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8 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

I am honored to speak this evening at our local MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) meeting on Kitchen Organization.  Here are my top tips that were shared.  Feel free to check out our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/5cornersbnb for more great ideas!

Utilize the tops of your cabinets with items that are not used very often.  Make the most of this space by hiding less popular kitchen tools inside of them (such as cookie cutters, cookbooks, cloth napkins, attachments for your Kitchen Aide mixer, etc).  Labels are a good idea so you don’t forget what’s up there.

1) Utilize the tops of your cabinets with items that are not used very often.  Make the most of this space by hiding less popular kitchen tools inside of them (such as cookie cutters, cookbooks, cloth napkins, attachments for your Kitchen Aide mixer, etc).  Labels are a good idea so you don’t forget what’s up there.

Make a kid-friendly zone for snacks and school lunches.  Make all of your sandwiches for the week on Sunday night then just grab and go in the morning.2) Make a kid-friendly zone for snacks and school lunches.  Make all of your sandwiches for the week on Sunday night then just grab and go in the morning.

3) To make cooking easier, organize your kitchen so each area has a specific purpose.  Choose one counter that will be used for food preparation.  Have within easy reach of this area all utensils (knives, spoons, measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc).  Another example would be putting your cups and coffee mugs should be located closest to your refrigerator and coffee pot.  Your silverware and napkins should be located closest to where you eat.

Have herbs at your fingertips.  You will be more likely to use them!  Spices should be stored where it is dark and dry.  Perfect place: inside pantry door4) Have herbs at your fingertips.  You will be more likely to use them!  Spices should be stored where it is dark and dry.

5) Move foil and baggies out of the drawers to make extra room by attaching a magazine rack to the inside of your pantry or cabinet door.

Use the inside of your cabinet doors for extra space.  Corkboard, pegboard, magnetic sheets all work great! Hang measuring cups, measuring spoons, kids artwork, conversion chart, boxtops, invitations, etc.6) Use the inside of your cabinet doors for extra space.  Corkboard, pegboard, magnetic sheets all work great! Hang measuring cups, measuring spoons, kids artwork, conversion chart, boxtops, invitations, etc.

7) Group like items in  baskets (lids, pills, spice packets, candy). Keep in mind rectangle and square containers take up less room than circle.

8) Store lids on the side of your cabinets by using either a towel rack or hooks.  Use that drawer/broiler under your oven for something else!

 

Baked Brie Tarts from Fall Open House

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our annual Fall Open House this afternoon!  It was wonderful to make new friends and visit with many people who have helped to make 5 Corners Bed and Breakfast a success. Here is the recipe for the Baked Brie Tarts that was requested by many…

Baked Brie Tarts

mini phyllo tarts
Brie cheese, cubed
brown sugar
chopped pecans
honey

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place tarts on a cookie sheet.
  3. Place a cube of cheese in each tart.  Top each tart with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, chopped pecans and a drizzle of honey.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

This recipe was originally posted by the blog Plain Chicken.

10 Ways to Upcycle Your Halloween Candy

10 Ways to Upcycle Your Halloween CandyTwix and Snickers are my personal downfall of Halloween candy. Once those are gone from the bucket, I start to gravitate to other flavors…which is not good. Its time to get it out of the house. Here are a few ways to upcycle your kids’ leftovers so its still not sitting around come Easter.

1) Trade in candy for Toothbrushes – Many dentists will trade in Halloween candy for new toothbrushes, floss or sometimes even stickers or other small goodies. The candy is then sent to our soldiers overseas or donated to a foodbank. Learn if there is a dentist near you that participates in this program by visiting: www.halloweencandybuyback.com.

2) Offer your kids a trade-in option.  Maybe offer to buy them a new book or crayon set for every pound of candy they turn in then donate it using #3 or #4.

3) Donate it to your local food pantry, nursing home, women’s shelter, church youth group or Ronald McDonald House.

4) Send a care package to a soldier overseas by visiting www.anysoldier.com or Operation Shoebox (please don’t ship anything that will melt).

5) Save it for the holidays and use it to fill stockings, advent calendars or candy dishes (chocolate freezes beautifully).

6) Reward your kids by attaching a note and sneaking it into your kid’s lunch box. Its the perfect way to give them a little support before a big test, big game or other big event.

7)  Make gingerbread houses.

8)  Use it in treat bags for your kids’ upcoming Birthday Parties or to fill a pinata.

9)  Melt down chocolate bars and make chocolate covered apples, pretzels, potato chips and more.  Add candy to pretzels, cereal, nuts and seeds for a wonderful trail mix.

10) Use candy to make homework fun by quizzing your kids and then using a piece as a reward.  Get the question or spelling word correct and they get to eat a piece.  Get it wrong and Mom gets it instead (M&Ms, Skittles or those new mini Reese Cups work great for this).

Simple Suppers – Enchilada Bake

Enchilada BakeIf your family is like mine, we love Mexican food.  Tacos, Fajitas, Quesadillas…you name it.  My husband and I especially love Enchiladas but after cooking the chicken, waiting for it to cool so I can shred it, then filling the tortillas…well I don’t make them very often.  Until now.  Thanks to a rotisserie chicken, this recipe is quick and easy to pull together.  I served it alongside some Mexican Rice and a small salad.

Enchilada Bake

1 rotisserie chicken, removed from the bone and shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 small can Enchilada sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream
green onions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Over medium heat, melt butter and saute onions until transparent and slightly brown.
3) Place shredded chicken into the bottom of a greased 8×8 pan.  Sprinkle cooked onions over chicken.  Top with Enchilada sauce.  Stir until chicken is covered evenly.
4) Sprinkle cheese over chicken mixture.
5) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.  Top with sour cream and green onions. Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from The Key Ingredient.

Girls Night Out Recipes

 

Thanks to everyone who attended our Girls Night Out event tonight!  Even with the yucky weather, we had a nice turnout of wonderful ladies.  Everyone seemed to enjoy our two tastings tonight so I thought I would share the recipes.

Caramel Apple Dip

16 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup water
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium pan over low heat, melt caramels with water, stirring constantly.  Once completely melted, remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, blend together cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla (My Kitchen-aide mixer worked perfectly for this).  Once the caramel mixture has cooled slightly, fold it into the cream cheese mixture.

Serve with apple slices.

I also served the dip with graham cracker pretzels (available locally at Penton’s Farm Market or Miller’s Apple Hill).  Here’s a tip for you — after you cut your apple, soak them in 7-up or Sprite to keep their bright white color.  This recipe was originally posted by the blog How Sweet It Is.

 

Apple Cider Sangria

1 bottle of Pinot Grigio
3 cups fresh apple cider
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup ginger brandy
2 large apples, chopped

Combine all ingredients, except apples, and stir.  Refrigerate for several hours.  Right before serving, add apples.  I would recommend freezing some of the extra apple cider in ice cube trays.  This will keep your Sangria cold without diluting it.

This recipe was adapted from its original post on Chef-In-Training.

 

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