Tips and Tools

Simple Egg Substitutions… For Baking

posted by Andrea | 12/17/2013 | 8 comments
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Dave and I are HUGE egg lovers! In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to go through 2 dozen eggs per week (or more). So I was pretty bummed when I wanted to do some holiday baking last week and only had 1 egg left in the house.

Thankfully, I found a few super simple recipes for egg substitutions (specifically for baking) — and I’m happy to report that they worked REALLY well!

35+ Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

posted by Andrea | 11/27/2013 | 6 comments
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While I’m not trying to rush my most favorite holiday away, I also know that by tomorrow evening, some of you might be stranded in your kitchen with piles and piles of delicious Thanksgiving leftovers — and no desire to spend hours in the kitchen dealing with them all.

Today, I’m sharing a bunch of simple recipes and ideas I use to repurpose our Thanksgiving leftovers!

Our Favorite Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole

posted by Andrea | 11/6/2013 | 17 comments
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Dave and I love casseroles — especially in the cooler fall and winter months when warm leftovers for lunch the next day really hit the spot!

Today, I’m sharing a super simple casserole recipe — AND a casserole-making tip I use regularly to reduce the number of dirty dishes I need to wash and reduce the amount of time it takes me to get dinner on the table. Win, win!

Semi-Homemade Cheesecake Fudge Brownies

posted by Andrea | 10/29/2013 | 10 comments
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I’m a big fan of semi-homemade meals and baked goods. These recipes usually take a fraction of the time and effort of 100% from scratch recipes, but they taste so much better than straight “from-a-box” foods.

The brownie recipe I’m sharing today is no exception. No one believes me when I say it all starts with a basic boxed brownie mix… I even had Dave fooled the first time I made them!

Our Soup and Bread Buffet Party

posted by Andrea | 10/9/2013 | 21 comments
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When we finally finished our summer-long landscaping project, Dave and I decided to have a bunch of friends over for a backyard BBQ. Of course, our friends were all on board for a free dinner… however, we opted for a homemade soup and bread buffet over traditional BBQ foods.

Today, I’m sharing the recipes I used, how I organized this event, and how I managed to feed 28 people for around $90 total!

5 Tips for Baking in Bulk… With Toddlers

posted by Andrea | 06/4/2013 | 25 comments
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Over the past couple of years, I’ve shared many pictures, recipes, and tips for cooking/baking in bulk in attempts to keep our freezer stocked. And whenever I mention my freezer cooking/baking sessions, I always get a handful of questions asking how I do it with a toddler (or any number of small children).

So today, I’m sharing 5 simple tips that helped me get back in my “baking-in-bulk groove” after Nora was born.

4 Tips for Cooking Without a Recipe

posted by Andrea | 03/29/2013 | 20 comments
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As I’m sure you can tell by looking through my recipe box, I am NOT a gourmet chef. I don’t cook fancy foods, I don’t use hard-to-find or expensive ingredients, I don’t spend all day in the kitchen, and I don’t use complicated recipes. In fact, I rarely use recipes at all these days!

Today, I’m sharing 4 simple tips that will hopefully motivate you to be a little more adventuresome in the kitchen… and try cooking without a detailed recipe!

Freezer Cooking in Less Space

posted by Andrea | 03/19/2013 | 14 comments
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I love having a stocked freezer, but I’m not willing to buy loads of extra pans and baking dishes. Plus, when we had a smaller freezer, we didn’t have room for so many large pans.

So for the past several years, I’ve been using a really simple technique that allows me to freeze as much food as I want without “wasting” all my pots and pans.

Better Than A Box: Real Food eBook Giveaway (100 winners)

posted by Andrea | 01/23/2013 | 23 comments
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Although I’m an advocate for “everything in moderation,” I know there are huge benefits to eating “Real Foods”. So today, I’m really excited to share my friend Katie’s new eBook: Better Than a Box.

Katie is giving away 100 copies of her eBook to the first 100 Simple Organized Living readers to claim them…plus she has a free printable Real Food substitutions chart for everyone!!

8-Minute Applesauce… in the Microwave!

posted by Andrea | 11/15/2012 | 3 comments
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Last week, I snatched up a huge bag of Michigan apples on the discount produce rack… and while many were still good for eating, a few were quite bruised and mushy.

