The Heart Of A Home

This post is a little different for me. I hope you all enjoy it! Let me know what you think.

31 comments

The Kitchen is mine…

I LOVE to cook. When I am in my groove, I super enjoy creating awesome meals for my family. The kitchen is MY palace. Everything that I need to create is in it’s perfect place. From my counters, fridge, my cabinets, the seating areas, and even the lighting, it’s all just the way I want it to be. I keep my seasoning organized, labeled, and in arms reach. I get my music going, a cocktail in hand, and get to cooking! It’s smelling delicious, and I’m ready to create something tasty!

This is NOT my kitchen, but it does resemble my soon be kitchen! I’ll update with new house picture soon!
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All my seasonings are canned! YEP! This keeps them super fresh! The labels are easily changed, and this keeps your cabinets, and pantry super neat, and tidy! Having an aesthetically pleasing pantry is always satisfying! This system also makes keeping an updated inventory fast, and easy!

I saw this idea on Pinterest a few years back, on how to jar your seasonings, and other pantry items. I haven’t lived in a place that I could really put this idea to work before. When we moved to New Jersey, we bought a house that needed some love, but I got to make it mine. The first thing that I did was get my seasoning, and all my baked goods in order!

It wasn’t until my Mom finally came to visit me, that I was really able to make my kitchen the cute, comfy, and organized place that I wanted it to be. She helped me, not only paint, refinish my fire place (yes, I had a fireplace in my kitchen) and add the perfect touches to make it all mine. Little of bits of yellow décor, a comfy, welcoming coffee spot! Perfect!

How I chose what to jar…

I picked out the items that were the biggest, and bulkiest, along with the seasonings that I went through the fastest. Here is a brief list of the seasonings/baking items that I chose, and some are absolute staples in my kitchen.

  • Oregano
  • Italian Season
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Minced Onion
  • Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Table Salt
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • All Spice
  • Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Cardamom
  • Dried Dill
  • Curry Powder
  • Ground Ginger
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cloves
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla (extract & Bean)

I have most all these seasons in jars. There are a few seasonings that are in their original containers. While I put other seasonings/produce/baking items in a different type of storage container.

Here’s example ONE
Here’s Example TWO
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Here’s example THREE

I kept all different types of noodles, baking ingredients…such as, baking soda, baking powder, yeast, different types flours, granulated sugar, powder sugar, and brown sugar, all in glass/plastic container. This keeps everything super fresh and long lasting. It’s also nice to have an orderly pantry! (Did I already say that?)

What goes, where?

It’s good to find out what foods should be in, and out of the fridge. This will keep your produce, and breads lasting so much longer! I just found out about many of these, and I was shocked!

Did you know that apples, avocados, onions, potatoes, opened hot sauce, and fresh basil, along with garlic should not be frigerated? I had no clue!

For more on what foods should, and should NOT go in the fridge, check out this great blog: What produce goes in the refrigerator? – mamaloveshome.com

Knowing how to store my wet and dry seasoning, baking items, and produce, really helps to keep everything long lasting, fresh, and tidy! Don’t waste your money by letting your produce die in the back of your fridge! So much of our money gets thrown in the trash, when our food goes bad on us!

Let’s get to the food!

I recently found out that I have a gluten sensitive! Yes, I am one of “those people”….but I still eat gluten, but not as much as I use too. This has made me think more about what is in my food, and how to come up with good, yummy , and healthier recipes.

Some of my top Five favorites are below. Some of gluten free, some are not.

12 ingredients
Meat
1 1/2 lbs Chicken breasts, skinless boneless
Produce
1 lb Baby dutch yellow potatoes
1 tsp Garlic
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1 tbsp Oregano, fresh
1 tsp Parsley, dried
1 tsp Thyme, dried
Canned Goods
1/2 cup Chicken stock

Condiments
2 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
Baking & Spices
2 1/2 tbsp Olive or avocado oil
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt


13 ingredients
Meat
1 lb Ground turkey
Produce
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 tbsp Garlic
1 cup Onion
1 Yellow bell pepper
Baking & Spices
1 tsp Chili powder
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
Oils & Vinegars
2 tbsp Olive oil

