Posted on 26 February 2013 by noelskitchen
So many families have a goal to eat better foods and live a healthier lifestyle in 2013. Is your family one of them? If so, have you started moving toward this goal yet? Just because it’s the end of February doesn’t mean it’s too late to start.
How does your family make this goal a reality? It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
Step 1: Organize and declutter your kitchen pantry. Keep all “like items” together. Take the initiative to learn about all the additives that are put into the foods you buy and that your are storing in your kitchen. Start with one cupboard, then move onto the next. Having an organized kitchen is essential in helping you create a meal plan so that it’s easier for you to be in the kitchen to cook and get those healthy meals on the table.
Step 2: Make a list of meals your family enjoys and cook them from scratch. You only need to have a few, no need to overwhelm yourself. Add in one or two extra meals as time goes on. The biggest stumbling block to family meal planning and cooking meals from scratch for many busy families is lack of organization for healthy eating.
Step 3: If you’re working outside of the home, take lunch as often as you can. Pack a school lunch for your kids. Always look at each meal as an opportunity to eat as healthy as you can. See my school lunch box ideas and lunch tips for inspiration.
Posted on 19 February 2013 by noelskitchen
This year, as our family decides to live more frugal, we decided on kicking it up a notch in our composting. We’re looking forward to a bigger and better family garden this year and that’s going to require us to pay more attention to the soil we grow our foods in. All those wasted food scraps that didn’t go to the chickens, will be re-purposed as wonderful organic compost. I’ll also be a little curious on how much less garbage we put out (it’s usually a lot) and how much more recycling we have each week.
Right now, I’m re-purposing an old Folgers coffee canister placed on our kitchen counter to save our kitchen scraps. When it’s full, we’ll take it to the garden. To keep it fresh smelling without all those nasty odors, I’m using my baking soda shaker to sprinkle in every once in a while to balance the chemicals and reduce odor.
Here’s a list of what kitchen scraps we’ll be saving for composting:
- Peels and rinds from fruits and vegetables
- Coffee grounds (we don’t have paper filters but you could compost those too)
- Tea bags and tea grounds
- Paper towels, paper napkins, brown paper grocery bags (use these all the time in the garden to keep weeds away)
- Cardboard boxes
- Egg shells and egg cartons (not the Styrofoam ones)
- Stale bread
- Potato peels
- Old newspapers
Just throw all of your scraps into your kitchen counter top compost bin, coffee canister or bucket and empty into the compost pile once it is full. Just make sure to “stir” your kitchen compost frequently while it “cooks” to give it a little air–you can also add a little dirt/soil from the garden to the mix to speed up the process and minimize smell.
Saving those kitchen scraps is just another way our family is living more frugal these days. How about you? Is your family saving kitchen scraps for compost?
Posted on 26 July 2012 by noelskitchen
What a neat use for old clothes hangers.
Like any parent, you probably have many of these hanging around in your kids closet that don’t get used anymore because your child has grown out of those toddler clothes.
This is a wonderful idea on Pinterest, that I’ve added to my kitchen organization board on how to turn those old clothes hangers into something useful!
Start out by taking some wire cutters and snapping off the “clip” ends of the plastic hanger. They will look like this:
And they turn out like this:
Chip Clips…Frugal Idea!!!
Posted on 17 July 2012 by noelskitchen
Hi Everyone! I thought it might be a great resource for everyone to start sharing a Mom’s Talk Monday where I share your questions to those daily tasks moms face on a variety of topics. It seems like most of the questions I receive fall into these five categories:
- family mealtimes, meal planning, cooking, recipes
- kitchen tools and organization
- balancing work, family and just being a mom
- getting the kids in the kitchen
- money saving tips
So if you have any questions to add in any of these five categories, bring them on!
Whatever comes to mind — the more the merrier! Feel free to send them in an email (go to the Contact button in the top left), leave a comment below in the comments section, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Then check back on Mondays for some A’s for your Q’s.
Can’t wait to hear what’s on your minds!
Posted on 22 June 2012 by noelskitchen
Parchment paper — also called baking paper or baking parchment — is a heavy-duty paper sold on rolls in boxes, like aluminum foil and plastic wrap. It is moisture-resistant and grease-resistant, and has several uses in the kitchen.
I prefer the Reynolds Genuine Parchment Paper brand sold at Raley’s; however, you can use any brand, including generic, to make your life a little easier in the kitchen. Nothing sticks to it, which eliminates your need to use non-stick bake ware and of course the best part, it means little-to-no clean-up! You can use one single sheet for a full batch of cookies, so you’re getting good use out of one sheet.
I also love to use it to make disposable pastry bags and to bake foods “en papillote”, a cooking method in which foods and seasonings like fish or vegetables are cooked together inside an envelope made with the parchment. On occasion, when I run out of baking cups, I have been known to cut the parchment paper into small squares and place in my muffin tins when baking muffins, cornbread, and cupcakes as it’s much cheaper than those foil liners.
I found that by using cooking sprays on your bakeware or griddles, they start to develop this yellowish-brown film. Even after scrubbing and soaking, that awful color doesn’t go away. So I started using parchment paper to save my pans and griddle. Stop buying foil and using Pam all the time to ensure everything you cook and bake comes out perfectly every time… Roll Out The Parchment Paper!
Never use parchment paper under the broiler in your oven as it will burn!
For more of my best kitchen tips, visit Noel’s Best Kitchen Tips page.