Tips and Tools

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Substitute

posted by Andrea | 11/25/2014 | 12 comments
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Pasta is one of my favorite comfort foods. Thankfully, Dave and Nora share my love for this super frugal, super simple weeknight meal.

However, I recently had the desire to try substituting Spaghetti Squash for pasta in some of our favorite recipes… and today, I’m sharing our thoughts on this healthier swap!

DIY Garbage Disposal Cleaning Tabs

posted by Andrea | 06/11/2014 | 14 comments
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Have you ever noticed a gross smell coming from your sink — or, more likely, from your garbage disposal?

Today, I’m sharing a SUPER simple recipe for garbage disposal cleaning tabs that’s basically free and uses ingredients you most likely have in your pantry!

Kitchen Quick Tips

posted by Andrea | 06/2/2014 | 17 comments
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Although I really do enjoy cooking and baking, my goal is to do as much as I can while spending as LITTLE time in the kitchen as possible.

Today I’m sharing several of my favorite kitchen quick tips that have saved me oodles of time, money, and energy in the kitchen.

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!

AgainBags.com 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 Life.YourWay.net. 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 | 12 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!