Nuts & Seeds
1 1/2 tbsp Cumin, ground
Dairy
1/2 cup Mozzarella
Liquids
1/2 cup Water
Other
3 Small or 2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and diced (about 3 cups))
22 ingredients
Meat
3 cup Chicken
Produce
1 (14.5 oz) can Black beans
3 (14.5 oz) cans Cannellini beans
1 Cilantro
1/2 tsp Coriander
2 cup Corn, frozen
3 cloves Garlic
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Jalapeno
2 Limes
1 Onion
1 tsp Oregano
1 (14.5 oz) can Tomatoes with green chiles
1 (14.5 oz) can White beans
Canned Goods
2 cup Chicken broth, low-sodium
Baking & Spices
1 pinch Black pepper, ground
1 tbsp Chili powder
1 1/4 tsp Kosher sea salt
1/2 tsp Paprika

Oils & Vinegars
1 tbsp Olive oil
Nuts & Seeds
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
Bread & Baked Goods
1 Tortilla strips

8 ingredients
Canned Goods
1 10.75 oz. can Cheddar cheese soup, condensed
Pasta & Grains
2 cups Elbow macaroni

Baking & Spices
1 Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
Dairy
4 tbsp Butter
2 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup Sour cream
1 cup Whole milk
11 ingredients
Meat
1/2 cup Frank’s redhot
Produce
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion powder
Condiments
1/2 cup Texas pete original hot sauce
Baking & Spices
1 tsp Black pepper, cracked
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Sea or kosher salt

Oils & Vinegars
2 tbsp Olive oil
Dairy
2 tbsp Butter
Other
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (patted dry and diced into 2″ pieces)

** All credit goes to my Pinterest mamas out there! Thanks for always suppling me with great, fun, and yummy recipes!

Don’t forget the drinks!

I have really been enjoying my Ninja smoothie blender! I got it for Christmas from my parents! I could NOT wait to play around with it. I love my smoothies! Acholic or not…I’m in! But I also really love my coffee… maybe more than any of other type of drink.

I was getting into my Keto coffee/ Butter Coffee at one time. Though I never felt any heathier, or lighter, drink them, I did love how frothy, creamy my coffee was.

Check out a few of my goes too drinks…

Here are few of my favorite blended drinks!

7 ingredients
Produce
1/2 cup Grapefruit, red
1 cup Orange
Baking & Spices
1 tbsp Powdered sugar
Drinks
1/2 cup Orange juice

Dairy
1 cup Vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt
Frozen
1 cup Ice
Other
Collagen Boost (optional)
3 ingredients
Produce
1 16 oz bag Pineapple chunks, frozen
Liquids
1 cup Water

Other
½ cup Malibu
5 ingredients
Condiments
1 Dulce de leche
Drinks
2 oz Apple cider
4 oz Ginger beer or ginger ale

Frozen
1 Ice
Beer, Wine & Liquor
2 oz Caramel vodka, Salted
INGREDIENTS

1 cup of freshly brewed hot coffee or 1 or 2 shots of espresso
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut cream or almond milk
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg for the top
INSTRUCTIONS 
Add the coffee, coconut butter, maple syrup, coconut cream/milk and salt into a blender. Blend carefully since it’s hot – cover with a towel and start at low speed. Blend until frothy and combined, then pour in a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Drink up!
Crush your cravings for a delicious coffee treat with this low carb mocha frappe recipe & stay on track with your ketogenic diet without the guilt.
Ingredients

8 oz. cold brewed coffee

1/2 cup heavy cream (for Weight Watchers use unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp Pyure Organic All-Purpose Blend Stevia Sweetener

2 cups ice

1 tbsp cocoa powder natural unsweetened
Instructions
Add all ingredients to blender.
Pulse or use ice crushing setting to pulverize ice until all the ice is crushed.
Mix on high speed for 15-30 seconds
Serve
8 ingredients
Produce
1 Apple
Refrigerated
1/2 cup Vanilla almond milk
Condiments
1 tbsp Almond butter

Pasta & Grains
1/4 cup Oats, raw
Baking & Spices
1/2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 dash Nutmeg, ground
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Dairy
1/2 cup Vanilla greek yogurt

** Again most all credit goes to my Pinterest warriors, and my handy Ninja Bullet bender recipes book.

Get in the mood!

Everyone needs a place that their sweet place in their home. I think it’s important to have a peaceful place to write, to recover, and relax. It’s my peaceful place to create and just be. But I also am the one who feeds my family.

