Tuesday, January 13, 2015

kitchen follies ~ and a recipe

The organizing and rearranging continues...so on with the kitchen. I went with a clean,
classic look on this side of the kitchen with using a lot of white in the cabinet and on the
wall shelves. Also, that's a new painting hanging on the wall. I inherited it from my aunt
when she moved last fall. I'm not crazy about the red painted frame as it's too stark 
for the painting, but since I have red accents in my kitchen and the painting is the
right size for this wall space, it'll do for now. 




Most of my cookbooks were moved into a small bookcase in my office, but I left a
few on top of the fridge and on the butler's table that you can see in the first photo.


I cleaned out my baking cabinet and my main food cabinet. I don't have a pantry, so this
is where I keep all my dry goods and staples such as grains, dried fruits and raw honey,
 pastas, dried beans, tea bags, and lots of spices. I like having the grains, pastas, and
beans in glass jars instead of all that plastic and cardboard packaging. Much easier
to see what you have and easier to fit into the cabinet, too. As for the spices, I find it 
easiest to keep them categorized by use. For example, on the basket in the left, that's
where I keep all the Italian spices: oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, bay leaves, etc.
The basket on the right holds cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg,
and star anise. Another basket holds spices for chili making: cumin, chili powder, 
cayenne, mexican oregano. And another basket holds spices such as curry powder,
garam masala, lemongrass, and turmeric. When you're making a certain cuisine ~
say, spaghetti sauce ~ it's easy to just grab the basket of Italian spices.


I am making vegetarian tacos for dinner tonight. We eat a lot of meatless meals
and I found this recipe on Pinterest. The lentil-rice concoction is in the Crockpot right
now and the house smells so good. I "cheated" and opened the lid to the Crockpot
about halfway through cooking (I did let it cook longer after I opened the lid - I know
that opening the lid takes off about 20 minutes of cooking time) to see how the mixture
looked and it's nice and thick, just like hamburger meat. I'm going to top our tacos with
salsa, guacamole, and a little bit of shredded cheese. Click here for the recipe. And 
interestingly enough, the name of the blog is Melanie Makes! No, it's not me. It's
another Melanie.


Hope your week is off to a good start!


24 comments:

  1. Oh my, that looks good! I'm not crazy about meat, so I'd love that. I can almost smell your spices.
    Brenda

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    1. It was really good - we enjoyed it! Nice alternative to hamburger (which I don't like).

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  2. I love your white decor in your kitchen... and if the red frame really bugs you, you can always repaint it, can't you?

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    1. Sure, I could repaint it. But I have so many other (more important) painting projects...

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  3. I so need to get organizing, my problem is I have not place to put it! Now I know what you'll say, purge, purge, purge, but I can't. I need to find hidden storage somewhere? I love lentils and this sounds really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe. The red frame makes the wall color pop, if want to keep place other pieces of red in the room to balance out, or paint it. Have a great night!

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    1. You're right - you can't organize until you purge first! You're not allowed to say "I can't". ;-) The lentil recipe was good but made a lot. Next time I make it, I'll cut the quantities in half. I do like the red frame overall for the look in the kitchen; I just don't like how it doesn't match anything in the art print.

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  4. I love the idea of organising your herbs and spices that way. All of your rearranging is very pretty, I really like your cabinet and the top of the fridge arrangements. Dinner sounds delicious! I had big pots of chilli on the stove yesterday and they make everything seem so homely don't they! xx

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    1. Makes it much easier when you're cooking instead of having to search for one particular spice!

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  5. Hi Melanie;
    Your kitchen is beautiful, I wish I had your knack for decorating! I love the wainscoting, it looks so elegant! I have decided to re-do the to of my fridge, I hope you don't mind if I copy some of your ideas! Stay warm, I hear spring will be here about next July lol. Love and Hugs, Nana

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    1. Thanks so much, Nana! The wainscoting was here when we moved in...it was actually the original brown. I painted it years ago. I'd be flattered if you copied any of my ideas. :-)

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  6. Your cabinet is so beautifully organized. I love the look of everything in glass jars. Yours are really inspiring. I hope the winter is treating you kindly and that you've been feeling better and better lately.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. When food storage space is limited, it really helps to organize things somewhat.

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  7. First off, so glad you're feeling better. That flu this year is a nasty one for sure.
    Your kitchen is so organized...I need to take lessons from you. Finding the right spice is always a challenge in my cupboard.
    Mary Alice

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    1. I hope that perhaps I motivated you to organize your cabinets - especially your spices!

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  8. Melanie, I've told you countless times how much I love your kitchen, for its blue and white coupling, charming wainscoting, and warmth! I love the cleaner, crisper changes you've implemented with the white crockery in the cabinet, and your organizational skills are savvy! It's a good idea, indeed, to pack the Mediterranean herbs together, away from the Eastern/Asian spices, as their scents tend to get infused, and mixed up, resulting in some strange combos. I find the same thing applies to teas, so the first thing I do after opening them is to place the tea bags or loose tea leaves in clean jam jars. They're also pretty on my white open shelving in the kitchen, and on the green credenza, as their lids are red and white gingham.

    Your tacos sound scrumptious! What a treat for your family, and a wonderfully comforting meal for the season.

    Happy weekend, my friend!

    Poppy

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    1. I'm glad you love my kitchen, Poppy! You are spot on about the spices and the teas - they can really pick up different scents from each other. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, as well.

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  9. Your large picture resembles one my sister and I purchased many years ago as an anniversary present for our parents. It was very textured and had a wide classic black frame with a linen mat. It was sold in the auction as it was too big for my apartment and too dark for my sister's house.

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    1. Interesting. This one isn't textured at all. I do love the print though. I will probably end up painting the frame (not sure what color) and moving it elsewhere in the house.

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  10. Melanie, your blog's title totally reflects your home. Everything about it is cozy and comfy. I love your little winking cups . . . those are wonderful. They must put a smile on your face each time you look at them. They make me think of my old living room at the other house. Down along the baseboard I painted a small little mouse hole with a welcome sign and a potted plant; if you looked close you would see the mouses tail coming out of the hole. I never pointed it out to people, but you could always expect a reaction when they would spy it :) Then it became a point of conversation. I think every house should have a little whimsy :)
    Please come visit, I am having my final #3 Give-A-Way. Then it's back to my normal old crafty posts :)
    Have a great day.
    Your blogging sister,
    Connie :)

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    1. You always make me smile, Connie. Thank you so much for your sweet words. I love that you painted a mouse hole at the baseboard of your old house - I think you should do that again with your new house!

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  11. Your new painting is gorgeous! I kind of like the bright red frame against your wall color, too. Your meatless tacos look delish! Your spice cabinet definitely shows you're a great cook! Mine is much more limited. :o)

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    1. I know...I'm having the hardest time deciding what to do with this painting! I'm so indecisive when it comes to decorating stuff...I guess that's why I change things around all the time. The meatless tacos were good, but made way too much for just the two of us. I'm a pretty adventurous cook and love using a variety of spices. ;-)

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