My Favorite Things/// Homemade Pesto

 

With the end of the garden season, i rushed outside and stripped my basil plant. Off went the leaves from the plant and into the food processor they went. I found my pesto recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook, but made an alteration: instead of using pine nuts, I used sliced almonds. Once the pesto was made, I separated it into individual serving containers, then put it into our freezer. It will be great to bring it out this winter, to have a small taste of summer to remind me that it’s worth waiting through all the snow for the spring. pesto 2pesto 1

Do you have a great pesto recipe you love?

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Mason Jar Organizers

Our little kitchen is good for a few things. Like bumping butts while you’re boiling water. And…well… there isn’t too much else that we truly enjoy about our kitchen. It’s a small galley kitchen with a single sink, which means limited counter space and few cupboards. But we’re doing the best we can to organize and use the space we do have to it’s fullest potential. I’m also learning to take deep breaths and channel Sean’s tranquil aura.

When we first moved in, almost one year ago, I converted an old wine box into a shelving unit for all of our dried beans, fruits and seeds. Confession time: I hate grocery shopping. And because of this, we buy pretty much everything in bulk; preserved or dried. And while I absolutely love this method of stocking our kitchen, it also means we have a lot of mason jars filled up and spread all over our kitchen. beans in jarsTo help tame this collection, last week, I decided to make labeled lids for each of them. It was a simple project I wish I’d done a lot sooner. The only supplies I used were scraps from my paper collection. When I was done, I couldn’t believe how such a small project added so much continuity & organization to the area.  all jars angledmason jar lids 2 all jars straight mason jar lids 1Why didn’t I do this sooner, I wonder? Either way, I’m happy I took the short time to do this project and it is already making life much, much easier in our small kitchen. It didn’t make our kitchen larger, but it did bring relief. And we still bump butts when I’m boiling water, but I’ll never complain about that.

Attack of the Plastic Bags- Simple Storage Solutions & More

Once upon a time there was a girl. The girl lived in an apartment. And the apartment had a kitchen, a very, very small kitchen. And in that very, very small kitchen there were lots of things. Some might say too many things.  Too many papers. Too many plastic bags. Too many notes. Too many containers. Too many too manies! So she took some of her too manies and filled them up with her other too manies and suddenly she could see her cupboards again! And she was happy- very, very happy.

My Problem? Too Many Plastic Bags! I’m sure everyone has this problem. At least, I like to think everyone has this problem.

The World’s Problem? Do you know how many plastic bags are going into landfills each year? You’ll be surprised at what you find once you start digging around.

Step One: The best way I have found to remedy the immediate, face-value situation is by reusing an oatmeal container. I simply cut a “x” shape in the lid of the container.

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I then, not so eloquently, shoved every last plastic bag I had inside the oatmeal container and put the lid on. I half expected it to pop up like a Jack-in-the-box, but thankfully it did no such thing..  I could not believe how little space these bags would actually take up once contained in a small area! For months I have been stressing about them falling out of cupboards, having to pick them up and constantly moving them from one space to another. I feel silly and slovenly for not thinking of it sooner.  It was definitely one of those “why didn’t I think of that sooner” moments in life. Shouts of Joy to solutions when they finally find you! 
019 Since I made this little container about two months ago, I have not had one single stray bag in my kitchen. Mostly, it is because of the re-used oatmeal container, but also it is because of the new system I have in place for my re-usable bags.

Step 2: I put a basket in my car. Inside my basket I put all of my re-usable bags. Once I bring the bags back inside my home & put away my groceries, I hang them on the doorknob of my front door. This way, the next time I leave, I grab them on my way out, throw them in the basket in the backseat of my car and never have to see them until I use them again.

I know this sounds ridiculously simple.  But in all honesty, by not making room for my reusable bags in my kitchen, by not hanging them in a closet or tossing them in a heap with my old plastic bags, I have made myself accountable for their well-being. And in a bigger light this self-accountability has forced me to make sustainability a bigger priority at home. In our home we are blessed enough to not need new bags every time we go to the grocery store–clearly we already have enough. In general reusing other bags at the grocery store follows my rule of thumb that “if it’s already out there and in working condition, why buy something new to throw into a landfill?”  

This month, I have challenged myself and Sean to not go grocery shopping, unless we have our bags with us. I am really hoping that through these two simple steps, I have made it impossible for us to go fail this challenge. And I know it isn’t much, this vow to give up my plastic bag hoarding, but it’s the least I can do in the grand scheme of things.  What kind of changes are you making this month to help your eggs grow up healthy and strong?