It’s easy for cooking to become a terrible, stressful chore. I know! But what helps me (stay) enjoying it, is having my kitchen fixed just for my needs. What I need is a zone that people love to be, with ingredients on hand for whatever the situation calls for.

A kitchen is a where memories are made. Your kitchen sees all your highs and low. You make relationships, heal broken hearts, and celebrate moments all in your kitchen! It’s game nights, hot cups of tea… or coffee, long late night talks, holiday traditions, birthday parties, and pasted down stories…and recipes! The kitchen is truly the heart of your home!

It’s a fun, but comfy place to enjoy friends, and family! It’s a place to welcome in the sunshine, and enjoy my coffee in the mornings. Honestly, who am I kidding, anytime of the day, really! My kitchen is a place to play, experiment, and revisit memories, with old hand-me-down recipes. It’s a place I make cozy, comfort foods, hot drinks and enjoy good company. I love my kitchen…can you tell?

Every person that is the main cook in the family, needs a good functional kitchen, that will they love to be in. It’s just simply a must!

I can’t wait to share our new home with all of you. Especially, the kitchen! Coming in March!

A family that cooks together, stays together! So, get in there! It’s time to create an awesome place for you, and the people you love!

SK

31 comments on “The Heart Of A Home”

  1. My kitchen is disorganized and a complete mess. The sink is full of dirty dishes. With everything going on in the world, I have lost a lot of motivation to perform basic functions like cleaning. You probably wouldn’t like my kitchen.

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    1. I totally understood. I’m ashamed to say it, but when we were in NJ, in the middle of the forest, there were times that I would wear the same clothes for the whole week! I wasn’t really depressed, but I did feel like “getting ready” was pointless. I have OCD, and need a clean house, but even that was slippin! I understand just how you might be feeling. I think having a routine, and being forced to engage with other people is so important. The many different things going on in the world is not natural to us. Even if we are not social people, people were made to have relationships! We have to have a purpose, a routine, relationships. It’s what we were made for. If you want to change something…it’s not easy. You just start with one thing, and do that one thing daily. And maybe after a week, or so you can add something else. Good luck! And btw… paper plates are easier! LOL!

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      1. Exactly… cleaning feels pointless because no one sees the inside of my house. I work from home, but I have my work area set up so that when I’m on camera they can only see the blank wall behind me. But I know you’re right. Thank yoiu 🙂

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      2. New Jersey is very locked down. I lived in South Jersey. It was more small town feel. Most people were pretty nice and thought the lockdown only hurt business…it didn’t keep anyone really safe. People from PA, North Jersey and New York all started to moved to my old side of town. They wanted their freedom back. They didn’t want to be scared to walk the streets in their own neighbors. I lived in the middle of nowhere, so no one ever bothered me. I wore my mask when I went out, and minded my own business… but I think most of the Pines area, wished the city people would stay in their own neck of woods.

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      3. That makes sense… we’ve been pretty tightly locked down (on paper) for almost a year, and the virus is just as bad here as everywhere else. Whether or not to stay here is something I feel very conflicted about… :\

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      4. I get that. If it wasn’t for my husbands company moving us, I’d still be Colorado. But out of all the places that I’ve lived, Texas is by far the best! Moving away from everything you know is hard, but if living somewhere new is a better way a life, than I say move, and God will work out the rest. You just got to be flexible and have faith!

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      5. It’s hard not having anything specific to move to. I spent the summer and fall of 2005 wandering around the country trying to find myself, thinking I was going to move somewhere far away and start over. (After I finish my current blog, probably sometime in 2025, I might use that experience as the basis for another episodic continuing story blog.) But I decided against that for exactly that reason; I wasn’t sure enough about anything to make a long move like that. So I opted for a short move instead, still within day trip distance of everywhere I had lived before, but far enough away to make a relatively fresh start.

        Also, until COVID happened I felt like I had a lot more to lose now than I did in 2005. I have a job that, while very demanding, is probably about as good of a place for me as it can get given all the circumstances. Moving and starting over at this point in my career would be a huge pay cut, as well as no guarantee that I would get along as well with my coworkers and supervisors as I do now. However, COVID has changed my job to the point that I don’t enjoy it anymore, I am working much harder and getting much less out of it, and while I am making more money this year for reasons unrelated to COVID, a lot of the fun things I would want to spend it on have been shut down. If things get back to normal soon, it might not be worth throwing all that away, but I have no way of knowing when, or if, things will get to that point of normal, and I don’t know if I can handle waiting that long. That is my dilemma…

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      6. I read something last night that said, evolving to this “new normal” (I hate that phase) isn’t always good for everyone.

