• zassenhaus pepper grinder via amazon in praise of pretty pepper mills
    decorating,  Food

    In Praise Of: Pretty Pepper Mills

    Let’s spice things up! I went on the hunt for a pretty pepper mill recently because our old one broke. Apparently, there are things we cannot fix around here. We are still recovering from that shock. In the process, I learned if you Google “pepper grinder,” you get a video game, not a spice grinder. Oops. Today, I will try and use the words “pepper mill” instead of “pepper grinder” because I’m fancy like that now. I went to college and everything. Ha! I also learned that spice aficionados are very particular about pepper mills. They know all about and argue over blade material, mill capacity, grinding speed, hand comfort,…

  • wood bowl in front of a stack of wood cutting boards in a farmhouse kitchen wood bowls for decor or food
    decorating,  Food

    Wood Bowls: For Food or Decor?

    Do you use your wood bowls for food or for decor? Or both? Or are you a wood bowl free household? Tell me everything. Leave no details out. I have a collection of wood bowls that I only use for decor purposes. You might have seen them stacked above our black pantry cabinet. The collection has grown larger, as collections do, since I took this picture. I started to wonder why I don’t use these wood bowls for holding food. And I’m not talking about food as in popcorn or a bunch of apples and bananas. I mean the wet, sticky, gooey stuff like pasta, soup, bread dough, cereal, etc.…

  • black built in pantry cabinet pantry organization tips for glass front cabinets
    decorating,  Food

    Pantry Organization That Works (For Us)

    Everyone has their pantry organization hacks, tips, and tricks. Will they work for you? Who knows. All I know is the pantry organization that works for us. Shall we throw open the doors on this pantry cabinet and see what horrors, I mean, organizational gems await us? Here are my pantry organization tips. Use any of these ideas that you can. Discard the rest! Tip #1: Get yourself some glass-front pantry cabinet doors.¬† I know you’re thinking, “That’s a terrible idea!” Oh, it definitely is. No question. But this is the tough love approach to pantry organization and nothing will motivate you faster than the thought of everyone seeing not…

  • chest freezer organization tip use hanging baskets and stackable bins to organize a chest freezer
    cleaning,  Food

    Chest Freezer Organization Tip

    I have a chest freezer organization tip that will save your sanity and maybe some money in the long run too. If you own a chest freezer, you know they are a pain to organize. By pain, I mean there is probably food at the bottom of your chest freezer that you haven’t seen in YEARS. It’s as if someone said, “I’ve got a great idea! Let’s haphazardly throw all of our food into a frozen pit that is so large that we have to bend ourselves in half to reach the mystery meat we stored at the bottom while hoping the lid for this frozen pit doesn’t fall on…

  • safety tips for making homemade hot sauce at home picture of bottle of hot sauce

    Safety Tips For Making Homemade Hot Sauce

    You know what they say. When life gives you habaneros you make hot sauce. What? No one says that? Taco ’bout a missed opportunity. This year we planted a few vegetables in containers on our deck. I’d like to tell you they were lovingly and studiously attend to all summer but that would be incorrect. There was definitely some neglect. Nevertheless, our habanero plant thrived in these adverse conditions and we suddenly had an abundance of habaneros on our hands. What does one do with 50 habaneros? While there is probably not a limit on the amount of fresh salsa a person could eat, there is definitely a limit on…

  • rustic bread on the happy list

    4 Bread Recipes I Make On Repeat

    We eat a fair amount of bread in our house. Life’s too short not to enjoy carbs, right? All. the. carbs. However, I don’t regularly buy bread from the grocery store unless my kids are going through a bagel phase or we are having burgers for dinner. If we’re eating bread it is usually because I’ve baked it. Yes, I’m one of those people. It’s not that I enjoy the act of baking bread particularly, but I do enjoy eating it. Here are 4 bread recipes I make on repeat around here. They never fail me. I’m also using the word bread loosely here. If it is dough-based, it’s bread…

  • in praise of blates pasta bowls low bowls blates replace dinner plates
    decorating,  Food

    In Praise of Blates (Pasta Bowls)

    Have you heard the term blates? A blate is a cross between a plate and a bowl. You might also know them as pasta bowls, low bowls, or dinner bowls. I feel silly typing the word blate, so you know I didn’t make the word up. I read about it on Food52. It seems like a very English language thing to make up a new word, doesn’t it? However, using the term blate instead of pasta bowl does imply that things other than pasta can be eaten in these dishes with shallow sides. Now here’s where the story gets really wild. We eat almost all of our meals on blates…

  • remembered the bag funny reusable shopping bags glamlicious tutus shop via etsy
    Food,  gift and learning

    In Praise of Funny Reusable Shopping Bags

    Is there a plastic bag ban where you live? New Jersey’s plastic bag ban kicked in a few weeks ago and it’s broader than most because it includes paper bags and foam polystyrene. There are some exceptions for some stores, but the rules are still fuzzy to me. All in all, I’m in support of this change. It makes me feel like we’re all working together in this small way to help the planet. I was already in the habit of bringing my own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. I do have to remember now to bring a bag when I’m going to a place like Target or…

  • blueberry freezer jam easy freezer jam

    Making Jam Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

    Making jam doesn’t have to be hard, time consuming, or require a bunch of fancy equipment. Oh, don’t get me wrong. You can make it that way! I won’t stop you from creating an ordeal, but making jam doesn’t have to suck the life out of you. What sort of jam voodoo is this? No voodoo, I promise.¬†Just make freezer jam instead of cooked jam. Cooked jam is usually preserved by water bath canning so that you can store the jam on your shelf, which is handy. Freezer jam doesn’t require canning because the jam is preserved in the freezer. To me, freezer jam tastes much fresher than cooked jam…

  • collapsible storage I've used for years laundry basket with sheets
    Food,  gift and learning

    Collapsible Bags and Baskets I’ve Used for Years

    Just because bags and baskets serve a useful function does not mean we always have space to store all of those bags and baskets. Especially the ones that help us manage the more tedious aspects of our life. That’s why I’ve become a fan of collapsible bags and baskets for chores such as laundry and grocery shopping. They are available in all their full-size glory when I need them, but I can easily fold them up and tuck them out-of-sight when I don’t need them. Here are the collapsible bags and baskets I’ve used for years. Years, folks. If I’ve used something for years and it still works great, you…