Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Recipe Notebook

It's time for Kitchen Tip Tuesday at Tammy's Recipes. Take a trip over there for some great tips and recipes from our fellow bloggers! http://www.tammysrecipes.com/node/1755

I don't have a recipe today, but a tip to keep track of the ones you find on line and would like to try. I used to either bookmark them, which takes up room on my toolbar, or print them out--which is more paperwork in a house already inundated with the stuff.

Solution: a cute little notepad. I bought mine when Target had their dollar deals on sale 75% off, so it cost me a quarter. It's got a chocolate lab puppy on the front.

Inside, I jot down the names of recipes and where to find them on line. The notepad is no bigger than my hand, so it takes up very little space. I plan to keep it right here on my desk, next to the laptop.

After I make a recipe, if I like it, I'll make a nicer copy to put into my recipe folder. In the meantime, having this little recipe notebook helps reduce all the papers around here!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm still here

Just haven't had much to post about. I'm tired all the time. You know I work at a pediatric office, and I honestly think my body is worn out from resisting one sickness after another. Knock on wood, I haven't caught anything yet...and winter is almost over. (I've doubled my vitamins, so hopefully, that will help.)

I did think of something to post about today. It's silly, but one of those 'duh' ideas. I was rearranging some pans, moving them from the bottom of my pantry into a cabinet in the kitchen. (This also involved putting some never-used items aside for the thrift store.) I had my cookie sheets and lasagna-type pans stacked up nicely, but not much room on the side of them for anything else.

Here was the 'duh' moment...I turned the pans around 90 degrees! Instead of the wide part facing the opening, the narrower part faces it. Leaving me with half the shelf empty for other storage! Perfect space for my larger size, rectangular slow cooker.

Most of my ideas are the bolt-from-the-blue type. I could spend hours staring at a problem and never solve it. But walk away and do something else...and it hits me.

So if you are in the rearranging stuff mood, think about turning something sideways and maybe you'll find more room!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I can live with this weather!

It's 63 degrees right now. On Long Island. In the dead middle of winter. So you know what I did today?

I hung laundry for the first time in months! I opened the back door to let the dog out and saw my lonely, forgotten clothesline. (Well, okay, lonely but not forgotten. I miss it.) And I thought...the sun is shining, it's way, way above freezing, so why not?

So I just did a small wash of light weight things, mostly aprons and napkins. I figure that, at 63 degrees, things won't dry as fast as when it hits 83.

Boy, what a treat--hanging laundry in the wintertime!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tightwad Tuesday: Space Party

Check out the Tightwad Tuesday post over at "Being Frugal." She put on the coolest party for a 'tweenager,' based on the show "American Idol." Things like this make me miss the days when my kids were young and I could throw theme parties for them. I'll tell you about one I did for my son, when he was about six. It was a party based on an Outer Space theme. Sorry, no pictures--this was 20 years ago! (Of course, there are pictures someplace, in some album I scrapped...in the attic.)

I honestly can't remember the cake, but I suppose it was shaped like a rocket ship. That would be easy enough to do. Prior to the party, I collected egg cartons and half-gallon milk containers. These were washed out very carefully, then I wrapped white paper around the milk carton. I glued the egg part of the carton to the milk container. I remember that I cut off the triangular top--so basically, you had a box with a bunch of bumps on it, LOL! What for? Well, the kids decorated these and we called them 'Space Packs,' which was a fancy-shmancy name for a goodie bag!

Two games I remember: one was "Throw the Ring Around Saturn." We had a huge ball, like a beachball, and a hoola-hoop. The kids had to toss the ring around the ball. The second game was "Captain (Put Name Here) Says," instead of Simon Says. I was the captain. Maybe I was Captain Mom. Hey, I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone something that happened in 1988. I do remember walking very slowly, like you might on the moon, and then jumping up and down like crazy...like you just stepped on the sun. The kids loved it, LOL! (Nobody said it was Rocket Science. I'm perfectly aware you can't walk on the sun.)

One snack comes back to my poor brain: Saturn pops. Basically, I unwrapped Dum-Dums, then put a gumdrop ring around the pop. Then I wrapped them again.

Like I said, I don't remember it all...but I do remember we had a great time!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

It's Thrifty Thursday day over at Thrifty Jinxy!

My little donation today is just this: when it comes to being frugal, it doesn't have to be all or nothing!

You don't have to spend an entire Sunday doing the Once a Month Cooking thing. Every little bit you do ahead of time will help you. Examples: brown ground beef and repackage it according to how much you would need for a meal. Then freeze it! You could even add Italian, Mexican or other spices! Can I tell you how great it was to have my ground beef all ready to go last night for spaghetti, especially since I found out earlier in the day I was working in the evening?

Cut up your vegetables when you bring them home (or soon after). Don't cut and wash berries--you probably already know this, but wet berries get all gooky. Nothing like reaching into the produce drawer to make a salad...and all you have to do is throw it together!

I love couponing and spend quite a lot of time on it, but I consider it a hobby that pays me back. You don't have to do this. Think what you would really like to save money on, and concentrate on those items--diapers, for example! (I'm awfully glad I haven't had to buy diapers in years.) We all use shaving products, and the very-high-value coupons for them show up quite often. It is great to get a 9.99 razor for half price by combining sales and coupons--especially if you also get Extra Care Bucks from CVS, LOL!

Speaking of CVS, I've written about this before but it bears repeating. If there is one rule to remember for the ECBs thing, it is this: look at your receipt after each purchase and immediately put the coupons into your wallet! That way, they are there for you next time you shop, not left on the kitchen counter.

Just a couple of little things, but boy, oh, boy, they make life easier!

(BTW, if you like the OAMC on Sunday thing, cool--but I actually like cooking and wouldn't want to do it all in one day. I do, however, like to have some things made ahead of time for those days I'm just not in the mood to put a meal together!)