January is always a great month to reset and get a little organized with a fresh new start to a fresh new year. One of the best things you can do to enjoy cooking and being in your kitchen more is being organized. I am an organizational freak by nature, which comes in pretty handy, especially in the kitchen. People ask me all the time how I make entertaining look so easy and the answer is simply, by being organized. It doesn’t take that much extra time to plan in advance, in fact, in the end, planning and organizing saves time. January is also National Soup Month! What’s better than soothing, healthy soups to warm your soul. After the holidays, I’m always ready to hunker down at home, especially when the weather isn’t quite stellar. My Healthy Kale Minestrone is a hearty meal on its own. Packed full of fresh healthy veges, and finished with avocado and extra virgin olive oil, you will live on this one all winter long. I like to make a big pot on a Sunday, and then we have it to enjoy whenever we want, all week long. Just click on the photo for the recipe! Keep scrolling for more healthy and delicious soups to keep you warm this month! Now back to organizing!
Recently I did a little kitchen re-organization. My kitchen was in pretty good shape, but there’s always room for improvement. A few little changes can save a ton of time.One thing in particular was adding drawers to the inside of my base cabinets. Now rather than sitting on the floor to try to dig in the back of a cabinet to find something, I simply pull out the drawer and I can see everything that’s there and easily retrieve what I am looking for. This is especially helpful with heavy items, like my kitchen aide stand mixer. I also added drawers to my pantry shelves, making it super easy to find things, especially on the lower shelves.
Which brings me to my next kitchen organizational peeve…expired foods. How many canned items are in your pantry that expired 2 years ago, 5…even more? It’s crazy to think about, but the time goes faster than you think. Take a few minutes even once a month before doing your grocery shopping to go through your pantry and refrigerator to remove expired items. It’s also a great way to make a good grocery list. If you stay on top of it, it only takes a minute or two.
A few other helpful hints to keeping your kitchen organized and functional:
1. Buy dried spices and herbs in small quantities and discard after 3 months.
2. Store garlic, shallots and onions in a bamboo steamer basket. It’s the perfect environment to optimum freshness and it helps keep the veggie bin in the refrigerator a little less cluttered.
3. Use drawer inserts for flatware, cooking tools and knife drawers to keep everything organized, easy to find and uncluttered.
4. Hanging pots and pans on a ceiling rack not only saves room in your cabinets, it makes them super easy to retrieve and put away.
5. Using an over the sink cutting board saves counter space and makes clean up so easy, just push the waste right into the sink.
6. I recently purchased an over the sink, roll up drying rack. So cool! Dishes, glasses and pots and pans drip dry right in the sink and when you are finished, it just rolls up and stores easily and without taking up much room under the sink.
7. Finally, labeling is a fun and simple way to keep everything organized.
Some of my favorite organizational tools to help you get started!
A few more of my fun and simple soup recipes! They are warm, soothing, healthy and delicious! Simply click on the photos for the recipes!
Now, get in the kitchen, get organized, and make these wonderful healthy soups! I hope you enjoy these healthy recipes as much as I enjoy sharing with you! You’ll find these and many more of my favorites in my latest lifestyle cookbook, “Fun & Simple Gourmet” at Amazon or iTunes for your devices!
In the meantime…