This month the Eat Well, Spend Less bloggers are talking about transitioning our kitchens from winter to spring. I’m guessing that most of us are itching to move on to warm-weather foods right about now!
Here are a few things that I am planning to do as the weather gets warmer:
More adventurous salads.
My family loves salad – right down to the two-year-old! (The baby, well, not yet. ;) We’re kind of in a rut, though. We stick to our favorites (Caesar Salad, Creamy Bacon Avocado Dressing with Romaine, and Baby Greens with Apricot Vinaigrette (all recipes in From Garbage to Gourmet)) which is great, but I need to branch out a bit. I’d like to start featuring more than lettuce + dressing in our salads, and making them a substantial part of the meal so that we don’t fill up on the more expensive meat dishes.
Make fruit spreads.
The kids and I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a lot, especially during the summer since we have cut out eating out. I’m not going to commit to (always) making my own bread or my own peanut butter, but I’d like to start making my own fruit spreads instead of buying jelly with questionable ingredients.
When fruit goes on sale, I’ll be looking for freezer-friendly recipes for fruit spreads (got any to share with me?) so I can stock my freezer for the coming year. (Canning would be great but I’m not going to commit to learning that this year.)
Get better at (high-altitude) baking.
I’d never been a huge baker, but when we moved to Colorado, any love I had of making cakes was lost. Cookies are not an issue for me, but my cakes always fall! However, I have recently learned a few tidbits about the science of baking that have renewed my interest in baking at high altitude. So, I’m planning to do a bit more baking to test out my newly-found knowledge (and if it’s a success, I’ll share!).
Continue organizing my pantry.
I know it’s superficial, but I really like having a “pretty” pantry, with things in glass jars and pretty containers. It’s not practical for some things, like pasta, since I typically use one box or bag at a time; but for things I buy in bulk, like rice, beans, and oats, it works well and is functional as well as pretty.
(My pantry (pictured above) is kind of a disaster right now because we are putting down new floors and trim in the kitchen, so the doors are off which is not normal!)
I also want to get some jars for different vinegars so that they can all be kept in one spot. What is it with making bottles that are too tall to fit in standard-sized cabinets?! Yes, it’s silly, but it really does inspire me to cook when I like the way things are organized.
Fill my freezer for hectic weeks.
We are preparing to sell our home and move to a new one this summer, and I know that’s going to be a busy time. We aren’t typically prone to ordering pizza or going out on a whim since it costs an awful lot to feed seven people when someone else is cooking, but I know that’s going to be a temptation when I really want to keep the kitchen clean for showings or when we are moving from one house to another.
So, I’m planning to fill my freezer with various foods that we can pop in the oven for a quick meal that doesn’t require dishes. I’ll be using disposable pans (something I almost never do) and buying some paper plates (something I really never do!) to make sure we can still eat a good meal without a lot of mess or work.
How will your cooking habits change as the weather gets warmer?
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Eat Well, Spend Less – Changing from Winter to Spring
Look for more posts from these Eat Well, Spend Less bloggers this week: