Using Containers to Organize Your Kitchen Simply & Aesthetically

We’re jumping right into our theme for this month: organization and productivity in the kitchen. We’ll visit it here and there throughout April and even welcome a Very Special guest blogger, but that’s all I’m going to say about that surprise for now!

I hope you’ll be inspired.

You don’t need to be on staff at Martha Stewart Living to have a properly organized kitchen. There are simple actions everyone can take to stay on top of clutter and keep even the most unruly of spaces in apple-pie order.

Using containers to categorize items is one easy way to establish a degree of orderliness to all areas of your kitchen and pantry.

Containers help organize because they group items and help combat the sprawl that tends to happen behind closed doors – and drawers. By confining items to one place, they make clean-up less of a chore because that container can quickly be removed and washed under. Also, with proper labeling, containerizing can prevent ingredients and items from getting misplaced.

The counter-top canister, like the one pictured above, is an obvious illustration of the practical use of containers for organizing. It has been keeping kitchen counters neat for generations by grouping frequently used utensils together and keeping them handy for everyday tasks.

Choosing an organizing container

Here are three qualities to look for when deciding on the perfect container for the job. [Read more…]

Weekend Reading

The Entertaining Aftermath: 8 Steps to a Quick Cleanup

Happy Easter! I’m hosting a brunch today and I’m sure many of you are preparing to welcome friends and family around the table too. Cooking and baking are definitely my favorite parts of entertaining. My least preferred? That’s right, dishes.

Do you love opening your home to guests, but don’t love the kitchen cleanup quite as much?

The post-party mess can be daunting to face especially when all you really want to do after the guests leave is retire to the sofa with another slice of cake.

Still, since no bald, muscular Mr.Clean is going to show up and scour the counter tops for you, here are a few simple steps I’ve developed to break down the cleanup into manageable tasks and get the job done quickly. [Read more…]

Taming The Yeast: Easter Egg Bread

Babies are born with 3 fears – heights, loud noises, and falling. It’s not until much later that we add the fear of yeast.

For many people, one of the most intimidating kitchen skills is working with yeast. It’s a mysterious beast. Too cold and it won’t wake up; too hot and it’ll wither and die. Either way and you end up with a flat, brick of a loaf.

Keep a few simple rules in mind and you’ll find you can be confident when working with yeast. [Read more…]

A Simple Easter Cupcake

It’s fair to say I’ve done some research in the area of cupcakes. Besides baking for my own enjoyment, I’ve organized city-wide tours to search for the perfect cupcake, and created hundreds of versions for wedding showers, birthdays and other events.

I’m shocked at how many cupcakes sold from fancy boutiques come up short. It only takes a few dry mouthfuls of cake and a heavy frosting-induced belly ache to realize that you have just wasted $3.25 and …

it’s hard to beat a homemade cupcake.

That is not to say that every homemade cupcake is delicious and perfect in every way, or that all boutique creations are dry and crumbly, but great homemade cupcakes are definitely attainable, even for the novice baker. And for much less cost than a dozen from the local bakery.

Without disclosing just how many of these sweet treats I’ve consumed in one day (how many are in a baker’s dozen again?), I’ll pass along a winning cupcake recipe that has served me well!

With the baking tips I’ll share, the recipe you’ll find below, and a bag of Cadbury mini eggs, you will be well on your way to the perfect cupcake and a simple Easter dessert everyone will love. [Read more…]