every time I have to fumble to find a sheet, a towel, a battery, the salt, or a light bulb, time is being murdered from me. It may only be little minutes here and there but they add up. At the end of my life I’m not going to say “Gee, wish I would have spent MORE time trying to find the wide tooth comb.” No.

So to me, quick and easy ways to organize things and keep them that way are SO worth it. SO worth it. I AM one of those people who will make “smaller” things and store “bigger” things even though it takes extra space just so it’s easily found and reachable. Let me explain.

I’ll buy a big can of coffee. But I don’t want the coffee cluttering up the kitchen cabinet, or the freezer, since we don’t go through coffee THAT fast. So I will repackage SOME of that coffee into a smaller container, in the cabinet, clearly labeled, and put the big can in the pantry. Ironically, this saves me time and space. I don’t have something huge cluttering up my precious kitchen cabinets. I don’t have to fumble to drag the can out from behind 8 million other things, it keeps more MORE aware of how much I have because I have to refill it every few weeks and it’s nicely placed exactly where it’s easy to get to.

Food, especially, is not always packaged in a way that’s conducive to storage. Know that now. Many times these packages are HUGE because half of them are air. That’s wasted space and more issue to lug out. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to repackage chips for lunches in smaller baggies that you can grab and toss into the lunch box than it is to have a huge, half air bag of chips in the cabinet going stale that you’ll have to re package anyway and end up with another half the bag of broken chips. I like to do it all at once and save the grief. I also KNOW how much I’ve got then, no more “I thought I had more” BS.

So, enter lunch and the kitchen cabinet. I hate making lunches. I really do. It’s an annoying ritual. And I really do like to grab and go. I also like to be able to distinguish “snacks” for me (low carb) and “snacks” for the ones with working beta cells. It creates less temptation for me and tends to keep their paws off things that are very obviously for lunches.

All this lunch stuff is also kept in the same cabinet with my soups, my dried foods, canned stuff, crackers, dinner items, etc. So it gets a little hectic. Let me show you.

You can see my feeble attempt at having bins that can just be slid out. It didn’t work. All the stuff doesn’t fit in there. Baggies or not. I was always digging and GOD I hate digging. It’s another waste of time.

So, I got a brilliant idea.

I often use plastic containers, take out style, in my business for different items. They are all around a useful little tool. Think the containers that egg drop soup come in. They are available at most any food supply store. Try Gordon Food Service, Costco, etc. They are inexpensive, effective, easily cleaned and cute as hell too. Or I always thought so.

So that’s what I started doing. Putting things in those little containers. They come generally in 3 sizes. A squat 8oz, a taller 16oz, and a big ass 32oz. They stack wonderfully. Nothing falling over because they are all the same size diameter. It’s wonderful. They can also be easily labeled and relabeled, they are pretty air tight, they are a glorious little thing.

So I started putting my dried apples, vegetables, banana chips and the like in there. I put some “lunch snack” items in the smaller containers so I can just grab and throw them in. Hopefully they’ll bring back the containers but if not, I won’t cry about it. Candies, crackers, maybe little serving sizes of chips. The possibilites there are endless.

I also stored drink mixes, coffee, loose teas and creamers in them too and boy did THAT free up a lot of space. Drink stuff usually likes to come in fat tubs, which are impossible to stack because they have rounded tops.

My “drink” cabinet looks much better.

Halfway through the snack cabinet looked much better. I had tons more room too. Mind you even here, everything is pushed to the front, the back is nearly all empty on the second shelf.

And that’s only half done. See how much easier that’s gonna be? They are clear, easily seen, easily labeled. YAY! I’m jazzed.

Now they (me too) can just grab and go when they want something. No more guessing.

This will work for nearly anything, don’t just think snacks. Think makeup, in the fridge items like cut up fruit, under the bathroom sink, jewelry, anything.

I resent and refuse the idea that organization takes ass tons of money and a day time television show. I understand the need for aesthetics, yes, so decorate them if you have to. Draw on them with pretty marker or add paper if you really have to. Me, for the inside of a cabinet, I could care less as long as it’s functional.

And now I sleep a little better knowing I don’t have to worry about time murdering on the snack front at least. More time for me to do something I don’t hate.

So, am I really anal? Or am I just really good at prioritizing?