Organizing kitchen utensils

We’ve had a lot going on lately, packing up and moving to a new home.  I hope I’ll be able to share more as we start settling in.  Today’s post is a result of a small victory in the abyss of kitchen organization.

There was a random towel bar installed under one of the cabinets and I couldn’t figure out how to use it or if I wanted to just get rid of it.

Today I stopped by Lowe’s and picked up some ‘S-hooks’ for $0.30 each.  I was able to declutter my utensil drawer by displaying some of the utensils.  I also freed some space in my kitchen towel drawer, which is where I was awkwardly storing my oven mit and pot holder.  Now my they are conveniently located right next to the stove.

I might use this method in my craft room too!

If anyone’s wondering, the sticky notes are reminders for this ADD momma as we attempt to establish a new routine in the new house

 

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Baby food storage 

One of the things that upset me when I stopped making enough breast milk to store in the freezer was that my nifty organizing trays would no longer be used.  It drove me nuts to have random bags thrown in the freezer and I loved having my precious liquid gold neatly organized and in chronological order.  

I recently pulled my First Years milk storage tray back out of storage to use now that I’m making my own baby food.  Im using the bottom for storing and organizing  frozen baby foods. I also had a ton of Lansinoh breast milk storage bags left over, so   I’m storing cubes of frozen food in them.   (Side note: I think these are the BEST bags) Since I only pump enough for one day supply, I just use bottles now.   

   

I think it’s a good idea to date them as well, because I believe it’s recommended you only store baby food in the freezer for one month. I only have about 2 week supply pictured.  Keep in mind, this is probably not the most cost effective set up, but I do love how organized it is.  I will continue to purchase the milk storage bags for baby food because I personally think it’s worth it.  

But wait, there’s more!  We keep some of those nonperishable organic food pouches on hand to grab and go without having to worry about food spoiling in the diaper bag or car.  The LID to the storage tray is perfect for keeping those organized in the pantry! 

  
See my post on DIY baby food for more food storage tips. 

Easy DIY organic baby food 

I’m so excited to use some amazing baby food supplies I reiceved as shower gifts.  I LOVE my Cuisinart Baby Food Maker & bottle warmer! It’s a 3 in 1 machine that allows you to steam and immediately purée your fresh/raw foods including fruits, veggies, and meat! It also functions as a bottle warmer.  


The manual is so easy to follow and provides a food chart that makes the process fool-proof.  

    

 

  I also love this OXO Baby Food Freezer Tray.  I prefer this over a regular ice cube tray because it is 100% BPA free and comes with a lid that keeps the food protected and allows you to control the amount of cubes released.  

With the Cuisinart baby food maker you simply cut the food items to the recommended size and add the specified amount of water using the included measuring cup (all on the food chart).  Set it to steam and simply switch the knob to “chop” once it’s done steaming.  Once it is cooled, I transfer the puréed food to my freezer tray and in to a few of these OXO Baby blocks which I place into the refrigerator (to be eaten within 2 days).   

When the food in the freezer tray is frozen, I transfer it to a labeled freezer bag to make room for the next food.  I pop one or two frozen cubes into the OXO blocks and send them with Nola to daycare.   

I am choosing to introduce only vegetables first since babies will usually favor fruits.  I have found that it helps to add breastmilk when first introducing a food. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid (puréed) foods at 6 months, so talk to your pediatrician about when you should begin feeding your baby solids.  We started at 5 months.  

I can’t remember where I read this so I can’t site it, but it’s a wise tip and makes sense: consider waiting 3-5 days in between introducing new foods.  This will allow you to monitor your baby for food allergies.  

**I am in no way affiliated with any of the above mentioned products or companies and do not profit from my personal endorsements.  

DIY uncrustables: PB&J pocket sandwiches

I found guilty pleasure in those addicting pockets of pb&j by Smuckers! They are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives so I decided to make my own!

A 4ct box retails around $2.99, but my goal is to use better quality ingredients and minimal preservatives.  You could certainly save money making these by using low-cost ingredients or finding them on sale.   

I almost bought this little gem on Amazon for around $7 but I found one at my local Publix for under $4. (Augusta Kroger and Target did not have it) Wonder sandwich sealer

Next time I will probably try using Ezekiel bread and freshly pressed peanut butter, but I used what I had on hand.  The only ingredients in the peanut butter include organic peanuts and salt.  The fruit spread contains 4 simple non GMO ingredients and has no added sugar. 



You can use any bread you like, but I would recommend not using a bread With the indentation at the top (as pictured above) because it makes it harder to seal. 

Hot, yummy breakfast in 1.5 min

As I’m figuring out by trial and error how to do this “Mom” thing, finding the time to eat minimally processed nutritious meals has been quite a challenge.  

Strategic Meal planning and prepping is the key to balanced wholesome meals when you’re a busy mom.  I’ve started making breakfast foods ahead of time and just reheating on busy mornings.  

Last week I made  10 breakfast burritos with 10 eggs, 10 slices of bacon and some shredded cheese.  I just cooked the bacon, scrambled the eggs with cheese (you can add cheese later instead), added the ingredients to the tortilla, and rolled them up into burritos. I wrapped the ones I froze in freezer paper, then Press-n-seal.   A few went into the refrigerator, and those were just wrapped in press n seal.  To reheat, just remove the press-n-seal, leave the freezer and microwave the frozen burrito for 30 seconds, turn it upside down and zap for another 30 sec.  Remove press-n-seal from refrigerated burritos, wrap in paper towel and microwave 20 sec on each side.  

This week I made sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches.  One lb of sausage makes 7-8 patties. I whipped up 8 eggs in a bowl and then used egg rings to make egg patties.  

These were my tools 



 I let everything cool and then put the egg, sausage and cheese in a Baggie for each sandwich.   To reheat, you just put an English muffin in the toaster, and microwave just the sausage 30 sec.  Flip it, add the egg and cheese and zap for another 20 sec.  This is for refrigerated.  I hve not yet reheated frozen.  I did put wax paper between the egg and sausage to make it easy to separate the frozen ingredients.  



. Just don’t overcook the eggs (I left them a little wet) since they will cook a little in the microwave.   

I’ve heard great things about these too but haven’t tried them: 

Mini quiches

Of course, I would skip the Pam and use organic ingredients.  

Note: I realize bacon and sausage are not necessarily minimally processed but we eat meat in this house and it’s level 2 or better (whole foods animal welfare rating standards) and it beats fast food any day! 

***Your microwave times may vary.  I have a 1200 watt inverter microwave, if that helps. 

Bon Appetit! 

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