Tag Archives: cleaning


My Organized Spice, Vinegar, and Oil Pantry

My Organized Spice, Vinegar, and Oil Pantry

Many of you may remember my great pantry and freezer clean out (to read the post click here).¬† I think I made mention¬†during that post¬†that my spice pantry was is massive need of cleaning and organizing.¬† I tend to be very Type-A (I sometimes think they modeled Monica Geller¬†after me), so I am not sure how it got so out of hand in the first place.¬† My excuse is going to be that when you have young kids and all the activities that come with that, something has to give…I guess it was my spice pantry.

A few weekends ago we had a much-needed day at home.  NOTHING was planned.  Sometimes that is so blissful.  The kids were given the rare opportunity to veg in front of the TV for longer than their allotted hour, and I took to cleaning out the spice pantry.

I am embarrassed to say that there were multiple duplicates (does¬†anyone really need 3 half used jars of oregano?) and quite a few spice jars that had completely caked together, thus rendering them totally¬†unusable.¬† It was so cathartic to combine the duplicates and trash the caked jars (that part wasn’t fun…I hate waste).¬†

Now that my spice / vinegar / oil pantry is organized (yes, it is alphabetical), I find that it is so much¬†easier to cook.¬† I can see everything I have and I don’t have to go hunting for the ingredient I¬†need.

Are any of you in need of a spice pantry clean out?  If  so, take the time and do it.  You will be so happy that you did.


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This article was written by Janelle Sorensen for Healthy Child Health World.

Forget the hundreds of toxic products that are uniquely created for specific cleaning needs. Typically, most cleaning can be addressed with safe kitchen staples.

Today, consider the wonders of salt. Many of you on the DIY cleaning train are used to reaching for baking soda or vinegar, but salt is also a magnificent multi-tasker.

Here are but a few of the superpowers of salt:

1. Hand helper. Mix salt and vinegar and rub over your hands to remove garlic or onion scents from your skin.

2. Shine time. Mix together equal parts salt, flour, and vinegar and apply to brass, copper, or even gold with a cloth. Let sit for an hour, wipe off, and buff.

3. Burn buster. If you burn food in a metal pot or pan, add salt immediately after removing the food to help the burnt bits loosen easier.

4. Chimney sweep. Toss a handful of salt on your fire here and there to help keep your chimney clean.

5. Wicker whitener. Brighten wicker by applying saltwater with a brush and drying in the sun.

6. Oven and stove stain annihilator. Cover spills immediately with salt. Let stand for a few minutes (adding a little water if necessary) and then wipe up. The salt absorbs the liquids and helps loosen them from the surface. Salt is especially effective at absorbing grease and oils.

7. Dish duty. If you run out of dish soap, sprinkle about a tablespoon into a sink full of water and just make sure to rinse the dishes well afterwards. Because salt water dries out your skin, be sure to wear gloves or use moisturizer afterwards.

8. Mildew manager. Mix one part salt and one part lemon juice and apply to mildew in bathrooms and kitchens.

9. Red wine remediation. If red wine is spilled on a rug or carpeting, immediately blot up all moisture and then sprinkle the area with salt. The salt should absorb any remaining wine in about 15 minutes (turning pink as a result). Wipe up the salt and clean the area with a mixture of 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Moisten and blot. Moisten and blot.

10. Countertop cleaner. Dip a cloth in vinegar and then in salt. Rub over countertops to erase tea and coffee stains.

Have you used salt for cleaning? Share your tips!

To read the article on Healthy Child Healthy World’s website click here

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Suffocating Beans
Suffocating Beans

I have a problem…

Some people have a show addiction, some people have a substance addiction, I have a pantry and freezer stockpiling issue.  I think I could run a neighborhood bomb shelter for an entire month and we would all eat like kings and queens!!!  I am putting myself into rehab.  I have now made the commitment to ONLY BUY PRODUCE, BREAD, or DAIRY ALTERNATIVES for the next month.  Yikes!  Putting my goal out there in the cosmos is going to help me stay accountable. 

I took a trip to Mother‚Äôs Market today (where my husband likes to say I am amongst ‚Äúmy people.‚ÄĚ) and I have to be honest, I actually had to put three things back on the shelves.¬† My daughter who has a gluten allergy ran out of her box of flavored gluten free (GF) oatmeal, so I absent mindedly put its replacement in the cart.¬† I had to stop myself and realize, ‚ÄúNope, Gretchen you have plain old GF oatmeal at home.‚Ä̬† I am perfectly capable of flavoring plain old oatmeal for her.¬† My second boo boo came when I saw some vegan hamburger patties I just read about in Kris Carr‚Äôs new book (more on that later this month) and again, they went into the cart.¬† Ugh‚Ķback onto the freezer shelf they went.

So, here goes.  Here are the pictures of my pantry:   

More Clutter
More Clutter
More and More
More and More

And my freezers:

Kitchen Freezer
Kitchen Freezer
Outside Freezer
Outside Freezer

I’ll check back at the beginning of February and show my progress.

What are your addictions???


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