So instead of baking bread or a pie, I decided to make a very small batch of homemade applesauce… in the microwave. After cooking the apples for 8 minutes, the sauce was ready, and my kitchen smelled fabulous!

Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells + my Simple “Stuffing” Secret

posted by Andrea | 11/1/2012 | 8 comments
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One of my favorite comfort foods is pasta — any type of pasta, any type of sauce. I love pasta! It doesn’t hurt that almost all pasta dishes are simple to prepare, made with frugal ingredients that I almost always have on hand, and they freeze well!

Today, I’m sharing a new favorite pasta recipe and a super simple tip for stuffing pasta shells.

Weekend Giveaway: My Two Favorite Anolon Pans

posted by Andrea | 10/26/2012 | 564 comments
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I’ve done a good job of paring down my pots and pans to a reasonable amount — and I honestly do use every pot and pan in my cabinet. However, if I had to pick only two pans to use for the rest of my life, it would be a medium size frying pan and a medium size sauce pan.

Today, I’m sharing my two favorite pans with you… via a fun giveaway from Anolon!

Weekend Giveaway: Microplane Kitchen Gadget Gift Set

posted by Andrea | 10/12/2012 | 418 comments
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I do a really good job of limiting the amount of stuff I “collect”, but when it comes to fun kitchen gadgets, I have a hard time passing them up!

So today, I’m excited to share with you a few more kitchen gadgets I’ve been using… and give you an opportunity to win a fun Microplane gift set!

Weekend Giveaway: Wüsthof Knife and Knife Sharpener Set

posted by Andrea | 09/21/2012 | 476 comments
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In an effort to simplify our lives while living without a kitchen, we decided to use all plastic bowls, plates, cups, and utensils — yes, they are recyclable! However, one of the kitchen items I simply could not replace with a disposable alternative was a good sharp utility knife.

I’ve been using the new Wüsthof Utility Knife all summer, and I’m excited to offer 2 lucky readers the opportunity to win this knife and a new knife sharpener!

Our Favorite Foods From The Griddle

posted by Andrea | 09/5/2012 | 11 comments
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We haven’t had a traditional kitchen all summer long, which means I haven’t had a stove all summer long.

Thankfully, we have a large electric griddle that I purchased several years ago in a fabulous Black Friday sale. We usie it almost daily — and there have even been days when we make breakfast, lunch, and dinner ALL on our griddle!

Weekend Giveaway: AgainBags $25 Gift Cards

posted by Andrea | 08/24/2012 | 358 comments
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It’s back-to-school time… which means back in the grind of packing lunches every single day! If you’d like to cut back on your consumption of plastic sandwich and snack bags, I have the perfect product for you! specializes in hand-made, reusable lunch and snack bags that lead-free, phthalate-free, BPA-free, AND they come in fabulous colors and patterns… and I’m giving away two $25 gift certificates today!

Easy. Homemade. eBook Giveaway {100 winners!}

posted by Andrea | 08/16/2012 | 14 comments
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Today I’m sharing a guest post and a brand new eBook from Mandi of Her eBook “Easy. Homemade” had tons of helpful tips and tricks to simplify {and shorten} your time in the kitchen!

If that sounds good to you, then keep reading — oh and she is generously giving away 100 copies of her book!

Simple, Any-Fruit Smoothies & My New Blender

posted by Andrea | 08/7/2012 | 11 comments
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I’m not sure if there’s anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than a cool smoothie made with your favorite fruits!

Today, I’m sharing an extremely simple recipe that can be adapted to make almost any variety of fruit {or veggie} smoothie — oh, and I’ve got a fancy new blender for “show n’ tell”!

Weekend Giveaway: Aladdin Food Storage Containers

posted by Andrea | 07/13/2012 | 481 comments
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It’s the perfect time of year for a picnic in the park… especially if you have super cute containers to pack your picnic lunch in. Right?

If you could use a few new food storage containers, or if you just need an excuse to pack a cute picnic lunch — take a minute to enter today’s giveaway!

Is Your Baking Soda and Powder Still Fresh

posted by Andrea | 07/7/2012 | 8 comments
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I learned the hard way {after a pancake failure} that it really IS important to only use fresh baking soda / powder.

If you’re wondering how to know if your baking soda and baking powder are still fresh, here is a really simple test you can do… right now.