        I think it’s important, we see our co-workers. Sure, working from home might be awesome for lots of people! But the commemoration is all gone. No bonds are being made, and that sucks!

        Our self-care has gone down the drain too. We don’t feel like it matters anymore, but the act of getting “cleaned up”, and ready for the day…changes our mood!

        There’s something to be said about working with great team…actually together!

        Maybe you don’t need to move away to have a new place, to get a fresh start. I thinks it great that you explored a bunch of different places. You probably have a better world view than most!

        I don’t know what would work best for you, but it sounds like your doing good right now! Which is great!

        Having a decent job currently, is such a bless. I agree, throwing that away might not be wise.

        Maybe you jut need to get out of the house little bit. I’m not sure, what the weather is where to live, but sometimes, just some fresh air make a big difference for people!! Let the light inside! Meet up with some people, where you can.

        I have missed people so much, and I am a totally introvert! Being able to meet up with friends and family has brighten my spirit for sure!

        Who knows what would work best for you… you got try little things here and there. see what you like and what you don’t. I’ll be sending good vibes your way!!

        I enjoy you blog, by the way! It’s a pretty cool concept. You have mastered your style blog. I feel like I am all over the place! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I agree, I probably do need to get out of the house more. I’m going for walks and bike rides, but not as much as I do in the summer because it’s cold here. (Not as cold as much of the country, I know, but still cold enough to make it uncomfortable.) I think you’re on to something: finding new places to walk and ride my bike would be a good idea. Technically I think I’m still not allowed to travel for recreation, although no one is enforcing that. And my bike is falling apart, and it’s pretty much impossible to buy a new bike right now (something I’ve been thinking about for a while).

        As for moving away, it isn’t just about the fresh start, it’s more about looking for a less oppressive political climate. These days, though, I don’t know if moving away would help, because both sides are so extreme and so angry, and while I do clearly lean one way, I feel like I don’t lean far enough that way to be accepted by them either… does that make sense? And my conclusion from 2005 was that a lot of the places where I might fit in better politically, I’d have major culture shock in other ways. I’m too much of an anomaly to fit in anywhere. Sometimes I love that about myself, that I march to the beat of my own drum, but it also makes for a very lonely life sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I’m a lot like you. I don’t really fit in any place. I’ve been that way my whole life. Sometimes, I’m good at embracing that about myself, other times, I’m super self-conscious. I’m not sure why.
        I also get what you’re say about “too far one way or the other”…me too.
        I am more conservative, but I’m pretty expecting of many things the right side isn’t…yet I’m not a liberal for sure… 100% not.
        I wish this two party system would go away. I /we need another option that actually is for the people and working together, moving forward…not all about getting rich, power, and control!

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      9. Moderates would win elections if enough people believed they would, and compromise would happen if enough people would vote for representatives willing to compromise instead of hyper-partisan hacks. People say they want that, but they aren’t willing to vote for that… either that, or if they would really learn about what they were voting for instead of just going on superficial things (HEY LOOK WE HAVE A WOMAN OF COLOR AS THE VICE PRESIDENT who happens to be the most liberal Senator ever in the history of the Senate, but let’s forget about that part)…

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      10. Oh man… yes and yes and yes! What happened to our characters being more important than the color of their skin? I agree sir! Absolutely!
        We have great women in Congress to choose from. We have amazing men and women of all different races but as long as they lean conservative they’ll always be treated unfairly… never considered for president for sure. Total hypocrisy!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had a chimney in my kitchen! Everything tastes better over an open fire..

    That Mac & cheese looks like pure utter awesomeness!! You could have that for breakfast lunch or dinner or dessert or whatever lol!!

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    1. I totally agree! When my husband would go out of town or be late on Fridays, the kids would know were having a fun dinner. I would always make Mac-n- cheese and hot dogs. We’d watch Ghost Adventures and scare ourselves. Everyone would have a slumber party on the living room floor! Those were the days!

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      1. Sounds good! But! Mac & cheese on a hotdog sounds awesome!! I’ve had it on a burger👍 now to try it on a hot dog!

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