Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

Sewing  Project Reusable Snack Bags

So, one of my friends got these really cute reusable lunch bags for Christmas; I thought about them a bit, admired them, probably even remarked that I’d like to make some someday.

Then, I hopped on one of my favorite craft blogs, and looked to the sidebar…and there, right there, was a step-by-step reusable snack bag tutorial!

And oh, how I LOVE photo, step-by-step tutorials. I’m a slow sewer who usually makes multiple mistakes, but this was foolproof even for me. I did both in probably 2 hours, with the second only taking about 20 minutes. They’re lined, with velcro at the top, and ended up measuring about 6″ across and 5″ deep.

Now, I have to admit I think I like my friend’s type of bag better for 2 reasons (both on my end):
1) she just has a better fabric–more home decor weight, which eliminated the need for a lining, while I used scraps of muslin for the lining, and leftover cotton for the exteriors.
2) I like the thinner velcro strip. This one that I used is just bulky.

But for quick & easy…these take the cake. Now I just have to figure out what type of dry food I’d actually put in them…I think slices of bread are on the docket for tomorrow. However much I use them though, I’m glad to think of saving plastic baggies…one of my frugal peeves. I’m the type that washes them out to reuse them, so having some cloth, washable ones, I’m hoping will save me at least one box of baggies a year…maybe I should keep count. Or not.

And that’s what Works For Me.

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Go to BeyondtheShaker.com, enter in your email, and you’ll get a promo code for a free Salt Sample (right down in the bottom, where you entered the email). Copy & paste it somewhere so you don’t forget it, and check out all the yummy-sounding samples they have on the Salt Sample page. Then just place your order with the promo code to get it for free (no shipping charges either)! I’m excited…I picked the Black Truffle Salt, but I had a 5-way tie going on for more than a few minutes while I deliberated!

Note: It looks like a lot of people are getting their samples right now, so the site seems to be running slow/overwhelmed.

HT to Free Sample Freak.

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Snapware 18pc Glasslock Tempered Glass Storage Containers 18piece Set with Lids

A mere few days ago, my sister-in-law gave us our Christmas present (Since she flew out with her 3-year-old from Seattle, and then there was the snow storm to keep us all apart even longer). Glasslock Snapware. And I Love It. Love it, Love it. Before, we had been using a combination of recycled containers from all those family-run Italian joints around and 2 packs of leaky flat tupperware, plus about 4 bowls with maybe 3 lids. We needed something different, and I admit my mind had been running on whatever brand those commercials show everything locking and stacking, as we DO have a serious problem with tupperware falling on our heads, and then into a sink full of dirty dishes. Much hatred ensued.

But these–no leeching worries in the back of my mind. And the lids LOCK–I had really, really soupy gravy with my pot roast, and even though I dumped it over, no spillage. Now, they don’t really stack, and while I don’t want plastic falling on my head, I certainly don’t want glass falling on my head–some of the smaller ones can fit in the larger ones, but not in a particularly neat & organized way, especially with the 4-flap lids involved and the fact that while it’s convenient to have 2 identically sized containers, they don’t fit in each other, and then what can you do? (Yes, that is a run on sentence).

But, I love the clinking of glass, and OH, they HEAT FASTER. And when you’re as busy at work as I am-or at least all your coworkers are sitting & eating and you’re STILL waiting for that food to heat up-this is a decided bonus.

So, that’s my entirely unbought recommendation, and that’s what works for me.

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When we left for New Jersey last weekend, I noticed a few more baby zucchinis growing. I’d already pulled 3 out of the garden the weekend before, and figured I would grab the growing ones in a few days or so. Yesterday was my designated baking day (in between church & a Fantasy Football draft for my husband’s league), so I trudged down to the garden and started pushing aside leaves. I guessed, um, wrongly. For now I had these to work with:

zucchiniThat’s 11, by the way. ELEVEN. And HUGE. And at least five more are growing. I’ve had trouble with what I thought was a normal 6 or so!

Then out came the recipes:

Z recipes

I used a 9 X 5 and 4 of those cute mini-loaf pans for each of the bread recipes, and a standard muffin tin & a mini-muffin tin for the muffins and somehow got 3 recipes down starting at 8:30 and ending the mixing processes at 10:30 (I got the last ones out of the oven around 11 or so).

I made:

*Standard Zucchini Bread using this recipe. One thing I LOVE about the mini-tins is that I can customize. So I did half with currants & walnuts (which my husband doesn’t like), and I made the big loaf and the other two mini ones without. Quick and easy, this one is incredibly moist–not that I’ve had zucchini bread that wasn’t…

*Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins…these ones worked really well as mini-muffins, especially with the called-for mini-chocolate chips. Totally prefer them to the big ones since they’re so much more “snack-sized”, and are easier to manuever in our ridiculously-college-sized-freezer.

*Pumpkin-Zucchini Bread that honestly, I haven’t even tried yet! But the batter was delicious…

Packed Bread!So, I forgot to take the obligatory drying-racks-full-of-food baking day picture, but here they are all wrapped up in tinfoil and bagged to go! (They all blend together, but there’s 6 mini-loaves and 2 Big ones + muffins). But after ALL of that…it only took up TWO zucchinis.

I also sliced and marinated 2 full zucchinis, which I’ll grill and then freeze (a trick I learned from my dad…he’ll grill up batches of zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, peppers to freeze for ready-made veggie side dishes).

Then lastly, I plan to cook with two (I’m thinking a zucchini quiche, and then some fried zucchini sticks with Panko bread crumbs), and then shred and freeze two for zucchini bread when I run out of the stuff I’m cooking now. The rest are going to friends, ’cause there won’t be ANY more room left!

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